Thursday, December 6, 2012

I got up about an hour ago because I couldn't sleep.

4 am. Sheesh! It's gonna be a long day. But having the house to myself for a couple of hours means more time to commune with my Lord. I remember how back when i was a young abult, those few years before i was married, how I'd spend so much time studying scripture, memorizing it, meditating, praying. That changed once I got married, and especially once I had children. My responsibilities to my family kept me from being able to devote so much time to "quiet time", and my mind was so full of mommy things that I now had trouble memorizing two consecutive verses, whereas before I would memorize whole books of the bible. I remind myself that this is a season. A season that will soon change. There will come a day when I have more time each day to spend sitting at Jesus' feet. And one day I will no longer suffer from crazy momma brain, but will be able to spend focused time in prayer and meditation, and once again be able to memorize stuff.

At least that's what I hope. Until then, I take what minutes I can get, feast on the passages of scripture I've committed to memory in the past, and listen to scripture play as I am busy with my work.

Yesterday I bought supplies to make advent calendars for gifts. It's going to be a lot of work, but I hope to make 5 sets by next weekend. I'll post pictures once they're finished.

Margaret, William, and I went thrift store yesterday and each of us found some treasures. I needed some black shoes, and I found some DKNY for $3.50. Margaret was looking for another pair of Vans and found some in indigo for $10. William was hunting for basketball attire for him and his brothers and four two pairs of shorts and two jerseys. Better than the shoes I found, was a pair of 7 For All Mankind vintage wash trouser jeans in my size for $7.50! They're soft as butter and just the right length. How delightful!

We have a Christmas party to attend tonight, the first of the season. Fun, fun!

I just re read what id written, and laughed at all the funny auto corrects. I rarely proof read what I've written anymore, so I've probably written some pretty funny things since I've been blogging on my iPad.

It's later on Thursday morning now. I took Margaret and Samuel on a 5 and a quarter mile run this morning. To be honest, they dragged me along. They are getting so fast! I don't know when I've run a fast five miles! It was such a struggle to keep up with them!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yesterday was a flurry of activity. I started the morning off with my usual run, then we jumped right into school work. I had grocery shopping to do, then Brian came home to join us for lunch. William and John had a scout meeting where they received some awards, and there was a collecting of gifts to take to the Helping Hands Home for Children. We contributed a couple of Lego sets. The boys den meets at the baptist church school that my childhood BFF's mom has taught second grade for a million years, and she came down to visit us for a few minutes. What a sweetie Nancy is!

Margaret had packed us a dinner of sandwiches, so we munched on those on the way to our next activity: johns basketball practice at the downtown YMCA. He and Tommy are playing on the same team. This is the first sport we've had John signed up for in about two years. He's hated competition so we haven't pushed him. But Thomas called a few weeks ago and asked if John would play basketball with Tommy. We had to get special permission to get John moved down to the 6/7 year old bracket to be with tommy, but we assured the folks at the Y that John was not going to be out there pushing the younger kids around. Well, Samuel must've given John a pep talk before practice, because john was on fire. When the team split up to scrimmage, John's team won and John made every single basket for the team. He was so excited! Hopefully the Y won't change their mind about letting him play with the younger kids. Can't wait to see how things go at the game on Saturday.

I don't know if I have said anything about this, but Thomas and Meredith have separated. Yesterday was the first time I've seen her in nearly four months. We hugged and cried. My heart breaks for both of them. Blog readers, please join me in praying for this family. Foremost I ask you to pray for their salvation.

After we left the Y, we went to a meeting at the middle school that Margaret and and Samuel will be attending after the break. Brian and I both came away from it with a good feeling. It's the best middle school in Austin, but also an older, urban school, just like Maplewood was. I think Margaret and Samuel will feel more at home in this school than they woulda in a more suburban school. We got to visit with the principal a bit, and he game the impression that he is on top of things and takes his job very serious.

It makes me sad that our homeschooling kind of got shipwrecked after such a positive start, but I believe it's for the best. Brian made the decision to put some of the kids back in school, so I can rest knowing that it wasn't me doing it. He felt that to keep them at home was doing them a disservice because neither of us were able to give them the attention they need. They are both very excited, especially now that they've seen the school and walked the hallways. William and John can't wait to start middle school either when their time comes. William is sure he's going to play football. :) No matter that he's a young fifth grader and small for his age. We have said that when we put W and J back in school that we'll hold them back a year, but W is so eager to start middle school next fall that we
may have a real challenge with that plan.

Well, I had better get out for my run before the morning is too far spent. Ok, yeah, it's only 6:30 right now, but this household gets moving early.

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm sitting here in the living room, lit only by the Christmas lights. It's 5 am. and everyone else is still in bed. I love this hour because I have the house to myself for a little while.

Advent began yesterday. This is my favorite season of the church calendar. So much expectation, so much encouragement from looking back to what our Lord has done and promises fulfilled. Margaret and I made an advent wreath at church last Saturday and we have that in the
middle of the table. The church gave us a little booklet with scripture readings and hymns to work on each week of the season. We're also doing the Jesse Tree as we do every year.

