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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Diana Grace

She's here! 
Squeaky new

 Diana Grace because she came to us through Divine grace. We feel like she is a miracle from heaven in a special way and the grace of God has been guiding and will continue to guide her life for His purpose.









With Cousin Cecelia



Oh yes, she's five months old already! And where has the time gone? Obviously it's been a whole new learning curve for this old, new mama. It's not quite as easy as when I was younger but in some ways it's easier. 

When I am weary I have a husband and sons who look after baby while I take a nap or just sleep later in the morning. I try to keep food prepared so that they can easily get their own breakfast. Usually there are enough leftovers on hand to make lunch packing simple as well.

Right now Christopher has Diana outside in the stroller so I think I'll go take a nap and write more later. I just needed to get a start back here in some small way.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Tired Day, New Things

I was startled to realize it was nearly 11 AM when I finally got out of bed this morning! I could just hardly wake up. And 
I've been dragging along all day. 

I've gotten a few loads of laundry done. Yay! The washer is back in service and doing a good job. I washed my hair. This task gets harder the more "unbendable" I become. 
I LOVE line-dried bed sheets!
Thomas & Melvin went to install a couple doors in Oakland, MD. Christopher is having a hard day. He's not feeling very well and isn't getting much done either. 

Yesterday we purchased a "new" car and repaired our van. The van has had a black hood and bumper for about four years now. Ever since one of the boys rear ended someone. Recently the black bumper was broken by hitting a small animal and needed to be repaired before it would pass inspection. 
I went searching for a "before" picture of the van and this is the best I could do.
The body shop said if we sand the hood they'll shoot some primer on it. So now the new bumper is white and the hood is once again white. 
The car was a $500 deal (Honda Accord) that we couldn't let pass. We've been wanting a little car that's automatic for this mama to run around with. We want to get rid of a couple other vehicles. The car needs some body work and painting but otherwise seems in good condition.

If you need a faith booster check out this video. A 23 year old and 21 year old coping with five children ages 2 and under. Cheerfully, with faith in God.

Birthday, Baby Things, Church Dinner

Our youngest child is now fourteen years old! Lord willing, he will soon cease to be our "baby". I suppose he'll be happy when he no longer bears that undignified title.

The men are home from work today. They had planned to go to work but Thomas realized he has a good deal of desk work to do and I'll need a washer. They're working tomorrow so they made today their "Saturday". 

Thomas went to look for another washer but the appliance repairman told him he could probably just take this one outside and wash it out good. His supposition was that soap got on the clutch causing the problems I had with it yesterday.

It is so very disappointing that they no longer make the good old fashioned washers with agitators. They're all these new fangled high efficiency washers that wear out in a hurry. Kind of like the way refrigerators aren't as dependable as they used to be.

Melvin cleaned out one of the trucks and is mowing the lawn. I'm not sure what Christopher is filling his day with.

I washed the piece of furniture in my bedroom. After a few years of kitchen use it was rather grimy. Then I pulled out all the baby items I've accumulated so far and had fun sorting them. 

I found that I don't have a whole lot beyond newborn size. It feels so weird to have forgotten how to prepare for a baby. What do I need? How many outfits of different sizes? I know they grow fast but how fast? 

And it feels good to be a little more prepared with the clothes sorted and in their proper places. 


That's a good bit of pink. There are a lot of neutral colors too and a few boy things tucked in behind...just in case. The ultrasound tech could be wrong you know.


Here's another new-fangled thing. Baby things have changed a lot in the last fourteen years. I was asking one of the ladies if I really need a baby bathtub and then she told me about these. I saw one advertised on the local yard sale group and bought it. 

Thomas pulled out the washer to clean it up so I washed the walls and floor where it sits. It was quite dirty but the laundry soap did a good job of cleaning it.

The ministers did a church appreciation supper this evening for the church. We gathered at pastor Dan's house and enjoyed a picnic on the lawn. Then there were yard games played by the energetic ones and observed by the less energetic ones who sat and visited.

Pulled pork sandwiches (no bread for me), mac n cheese (there was actually gluten free!), veggies & dip, potato chips, fresh fruit and bars (there were even sugar free, gluten free ones!). Delicious meal!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Quiet Day, Disaster, Starting Exotic Plants

It is very quiet around here today! Thomas, Melvin & Christopher left around 7 to go south of here a couple hours. They have three overhead doors to install today near Dorcas, WV. You have to wonder where that town got it's name. 

When I finally scratched myself out of bed I noticed the water trough for the cows was running over. Someone started the water and forgot to turn it off. When I went to turn it off I passed the washing machine.

Here was a startling sight. I just purchased a 128 load jug of laundry detergent on Tuesday. I had it on the shelf above the washer because it has a dispenser knob on it. It had fallen down and over half the detergent was out of it.

I'm not sure where all it went. Some was definitely in the washer which, thankfully, was empty! I spent a good bit of time scooping soap up out of the washer with a medicine cup, into a Solo cup and back in the bottle. (Not easy to do with a pregnant belly!) For some reason a lot of it was mixed with water. I put that in a separate bottle.
See the dispenser bottle on the shelf above. I filled the bottle on the washer nearly half full of watery soap. How did the dispenser bottle fall? Why did it fall? I don't know!
I don't know if you can see how the wall is blue behind the dryer? I guess it's time to do the cleaning in the washroom that I've been procrastinating.
After washing a load of laundry with the soap that remained in the washer, I went to put the load in the dryer. It wasn't spun out very well so I put it through the spin cycle again. It was still quite wet, suds were oozing from the washer pores, the clothes felt slimy with soap and the washer smelled hot. Oh dear! Why is this happening?

