Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Ice Cream

Snow Ice Cream
6 qts. snow (fluffy, not packed)
1 qt. heavy whipping cream (or half and half)
1 1/2 cups sugar
8-10 caps full imitation vanilla (or 4-5 if using real vanilla)

Mix sugar and vanilla; stir in whipping cream.
Start adding snow 2 cups at a time until thick.

We made snow ice cream for the first time.  The boys had had it another time with Miss Michaela while we were away, but any way, we made it together as a family this time and it was surprisingly very good!!!  

This is from the Duggars. 
This is where I was slipping and sliding around!!!!!

Yes, yes it does say NEGATIVE 4.2 degrees!!!!!

Snow Days!

It's funny how we have snow in our forecast often these days and don't see a thing or just a few flurries at most, but the day NO snow is expected, we get a full two days worth of snow enjoyment!  This was day 1.  We had snow falling from about 9 am until about 8 pm.  It is so peaceful and beautiful to watch!  God is good!  When the boys got up that morning, Ryan asked for snow and I said we would need to pray and ask God.  So we did.  And He answered our prayer!

Sledding on a cardboard box.  If you're wondering where Hunter is, he has already had enough (after about 3 minutes) and was inside taking off his 15 layers!  Andrew LOVED it out there though and fussed when we had to bring him in.

His shoes look huge because they are!  He's wearing Hunter's!  Andrew is a true TN boy!  He does not like to keep shoes on, no matter the temperature.  We lost his last pair.  Or rather, HE lost his last pair!

Day 2 of snow!  We got about 3.5 to 4 inches!  Sean even got this day off of school, which was so nice to have some extra time with him. 

I don't think he would have gotten very far any way.

Lily LOVED playing in the snow!  She even got Allie liking it!


Where'd our driveway go!?  Definitely snowed in!

March For Life pictures

Here are some pictures from the March from last weekend.  I had been trying to upload some pictures all week, with no success.  BUT I am able to do it from Sean's Macbook!  :)

Homemade Vapor Rub

“Better-Than-Vicks” For Little Ones Under Two

*Please note that only lavender and chamomile are generally considered safe for babies under two months, eucalyptus (the smithii variety) can be introduced at two months and tea tree can be introduced after 6 months. Essential oils are very potent so use sparingly, alternating with this method for very young babies.


  1. Melt beeswax/tallow and shea/cocoa/mango butter in a double boiler.
  2. Once melted turn off the heat and add coconut oil and essential oils.
  3. Pour into a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Makes about 3/4 cup.
Can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 year.

She recommends to put it on the chest and then also under the four smallest toes. 

We just made a batch yesterday.  It was super simple to whip up and it seems to be working well.  I don't know about your household, but here in ours the winter just seems to bring about the goop (AKA congestion and cough!)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

4th Child

For those wanting to know, posting another quick update. 

I went to the OB yesterday, yes, the weekly visits!!!, and me and baby are good. 

I was checked, but there is no dilation or effacement currently. 

The OB gave me the go ahead to try to start labor on my own.  She said that although I am 37 weeks and full-term isn't until 39, she is fine with me trying to get things going.  Of course, it's all God's timing!!!  And I'm pretty sure he doesn't need any help!  lol 

She also said that by feeling my belly that this baby isn't more than 6 pounds, unless s/he is hiding super well in there.  She did not think I was headed down the nine pounder road.  Any way, again, only God knows. 

Of course, healthy baby, healthy mama is our prayer!  :) 

Sean got the made especially for baby take home outfit so now I think we are officially ready!  If only we could get out of our snow and ice covered steep driveway!  lol

To Train Up A Child

Over the last several years we have read several books on disciplining and correcting children.  We have enjoyed the ones we read and felt like the information was really good.  But that is about as far as it went.  I don't know if it was just a lack of discipline on our part or if it was something else. 