We bought a cute live tabletop tree from central market instead of a big tree. It's so cute and makes me happy because it doesn't take up so much room that we have to take furniture out to the storage. We decorated it rather simply with some round, colored LED lights, retro looking glass balls, and those cinnamon applesauce ornaments cut in the shape of large stars. So between the real greenery from the wreath and tree and the ornaments, our house smells really good!

We attempted a Christmas picture yesterday before church. Everyone but John cooperated. He was pouting the entire time, and no manner of threatening made any difference. Oh well, I guess we'll just use what we have and call it 'real'.

I've been getting in a lot of running lately, averaging about 35 miles a week. Pretty good for not yet training for a marathon. On Saturday Brian and i ran between 7.5 and 8 miles. Yesterday afternoon Margaret and I went running and she wanted to do the same route, so we did. She's fast, and it was a challenge to stay with her. I think she and Samuel will really enjoy having the chance to run track when they go back to school.

Hazel has been such a handful lately! She is into everything! She still doesn't sleep through the night. She'll go down in her pack-n-play at night, but wakes up at least once. She usually ends up in our bed for the rest of the night. She had her one year check up the other day. She's still average size, though to me she seems small. She weighed 20 lbs. her weight gain has slowed since she started walking in October, but I guess that's normal. She doesn't talk a lot, at least not real words. Just "mama", "dada", and what we think is "mine". She understands everything it seems. She has no fear of strangers, and walks right up to people and stares at them. It's really funny. She's a very girlie girl, and carries a purse and takes a baby everywhere. Margaret wasn't that way. She was more into animals and nature, not dress up and playing mommy.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I'm so sorry that I've neglected you so, my blog! I really want to write, I just really have a hard time carving out the minutes to do so.

November was a stressful month, no doubt about it. The bottom fell out of our homeschooling, and Brian and I began searching for other options. We had three different groups of short term renters stay at our house in two weeks. We celebrated Hazel's birthday, and we went on a couple of camping trips. We celebrated thanksgiving with my mon's side of the family, as we usually do. Thanksgiving night my mon took the cousins (minus Hazel)
out to her house for a long weekend of cousin time. Brian and I stayed in our camper out at the Farm. It was cold and cozy, just the three of us out in that hill overlooking town. He and I cleaned up after renters twice that weekend, did a ten mile run together, read books, and ate at several good restaurants.
A few weeks ago we found out that Margaret and Samuel automatically qualify to enroll in a very good middle school across town and can even ride the bus. It's because the school we're zoned for is a No Child Left Behind school, whatever that means. What a relief and what we see as an answer to prayer. We don't have to scramble to try to move right away. They will either start school in the next week, or after the Christmas break. I'll continue to homeschool William and John and see how things go. I'm hoping they'll be more cooperative since I'll be able to give them more attention.

I may have written about this in a previous post, but in October i just broke down and got really depressed. I felt so overwhelmed! That's when Brian decided we had to make a schooling change. I scheduled a doctor's appointment to see if I might need suffering from some sort of imbalance. It was great to see Dr. Love again after a year. I just seriously love that man.., in a patient-doctor kind of way. He gave me all the time in the world and ask lots of questions. In the end he concluded that I was probably suffering from PMS, and prescribed progesterone. On a side note, I weighed five pounds less than I did before i got pregnant with Hazel. And that's without trying to lose weight, just running every day and doing some weights. We eat healthy, but I don't deprive myself of anything, just use common sense. I even eat bagels and pizza sometimes, drink my coffee with heavy cream, and have wine every night. Well, I do nurse all day and half the night, so that too burns a lot of calories, but still, I'm kind of amazed to be at 105, the weight I weighed when I was Margaret's age!

We were blessed with a new dishwasher free of charge, thanks to a GE recall. This one runs like a Cadillac. I feel so spoiled!

Must get going. Gotta get in a run before church. Have a blessed Lord's Day, y'all, and happy first day of Advent!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Blogging has become such an inconvenient thing to do these days. I MUST get back at it though!

Karen and I ran the Chosen Marathon last Saturday. Everything was perfect, except that I had a tummy ache for the first twenty or so miles. Beautiful weather, gracious volunteers, amazing scenery. We ran pretty well and finished in 4:17:18. 17 minutes off my PR, but not my worst time either. It was a fun experience, and i think Karen had a good time.

