Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Welcome Paisely Grace

Welcome Paisley Grace! Paisley was born to Jason and Jessica
July 27, 2010
8 pounds 7 ounces

I had the honor of being their Doula for the second time! Jess' due date was Monday and I was praying that she would have the baby before I left for vacation, I know it was selfish but I really did not want to miss her birth! They planned on having a water birth at the Birth Center after doing much of the labor at home.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God's plans are not always our plans. Jess had her first contraction as she was leaving our favorite beach at 5:30pm. She picked up Little Caesars Pizza and headed to the park for a picnic dinner with the family. My cell phone decided to quit working and I knew that Jess was going to have her baby soon so I was trying to get it to work and at 6:30 it finally turned on and I received a Text from her asking what I was doing tonight. I replied, Costco or a birth or both.... We talked and she told me that her contractions were not very long but they were close together, she was still at the park at that point. I decided that I would finish Costco then drop the girls off (Sean was haying with the boys) and head to Jess' house.

Jess called at 7:05 and was clearly in active labor, I prayed with her and told her I was on my way. We left our cart at Costco, I did get the girls a smoothie on the way out, loaded up the van and started for home. Syndi was going to meet me at the off ramp and get my children and I was going to Jess'. On my way there my phone rang once, I saw it was Jess and then it completely died!

I pulled over at the nearest gas station, called Jess back and Jason said, they were on their way to the Birth Center the contractions were coming fast and hard. Jess was hanging on to the sun roof and breathing for dear life. I quickly called Sean and told him there was a change of plans and to please call Syndi and tell her I would not be meeting her and ask Tami if I could drop the children off at her house until he could get there. I could not make any other calls because I did not know any numbers they are all in my phone, which was inexplicably dead.
I drove by Tami's house, pushed the girls out (almost literally) and arrived at the Birth Center a few minutes before Jess. She got there at 7:49pm and was obviously in Transition!
Jason left his car with the keys in the ignition and we helped her inside. The midwife arrived a few minutes after me and before Jason and Jess.
We took off her pants and the midwife checked her, she was already complete! The bath was already filling so I helped her in and Jason moved the car. By the time he got back Jess had had a few more really strong contractions with some heavy back labor. I was trying to give her counter pressure on her hips to help with the pain but I couldn't reach so I climbed in the tub and started offering her a bit of relief.
The midwife asked me if I wanted to take off my skirt so it wouldn't get wet. I told her no, I did not have anything on under my skirt. Then I realized how that sounded so I clarified that I did have underware on but I wasn't going to stand there in my undies!
Jess asked how come her water had not broken yet as it was bulging. The midwife said she could reach her hand in and break it to which she declined. Then I felt a huge gush of water all over my legs and heard a pop. Jason said, What was that! I said, Her water just broke!
Then, because of the position we could see the baby's face as she emerged! It was one of the most amazing thing I have ever seen!
It was not a water birth because the tub had not even filled enough to cover the baby! She was born 9 minutes after their arrival to the Birth Center!
We passed the baby through her legs to Jess and she was standing there, in the water with the baby still attached and had to get out of the tub, and to the bed to deliver the placenta.
The baby was so content with a healthy little cry and pink chubby cheeks!
Seriously one of the most efficient deliveries ever. It is stressful to have a baby that fast because it is all the pain of a longer labor condensed into a smaller amount of time. Jess was fabulous and still looked amazing after it was all over!
I never cease to be amazed that God has chosen us, as women to have the privilege to have another life grow in our bodies and that he has Perfectly designed us to be able nurture and nourish that new life.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
(Psalm 139:13-17 ESV)
My prayer for you dear sweet Paisley Grace girl, is that you will grow in your wisdom and understanding of your Lord and Saviour. I know your parents will train you in the fear of the Lord and His love for you. God had chosen the perfect family for you! You are a gift that He chose specifically for your parents. The Bible verse I have chosen for you Paisley is:
May the Lord direct your heart to the love of God
and to the steadfastness of Christ.
(2 Thessalonians 3:5 ESV)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Is Grosser Than Gross?