At the start of the New Year, I became fed up.  I was feeling tired, overwhelmed, stressed, angry, and impatient.  Losing my joy.  I was not being the wife and mother I wanted to be.  I felt like we couldn't even really take our children out because I would get too stressed with the way they were acting.  A handful!  Church was another place where I felt so stressed out and inpatient with them. 

We had to do something!  I shared my heart with my husband and he agreed.  Thank the Lord there is a couple in our church who have perfect, well-behaved children.  Well, OK NOT perfect, but they are a VERY good example of what it looks like to be disciplined enough to discipline their children.  And they have well-behaved children.  And they don't look frazzled or stressed.  And they can enjoy an outing out or a sermon at church.  We decided to ask them for their wise counsel, which thankfully they gave us! 

We met with them after church to unload all of our grief over our children and they listened intently and gave us so many different valuable tidbits of wisdom and counsel. 

They also let us borrow a book called To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl.  They have a ministry called No Greater Joy, as wellI had briefly heard of them before and I did sign up for their free magazine subscription not too long ago, but I wasn't all that familiar with them. 

Let me just tell you how much of a blessing this book has been.  Sean and I started reading a chapter or two a night and then we would discuss it.  As we read, we implemented the new things we were learning.  A few things, like keeping sugar out of the house and no TV, we did not implement, but for the most part we absorbed every bit of it and have been trying to apply it to our family.  It is so much more about training than disciplining. 

Within a day or so, joy started to return and stress, anger, and impatience started to dissipate.  The children are so much more well-behaved and they seem so much happier, as well.  Of course, we are still making mistakes and we are not perfect, but we are diligently working at it, with the good Lord's help. 

We also decided, besides church and groceries/errands, to not take the boys out in public until they are ready, which has been a huge help, as well.  Also, a nice time of year to do it since it has been so cold and it's flu season!  

It is absolutely true that you can have joyful, happy, obedient children and that you can be joyful parents!  It is possible! 

This book is a must read!
Front Cover

Monday, January 27, 2014

March for Life 2014

Last week marked the 41st anniversary of Roe v Wade.  More than 50 million babies have died.  Yesterday, we did a March for Life down in Knoxville.  Sean, Ryan, and Hunter got to go last year, but me and Andrew were in FL at that time. 

After Sunday morning services at our church, we all ate lunch together and headed down to Calvary Baptist in Knoxville where the March for life was being held.  They had a short rally, which included some of our state representatives, including Bill Dunn. 

Then we gathered up signage and headed outdoors to walk along Kingston Pike, which is a busy thoroughfare down in Knox.  We walked less than a mile and then buses took us back. 

I am so thankful to God that he allowed me to participate.  I had to work at 4 and made it just in time.....clocked in at 4:02!!!!!!  Sweet Alyssa Bates even drove my car down to Calvary so I could take a nap so I wouldn't be so exhausted by the time I got to work. 

I was very emotional during the whole experience. I'm sure partly because of pregnancy hormones, but also thinking of all these innocent lives that have been lost. 

For the most part, people driving by honked and waved, but a few had ugly comments. 

Most importantly, on Nov 4th, 2014 we need to vote YES on amendment 1 (for all those Tennesseans out there!!!)

TN is currently known as an abortion destination.  We have the fewest restrictions and more out of state abortion patients.  We do not have informed consent laws, no hospitalization requirement for 2nd trimester abortions, no required inspections or regulation of abortion facilities, and no 24 hour waiting period.  If amendment 1 passes, new enforcement policies could help protect these babies and the women and girls seeking to have an abortion. 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Guessing Baby Stats

For this baby, we decided to have a little fun and try to guess birth stats.  Whoever comes the closest will get a special treat.  I just had to share the guesses (especially Ryan's!!!)

Sean:  Did not guess gender, as he knows the gender!  Birthday 2/14 at 2000.  8 lb 12 oz.  20.5 in.  Brown hair. 

Me:  Girl.  Birthday 2/14 at 0733.  7 lb 12 oz.  21 3/4 in.  Brown hair. 

