Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More Surrendering

So by this point in August, I kinda wanted to write about our new baby boy. I really wanted to show you a bunch of pictures! But we are still waiting on this little man. Still. I often talk to my children about walking closely to the Lord- seeking Him, reading His Word, praying & trusting His providence as we REST in Him. God is letting put those exhortations into practice! :)

I thought my due date was August 13th- it's what my estimates were & what our home midwives had been going by. That's why our friends the Arendses came to visit. I expected to go a bit late but maybe not quite this long?

Today I had a checkup with our new doctor/midwives. When we saw them back in March for a 20-week ultrasound, they put my due date as August 20th. Every ultrasound since then has pointed to this later date & I've actually measured small throughout my pregnancy. It's the date my doctor has gone by all along... only I didn't know it till today. :/ So when I went in wanting to know if we should consider inducing because I was past my due date, he said nope. :) Actually, he probably would have said no anyway because as long as the baby & mama are healthy, he feels strongly about not messing with a woman's body till 42 (or more) weeks. As he says it, "We only mess with you if you come in & it often doesn't lead to good things." :)

I LOVE this! I love how he is trying to bring positive changes to the hospital birthing community. I love how they embrace home birth & do water births in the hospital (both when appropriate of course)... but I seriously DON'T LOVE this all because I'm tired. :) I KNOW it's best for me to wait- that inducing has risks that are not necessary right now. I KNOW it's best for me to get another iron treatment before giving birth (I'm scheduled for #4 this Friday & my numbers are slowly improving- yippee!). I KNOW it's okay to wait (for now... next week, I'm ready! ;)

But I thought I was due. And I'm tired (my anemia is still an issue). And Jeanelle leaves Friday. :( And I wanted to have this baby before co-op started. And... and... and... not my will, but Yours, O Lord. Oh, yeah. Surrendering. Again. Because I have to do that a lot- I'm a bit strong-willed by nature. ;)

So, that's what we're up to. Waiting & learning to rest. Jeanelle came last Thursday & we've enjoyed our visit together. God is good & we need to remember those specific acts of kindness towards us. He is good to teach me to wait, rest & surrender.

I'll share are some iPhone pictures. Bedtime is more fun with friends:

Patricia LOVED celebrating her 15th birthday with our friends! The girls spent the day painting & then we met Papa & Nanny at Patricia's favorite used bookstore/coffee shop. Oh, how we love this girl & praise God for the godly young woman she is!!!

Summer days last week in the sun & pool (we've had so much rain this week they haven't been able to do this again):

So thankful Jeanelle has been here while I've had doctor visits & iron treatments:

Dinner out with just a few of my fav people (there are many)- Jeanelle & Eric. We missed you, Lorimer!

Dark chocolate & raspberries help with the waiting for baby:

In order to organize our crews, Jeanelle & I rotate kitchen duties each day. Organization is KEY:

My good friend, Elizabeth, has been teaching Patricia & I all about fermenting. Our kombucha was delicious today! She came over this week & helped us start fermenting veggies- pickles in one jar & multi-colored carrots with ginger & garlic in another. YUM. Here's my reading pile (actually, this is just part of my pile- this is the health section of my books):

Waiting & changing plans is hard. Tonight, we took all the children out for gluten-free fries & hamburgers followed by a trip to B&N:

Thursday, August 06, 2015

A Change of Plans

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. " (Psalm 37:23-24)

39 weeks today! Yahoo!!! Everyone is eager for Mr. Josiah to make his arrival. :) I'm not the most patient person by myself & with the help of 7 children (Katherine doesn't count- she has no clue what's happening!), it's even harder. ;)

Recently, we've had to make a lot of changes to our plans for Josiah's birth due to my severe anemia. I spent majority of the day driving to & from downtown (oh, the joys of Atlanta traffic!) to meet with our new midwives & doctor, as we are switching from a home birth to a hospital birth. (Thankfully, the dr's office isn't where I'll be delivering- that hospital is closer.) The reason for the switch is concern over postpartum bleeding & recovery due to my anemia.