My days are so very busy. Often, I do not make the time to use the potty until it is absolutely necessary. Do you relate? My mom tells me this has been an issue since I was Ruby's size!
Today I waited until the last minute ran to the bathroom only to discover that someone forgot to flush the toilet. Naturally I flushed then sat down right away! The grosser than gross part: The toilet was plugged and rose up and the yukky water touched my bum.
Moral: never put off until later, what you can do now.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Completing Him

So I have completely fallen off the Completing Him Challenge Bandwagon, What you did not know there was a bandwagon?
This week's challenge actually happened for me before I read the challenge! The challenge was to plan dinners around his likes and desires instead of what is easy or child friendly. I sort of got a head start because Sean's birthday was last week and I surprised him with some delicious Kabobs from a local meat company that are a real treat!
Prior to reading the challenge I had already decided to cater to my husbands taste buds! Our menu plan this week:
Sunday: Go out to eat at a nice restaurant following our sailing trip (more on that later)
Monday: Chef Salad and homemade bread, Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Tuesday: Brown Sugar and Bourbon grilled Salmon with garlic bread and Caesar salad
Wednesday:Grilled Coconut Lime Chicken Tenders, brown rice, fresh green beans
Thursday:Philly Cheese Steaks, steak fries, frozen pea salad
Friday: Homemade Pizza with adult toppings (olives, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sausage, pepperoni)
Saturday:BBQ Hamburgers, baked beans, watermelon, Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Sunday:Baja Grilled Fish Tacos (not sure what else is going with that yet).
Sean was thrilled with the menu! He never suggests dinner ideas and almost always says it doesn't matter and honestly when he is not home for dinner I do not even make the effort but we survive on breakfast for dinner or taco soup.
Here is to a week filled with delicious dinners to satisfy my husband's appetite~Or maybe to wet his appetite!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Remember The Alamo

We studied The Westward Movement with our Young Historians group this year and talked about taking a road trip to see The Alamo. The children were thoroughly disappointed when we decided against the trip. I briefly felt guilty that I was able to see it myself, especially since Syndi and the children did most of the work and learned so much more than I did.

The Alamo is completely funded and maintained by The Daughters of Texas and financial donations from the public. The Alamo is hallowed ground and a Shrine of Texas Liberty. We first stopped at The Shrine where the final Defenders of the Alamo were killed, and the few surviving women and children were found. It was a very sacred site to visit, there were no cell phones allowed, no photography and men were not allowed to wear hats.
Around the shrine they had flags with numbers that represented the number of men fighting from that state or country. There were actual Bowie knives that were used in the fighting and David Crockett's journals and guns. The Alamo was originally built in 1724 as a mission and I saw some of the original mission paintings on the walls, It was truly amazing!

I learned that in Texas they just move things that they want to keep, A hotel was moved across the river before there were automobiles, and a tree that was located on the Alamo Grounds was moved there! The tree stretched about one whole city block!
We were able to attend a documentary and watch someone perform an oral recitation on the history of the Alamo.

In the gift shop was one of the largest diorama's of the Alamo ever made, it was humbling to visually see the sacrifice the garrison of the Alamo made for me and for the Freedom we enjoy today. One of the most amazing pieces of history there was an actual letter that one man wrote to his mother just minutes before his sure death. The young defender showed confidence of his salvation and courage knowing that he was fighting and dying for liberty.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Baby Conference

I have had the privilege of attending The Baby Conference in San Antonio, TX last week. At first I thought I had to recap the whole trip, where my children were, the conference, people I met, things I learned, and what I saw. Quickly I realized that it would result in the worlds longest post, if I ever finished it.
Due to the availability of flights we thought we were going to miss the first session. Fortunately for us the program started late and we walked in right when they were beginning the first song! I loved the amount of strollers in the lobby. There were equal amounts of strollers in several places! What a joy and a privilege to be with so many fellow believers who cherish life.

We were blessed to meet Michelle Duggar. She was awarded Vision Forum's Mother of the Year. She was amazing to listen to. I enjoyed her immensely! She was one of the most humble gentle women I have ever met.
The highlight of Kimberly's trip was that when we went to have Michelle sign our book, she remembered Kimberly's name and said that she noticed when Kimberly came in to the conference earlier. That Michelle could pick anyone out in a crowd of 1,700 people is amazing!
The tenderness shown between Michelle and her husband Jim Bob was touching. I was honored to share with them when Michelle was given her Mother of the Year Award and Jim Bob expressed how much he appreciated the sacrifices she has made for their family.
Momm and Kimberly outside of the Convention Center on the Riverwalk.

