Thursday, December 27, 2007

24 Weeks and Merry Christmas!


We're at 24 weeks this week! Only about 16 weeks until we meet our little guy! I can't believe it. Time has gone by so fast, and the next couple of months will fly by as well, I'm sure of it! Asher is really moving a lot, and I think I've felt him have the hiccups. Everytime he moves, I count my blessings. I know that's a lot of counting, but seriously, I do. I feel so blessed to be having another baby. I know that people do it every day, and that people take it for granted, but there's no way that I could ever feel that way...we waited so long. My sister asked when we would like to have our baby shower...woohoo...I can't wait! There are so many things that I still need to get, and because we don't use credit cards anymore, I've been putting it off. I need to get bedding for the crib, a carseat, and a breast pump (lol!) those are the priorities at this point! I have clothes, blankets, and enough diapers to last the first month at least. Sleep is getting a little bit uncomfortable, and I am feeling a little back pain here and there, but otherwise, I'm feeling good!

Merry Christmas! We had a great Christmas this year. After a small (ha!) crazy-pregnancy- induced-nervous breakdown (poor Kris-he's a trooper) on Saturday morning, we traveled to Neosho, MO and spent Saturday afternoon/evening with my family. It was so fun to see Reagan open her gifts, she was so smiley and was just amazed--she has to be one of the cutest babies! I got to hold baby Tre, and feed him his bottle--he is so precious, and reminds me so much of Bobby when he was a baby. Monday evening was spent with Kris's family. We went to church at Jill and Jay's church, and then came back to our house for finger foods and giving gifts to the kids. Christmas morning was a blast! Katie had so much fun, she was so excited about everything! She loved the her presents, and I was so proud of her for her thankfulness and gratefulness. We had a big brunch with my friend Melissa and her family, and everyone played the Wii all morning and part of the afternoon. It was a fun time. I will try and post some pictures here in a bit.

Katie and I have an exciting New Year's Eve party planned! Kris has to work, so Katie and I are going to party it up-just the two of us! Our plans so far (all planned by Katie!) include watching Snow Dogs, doing snappers and whatever other fireworks we can find from our canceled-by-the-flood Fourth of July and eating macaroni and cheese! We thought we might drive to Wal-Mart just before midnight and give Kris kisses to ring in the new year, but it might be safer to stay home. As crazy as it sounds, I am looking forward to just her and I staying up as late as we can in our jammies! Last time we tried this, just the two of us, we didn't make it til midnight! :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

23 weeks!

I visited Dr. on Wednesday, and everything seems to be going well. She was super pleased with my blood sugar levels. I gained 4 pounds this month-yikes! So 6 pounds all together. I am hoping to get through pregnancy having gained 15-20 pounds, so I can lose the baby weight and be healthier than I was before pregnancy. I really want to get a good stroller so that I can take walks and get healthy after Asher is born. On Christmas Day, we will be 24 weeks, and if you divide that into 4 week months, then we are 6 months along! I think that's a great day to celebrate making it to 6 months! :o)

Are you ready for Christmas? I am...I think. I still have 3 gifts to buy, and I still have to get a few groceries. As crazy as it seems, I will probably try and make a middle of the night trip to Wal-Mart to do my grocery shopping, either tonight or tomorrow night. It's just too busy there during the day. Katie and I went at 7:30 this morning to get cookies for her class party, and it was busy already!

Katie has just been so excited for Christmas this year. I think it's because we are having 6 days chock-full of Christmas-y activities. Last night was her party at karate, today is her party at school, tonight we're heading to the movies to watch National Treasure. Tomorrow is Christmas with my side of the family at Crystal and Michael's, Sunday is her program at church, and Monday is, of course, Christmas Eve with Kris's side of the family coming to our house. The big finale will come with Christmas morning, opening gifts, seeing what Santa brought, and having a big brunch. I'm excited about all of this too, really...her little craziness is starting to rub off on me!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blessings and Prayers

I am blessed to have a husband who has given his heart to God.
I am blessed to have an amazing daughter, who has also given her heart to God.
I am blessed to have a squirmy boy growing inside me...who will hopefully, someday give his heart to God.
I am blessed to have so many good friends that I know I will see in Heaven someday.
I'm so thankful for those things, because really, that's what it all comes down to.

There are lots of prayers that I want to remember to pray in the coming hours and days. I thought it might help if I list them here, so I won't forget:
Anita W.'s sister, Lana, for the lump in her neck to be benign.
Brother Todd Hamilton, from Katie's school, collapsed during Chapel today, and was life-flighted to Wichita.
Dustin and his family, his sister passed away in a car accident this past week.
Evelyn, struggling with TTC.
Anita B., being without her mom and Don for the holidays.
Tim and Trina, for Tim to progress and Trina to have comfort and strength.
Melissa and her family, for them to have safe travel home for Christmas.
The lady that Kris works with who is struggling with depression and sadness.
For all of my children in foster care who will be away from their Mom's and Dad's for Christmas.
For everyone who is alone or struggling this Christmas-God be with them and give them strength and hope.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

5 random things that bring me joy...

1. Kissing Katie's forehead.
2. Hot tea with splenda and milk.
3. Green depression glass.
4. Grapefruit.
5. The smell of fresh carnations.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Baby Jesus...

I just heard the song by Barbara Mandrell, "Born to Die"...and because I'm hormonal...and because of my softy, soft heart...I have big tears running down my cheeks! I was thinking about the words of the song...and really and truly...that is what Christmas is all about.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16. That, in a one verse nutshell, is what Christmas is all about. God knew, even on that beautiful night of Jesus's birth, that the plan for him was to endure a cruel death on the cross. Christmas is not about finding a pink game boy at the last minute, it's not about fixing the right food to impress your inlaws on Christmas Eve, it's not about stressing over the one string of lights on the tree that has quit...none of those problems or issues compare to the wonderous and amazing love of God when he gave his sweet tiny baby boy to us.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Catching up on some photo additions!






Katie received an orange tip addition to her yellow belt at Thursday night's Karate promotion! We are proud of her! She has really stuck with this, and she gets better all of the time!


Because we had an "ice day" Katie spent quite a bit of time "creating" (messes around the house) today.



22 weeks!

We're 22 weeks along this week. It's hard to believe that we only have 18 weeks to go! Kris thinks time will fly after Christmas, and I think he's right. Christmas week will be 24 weeks, and New's Year's Day will be 25 weeks, so time will be moving right along.

We have a day off school today, we've been having a little ice storm that has left everything very slick! Supposed to get one more round of freezing rain this afternoon, and rain and snow until Thursday this week! Yikes!

I'm trying to come up with my menu for Christmas Eve. Kris's family is coming over. So far, I have on my menu:

Salami roll-ups
BBQ Little Smokies
Hanky-Panky's
Pigs in a blanket
Sauerkraut Cheese Dip and Chips

I need to come up with some other ideas, for maybe some sweet stuff...mmm...making my list is making me hungry!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Winter-y weather!

It's sleeting here this morning, but I feel so much better today than I did yesterday. Yesterday I needed to call on my Lord, and I did, but it was a tiny, lame, quiet, unenthusiastic call to him...and He listened anyway, and brought a better day today. He brought a beautiful morning with my sweet girl. We woke up at 6 and talked and giggled and laughed until almost 7...He gave that to me...that precious time with her...was a direct gift from God! Goodness, I'm so grateful for that. It made my ENTIRE day so much better...I love her so much.