Andrew:  Girl.  Birthday 1/29 at 2200.  9 lb 1 oz.  22 in.  Red hair.   If you're wondering how we got answers from our 1-year-old, we just said the numbers and other choices and when we got a reaction from him, we went with it.  :)

Hunter:  Girl.  Birthday 1/31 at 0900.  7 lb 15 oz.  22 in.  Brown hair. 

Ryan:  (THIS ONE IS FUNNY.....AND NOT NICE!)  Boy.  Birthday 3/9 (Let me remind you my due date is 2/17!) at 1400.  10 lb 15 oz.  24 in.  Red hair. 

My good friend Carly wanted to guess, too, so here's hers!  :)  Girl.  Birthday 2/22 at 1100.  8 lb 12 oz.  21 in.  Lots of medium brown hair. 

Oh and Sean read the blog last night and mentioned that I should have written down what God created each day!

Day 1:  Light
Day 2:  Firmament
Day 3:  Land, sea, fruit, trees, grass, herbs
Day 4:  Sun, moon, stars
Day 5:  Fish and fowl
Day 6:  People and animals
Day 7:  Rest

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Proud (Humbly So) Parents

I had posted a few posts ago that we, as a family, were trying to learn the 66 books of the Bible in order.  Well, we have done it!  All of us!  OK, not Andrew, but maybe he does know them all; just can't say them because he has 2 words:  ba-ba and da-da and he has MULTIPLE meanings for those 2 words.  I exaggerate.  He also says hi and bye.  And hot.  He's our slower talker.  He does a great job of being the baby.  Not for long.  OK, totally off subject. 

So, any way.  We can recite the 66 books of the Bible.   Pastor Bates had given the whole church the challenge of knowing them by the end of January.  He also gave personal challenges to different age groups so whoever can do it in front of church for their age group gets $25.00.  Ryan was all prepared and kept talking about doing it, but when it came time, he got a little too shy.  However, much to our surprise, Hunter says that he will do it, walks up in front of the whole church, and with just a little bit of Daddy's help, says all 66 of 'em!  BARELY above a whisper!  So, he got the money for his age group of 0-2 years.  He has decided to pick a toy from Toys R Us, which we are going to take him this weekend to get.  He's super excited!

So, here's the link to the song that helped us all to learn the books of the Bible.  Of course none of us can recite them without singing them!

We also just taught the boys what God created on each of the seven days (well 6 really, since he rested on the 7th), which is something else that Pastor Bates encouraged us to do and I encourage you to do!  :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quickie Ultrasound Update

This is going to be quick because I have to get ready for work, but Sean and I went to the ultrasound this morning and baby looks great!  I am not measuring under after all.  On the contrary, I am measuring over.  I'm 35 weeks, but measuring at 37.  Baby is measuring about a pound over at 6 lb 4 oz currently.  Everything looked good- fluids, heartbeat, all those types of things.  Head is down and baby has a TON of hair!!!!  A very long baby, too.  I guess I was measuring under because of the way the little one is positioned in my belly.......legs and feet all the way over to the right side.  Any way, we are praising God and are very thankful for a healthy checkup!  Afterwards, we were able to have a lunch date, which was soooo nice because we sprung it last minute on Michaela, who was watching our little guys at home.  She is amazing! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend in Review

We headed off to North Carolina late Friday and arrived close to one in the morning.  We were there for Sean's grandma's memorial (she passed away a few days before Christmas).  We got to see Sean's parents and sister and most of his extended family.  We also got to meet our nephew for the first time (he is 6 months old now).   The night we arrived, the boys would not go to sleep till after three in the morning, which was challenging, and we woke up to a dead car battery because we left the DVD player plugged in!  We had to be up at seven to get ready for the memorial.  We were staying in Durham, but the service was an hour away in Sanford.  It went really well. It was very sweet, and sad, but I could feel God's presence as we gathered together to celebrate her life. 

By evening time, I was exhausted and not feeling very well.  Thursday night I awoke in the middle of the night feeling really awful and Saturday night it felt like the same thing so I stayed behind while the rest of the family went to dinner.  The extra rest really helped and praise God, I am feeling much better and I'm still pregnant lol! 