One of the Speakers Jennie Chancey, said that Kelly from Generation Cedar was in attendance. I LOVE Generation Cedar and was looking for Kelly to meet her, instead I found Kelly Bradrick from Return of the Daughters! If you have not seen that movie, I believe that it should be a priority, even if you do not have any daughters. The vision that is portrayed in this movie is exciting and convicting.

We were fortunate to attend the Special Ladies' Tea with Michelle Duggar located in the Ballroom of the Historic Menger Hotel. The Tea was sold out weeks in advance and was limited so that all attendees could have the opportunity to visit with Michelle Duggar and Beall Phillips. It was fun to have the opportunity to talk with them and share the joys and blessings of raising large families. I felt like I had a small family, at the table where I sat the other women had 9, 10, 11, and 12 children!

Michelle Duggar and my Momm.
The quality of speakers and topics covered at The Baby Conference was second to none! I usually sit toward the front of any meeting I attend, purely because I am easily distracted and it helps me to focus better. One of the sessions touched me to my core and I was 'raw' emotionally. The man in front of me was amazingly compassionate and we had a great conversation, in fact we talked through most of the conference, his wife was an encyclopedia of knowledge packaged in the most understanding woman. Later, I realized he was the MC of The Baby Conference, his name is Adam McManus and he is a Radio Talk Show Host,voted favorite radio personality in San Antonio. I guess I am pretty good at randomly choosing someone to pour my heart out to.
I attended sessions on naming babies, logistics of running a home with a large family, women against feminism, what the Bible says about birth control, The wonders of Embryology, The Hope of Adoption, Child Training, and Preserving the Ideals of Christian Motherhood.
I cannot possibly give you a brief synopsis on each topic without the passion and personalities behind each topic. I will do my best to recap some of the highlights and some of my strongest convictions that have been challenged.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independance Day

We celebrated all that we learned in our history studies by marching in our town's Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration. The children were so excited to don their pioneer/mountain men attire and throw candy to all their friends, I mean all the spectators.
These children have learned so much this year and I love that they are able to articulate what they have learned to people who ask.
The man in front of us in the parade line up was a retired history teacher~What fun! I would bet that Our history was much more fun and that the children will actually remember what they learned. While we were waiting for the parade to start Syndi led the children in a few of the songs they learned during history. We sang, "Oh My Darlin' Clementine", "The Star Spangled Banner", "Low Bridge", and "Wait For the Wagon".

The week leading up to the 4th has been very busy with Ruby's birthday, Ben's birthday, friends visiting from out of town, and me getting ready to leave town! I decided that I really wanted to make our wagon a covered wagon for the parade. Keep in mind that I do not sew, and I do not have much in the way of spatial reasoning. I found the directions for my sewing machine, learned how to thread the bobbin, and then I found an old white sheet, some pvc pipe and zip ties. I only had to rip out a few seams but all in all the wagon wasn't bad. You could tell what it was and it held up for the parade.
I love the banner Syndi made for our parade entry. It seemed as though there was a magnet that attracted the children and whenever we put the banner on the ground the children migrated toward the banner it was a miracle that by the time the parade started there were not at least 17 footprints all over it.

We bought 16 pounds of candy to throw to the parade goers. Still, it was difficult to pace the children in throwing the candy. Ruby and Liberty sat in the wagon and ate the candy while the other children threw giant handfuls at the beginning of the parade and were left with none for the children at the end.

Except Ian, he somehow still had 2 suckers left.

At some parts people were lined up 8 people deep along the streets. When we finished walking we doubled back and watched the rest of the parade. After we saw Jason's float go by I was unable to find Jake. Fortunately, he had jumped on the float with his dad. I only had momentary heart failure until I knew where he was.

We enjoyed catching up with lots of friends that we do not see often enough, Wandered the street fair, checked out the classic cars (Ian had to inspect the wheels on the cars). We ate Kettle Korn and headed home for some power naps.

