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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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Friday, March 29, 2013

Not My Deserving

Ah, holy Jesus, how has thou offended,
that man to judge thee hath in hate pretended?  
By foes derided, by thine own rejected, 
O most afflicted. 

Who was the guilty who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee. 
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee: 
I crucified thee. 

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered; 
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered:
for man's atonement, while he nothing heedeth, 
God intercedeth. 

For me, kind Jesus, was thine incarnation, 
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation:
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion, 
for my salvation. 

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee, 
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee, 
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving, 
not my deserving.  

Johann Cruger, 1640

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Bit Late


I realize I'm several days late getting this post up.  Oops. :) I didn't get as much done last week towards my goals as I did the week before, but I did make some progress.

1. Prepare for baby's arrival.  I got my hospital bag out of the attic.  I didn't put anything in it, but I hope to do that this week.  I also cleaned out the van, switched Noah over to a booster seat, and washed the covers to Joseph and Peter's carseats and the infant seat.  It seems like I did more than that, but I can't think of anything else.

2. Clean/organize the childrens' closets and get spring/summer clothes ready.  I didn't accomplish a single thing towards this goal.  I still need to put all of the girls out of season/outgrown clothes into the proper storage bins.  Maybe this week.  

3.  Complete the girls' dresses.  I finished Hannah's dress (minus the buttons and hem) and I'm about halfway through with Esther's.  Barring some unforeseen circumstance, I shouldn't have any trouble completing them in plenty of time.  As you can see from the picture above, I've been making good use of my seam ripper. :)  The back plackets have been giving me trouble.  Thankfully I just finished the last one this afternoon.  I really need to make some new white hairbows to go with the dresses.  Maybe I can get to that next week.  

Joshua, Abigail, and Esther did well with piano, although I didn't hold up my end of the deal so well.  They practiced four days, but I only sat down with them once.  I need to do better this week.  

On an unrelated note, have any of you ever heard of using essential oils to induce labor (specifically clary sage)?  I've started looking into it a bit.  I'm not wanting to try anything now at 38 weeks, but I may closer to 40 weeks.  It would sure beat pitocin!  I mentioned it to the midwife today and she said that she would look into it and get back to me at my appointment next Monday.  

This post is linked up at Our Good Life

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blessings

After a rather long day of seemingly constant discipline and endless messes, I was enjoying a few minutes of solitude (at the ironing board!) while my two youngest napped and my five oldest played outside.  I heard the door open and I heard some sneaking around, and then the door closed again.  I came downstairs, admittedly more than half expecting to find a mess of some sort or to discover that they had gotten into something that was off-limits.  But this is what I found. :)  I am a blessed Mama.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Eight Years


Abigail turned eight years old last Saturday!  She was very excited about her birthday and said that she feels very grown up. :)  We had a fun day that included a lawn-mower-pulled wagon ride, a scavenger hunt, a nice long walk by the river, a gem and mineral show, and a campfire!  Abigail is so incredibly helpful and capable, and she's a wonderful big (and little!) sister.  I really don't know what I'd do without her!  


Waiting their turn for a wagon ride.  


Noah hid his present for Abigail in some grass clippings. 


Opening her gifts by the campfire.


Sisters and friends!



Can't believe she's 8!



Happy Birthday, Abigail!!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Progress

 I was able to get a lot done on my goals this week.  I'm starting to feel very big and tired and I'm not sure I'll be so productive the rest of the month, so I'm glad to have gotten a good bit accomplished!




1. Prepare for baby's arrival.  I washed, dried, and put away all of the newborn boy clothes this week and I bought a few things that I needed before his arrival.  I also made and froze a double batch of spaghetti sauce and two pot roasts with veggies.  I think I might possibly be nesting. :)  I hope to get a few more things into the freezer over the next few weeks, but even if I don't I think we're pretty well stocked.




2. Clean/organize the childrens' closets and get spring/summer clothes ready.  I cleaned out the girls' closet and located, washed, and dried their warm weather clothes.  They need a few more things that I hope to find at Goodwill or consignment stores, but other than that they are set.  I still have a bunch of their things that need to be sorted and put into the proper storage bins.  Maybe I'll tackle that next week.  

3.  Complete the girls' dresses.  I'm more than halfway done with Hannah's dress.  I'm ready to put the back placket in, which tends to give me trouble.  I was planning on getting that done this afternoon, but at the moment all I feel like doing is taking a nap.  I suppose it's a combination of the time change and being almost 37 weeks pregnant!  

Joshua, Abigail, and Esther did well with piano this week.  They practiced every day except for today, and we may still get to it yet.  I sat down with them 2 days and we made some good progress.  Hannah is dying for me to teach her too.  I told her that we might start after the baby arrives and things settle down a bit.  

It's beautiful and 72 degrees outside today!  I love spring!  My children came in and said that it feels like popsicle weather. :)  I think I'll go make them a Banana Freeze for a treat.  

This post is linked up at Our Good Life.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Recipes


I've made a few new recipes over the past month or so that I think are well worth sharing.  We'll be transitioning out of soup season pretty soon, but Vegan Black Bean Soup has become a favorite of ours.  We are definitely not vegans, and to prove it I substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth. :)  I usually cook some brown rice to serve this with.  It stretches the soup a bit and tastes great topped with sour cream, cilantro, and salsa.





White Chicken Chili (which I got from got from one of Emily's Pinterest boards) is one that I've only made once, but will certainly be making again.  This week, in fact!