This week has been better than the last three, but we've still not done much school. I've felt so overwhelmed with all that we have going on right now, and for me, the easiest thing to let slide is school. Margaret and Samuel have been great this last month and continue their studies on their own without supervision. William and John need constant prodding and oversight, which I just haven't had the motivation to provide.
We've been researching school districts and looking for a house. That, too, is overwhelming. I guess we're too picky, at least about the house.
We have three different groups of people coming to rent our house this month. I was really stressing about it, but I've calmed down. It will nice to make a little extra money just in time for Christmas. We'll either go camp in our trailer or go stay with parents, one set or the other.
Tonight the church is having their second annual Fall Country Dance. I'm the decorating committee, so I've been running here there and everywhere collecting stuff to use. I love to decorate my own house, but it's awfully intimidating to be in charge of decorating a large public space like a church.
Hazel's first birthday party is this Sunday. Margaret and I have been searching pinterest for ideas. I think it's all coming together and is going to be really cute.
Oh, almost forgot, we all dressed up for Halloween. Brian was Uncle Sam and I was the Statue of Liberty. Margaret. William, and John were Indians. Samuel wanted to be Martin Luther, but we couldn't procure a robe in time, so he was either Shakespeare or some other man from the Renaissance. And Hazel was a pumpkin. The whole trick of treat thing was awfully confusing for her, but she got into it towards the end of the night, and would get put of her stroller a s walk up to the doors like everyone else.
Well, that is all I have time for right now. Here are some pics, all mixed up.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I have a few minutes before I head out for my final pre-marathon run. I just finished a big bowl of oatmeal topped with pumpkin seeds, banana, raisins, cinnamon, and raw sugar. I'll be nice and warm inside for awhile.
This week has gone somewhat better than the last. I've spent a lot of time crying out to God for grace to make it through. Sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed with all the responsibilities, all the tasks needed to be accomplished that I just get angry. I was ready to curse at the pile of laundry and the 54 cups in the sink the other night. I've had to stop myself and tell myself to rejoice, to give thanks in all of this. The fact that I get so worked up and stressed about these things shows how childish I still am, how short sighted and lacking in maturity my soul is.
I took the kids hiking at the Barton. Creek Greenbelt on day this week. There wasn't any water in the creek, but it still made for a nice outing, walking up the dry creek bed, remembering the spots where we'd picnicked and swam in the early summer.
Brian's office had their annual Halloween party for the kids yesterday afternoon. I bought a half-finished pumpkin costume at the thrift store for $1.99 and finished it out. She looked adorable in it, if I don't say so myself. Brian took the kids to soccer last night and Hazel and went to Target. She's such a fun shopping companion. I love to watch her face and she takes in the sights and sounds. Ever since she was born she's been very aware of her surroundings. And she is the most curious thing! She is into exploring and discovering anything there is to be discovered. She's kept me on my ties this last month or so.
Margaret has been a huge blessing. She goes around cleaning and organizing, helping out with Hazel, and just being the best little momma ever. She creates her own cleaning supplies from recipes she finds online and makes the house smell so nice. When I gave up on homeschooling last week because I was so burnt out, she went and created a schedule for the month of all the work she needs to do so she wouldn't fall behind. I just don't know where this young woman came from! Surely not from my body!
The Chosen Marathon for Adoption is two days away! I'm getting excited now. It's gonna be tough, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'll have two companions to encourage me which will help tremendously.
Well, times up. Best get out there and run.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

It's Sunday morning. I just finished having pizza for breakfast (carb loading for Saturdays marathon, maybe?) and am drinking some delicious coffee. For some reason we currently have five or six types of really good coffee beans in the house, which is way more than we usually have. I feel like royalty trying to choose which one to make each morning.

Last weekend Brian and I had a much needed getaway to celebrate our anniversary. Since we had Hazel with us, we stayed local. Thursday night we left the kids with Brian's parents at their new house in New Braunfels and went to see Willie Nelson in concert at John T. Floore's Country Store in Helotes. I'm so glad we did. The guy is 79, and who knows how much longer he'll be around. We stayed that night with Nonnie and GB, then the next morning Brian, hazel, and I took off. We stayed at the historic Faust Hotel in downtown NB fora couple of nights. We did lots of walking, lots of watching football, lots of talking, and a moderate amount of eating. I didn't get in any running the whole weekend, but I guess that's ok. I'm supposed to be tapering off anyways.

It was back to work on Monday. We had one decent day of school. The next day the wheels came off the wagon. I just couldn't go on. I told the kids I was done homeschooling and fell into a deep state of depression. The rest of the week I just let them homeschool themselves. I just couldn't do it. Brian agreed that we needed a change and that we were trying to do too much. We've been brainstorming different options and praying for wisdom. 

On Friday I discovered part of the reason for my so out-of-character pessimistic view of life: the return of my menstrual cycle. I guess I should've expected that after  going without it for 22 months, that the  return would be rather traumatic.  

I think I'm in a better state of mind now and am able to think clearly about all this, but it has helped Brian and I see that we are in over our heads and that we just may not be cut out for this homeschooling thing. At least not all the kids for all grades. 

Yesterday I took John and Hazel up to Georgetown for the. Vern's No Frills 5K. I paid John to babysit for me while I ran. So he sat there and played Mindcraft on my phone and talked to Hazel.

I can tell that my speed work has paid off some because I ran a comfortable pace, not pushing myself too hard and still finished  in 22:17. Afterwards we drove around old town Georgetown looking at houses. I really enjoy times like that with John. He talks my ear off and shares his heart with me.