After a brief respite at home we headed over to Jason and Jess' for a potluck celebration.

There was too much wonderful food! I love watching how different people celebrate and the things that make them happy. Jason is one of the most patriotic people I know, he loves fireworks, people, food, and festivities. Last year, when we got to the fireworks he sat down, let out a big sigh, and said, "This is the best day!" I couldn't have agreed with him more and the contentment on his face said it all.

Probably the highlight of my day was when Cale and Sandy brought out their guitars and we sang hymns and other worship songs.

Cale is amazing because he could not only lead worship, and play the guitar but he could read the music that Aaron held (not so still) for him.

Jess had to miss out on the fireworks because Honor and Justice were already in bed. Somehow, I think she was pretty content.

God graced us with an amazing rainbow and spectacular sunset.

Liberty loved the fireworks and even Ohhh'ed and Ahhhh'ed at them. She said, "WOW!" She was not as impressed when the big show started and she pointed to where the smaller fireworks had been and signed more. Then she pointed to the big fireworks and waved bye bye. When there was a loud boom she said, "NO"
One of the things I really enjoy about the 4th is how patriotic we as Americans are. I love that despite the different views we hold we love our Country and our little small town can have such a fantastic celebration.
We all had a fabulous day, ate way too much, and stayed up too late ~ The perfect day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Date Night

Last week my mom came for a visit all by herself! Sean and I were eager to take advantage of that and get a rare date night. I was all dressed and ready to go when I got a call from 9-1-1. You see we are on the swarm catchers list and when someone calls 9-1-1 they call us. I am not one to turn down a swarm and neither is Sean, I grabbed our bee box and headed out. I figured that we could catch the swarm, eat dinner, then head home and hive the bees.
When we got to the swarm, I knew it was not going to be a simple as I thought. There were more bees than I have ever seen! It was massive and instead of settling on a branch, which is easier to catch they were on a lilac tree trunk. Instead of just pruning the branch, putting them in the box and being on our merry way, we had to figure out how to get them off the vertical limb and into the box. We had to get a larger box from a spectator because ours was not big enough.

Just in case you don't know the difference between men and women this swarm catching shows the drastic differences. Sean is all business and gets in there with some intensity. I however, had my bee suit on over skirt and my cute shoes on for our date, I also really did not want to mess up my hair (I was still holding out for dinner).
Catching a swarm is a spectacle and people seem to come out of the woodwork to watch, from a safe distance. I think the bees are fascinating and I want to educate people about them. So while I prune, and help Sean I also talk to the people, I even took the homeowners camera and put it in our swarm box to get a really good photo of the bees for her. One woman noticed my shoes and we had a great conversation about how cute and comfortable they are. I told her I got them at Goodwill and she was impressed!
Sean, didn't say more than 3 sentences the entire time, and was a little irritated that I viewed this as a social event. Later however, he laughed about it and said that was one of the fundamental differences between us. It took us 3 hours to catch this massive swarm and we got them safely in the back of my mom's car that I was driving! Only 3 or 4 were on the outside of the box. To say my mom was not impressed would be an understatement but she is pretty good at taking the good with the bad.
After we caught them, I was ready to go eat but we received another 9-1-1 call to catch another swarm. We went home, dropped off the bees in the garage and set up a swarm lure for the other
colony. We got home after 11:30 P.M. and ate some cereal and went to bed.

We were going to wait until Sean got home from work the next day to hive the bees. Unfortunately, my mom was home with the children while I went to get a haircut and when she went out to the garage, bees were everywhere! The weight of the bees on the lid of the cardboard box pulled the lid down and the bees escaped through the gap in the top!
The photos above show the garage door, and some of the unfortunate bees that succumbed to the heat in the garage.
We were able to put the remaining bees into a Warre hive 4 boxes deep! our others are only 2 deep. They have built incredible amounts of comb and are thriving despite their tragic losses.
Cleaning the dead bees out of the garage will take some time and effort, Aaron is able to wear his shoes again, however I keep finding bees, and finding bees, and finding bees.
The second swarm did not take and we just captured 2 more queens! The bees are amazing.
We never did get our dinner. Maybe next time.