Tharrrr She......

Goes!  Jake and I went out the other evening and because I applied some make-up, asked him to take a picture.  I aren't too whalish yet, though the tummy is round.  We'll save the sarcasm of "Blows" for a much, much later post...

Silas the Bulldozing Machine!

For Christmas Silas received this very cute bulldozer.  When Jake first picked it out at Target, I thought to myself, "what a waste, where will we put this orange piece of plastic? Why not buy something more practical like corduroys and a button up shirt..."  Then I recalled how last year, when I shopped without Jake, I was completely practical and didn't buy Silas anything because he was well, a 6 month old and he'll sleep through opening presents anyway.  So I kept my thoughts to myself and told my man to pick out what he thought Silas would most enjoy.  Jake was right on and every morning after breakfast, this bulldozer thingy is the first thing my littlest man goes for.  He even rifles through the hat basket and digs out a hat to wear with it.  Sometimes it's one of the girls hats, so we were particularly proud when he picked out the camo hat the other day to wear.  He sure is cute.... just like his old man.

Colby Turned 12

This Sunday past, our oldest child turned 12.  Jake and I can hardly believe we have had the privilege of parenting for some 12 years now.  Colby Brett is such a joy to us and we are so blessed for the time God has allotted us with him.  We proudly sang to him and blessed him with many prayers this past Sunday.  What a joy! Thank you Lord for this sweet Mercy shown to us in the form of our oldest son.


Done and Done

Dad, we took a day off yesterday and then hit it hard this morning.  Everything went smooth today until we re-installed the alternator.  One of the mounting bolts sheared off at the tip in the block; yikes!  Colby held the flashlight while I painstakingly backed the tip out with needle nose pliers.  Turns out the bolt was Grade 5 and most likely a manufacturer defect - very smooth shear failure.  We found some Grade 8 automotive bolts at a local hardware store and then finished the alternator.  A little help from my neighborhood Portuguese mechanic (just back from the War) for a quick QA and ATAF, and then a test run. Believe it or not, it runs.  And, so far, no more leak.


Christmas "Golds"

Merry Christmas family and friends!  We had a wonderful day of celebration, gifts, games and rest today.  Pictured is everyone (minus Silas who was in bed) with their "gold" Christmas gift (I am holding Christie's-hence her joyful expression).  I, in particular, finally received the coveted purple Cabela's button-up shirt.  Needless to say, I am still riveting with excitement as I am planning on engaging the Commandant on having this piece added to the Marine Corps blue-dress repertoire... Dad, we'll send it in the mail soon.  

Love you all, and hope you had a Christ-exalting Christmas!


Dad - update on coolant leak

We started on the water pump replacement, so here are a few pictures to keep you updated. Wish you were here to help us; we are having a lot of fun.  

Got the old pump out and compared it to the new one.  I think the old pump was the original with markings of "GM21".  Probably reason enough to put in a new one.  Obvious problem is that the new pump is black.

Nothing that a little spray paint can't solve.  Chevy Orange is just the thing to make the cowboys and indians stand up.

Now that's much better.  Letting it dry over night and then we'll start the hard part...trying to get humpty-dumpty back together again.



Checked in with the doc yesterday and had an ultrasound.  I've put on 3 more pounds.... Jake says it's all the Baklava I've been consuming.  
The ultrasound was wonderful and everything appears well.  We told the tech we want to be surprised by the gender, so she didn't tell us.  She was excited that only, "God and I know."  The due date was right on target so no changes there. 


The Holly Ball

In an earlier post I mentioned Cotillion, the club that Colby's a part of. Last night was the big ball. He had learned his dances for this particular event. He had such a blast! He and his buddy, who rode to the ball with us, were very nervous. So nervous in fact, that when we pulled up I thought for a moment they forget how to open a car door as there was suddenly some very heavy nervous breathing going on and whispers of "oh man, I'm nervous." They had such cute conversation about the dances and discussed whether or not they should talk to the ladies whom they danced with. Colby's buddy said, "yeah, we can pay them a compliment" and Colby chimed in and said, "like, I really like the way you put up your hair." Back and forth their conversations went and they verbally reviewed how to do each dance. It was awesome, raw in fact. Because they were genuinely nervous they'd forget the moves, they weren't at all having discussions about inappropriate things... you all know full well I'm sure.
After the ball Colby was dropped off and had such funny stories. He danced most of the night and there were games. One of the games was to hold a snowball using your and your partners forehead while dancing quickly to the Foxtrot. He dropped the ball on the first one and the second time did so well, he and his partner won. He told me there weren't enough prizes for the boys so the girls left with them.
He also went into description of the different kids there. From the, "little girl who was like maybe 9" who wore lipstick. She had it smeared all over her little face and inevitable she asked Colby's buddy to dance with her. Colby told me his buddy, "he just didn't know what to think of it." I laughed so hard at this... Then there was the little boy who came in a lovely green tie, except that he tried to make it into a bow tie and the thing drooped really low on one side and was touching his shirt. He told me, "the green was so shiny it caught every light in the room." More laughter! Oh, it was such fun for the boys and it was a hump to get over and now Colby can't wait for the next ball.
Above he's tying his shoes for the big night and the picture to the right, I told Colby that he was looking real good as I took it. He replied with, "I know."
Please for a moment more tolerate me in this. He had 5 compliments on how he tied his tie. He had to tie it alone because Jake's away. He learned how to tie it this past Sunday with some help from his Pastor. It looks pretty sharp, huh?


