Thursday, March 1, 2012

Me and Baby Girl

Here's some belly pictures of baby girl. (Sorry for the poor picture quality. I still do not have my camera fixed.)

32 weeks...

36 weeks, 4 days...

Someone is growing! Not too much longer and we'll be holding baby girl in our arms...we're so excited!



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Approaching a New Year

As I reflect back on the year, 2011, I am amazed at just how much has changed and happened in our lives. Since I haven't written a blog post for awhile I figured I'd write a short post on the happenings of our 2011. For the sake of time and ease of readability, I'll post them in bullets.
  • Last year at this time Tim was once again without a job. He was able to find a short term resolution and the Lord provided as He always has and does.
  • Tim started a new job with a different company in January. This allowed him to be home everyday and thus helping with my sanity. ;)
  • We started seriously thinking about moving south. We had a strong feeling that we did not belong where we were and God was moving our hearts to a different area of the country but to where?!
  • My dear aunt, Pamela Posternack, passed away. She fought a battle with breast cancer courageously and with determination for several years. Her moments before death were remarkable for all who were with her in those precious last moments of her incredible life. It was a true testimony of God's realness. I was not there but I was told by those who were that is was something they will never forget. I was also told that if you had previously doubted our Savior's existence that you could not after witnessing what they witnessed in that hospital room. Truly incredible!
  • My mom and stepfather took a trip to North Carolina to go to a Nascar race. On the way there they stopped in Chattanooga, TN. My mom went to a women's conference and ended up befriending the lady who sat next to her. The lady invited them to attend their church that coming Sunday. My mom and stepfather did decide to go to her church on Sunday and were asked out to lunch by a couple there. Once they got talking over lunch they discovered that their daughter and my parent's daughter (me) went to church together in Illinois. My mom told the man that her son-in-law (Tim) just started trucking. The man gave my mom his phone number just in case Tim wanted to contact him in regards to trucking (this man is a truck driver also- has been for years and years). Mom told us the story and this got Tim and I thinking about Chattanooga. We also discovered we already knew some people living in that area. Small world.
  • Tim and I decided to take a trip to the Chattanooga area and see if we liked it. We flew in the beginning of April. We stayed at the house of the couple who took my parents out for lunch when they had visited the area. We were very grateful for their warm hospitality (we still are!). Over those few days we had a wonderful time of fellowship with some very dear people. It was so refreshing! Tim and I hated leaving but we had 4 boys we needed to get back to.
  • Tim discovered there was a job opening with the trucking company he was working for in Chattanooga. We prayed about it and decided we wanted to try and see if he could get it. He told the Chattanooga terminal manager that he would like to transfer and he was told he may not be able to because another man wanted the position (he had been with the company longer than Tim). We pretty much decided it probably wasn't God's will. Shortly after, we received word that the man could not take the job at this time and that is was Tim's if he wanted it.
  • We took a trip to Chattanooga once again to find a rental home. It looked bleak but we ended up finding a small home in a beautiful, safe area the day we were leaving (almost literally on our way home). We discovered that this town has the best school district in Hamilton county. This was a huge answer to prayer since Tim and I had been debating about putting our kids in public school. We were going to homeschool again if the school district we lived in was not decent. This was our answer and we felt an extreme peace about making this huge change in our boys' education.
  • We came home and quickly start working on finding a tenant for our home. It took a few weeks but eventually we found tenants we felt comfortable with- 3 mature, female, medical students. So far, we have had no problems and they seem to be taking care of our home just as well as we would (if not better).
  • We packed up and headed out the same day my brother came home from Iraq. God worked it out so I was able to see him before we headed south. The timing really was incredible!
  • We fought rain the whole way down but we made it safely the next day. (The rain was a blessing in disguise since we soon found out the ac in the car had not been working.)
  • We got a hotel room since it was too wet and rainy to unpack the truck. The following day we were able to move in.
  • A month and a half later we discovered we would be adding a new addition to our family. We were a little apprehensive but extremely happy. I started to battle extreme nausea and fatigue. I was kind of a big wimp about it since I had never experienced this with my other pregnancies. My gut was telling me it was because it was a girl but I tried not to let myself believe it.
  • The boys start public school for the first time! It took Jonathan a few months to adjust but he finally got used to things and now both the boys are doing amazingly well. I could not be happier with our decision to send them to school. Their education is very advanced and they are doing things that they wouldn't have been able to do if they were still being homeschooled. They have greatly excelled in almost all areas! Jonathan has been writing books and reading has become a new passion of his. He has also been improving in his math skills and has done several book reports, ect. Austin's reading has improved greatly and he is getting almost near perfect grades. Austin's 1st grade class just did a project on Australia. They had to research the country every night for a week and answer various questions about the country. The stuff the class did for this project was way beyond 1st grade level but they did it anyway! I was extremely,extremely impressed!
  • Tim started a new job with a different trucking company once again. This job has been a good move. The pay is better and the benefits are amazing! He originally had to be gone for 5 out of 7 days but that only lasted a month (thank goodness!). He has been on a velocity run now for a few months. He goes to Nashville every night, works the dock for a few hours and then comes back to Chattanooga. This has been great since we are able to see him every day. Life is so much easier when daddy comes home every day!
  • We went in for a free ultrasound given to me by a friend. We discovered we will be adding a GIRL to our family. I was a bit unsure since I was only 16 1/2 weeks along but it was later confirmed not only once but two times via ultrasound.
  • My dear grandmother passed away. I was unable to attend her funeral due to lack of finances but my family was still in my thoughts in prayers and I was there in spirit.
  • We took a trip back to Illinois in November. We had Thanksgiving with family and had a fabulous time! We hope to take another trip up this Summer.
  • My great Aunt Cleone passed away. It happened quickly and I think it took a lot of us by surprise (it did me anyway). She was a dear woman who loved the Lord greatly. She will be missed but we are so thankful she is free from pain and suffering. She is now in the presence of the Lord!

