Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Such a Beautiful Sound!!

Every time I go to my doctor's appointment, I look forward to hearing our little girl's heartbeat!!  It's such a beautiful sound being able to hear the beating of life growing inside my womb!!
Sunday night, my mom knew that I was going to the doctor the next day, so she made a request.  She asked me to record our little girl's heartbeat and for me to send it to her so she could hear her heartbeat as well.  This is the first baby that my mom hasn't been involved with due to the fact that we live so far away.  She hasn't been able to watch my growing belly or to feel her granddaughter move inside my womb, and she won't be able to be here for her birth.  My mom had the privilege of being at our house for three of my four deliveries.  She had to opportunity to hold our precious babies just moments after birth.
Sadly, this will be the first of our babies that she will not be able to hold right away.  So at first, her request seemed to be a crazy one and I felt foolish for asking the doctor if it was ok for me to record the sounds of her heartbeat, but I was thankful that I had done it :)  My mom was thrilled when I had sent her the email of the sound of her little granddaughter's beating heart.  And I am thankful to have captured that moment as well :)

Getting Things Together

The time is getting closer to meeting our precious little baby girl!!  Back in May, my mom had sent a little outfit with my brother in law when he came down for a visit.  At the end of May, my friend, Christina, sent a huge box of cloth diapers she had found at a rummage sale, two outfits, bibs, socks, pacifiers, a crocheted blanket she made, and a little toy.  When we had gotten back from Texas, my mother in law had blessed our little girl with a bassinet, a going home outfit, monitors, and several other odds and ends.  The next day, my friend, Nicole, came over to our house with her four kids and she gave me two bins full of girl clothes from newborn to 18 months!  The following day, I washed all the clothes and now they are all in her dresser ready to be used :) A few weeks ago, the ladies from my Sunday School class, had blessed us with a $240 gift card so I could buy the rest of whatever else I needed for our little girl!!  So the next day, I had gotten a car seat, a diaper bag, diapers (I will gradually work her way in to cloth), wipes and other little odds and ends that I needed.  Over the fourth, my sister in law brought a pack n' play pen for me to borrow and a stroller.  When my family comes down at the end of August, they have a stroller and some more clothes for her!!
God has truly blessed and provided our family!!  When we first found out that I was pregnant, I didn't know what we were going to do or how we were going to afford anything...but why did I need to worry???  God is so faithful to provide for His own!!  We are beyond grateful for His many blessings!!
So now I am pretty much all set and ready to go.  Diaper bag is packed and my bag is packed.  Now she just needs to come!! :)

A Trapdoor Spider!!

I have NEVER seen a trapdoor spider before until this past Sunday!!  Then again, we have seen many new critters and creatures since moving down to Arkansas two years ago!!
Sunday before church, Jessica had gone outside and came across this spider!  I told her to take pictures so I could try and look it up later to find out what kind it was.  She took the first two pictures and Jacob took the last two.  This spider seemed to have similar characteristics of a tarantula, but I knew we didn't have black tarantulas, only brown ones and this spider was much smaller.  After doing a little searching on line, I finally found out what kind of spider it was...a Trapdoor Spider!! 
Trapdoor spiders make their burrows underground that have a trapdoor that they leave ajar during the night in order to catch their prey.  The females usually stay in the burrow to protect her eggs while the males go out during July and August in search of a new mate.
Very interesting!!

Poor Bunny :(

The other day, Doris' little dog, Chandler, came running into the house and what she heard next startled her enough to quickly get the dog out of the house!!  He had a baby bunny in his mouth!!  When she "shooed" him outside, Jesse was already out there, so she asked him to get the bunny out of his mouth so he wouldn't devour the poor thing and then him get sick.  So Jesse had gotten some gloves and was able to get the bunny free from Chandler.  The poor little thing was so cute, but I knew it wouldn't survive since I saw a puncture wound near the neck and the fact that it was so small and away from its mamma.  Jessica and Jacob wanted to hold the little bunny before placing it back in to the woods.  Such a cute little thing, but in all reality, it would have grown up and gotten into our garden anyways...so in some sense, it was a good thing the poor little guy didn't make it :/