I ordered an outfit for Asher this morning. I still had some $ on my Gymboree gift card, so I got him a puppy outfit for church...maybe for his dedication day at Church. April and May are sometimes a little chilly, so I think they might be ok. So cute for our sweet boy!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The UPS man visited us today!

My super, wonderfully sweet friend Melissa sent this for Asher today! I just love, love, love it!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Junie B. Jones reading marathon!

Katie has been reading like crazy-cakes lately! We went to the library after school yesterday, and she chose 4 Junie B. Jones books and has read two of them already! I checked out Home to Harmony by Philip Gulley. I have only had time to read the first chapter, but I really like it so far. I hardly ever read...but I think I am going to try harder to make time to read both my Bible and other stories of families and faith.

Confession: I watched 3 (yes-three!) episodes of Grey's last night. Katie slept in her bed, and I hadn't watched any at all this season, so I decided I would just watch one on the laptop. I sort-of regret it, honestly, because I am so tired today...and because Grey's is obviously not about families and faith...yeah...not sure that was such a great idea to watch those. That's all I'm going to say about that for now.

Kris pulled in right as Katie and I were pulling out from our street today. He was so happy to see us, he loves that girl of ours so much! I miss him when he is gone to work all night.

I think that's all for today.

Monday, December 03, 2007

21 weeks-19 weeks until we meet our Asher!

19 weeks left to go! I can't believe this little pregnancy journey is more than half way over. I have been feeling little Asher move quite a bit. He has been a little wiggly worm! Kris found some things he really liked for Asher's room at Target. I just couldn't tell him no, it's his first, and possibly his only son. I really didn't want to go with a "theme" but we are going with the baby camping lodge/cabin feel. It's from Woolrich and it's really adorable, and it will be fine for his infant through toddler years. Kris just fell in love with it...and I just felt like he needed to be a part of creating Asher's room. We have definitely decided on his name being Asher. It just feels right, and we love the meaning behind it. Kris sent me this little exerpt about Pat William's book by that he got the name idea from, and I want to share it here:

Over Labor Day weekend 2004, Pat was in Peoria, Illinois as the guest of Northwoods Community Church. He watched the news as Hurricane Frances churned her way across Florida. Frances was the size of Texas and headed straight for Pat’s house in Orlando. After speaking at the church, the pastor accompanied Pat to the airport in case his flight was cancelled. The pastor asked Pat, “If you get marooned in Peoria, you can come with me to our 7:40 Club.” Pat asked, “What’s the7:40 Club?” The pastor explained that their club was a group of men who met on the first Saturday of each month at 7:40 a.m. Intrigued, Pat asked about the club. The pastor had stumbled onto 1 Chronicles 7:40. In the passage of Scripture, the Bible explains that a man named Asher had numerous descendants (26,000) and were “heads of families.” Pat pulled out his Bible and read the verse for himself. The “heads of families” were godly husbands and fathers, and also brave warriors and courageous men of strong convictions.
“If it hadn’t been for a hurricane in Florida, I probably never would have heard of Asher,” says Pat.
Ever since his life-changing experience in Peoria, Pat says he has been learning everything he can about Asher. Through his research, Pat discovered that Asher was the eighth son of Jacob whose mother was Zilpah. His name means happy and when Jacob blessed his sons in Genesis 49, he predicted that Asher’s food would be rich. Moses also blessed Asher and said that he would be favored by his brothers and that his feet would bathe in oil. (The lands once possessed by the tribe of Asher are still olive-growing regions to this day and provides an abundance of olive oil.) Pat says rabbinical literatures tells us Asher was honest and honerable. He was considered a virtuous man focused on bringing peace to his family and building relationships among his brothers. The 26,000 man tribe of Asher was not the most numerous but they were “choice” men, known for quality not quantity.
From what Pat discovered about Asher, it was clear Asher was a special man, complete in four dimensions of godly manhood: fatherhood, character, boldness and leadership. While God speaks quite pointedly about Asher, His description of him is compressed into a single verse. But God wants us to take note of Asher and learn some important lessons. “I believe God wants all of us, as men of God, to become spiritual descendants and imitators of Asher, complete in four dimensions of godly manhood,” says Pat.
Fatherhood: No amount of success can make up for failure in the home. Twenty-four million American children live in homes without a biological father. As the father of 19 children, Pat says the only man who is truly a failure as a father is the man who fails to love, discipline, affirm and teach his children God’s plan for their lives.
Character: In order to raise children of character, fathers must model it for them. A man of character has integrity (he is the same man at home, work and church). He displays honesty and owns up to his mistakes. He is diligent and hard working with an uncompromising commitment to excellence. He displays humility (confidence without arrogance) and patience.
Boldness: “A warrior is a man who lives to die,” says Pat. Everyone is afraid to die but the courage of a warrior gives him the strength to do the thing he fears.
Leadership: Kids want to lead. When given a chance to lead, they will astonish you with their ability to get things done.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Secret Post!

I did some Christmas shopping at LLBean.com today....look what I got for Daddy and Asher!!

I am so excited...I cannot wait until Christmas morning!! I think I am going to tuck Asher's little shoes right inside of Kris's big size 13's!

Monday, November 26, 2007

We're having a BOY!

We had another sonogram this morning, and we have a baby boy in there! We are so happy, and blessed, and thrilled...we're over the moon! :o)

We haven't told Katie yet, we'll tell her tonight.

Now...to do some shopping!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The best day ever-according to Katie!

Last night, we decided to go on a family date night. We went to Montana Mikes and got three matching plates of chicken strips with honey mustard and mashed potatoes and gravy-so yummy! Then we went to the mall and watched Enchanted-it was wonderful! We went to the bookstore, and Katie had a wonderful time picking out a chapter book. I also got a couple of things on my list for her there-a Junie B. Jones Diary and a anatomy book--she is loving science stuff! We went to Sears to get a couple of things Kris was needing (er...wanting). While we were in there, a girl said it was snowing outside. We went out to the car, and sure enough-big, beautiful snowflakes. Katie said, "this is a perfect day-2007!" She's so cute...she had a great time last night. There was something about the evening that I think we will always remember. I can't really put my finger on it, but we just had a really nice time together. We're so blessed to have each other. I love Kris and Katie so very much.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Praying...

I visited with my sister last night on the phone for two hours. It had been a long time since we had just talked and talked and talked. I love those conversations. I really needed to talk to someone and I think God prompted her to call and the exact right time.

There are some things I need to pray for, and a couple of them are not small, in fact, they are quite large obstacles, in the eyes and ways of man...but for God...NOTHING is impossible.

I need to pray for a miracle, for some way for me to be able to stay at home with our baby, and with Katie. It is not a small task, like I said, because we have a lot of debt that needs to be paid off before it can happen...but I believe that God can help me. I am going to start praying earnestly for it.

Yesterday was a difficult day at work. We had a lot of very sad referrals for children needing foster care. It was more than I could bear. There was one particular case that was probably the worst case of abuse I have heard of in a long, long time. It made me want to leave my job and never come back. Seriously. It made me want to hide out in my nice, safe, abuse-free home, and pretend that things like that don't really happen in our world. I also had some difficulty with co-workers, and I just don't understand why. It's something that I was not aware of that was a problem, but suddenly it is a problem with them...I need to figure it out. It is really, really bothering me.