Well, I pretty much think that sums up our year. Our year has been one of great changes but it has been good. We have had days of sadness but also days of great joy. God has blessed us beyond what we deserve. We have developed many new friendships recently and we desire that those friendships will only deepen as time goes one. We are very confident that we are where God wants us and we couldn't be happier. We have been attending a wonderful church with wonderful people. We just wish we lived closer (it's 70 miles round trip). We hope to move from our mountain home after school is done. We need to be closer to everything/everyone! So yes, this year has been pretty crazy/great! We are hoping that 2012 will be just as wonderful. We know it will not be free of trials and hardships but among them will be blessings and good times too. We hope your year was a great one too...we wish you many blessings in the year 2012! ( I wish I had some pics to share but my camera is broken and we still have to fix it. Hopefully it will be fixed before baby comes!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

25 1/2 weeks

25 1/2 weeks- taken Sunday. (I really need to get my camera fixed!!!!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Update on Baby Girl

I figured I should get on here and blog...something. I always have thoughts running through my head but I don't always have the easiest time putting them all into writing. I am just not gifted that way. Nothing really earth shattering has happened so there's not a whole lot to post about. I had my 20 weeks scan a couple weeks ago and everything seemed fine. I didn't care for the tech I had. She was quick and didn't communicate anything me the whole time. I had to read what she was writing on the screen to even get an idea of what she was looking at. She seemed uninterested, unexcited, annoyed and cranky that she even had to be giving me an ultrasound. Like I was a nuisance or something. Which is sad, since we are paying for that ultrasound! I never had a good tech with my last pregnancy either. I don't understand why it's so hard for people to just be friendly! I hate when I feel like I am just a number/another patient and not an actual person. Anyway, a week before that I had my first appointment with my midwife. She seemed nice enough. Maybe a little nervous or shy? Which was surprising to me but she seemed fine. The nurses were very kind though. I appreciated that. They were also the first ones to NOT make me take a gestational diabetes test on my first appointment. With my last three pregnancies they have made me take the test when I told them the size of my babies. Even after telling them I have never tested positive for diabetes. Oh well, I'm not one to argue so I always agree to it. No big deal...I know it's going to come back fine (and it always has!). I have my next appointment next week. I am afraid of how much weight I will have gained between my visits. I tend to gain around 5 pounds a month. I hate it but it seems to be out of my control. I just gain a lot of weight when I'm pregnant...usually about 40-55 pounds. It's insane! Thankfully, it doesn't take me too long to lose it. Within a month I usually only have about 10 pounds to go. Within 2-3 months I'm usually 3-5 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight. I hope it will be the same way this time too. I can't afford to have the extra pounds stay! In fact, I would like to be more fit than I was when I got pregnant with this baby. Anyway, that's a whole other post for another day. I will post some pictures of my most recent ultrasound. Sadly, we didn't get a whole lot of really good shots. Once again, the tech didn't seem to care or take the time to even try to get me any good pictures. Go figure...
Girl!

Foot

The front of her stomach and face.
You can see her ribs, arms and part of her head. (This one is from my 17 week scan at the clinic)



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Feeding a Large Family on a Budget?

Ok...so we finally implemented a budget for our family. It something I have been putting off and avoiding. I will admit, it was not a fin thing to do BUT now I know exactly how much we have and where it is supposed to be going. Kind of cramps my style but I now know we will have enough money to cover all our expenses and that does relieve some of my stress. Anyway, I have been trying my hardest to find cheap, creative, delicious meals. I have been finding my recipes online and making a detailed list before grocery shopping every week. I still end up spending at least $140 every week! It's sickening to me since I know families our size that are living on $100 a week for groceries. Now granted, this usually does include all our paper products, toiletries, ect. Still though, the less I spend on food, the more I would have for paying off bills or saving. I have been wanting to join Costco because I think that would help us save a little but we are waiting to have the extra $$ for the membership fee. I also only do meat about 2x's a week and make a lot of things from scratch. I thought I'd give you an example of what we eat for dinner.
Here was this weeks menu:
Saturday: Mac N' Cheese and hot dogs (not the healthiest but it was requested by all my boys)
Sunday: Beef and broccoli with rice
Monday: Rice and bean burritos and salad
Tuesday: Sausage, biscuits and gravy (once again, not healthy but so cheap and easy!)
Wednesday: Beef and noodles and a salad
Thursday: Cream of mushroom soup and homemade bread/rolls
Friday: Rice and bean casserole
Saturday: Harvest party =)

