Tuesday, January 31, 2012


In the past 6 weeks or so 4 people have passed away.  Three of them I knew fairly well and the fourth was a friend's step dad.  Other than Brian's grandma none of them would be considered "old".  And of the other 3, only one had any kind of terminal illness.

It's these last two that have got me the most.  Their kids are my age with littles like I have.  I've known them all since high school.  The first, just 2 weeks ago, had a massive stroke and died within days.  This one I played in the German band with.  He was a superb musician and always fun to play with.  My mom told me she'd just seen him at church the weekend before with his grandkids and then... gone.  I didn't even make it to the funeral because I was sick.

The second, just yesterday.  He's been sick for awhile, but that doesn't make it any easier.  His kids are all younger than me.  And a grandbaby is due any day.  I woke up this morning, before I knew, and that pregnant mama was so heavy on my heart.

October 2010 - helping Cory dump the apple waste from the cider pressing

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that both of these men are with Jesus, but somehow that doesn't make it any easier.  It's not supposed to be like this.  It hurts.  Our world is too broken.

Who knew when you were a kid that growing up meant this?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Adventures in Pregnancy

So... last week I couldn't walk.  Nor could I sit for more than 5 minutes.  Hence the reason not a lot got posted here.

Thankfully there was a snow day at school and the boys were at my parents so Brian could take me to the doctor.  Doctor said?  Nothing to be done.  It's the cartilage all stretched out and the best thing for it is rest.

I'm not actually sure what triggered it, but thankfully I am now walking again and sitting, albeit for no more than about 20 minutes at a time.  I was rather worried about how I would survive the next 6-8 weeks!

And as I mentioned to a friend this morning, I'm very thankful that I know this has an end.  It makes it so much easier to deal with.  I can't imagine being someone living with chronic pain like this.

But really, I'm 30 weeks now and these babies could decide to make an appearance soon!  36 weeks is considered term with twins and that's not so far off... yikes!

Last night I went to a clothing swap and came home with 3 very large bags of newborn through 9 month clothes (plus a few for Noah).  Now to sort and wash!

And finally... I updated my blog design!  Come over and check it out if you get this in a feed reader!  I've actually been working on it for a year, but just needed the right picture for the header and got one from our Christmas photo shoot!

You can even update my button if you'd like to link to me!  See the code on the sidebar.

How are things with you all?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Goodbye Old Friend

You served me well for 140,000 miles (plus the 63k already there) and 13 years.  We've had some adventures together and it sounds like your new owner will take you on more.  Best wishes my little Red Turtle.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christmas Recap: Part 2

So after our pre-Christmas activities we had Christmas day with my parents...  Cory likes to help play Santa and pass out the gifts.

He also likes to make sure they get opened properly... especially when it comes to little brother...

Helping Nana.

I found the perfect shirt for my dad...

There were a few gifts still hiding under the tree so Cory went fishing for them...

My brother's gift to all 3 of my boys was Nerf ball guns... 2 of the balls were missing by the time we went home that night...

Cory can almost shoot them with decent accuracy.  Noah needs a bit more arm strength and coordination.  I'm glad they don't really hurt even at close range and we can buy more balls... we're going to need them!

Mom bought me these outfits for the girls... when we asked Cory what was on the feet he said "kittens and steering wheels!"  Yeah...

My mom's present to Brian was a remote control helicopter.  I think the boys got the coolest toys this year!

And then, to Brian's great pleasure we all played Settlers of Catan.  And my dad won!

Then we went home, packed like crazy people, and left in the morning for Oregon.  We actually made pretty good time and didn't arrive at midnight as usual.  We were even early enough for Brian to take the van out for a test drive (yes, I made him put the ribbons back on later so I could get a picture).  Although I'm not sure it would have mattered what time we arrived, he probably would have taken it out!

Cory played Santa again the next morning with Grandma and Grandpa, but Noah had the most fun opening both his and other people's presents!

