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Laura
Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Day Off

Adam had Monday of last week off and we decided to do something fun.  The day started with an owl pellet dissection and an impersonation of the "Statue of Wibuhtee" by Joseph while Peter napped and I worked on Abigail's Easter dress.










Then we loaded everyone up and took a little road trip to a Civil War battlefield.  We hiked the 1+ mile trail up the mountain (which ascends 700 feet) and back down again.  Adam carried Peter in the Ergo, which was great because I never would have made it!  I barely got myself and my big belly up the mountain. :)  We finished off the day with Chick-fil-A and a Costco trip, which is always fun.





Peter got a nice nap on the way up.





Halfway there.





We made it!



Noah loves geography and maps, so he took a break at the top to figure out where we were and where we were going.  



Awake and happy!



Friday, January 25, 2013

3 in 30



This week was much better than last as far productivity goes.  I did not accomplish anything on one of my goals, but I plan to get some work done on it tomorrow.  As you can see from the picture above, I did manage to mostly finish Abigail's dress!  It still needs buttonholes, buttons, and a hem.  She will be eight in March and I made her a size seven, but it is still huge on her!  The sleeves are a bit ridiculous looking and come down to her elbows.  Oh well.  I'm putting a big hem in it, so she'll be able to wear it for several years.


1. Make some headway on my yearly goal of turning this blog into a book.  This is the goal that I ignored this week.  I'm hoping to get at least 5 or 6 posts uploaded tomorrow.  


2. Devise a prayer plan.  My personal notebook is organized and our prayer basket and 3x5 cards are ready to go.  I plan to use the basket with the children after our Scripture memory time during school in the mornings.  


3.  Start working on my yearly goal of cleaning and organizing different "zones" in the house.  I was able to get a lot accomplished this week!  I went through four of our big storage bins that hold childrens' clothes.  I threw a few things away (bad elastic, etc.), pulled some things out to give away, and organized what was left by season.  I still have a lot more bins to go through, but I'm glad to have gotten four of them out of the way.  I also purged/organized about 3/4 of the school room closet.  I have a few items of curriculum to sell, and I threw away some random trash that had gotten stuffed here and there.  I also found the electric pencil sharpener, which I've been wanting for a while.  I still need to organize the art supplies and the little boys' schooltime activities, as well as go through a few boxes that didn't get unpacked to see what is in them.  

Here are my children's goals:

Joshua (8) - Read aloud to Noah and Joseph at least 3 days a week.  Joshua reached his goal and read to the little boys three days this week!  We made a trip to the library, so they've all been reading up a storm. :)  

Abigail (7) - Master the art of mopping floors. Abigail mopped with a spray bottle and a dry mop today.  She did a great job!  She said, "I'm not very good at this, but is sure is fun!".  

Esther (6) Dress Joseph every morning.  I think that Esther has mastered choosing Joseph's clothes, dressing him, and putting his pajamas where they belong.  Now we just need to work on getting it done without being reminded.  

This post is linked at Welcome to Our Good Life.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013 Book List

One of my goals for this year is to read ten books.  I have come up with a partial list that I will add to as I go.




I am about a third of the way through John Calvin: Man of the Millenium by Philip Vollmer and Wesley Strackbein and it is very interesting.  While I understand the basics of Calvinism, I don't know much of anything about his personal life.  I am enjoying the book and the chapters are fairly short and very manageable, which helps.  

The Westminster Shorter Catechism by G.I. Williamson discusses each question in that particular catechism, which is the one that we are teaching our children.  

I recently read Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young.  It is an excellent book and one which I recommend.  In it, they refer to The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo.  We already had this book in our library, so I decided to read it.  We deal with plenty of issues in raising our children but, by the grace of God, anger is not one of them.  I certainly want to keep it that way, and I think that this book will be helpful.  I am about a fourth of the way through it and it is excellent so far.  Maybe I'll do a full review of it when I'm finished, but for now I'll just say that it has a lot of practical advice that is very helpful.  

I read The Fruit of Her Hands: Respect and the Christian Woman by Nancy Wilson last year and it was so good that I decided to read it again.  I would like to write a review (and maybe even give away a copy!) here after my second go-round.  

I have never read C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain, but I know that his works are excellent.  I'm looking forward to this one!  

