Thursday, July 31, 2008

Joshua Helping

Joshua wanted to try his hand at it too, but he chose bigger tomatoes.
The boys did not leave a lot of tomato for canning, but I don't feel the tomatoes were wasted at all.
If a mom wants cheerful help, she has to willingly accept help...even when it is not "convenient" to do so.
The loss of the tomatoes and a little bit of my time was so little compared to what lessons they gained through offering to help and working beside me.
(I peeled them with a knife this time since I didn't have the energy to stay on my feet for the "boil for a minute, drop in ice water" method. I was still wiped out by time the canning was finished. My littlest one is kicking my butt! :-)
Posted by Picasa

Caleb Helping

Caleb wanted to help with the smaller tomatoes. He thought those would be easier.
Posted by Picasa

Green Beans and Peppers

We had the green beans last night for supper and I am dehydrating the peppers to use in marinades and rubs later.
Posted by Picasa


Brandon, Amanda and Caleb picked enough tomatoes for us to put up 16 quarts yesterday.
I was low on energy but was able to sit down for most of it.
Clint was a blessing when he helped me with the big canner after he came home.
I do not like the pressure dial on my new canner so I am going to try to fit it with a weighted pressure rocker as was recommended by a lady who had done this. That will negate the need for yearly pressure checks at the cooperative extension office.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chickens Have Grown

Sadly, we lost one of our ducks so we won't be getting babies from those next year.
Now the last duck and sole goose hang out and sleep together.
Posted by Picasa

Cantaloupe Will Be Ready Soon

Brandon is about the only one who will eat them.
This and the pumpkins were planted in my flowerbeds by the house and are growing out onto the lawn. So far, the goats and Hot Shot have ignored them.
Posted by Picasa

Joshua's Sunflowers Are Starting to Open

He's pretty excited about these! We'll save the heads and leaves for the goats to eat over the winter. We have several rows of staggered planting times so we'll enjoy them for a while to come.
Posted by Picasa

Pretty Okra Flower

The okra is looking stunted since I have not been able to keep up with the garden due to the pregnancy. The weeds are terrible, but Clint says he'll hoe for me this weekend.
Posted by Picasa

Pumpkins Are Growing

Something got one of our watermelons though. Caleb was so disappointed when we went out together to check on it. :-(
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Already!

Yesterday was a good day and I accomplished quite a bit. I called Clint at work and asked him if he'd like to go out alone later. He was thrilled, especially since I said it would be my treat!Brandon babysat for us while we went to eat at Salsa's, a beautifully decorated Mexican restaurant. After dinner, we walked Riverwalk in Yorktown, sat on the beach and watched the sunset and then purchased an ice cream cone from Twisters. We ate those under the Gloucester Coleman Bridge while we watched the York River's tide go out. It was a very nice night and we fully enjoyed our evening alone.

All good things must end and I became violently ill with the HG and finally got to bed at 6 a.m. I am wiped out from it and as soon as I give the children their instructions and get them working on school, I am going to work on getting fluids in me and then will take a short nap to try to regain some strength. Obviously reducing the antiemetic is not going to be easy. I have been far worse than this and I am fully aware of what my Father can and will do to carry me through the rest of the pregnancy. He is worth taking the time to get to know and will be an ever present help in times of trouble...just as His Word says.

Emily is such a card now! She "sings" softly all of the time and we just enjoy listening to her experiment and entertain herself with her vocal cords. She's dancing when she hears music which is just darling to see. For the past several weeks, she has been initiating play. She knows when I put her on our bed in the evenings, that it is playtime with Daddy! She will crawl to the middle, look at him, giggle and then roll over and expose her belly just daring him to come blow raspberries! He is happy to oblige her and she responds with squeals and grabs his head in her arms while she looks over at me to see if I am watching her and Daddy have so much fun. If he delays any at all at responding to her exposed belly, she'll make eye contact with him and then pat or poke at her belly. She is out of her "only Mom will do" stage and Clint is enjoying the efforts she is making to engage him in play time. Watching my husband with our children is one of my most precious delights and makes the HG seem like a very small thing.