Grandma got him pajamas with Mater on them (from Cars) who is his favorite character.  They're a bit too big, but he doesn't care, he doesn't ever want to take them off!

Helping Grandpa open his present...

Later that day ALL the family descended and we had a roaring good time.

Later in the week, Noah helping Grandma make dinner.  He was plucking the rosemary for her and said it was a "tree".  We also visited Great Grandpa and his new wife and then crashed some 3rd cousins' house for late night playing. (Beth is hilarious, you really should read her blog...)

And finally, the boys "learning" how to play Spill the Beans with Grandma and Grandpa.  We didn't get to hang out with too many other friends as there were sicknesses going around, but it was a good week with the fam!

Hope you enjoyed all the pictures... It was a lot for one post, but I didn't want to stretch this out to a third as I have other things to show you this week... :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snow Days!

My wish for snow last week must have stuck...

Eating snow!

because we've got lots and it keeps coming down!  The boys are loving it of course and I'm glad it's the weekend so "I" didn't have to go outside with them.  A hazard of being pregnant, your snow pants don't fit.

Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny and I really wished I could have been up at our local ski area... ah well.  I have a nasty head cold so it's probably just as well.

What's the weather like where you're at and do you like snow or not?

Friday, January 20, 2012


My world is slowing down. Intentionally I have less on my calendar because I can do less now. We are staying home more, but there are always things to get done.

I'm tired, but life seems to be more vivid, at least this week.  The boys in my life, loud, wild, fast, crazy.  Vivid is a good word to describe them!

Outside everything is white, the reflections more vivid.  More so now than the other day when I was wishing for snow!

When you slow down you have time to see things more clearly, time to really see with focus and clarity.

"They" all say that you'll wish you'd enjoyed these days more.  I suppose it's true, but that doesn't always make them any easier.

Whatever the outcome, I do want to have vivid memories of these days.  I'm doing just that.

This is a post prompt from The Gypsy Mama. Join in?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

22 Months

After fingerpainting!
My little man!  I didn't get to a 20 month post, but here is a *hopefully* brief update on my now 22 month old Noah!

His vocabulary is growing every day although his pronunciation still isn't clear all the time.  But since we are with him we can translate most things!
Just last night Brian was talking to him about something to do with water and he said what we think was his first sentence: I like wa-ni (which is his word for water).  Also, very true!

We have discovered that if he doesn't know the rest of a word he will say the first syllable and then add "ni ni" for the rest.  Example, we sometimes sing Majesty at bed time and if he doesn't ask for "take joy" (I Love You Lord) he will ask for "Ma-ni-ni".  Also used with Hosanna - Ho-sa-ni-ni.

In the same line he has started to string more words together, finally mastering pine-apple as well as saying "more, Mama" and "apple juice".  You can tell what's important in his life... food!
But one of the first 2 word sentences was "loud lemon".  We were trying to get him to say the "L" sound and saying various words since he was being loud.  Somehow we ended up calling him a loud lemon and now he proudly says it whenever I have to say "shhh, you're being loud!"

Also, living with a big brother means you must assert yourself so he has quickly learned to say "Mah turn".  Which also sometimes simply means "I can do it myself".
The other thing he's learned from big brother is "why?"  He has the inflection and timing perfect, but I'm not entirely sure he really understands the concept behind the question yet!

In other news... If you ask him if he is stinky or made a stinky he will say "no?" and it has this cute little upswing on the end almost like a question.  Then he will blame it on someone else - bro-ah, Bama, Daddy, etc.  He's learning early...
However, he will also come and tell me "dipe-y-iper" when he really does have a stinky diaper.  Always nice to catch that before a nap or bedtime!  We're working on the potty and he will go sometimes, but only once has he initiated it himself.  We'll see if 2 months more is enough time to not have 3 in diapers...