We met Thomas and his kids out at Pedernales State Park for an afternoon of hiking and playing in the river. Though we were all tired, it was good that we got out of the city for awhile and took a breather. We came back home and had pizza and wine and the kids watched Chariots of Fire while Brian and I folded laundry and watched the Longhorn-Baylor game.
Well, it's off to the races, time to get ready for church. I so look forward to the this time all week! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

We're all getting tucked in for the night. It's been a full day of activities. I got in an early morning run, about five miles. I got the kids going on school work, then headed down to the hospital I thought my grandmother was in to visit with her a little while she's recovering from surgery. Well, it turned out that she was at a different hospital, one close to my house. Unfortunately i didn't have the time to go to another one this afternoon because I had to get the younger boys to a cub scout meeting in Hyde Park. While they were there, Samuel, Margaret, Hazel, and I strolled through the neighborhood and admired the beautiful old homes. Samuel had his scout meeting this evening. The rest of us dropped in on a neighbor's block party a few houses down. It's Neighborhood Night Out tonight, so there were block parties all over town. We had hoped to host one for our block, but just couldn't get out act together in time this year. I always enjoy when we have an opportunity to hobnob with the neighbors.
I registered for the Austin Livestrong Marathon in February. That should keep me in shape for awhile.
Hazel still isn't sleeping in her own bed and isn't sleeping through the night. I guess it'll happen eventually. Right now it's just easier to have her in the bed with us than listen to her cry in her packnplay for hours.
We posted our home on for short term rental. We've already had one query, but we turned her away because we weren't quite ready for guests. Hopefully we'll get some people for ACL Fest and/or the Formula 1 race.

Well, it's been a long day and I'm beat.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October, how I love thee! This has always been my favorite month of the year.

It was a soggy weekend here. We thought William's football game on Friday night would get rained out, but they shouldered on and had it despite the downpour. The Y did cancel the Saturday soccer games, so we had an unexpected free day. My mom invited us out to Burner for lunch. Thomas was there with his kids and Leah with hers, so it was cousin time, all 11 together. A rare treat these days. We came home in the afternoon and cleaned house, then watched football. I ran the CASA superhero 5k Sunday morning. I signed I for it since it was going to be held at mueller this year, along the same route I run every day. I figured I could do pretty well, and I did. I PRed with a time of 21:31. I placed third in my age division. We cleaned up quick and made it to the second service. I left hazel in the nursery. I left Hazel in the nursery for half of the service. She loves the nursery at church. Ideally she would sit with me in church, but she's just way to noisy. I really want to be in the service. I NEED it. Oh, Hazel already has a boyfriend at church, Griffin.
I did some more baking yesterday. I'm on a baking kick these days. Good thing none of us are gluten intolerant. Yesterday morning I made pumpkin muffins, and yesterday afternoon I base cinnamon sugar bagels. I so enjoy the whole process of crafting bagels!
I took the boys to choir last night and I went to the Sunday evening class for the adults. Brian stayed home to do budget stuff, and Margaret stayed home because her braces are just about killing her. She has cried all weekend, ever since she had her adjustment on Friday morning.
It's Monday again, and I can't wait to start a fresh week of school with the kids!

But first, off to get in my run.

Here are some pics. For some reason iPad sorts them out of order, but enjoy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's Wednesday morning and I'm the only one up. I've had a bagel and I'm now enjoying my second cup of coffee. All is good. I had a fever and mastitis for a few days, but i seem to be on the upswing. In all my years of nursing I never had mastitis before. Wow, it's so painful! Flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, achy feeling, not to mention extremely sore breast! Thankful to be through the worst of it, so it seems.

School is coming along nicely. This year has been so much better than last year, and last year went pretty well. We've found our groove and are really enjoying learning together. Margaret and Samuel began taking a science and logic class for homeschoolers at our church, which was a big answer to prayer. I was really wanting to find a group to be involved in, but couldn't find one that seem to fit into our schedule. A mom from church offered to do this class since she was already going to be doing it with her son, and opened it up to other families in the church. They use Apologia General Science and Fallacy Detective for logic. I put aside what we had been using for science and we all use the Apologia book. We're also all working through Fallacy Detective together, and it has been so fun to hear the kids detect bad reasoning in each other's conversation. We also added a Latin and a Spanish program to our curriculum. Having all the kids working through the same books in many subjects makes it so much easier too add all the extra things we wanted to do last year but never could fit in.
I'm so much less stressed about school this year.

A lot of our activities have started up again. Samuel, Margaret, and William are playing soccer, so they have practices on Wednesday and games on Saturday. William is laying flag football and has practices on Monday's and games on Fridays. The boys jones a new boy scout pack and have meetings on tuesdays. We started going to sunday night church where Margaret goes to youth group, the boys go to choir, and Brian and i sit in on pastor Cassidy's teaching. I try to keep hazel with me, but she's pretty noisy and has ended up in the nursery most evenings.

I had a very sweet birthday last week and was treated like royalty. My mom came to town and took me shopping. John and hazel came along, but the others stayed home. That evening we met the rest of the family at Trudy's for dinner. I was showered with gifts, things that the kids had specially picked out for me when Brian had taken them shopping the day before:lots of candles, a bathroom rug, a pillow, earrings, lots of soaps, a back scratcher (from William, who loves to have his back scratched), and other things. Brian gave me a James Avery chain with a Texas pendant and a bottle of wine. It's humbling to know that you're loved so much!

I'm still running. Last Sunday I did a nine miler, but most days I just run four miles. The marathon is a month from today and I think I'll need to get in one more really long run before it.

Hazel will be 11 months in a couple of weeks. She still isn't walking, though she's taken a step or two on her own. She is such a funny little girl. She already demonstrates a sense of humor.

And she's finally eating! She still mostly nurses, but will try all kinds of foods from my plate now.