It's been hard emotionally to make the switch so late in my pregnancy. Many of you will wonder at that & I'm not even going to try to explain why home births are so important to us. :) While it's hard, I am SO THANKFUL the Lord has directed us to this new practice where they embrace home births. I've never experienced such positive attitudes before from the medical community before! I'm SO THANKFUL for hospitals to care for us when we are sick (which is the reason a person should use them)! I'm SO THANKFUL I was able to have an ultrasound yesterday & see Josiah- I really needed that! It helped to remind me how blessed Eric & I. The birthing process is important but it's not an end in itself.

With all of these changes & appointments for iron treatments (I have my second tomorrow), I've been gone A LOT. It's less than ideal & I miss my children. I'd really like to give my bathrooms a through cleaning, have time to address attitudes that have crept up with mama being gone so much & have a complete day of lessons. But our Lord knows & orders our days & He is teaching us all to submit with joy!

I think my children miss me too... though Patricia is proving that she'll be a better mama than me one day by all the care & activities she's been doing while I'm gone. May God bless her for her faithfulness! I'm grateful my children are learning to serve each other (& their mama!) during this time. Yesterday, in addition to baking with the girls & serving lunch, Patricia lead them in finger painting & then painted the girl's nails. (Those last two are things I never do!) Katherine kept leaning over to look at her piggies, touching them & squealing. ADORABLE:


We would ask you to continue to pray for Josiah & I's health & for a quick/safe delivery! Thank you so much for joining us in praying! 

Monday, August 03, 2015

YUM! (and our church folks rock!)

Yesterday, two awesome families from church gave us meals. I've been battling severe anemia at the end of the pregnancy & while we are managing house/food/life well, it's still not the norm we are use to. Cooking for our family isn't easy- there's the shear number of us + several food allergies, so I've tried to shoo people away. :) But some people just won't listen... and we are so thankful! :)

I'm so grateful for God's people! For their prayers, encouragement & fellowship. And my children would echo in here, for their FOOD! :) We haven't tasted it all yet but Katherine would like to thank the Abraham family for their yummy coconut fudge:

Belly laugh:

Cheesy grin:

It was time for a BATH:

I didn't capture any pictures of her eating it but Abigail is thankful for the McCallum's salad with the "delicious dressing." This is NO SMALL FEAT, Deanna, because that girl does not like anything green despite my efforts to reform her. :/ She's our hobbit, saying. "I don't like green food." One of the chickens was gobbled up tonight- it was a huge hit!

Thank you, ladies! :) We prayed for blessings on your family tonight!

NOTE: this is just one of countless times through the years that our family has been blessed by food from our various churches, serving like their Savior, Jesus Christ! It's such a sweet taste of God's kingdom!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Project 365: July 2015

I missed 7 days this month so you'll find the extra photos from various days at the top of the calendar.  You'll notice most Sundays I missed shooting- this is THE hardest day of each week to pick up my camera. (This should encourage all of you that taking on a Project 365 doesn't have to be perfect- just keep going!) I took selfies this month with Katherine- yahoo! No group shot of the children but I got at least one photo of each of them this month. I'm looking forward to capturing pictures of our new little man this month! Be prepared for major baby image overload! :)

You can follow my Project 365 by visiting the tab above (+ you can see my settings, as I shoot in manual.) If you click the button at the top of my Project 365 page, you can visit some other people's projects. I'd LOVE to see what you're shooting- please share! My other calendar spreads from this year's project can be found here: January, February, March, April, May & June.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mama/Daughter Time

Things are BUSY around here so I treasure my moments with Katherine before she takes a nap. We read a few books & I sing to her. She often joins me in singing. :) It's a precious time we share:

Monday, July 27, 2015

Educational Report: July 2015

Another monthly report. :) Let's see if I can remember what we've done... My pregnancy has made sleeping very difficult + my anemia has worsened so we have been getting a very late start to our days & made me have to slow down my pace during the day. I'm thrilled if we start lessons by 10! That has never been a thing around here but we're just making do. We can do more later after this baby arrives... if God so chooses. :) I've learned that my plans & expectations often need adjusting (I over plan) & that's okay! Less memory time & working longer in the afternoon with my older three is the new norm till this little man comes.

Memory Time: our Pastor has encouraged us to all memorize Ephesians 1-2 (he began preaching through the book- amazing stuff! you can listen here), so this has been the focus of our memory time.