The one thing I know...right now...right here...is that GOD-MY God in all of his majesty, infinite knowledge, grace, power and strength-has it all under control. None of my burdens am I carrying alone...not one single one...from the least to the greatest. That is comfort...true and real.

Monday, November 19, 2007

19 weeks! 21 weeks to go!

Hi. It's been a while since I updated. Kris had his wisdom teeth surgery, and it went really well! He has had very little pain or soreness, and has recovered so well-we prayed about it, but I'm still amazed! He actually went back to work last night.

We had our first Thanksgiving dinner at Jill and Jay's yesterday. We had smoked turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, dressing, chicken and noodles, 7 layer salad and pie. It was yummy! I am looking forward to this Thursday for my mom's Thanksgiving dinner. We always have a traditional roasted turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, kidney bean salad, green-jello salad, rolls, and several other wonderful things. I'm really looking forward to spending time with my family.
There is a certain comfort level that I have with my own mom and dad, I guess...that is very...well...comforting.

We are on week 19 this week with our precious little one. I see Dr. on Wednesday afternoon, and hopefully they will want to schedule another sonogram for sometime in the next couple of weeks. I am really anxious to do some Christmas shopping for him or her!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wiggly Hips and Wisdom Teeth...

Oh mylanta! It feels if someone has been trying to rip my legs from their sockets all night long. I guess this is the part where my hips start to loosen in preparation for giving birth. There are so many amazing ways that God designed our bodies to do this important job. Kris was completely amazed about how babies born via c-section sometimes have to have their lungs suctioned, because it just naturally occurs when they are born vaginally. I think we are both just amazed every day.

Kris is getting his wisdom teeth taken out in the morning. I am planning to stay home with him...the surgeon recommended that he have someone with him for the day. I think I am going to make him a variety of puddings and jell-o's for a soft foods buffet of sorts. He borrowed a PSP from someone at work so he will have something to do while he's recovering. I've heard that the surgery is more difficult the older you are...so I hope he does ok.

I need to update my Christmas List for Katie:
Wii-check! (Kris got it last week-thank goodness!)
Wii extra controller and game pack-check!
Pajamas-check!
Stocking stuffers-compact umbrella, socks, undies

Still need to get:
Joke and/or Riddle Book
Science Kit
Doodle Pony
Shoes w/wheels at Wal-Mart
Remote control helicopter
Barbie with the horse

Well, that's all for now.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Week 18-again...

Well, according to the sonograms we had last week, this is actually our 18th week, not last week...so I am just saying we are around 18-19 weeks along. I've really been feeling baby move around a lot, and I just LOVE that feeling.

Our weekend went by fast. We got up really early on Saturday morning to go to Kris's parents shop to help with their Christmas Open House. We got things set up, and then went to a few flea markets/antique malls to browse. I must have not been in the "mood" to go flea-marketing, because I didn't buy one single thing all day. It was just a long, tiring day. We got home around 8pm, and all went to bed. Yesterday was just kind of a rough day. I didn't feel so great, we got around late and missed church, then we all took a big nap in the afternoon. I think we were all three so tired from Saturday.

We officially have plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas with Kris's family. We are having Thanksgiving dinner with them this coming Sunday at Jill's house, and then Christmas Eve will be at our house.

Kris has to work Thanksgiving Day, but we are having dinner at my parents, so he will get to go with us and take a giant nap at Mom and Dad's. I'm really looking forward to that day. We have so many things to be thankful for this year. I was thinking back on 2007, and so many things have happened. Crystal and Michael had their car accident in April, their car flipped end over end once, and rolled two times, and all five of them were miraculously not injured. Also in April, Grandma Rench went to Heaven, even though it's painful for us, it's wonderful for her. She is with the two loves of her life: Jesus and Grandpa. Bobby got married to a great girl, Mary Ann, and they had their first baby, little Tre...what a blessing he is! And, of course, our pregnancy...what a miracle that is. I know there are other things that happened this year, that are really such amazing blessings...and I am so thankful for them...even though I might not remember them now.

We were saying our prayers together before dinner last night, and after we were finished, I told Katie that part of the reason we were getting our baby was because of her prayers. She has prayed every night, for probably the last year and a half for a baby. She always prayed, "Please let Mama get a baby in her tummy, and let it be a girl, and let it look just like me, only littler." I'm not sure if the girl part will be answered, but He sure has answered the baby part. I just love that little girl, she is an amazing blessing...we love her so much...even when she is ornery...she is still our sweet pea, and she always will be.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Our baby is a ...

...beautiful, healthy, wonderfully cute MYSTERY! We went for our 2nd sonogram this morning, and the technician was still not able to confirm the gender. Baby was sleeping all scrunched up at the beginning and through most of the measurments, etc. Then I patted my belly a few times, and it started moving it's arms and legs around (I didn't mean to startle it...I just wanted it to wake up so we could see!). She thought it might be a good opportunity to see something, but baby put it's little hand right over it's private area! :o) She thought she "may" have seen boy parts, but she could not confirm. My goodness...what a day! We are still so incredibly glad that everything is ok. The heart and all organs look great, and we are measuring at 17 weeks and 3 days, so the due date, according to the sonogram is April 14th or 15th. We feel so incredibly blessed...our baby is so precious...and it really doesn't even matter...we love it so much already...and knowing if it is a boy or girl is just a bonus. :o) We are so BLESSED!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Update from our sonogram...

We had our sonogram this morning, but our sweet baby had the cord between it's legs, so we couldn't see anything! Then the sonogram machine stopped working, so all of our measurements were lost. We get to go back in the morning at 10 for a "do-over"...for free! Our sweet little one is so very precious though. She was able to print 5 pictures for us, before the machine stopped. We feel so incredibly blessed-just to have seen a healthy heart and organs, precious tiny feet and a cute little fist and profile...so wonderfully adorable---I am in LOVE! I will try and scan some of the pictures when I get home this evening. I teach Deciding Together tonight, so it will be kind of late.

Yay-I'm a mom again!

Monday, November 05, 2007

18 weeks!

We are on the 18th week this week! I'm so excited! We had a busy weekend. Kris worked really hard and pulled out all of the weeds from the back of our property. They built new houses behind us, and the construction folks just let everything blow into the back of our fence row, and didn't develop the easement, so it was just a BIG mess back there. Kris worked so hard, I was really proud of him---the muscles...oh...the muscles! :o) I finally got Katie's new room cleaned out and the entire room painted. It is a really dark pink called Pretty Petunia. She loves it. I think Kris is going to try and work on replacing all of the trim in her room with white. I think it will be really nice. He has also been working on refinishing her bed (which was his and his mom's when they were little). So we have a lot going on.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before (JUST KIDDING!) but our sonogram is Wednesday--this Wednesday--as in 40 hours from now! I just CANNOT wait to know what we're having!

Saturday we're traveling down to Grove for the day, to help Kris's Mom and Dad with their Christmas Open House at their shop. I am going to bake cookies, and make some little appetizers to take and serve. I'm excited! She always has really beautiful stuff in her shop...and it's a great flea market too.

That's all for now...will definitly be updating Wednesday!

Friday, November 02, 2007

5 days until we KNOW (hopefully!)

