Friday, November 30, 2007

More Pictures

I had a wonderful birthday! Holly & Matt came to babysit, and Mitch took me to Mexican Village. They give you a free meal on your birthday there. I was soooo hungry and soooo excited to be going out to eat (my first time out to eat with Mitch since early August), that I was actually salivating as I read the menu! LOL Isn't it nice for a meal to be so exciting? I think sometimes we are too spoiled here in America. It was worth waiting for. Both of us ate way more than we should have, and there was NOTHING left over. =)

I finally have some pictures of Micah and Josh, as promised. Took them this morning! I just don't know what we are going to do with Josh. The kid has the hand of God on him, that's for sure. On Sunday we left for church, got about a mile away, and Micah pointed out that Josh wasn't buckled in his car seat. On Wednesday Mitch took the kids to the pool at the Y (except Malachi, who was with me). He got in the pool room, turned to set the towels down on the bench, and by the time he turned back around Josh had already jumped in. This is not strange--normally Josh has on a life jacket, and can jump in the water just fine. He goes completely under with no problems and the jacket bobs him back up. He is not afraid of the water and loves going under. Only this time he didn't have his vest on! Mitch immediately reached in (the lifeguard on duty must not have noticed, as she didn't move) and pulled Josh back out. It is so funny to hear Mitch describe how Josh looked...thankfully no rescue breathing necessary (especially since it had only been 5 days since Mitch had practiced the Heimlich). Then last night while we were gone, Josh decided to take the baby gate out and ski down the stairs with it--he was leaning against the gate (we took our permanently installed one down when we were selling the house) and it gave way. Oh man! I will talk with Mitch about getting the permanent one back up this weekend. Yeah, now we've got our hands really full!!



No worse for the wear, in spite of nearly choking, drowning, and breaking his neck.





For the record, it is 68 degrees in my house. WHY IN THE WORLD Micah think he needs to wear his winter jacket to the table is beyond me!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some Pictures

I thought it would be fun to post some pictures. Josh and Micah didn't really have any "good" ones, so maybe I'll try again to catch them on film, lol.


Zeke and Caleb all dressed up for church. (Same day both Micah and Eden managed to get out of here in jeans...=P)



Malachi, my really BIG boy, is looking an awful lot like his mom at 6 months with that cute button nose.



Eden enjoying some valuable "girl time" with Megan Bondy. =)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have had a very full two weeks, including a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. I'm looking forward to getting back to "normal" on Monday. Last weekend we added a furry person to our family. Her name is Lady and we adopted her from the Humane Society on a recommendation from Mitch's sister Holly. She is a coon hound who was surrendered because her owners wanted to hunt with her and she was too scared (a coon hound afraid of 'coons!). It turns out that we couldn't have asked for a better dog. Micah came to Mitch a couple days after we got her and said, "Remember dad when I was 6, you promised me that when I was 10 we could get a dog, and we did!" Wow, the blessing of keeping your word (and the reminder of why Jesus said in Matthew 5 not to make vows)! We are working on some potty training issues, but other than that she is about as perfect as they come. My only regret is that it is an inconvenience to our friends who have allergies.


We had a great Thanksgiving. The Bondy's came to visit on Tuesday--just for the afternoon/evening. It was great as always to see them. On Thursday we enjoyed dinner at Paul and Marilyn's (Mitch's dad and stepmom). It was just us and Grandma Theis. Grandma had a great time with the kids. Her memory is failing fast, but she still brightened at the sight of them. We got to hear her "mom voice" a couple times when she told Micah and Caleb to settle down. =) And of course there was her "grandma voice" as she cooed at the baby. Marilyn made a delicious meal. On Friday I managed to drag myself out to Joann Fabrics and bring home some fun new fabrics at fantastic deals. Friday evening we had our small group Bible study and another "feast" including turkey and ham. It was a fun evening. Mitch prepared the lesson and we all dug into our Bibles to find verses defining who we are in Christ.
Mitch is learning the new FedEx route and this will be his last week riding along with someone. Next week he will be flying solo! He is filling his head with visions of becoming a contractor (owning his own route)...so perhaps that is where life will take us next. December promises to be a very busy month, so Sal has reorganized the route to make it a little simpler (sigh of relief).