Reading Aloud: this is one area we've been solid in- yippee! Probably because it's convenient to do as I lay on the couch. ;) Or in bed, as I've been reading through The Secret Garden to the younger girls at night. We've hit My Side of the Mountain a bit at dinner but not much- Eric has been conducting family worship then instead of after to help with evening schedules. I've especially been consistent with having Elizabeth & Jonathan read to me, alternating which book they choose. :) Elizabeth finished the McGuffey Second Eclectic Reader & we've made it about half way through Little House on the Prairie, which is her favorite. Jonathan's still working on the Second Reader & we are about half way through Little House in the Big Woods. He finished reading aloud his independent history book too (see below).

Abigail & Emily: some days it happens, others it doesn't, especially if it's way past 10 and we haven't officially started our day. (Just being real here.) I'm looking forward to meeting with them more consistently. Of course, they are around for our group gatherings (memory time, reading aloud, science, history, family worship & just plain living.)

History: we've only listened to two more lectures for Gileskirk American culture studies, which both focused on the Uncivil War. I especially enjoyed how he approached his lectures by contrasting one man from the north with one man from the south, filling in the battles & dates. This made it so much more interesting vs. just rattling off various dates. It also helped us to get a better understanding of what these men believed & why. Patricia and Benjamin have finished memorizing #6 of the Bill of Rights and continue to read independently. Benjamin says he is enjoying Moby Dick and Patricia needs to pick a new one, having finished The Leaves of Grass.

The younger set finally finished assembling together their George Washington diorama. I got a few pictures of it's assembly but I still need to snap one of the final product:

Our focus has been on reading books for their history. Elizabeth finished reading Guns of Providence and The Secret Message, which she throughly enjoyed because it's about a young girl during the revolution! :) Matthias finished Johnny Tremain. Jonathan finished reading aloud to me The Swamp Fox of the Revolution. We both enjoyed it & look forward to visiting Cowpens national battlefield (just one of many battles mentioned in the book) this fall (we've been to King's Mountain national park several times already). :)

Language Arts: the older three continue to work through Fix-It & I've been quizzing them on their Shurley Grammar Jingles. Patricia & Benjamin have completed one chapter per week of Our Mother Tongue, as well as a chapter per week of their Vocabulary from Classical Roots books. For SICC-A from IEW, the boys (just Benjamin & Matthias) have wrote two stories as sequences to picture books we read. They've added in smilies to their paragraphs- we had great fun brainstorming them with Jonathan one afternoon. :) Jonathan & Elizabeth have worked on several key word outlines for IEW and wrote a few paragraphs as I continue to use Bible Heroes as the jumping off point for them. (I do not use it inclusively nor do I use it exactly as it's laid out.) Spelling for the bottom 3, cursive copywork of the Shorter Catechism for Matthias, and Proverbs & Psalm copywork for the older 3 round out their studies. Sometimes Jonathan & Elizabeth work on Explode the Code but that's only when they want to- I've come to find it busy work that isn't necessary.

Latin: Patricia completed chapter 8-10 of Latin Alive Book 2 & the boys (and me!) finished chapters 3-4 of Latin Alive book 1. :)

Logic: Patricia & Benjamin have completed 12 chapters of The Argument Builder. I'd like to report more on what they are doing but I honestly do not know- they have been working exclusively with Eric (you'll find me reading aloud to the girls just before bed while they are discussing logic). It's a beautiful thing!

Math: we've done well in this area. :) Matthias even finished his book A & moved into book B. Abigail is very close to being done with hers also!

Science: hmm... not much completed, though Patricia & Benjamin started module 3.

An iPhone picture of me this morning- I'm on the couch grading & teaching:

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Project 365: June 2015

With the end of June, I'm half way done with my Project 365! Yahoo!!! There are days when I love it & there are days when I dread it but looking back, I know its a great way to continue to grow in my skills while capturing a bit of our everyday. This month, I missed 3 days (so I took a few extra & stuck them at the top of the calendar) & didn't capture a group shot or selfie.

You can follow my Project 365 by visiting the tab above, where I also share my settings. If you click the button at the top of the page, you can visit some other people's projects. I'd LOVE to see what you're shooting, so be sure to share! My other calendar spreads from this year's project 365 are here: January, February, March, April & May.