Thursday, December 31, 2009

My future self

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Elijah and his 'foffee'

(it's decaf)
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Because I am just that smart

Had a potholder laying on the burner that I didn't mean to turn on. Apparently once these things ignite, they stay lit.
And why I wish I had a gas stove (that and bc they cook so much better).
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Merry Christmas!

Our kids had fun:)
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Done!

Wow- it is 10:30 and the tricycle is assembled, cookies partially eaten stockings stuffed, Santa gifts found, note from Santa left... I get to turn in early on Christmas Eve!
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!
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Merry Christmas Eve!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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Capitol tree

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At capitol

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Bad Blogger

My blogging has gotten worse and worse it seems :) Since I moved my laptop up to the bonus room, I can't do it as easily. But I also spend a lot less time on the computer... and that's a good thing :) We have one in the office (the one I'm on now) but it is hard for me to use it too b/c I can't keep my eyes on what everyone else is doing like I could when I had my laptop in the family room.
When I finally DO sit down to blog, there are so many things that have happened that I can't decide what to blog about and what to skip! I seem to be an "all or nothing" person.
I'll start with last night :)
We saw Santa. This isn't something I always take the time to do. I did when the older three were all little, but I think the last time was when Isaac was a year and a half or so. Maybe we went the next year, but I'm positive we haven't gone since. It just got to be too much of a chore. We decided to go last night... probably in large part b/c Elijah calls him "Hoho" and we just thought it'd be too cute to see what he does... and it was. Once he got to the front of the line (David strolled him around the mall while I waited with the others in line) we could hardly keep him from Santa. He wanted those other kids to hurry up. Then he practically ran right to him. We got a good picture... which I will eventually post (took a picture of it and it turned out ok) along with all the other pictures I've taken and not shared. This computer doesn't have a slot for the card and it is SLOW using the cord.
Elijah also sings "I got balls". We thought Isaac had taught him something he shouldn't have... until he started yelling "HEY" every so often. Then we realized it was Jingle Bells. Sounds like this:
I got balls I got balls HEY I got balls I got balls HEY I got balls I got balls HEY
no all the way or dashing thru the snow.
Monday night Ron and Kathy kept ALL FOUR kids. It was heavenly. That has never happened (except right when I came home from the hospital with Levi... we weren't going out then :) Over thanksgiving my mom kept them so David and I could see Blind Side. But this was an entire 24 hours! Of course, they were little demons when they got home from lack of sleep... but it was worth it :) We saw Avatar. Had to see it in 2D b/c 3D makes me motion sick. It was a great movie. Worth the hype. James Cameron is a much better inventor of alternate universe/writer/director than George Lucas.
We went to The Butcher Shop before the movie and had some great steaks. I like mine well done so they tend to be charred on the outside... which is generally fine with me. But this one wasn't. It was cooked all the way thru, not charred, and very juicy.
They got the kids at 10am so we even went to lunch (gotta pack it all in when you don't get the opportunity often) at Panera. Not David's favorite spot, but that's what you get when asked where you want to go and you reply "I don't care." I love Panera food, but not the coffee. I got a Gingerbread Latte- not so great and cost more than Starbucks. Shoulda known better.
Them keeping the kids also allowed me to wrap Christmas presents. I wasn't real sure how that one was going to happen had they not. I've got to put together a tricycle Christmas Eve... but really didn't want to be up wrapping too.
I've still got to get out one more time. I've been assigned to bring a salad to Christmas dinner and I can't buy that stuff early, so was going to have to make a trip out anyway for that. But I also realized I didn't get the traditional pack of underwear for Abigail's stocking... did for the boys. Can't wait to brave Wal Mart this close to Christmas, but it will have to be done.
David is busy shutting down everything he had started for the campaign. Returning cell phones, closing accounts, returning contributions... fun!
We'll be here Christmas Eve/morning then will head to Ron and Kathy's that afternoon. David's brother and family will be there too. We'll go to my parents Sunday after church. It will be short trip though b/c David has a Dr appt on the 30th.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Short lived