The baby has really been moving A LOT in the past few days...I love this feeling. It is so reassuring to feel that little one in there! I know, I know, I've already mentioned this, but I am so excited--our sonogram is 5 days away! It will be so nice to do a little shopping here and there...knowing if we are having a son or daughter. I was looking at pictures of Katie right after her birth, and she was so incredibly precious and wonderful. I still can't believe I will get to experience that again...what a huge blessing!

Monday, October 29, 2007

17 weeks this week!


Yay! I can't believe how fast time is going now--we're 17 weeks this week! I have my triple screen test this week, and NEXT WEEK is our SONOGRAM! I am so stoked! I can' t wait to see if we're having a boy or girl. Kris and I feel so incredibly blessed! We were blessed just to have Katie, but to have another one...wow! The little photo above is from Gravityteen.com-it's a 17 week old baby 4D sonogram...so precious!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fun weekend...







We had a great weekend, lots of family time...sharing some pics! Bryce and Megan visited us and we went to the Neewollah parade! We carved our cat-o-lantern! Bobby and Mary Ann's sweet boy Tre arrived! He is precious! 19", 7#8oz--he's a sweetie pie! It was a nice weekend!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nursery ideas...

Kris and I went uptown today for lunch, and we stopped at the hardware store to get some brackets for his shelves in the garage. They have a beautiful home decor section so we browsed in there for a little while. We found some really wonderful things for the baby's room. There is a print/painted framed art, that has Sweet Dreams, and a little sentiment on it...it's a pretty dark baby blue with a dark brown frame. I am wondering about the possibility of doing the baby's room (if it's a boy) in dark baby blue and chocolate brown, and if it's a girl, in a darker baby pink and chocolate brown...with kind of a pottery barn feel. I think that would be so nice. Our crib and changing table are a walnut stain color, and the trim in the room is already walnut stain color too. I think it might be nice and calming. We are planning to have the crib, changing table, a rocker, and dresser in there. I can't wait to have it started. Ok--just needed to get these ideas down before I forget them!

happy and blessed

I had a doctor's appointment this morning, and I am just so happy. I got to hear the heartbeat--it was good and strong! Dr. was happy with my blood sugar levels, I only gained 1 pound and I don't have to go back for 4 whole weeks! Yay! I'm so incredibly blessed with this pregnancy...I never want to take it for granted.

I'm also happy that it is officially fall outside...the leaves are turning, the air is crisp, and it just feels great to be outdoors. Pam and I went for a walk last night, and I took a short one after my doctor appointment this morning. I know I can do those 30 minute walks every day, even if it's 10 minutes at a time! I want to do what's best for the baby...even if it means a little discomfort for me.

It's Neewollah week here, and the downtown area is FULL of food boothes, carnival rides, and the huge stage is set up! It's a weeklong celebration here that is just a huge deal! The Clydesdale horses are here, so I think we are going to try and take Katie down there after school to see them...Kris saw them this morning and said they are just beautiful!

It's a happy day...I am so blessed...thank you LORD! :o)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Forgot some blessings...




You know...today at work, I was just tired and didn't want to be there. I was updating my blog on my break, and just was feeling kind of blah...I completely forgot about some wonderful little blessings until I was uploading photos from the past few days. I forgot that Katie picked out a big ol' bumpy pumpkin at the Pumpkin Patch for Missions, and I forgot how nice it was to light the fireplace for the first time last night. I just wanted to add that here, because those...the little things...are so incredibly important.

16 weeks!

Not too much new to report today. I met with the dietician, and she taught me how to count carbs so that my blood sugar levels will even out. Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment, will hopefully hear the heartbeat with the doppler again...I've been kind of 'crampy" this week, so it will be a big relief to hear it. I think I have just been a little stressed...not sure why. We still have 24 weeks to go until we meet our sweet baby, but I am just so anxious to get the room ready. After we find out what we are having on November 7th, I will definitely be getting started on the room. We are trying to get Katie's new room cleared out so we can paint and re-do trim and doors, then we'll start on the babies room (Katie's old room).



Bobby and MaryAnn will be having their baby on Friday if she doesn't go on her own by then. We're all so excited to meet little Trey! I can't wait to hold him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

15 Weeks!

http://www.ehd.org/science_imagegal_4.php#12to16

Click the link above and scroll down to the middle of the page, there is an amazing 4D of a baby the same age as ours! So precious! I can't believe I have one of those miracles growing in ME!

We are 15 weeks this week, and suddenly, I feel ok about this pregnancy. There is something in me that just kind of relaxed this week, kind of like an internal sigh of relief. I have been so nervous and scared up to this point...just continuously worrying about the possibility of having to grieve again.

Pregnancy stuff coming up...
Friday, 19th-Meet with dietician
Wednesday, 24th-see Dr.
Thursday, 1st-lab tests-triple screen for Down's Syndrome
Wednesday, 7th-sonogram to see if we are having a daughter or son! :o)

Please keep praying for our little one!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A lot has happened since last Monday...

Anita had her baby on Monday, October 8th at 3:18 pm! He weighed 8.54 lbs and has dark hair. He decided to arrive on his own! Katie and I jumped in the car and drove to KC to see them. It was so nice to be there and see him and see Anita. Aiden is precious--just the sweetest little guy in the world! Mama did great-I knew she would!

Tuesday I took Katie to karate, and when I got home, I was super-ill...fever, vomiting, the whole nine yards...I felt awful. The next morning I went to go see the doctor, because I was really worried about the fever. She wanted to admit me to the hospital for fluids, but I promised I would drink and rest if she let me go home. She did a sonogram in the office to check baby, and baby is fine...great heartbeat, and I was able to see those precious arms and legs! She did a strep test, and it was positive...I had no idea that strep throat was the culprit...It really did me in, I felt terrible until Friday afternoon when the antibiotics finally kicked in. We scheduled our sonogram for Wednesday, November 7! We're so excited to find out what we're having-it's like another wonderful level of happiness! We're 15 weeks this week! Yay!

This weekend Kris cleaned and stained the new swingset. I think Katie is going to love it when it gets finished! It is looking really nice. Kris has worked so hard on it...he is a great dad!

Monday, October 08, 2007

14 weeks this week!

We saw the doctor last week, and she has decided to take an average between the day that our sonogram indicated we were due, and the date of my last cycle...so rather than 13 weeks tomorrow, we're calculated to be at 14 weeks. We were able to hear the heartbeat again, and it was such a beautiful sound! We also found out that we will be having the sonogram to determine whether we are having a boy or girl on November 8th-just a month away! I am so excited! It will be wonderful to be able to start collecting things in colors besides yellow and white! Doctor is a little bit concerned about my blood sugar, so she is having me take several tests and check my blood sugar. I'm feeling a little better, and starting to have little bursts of energy here and there...those are nice.

We had MaryAnn's baby shower this weekend, and it went well. We also moved our garage sale find of the century (an amazing swingset and fort for Katie) into our backyard. I didn't get a lot of other things accomplished this weekend.

Anita's baby is coming on Friday! I'm so excited for her! :o) Yay!

Monday, October 01, 2007

12 weeks this week!

http://www.kewego.com/video/iLyROoaft2Jb.html

Check out this amazing 4D Ultrasound of a baby the same age as ours! I am just completely in awe of how amazing it is! I'm really hoping the next trimester will bring some energy. I have been so tired this first trimester. I don't remember being this tired with Katie.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Adding to Katie's Christmas list...