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Update on Jim L.

Jim was moved out of ICU again on Saturday. Clint went to visit him on Sunday and said it was very good to see him.

Jim told Clint he asked his daughter to take him to the ER because he was uncoordinated and thought he was having a stroke. Jim told the ER he thought he was having a stroke but the ER doc told him he had vertigo and sent him home. Jim's symptoms persisted, so he went back again telling them he thought he was having a stroke. Same thing--you have vertigo, go home. Jim does not remember anything else until he woke up in the hospital.

He has had 5 surgeries since being there. He kept losing blood and they did abdominal surgery to close up some holes. He says he can tell he has lost some coordination, but will work to get that back.

His ex-wife went to the new landlord, explained what had happened and got Jim's deposit back (very nice of her). He is living with his daughter and her family for now. He will soon be a grandpa for the second time!

Jim thanked Clint for the cassette tapes of coworkers wishing him well and said he feels like having visitors now.

He should go home at the end of next week barring any other problems.

Let's pray he goes home as planned, is able to regain all of his coordination and strength and can go back to work soon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Heart Palpitations

I am still having the heart palpitations and shortness of breath. I had planned to try to walk today since I am feeling better, but gave that up after a bad "attack" this a.m.

If you were to run as fast as you could for as long as you could and then stop...that is how my heart feels. Only, I am usually sitting down or barely moving and it takes off on its own!

I kind of thought it was due to the anti-emetic (50 mg of Unisom) because I noticed it came after certain times. We did some research and yep, that's it!! Heart palpitations and other cardiac issues are attributed to the dose I am taking. Now we know why I had them at the end of the pregnancy with Emily. Knowing why something is happening makes it easier to deal with, imo.

I mentioned the hp to the OB when I was carrying Emily and he was unconcerned. "Some pregnant women get's considered normal...will go away after delivery." That made us think I just had to live with them. I now know there is a cause and can figure out a way to get them to stop! PTL!

The hp and breathing issues are far worse to deal with than the vomiting. But, I can't afford to not take something because my throat, esophagus and stomach have a lot of wear and tear on them already. While I stay on the medication, I throw up about once a week and have about two bad days. I am still bleeding and hoarse off and on. If I go off of the medication, I get sicker more often.

We are going to wean me off of the Unisom and try Benadryl for a while. If that does not control the vomiting, we will try a combo of both and see what happens. We really do not want to go to a prescription drug as many of those are not labelled for use during pregnancy and have health risks to the baby.

Our prayer is that the nausea and vomiting goes away and HG will be a thing of the PAST for this pregnancy so I no longer need any medication.

The pregnancy is going well, but I have to do what I am suppose to do keep the vomiting infrequent. My spirits are up the majority of the time and I am able to have more of a life this pregnancy. I do get frustrated when I have to spend a day or to lying around because that is just not in my nature. I still wish HG was something tangible so I could get a bat and beat the tar out of it!! :-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Baby #10 Ultrasound Picts

Posted by Picasa
It's hard to believe this is the 10th set of ultrasound pictures we have been blessed to see!

Clint's Wreck, Due Date

Thursday, a teenager pulled out in front of Clint on his way between plants. Clint tried to avoid hitting him, but couldn't do it. I had asked Clint to drive my car so he could use the a/c, so it was my car that was in the crash. PTL no one was injured!

I have a cracked headlight and a tiny scratch. The poor teen's car did not fair as well. Clint said the rear side and bumper was messed up pretty bad.

"If I had had that much more space," Clint said while holding his hands a foot and a half apart, "I could have missed him! I didn't have though," he finished while shaking his head with regret.

The teen was driving his mother's boyfriend's car. The policeman held up the teen's insurance card and pointed to expiration date and said to Clint "You got lucky." The other driver's insurance expired the next day at noon. PTL we will be reimbursed for the damage to my car.

