Saturday, April 16, 2011

Heart & Home Clean Sweep: Summary

Well, with the amount of mess in my house, I kinda knew I wouldn't be able to truly "succeed" in getting it all done in 6 days. (After all, it usually takes all summer!)  But it does feel good to have a clean kitchen, and we made GREAT progress on our master bedroom!  We spent our cold, wet Friday sorting, purging, organizing, and... are you ready for this?.... PAINTING!  Yeah!  We have lived here 11 years and never painted our bedroom.  I have always dreamed it could be a beautiful, relaxing, and elegant room.  But when you have 8-9 people in a 3 bedroom ranch, well, things get a little crowded.  If we weren't so crowded, we probably wouldn't have the family computer in there... or the baby's bed and all her stuff!  Sometimes we are lucky to have paths to our sides of the bed and the bathroom!  Oh, well, one day it will be just the two of us, and we will have plenty of room, and just wish we had some kids to come and mess it up for us!  So until then, I will keep the broom handy, the washer & dryer going a few times per day, and working on my on-going "to-do" list! Check back with me... I just might take a picture of the finished product!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day #2 Results

Wellllll...........   My results were not as drastic with my living room as with my kitchen!  I spent a lot of time trying to KEEP my kitchen clean (HUGE JOB!!)  I also was behind on laundry, so I folded about 6 loads of laundry. 

I did, however, put away Mary's winter clothes which have been on our loveseat for going on 2 weeks.  I washed nine children coats, which I will Space Bag today. (I love those Space Bags for winter coats and snow pants!)

 I also went through a basket, formerly known as a laundry basket (turned JUNK basket) which has been collecting junk in our bedroom for about a month.  (The sad thing is, I have another basket in the basement with the same problem!) 

I still tackled the top of the TV, which was covered with DVD's, CD's, and a nice layer of dust; and the piano, also covered with a nice layer of dust and dry plant leaves.

Somewhere in there I found time to make supper and walk Mary to the neighbor's to play.

My devotion time went well, I am reading in the Psalms.  However, by the time I crawled into bed at night, it seemed like last week since I had done that!

Rather than choosing music to listen to while working, I have been listining to the audio book The Duggars: 20 and Counting!  What a blessing that has been!  I am refreshed with renewed inspiration to teach my children more consisently about living for and loving our Saviour Jesus Christ and Christian character.  I also have a load of new child training insight, which is ALWAYS helpful!  I now believe there is hope for the Leah monster! ;-)

I am planning on working on the master bedroom for two days instead of doing the kids'room tomorrow.  We did it not too long ago, and the master is... scary!  It seems what I would consider a good time to clean my room, either Hubby or Baby are sleeping in there.  I am doing good to get the laundry put away the same week it is washed!  The scariest part will be pulling out the bed to clean and dust underneath.  Hubby gets to help with this!

Sorry, but photos would be to humiliating!  Maybe later!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day #1 Results

Wow, what a day!  I am really embarrassed to even show my before pictures.  It will show what absolute PIGS we really are!  Granted, Mommy was gone all day Saturday, leaving kids home with Daddy in the morning, then we were all gone until almost supper time, so we didn't have our routine Saturday cleaning, so its BAD!!!  OK, are you ready? Here is my kitchen before:
YIKES!!  We had a busy weekend, including a wonderful Sunday picnic. (See the coolers?!)
Leah helped with dishes, and LOVED it!

WOW!  If only these people I live with weren't hungry all the time, it might stay this way!
I forgot to get the before pictures... trust me, its a lot better!
It was a long day with a lot of work, but so worth it!  I will have to save the "to do" list so I can do more on it when summer break rolls around.  There aren't enough hours in MY day to complete that extensive list!!  The cupboards shown are the only ones I cleaned, plus a couple of dawers.  The garbage bag was so heavy it almost tore!  I threw away tons of expired meds & supplements and yucky utensils I don't use anymore.
Now for Tuesday's list!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Corah Noreen

I just can't believe my sweet little girl is 12 now!  Saturday was her birthday.  It was busy, I had a homeschool meeting in the morning and she had softball at 1.  Being in Des Moines on her birthday, however, managed a trip to the mall, which really helped make it better!  (Shopping is sometimes like medicine, but a habit I try to avoid!)

Remembering 12 years ago.....

When I was 37 weeks along (which developed into a trend for me) I started s howing pre-ecclampsia symptoms, so the doctor ordered a 24-your test for me to do at home.  When the results came in, he nurse told me the wrong result and the doctor was off that day.  So I waited another day for my appointment, which made me pretty sick.  I did not understand what pre-ecclampsia was, Dallas was driving to Missouri every day for work, we had kids in school who were not old enough to be left home alone... I had a lot on my mind!  When I went to the doctor that fateful Friday morning, the doctor was so upset that I had been told the wrong results, he stormed out of the room, and hormonal mama started crying!  I didn't know what was going on!  Of course, my biggest fear was that something was wrong with the baby!  (Back then we didn't find out ahead of time if it was a boy or girl, but I KNEW it was a girl!)  The doctor had me put directly into a delivery room... PANIC! PANIC! PANIC!  Dallas was still at work, the kids needed to have someone pick them up from school an my mother-in-law needed at least 3 hours to quit what she was doing, pack, and drive down to Des Moines.  Back then I didn't have a cell phone and Dallas' couldn't call his mom with "roaming charges" (remember those?!?)   ANYWAY!  Everything all worked out!  I called Dallas' cell phone at noon.  He was back to Des Moines and they let him skip driving to the airport so he could come to the hospital.  He ran home first, grabbed his bag, packed one for me (I think... maybe I had it ready?), called his Mom... of course everything worked out! 