After one week of being campaign manager, he is now back at his old job. Stanley Reed had to drop out due to health issues. The job came about suddenly, and the end of it even more so. David has been hard at work all week long... and we had a stomach bug blow thru all week long. Someone has been sick every day. It has been insane. I had it yesterday. Felt awful all day long. Abigail was sick too and she felt worse than I. Poor thing threw up 10 times. I never did, just felt like it. I HATE throwing up and kept chugging Pepto to keep it away. I guess it worked. Didn't give the kids pepto b/c of the connection to Reye Syndrome.
Thankfully, David was quickly offered his old job and he will hopefully be able to get all the 'extra' jobs he had as well. I'm not sure how I feel about it all. Part of me is relieved b/c it was going to be very difficult for me to keep things afloat with him basically non-existent at home and the kids like seeing him during the day at school. It was going to be hard on them to hardly ever see him. But part of me is a little disappointed I guess. I had gone from "there is NO WAY you can take this job. I can't be a single parent. The kids will never see you. I do NOT want to move to DC" to being rather excited about it all.
But it is what it is. We'll settle back into our normal lives and things won't be quite so crazy. For THAT I'm very relieved.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Proud of my girl

On the way home from church- Abigail said a boy was mean. I of course asked why. She said he played a trick on her. Told her someone likes her but he wouldn't tell her who it was unless she shared her secret. She fell for it and told him her best friend had a crush on him. And then he told her nobody liked her.
That's not the proud part.
I told her she needed to tell her BF what she did and that she shouldn't have told him that. I told her friends come first. She said she knew that but that he said he wouldn't tell anyone. I told her even IF he didn't tell that she already told him and that would upset her friend. She didn't want to do it over the phone. I told her she risked her finding out from someone else. So she took my phone and called her right then. This is what I heard:
I'm a bad friend.
Pause
_____ said he knew someone liked me but he wouldn't tell me who
Pause
So I told him you liked him. I'm really sorry.
Pause
I know. I'm really sorry. You are the best friend ever. I was wrong. I'm really sorry.
And then they move on to talking about how it was mean of him to trick her and all was well.
If there is anything I hope my kids learn it is the importance of friends and to not sell them out.
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At 12 days old

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He fills it out a bit more now

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Whirlwind

That's what we've been in. It has been crazy. I knew it would be. I remember what it was like when David was Fay Boozman's press secretary... there was always something he had to go to. Only then we had no children and I'd either go with him or enjoy an evening in all by myself (which didn't bother me one bit). NOW I can't go with him and I am far from being all by myself. And to make things worse... our dining room table has become the meeting spot after hours. David got home last night at 9pm and some guys came over at 9:30. It is the attempting to keep everything clean that is stressing me out. Levi fusses in the evenings... he is awake from 4 or 5 until he goes to sleep for good at 9 or 10. Makes getting dinner on the table and then cleaning up almost impossible. I managed last night, but not without getting ultra frustrated. (and no matter what people say... they do NOT understand a messy house even if you are alone with 5 kids... not unless they are another momma who has BTDT).
That part will get better when they have a campaign office. I like David being here even if he is working, but I can't keep doing this... I know that! I need to be able to do as little as possible at night and save it for the morning when Levi is happy.
I went to the store yesterday for the first time in I don't know how long... I took a chance b/c I left my sling at home. I'd gone to church to work out... and really should have taken a picture of myself b/c I can't believe I went to church like that to work out... let alone wal mart. But I was desperate, and I did... and I don't have clothes that fit... I was there for almost 2 hours. Levi stayed asleep and Elijah stayed happy (and his happiness had NOTHING to do with the bag of iced donuts I opened for him as soon as we got there... and he did NOT find a hole where he could drop a donut and leave a trail... Oh, and I did NOT ram right into a guy's cart b/c I couldn't see any part of it beyond this massive thing I was pushing)