If you know me, you know I really don't care about an automobile as long as it gets me where I am going. In eternity, it is not going to matter one bit what kind of car I drove or what condition it was in. However, I do believe in taking advantage of an opportunity to good-naturedly tease someone I love, so I am joking with Clint about "injuring my poor baby." LOL :-)

The doctor moved up the baby's due date from the 9th to the 5th of January.

Clint worked the last few weekends and we paid $1200 towards the bill. We have $1300 left to pay before December. We have a $3,000 deductible since our insurance changed and I was concerned the bill would be much higher since the pregnancy spans two years. PTL it wasn't! We'll have to pay the hospital though and if that is in January, we'll have to meet the deductible for 2009. We feel very blessed to have insurance even if it does have a high deductible. We have several friends who have gone/are going without it because they could/can not afford to pay for it. Something needs to be done about the cost of medical care in our country, but I do not know what the solution is, other than we need our King to return!

I have a lot to do before the weekend ends, so I had better get to it. I'll try to get some pictures soon.

Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dr's Appt

We had a good doctor's appointment...except for the waiting.

The baby is looking good. I am doing better than normal. The doctor is happy with everything I am doing and is pleased that I am not as sick this time around. He said the vomiting may go away altogether this time. I sure hope so!!

Seeing the baby on the ultrasound was so very good for me. I can not tell you how much seeing the baby helps when the days are rough. I am psyched up now!!! :-) Clint said I put my hand on the monitor and he knew in my mind I was cradling our baby. He said he wished he could have had a picture of me like that.

The doctor allowed us to look at the baby on the ultrasound longer than normal because we had to wait so long. They FORGOT about us!!! They were very near to going to lunch and leaving us there!! There was some confusion about which room I needed to go to and the nurse ended up putting me in a room in the back corner where there is not much traffic (or ventilation!!). We waited and waited and waited and waited....and perspired!

We were sweating so bad, Clint opened the door and stood in the hallway with Emily to cool her off. Before that, she was pitiful looking as she reached for the door and made noises begging him to open it and let her out. Poor baby! I had undressed for the pelvic exam, so I was stuck in the hot room. The paper "melted" to my backside from the perspiration, so I got up, found a sheet and put that under me.

Clint (my hero) got tired of waiting and asked someone to check to see what was going on. A nurse came and told us we had to wait on two more patients who were ahead of us. Another nurse checked the times and realized we should have been seen over an hour ago....and then the doctor came rushing in with apologies. I told him I was glad it was just an oversight and not someone having an emergency.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me. Tuesday night was really bad and Wednesday was worse. I had asked a few people to pray that I'd get through the appointment without the HG causing me trouble. God blessed me with an easy time of it today.

Afterward the appointment, we were famished from missing our lunch, so Clint took us to Red Lobster. I have leftovers for a meal tonight. It might be enough for two meals, but I think I'll have some help eating it. Caleb LOVES crab legs!!!

I'll post picts of the ultrasound soon.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Make a Kite Out of a Plastic Bag

This is what Caleb and I will be doing this weekend.

Have a good weekend and enjoy your family!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Free Recipes, Hints, Tips for Families

"This primer is full of simple, good for us, “made from scratch” helps. It offers
tips, recipes, creative and practical ideas that I have found along my path in the
quest for the best for my family. I hope it blesses you and yours!"

Thanks to aardvark for posting this on the local list.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jury Duty in Virginia

A local lady on our homeschool list is facing the same situation which is what made me think of sharing this here in hopes it would help another person.

A few years ago, I received a summons to appear as a potential jury member for federal court in Newport News. I was the mother of four minor children and on bedrest due to pregnancy at the time. We had no one to watch our children. We had just gone through Hurricane Isabel which damaged our home and property so our finances were very tight. My husband missing work was not an option. I also had a doctor's note for the bedrest.

I had found out about the state law (below) and also mentioned that when I called the court. The woman was extremely rude and told me that "Being a mother doesn't excuse you from jury duty." She told me the state law I found did not apply because it was federal court. She was threatening in her tone and I got the distinct impression from some of what she said that she was a working mother who had issues with those who chose to stay at home with theirs. She told me with or without the doctor's note, I had better find a babysitter and show up in court.