Yesterday morning we traveled to Winston Salem to visit our friends' church and then over to the children's hospital to visit them.  They just had a baby 11 days ago.  The baby's heart and lungs were not working immediately after a home birth and so baby has been in the hospital ever since.  The doctors think it was due to meconium aspiration.  He was on a machine was that was pumping out all of his blood and carbon dioxide.  He was taken off that and has been doing well.  His lungs still aren't working great and he has a lot of secretions with labored breathing and high respirations.  We were able to spend some time with them yesterday and hope that we were an encouragement.  We did not get to meet the little guy, but God's plans are best because I don't know emotionally if I could have handled seeing least I probably wouldn't have been as strong as I would have liked to have been.  Of course, we do want to meet him, but hope to when he is back home in Virginia.  Their family is amazing and has been doing really well through this whole trial.  Of course it has been rough, especially with seven other children to care for, but they are resting in God's strength and His peace.  We were just grateful for God's timing and that He allowed us to be able to go see them on the way back to TN. 

So, we got back last night and it feels good to be home.  :)  Speaking of home, we found out on Friday that the owners of this home are putting it on the market.  Well, we knew they were, just not in January.  Our lease is good until July.  We are just praying for God's will and His wisdom and guidance.  If it hasn't sold by July, they will let us do a month to month.  We are starting to keep an eye out on a new rental home.  We do love where we are right now, but we are excited to see God's plan for our family. 

Tomorrow is our ultrasound to check on the baby since I'm measuring small.  We are excited to see him/her and I'm excited that Sean gets to come with me to an appointment!!!  :)

Psalm 143:10

King James Version (KJV)
10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Update on Managers of Their Homes

A while back I had posted about the book Managers of Their Homes by Teri Maxwell.  It has been such a tremendous help in creating an environment that functions smoothly.  We have been pretty good with sticking to it, too, except over the holidays.  And during this time we noticed a change in our children's attitudes (not for the better). Well, I sat down yesterday and added baby Hailey....or Lucas...... to the schedule.  It was a little worrisome and tedious, but I think I am pleased with the end result and I hope it will work well for us.  If not, I know we can always change something around. 

We have never really put our new babies on a schedule.  Loosely, maybe.  This time around we are shooting for a 3 hour nursing schedule, except for through the night, and more consistency with nap times.  of course, if we see that baby needs more nourishment, we will change the schedule around. 

Another new thing we are going to try is NO co-sleeping.  I have put all three babies in bed with us.  Halfway because of laziness and halfway to protect my little ones (in my mind).  Sean has not really liked any of the babies in the bed with us, so I have decided I need to honor my husband.  We have the bassinet in our room and it's all ready for a baby (just like the other 3 times), but I am going to purpose to use it for the baby this time and not just for storing blankets, bibs, and burp cloths.  We also put our rocker in our room so I have no excuse to feed the baby in bed in the middle of the night. 

Again, this book is the best and I think can be a real blessing to many mamas out there.  :)

I really like how the schedule starts at 2 weeks of age, which will give our family time to readjust to having a new baby and time to recuperate and visit with family and friends that may come.  After 3 months of age, the book says that wake times will be adjusted (awake for longer periods) all the way to 18 months, where then the baby will be on the other boys' schedules.  Feed times are adjusted if necessary. 