What he lacks in pronunciation he more than makes up for in physical prowess... must be something to do with chasing an older brother...
The new bed setup is a perfect jungle gym in their room and most of the time no one gets hurt...  We like to spin and dance and jump and Noah can jump with both feet off the ground.  I think he's pretty far ahead in that area.  We measured him at Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's house and he measures exactly the same height as Cory at the same age. 

Other ways he acts way older than his age: He's picked up the particular gene... Sometimes I will ask him what he wants to wear and pull the drawer open and let him choose a shirt.  Other times I will just pick up one or two and let him pick.  One night I just held up his dinosaur jammies and asked if he wanted to wear them.  No.  He wanted to wear the "no-man" jammies.  He remembered that he had some with snowmen on them.  I was impressed!

The boys both want to play with Daddy's iPad when he comes home from school.  Here Noah is playing "flip cars".  While he understands how to make the car go around the track all he really wants to do is make it "fall off".  He thinks that's funny!  Toddlers and technology... I'm a little scared!

Current favorite book: Maybe a Bear Ate It.  One of those freebies from a cereal box I think, but it's super cute and he has started saying "a Bay Aye ii" and laughing hysterically.

We're working on colors since he loves to color and paint so much.  He can count to three and frequently repeats whatever big brother is saying so I have a feeling he'll pick up counting and the alphabet pretty fast.  He will point to letters and sometimes get the correct one and sometimes it's just a random "o" or "p".

Noah has so much personality and most of the time is super fun to have around!  When he's gone to Nana and Papa's house for a couple days then he comes home and just wants to snuggle me instead of watching Sesame Street or Blue's Clues in the morning!  Those are his two favorite shows.

And one last thing... when he's hurt he will point to the spot and make kissing sounds for me to kiss it!

Look out 2, here we come!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Just a Light Dusting

The lack of snow this year is making me (and my boys) very sad.  We want to play!  This is all we've gotten that's even stuck since we got home at New Year's.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Little Christmas Recap: Part 1

Yeah yeah, I'm three weeks late.  But I finally had time to edit all my pictures yesterday and there were some I just had to share!  Our Christmas season always seems to be a whirlwind, but here are a few from various events...

First up, two days before Christmas the second annual gathering of the cousins on my mom's side in po-dunk nowhere Washington (sorry, Hillary, but it is! ;)  We commandeer the breakfast room, which is conveniently next to the pool.  Everyone brings food and at this point ALL the next generation are boys so they wreak havoc on the food and the pool!

Noah was completely unafraid of the water so it was a good thing he could touch in the shallow end!

He kept wanting to go farther and farther around the pool to jump in!

My brother helping Cory swim, he's getting pretty fearless himself!

This year we had a White Elephant gift exchange... oh the hilarity!  Andrew's younger brother got these shorts and wouldn't even show them, but Andrew thought they were awesome.  Can't wait to hear if he's actually worn them for PE like he said he would...

Brinton on the other hand didn't mind wearing a cloth wreath on his head...

And then we went home and had our own Christmas Eve...

This is a recordable Night Before Christmas book I got last year.  Grandma and Grandpa recorded it and every time we turned the page Noah would look at me and tell me which of them was reading in his excited little voice.  Bama!  Baba!

Christmas morning stockings...

Cory got a Smithsonian Book which he has LOVED since we went there last summer! (there is a whole series of these books and we love them!)

And Noah got this cute little Cookie Monster book with arms that you make do things.  He calls it "cookie mahtin".

Good choice on books Auntie Allison!

Family Christmas pictures later...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Curtains for Me...

Taking a picture with two kinds of lighting is not ideal... but otherwise you wouldn't have been able to see that I actually have sheer curtains as well!

After 2 years and a sarong hanging across the window I finally finished the curtains for the front window in our room.  It's like a cave (well, half a cave) in there when they're closed!  Now to do the other window...  And the living room window... which is 6 feet wide, and the dining room window.  Ay!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: It's Cold Outside!

I don't let my children actually jump on the couches, but if they want to take the cushions off and jump on them... This is what they came up with!  And they were asleep within half an hour of going to bed, not common!