Our breakfast consists of either bagels, cold cereal or apples with p.butter. I'll sometimes do baked oatmeal or pancakes but that is a special treat and doesn't happen very often. Especially since we wake up early and usually only have 30 minutes before leaving to take the kids to school. Lunches are usually p.butter and honey sandwiches, chips and fruit or veggies. I almost always run out of breakfast and lunch foods...drives me crazy! Yet, we have a budget and I would panic if we went over it. I'm strange like that. Anyway, if you could share with me what you do to keep your food costs down that would be really helpful! I will take any suggestions!

Also- I am thinking of doing video vlogs soon...I can't stand my voice on camera but oh well, it still might be fun! ;) I also thought of chronicling my pregnancy with videos, ect. We'll see...now that I am getting my energy back maybe I'll be more motivated to get it done?!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Extra Money

It seems we never have enough of it (extra money, that is). I feel my place is at home BUT I also feel like I need to contribute financially some how...some way. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out exactly how I can do that. I know how to sew BUT I really do not want to sew diaper bags, ect. to sell. It takes the fun out of it and honestly, diaper bags can be a pain to make. If something goes wrong then it really goes wrong. Clothes are even worse. You have fittings, ect. to worry about and it's just ick. I almost feel like you can't get your moneys worth out of it. No one would pay me what I would ask if I did it full time. Sewing takes a lot of time and concentration. I guess now with my two older boys in school it would be easier for me to fit it into my schedule but I'm just not sure if I decided to go that route what I would even want to sew. It would have to be something that is easy to cut out and put together but very desirable to customers too. I see some of the products offered by some stay-at-home moms and I am intimidated. Wow, there are some talented moms out there! I do have an embroidery machine so I could personalize things. I could maybe do a package of burp rags, hats and slipper shoes? Something along those lines....maybe even put it all in a homemade bag? Hmm....just trying to figure something out. Since my energy is coming back I have found that I am itching to do something! Tim and I sat down and did our budget (thank you, Dave Ramsey) Monday and we are tight...so,so tight and even just a little money would help us out tremendously! I need suggestions, ideas, motivation and encouragement! I do not have the option of working outside the home right now (especially with baby joining us soon) and so my only option would be to find something at home that I could do. If you have any ideas...at all...let me know! I consider anything...well, almost anything! ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I See PINK in My Near Future!

As I am sure you saw from the below post...we are having a GIRL!!!! We couldn't be more excited about this little answer to our prayers. Tim has been praying with the boys before bed for over a year for a little sister for them. It looks like the Lord has heard and answered our prayer with a YES! My friend and I went to our local pregnancy center ( we have a mutual friend who works there) and I was able to have a free ultrasound done. My friend (the ultrasound tech) is not an expert at gender prediction (she was trained on measurements, ect. but not predicting gender) and was a little nervous about saying what baby was...hence the hesitation on her part. She did a fabulous job though and got some very good shots between baby girl's legs. I have become quite the pro at seeing boy parts and I know I did NOT see any boy parts on this baby. We were obsessed with seeing the 'lines' (which we did see). I still will not rest easy until I can confirm again that she is ,indeed, really a girl. I did come home and compare her 'between the legs' shots with online ultrasound photos of baby girls and they were identical. So, yes, I am pretty positive we have our girl. Upon discovering this I have been on the search for girl names. Boy names have always come alot easier for me and so this has been a bit more difficult than my previous pregnancies. I think Tim and I have decided not to share the names we have chosen just to limit the negative input. It seems Tim and I must like weird names because no on seems to like them very much. Oh well, they will get used to it after awhile.

On a ever-so-slightly different note...this pregnancy is so completely different than my boys' pregnancies were. I am carrying much wider (in my stomach) than the boys. My belly with them stuck straight out and was more basketball in shape. I also gained a little more quickly in my legs with my boys where as with baby girl I am gaining on my sides (aka love handles...which I have never had until now). I showed quicker with my boys and I felt overall pretty good while pregnant with the boys. With this baby I have felt AWFUL! I can truly sympathize with pregnant women who get sick now. My complexion is also very bad right now. With the boys it had cleared up by this point. It's definitely true with me that gender makes a difference in my pregnancies.

Anyway, sorry to bore you with another baby post. I would love to take and post pictures more often BUT my camera's card reader is broken and we don't have the finances, at this point, to get it fixed. Once we do, I will be snapping pictures like crazy! My boys have grown and changed so much in the last few months and I feel like I am missing it all!