Strategic packing made it all fit. Elijah rode around the store with milk, wipes, and diapers next to him too. When the diapers got left behind at one point, he got upset and pointed... and there they were, in the middle of the aisle about 20 feet back. I'm glad he was so fond of them b/c I needed them.
Got home and put away the frozen food. Levi was up and HUNGRY. The rest waited. Got Elijah down for a nap later than I'd wanted. I thought I'd pick the kids up in the carline, but that didn't happen... so I thought I'd have to hunt them down in extended care. They tend to be who knows where... but thankfully were all outside. The workers saw me pull up and called for them, I didn't even have to get out! I'd showered while L and E napped so I was glad. Not even sure my hair was dry. BUT THEN Isaac never returned after getting his backpack. I sent Abigail to find him, she came back without him. So I HAD to get out... and walk all over the church... no make up, frizzy hair... FUN... oh and the angry look on my face made me look all that much better. Went back to the car and Isaac was there... he'd gone to his dad's office, forgetting he no longer works there. He didn't realize it was ME who was there to get him. Took 25 min to pick up the kids.
After my horrible evening (I realize I'm leaving those details out... dinner, hungry kids, hungry baby, boys fighting over milk and of COURSE flinging it all over the kitchen in the process...), I had an even worse night. Levi has been sleeping 5 hours for that first shift. Last night he went down at 9 (I went at 10), so I figured he'd sleep til 2 before getting hungry. David woke me a bit before 1 telling me Noah was sick. OH FUN. Cleaned up that joyful mess and went back to bed. Then the alarm went off. I figured it was 'false alarm' but it kept going off... I went out in the hall to see David coming up the stairs... he said the back door blew open. He'd put Riddle in the garage and forgot to lock it. So we get a call from the alarm folks asking us for our 'word.' We couldn't remember what it was... so the police came. Went to bed again after all that... and right on time, 2am... Levi woke up. After he ate, it was time to clean up round 2 of Noah. It was a fun night. More cleaning this morning and trying to keep E away from Noah even though E got the bug on Thursday (that was a fun day too let me tell you... with David deciding to be campaign manager... the craziness began... but I won't go back that far :)
I would join calgon right now and relax, but I can't. Typing this as fast as I can and then doing laundry.
BUT first, I have to share how sweet Levi was as baby Jesus... and how sweetly Isaac sang a solo in the church musical. David was Joseph and I was Mary. Sunday was a crazy day as well b/c the school choir concert was that afternoon. My elementary choir sang (and did SO well :) I was trying to feed Levi at just the right times so he'd be happy that night. It was tough with so much going on, but it all worked out and he was happy as can be. He was up there cooing away, smiling, and I promise he was trying to talk :) Isaac didn't know he was going to be singing a solo until the Sunday before, so he had to learn it quickly. He did great. He has the strongest voice for a little 7 year old. No shocker b/c the child is LOUD even when he thinks he is using his 'inside voice.' He can project. Next year I will have all three in my honor choir at school.
Vote for Stanley Reed May 18 :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Breast-Feeding Can Help Mom's Heart Decades Later

Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-feeding, even for just a couple of months, can significantly lower a woman's risk of metabolic syndrome -- a dangerous cluster of heart disease risk factors -- years later, reports a new study appearing online Dec. 3 in the journal Diabetes.

In women who didn't have pregnancy-related (gestational) diabetes, breast-feeding between one and five months lowered a woman's risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 39 percent, while breast-feeding for the same duration lowered the risk of the syndrome by 44 percent in women with gestational diabetes.

And, the longer a woman breast-fed, the better it was for her later health. Breast-feeding for longer than nine months dropped the risk of metabolic syndrome by 86 percent in women with gestational diabetes. Women without gestational diabetes saw a 56 percent reduction in their risk of metabolic syndrome, according to the study.

"Breast-feeding has favorable health benefits for women as well as for children. Breast-feeding may help protect women from heart disease and diabetes in the future," said the study's lead author, Erica Gunderson, an epidemiologist and research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

The benefits of breast-feeding for infants are well-documented and include lower risk of ear infections, stomach problems, respiratory illnesses, asthma, skin allergies, diabetes and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). For women, breast-feeding appears to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Metabolic syndrome arises when a group of cardiac risk factors occurs in one person. Those risk factors include: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol, high levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, elevated markers of inflammation and a tendency for blood to clot, according to the American Heart Association. People with metabolic syndrome are significantly more likely to have or progress to heart disease and type 2 diabetes than those without it.