Well, I need to get out to run.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I've started to blog many times, but have not had time to finish. Let's hope this one sticks.

We had a delightful summer! We didn't do a lot of the things we talked about doing, but still, the days were full and pleasant and many memories were made. Margaret swam day and night the first two months of summer, and the boys played basketball the last month or so. We ran, swam, skied, canoed rivers, jumped waves in the gulf, hosted parties, took road trips, made crafty things, checked out hundreds of books from the library, hosted the cousins for nearly a month of the summer, played, prayed, and worshipped.

School started for us this week. Brian and I are really trying to be organized this year and keep a step or two ahead of the kids. We also attempted to simplify things and step out away from a curriculum for some things. So far things have gone well. Again, we're only in day 4, but I'm optimistic that this year will be better than last.

Here's a run-down of our day:

I get out at 6 to run every morning, four miles most morning's, six on wednesday. I'll probably cut back after I run my marathon in October. Brian runs with the kids in our neighborhood a couple of times a week.
Bible: we read and do memory work. This week our verse is 1 Peter 4:16.
Math: the kids are doing Abeka - Margaret Algebra 1, Samuel 6th grade, William 5th grade, and John 3rd.
Poetry: we're memorizing Shakespeare's All The World's A Stage.
Spelling: I'm not using spelling books this year, but instead and creating my own list each week from our history, science, and art studies. Everyone studies the same words. This has made life so much easier for me!
Grammar: everyone is using Abeka. Margaret is in Grammar II, Samuel and William are both in the 6th grade book, and John uses various
Abeka materials that span 1st to 4th grade.
Creative writing: I'm using a site with daily writing prompts right now.
Literature: this isn't my ideal, but right now Margaret and Samuel are using some literature textbooks, Margaret - English literature, Samuel - world literature. I just have William reading Cricket magazine, and John picks a
book off the shelf to read each day.
Art: this is my favorite subject! I have an American architecture text that were using and we're learning the principal styles of American domestic architecture. The kids have so enjoyed it! They already seem to have an interest in houses like Brian and I. I could really see Margaret being an architect with her interest in math and her incredible artistic ability.bon art were also going to study/create our own illuminated lettering to go along with where we are in our history studies.
History: I combined everyone into one class this year, and we're studying world history. We're starting where Samuel and Margaret left off last year, right at the beginning of the Renaissance.
Science: as with history, I decided to haver everyone work from the same text. We're using the Abeka physical science as our guide and branching out from there. Some of the stuff will be a little too much for William and John (who am i kidding, some of it's too hard for me! when we read about ridiculous notation this week, I was like "huh?"), but we have so many other books and resources, i think I can bring it down to their level and make it interesting for them.
I guess that about covers it. We have not arranged anything for music. Frankly just don't see where we'd fit it in.

Dang, I thought I already publishes this. Must make blogging a priority.

It's Sunday evening now. We've had a nice weekend full of socializing. We went to Central Market Friday night and listened to a jazz quartet. That was pleasant. We worked all day Saturday and in the evening had three neighborhood families from church over. Lots of kids, lots of food, good beer, good conversation. This morning we made it to the early service, then came home and hung out here for the day. Thomas brought his kids by in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day with us. He gave me an Apple tv thing for my birthday. I don't quite understand how it works, but I think we'll get alot of use out of it. He and the kids went to church with us tonight for the monthly dinner thing we do. That was different. A good different. Maybe they'll start coming regularly.

I'm beat. I was supposed to run 17 plus miles this morning, but I've pushed it over until tomorrow so I'd better get some rest.

Until next time.....which better not be a month from now!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This summer is just flying by! I wish i had been more consistent at blogging.

Some of the highlights:

We've had the cousins come stay with us for two extended time periods, in June and also in July. So much fun was had and lifelong memories made.

Margaret swam every night at Patterson pool for swim team practice. She went to the regional meet at UT where she competed in three events. Her relay team made it to state, which will be in Corpus Christi at the end of the month. Now that she's training for state, her practices are twice a day at a pool downtown. I've been running the trail while she swims, so we're both getting in pretty good shape.

Speaking of Margaret, she's been gone for a week to Philadelphia with Brian's parents. They fly back in today. This is the longest she's been away from all of us by herself. All the kids together have stayed with grandparents longer, but never by themselves. He boys miss her so much! I think she's had a great time. She's been sending us tons of pics over the phone.

VBS at Redeemer started yesterday. William and John are the only participants this year. Samuel and I worked in the infant nursery with the babies of the teachers. We only had three babies yesterday including Hazel. I've never left her in the church nursery on Sunday, so all those toys and play things were a while 'nother world for her! She was loving it!

Hazel still isn't sleeping great. We've tried her in the pack n play, but usually that doesn't work very well. She rarely naps and still has trouble getting to sleep at night. I just don't know how she keeps going! She still doesn't sleep through the night consistently, but that doesn't matter so much since she sleeps in our bed.

She's learning new tricks every day. Yesterday she walked a little bit behind one if those push toys. She cruises along the furniture and has attempted to stand on her own a couple of times. She waves occasionally, and gives kisses. Of course every new milestone is a cause for celebration by her fan club, i.e. brothers and sister. She brings us so much joy.