I have decided that I am going to keep track of all of the Christmas ideas floating around in my head right here...so I know where they are. Kris and I were talking about Katie's list, and he wants to add a bb gun and UNO Attack game....sounds to me like he wants to get a bunch of Katie's gifts for himself! :o)

Today I brought Roger Whitaker with me to work, and I tell you, there is nothing like his voice to bring about Christmas memories. I know I am just crazy, thinking about Christmas so much, but I love it, I can't help myself.

I think Katie is spending the night with Mom tonight. Dad is going to a rendezvous so Katie is going to go hang out with Mom and get ALL of the attention! She loves that. I think that might be her favorite thing ever, hanging out with her Grandma. I think I am going to scrapbook...possibly. The house is a disaster, so I should probably clean, but I would really like to scrapbook. It's the only thing I can think of to do that doesn't cost money, because I already have everything I need to do it.

Baby notes-My friend Anita is expecting little Aiden any day now...I am so excited for them! She is going to be an awesome mom!

We have a doctor appointment next Thursday, I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

craziness!

The last 24 hours has been: craziness. Kris left for Emporia yesterday, and I realized that I had sent the wrong bank card with him. He had hardly any cash, no other credit cards, and no checks. I called him a bunch of times to figure out what to do. He ended up borrowing some $ from a friend, and is driving home today as scheduled. Katie got home from daycare yesterday, went to the neighbors to play for a few minutes, and came home saying her legs hurt and she was cold. I took her temperature, and it was 102.4! She had a fever for most of the evening...bless her heart. She was achy and just didn't feel good. This morning, at 5:45 am, Maddie was in the back yard for her bathroom break, she escaped out of the fence, and I had to chase her down in my pj's. She still didn't come to me, so I finally went back inside. She finally came when Katie offered her some cheese. Then I spanked her bottom and put her in her crate. I tell you, I don't think things are working out with her. I am so stressed about her all of the time. I worry that our home has doggie odor and it won't be clean for the baby, I worry that she is not out of her crate enough, I don't trust her to be in the house at all anymore. It's so frustrating. I am not sure what to do. Ok-vent over. I just needed to get my frustrations out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's 3 months until Christmas!




Yay! My favorite season is almost here! In fact, I know I am insane, but I have a yummy spice candle burning, and my Chet Atkins-East Tennessee Christmas cd playing right now here at work. It's cloudy today, not too warm, and I love it.

Kris left for Emporia for a training for work, so I think Katie and are going to just have an easy dinner (probably Mac-n-cheese, carrots, and mini corndogs) and spend some time together. She has karate tonight too, she loves it so much! Her favorite thing to do these days is draw pictures for me. She sits at the bar while I clean the kitchen, cook dinner, or whatever, and asks me what I would like her to draw. It's amazing-she's seven-but she can draw almost anything in incredible detail. She's gifted, I tell you! I will try and scan some of her most recent ones to add here later.

We are 11 weeks pregnant, according to the ultrasound, today. It's hard to think that just a couple weeks ago, I thought I was already this far along. I think next week will finally feel like we are making progress through the pregnancy. I had Kris take some pictures of me this morning, just to compare later as I get bigger, and have some photos from my pregnancy. I only have 2 pictures of being pregnant with Katie...I wish I had more. I am so glad I have a good camera for this baby. I want to make sure to take lots of pictures during labor and right after delivery. I have very few from Katie's birth. We only had a film camera back then, so the digital will be nice to have.

I have been thinking about Christmas gifts, and this year will be the most financially limited that we have ever been, because we no longer use credit cards. Every year I go overboard and have a huge credit card bill. This year, we will be using a little bonus that Kris will get in December. We have to buy all the presents with just that money, because our budget is so tight each payday. We would like to get a Wii for Katie, and had bought a game bundle with an extra controller a long time ago to go with it. I think she'll also be getting Little House on the Prairie-Season 2 DVD's. Both of those are kind of family presents, that we will all enjoy. I would like to get some things for the baby, because by Christmas we should know what we're having! :o) I think Katie would like to open the presents for the baby, just for fun. She wants the Barbie with a horse at Wal-Mart, and she also would like the Littlest Pet Shop Guard Dog Diary...so we will see on those things...I might try and buy one of those little gifts each payday within the next 3 months.

We continue to pray for Tim and Trina Holsinger. He was moved to a rehabilitation center in Nebraska this week. If you go to caringbridge.org you can type in his full name with no spaces and read Trina's amazing testimony and updates on Tim. I read it everyday, and Trina has been such an inspiration. She has an amazing faith, and God is working through her to minister to everyone who reads it. She shared this verse today:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God;Trust also in me.-Jesus
John 14:1

I think that's all for now. Sorry so rambly today---lots going on in my brain!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm so blessed.

Yesterday, Katie and I had such a rough morning, she couldn't find her shoes, I lost my temper, and we both ended up in tears. It was just difficult.

This morning, as I type this, she is sleeping peacefully in our bed. With Kris working overnight, she usually sleeps with me on those nights. Last night, I asked her one more time if she could forgive me for losing my temper, and once again, she reminded me of what Christ's love is like for us. She said, "of course I do, Mom, I'll always forgive you." That's how Christ loves us-never-ending, constantly forgiving, always faithful, never forsaking us if we belong to him. Sometimes I need to remind myself to actively accept his forgiveness and grace. There is nothing I can do to earn it-nothing in this whole world can buy that grace and love that He gives. It's truely amazing what a free and wonderful gift that is.

I am so blessed to have that beautiful daughter in the other room, and another tiny one on the way. I am so blessed to have a husband that loves God, never abuses me, always loves and forgives me (and is handsome too!). I am blessed to have a safe home, reliable vehicles, a good job, so many things...huge things...that I take for granted sometimes. Lord, please help me be thankful.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fall Goodies!

Memories of fall…
Making pumpkin cut-out sugar cookies w/Mom, our scarecrow-“Maynard”, dressing up like a hobo when we couldn’t think of anything else, winning the $1 first prize for my gumball machine costume that mom and dad stayed up late working on, having fall parties, with bonfires, spooky hay rides, and peeled grapes for eyeballs, popcorn balls, caramel apples, mom’s wonderful fall decorating with pumpkins, corn stalks, and fall leaves, good smelling candles, carving pumpkins with Dad...just a few of my favorite memories of fall...

And some pumpkin-y goodness recipes for fall (collected from a wonderful thread on Two Peas)

Pumpkin Recipes:

Pumpkin & Apple Soup with Roasted Black Walnuts
I originally tried this recipe a few years ago, but this particular recipe was just in the Ontario LCBO Food & Drink magazine. 1/4 cup butter 3 cups chopped onion 6 cups chopped pumpkin or squash 2 cups peeled and chopped Spy or Granny Smith apples 1 tsp brown sugar pinch cinnamon pinch allspice 1 tsp salt 5 cups vegetable stock or water salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tbsp roasted black (or regular) walnuts fresh sage leaves In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and apples and cook until softened, another 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and spices, then pour in the stock and simmer 30 minutes. Meanwhile, roast walnuts in a 350F oven for 5-6 minutes. Watch carefully, as they burn fast. Remove from heat, blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To garnish, grill or pan sear some apple slices and add roasted walnuts and sprig of sage. I have never done it, but it would be great to serve pumpkin soup in a hollowed out pumpkin.

SPICED PUMPKIN PANCAKES
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour 3 tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/3 cups whole milk 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin 4 large eggs, separated 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Vegetable oil Maple syrup Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick). Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions. Brush large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with oil between batches. Serve with syrup. Makes about 12.