There's only one way...

... to eat a cinnamon roll. Put the whole thing in your mitt and take a big bite.

Don't forget to smile for mom :). I could just kiss that sweet cream cheese frosting right off his cute little face!

Maybe I should shop more often.

Because when I came home today this is what was outside my front door, neatly packaged of course. Thank you Dad! Oh the meals that we will enjoy from them...


Santa is dead and other things

At dinner 2 nights ago, or maybe it was 3. Louisa was talking about Santa Claus. It's curious because we aren't big Santa pushers. Louisa continues on about Santa's visiting peoples chimneys, bringing good girls and boys gifts, etc. She asks me if I believe in Santa and before we could have the talk about it, Benjamin chimes in and says, "Louisa, Santa is dead." He then continues eating dinner as usual. Louisa of course says, "Nooo he is not." She asked me if it were true and I told her that yes, the real Santa is dead now. She proceeds on with her meal and than stops and says, "It is okay, I will believe in you now mommy." What a sweetheart.



May I just say how excited I am about the baby? It's a very curious thing that more people aren't inquisitive about my pregnancy. Almost as if because this is our seventh child that we aren't equally as thrilled as we were with the 1st or 2nd. We are looking forward to meeting this child! Maybaby is no less a sweet delightful gift from God than any of our other children are.

Perhaps this is too preachy, but people tend to be grossed out by me or shocked and even afraid to congratulate me. Instead there have been many who've turned up there nose. I am so thankful for the delight of my sweet friends in response to Maybaby! I am blessed indeed.



You may not have heard of it before. The only reason it rang a bell with me is our friends/former CO's son was involved in this League. Cotillion is a program of Dance and Social Etiquette. Colby was invited to be a part of the New Bern Junior Cotillion League and with his interest, Jake and I decided we would invest and indulge him. Let me just say that he had his first class today and loved it. He was a bit sweaty palmed and nervous when I dropped him off. He had to come in slacks, white shirt, tie, blazer and dress shoes. He learned the Cha-Cha, Fox Trot, and the Shag. He learned how to treat a lady in a formal situation and formal table manners. Colby came home beaming and taught his sister, Jackie, and I how to do these three dances. Most of the children involved in the league are public schoolers. He and 3 other friends are homeschooled, so they are among the minority.
Jake and I are very excited that our Squirrel skinning, baseball hitting, grammar hating son will have rules of etiquette, and know how to dance as well. He told me that at his next class he will learn the Electric Slide... Now he's talking!


Okay, so maybe it was gas

You know, I was pretty sure I was feeling Maybaby kick a lot in the beginning... I am thinking it was gas, as I typically do deal with it when I'm prego. Maybaby is kicking a lot these days and it's really sweet, right in the waste-band of my trunks. I'm growing a bit larger and will post a picture of myself sometime... well maybe I will.

Home Again!

Made it home safe and sound. Nearly hydroplaned once, and only ran over 1 curb in my desperate attempt to do a u-turn because we had passed the long awaited McDonald's. Nobody peed their pants, though there was the one proclamation from way back in the van, "But mom, I've been holding it since yesterday!" Oh the art of exaggeration...


Vreeginia, Here We Come

Tomorrow morning, we're dropping off the dog/rabbit and heading north to Vreeginia as Lou and Libby would say. My dear friend from Oki lives there and because both our husbands are away, the mice will play. The kids are thrilled and so are the mommies. Here's a picture of us from a long time ago... it was the day before we moved away from Japan and back stateside.

That's Lib in there.


And tomorrow, it's the girl's turn...