Fourth of July Week

The weekend before the Fourth of July, Jason and I had taken the kids to buy fireworks.  The kids each earned $10 from grandma for helping Jason tile the floor.  We thought they would have fun picking and buying their own fireworks this year.  They each brought an extra $5 from what they already had saved up...so they had a total of $15 to spend.  We first drove around and stopped at 4-5 firework stands to see which place had the best deal.  We finally found one that was extremely reasonable and fair.  The kids were thrilled to finally stop and begin spending!  It was so much fun watching the kids' excitement as they went from one area of the tent to the next deciding what they could get their money's worth, and boy did they ever!!  Jessica and Jacob came out with the most items because they each had gotten the exact same thing :)  Jesse and Joshua had the least, but the items they had gotten did more things.  Bottle rockets, firecrackers, smoke bombs, snaps, snakes, whistlers, rockets, sparklers, fountains filled up a box!!  Jason bought two big boxes of the loud stuff.  We didn't overspend, because we knew his brother, Jon, would pull through with putting on a huge display of fireworks!! 
The week of the Fourth of July, Karma and I swapped kids.  Karma took Jessica and Jacob, and I took Carissa and Rebecca.  Doris had plans of putting the two girls and our older two boys to work before everyone came for the weekend.  On Tuesday, Jason took the two boys down  to the lake to trim the grass around the camping area and the path that leads down to the lake where we go swimming.  Doris took the girls grocery shopping and out for lunch.  All day Wednesday, Jason took all four kids and trimmed branches on both sides of the driveway...the driveway is about a mile long.  They worked on one side of the driveway all morning and finished the other side in the afternoon.  They then went down to help set up the tent that everyone wanted set up so they all could sleep down at the lake.
Because of their hard work, they each received $15 from grandma!!  Jason also decided to treat the kids to tubing and knee boarding, in which the kids were beyond thrilled to do!!
Later that evening, we had a surprise!  Jason's brother decided to come a day early!  It was fun hearing all the fun things that Jessica and Jacob were able to do with their cousins Abby and Jed.  They were able to go swimming at a community pool where they had a diving board and slide...that was the highlight of their visit :)  They were also able to go to Chuck E. Cheese to have a little fun playing the arcade games and they were treated to Sonic for their half priced shakes.  But their favorite was being able to surprise us all by arriving a day early :)
The kids had fun playing with their cousins and it was fun seeing them play games that we adults enjoy playing.  
The day before the fourth, Karma and I took the kids swimming while Jason and Mike worked on making mini catapults for the kids.  Jessica and Joshua were having fun diving down in the water and finding huge rocks that were loaded with zebra muscles!!  It was pretty cool!!  We were getting close to being done swimming when I hear Jessica say that she cut herself and that we needed to go back up to the house NOW!!  I hurried out of the water and rushed over to her as quickly as this preggo body could go, and saw the extent of the cut.  I realized the extent of her cut and told everyone to get out of the water NOW and we were heading back up to the house.  I wrapped Jessica's leg with one of the beach towels and helped her into the mule, everyone climbed in, and off we went.  Once we were back at the house, I told her to wait for me in the bathroom.  I sent one of the boys to go find Jason so he could come help me.  Once in the trailer, Jason was already in the bathroom with her taking a look at her leg.  We both knew she needed stitches, but we felt that it wasn't worth putting her through more trauma.  In the end, she would either have a big scar or a little scar, it would heal faster or take longer to heal.  We decided to just clean it as best as possible and bandage it up with some triple antibiotic ointment.  The picture below is what it looked like a week after when it had first taken place.  When we had told her that she couldn't go swimming or tubing for a few weeks, she was brought to tears.  She was so looking forward to tubing with her cousins :(  Jason felt bad but knew she had to wait, so in hopes of cheering her up a little, he gave her some of his bottle rockets and firecrackers.  That happiness lasted only for a short time.  
Later that evening, we took the kids back down near the lake to the campsite area so they could let off some of their bottle rockets and firecrackers.  The next day, the fourth, Jason took the kids tubing and knee boarding while Jessica and I sat up at the campsite so she could let off the extra stuff that Jason gave her.  She had fun, but was pretty sad about not being able to join in all the fun.
In the evening, we had a campfire and cooked out for supper and let the kids shoot off their fireworks as we waited until dark and for Uncle Jon to arrive with the "big stuff".  I failed to take pictures of the kids shooting off fireworks and the "main event", but the kids sure had a lot of fun!!
The day after the fourth, Jason couldn't take Jessica's sadness!! LOL!!  So he wrapped her leg up good and took her tubing with the rest of the kids.  He only let her go two or three times and then sent her back up to the house with me so I could clean her wound and re-bandage it.  That was enough to make her happy :)
As for the whole tent thing....well, half of the kids slept down there for two nights.  The first night, we had many kids bail out so we ended up having everyone else just come up since it was just two younger ones who were tough enough to handle it :)  The second night and third night, half stayed and they had fun playing games and staying up late, but due to the late nights the two older boys had gotten sick with fevers and coughs which eventually spread on to Jason.  The younger two were sick the week before with mild coughs and tiredness.  At least the tent had gotten some use out of it!
As for we adults, we just enjoyed each other's company as we played games over the four nights that they were all here :)  Looking forward to their next visit and it may be for when our little baby girl arrives!!