For the current study, the researchers recruited almost 1,400 women into a prospective, multi-center study designed to assess what factors increase the risk of coronary artery disease. At the start of the study in 1985, none of the women had been pregnant before, and none had metabolic syndrome.

The women were examined at the start of the study, and again at 7, 10, 15 and 20 years after the start of the study.

While participating in the study, 704 of the women had babies. During pregnancy, 84 women developed gestational diabetes. During the study follow-up, 120 women developed metabolic syndrome.

Of those who developed metabolic syndrome, the average duration of breast-feeding was 2.6 months, while the average time breast-feeding for women who didn't develop metabolic syndrome was seven months, according to the study.

"We found a very strong protective effect for lactation, and longer duration is associated with a greater risk reduction," said Gunderson.

Although the researchers didn't study exactly how breast-feeding could confer a benefit against heart disease so many years later, they suspect that women who breast-feed are benefiting from higher good cholesterol levels and less accumulation of belly fat. Both of these are factors in metabolic syndrome. Additionally, Gunderson said that breast-feeding helps with the metabolism of blood sugar, which may lower their levels of insulin.

And, that's probably what's protecting these women, suggested Dr. Jacob Warman, chief of endocrinology at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City. "I have a feeling that insulin is the culprit," he said.

But, he noted that this study didn't measure levels of insulin, so it's difficult to know for sure.

Still, he said, if women are concerned and would like to reduce their risk even further, they should cut back on processed carbohydrates, such as those found in sweets and in white breads, cereals and pastas. "People with a high starch diet tend to have high insulin levels," he explained.

Gunderson said that women who'd like to reduce their risk of metabolic syndrome should follow health-eating guidelines, get regular exercise, and if having a baby, consider breast-feeding. "Lactation is potentially something that could have a benefit to your own health," she said.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

BIG News!

Stanley Reed has entered the US Senate race and hired David as his campaign manager. Should be a very exciting, albeit nerve-wracking, new year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Papa Here

E is walking all over looking at the train. He said 'fries' when he saw the McDonalds. 'Donut' when he saw Krispee Kreme' and 'Papa here' when he saw Cracker Barrel.
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Tim Tebow

The Gospel on Offense - The Faith of Tim Tebow by Mark Earley America's largest church has a capacity to hold 16,000. But while Tim Tebow may not be a preacher, when he runs into the University of Florida's football Stadium-affectionately known as "The Swamp" - his congregation numbers just over 90,000. And you can bet they're hearing Tim's message. It's not just that this University of Florida quarterback wears Bible verses etched into his "eye-black" on game days. Tim Tebow has been making headlines for more than simply his Heisman Trophy win as a sophomore and his two national championships. This summer the New York Times, GQ, and Sports Illustrated, all covered the quarterback's strong Christian faith. Last year, when the Florida Gators won the national championship, the pre-game show followed Tim into a local Florida prison where he can regularly be found sharing his testimony and preaching the Gospel. And this top-notch athlete, who spends his spring breaks and summers ministering to orphans in the Philippines has actually helped change the culture of the University of Florida. According to Sports Illustrated , "Since Tebow's arrival on campus, and in large part because of him, the University has launched a series of community-service initiatives." Even coach Urban Meyer has taken his family on a "Tebow-inspired mission trip to the Dominican Republic." The press seems to be fascinated with outspoken Christian quarterbacks like Tim Tebow; Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman winner; and now USC's Matt Barkley. Only a few decades ago, it would have been taken for granted that these would be the kinds of fellows any father would want his daughter to marry. Now they are put under the microscope as some kind of curious anomaly-well-known athletes who actually exhibit character.  In our doped-up, mug-shot celebrity culture, sadly these young men do look a little out of step. And that's to our culture's shame. Perhaps that is why last year when the press asked Tim Tebow a rather impertinent question-they were more embarrassed by the response than he was. It was at a Southeastern Conference news media event where one reporter asked in front of the crowded room, "Are you a virgin?" Tim answered with an unequivocal yes and had yet another platform to explain how his faith impacts every area of his life. That platform for sharing the Gospel is exactly what Tim's parents prayed for before he was born. Tim's father, Bob, a missionary in the Philippines, had been weeping over the millions of babies aborted in America. It was then that he prayed, "God, if you give me a son, if you give me Timmy, I'll raise him to be a preacher." Soon after, when Pam Tebow learned she was expecting, the parents' faith was put to the test. After a series of grave complications, doctors encouraged them to abort the child. They refused. Born small and weak, Timmy struggled from the beginning. But his dad continued to tell him, "God's got a purpose for you, and at some point, He's going to call you to preach." Dad was right. God's message would come through the roar of the crowd, beamed to millions via satellite. But little did they know, Tim would don a jersey, not robes, and use a stadium for his pulpit. Tim's a great example of an opportunity every believer has-to put our faith to work on the field of play where God has gifted us and called us.    The Gospel on Offense - The Faith of Tim Tebow by Mark Earley
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Out