Pumpkin Sour Cream Tarts
Crust: 1 3-oz. softened cream cheese 1 cup flour Filling: 1 egg 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup dairy sour cream 1 TBS. milk 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice Chill crust about 1 hour. Shape into 1 inch balls. Press into bottom and up sides of mini-muffin tins. Fill with 1 rounded teaspoon of filling. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350ºF. Cool slightly in pan. Serve with dollop of whipped cream.
Praline Pumpkin Pie 1-15oz can of pumpkin 1-12oz can evaporated milk 3 eggs 1 cup sugar 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 1 pkg Betty Crocker super moist white cake mix 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts 3/4 cup melted butter or margarine Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9 pan. Stir pumpkin, ev. milk, eggs sugar and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Pour into pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle with pecans. Pour melted butter evenly over top. (Try to cover all of the dry cake mix. You can use more butter if you need to.) sprinkle with pecans. Bake 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Pumpkin Bars
2 C. sugar 1 C. Oil 2 C. pumpkin(15 oz can) 4 eggs 2 C. Flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp cinnamon mix together sugar, oil, pumpkin and eggs in big bowl. In seperate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Add the dry to the wet and mix until combined. Bake in greased 10x15 jellyroll pan(I use the PC stone) at 350 for 25 minutes. When cooled frost with: 1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened 6T butter, softened 1 tsp milk 1 tsp vanilla 1 3/4 C. powdered sugar mix all until smooth

Pumpkin Polka Dot Cupcakes
Ingredients: 1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened 1 large egg 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2/3 cup NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels 1 pkg. (16 oz.) pound cake mix 1 cup LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin 1/3 cup water 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon baking soda Directions: PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Grease or paper-line 18 muffin cups. BEAT cream cheese, egg and granulated sugar in small mixer bowl until smooth. Stir in morsels. Set aside. COMBINE cake mix, pumpkin, water, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda in large mixer bowl; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Spoon about 1 tablespoon topping over batter. BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Harvest Muffins
1 3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp ginger 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/8 tsp. cloves 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp baking soda Mix all of the above in a large bowl. 2 large eggs 1 stick butter, melted 1 cup canned pumpkin 1 bag butterscotch chips In smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, and butter. Stir in butterscotch chips. Por into dry ingredients. Fold just until moistened. Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes for large or 12 minutes for mini muffins.

Golden Pumpkin Bars
1 yellow cake mix ¼ c. vegetable oil 4 eggs ½ c. chopped pecans 1-16 oz can solid-pack pumpkin 1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk 1 tsp almond extract 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp salt Preheat oven to 350 (325 for glass). Reserve ½ cup cake mix. In large bowl, combine remaining mix, oil, and 1 egg. Beat until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Press firmly into bottom of greased 13x9 baking pan. Combine remaining ingredients – including the ½ cup reserved cake mix. Mix well, pour over prepared crust in pan. Bake 50 minutes or until set. Cool. Cut into bars.
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen Show: Paula's Home Cooking Episode: Thanksgiving Cake: 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix 1 egg 8 tablespoons butter, melted Filling: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 8 tablespoons butter, melted 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. To make the cake: Combine all of the ingredients and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Prepare filling. To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

CREAMY PUMPKIN SOUP
3 slices bacon, diced 1 large onion, chopped 1 large carrot, shredded 1 (13-3/4 oz.) can chicken broth 2 cups half and half 1 (16 oz.) can solid-pack pumpkin 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper 1/4 cup sour cream Cook bacon til crisp. Remove with slotted spoon, set aside. Add onion and carrot to bacon drippings in pan. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, simmer, uncovered 10 minutes. Transfer to food processor or blender, process until smooth. Return to saucepan, stir in half and half, pumpkin, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, do not boil. Pour into soup bowls, top with reserved bacon and sour cream.

Pumpkin Bars
2C. Flour 2t Baking Powder 2t ground cinnamon 1t baking soda 1t salt 4 beaten eggs 1 16oz. can pumpkin 1 1/2 C sugar 1 C Oil Stir first 5 ingredients together. Combine egg, pumpkin, sugar & oil, beat until well mixed, add dry ingredients. Spread into ungreased 9 x 13 pan, Bake 350 for 25-30 mins. Cool Frosting (Double this) 1 3oz. package cream cheese 1/4 C butter 1t vanilla 2c sifted powdered sugar Mix first 3 ingredients, add powdered sugar for right consistency. (I usually add a little warm water or milk to mine) This is best if refrigerated but I like mine cold. These are delicious, easy to make, and are a holiday favorite.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups granulated sugar 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 cups LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin 2 large eggs 1/4 cup vegetable oil 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons butter or magarine For Muffins: Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease or paper-line 24 muffin cups. Combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine pumpkin, eggs and vegetable oil in medium bowl; mix well. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. For Struesel Topping: Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over muffin batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool slightly.

PUMPKIN CREAM TRIFLE
1 box (18 ¼ ounces) spice cake mix 1 box (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix 1 cup canned pumpkin ½ cup water ½ cup vegetable oil 3 eggs 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger 2 cups cold milk 2 boxes (3.4 ounces each) instant cheesecake pudding mix—Jello makes this flavor 2 cups Cool Whip 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted ¾ cup English toffee bits In a large bowl, combine first eight ingredients. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Let cook on a wire rack. In another large bowl, whisk the milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes to soft set. Gently fold in Cool Whip. Cut cake into 1” cubes. In a trifle bowl, layer 1/3 of the cake cubes, pudding mixture, pecans and toffee bits. Repeat layers twice. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread
INGREDIENTS 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree 4 eggs 1 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup water 3 cups white sugar 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.




Pumpkin Bars
Note: These are cake-like and moist in texture rather than firmer, denser or with a crust and topping like other bar-type desserts. 2 cups sugar 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temp. 2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15-oz. can) 4 eggs, room temp. 2 cups flour 2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, ground cloves 1/2 tsp. salt Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 15 X 10 1/2 X 1 pan. Sift flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together; set aside. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Spread mixture into pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until cake springs back when touched or toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and frost. Icing: 3 oz. cream cheese, room temp. 1 stick butter, room temp. 1 tsp. vanilla 1 tsp. orange zest (optional) 2 cups powdered sugar Beat together until smooth.

Pumpkin Pound Cake
2 1/2 cups sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 3 large eggs 2 tsp baking soda 3 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 (generous!) tsp cloves 1 15 oz can pumpkin Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl blend sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine all dry ingredients; add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin. Mix to combine. Pour mixture into a well greased 12 cup fluted pan (bundt pan) and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack and dust with confectioners sugar.

Pumpkin Cream Chesse Muffins
INGREDIENTS
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.
To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.
For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.
Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
Bake at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

PUMPKIN GINGERBREAD TRIFLE
Source: Paula Deen 2 pkg. (14 oz. each) gingerbread mix 1 (5.1 oz.) pkg. cook & serve vanilla pudding mix 1 (30 oz.) can pumpkin pie filling 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/3 tsp. ground cardamom or cinnamon 1 (12 oz.) container frozen Cool Whip topping, thawed 1/2 cup gingersnaps, crushed (optional) Bake gingerbread according to pkg. directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble one batch gingerbread into bottom of a large pretty glass bowl or punch bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of Cool Whip. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and Cool Whip. Sprinkle over the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate. (Instead of the cook and serve pudding I use two small pkgs of instant french vanilla pudding. Also, to save money I have made my own gingerbread from a recipe instead of the box mixes. )

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

10 weeks (really, this time!)