I hung the clothes out on the line to dry. Maybe it's time for the new washer I've been wanting (and thinking I need). If I had a bigger washer, I don't think the laundry would take so much time. Maybe I'll call the local appliance shop.

Today I want to share Melvin's projects with you. He has taken a real interest in growing things from seed that you don't normally grow. Enjoy the show...
An avocado seed that's sprouted

And one that's a little further along

A pineapple top that's rooting

And a pineapple plant that Christopher had started in the same way

Ginger that's sprouting from a piece of ginger

Grapefruit plants that he started from seed. He has 4 of these pots with two plants per pot.

A peach tree he started from seed

Cherry seeds he's been soaking

These are maple trees. I'm not sure which boy decided to grow these. We have hundreds of maple seeds fall around here in the spring.

And this was an idea I had from someone else. They said you could plant sweet potatoes in soil and they would sprout just like they do when you put them in water. We planted some and after waiting a long time for sprouts finally gave up on them. One of the boys planted a couple maple starts in the pot and then the one sweet potato decided to put out sprouts. I'm afraid it's too late to root and plant these. ???
Just know that if you will give your children liberty to explore life in this way, your house will not be in pristine condition! Sprouting seeds, pots of plants & etc look rather dirty and unkempt. Pursuing ideas (even beyond starting seeds) isn't always neat and tidy and most times it's just downright messy.

So that will be the extent of this post. I need to go fold a pile of towels, clean the washroom, clean up the kitchen and whatever else I might be able to accomplish.
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Another Day Has Passed

It's four o'clock. The weather is pleasant. Thomas, Melvin & Christopher came home from work and Austin & Matthew left for their rafting adventure. 
One boy's gear
It'll be quiet around here for a few days. Austin & Matthew plan to be gone until Saturday sometime. They're rafting up the Potomac River with some friends from MD. I hope and pray all goes well for them. It looks like they'll have pleasant daytime weather with cool nights.
Here's a list of some of the things they're taking.
Takes a lot to feed 5 guys for 3 days in the wild.
Austin worked half a day on the lawn care crew. Matthew was here all day. Thomas & the others worked on the log house but had to come home early to unload a truck load of doors.

I haven't done a whole lot today. Washed a load of laundry. Typed up laundry instructions for my niece who's coming next week, Lord willing, to help me. Looked online for an easy way to make a clothespin bag. And I got the "sewing food group" schedule done for the coming year.
When we church ladies get together once a month to sew for the needy, we make food for ourselves and the school children. We divide into two groups. One group brings food one month and is free the next. I'm responsible for the one group. I figured I'd better get a plan in place before my brain is crowded with other things. So glad it's done!

Matthew moved the piece of furniture into our bedroom. Now I can get the baby clothes washed and stored in it instead of in the Pack-n-Play. I need to sort through what I have and see what I still need.
Interestingly Thomas made that piece of furniture for the first house we lived in. He made it to fit in our bathroom for the exact purpose it will now have- a changing table. Although it held towels and washcloths there instead of baby clothes.

Our front flower bed has been a pill for me. It is large and full of a variety of flowers. The weeds also like that place too well so it is often hard to find the flowers and there's really not a good way to get to the front porch. 
Every year we talk about how to work with it and every year we don't really do much. Joanna and Christopher have been working on it slowly but surely and getting rid of the weeds. I would like to eliminate most of the flower bed and just keep a narrow row of flowers along the house. Who knows if we can make that happen..
Our cow has been having a swelling on her udder that concerned us. The vet was out to look at it and gave antibiotics to treat it. It hasn't been doing any good. We're trying some natural things and we'll see what happens.

With the antibiotic treatment we've had to dump the milk for about a week. That isn't easy for a family that's used to drinking all the milk they want! I usually use milk to get this handful down...
There's prayer meeting this evening so I should get supper ready and wind things up (or down) around here. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

It's Been a Good Day

We went to bed to the sound of rain last night. Sometime this forenoon I awoke to the sound of rain. The rain changed the men's plans for the day. Austin went to his lawn care job later than usual. Instead of all the rest heading off to a job, Thomas went by himself to do some service calls.

It was Providential that the others were here. I had thought I would be okay going to my midwife alone but when it came down to it I was very weary! I asked Matthew to take me and also help me shop for the things he and Austin will want for their rafting trip which begins tomorrow.

We stopped first at a roadside market to look for some peaches. Got a half bushel of seconds for $8. Also a bag of apples to make applesauce. I'm about out of applesauce and thought my family from the south would enjoy some.

Then we went to Walmart for a few items. I hate walking that giant store for just a few things but I survived.

After that it was on to the midwife. Baby was breech at the last checkup so I was pleased that she had turned herself by this time. She has turned in more ways than any of my others did. Makes me a little nervous. Just hope she knows how to position herself for a good birth!

My blood pressure was a little low which may be why I'm tired.?? Nothing that the midwife was concerned about. 

After the checkup we went to Aldi and then home. Then it was time for the guys to prepare to go to Kid's Club. They were soon out of here and I put some twice baked potatoes in the oven that I had frozen ahead of time. Cooked some fresh green beans from my sister and cut up some cucumbers from a friend's garden. That was a good supper.



Now I'm ready to go clean up and call it a day! Oh, I did get my piece of furniture (for a changing table) emptied out this morning! Accomplishment! The boys did laundry from their room today.

And I discovered that my sister Joanna and her friend will be staying at a cabin so I won't have company just yet after all. That's a welcome break. (Although I enjoy company. Don't misunderstand me!)