We've been blessed with a lot of rain lately, so unusual for the month of July. Everything looks so green and alive, and our lawn, which pretty much died after the hell that was last summer, has come back to life and looks like it is going to make it.

The summer is flying by too fast. We haven't ordered our books for next year yet. Still kind of waiting to see if Margaret gets into the middle school we've been trying to get her into. She's #3 on the waiting list, so there's a strong possibility that she will. Samuel is number #10 on the waiting list for the same school, so I don't have a lot of hope that he'll get in this year. Still praying about what's best for our kids...

Well, busy day ahead.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Trying to play catch up with July's photo challenge.

Day 6 - "chair"

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Attempting this month's photo challenge. Hopefully I can stick with it this time.

July 1 - Self Portrait

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The latest in pictures.

Waiting at the orthodontist and fun times at the Y.

I can't figure out how to control where my pics go when I blog on my iPad or iPhone. Ah well. Might have to go back to using my pc.

Monday, June 25, 2012

So glad it's Monday! We've had such a pile of hectic days! I need some regularity, routine, mundane work to cleanse my system.

We went to Schlitterbahn on Friday with my mom, my sister, and the kids. It was good to have several adults, but really, now that the kids are older we didn't have to keep up with them. We just told them to check in with us every few hours. Hazel seemed to enjoy the water and the people watching and did beautifully throughout the eleven hours that we were out. We had a full house both Thursday and Friday nights, five extra bodies. On Saturday morning my mom and Leah took all the kids except Hazel out to Burnet. I finished decorating cakes, Brian and i gotnout forba run, then drove up to Round Rock for the McCutcheon-Evans reunion. We had some catchup time with the Evans cousins and visited the Hutto farmhouse. There was a barbecue and speeches made by the old folks. It was a two day event, but Brian and i decided to skip the Sunday morning breakfast and go to church instead. We needed to rest and we needed to spiritual food.

We went to lunch at Trudy's after church, then came home and lounged around the rest of the day, watching Hazel and cat napping on the couch until Mama brought the kids back.

I've had big plans to do some sewing and some painting projects, but I haven't been able to find a decent size chunk of my day since Hazel commands more and more of my time now that she's crawling and getting into everything. She doesn't nap regularly and when she does, her naps are short which only leaves enough time for me to tidy things up. I've been wearing her on my back in the Ergo if she just won't nap, but there are just some things that can't be done while she's attached to me.

I haven't been away from Hazel for more the two or three hours in her life. I know that's really not that odd, but with my other kids I was able to offer them something to fill their tummies in place of mommy and therefore go out on a date with Brian, even go over night, or just spend some time out running errands without baby. She's so different. If this was five or ten years ago, i'd probably resent the clinginess, but since she's the child of my old age, I cherish it. I am in no hurry to push her away. That said, I have dreamy thoughts of when Brian and i will be able to have our room to ourselves again, or go away on an overnight trip, just us.

Well, she's finally asleep in the other room, so I'm going to try to get a few things checked off my list.


Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.
-Jacques Maritain

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I made a spontaneous decision to take the kids to the Barton Creek Greenbelt yesterday morning. We took our lunch and went to the far end, the Scottish Woods Tr. entrance. We were out for a few hours, ate, played in the creek, and read some books.

Yesterday afternoon I went down to east 6th to buy a new sewing machine pedal. There's this guy who owns this repair business in a little garage behind his house just a few blocks east of the interstate. His name is Maurice, and he's been repairing sewing machines for over forty years. He charged me half of what the hoity-toity store in NW Austin where i got my machine wanted to charge me to replace the pedal. From now on I'm taking my business to him. The only negative factor us having to back out of his skinny alleyway driveway. I'm so excited to have my machine up and running again!

I've felt a little blue this week. I don't know why. Maybe I'm just weary. Or maybe PMS. I've forgotten what that's like. Haven't had to deal with that almost a year and a half, and the way Hazel eats, I probably won't have to deal with it for another several months.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sometimes I wake up and am totally bewildered by what day it is, where am I, and what am I doing here. I guess I'm just so worn out at the end of our crazy days. This morning was one of those mornings. Brian and i were supposed to go over to Starbucks for coffee and breakfast and Bible study, but i completely forgot and ate some breakfast and got the coffee going before he got up. Well, we'll go tomorrow. We've started studying the book of Mark together and have a weekly "share session" at Starbucks. Just us, no Hazel. We sneak out before she wakes up.
Yesterday we took a cookie pizza down to daddy's along with a framed picture of the kids - father's day gifts. He wasn't there, so we left them on his with a "sorry we missed you" note scrawled in a paper towel, then headed downtown to the library. love the downtown library because the wealth of books to choose from and the nostalgia: it's where we always checked out books when i was a kid. What i don't like is the number of homeless people that hang out in front of and inside it. I always make sure that the kids go potty, especially the boys, before we go to that library. Inevitably, one boy ends up having to go #2 while we're there, and i stand outside the men's restroom the whole time praying that some freak isn't molesting my boys on the other side of the wall. I always make them go to the potty in pairs, but still, things can happen.....

Learning to trust the Lord with my kids, that's something I'm yet learning.