I hope to get back on track with diapers this week. My production slowed down drastically over the past two weeks. Holly is on board now and equipped to take over the cutting out of diapers for me. I let her start out with her sister Mindy's diapers--good training, huh? =) "It's just family." LOL She did an excellent job, and I only hope that she continues to improve her efficiency so that it doesn't take too much of her time. I am anxious to see if the business grows over the next few weeks (especially if I can get my tush into the sewing room and put together everything she cuts out).

I will turn 29 (again) this week. I am enjoying celebrating my "golden birthday" for the rest of my life. =) I tried to get Mitch to call a sitter so we can go out, but he hasn't yet. I guess we need to procrastinate a bit more...

We about lost Josh last night. He went to bed with Micah, and Micah looked over and noticed Josh was acting funny. He was not making any noises, just had his hand on his throat. Micah called for Mitch (I was out with the dog), and Mitch had to do the Heimlich to dislodge a small rock that had gotten stuck! He had clearly been choking, but could not breathe or cough whatsoever. By the time I got back inside, everything seemed to be back to normal except Mitch was cuddling with Josh and informed me that I had "missed the action." It was very scary for all involved. I stand in awe of our God who protected Josh and has given him to us for another day! I see Josh putting stuff in his mouth all the time, and I never say anything to him. I figure I'm fighting a losing battle. You can bet I won't be so casual from now on!

We have been rearranging our home again (with Mitch home, it was inevitable). We decided to convert a bedroom into a "family closet" to make laundry day easier. So all the kids' clothes are now in one place. It actually looks and works pretty good. I love going into their bedrooms and not finding 3 days' worth of clothes on the floor! I do not prefer to hang clothes, but I'm getting over it. Mitch and I are keeping our own clothes in our room still. As we have time, we will continue to organize the kids closets now (which are largely empty), adding shelves to store toys.

We retrieved all our boxes from storage (at a friend's house) a couple weeks ago. The first thing I did was try to find my winter/warm clothing. I was disappointed to find only two boxes--one with nightgowns and the other with maternity clothes. Nope, neither was going to do it! I finally gave up and went to Saver's and bought some used jeans (3 pair for $11!!). They are really cute too. This week I made my way about unpacking the rest of all the boxes. Many were books. We have two huge bookcases (thank you, Carrie!), and it is so nice to put the books out on them now. I felt incredible after emptying so many boxes. I stood in my office and looked around--it's beginning to look a lot more like a real office. As I did, I spied a stack of boxes that have been there since Mitch left for Texas. Feeling motivated to get it ALL organized, I tackled the stack. Lo and behold, on the bottom there were the two missing boxes of winter clothes. Dude! I could have EASILY reached them THE WHOLE TIME!!! Grrrrr... Oh well, at least my "new" jeans are cute AND cheap. =)

I have been gleaning nuggets of info from "The Week" magazine and have been dying to blog about them. One in particular I just can't resist anymore and that is what I will have to leave off with. A new study showed that people are inclined to believe rumors or gossip, even when their own eyes reveal the "truth" to them--they will continue to believe the lies. Strangely enough, the scientists who conducted the study are a bunch of evolutionists.

Hahahahahahahaha.......................... So now we know why each time they come up with some new "evidence" that did NOT support their theories, they modify the theory (instead of throwing it out like a good mathematician would) to fit the evidence. Ptttttbbbbbbbbb =P

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lookie what I got!!