I searched the internet and read many stories of homeschooling mothers who had been in the same predicament. A few of them took their children to court. Most were excused. A couple of mothers were told to take their children home, find care for the children and show up on time the next day. One was held in contempt and fined for bringing hers.

I decided to try again, but wanted to get another person, so I wrote a letter to the judge's office. I also sent in a copy of the doctor's note that I was on bedrest with pregnancy. This letter got to the judge's clerk, who put it before the judge. The judge immediately excused me and I received the letter a few days later.

I called the judge's clerk (his contact info was in this second letter) to verify that I was excused. I shared with him what had happened when I called the first time. He told me that the best thing to do about jury duty was to write a letter to the judge so that it could be put before him. "No one can excuse you except for the judge." He also told me the lady I spoke to when I called the first time was known for being rude!

From the VA Code:

§ 8.01-341.1. Exemptions from jury service upon request.

Any of the following persons may serve on juries in civil and criminal cases but shall be exempt from jury service upon his request:

8. A person who has legal custody of and is necessarily and personally responsible for a child or children 16 years of age or younger requiring continuous care by him during normal court hours, or any mother who is breast-feeding a child,

9. A person who is necessarily and personally responsible for a person having a physical or mental impairment requiring continuous care by him during normal court hours,

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rejoicing Loudly!

Today at 4 p.m. Bethany asked how to become a Christian and Clint led her in prayer!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home-made Learning Books & Tapes

Posted by Picasa
I tried getting the paragraphs separated, but can't figure it out and am out of time...
I make learning books with audio tapes for all of the things the younger children need to memorize like times tables, measurements, spelling words, and more. This is much less expensive than store bought tapes and booklets and is tailored to the individual's needs.
Whereas a multiplication tape might have annoying music and sound effects and includes all 12 tables, I can eliminate the unwanted features and break the material down into more manageable sections.
I first got the idea when I went to purchase an addition tape and book set for Brandon. The cheap looking tape with the flimsy book was over $15. I had doubts it would last through one child, much less the two I had at the time. I purchased a blank tape for $1, a three pronged paper folder for .10, stickers for $1 and used paper I had on hand. For less than $3 with a little time and creativity added, I had a colorful, personalized tape which taught far more than the addition tables and that my child really looked forward to doing each day.
When students see it, say it and hear it, they learn the material much faster.
As a very busy mother, I have found this time saving technique very helpful. When I have been on bed rest for pregnancy, I have found these tapes invaluable to keeping our homeschool going forward with six children. It allows them to learn with my voice while I am free to school with another child or tackle a few minute's housework.
For preschoolers, I make tapes and books that teach them their personal information: spelling of their names, parents' names and occupations, birthday, address and phone numbers (home, Dad's work, Mom's cell, emergency friend).

Sometimes I will do only one subject and make the book/tape "child generic" instead of personalized. Other times, I make the book/tape very personalized.
I put a symbol on the tape and on the book...see the star on the tape in the picture. This helps the children keep the tapes in the right folder. I tape a plastic bag or half of an envelope into the folder for the tape to slide into.

I like to interspace the memory work with Bible memory verses, songs, poems, encouraging words, reminders to do their best and expressions of my love and pride in them.
I also make challenges with rewards in the tapes. When they think they know a certain chart or table, they are to bring the book to me for an oral test.
I have either made my own educational charts/tables or found them on the internet. I have saved every one under a file by subject so when I need to make a new book, I just have to go through my files and print the page out. It now takes me less than an hour to make a tape they will use daily for weeks.
I love listening to my children talk to and sing along with my voice on the tapes. I love hearing them tell me (on the tape) that they love me too. I love it when at the end of a tape I have told them to run to me and give me a big hug so I'd know they finished. Mostly, I love seeing them soak the material up like a sponge and enjoy learning.
My younger children get excited when they know I am making new tapes and are eager to do them each day.
My oldest children say their homemade learning tapes and books were part of their favorite early homeschool experiences and now use high school curriculum that includes Spanish and History tapes.

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
Psalms 31:24