I read on the Kindle while I exercise in the mornings, and I am almost through with Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel.  I would love to have a natural birth this time IF I can go into labor on my own.  Given my history, that is a pretty big "if".  But that is what I'm praying for, and the midwives that I'm seeing are very supportive and will do all that they can to help me avoid an induction.  Either way God is sovereign and He knows what I need better than I do.  This book has a lot of helpful tips and advice.  It also contains some silly nonsense, but that is pretty typical for natural, "hippie" types of literature.  You just have to take the good and leave the absurd, as is the case with many other things in life!

Friday, January 18, 2013

3 in 30



I'm afraid my week wasn't so productive.  For some reason school took us forever to get done every day, which left me with very little time to do other things.  Oh well.  We did accomplish school, the house is clean, and we ate well.  I'll try to do better on these goals next week.



1. Make some headway on my yearly goal of turning this blog into a book.  I spent about five minutes messing around with the fonts on the posts that I had already uploaded to the book.  I did not enter even a single new post.  


2. Devise a prayer plan.  I now have a notebook for my personal prayer.  I had intended to start making a basket full of prayer requests that the children can pick out of during our morning prayer time, but I did not do it.    

3.  Start working on my yearly goal of cleaning and organizing different "zones" in the house.   I accidentally got a little bit accomplished on this goal.  I got out my sewing machine and serger to start putting together Abigail's Easter dress and discovered that I had no idea where the power cords and pedals were to either machine.  I have not used them since we moved here last May.  I thought they might be in a box in the garage, so I went through three boxes and purged/organized them.  It turns out they were in a drawer inside. :)  Speaking of Abigail's dress, I did get a good bit done on it this week.  It doesn't look like much yet, but I learned how to do piping and how to make a collar.  It's going to start taking shape quickly now.  

Here are my children's goals:

Joshua (8) - Read aloud to Noah and Joseph at least 3 days a week.  Joshua read to the little boys two days this week again.  I need be better about encouraging him to do it more often.  They all really enjoy it.  

Abigail (7) - Master the art of mopping floors. This week's mopping consisted of getting on hands and knees and spot mopping with a spray bottle and a rag.  None of the floors were really dirty enough to be mopped, except for under the kitchen table.  

Esther (6) Dress Joseph every morning.  Joseph has come down the stairs looking quite snazzy this week!  Esther likes red plaid shirts, so he is generally wearing one of those and a pair of jeans.  She even wets his hair and combs it some mornings.  She's getting better about putting his pajamas and nighttime diaper away, but we still need to work on that.  

This post is linked up here.  


Monday, January 14, 2013

Birthdays

We've had three birthdays in the past few weeks.  Noah turned four back on December 29, Peter turned one last Wednesday, January 2, and Adam turned...well, Adam turned on January 10! :)



Noah is very excited to be four.  He is especially excited about the fact that he doesn't have to take a nap anymore.  He does have to lay down for a rest with a few books every afternoon, and about half of the time he still falls asleep, but that is much more grown up than taking a nap. :)  Noah loves to help me and frequently asks what he can do for me.  As I've said more than once before, he is quite a firecracker!



Peter at 1 week old

I think I say this every time one of our babies turns one, but it is hard to believe that a year has gone by!    I took Peter to the doctor last week and he weighs 18lb 5oz...the smallest of all of ours at a year.  He really enjoys table food though, and he eats well, so he's just fine.  He is not walking yet, but I did catch him letting go of something and standing on his own yesterday.  He's not talking much at all, though he obviously understands a lot of what we say.  Peter is a snuggler, which I love!  Our babies tend to want to get down and be on the move, but Peter will lay with his head on my shoulder when I ask him if he needs a snuggle. :)




The children were all very excited about Papa's birthday and spent a good bit of time making placemats for the table and coloring a zillion pictures for him.  There's not as much to say about an adult's birthday as there is about a child's.  Adam hasn't learned any new words or dropped any naps in the past year. :) We are very thankful that God has given him another year of life and another year as our husband/Papa!  We are grateful for the way that he faithfully leads our family and works so hard to provide for us and take such wonderful care of us!








Saturday, January 12, 2013

Goals for January


We were able to get at least a little done on all of our monthly goals this past week.  Here are my goals.

 1. Make some headway on my yearly goal of turning this blog into a book.  I got a fair amount accomplished on the book this week.  It is rather time consuming.  I'd love to get the 2012 book done by the middle of the year, but we'll see about that.


2. Devise a prayer plan.  I have done some more thinking about this and have decided to incorporate lists of 31 days of prayer for my husband and children that a friend shared with me awhile back.  I tried to print them off to put in my notebook, but the ink was out and I haven't had a chance to locate the extra ink cartridges.  Maybe next week.  