We have made it to 10 weeks today-according to the sonogram calculations! Yay! I found this picture yesterday, it's a 3-d (maybe 4-d), at the bbc news website. I hope it's ok that I attach their photo here....look at this it's really so amazing! This is what our baby looks like at 10 weeks! These kind of photos just make it so real. This pregnancy has been such a roller-coaster, and I think I am finally settling down and starting to have some peace. I can't believe we get to take care of another baby like Katie again. She was so amazing and beautiful, and wonderful, and wow-just a piece of heaven...I can't believe we're blessed to do it again!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Our baby is ok!


Oh my gosh, I can't even believe it. Kris called Dr.'s office on Friday, to see what the blood test results were. They had to check and call us back. The nurse called back and said that my hormones were "high" so they wanted me to go to the hospital on Monday for a better sonogram. Kris told them that we couldn't possibly wait until Monday, because we were already so devestated. She called and got us in for Friday. We went to the hospital and the technician decided to do a belly sonogram first. She found it immediately! We were able to see the head and bottom, and most importantly, the beating heart (172 bpm)! We are so incredibly relieved, shocked, amazed, and just downright happy-we feel so blessed! We are not as far along as I had calculated, but the technician said that's really common for ladies whose cycles are irregular. On Friday, we were 8 weeks and 3 days along. Our new due date is April 15th-so 4 days before Katie's birthday! She is thrilled. Her faith was unwaivering-the entire time I was so incredibly heartbroken and sad-she kept saying that she knew there had to be a baby in there. There is! We are thrilled!

Friday, September 07, 2007

heartbroken.

I am heartbroken...again. We had a sonogram to check on everything with our pregnancy yesterday, and there is nothing there. No baby, no sac, no placenta, nothing at all. All three pregnancy tests that I took were false positives, I guess. I really don't understand it. I am trying so hard to keep trusting God. It is so difficult. I really would like my faith to grow stronger, but I don't understand why this has to be the way to go about it. I really just don't understand. I had another blood test yesterday, and I am supposed to call today to find out where my hormone levels are at, and at that point she will decide what to do next, I guess. My emotions have been completely out of control for the past 15 hours since we found out. I guess I am happy that if there never was a baby there, then that probably means no baby had to die. Kris and Katie have been so excited, and we had been so happy that we had made it this far along, without complications. Our parents are going to be so sad, we've already told so many people, because we thought for sure we were almost finished with the 1st trimester. I've had morning sickness, tiredness, everything...and it was all just my imagination. I feel so foolish, and I know people will talk about my foolishness. This is so incredibly difficult. I am just so sad, not really for me, but for Katie and Kris. They wanted this baby so badly, and were both so excited. Kris thought it was a boy, Katie wanted a girl, and I really didn't care, I just wanted a baby. We had already picked out names, Kooper James, or Asher, and Klaire. We had already made plans for the room, for so many things. I really wish I could have found out sooner that there was nothing there, just to save everyone from being so sad. It seems like everyday that went by, we got more attached and excited. We talked about it constantly. All day yesterday, and really, I've kind of had it in the back of my mind the whole time, that there would be nothing there. I guess God was preparing me for it. Even the day that I took the pregnancy tests, it crossed my mind, because I read about perimenopausal women testing false positive. I am just still so sad. I should have heeded those warnings and been less naive. I feel very foolish for falling head over heals in love with someone who was never even there.

I think I am going to have to contact Dr. Miller when he recovers from heart problems and have my tubes tied. I just can't go through this, or put my family through this anymore. It's not fair to anyone, really. I have be to be pro-active, and take care of things to spare our family more disappointment.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Yellow Belt!


Katie received her yellow belt in karate last night. We are so proud of her! She really is enjoying karate, and we are happy to have her in something that is so good for her. We're proud of you, Sis!
In other news with our sweet pea-she has accepted Jesus into her heart and had asked our pastor a couple of weeks ago when she could be baptized, and she told him she wanted to do it "right away!" so she will be being baptized this Sunday evening. She wrote her testimony for Kris to read during her baptism:
"I want to be baptized because I do believe in God and that I want to be sure about God. I believe that God is powerful and strong. I know Heaven is good, and I want to go there. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and he lives in my heart."
Aren't those beautiful words coming from a 7 year old-wow-she amazes me sometimes! She really does have a child-like faith that Kris and I need to learn from every day!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

11 weeks and rolling right along!

We are 11 weeks pregnant today! Yay! We've made it two weeks further than in our last pregnancy. We saw the doctor last week, and I'm seeing her again this Thursday. She wants to really monitor my blood sugar closely. She said she would do a sonogram this week, just to make sure baby's ok, and my due date is accurate. My due date, by the way, is March 25th! Katie really wanted it to be born in April like her, and chances are, she may get her wish. Katie was born 9 days after she was due, and that was because we MADE her come out by induction! She weighed 9#2oz...big, big, baby girl...I can only imagine what a boy would weigh!

This morning I was feeling a little stressed, about finances, our disorganized home, about our baby being ok. Thankfully, Kris reminded me to pray and read the Bible. These are the verses that the Lord led me to today, and I wanted to share them here.

1 Peter 5:7-9ish
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. RESIST HIM, standing firm in the FAITH...

How appropriate and comforting is that? I was so anxious--about everything, but I had not prayed or read the Bible. God is good, all the time, and ALL the time, God is good.

We're still praying for Tim Holsinger. He continues to make progress from his head injuries sustained while in a motorcycle accident.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

21 years!


We've been friends for 21 years-Anita and I! Look at these two pretty mama's! I'm just amazed at how fast time has gone by since we met in the 6th grade! This weekend was Nita's baby shower in Lenexa. We had a really nice time visiting and catching up. She has about a month to go before she has little Aiden! Can't wait for her to experience the amazing joy that a newborn baby brings!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I have a little something to share...


We're expecting! According to my calculations, we are due sometime around the end of March! We are so excited! We feel so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to add a little one to our family! I see the doctor next week. I actually had a doctor visit scheduled for yesterday, but had to cancel because I was in the hospital with a little case of dehydration from a virus. I'm MUCH better now though! We are just so amazed and feel truely, truely blessed beyond measure! God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's been almost a month...

...since I posted last! Yikes! I can't believe I've let this much time go by! Things have been busy. We went camping a couple of weeks ago at Roaring River State Park. It was brave of us to go in August, because it's so stinkin' hot, but it wasn't too bad down there. The mornings and evenings were cooler, and the afternoons weren't terrible. We did a lot of swimming, cooking and eating. Our second night of camping brought a great surprize. Our "neighbors" in the camper next door were bluegrass artists, and had about a dozen other bluegrass artists over for some music! It was great. We really enjoyed it. Afterward, Katie was so impressed that she asked them if they had a cd to buy!
Katie is still enjoying karate, and can't wait for school to start, which is, by the way-tomorrow! She is so ready, and is just so excited to go.












Friday, July 20, 2007

Busy, busy, so shockingly busy!

Wow! This has been a couple of crazy weeks! Katie has had swimming lessons every morning, and karate on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, so we have been running around everywhere. Katie graduated from Level II, and will be in Level III next year for swimming lessons!