Daily Schedule Mom Ryan-4 yrs Hunter-2 yrs Andrew-1 yr
6:00 AM Nurse/devotions      
6:30 AM Shower/get ready      
7:00 AM        
7:30 AM Make breakfast/cleanup      
8:00 AM Morning routine w children Morning routine and chores  Morning routine Morning routine
8:30 AM Eat breakfast/Bible time Eat breakfast/Bible time Eat breakfast/Bible time  Eat breakfast/Bible time 
9:00 AM Nurse  Alone time  Alone time  Alone time 
9:30 AM Diaper changes  Potty Diaper change Diaper change 
10:00 AM Ryan school/violin  School/violin Educational DVDs Free time/Educational DVDs in jumper
10:30 AM        
11:00 AM Lunch & Bible time/cleanup Art/lunch & Bible time Art/lunch & Bible time Free time/lunch & Bible time 
11:30 AM        
12:00 PM Nurse Alone time Alone time With Mom
12:30 PM Walk/play outside Walk/play outside Walk/play outside  Walk/play outside 
1:00 PM Nap prep/storytime  Nap prep/storytime  Nap prep/storytime  Nap prep/storytime 
1:30 PM Nap for me Nap Nap Nap
2:00 PM Honor hubby/Phone calls & texts      
2:30 PM Computer/office work      
3:00 PM Clean      
3:30 PM Workout      
4:00 PM Nurse/read      
4:30 PM Wake up children/fold laundry Wake up/fold laundry Wake up/fold laundry Wake up/Exersaucer
5:00 PM Dinner prep Feed animals/dinner prep/movie in office  Dinner prep/movie in office  Free play/movie in office
5:30 PM        
6:00 PM Eat & Bible time/cleanup Eat & Bible time/cleanup Eat & Bible time/cleanup Eat & Bible time
6:30 PM        
7:00 PM Nurse 1on1 time w Dad (10 mins)/play w AJB (10 mins)/play w HMB (10 mins) Play w Mom & AJB (10 mins)/1on1 time w Dad (10 mins)/play w RNB (10 mins) Play w Mom & HMB (10 mins)/play w RNB (10 mins)/1on1 time w Dad (10 mins)
7:30 PM Playtime w all children/family cleanup Playtime w all (incl 10 mins on tablet)/family cleanup Playtime w all (incl 10 mins on tablet)/family cleanup  Playtime w all/family cleanup 
8:00 PM Bath/family devotions Bath/family devotions Bath/family devotions Bath/family devotions
8:30 PM        
9:00 PM Nurse Good night! Good night! Good night!
9:30 PM Unfinished biz/ready for bed      
10:00 PM Devotions w Sean/TV/Relax      
10:30 PM        
11:00 PM Good night!      
Weekly Amendments  
Sunday Church, morn and eve Church, morn and eve Church, morn and eve  Church, morn and eve
Monday Ry violin lesson 3:30 Violin lesson    
Tuesday   Movie night Movie night Movie night
Wednesday Grocery list, church Church Church Church 
Thursday Farm/groceries Farm/groceries Farm/groceries Farm/groceries
Friday Date night/movie night with children 1st Friday Ice cream/movie night Ice cream/movie night Ice cream/movie night 
Saturday Family Day/10 mins w each child Family Day/10 mins w Mom Family Day/10 mins w Mom Family Day/10 mins w Mom
Sean's funny, isn't he!?  Hailucas. 
Daily Schedule Hailucas - 2 Wk to 3 Mo.
6:00 AM Nurse / sleep
6:30 AM    
7:00 AM    
7:30 AM    
8:00 AM    
8:30 AM    
9:00 AM Nurse / stay awake  
9:30 AM    
10:00 AM    
10:30 AM Nap  
11:00 AM    
11:30 AM  
12:00 PM Nurse / stay awake
12:30 PM  
1:00 PM  
1:30 PM Nap
2:00 PM  
2:30 PM  
3:00 PM  
3:30 PM  
4:00 PM Nurse / stay awake
4:30 PM  
5:00 PM  
5:30 PM Nap
6:00 PM  
6:30 PM  
7:00 PM Nurse / stay awake
7:30 PM  
8:00 PM  
8:30 PM  
9:00 PM Nurse / sleep for night
9:30 PM  
10:00 PM  
10:30 PM  
11:00 PM  
Weekly Amendments  
Sunday Church, morn and eve
Monday Ry violin lesson 3:30
Wednesday Grocery list, church
Thursday Farm/groceries
Friday Date night/movie night with children 1 x per month
Saturday Family Day/10 mins w each child