At 7:10 that evening, I delivered the tiniest, most precious little creature I had ever laid eyes on.  She was 5 pounds, 4.8 ounces.  The nurse laid her on my chest, and... she raised her tiny little head and looked straight into my face!  Oh!  I was so overwhelmed with emotion, all I could do was cry and say, "Oh, God!"  It wasn't taking the Lord's name, I was trying to pray, and that was all I could say!!!!  ......pause, dry tears, continue....  All was perfect in my little world.  For about 30 minutes.  The nurse came in and told me that they didn't have enough hospital rooms available on Powell, the labor & delivery side, so they would move me to the Younker side, where the C-section patients stayed.  Same room accomodations, only smaller.  No biggie, we thought.  We had our baby, and each other, all was fine.  Grandma brought the older kids to visit, that was fun.  We finally went to bed.  Dallas had been up about 24 hours by this time.

An hour later I was calling the nurse.  "Something's wrong" was all I knew to tell her.  She came right away, and fund that I had a giant hematoma (blood blister) on my.... well... where the birthing took place!  I couldn't wake Dallas because he was toooo tired to wake up!  The nurse got him up, called the doctor, and as soon as he got there I was off to surgery.   I remember thinking (as I bobbed in and out of consciousness) "I have seen my baby, now I am going to die.  Lord, take care of my baby...."

Of course a hematoma is not life-threatening, but it sure did hurt!  Meanwhile, Dallas thougth I was dying.  He cried and prayed in the dark until I was brought back.  I had pain for quite some time from that.  (That is probably why it took us 4 years to have the next one!)

My blood pressure stayed up at dangerous levels, so they put me on meds and kept me for 5 days instead of 3.  I went home with 2-3 kinds of bp medications.  I was exhausted, confused, drugged, and I don't honestly remember a whole lot about the next couple weeks until I was off those medications.  I do remember the Columbine shooting, which happened 11 days after Corah was born.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

CORAH!  Is the prettiest, sweetest, most talented little girl I know!  At age 5 she was a princess.  She didn't just play princess, she was one!  She had everyone at church calling her "Princess" instead of "Corah."  And when she wasn't a princess, she was a... something else.  When she woke up in the morning she didn't ask herself  "What shall I wear today?" but "Who shall I BE today?"   Somedays she was a "cowboy-girl!"  (But still a princess.) She would wear her denim skirt ("cause girls just wear dresses") and the cowboy vest my mother made me when I was little, and cowboy-girl boots.  My heart broke the day she told me, "Mom, I'm not your princess anymore." *tears* Why must they grow up?

Corah is an avid reader, a talented pianist, who can read music or play by ear.  She is creative, helpful, and great with little sisters.  (Those brothers are annoying, you know!)  Corah has a strong desire to teach the younger "women" how to live a godly life, as her Bright Lights leader (and Mom) do for her.  She was called to be a missionary at age 5, 2 years before she was actualy saved! 

I am just so thankful for each one of my children.  They are all so special, each in their own way.  But I think there is just something so sweet about the bond between a mother and her first born.  Maybe its because she is the one that "initiated" me into motherhood.  Maybe its because we've been together the longest.  I don't know, but I just can't imagine life without her.... nor would I want to!  I LOVE YOU CORAH!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Leah Marie

Leah Marie made her early appearance into our lives nearly two years ago now.  After her prolonged infancy, she caught up very quickly!  The next thing we knew, we couldn't keep up with her!  Now while I am cleaning up the mess she made in the kitchen, she is in the bathroom putting on my make up... or climbing to Mary's top bunk... or falling off of it!  And her talking!  Oh, my!  She is always surprising us with words and sayings that seem advanced or one who is not yet two.  Take Sunday, for example!  While feeling exasperated from trying to keep her "out of trouble",  I said to her, "Are you Charlie Troublemaker?"  At which she tilted her head to one side, scrunched up her face to show she was thinking very hard (pointing finger on chin), all while saying,"Ummm..."  Then suddenly popped up her head and said brightly, "Probably!"
Little Leah got her name because she was so, well, little!  4 pounds, 9 ounces was really good for a preemie, but smaller than normal.  She was like carrying around a little doll.  I remember once while doing my Walmart shopping with her on my shoulder, holding her there with my left hand while I did everything else with my right hand.  She was a whopping 5.2 lbs when we brought her home.  Her weight wasn't even noticeable.  Now she wakes me up every morning by climbing in my bed and "whispering" [very loudly], "Mom, eat!"  From that moment until she finally drops for a nap, she is always into everything, and screaming at me when I try to stop her.  I struggle with my anger at some moments, so I pick her up and kiss that sweet baby cheek and my anger disolves into a love so overwhelming, so deep and wonderful... it is the love only a mother can feel.  I am so blessed to have all these children!  They are loud, messy, sweet, irritating, fun, demanding, adorable, provoking... all at the same time!  There is only one love that is greater than a mother's love, and that is a Savior's love.  He loves ME when I am loud, messy, sweet, irritating, fun, demanding, adorable, provoking...  And He forgives me.  There is no greater love.  I know that without HIS love, my love for my children would be nothing.