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

There are songs that you've sung forever and b/c of that, you just don't pay attention to the words. This morning when David was leading worship, he mentioned that and told us to be mindful of the words. Verse 3:

O ye beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

I had this image of an elderly person in their last days of life, limping along with bent back. But then how swiftly that changes when with our Heavenly Father listening to His choir of angels.

After church a dear dear man who is always so very helpful (though he had polio as a child and walks with a pretty bad limp bc of it) fell coming out of church. He hit a floor to ceiling window (it is about 6 feet wide) on the second floor and broke the window. Mr. Bill is not a large man. I probably weigh more than he does. Mr. Bill has worked in the nursery, volunteers countless hours in the Christian Family Life Center (fancy church name for gym :), volunteers for VBS every year, and always jumps up to get the door for you. He was taken to the hospital and as far as I know only needed stitches. I hope that is all he needed. I hope he is ok.

But I can't help but think how much worse it could have been. To think of all the kids who have at one time or another run around in that hallway and likely crashed into that window a time or two. I assumed it was plexiglass... little did I know it was the original glass from when the church was built (around 1970) and plexiglas wasn't commonly used. I'm sure it will be replaced with it now... thanks to Mr. Bill.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tree

I took some pictures of the tree with my phone and sent them to my blog. Sorry for the individual posts.
The first Christmas that David and I were dating... we went to Wal Mart in Arkadelphia where they had cheap metal ornaments you could write on with a carving pen. We did one for each other. Since then, we said we would always buy each other an ornament. David and I have merged into us getting one dated ornament and then I get each child an ornament... usually the day after Christmas. Me going out the day after Christmas and buying things CHEAP is my present. I look forward to it every year.
When David and I first got married, the only decent ornaments were the handful we had gotten each other. We were so poor, we couldn't afford to buy ornaments. I bought a little thing of mini ornaments b/c they cost less than full sized ornaments... and looked ridiculous on our tree. I had said I'd get a real tree every year, so we had a small 4 foot or so real tree. Eventually the mess got to me and I got an artificial one (after Christmas of course) a few years later. I cross stitched David's ornament that first year. I remember buying some kits to make your own ornaments (after Christmas). They were little caroling angels made of wood, raffia, and ribbon. It was then that we decided to buy our future children an ornament every year- so they would have a box of 25 or so nice ornaments that mean something. And our own tree will be a bit more sparse than it was previously.
I love getting out the ornaments. My tree looks nothing like what you would find in decorating magazines. All the ornaments are different. There is no color scheme. I don't have anything trendy on it. But, it has character. Each ornament was bought with purpose. I have some that students have given me. I have the dove that David used to propose. I have the UGLY ornaments we did for each other that first year we were dating :) And I have ornaments I bought for the kids each year... always getting something that somehow symbolizes them.
So, start at the bottom with the first tree picture and read up :)

My favorite

I love depictions of Mary holding baby Jesus
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LOTS of variety