We also enjoy the recipe below for Tomato Lentil Soup.  My aunt sent this one to me and it is very tasty!  It is similar to the black bean soup, but the lentils give it a different flavor and texture.

Tomato Lentil Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 med. carrots, sliced
1 c. dry lentils, rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained

In saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Cook onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in oil about 5 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are tender.  Remove bay leaf before serving. 




Lentil Curry is another recipe that I've only made once.  It's wonderfully healthy and actually makes cauliflower taste decent. :)  I can take or leave curry, but Adam really likes it and I'm happy to have found this.




Peasant Bread and No-Bake Energy Bites are two more that I got from Emily.  The Peasant Bread is not exactly healthy, but it is so easy and so good!  I may experiment with using some fresh ground whole wheat flour next time.  The Energy Bites are also very easy and they make a great snack.  I will warn you though...it is nearly impossible to eat just one. :)





I have made Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread twice now and it has come out really well both times.  I had given up making whole wheat bread for awhile because I just couldn't get it right I got frustrated with trying.  This recipe is very straightforward and specific, and the only thing I've had to alter is the baking time.  It was a bit too overdone the first time I made it, so I reduced the bake time by 5 minutes.  We've really enjoyed having homemade bread to use for toast in the mornings.  I had forgotten how much tastier it is than storebought bread.  



Saturday, March 09, 2013

New Goals

I've come up with three new goals for March, and I have a feeling the month is going to fly by!  It's hard to believe that it's already the 9th...nearly a third of the way through!


1. Prepare for baby's arrival.  I have several things that I need to accomplish before the baby comes, and I hope to get a few done each week.  This past week I ordered a box of size 1 diapers and put a batch of Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins in the freezer.  I hope to find and wash all of the newborn boy clothes next week. 

2. Clean/organize the childrens' closets and get spring/summer clothes ready.  I really don't want to have to do this after the baby arrives, so I'm going to shoot to have it completely done by the end of the month.  I went through the Joshua, Noah, and Joseph's closet this week.  Their spring/summer clothes are either sorted into piles and waiting to be worn, or are in the laundry and will be sorted soon. I also organized and put the outgrown clothing into the proper storage bins.  Next week I hope to tackle the girls' closet.  

3.  Complete the girls' dresses.  This isn't exactly a new goal since I've had it a few times in the past, but Easter is at the end of this month, so I'm running out of time!  I have all three of the dresses completely smocked and I hope to finish cutting out the rest of Hannah's dress today.  After that I will need to put them together and do last minute things like hems, buttons, etc.  

I decided to keep my oldest three childrens' goal the same for one more month.  I feel like we made some good headway last month, and I think after a few more weeks of being consistent we'll have the habit formed for good.  We finally met our goal last week...they practiced piano five days and I helped them three days.  Of course I help them anytime they need it, but the I actually sat down with them for 15 or 20 minutes on those three days.  

This post is linked up at Our Good Life

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

35 Weeks and Another Year


I turned 35 weeks pregnant and another year older yesterday!  I'm feeling pretty good, though I do feel big and tired.  I had been doing well with my exercising, but haven't been the least bit motivated to get up and walk in the mornings for the past few weeks.  I started back today, so hopefully I'll stick with it.  It's hard not to let the snooze button get the better of me. :)  I've gained 24 pounds.  That's still a little on the low end of normal for me, but I think I look rather huge in the picture!  Everything else is going well...my veins aren't bothering me too much.  My blood pressure has been pretty low, but the midwife isn't the least bit concerned at all.  I'm glad that it's low and not high.



I had an enjoyable birthday!  Adam picked up dinner on his way home from work (Outback for us and pizza for the children), so I enjoyed an evening with no cooking.  We all enjoyed brownies and Blue Bell ice cream for dessert. :)

Friday, March 01, 2013

Wrapping Up February




I did much better with my goals this week than I did last week.  I still have a few things that I hope to accomplish before the weekend is over, but even if they don't get done I'll be satisfied with what I did manage to complete.

1. Make some headway on my yearly goal of turning this blog into a book.  I worked on this for quite awhile.  Unfortunately, our computer runs very slowly when I have the Blurb program open.  It takes a long time to get things uploaded and organized, which is frustrating.  I know it will be worth it when I have it completed though, so I'll keep chugging.  

2. Put at least one meal per week into the freezer for after the baby's arrival.  I made a double recipe of Teriyaki Chicken and a single of Sausage and Peppers.  Both recipes can be found here and both are crockpot meals.  I just have to thaw, dump in the crockpot, and cook on high for 6 hours.  I'm looking forward to tasting them!  I also made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and froze the dough balls for after baby's arrival.  I may or may not have baked and eaten a few.  Unfortunately, there are only four dough balls left in the freezer.  Oops.  I may have to try this again next week!  (FYI, I did not eat all of the cookies myself!  It was a joint effort.  A batch of cookies doesn't last long when you have 8 people wanting to eat them!)

3.  Work on my yearly goal of cleaning and organizing different "zones" in the house.  I didn't exactly pick a zone this week, but I did get several random drawers cleaned out and organized.  

Joshua, Abigail, and Esther's goal for this month is to practice piano five days a week with me helping them three days.  They practiced three days and I helped them two days, so we didn't quite reach the goal.  We made some progress, but I hope to do better next week.  

One of my mental goals for February was to finish smocking Hannah's dress.  I finished the bodice up yesterday, so all I have to do now is smock the sleeves.  That will take me about 15 minutes, which leaves most of March to put Esther and Hannah's dresses together and finish up Abigail's.  I think I can do it!

This post is linked up at Our Good Life.