Monday, January 09, 2012

27 Weeks!

I've actually been feeling pretty good this week.  Good to be home and getting things done.  Of course it helped that I was sans children for a few days... but it's good to have them home too.

I'm not loving this picture at all, but it is what it is.  You can definitely see the difference between now and 27 weeks with Noah!  Although most people still think I'm not that pregnant... why?  Because it's ALL out in front.  Looking at me head on or from the back you almost can't tell!

I really really like this picture though...

I'm feeling more than my 6 months, but I suppose that's normal!  The doctor wasn't worried at all about my contractions last week.  Said that was normal and I should expect more and only to worry if they don't stop with rest and water.

I even got the one set of curtains in our bedroom finished today.  Here's to getting more done and purging my house in the next two months!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday: An Adventurous Ride

We arrived home from our annual Christmas trek to Oregon on Monday night... but not without some adventures!

First adventure, driving our new van!  With much thanks to the in-laws and a son who says he "loves the van as much as he loves Daddy".  Hmm, time to work on priorities, son!

Second, we had 2 cars to bring home and so it became a very long day of car tag.  It seems whenever we go through Portland, even if we only have to make one stop we add 3 hours to our trip.  Well, we had to make 3 stops so you do the math...

When we finally did get going on the last leg of our trip it was already late.  We had one cell phone between us, agreed upon meeting points, and a "flashing lights" system in case we needed to stop otherwise!  Right about the middle of nowhere (with no cell reception) I started having contractions.  At first I thought it was my hips just being sore, but when they kept going and started to actually feel slightly painful I got a little worried!  After about 20 minutes I had cell service and the only number in my phone was to the midwives so I called.  I love them so much!

Apparently tiredness, dehydration, then a coffee, and the stress of driving all combined was not something my body wanted to handle!  So we stopped in po-dunk town and I chilled out with a big glass of water for awhile and they calmed down.  We ended up leaving Brian's car there and getting home at 1am.  Then he got to take a 3 hour bus ride today to retrieve his car.

But we are all safe and sound at home, SLOWLY trying to put the house back in order after Christmas and being gone for a week!  Apparently I will be getting less done than I hoped in the next 2 months if I want to stay healthy!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Book: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt--and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?

Observing both brothers as an "invisible" servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?

On her journey from well born lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of "serve one another in love."

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, go HERE

Well, it's kind of hard to read a book to review when it comes in the mail the day you're supposed to post about it... To be fair, we've been out of town for a week, but it was supposed to come a month ago.  Oh well!  I can say I've read at least one other of her books and really enjoyed it.  I always enjoy the mystery element she adds to the stories!


Julie Klassen worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now writes full time. Two of her books, The Girl in the Gatehouse and The Silent Governess won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA awards.

She graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoys travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. Julie and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy 2012

Wow, hard to imagine that it's 2012 already.  This year has sure flown by!  I had lots of goals and ambitions this time last year, but I kind of lost the second half of the year to this pregnancy.  Nausea and exhaustion will do that!

I don't think I did too badly overall.  I really enjoyed my RMSP photography weekend and feel like it's helped me a lot.  I even managed to mostly stay on track with my Bible study book this fall... good thing considering I was the leader!

And much thanks to the Gypsy Mama and her 5 Minute Fridays I really enjoyed writing more reflectively.  I just needed a little inspiration and her words were perfect!

This year I have no goals or resolutions other than to survive with my sanity intact!  And hopefully my family's as well!  I most likely have less than 3 months until these girls make their appearance and I'm getting slower by the day!

In the near term I do hope to have a new design up on the blog.  I guess since Noah's almost 2 I should put a picture of him in the header, huh Dad?  But really, my design isn't playing nicely with Blogger anymore and I was just waiting for the right pictures to redo the whole thing.  Hoping to have that done in the next month.

If you wrote a New Year's post won't you leave a link so I can visit?

Here's to a great year!