Rebecca holding a Rough Green Snake...a dead one :)

Playing Settlers Knights and Cities

Playing Scene It

Playing Scene It

A Russian uniform that Mike gave to Joshua

Ouch!!  But it's healing!!

Gardening, Reaping What We've Sown, and Canning!!

This years garden has been absolutely plentiful!!  Last year we lacked much needed rain.  This year, we have hardly had to water since we have had an over abundance of rain so far.  We still need to do some watering, but not as much as we had done last year.
Back in May, between my mother-in-law and us, we planted radishes, peas, tomatoes, corn, green beans, broccoli, green peppers, yellow squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, pickles, zucchini, and carrots!!!  WOW!!  What a load!!  So far we have had an over abundance of tomatoes, green beans, peas, radishes, zucchini, yellow squash, and pickles!  The broccoli, green peppers, and corn really never amounted to much of anything.  Soon we will have an over abundance of acorn and butternut squash!  We are still waiting for our watermelon and cantaloupe to ripen.
So this year, we have been doing some canning and freezing.  So far Doris and I have canned stewed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and dill pickles.  Doris blanched some of my green beans, sealed them, and froze them.  This afternoon, I am hoping to grate my zucchini so I can freeze it for making breads and bars throughout the year like I had done last year.
We are thankful for the "fruits" of our labor!!

Tiling the Basement

The following week we came back from Texas, Jason was put to work once again.  This time he was tiling his parent's basement.  The plan was to re-tile the kitchen and to rip up part of the carpet from the back door all the way up to the section of the wall where the kitchen ends and tile all that.  Reason being, is so I could do school in the basement with the kids in order to help free up our crowded trailer.
Jason did a real nice job of the tile and his mom was very pleased with how it all turned out!!  Once the tile was finished, the following day we started bringing over a filing cabinet, a tall book shelf, and this years school curriculum.  Within a few days, I was able to get everything organized before company came for the Fourth of July!
Looking forward to giving this a try and see how well it works for the kids and I.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sea World!!

We were given the opportunity to take the family to Sea World while we were down in Texas!!  One of Jason's cousins had blessed our family with some money so we could do something fun together as a family.  Jason finally finished his sister's floor on Sunday evening, so on Monday, we took the kids to Sea World!!  We ended up paying more than what we had expected and wished that we would have looked on line more closely to see that we could have saved ourselves some money if we had purchased our tickets on line.  We didn't have the heart to turn around and go back to his cousin's house, so we "coughed" up the extra money and went anyways.  We were so thankful that we did!!  We knew it would be a once in a life time event for us all and in the end, we sure had a lot of fun and made many memories!!
We had a schedule that was given to us as we entered the park so we could try and make as many shows that we possibly could.  We were able to see the Sea Lion show, in which Jacob was able to help be apart of the show, the Azul show, Beluga show, Shamu story, Cannery Row Caper show, and an extreme ski show!!  We brought a lunch along and ate in the air conditioned car.  It was a very hot day, so getting into a show and sitting down under a roofed building brought such relief!  For the Shamu shows, we tried to sit in the Splash Zone in hopes of getting splashed...and did we ever!!  Very salty too!!
There were a few roller coaster rides and water rides, so when we knew we had seen all the shows that we had wanted to see, we decide to take a break from the shows and let the kids ride on some of the rides.  There were two main roller coasters, the Steel EEL and the Great White.  The kids LOVED those rides!!  Sadly, Jessica and Jacob were too short to ride the Great White, but they had fun on the Steel EEL.  We then took them over to the water ride called Journey to Atlantis.  Your rode it like a roller coaster.  You first went straight up, then it turned you around and had you go backwards, then it turned you around one more time and you went down a huge drop and ya got wet.  I sat out on all the rides, of course, and as I watched this water ride, I noticed that a bunch of kids would stand along side one end of the railings near the water ride.  As the people came down that huge drop, a HUGE wave would wash over the entire railing drenching anyone who stood near by!!  When the kids had gotten off the ride, I told them to stand over by the railing in the corner and to hang on tight...the splash was so immense that I would knock you over!  I even told Jessica to hang on to her glasses.  The kids had no idea what to expect!!  When that wave came crashing over, the kids were screaming in delight!!!  "That was AWESOME!!"  So they stood there for several turns and were just drenched!!
The last show we had gone to was the Shamu Celebration.  It was an evening show with lots of lights, music, and tricks from the Killer Whales.  
Again, we were thankful that we decided to stay and pay that extra cost!!  It will be a day that we will never forget!!

Jacob was picked out of the crowd to help be apart of the Sea Lion show!!