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Every year we buy the kids an ornament

David and I used to buy each other an ornament, beginning with the first Christmas we were dating but since I get the kids an ornament every year, I just get us one ornament.
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The ornaments for the kids and the many doves

David used a dove ornament to propose back in 1994
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Or the glass musical instruments

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Like the Hummel ornaments my mom gave me

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Variety

I don't like for my tree to look unified. I like trees that have 'character'. I like to look at different parts of the tree and see totally different things.
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Tree pictures

One at a time since I'm using my blackberry.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Tonight we headed to church to see the Christmas village and train set that one of our members has set up in his garage for years. This year it is at church. Elijah LOVED it. They also had an old sleigh. E loved that too. David's parents met us there and took us to Cracker Barrell (yum) afterwards. Then we all went to Penney's. They were all picking out their Christmas presents (which is good bc they can be pretty picky now).

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Update... finally!

With the exception of pictures and the post about the paci on our way back from Ft Smith... I haven't blogged about what's going on since Nov 23. I wouldn't know where to begin even if I could remember everything that has gone on.
We did go to Fort Smith for Thanksgiving. I think the highlight was my mom watching the kids (older 4, Levi always goes with me) so David and I could see a movie. We haven't seen a movie, just the two of us (Levi doesn't count :) since before Elijah was born. We saw The Blind Side and it was excellent. Highly recommend :)
Other than that it was a fun time had by all. The kids always enjoy seeing their cousins. They played in leaves (picture previously posted), built a fort, and who knows what else. I didn't hear any fighting so they were left alone :)
Since returning, I made a CD for my grandmother's funeral. Sad that I can't go and sing in person, but I'm glad the sound guy at church was nice enough to let me record there. I sang Danny Boy, her favorite song... and if you've never really soaked in the words... oh my... very hard not to cry. I kept thinking of moms saying goodbye to sons going off knowing they may not still be alive when the son comes back. Once when singing "from glen to glen" I thought about how my grandmother lost a baby named Glen when he was just a few months old. It made me wonder if that's why it was her favorite song. I kept crying just when trying to practice! But tuned it all out when recording and was able to get all of them done in 'one take.' Also recorded the Lord's Prayer that I had to sing a cappella b/c my track wasn't compatible with the program for some reason and Amazing Grace.
Tuesday I had a shopping day thanks to church. They watched Elijah while Levi and I went to Target for 3 hours. I got almost all my shopping done, and since I'd never opened a charge account... I saved 10% off my already good deals. I found several shirts for $1.50 each! I was very happy. Still spent a fortune since I was shopping for so many BUT I'm happy with what I got. Kids will have a good Christmas.
David ended up getting Elijah early from church b/c he walked by and E looked forlorn that he didn't get to go with Daddy. So, Daddy took him downtown on an errand. E had a blast. Levi slept the whole time, except of course when it was time to check out (isn't that always the case?) He was in his sling though so it was easy to feed him and keep going and he remained happy as a lark.
Yesterday was the busy day of church. Picking up Noah (in the rain) from school, taking him to piano, going to the bank and anywhere else I could go in 30 minutes before going back to school to get Abigail, take her to piano, pick up Noah and head back to church. Thankfully their piano teacher goes to my church so she just brings Abigail with her after her lesson. That helps a lot b/c I have praise team practice at 4 (Noah has handbells). Isaac stays in extended care until 4:45 when he goes and eats dinner at church. The rest of us eat dinner when we finish our rehearsals. It works out, but it is a bit chaotic.
And today... I really need to go to Lowe's to get a water filter for my fridge... and Wal Mart for wipes :( I didn't realize I was on my last pack. I don't know if that will happen though. I could use the wipes I have on E and the cloth wipes on L... that is likely what I'll end up doing. I really don't like taking them both out somewhere... 2 is better than the 3 little ones I used to have to take out... but I avoided doing that as much as possible back then too :)
I have some pictures on the camera that I need to upload, but that will have to wait.

CHEESE!

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Kissing his head

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I hope to update soon- until then, another picture of my sweet Levi snoring next to me :)
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