I came away with some delicious books. It's so thrilling to come home with a bag filled with a variety of titles and then to feel them out to decide which ones are worth my time.

Karen and I didn't run last night. She was busy with something else, and Brian had a deacons' meeting, so I needed to be here to man the fort. We'll get back to running tonight.

Brian and I slept with Hazel wedged between us. She was hopping and bopping at 10:30 last night and just wouldn't go down in her bed. She is constant action, more than all my others, if my memory serves me right. She drags herself all through the house now and can pull herself up steps. She has started pulling up on furniture, too.

One thing she isn't doing is eating solids. She gags on everything. Everything! The only thing she can tolerate is mommy milk. She thought I was trying to poison her when I offered her a sippy cup with formula, and gagged and choked for a good thirty seconds. I guess it'll be awhile before we can leave her for more than a couple of hours. I guess it's nice to feel needed.

And speaking of feeling needed, she's ready for breakfast.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm sitting here in bed early on Monday morning. Hazel sleeps beside me there in her pack-n-play. I carefully slipped her back in it a little awhile ago. She slept most the night between Brian and I. I think I slept well. We listened to the audio bible as we were going to sleep so my mind is renewed. I'm ready for this week.

Father's Day was a nice, lazy kind of day. Brian and i started the day off with a three mile run together. We went to the first service, but Brian had to stay for the second, as well, since he's the DOM this month. While he was gone we cleaned the house, made a special lunch, put the finishing touches on his gifts, and made him some cards. He loved the little surprises. He's so easy to please, just one of the many things I love about him.

We gave the pool a second (third?) chance. Maybe i never mentioned the pool, but my mom passed on this pool to us, one of those "easy setup" pools with the blow up ring at the top, the kind that bulges put on the sides. You have to have the ground completely level for it to work which we did not the first two attempts at putting up the thing. The side collapse and we sent a wall of water into Clay's yard. He was standing out there with a friend drinking a beer, and said, "Bring it on!" he was happy to get some free water on his lawn.

Well, we made a third attempt to level the ground and set the pool up and spent yesterday filling it up. I think it's going to work this time. We need to hook the pump up and put the ladder together and then we'll be set. I'm hoping this will provide lots of entertainment and exercise for the days we don't get to the Y or another pool. And just when our neighbors thought we couldn't get any noisier....ha!

Margaret and Brian ran some errands and got the three of us iPhones. We spent last night playing around with them. It's Margaret's first smart phone, so she's especially stoked.

We all stayed up late watching the basketball game. Lately we've had so much fun with the kids! They're getting to the age where they're such a pleasure to hang out with. They're more like friends.

A family from our church just moved back to their home state of Colorado. The wife, a friend of mine, was 18 weeks pregnant with her sixth child. Right after they got to Colorado, she discovered that she'd lost the baby, a boy they've since named Galen. She was induced earlier this week. My hear hurts for her. Her milk came in yesterday. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to deal with the emotions surrounding that. Pray for Jasmine with me, please.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Just about the funniest thing ever.

It's true, my neighborhood is full of target addicts. One thing I'd disagree with the artist on is the locations of the bands and baristas. They're further southwest of where he put them. I would've pasted the picture in this post, but I am still trying to figure out how to do stuff like that on the iPad.
Made it through this week! I can't tell you how exhausted I've been! Karen and I ran three times together at a swift pace, four and a half mies each time. I plan to run five miles with Brian tonight. I always know when i'm in need of more rest because my left eyelid starts to twitch. That's been happening since about Tuesday. Last night I decided to skip out on the 5k this morning. After i texted Karen and let her know i was too tired, she enthusiastically said she would be glad to sleep in this morning. She works full time doing custom paint jobs for high end residences, so pretty physical work, then comes and runs with me. Anyways, we'll resume our running on monday, i guess. Hazel is keeping me on my toes. She's crawling around everywhere, can sit up from a crawling or lying position, and has starting to pull up on things. I'm always amazed at how fast babies learn and develop. One day they're just lying there playing with their hands, and the next they're on the move. She's at a fun stage right now. I enjoy taking her places and watching her watch people. Everything is so new to her. I wonder what she's thinking. I'm so glad to have her in the family! Brian took Margaret to her swim meet this morning so that I could rest. I did rest a little, but mostly ran errands getting ready for Father's Day. I ook some pics of the kids and had them made into 8x10's for Brian. I got some frames at Texas Thrift and painted them to match some the colors in the pics. I really hope he likes them. They're the first real pictures of all five kids together. We went to central market last night. We planned to meet up with some friends, but they had to cancel because their daughter wasn't feeling well. I bought Brian two six packs of Real Ale, his favorite beer. He was so excited, lie he had won the lottery or something. Now he has some decent beer to drink while watching the Finals. Lately I've found myself stressing too much about what happens on the Internet. Online relationships can be really good and valuable, but sometimes they're real superficial, just a pain in the behiney to maintain, and are no substitution for the real thing. I've lately discovered a few people that have blocked me on Facebook or put me on "limited access" for no reason that I know of. Ok, they have a reason, but I have yet to figure it out. Yes, I admit to doing this to a few people, but it was mostly because I was made aware of them slandering me on sites that I no longer visit. But some folks I considered friends have left me high and dry. What gives? Anyways, i start to dwell on these things and it just steals my peace and makes me want to jump through hoops and do things to make people like me and, well, it makes me feel like I'm in junior high all over again. Someday I'll grow up. I hope.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

i picked up this book at the thrift store last week. It has been exactly what I've needed.