I have to confess that I have developed a new obsession--coupon clipping. I know that it sounds weird, but I love saving money. It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment to save so much! There were some really great coupons and savings these last couple of weeks. I stocked up on body wash and shampoo and conditioner. After coupons the Johnsons Melt Away Stress body wash was $.54 each, and the Loreal Vive Pro shampoo and conditioner that were regularly $4+ each, were $.75 each! I also bought Colgate toothpaste for $.50 each after coupons and the rollback price at Wal-Mart. Yay!

We have kind of a fun weekend planned with good friends. Tonight we're heading to Pittsburg to possibly meet up with Fred and Michelle to have dinner at either Jim's Steak House or Mall Deli. Tomorrow night our friends Mike and Melissa are coming over to our house for dinner. I'm not sure what I'm cooking yet---need to get that planned. Katie is spending tonight with Grandma and Grandpa who also have Rylee visiting, so they will have a great time!

I think that's all I have for today. I may add more later!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I am one HAPPY taxi driving mom!





Katie had a yucky allergy day today, but she could not wait to go to her first karate class tonight. We got there and got her uniform, and the owners/instructors were so incredibly nice. They were so child friendly and just so positive! I loved it. As we watched Katie, I couldn't stop smiling! She listened and practiced, and did really well for her first time. I was so impressed!

I'm a taxi driving mama!

Swimming lessons, karate, and a trip to Grandma and Grandpa's...I'm Katie's official limo driver this week! She has so much going on, and it just happens to be the week that I have so much going on too-yikes! We've been busy, and it's only Tuesday! Kate will be going to Grandma and Grandpa's on Wednesday, to spend three WHOLE days. She is beyond excited! She loves going there! She swims, swings, watches unlimited cartoons, and gets a sno-cone whenever she wants! Fun!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fun stuff!




Ok--there has been entirely too much serious stuff in my blog lately-time for some fluffies!
Yesterday we went to Target, and I bought myself a little treat from http://www.migo.com/
I got the little mug over there---->, but in PINK! Too cute!

Also...in the mail from 2 peas was another treat-my scrapbooking bag from K&Company http://www.kandcompany.com/--again--in PINK! I love it-it's HUGE, has tons of pockets, and is just adorable!




33 years

When I think about all that Christ accomplished in his 33 years of His life here on earth, I am in awe. He healed so many, He taught so much, He was flawless, and when He died on the cross, He died for me. His 33 years of life's work was done because he loved us. Even if I were the only other person on earth, He would have still died on the cross...for me. It's humbling.
33 years.
396 months.
12, 045 days.
of living and dieing so I could live my own 33 years.
Humbling.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day...




Today is Independence Day. It's kind of strange that the name of our town is Independence, and there are no 4th of July celebrations happening, no fireworks, no sparklers...nothing except rebel firework setters in the distance. It's strange to think that 3 days ago, our town was 1/3 covered in flood water. The water has receded, but the devastation remains. People are homeless, they have lost everything. There is no clean water. Part of a bridge and highway are gone. Some things do remain, however:
freedom to reclaim what has been lost

hope that things will eventually return to normal

and a stronger, closer community, from having gone through so much together.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Two months ago...


Two months ago, all of our lives were changed. Two months ago, I was taking my mom to the doctor to have a lump in her breast checked out...I was scared to death I would lose her. Two months ago, my sister and her husband, along with their three precious children were in a terrible car accident. Two months ago, my dear sweet Grandma went to meet Jesus, and hold hands with Grandpa again. April was such an incredibly difficult month, but it made me realize some things. You know, I'm so very thankful that my mom's lump turned out to be nothing, my sister and her family walked away from a crumpled car with no injuries, and the best part of my Grandma passing is that I know she is in Heaven...where she has deserved to be...for her whole life. I was thinking about these things last night, and how they impacted my life, and how it seems like it was so long ago, but in reality only 8 short weeks ago. I am so incredibly thankful that I have this picture of Katie and Grandma together. You can see the love that my Grandma had for all of her children and grandchildren...right here in the photo. Love you Grandma...so much...I miss you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ahhh...VACATION!





We visited South Dakota for our summer vacation this past week...and let me tell ya...I want to go back...right now! We had such a great time. Great weather, great travel/traffic, great scenery, great fun! We visited Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills, the Badlands, and Custer State Park. Everything was so amazing! We were in complete awe of God's creation and his creativity!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Vacation Bible School

VBS started tonight. Katie really had a great time. I am teaching the 1st and 2nd graders, and we have 15 kids in our class! SS is usually 5 kids, and Caravan's 5 kids, but 15 at VBS--oh my! This week is going to be an adventure! Katie was really well behaved tonight. I was proud of her. She gave a little boy with no offering some offering to put in the bucket. Our theme this year is Tumbleweed Gulch-Where God's Love Changes Everything! It has some really wonderful lessons. Tonight's Bible verse was:
How great is the love that the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God. 1John 3:1a

We had a good weekend. After we took Megan back to Jill and Jay on Sunday, Katie had a little rough patch. I think she was just so tired, but she became really cranky. She finally settled down, and we decided to go to evening service. I am so glad that we went. After church we had dinner and went to the park to wait for the fountain to come on. At the city park/zoo, there is an old fountain. It comes on at 9pm, and is lighted and alternates colors and fountain heights, etc. It is so pretty. It has been there for as long as I can remember. Our park also has a miniature train, a Merry-Go-Round, and miniature golf. There is also a tiny zoo. It's really wonderful. There is also a new aquatic center--our town has so many things to do for families.

When Katie prayed tonight, she specifically asked me to not forget to pray for our baby. I am sweetheart, I am. I am still praying that God would bless us with a baby.


Please, Lord...please give us a baby.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Little Girls' Prayers



We have company tonight! We ran into Jill and Jay today, and invited Megan to come and stay over for the night. She and Katie have been having a great time! They played on the slip and slide, played Barbies, Babies, and even gave me a concert! They're both very talented little singers! At bedtime, Katie asked me to pray with her like usual, and Megan prayed too. Their little prayers are so wonderful and sweet. It is so great to hear them talk to Jesus...they love him so much!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Locks of Love!





Katie donated her hair to locks of love today!

The last day of 1st grade!

Today is Katie's last day of school. I just can't believe it. This year has gone by so fast, and our little girl is growing up TOO quickly! Today we are going to do something exciting after school...but I will post about that later...it's going to be a really memorable day!

Ok---a little about our goal of having another child. Usually I would be kind of sad in talking about it, but I think my prayers of coming to some acceptance have been answered. I am trying not to worry about it. Worrying does not add an hour to one's life (it's in the Bible somewhere--so I know it's true!). We are going to be content with having our beautiful daughter, and our little dog.

Some updates on other's babies though:
The Hamilton family from Katie's school had their twins, Lexi and Logan, 11 weeks early, but they are doing well!
Bart and Cara had their 3rd baby on Tuesday-a baby girl-Congrats!
Anita and Damian are expecting their first, a little boy, at the beginning of October!
Lori and Steve are expecting their 4th child in August!
Bobby and Mary Ann are expecting their first baby at the end of October! We might be able to know if it's a boy or girl at the end of this week! Yay!!
Jenny from the scrapbook store is also expecting, and two girls from our office in Chanute are also due any time!
There are babies everywhere!
:o)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In my garden...





Just sharing some photo's of this year's flowers...