3.  Start working on my yearly goal of cleaning and organizing different "zones" in the house. I tidied up some things in the office that have been sitting around and I did the same in the master bedroom.  The master bedroom/office area is pretty organized and ready for packing if/when that needs to happen.  

Here are the goals that I have set for my children this month.  

Joshua (8) - Read aloud to Noah and Joseph at least 3 days a week.  Joshua only did this two days, and one day was just with Noah because Joseph was down for a nap.  Noah loves having Joshua read to him!  


Abigail (7) - Master the art of mopping floors. I have a fresh, clean kitchen floor as of yesterday morning. :)  She didn't miss any spots! 

Esther (6) Dress Joseph every morning.  Esther is doing great with dressing Joseph.  Now we need to work on putting his pj's and nighttime diaper where they belong instead of leaving them strewn on the floor.  This is how Joseph came downstairs one morning this week. :)




And just because he's cute...


This post is linked up here.  

Monday, January 07, 2013

Tiny




Awhile back we got a huge egg from one of our hens.  We have since gotten several more and they have all had double yolks.  Last week we got the smallest egg I've ever seen.  The picture above shows a normal sized egg and the tiny one.  It turns out that it had no yolk at all!  Thanks to Noah for letting us know by smashing it. :)  




Saturday, January 05, 2013

Almost 27 Weeks



I'll be 27 weeks on Tuesday.  My last pregnancy update was at 20 weeks, at which point I didn't have much belly to speak of.  Well, now I do. :)  Thanks to my growing boy and all of the yummy food I ate over Christmas, I'm sporting a much larger tummy.  I've gained about 15 pounds and I'm feeling well.  Baby boy is quite active in the evenings, but is pretty quiet the rest of the day.  There's really not much else to report.  My varicose veins are about the same, and I don't have any food aversions other than pork.  I just ordered several boxes of red raspberry leaf tea.  I'll start downing that like crazy when it arrives.  Based on my past experiences, I don't know that it really does me any good, but it certainly can't hurt!

Friday, January 04, 2013

3 in 30: New Monthly Goals



I've been thinking about my goals for this month, and I think I've settled on three.  I would love to keep two goals from the past two months (working on my girls' dresses and doing piano with my children), but I think I'm going to change them up and try to keep trucking on those two things as well.  So here are my three goals for January.

1. Make some headway on my yearly goal of turning this blog into a book.  I have not done anything with this yet, but my three youngest are napping and the older children are playing outside, so as soon as I hit "publish" I'm headed over to the Blurb site.

2. Devise a prayer plan.  I would like to have a simple prayer plan in place that involves the children in the mornings.  Right now we just pray for things as they come to mind, which is fine, but I want something more concrete...something that allows us to see what we have been praying for and keep track of the answers to our prayers.  I have not done anything to accomplish this goal other than thinking.  I have a few ideas, but I would love to hear your suggestions!

3.  Start working on my yearly goal of cleaning and organizing different "zones" in the house.  I tackled the master closet yesterday and got it almost completely done.  I love purging and consolidating!  It is very therapeutic. :)  I put away all of my winter clothes that are too small for my growing belly and bagged some stuff up to donate that I won't wear again.  I still need to come up with a good storage/organization method for the girls' hairbows.  Any ideas?  I found this on Pinterest, but I'm not sure about it.  I have decided to keep all of the hairbows in my closet since they tend to disappear when I let the girls keep them in their bathroom.

And here are the goals that I have set for my children this month.  We have not gotten around to discussing them yet, so I just assigned them and they will start next week.

Joshua (8) - Read aloud to Noah and Joseph at least 3 days a week.  The little boys will love this and it will be great for Joshua as well.

Abigail (7) - Master the art of mopping floors. :)  She does fairly well with this, but she misses spots and tends to leave puddles of water here and there.  She just needs a little more instruction and she'll be good to go!  Thankfully, she loves mopping.

Esther (6) - Dress Joseph every morning.  Esther and Joseph have always been two peas in a pod.  They get along really well and Joseph frequently goes to Esther for help if he needs something.  Esther could use some practice in putting outfits together. :)  She's getting the hang of it, but sometimes I have to send her back upstairs!  Her job will include getting Joseph on the potty and disposing of his diaper if it is wet, getting him clean clothes, dressing him, putting his pajamas away, and helping him get his teeth brushed.