Tonight I decided to get after the boys room. It was a mess, smelled like a coat from the lost and found, and well I've been avoiding this task for some time. So, off to work we went. There were all kinds of things to be thrown away. We filled one trash bag to the rim. The room was in such an uproar that in the middle of the clean-up Salt came in and yacked on the floor. I took it as a sign of a mother's duty put off for far too long. Unfortunately, in the midst of our clean up, I was made aware that my dear sons have a larger idol worship problem than I thought. There were all kinds of things that if I even breathed near, it sent them into a frenzy of, "please don't throw that away, it's so special to me." What's so special about a piece of paper with some strange code, about a cardboard box torn at the edges, about a pile of miniature rocks that all resemble an old man's teeth? These things are far from my understanding, but really I can relate. Didn't I just flip out when one of the Little's grabbed my knitting project and tried to undo it? Really, I've got an idol worship problem too. Oh for the love of the world and the things here. It's shameful to think of what makes me stumble. I'm so pleased for my Redeemer, for the Holy Spirit to make me aware of my sins. Oops, I didn't mean to turn this into an self-examining post.

We finished the room with great success. Soon Silas and his crib will be moving in. The boys are thrilled and I know Silas will love it too. I often find the little guy hanging out in there. He plays with there toys, tries to climb on there beds, or just sits in the middle of the floor and sucks his thumb while he holds his blankie.


Dr. Appt.

I checked in with Dr. Tinga today and I've gained 8 pounds in 4 weeks... I've been using self control while I eat, so I am thinking that I shouldn't have any guilt right?
We listened to the heartbeat as well. Hovering right around 141 bpm.

Just in case we haven't told you all. Lord willing, we are going to be surprised and not find out the sex of the baby. We're also keeping our names secret... Even from family, so please don't tempt me with Joseph Schmidt Chocolates because I still won't tell!


Kids at the Tree Farm

Libby, just as cute as a button. She likes this tree, but will she get her way?

And sweet Louisa, she looks like a real farm girl, ehh?

And we topped off the day with a hay ride, well sort of, it was a tractor pulling a long bed trailer. One of the farm dogs had a strange fettish with the engine in the tractor and kept trying to "sick it."


Yogurt's Finale

It's a bit fuzzy as the hour was early when I took it. It looked very clear to me at the moment.

My yogurt stayed in the cooler probably 6 hours last night and when I took it out was still a bit soft. It always finishes thickening in the refrigerator during the night.
Stir in ideas we use:
homemade preserves
agave nectar
homemade granola
fresh fruit of course
You can also make yogurt smoothies. It's been entirely too cold to consume a cold drink for breakfast, so that will wait until summer. Just add fruit from the freezer and a bit of sweetener and you should be set.


Fun Pictures from Last Week

DIY Yogurt Baby!

List of Ingrediets:
1 Gallon Milk (The more fat, the creamier the Yogurt)
1 Cup Plain Yogurt with live cultures
5 Large Mason Jars
1 Pot
1 Thermometer
1 Cooler
1 whisk
Kitchen Sink

Step 2: Pour milk in Pan and heat to 180 degrees.

Keep a whisk close by, because you don't want your milk to burn in the pot.
When milk is nearly to temp. fill up your kitchen sink with cold water.

Once milk is hot submerge pot in water to rapidly cool the milk. It needs to cool down to 130 degrees (give or take a couple of degrees.)

Step 3:
Put your 1 cup of yogurt in a bowl and add some of the cooled milk to it. Whisk it good.

Step 4:
Pour your yogurt into the big pot and thoroughly combine with the whisk. The yogurt cultures need to be scattered throughout the pot, other wise you'll have yogurt with some thick parts and other very runny parts. (Experience Talking)

Step 5:

This is fun, fill up those clean, glass mason jars with your yogurt/milk mixture. Seal them and put in your cooler.

Step 6:

Fill up your cooler, right to the neck of the jar with hot water. The key here is to have water that is between the temperatures of 122-130 degrees. Hot tap water is typically fine and on the cold days turn on the teapot and add some of that as well. Seal your cooler and leave it alone for 3-5 hours.

I'll post a picture tonight or tomorrow of the yogurt done.


Sweet Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving was oh so sweet. With plenty of grace abounding, we broke bread, sipped wine, feasted on beef, pies, and the like. We were well aware of God's Mercy to us and delighted in the company of one another.

The children had various readings for us, from lovely, well thought up poems, to books and internet articles on the founding President's and Thanksgivings initial intent. We capped it off with Jake reading to us from William Bradford's Account of the first Thanksgiving.

Jake served the family by washing the dishes after dinner. I took a picture, because to me a well cleaned up kitchen is as lovely as a well put together meal!

On Stewardship

The dear family from church whom I mentioned in an earlier post did in fact say goodbye to their son. He passed away from them and into the arms of our Redeemer last Tuesday evening. His father held him as he passed and the family and nurses sang hymns and praises to God during the time. Jake and I are so sad for their loss. Yet, we continue to marvel as the Holy Spirit is upholding this dear husband and wife in a most supernatural way.
We are reminded again of our temporary rolls as stewards over our own children. Each day is another merciful reminder of our sweet time with them. May we not be consumed with the things of this world, but rather the souls of those around us and entrusted to us.

Soli Deo Gloria
Glory to God alone