The Power of a Positive Mom: Revised Edition

below are three passages of Scripture that i was reminded of in te chapter i'm currenly reading in this book. i'm going to make it my aim to meditate on these this week. i wrote them out on large note cards to put in the kitchen since that's where i spend most of my time.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.  Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;   bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.  Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

 isn't it funny how you can be so familiar with some verses that you almost can't hear them anymore, but then one day you read them and they're like NEW and like you're hearing/reading them for the first time? that's how some of these are to me today.

another good read that I picked u at the library a couple of days ago -

No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids

this book has lots of good ideas, many of which we're already doing with the kids, but many are new suggestions that i've never thought of.

Hazel is at that stage where she needs constant supervision and i'm kind of running ragged today. i've had four cups of coffee in an attempt to stay ahead of her. now i feel jittery and grouchy. must down about a gallon of water to make up for it.

Karen and i ran together on monday night, then grabbed a drink at Cherrywood Coffeehouse before i had to be back at Patterson to pick up Margaret from swim team. i ran/walked by myself last night, and tonight we meet to run together again. she and i plan to run Vern's 5K this saturday. i think it's gonna be fun having a female running partner.

well, the kiddos are having their quiet time, or not so quiet time, as their are animal noises coming from the boys' room. best make the most of my free time before Hazel wakes up.

Lord, please give me strength for THIS day!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Picture challenge.....


Photo challenge.... not very creative, but here are my "high angle" and "animal".
Sitting here on Sunday afternoon sitting on the sofa sipping coffee and being kicked by a baby who is fighting sleep. Hazel just doesn't like to sleep. What a week we've had! Monday was John's eighth birthday. This kid has been such a great addition to our family! John is pleasant and friendly, the most outgoing of the kids fir sure! He's been this way since birth. He's a thinker and a tinker. He's so curious about how things work and I often find him studying things to figure out how they fit together. John is a real people person, but he also likes to be alone to think. He is gentle and affectionate and, unlike his siblings, does not like competition. He's so much more than can be described in a paragraph. I'm just so thankful that I get to be part of his life and watch him grow into a man. I've been trying to blog on my iPad, but it's not very easy, which is why my blogging has been so sporadic the last couple of weeks. For one, typing is difficult. Also, I can't figure out how to insert pictures into a post, so they all end up at the end. I'd blog on a pc, but it seems they're always being used by someone else. Like right now John is playing with his webkinz one laptop while Brian does budget stuff on the other. I guess we kind of look ridiculous the three of us in the den on three different computers. All that to say that the pics will be at the end of this post. Brian and I took John out to celebrate his birthday Monday evening. He chose Kerbey Lane Cafe, then shopping at Terra Toys. We got ice cream at Amy's Ice Cream, and then on to Half Price Books where he wanted to get a "grown up" Bible . He at first wanted this waterproof Bible he'd seen last time we were there, but decided on a giant prit one instead since it seemed a lot easier to read. He's only had a storybook up to this point. I think it's cool that he wanted a Bible for his birthday. My mom and I took the kids out to Thomas and Meredith's house on Tuesday to swim. Their house is like a paradise for children. Set on five wooded acres in Westlake, they have a creek with a waterfall running behind the house, a huge pool and hot tub, a trampoline, a fabulous playscape, and much more. We had ten of the eleven cousins in the pool at once. All of them can swim but the two babies, so my mom, Meredith, and i could chill out for the most part. I cant remember all that we did the whole week, but some good memories were made. Margaret had a swim meet Saturday morning, the first of the season. After that, she and Samuel had a soccer tournament. They didn't advance, so they were able to come home and not worry about a second game. We went over to Central Market in the evening. It was weird, kinda nice for it to just be us after a week with my mom and the cousins. Our friends the Elliot's were there, so we visited with them and made plans for swimming and other adventures before the summer ends.This morning was church and Brian being deacon of the month, or DOM, had to be there early and stay for both services, leaving me to get us there by myself. We weren't too late.;)This afternoon we've just hung around the house recovering from our busy week. Brian and I coordinated our calendars and made plans for the next few weeks, if the Lord allows. This evening he and i ran to Mueller, cir led it and ran back, about five miles. It was so hot and I didn't run very well. I am off to a pretty good start overall in my running. For my first week of training I covered fourteen and a half miles (2 four and a half mile runs and 1 five and a half miler).

My biggest challenge will be to stay hydrated. Hazel is still getting about 95% of her nourishment from nursing and nurses half the night. Some mornings I wake up feeling like a raisin I'm so dried out.

And speaking of Hazel, she's mobile now. She drags herself through the house getting herself filthy on our hard floors. She's started pulling up on things, but not "cruising" yet. Everything she does is such a huge deal to the other kids. They just adore her!

Well, I've been trying to get this post out for awhile now, so I'll end there. A new day is here, let's rejoice and in gladness serve the Lord!