This post is linked up here.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Goals for the New Year



I did not really set any specific goals at the beginning of last year.  I had planned to, but Peter surprised us by showing up a week early and I felt so awful for a good while afterwards.  It just never got done.  This year Adam and I sat down together and discussed the coming year, and I also made some personal goals.  I don't know that I'll update on my progress here very often, but I thought I'd share them since I enjoy reading similar posts on others' blogs.

1. Bible Reading - I always intend to stick with our read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan, but I inevitably end up getting behind and I have yet to successfully complete it.  I plan to stick with it this year.

2. Have a Baby - this will happen one way or another!  Only about 14 weeks left before Baby Boy #5 is due.

3. Make Blog Books - I have looked into turning the blog into a book, and I even started the process using Blurb, but I never got very far.  It will be time consuming, but it is important to us and I am going to try to make the time to get it done.

4.  Teach the Children Piano - I did fairly well with this goal at the end of 2012, and I really want to stick with it.  Sometimes it is hard to get motivated because we're all pretty much ready for a break by the time we finish school.  But, again, it is something that is important to us.  I did not start piano until I was 10, and I think that there is some advantage to starting later, but I also think that there are advantages to starting earlier and the children enjoy it.

5.  Exercise - before our Christmas break I was walking 3 to 4 mornings a week.  I'd like to make it 4 to 5 mornings.  I feel better, it's good for me and the baby, and it gives me more energy during the day.

6.  Read - I'm not a real big reader.  I'm very slow, and frankly, I don't have much time.  I would like to read more though, and I'm going to shoot to read 10 books in 2013 (don't laugh, Nikki!). :)  We have made some minor changes to our schedule and have time set aside in the evenings before bed for reading.  I hope that it works out.  If I'm tired, then a book is a sure-fire way to put me to sleep!  I'm working on putting together a book list and I plan to post that later.

7.  "Spring" Cleaning - there are areas in every room of our house that need to be organized, and that bugs me.  This home is only temporary, though we are not exactly sure how long we'll be here.  We do plan to move at some point though, and I would love to have things sorted through, consolidated, and pared down before we have to start packing.  There are a million areas to cover...everything from sorting and storing childrens' clothes to cleaning out the kitchen cabinets.  I plan to come up with "zones" and focus on one each month.  I think I'll start with the master bedroom/closet/office.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year and a Christmas Recap

Happy New Year to you all!  We have been working on setting some goals here, and I will post about some of those later.  For now, here are a bunch of pictures from Christmas.  Adam has a lot more on his phone, but we can't figure out how to download them to iPhoto.  We can get them off of my phone, but not his for some reason.  I may be posting more if/when we figure it out.  We made the 32+ hour, 2,000-mile road trip to Kansas to visit Adam's family for Christmas.  We had a fun time and the children really enjoyed playing with all of their cousins that they don't get to see often.  They all did great in the van...even Peter, who doesn't particularly enjoy traveling.  He tends to get very fussy and clingy, and while he was to an extent, he did much better than I expected.  We're very thankful for God's protection over us as we traveled and we are grateful to be home!


This one is from the day after Thanksgiving when my dad was visiting and we went to cut down our Christmas tree.


Little Red Riding Hannah. :)



We opened our gifts to each other a week and a half before Christmas.  A lot of what we gave the children was immediately taken and packed into their travel bags for the trip!  




Adam and I have enjoyed watching some Foyle's War episodes that we got from the library.  I had been looking at the whole set on Amazon, but they are expensive!  About a week before we exchanged gifts, I checked one last time and they were marked way down.  I ended up paying a little more than $2 per DVD for them, which I was very excited about!  



Joshua gave Noah his cowboy hat that he had outgrown.



Adam surprised the girls with pink cowgirl hats from the farm store down the road.  



All packed and ready to go!




Driving by the arch in St. Louis.



The girls playing in the snow at Adam's grandfather's house in Missouri.  We stopped there on the way and enjoyed spending some time with them.  



Noah with Great Grandpa in Missouri


I bought some sterilized owl pellets for Adam and the children for Christmas.  I thought that dissecting them would be fun for them to do together.  When we were in Missouri, the field beside the house was full of owl pellets!  Of course they weren't sterilized, but the kids thought they were pretty neat.

  


Joseph in the driver's seat!




Joseph and Grandpa in Kansas


Hannah helped Grandma make rolls Christmas morning.



Esther, our animal lover, with one of Grandpa and Grandma's cats.  She had it wrapped in a blanket like a baby. :)

We went bowling one evening, which was a first for the children.




 Noah and Grandma in Kansas.


All 17 grandchildren!