The Truck


Well, first off, here's a cool story about our new vehicle. Mitch's step-mom Marilyn spied a 12-passenger van at a small car lot almost in the middle of nowhere. She stopped in to inquire, and they had several 8-passenger vehicles. So that night she came over to watch our kids and sent Mitch and I and his dad out to check it out. We get out of the car, and the first vehicle that caught my eye was a Suburban (Mitch had previously said 'no' to this model of vehicle). This particular one was familiar to me--it has a Bush/Cheney sticker on one side of the rear and a "24" on the other. My kids have ridden to and from school many times in that vehicle, thanks to generous neighbors who live nearby and helped us out. :) I began to feel excited. Somehow the lot salesman managed to squeeze out of us our price range ($5,000 max) before we could squeeze the asking price out of him ($5,500). I couldn't help but mutter a barely audible "of course." We climbed in for a test drive as I quickly phoned home to get the home phone number from our friends. I put Mitch on the phone, and we soon discovered that they still owned the vehicle (we guessed it was a trade-in). They were good friends with the dealers and they were just selling it for them. He told us, "Take it home for a few days, drive it around and see what you think!" He also informed us that someone had talked him down to $4500, then never got back to him...but we could even pay him whatever the insurance co was giving us for our van ($3500). We talked and agreed to the $4500. The KBB value is $6600... The kids like it. It is kind of tricky to get in and out, but they are getting the hang of it. I have decided that it's not a van or a car, and 'suburban' is too many syllables, so it is "the truck." We can all fit into it (for now, hehe). I think the Bush/Cheney sticker adds to the value, but someone told me the 24 negates that. :) Hmmm....(Tara ought to laugh over that one)...sorry, I couldn't resist! The deal isn't totally finalized yet, but we are planning to meet on Tuesday to make it official.



We were out joy riding last night, just me and the kids, and I met a friend in Sam's club. She was carrying her baby in a carrier, and I commented that I need one of those for my fat baby who wants to be carried constantly lately. I like her. She uses cloth diapers too. She makes these carriers, which are a modified version of the mei tei carriers, and sells them online. We chatted for a bit, then I went on. Before I knew it, she came running up behind me--she had taken her carrier off and was rolling it up. She handed it to me and said, "Take this one and use it for a while and see what you think!" Wow, that is confidence in your product! I did not know how to put it on, and the baby was sleeping. So I asked her to show me how using Josh (he's pretty little anyways). Josh loved it, and so did I. It felt awesome, with no pulling or straining on my back, shoulders, or neck. It is so much different than the carriers that you buy in the store. But that's not the end of the story. I came home and checked out Jill's website, www.babiesbeyondborders.com, which she recently redid. If you go, take time to read the "about us" page and see how she is having these carriers made. Just this morning I was reading a story in the Crown College (where Mitch graduated from) magazine about a ministry that teaches women in other countries to sew to make money for their families. This ministry/work is saving them from a life of slavery. It is not a sweat shop. This is so cool and now my mind is racing--what if we could get in on something like this!?! Anyways...here is me with Malachi in the carrier:

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Long time, no post

I have been staying very busy here. Funny, I thought that would change when Mitch came home. =S

Homeschool is going really well, and the kids are getting done every day by 2:00 (almost). Amazing!

I have been trying to squeeze in at least 2 hours a day at "work" on diapers. It's great how a little activity keeps my business really hopping.

I caught a cold somewhere, and my voice took a turn in the wrong direction. :( So no choir for me yet. I can't wait until I can get back there...I'm tempted to just go sit and listen. I have a seen a speech therapist twice now, and she's given me some great tools to use to relax and strengthen my vocal cords.

The weather is really turning cold here now. Mitch went with his dad tonight to retrieve the rest of our stuff that had been in storage at a friend's house. What are we going to do with all this stuff?! Now our basement and entryway are full of boxes, and we have small group here on Friday night---AAAAACCCCKKK. (I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed, but it's not working too well.) Bad news is when they went to get our stuff, they only found one box of clothes. This means my winter stuff is still m.i.a. Brrrrrrrrrr.

We have not bought new wheels yet. It's funny how I don't feel a real "urgency" to the situation. Each time we find a van that we want to look at, it sells before we even have a chance. It will come.

Mitch is really enjoying his new job with FedEx. He has been riding along with one guy for the past couple of days. He really enjoys his company and shares many funny stories with me. Next week he will be down near the cities, in Shakopee, all week for training.

I'd better zip off and get some beauty rest...my voice desperately needs it!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Update

I am too overwhelmed to begin. I'm so far behind!!! I want to blog so much, but just don't have time. =S

Well...Mitch's homecoming first. It was so fun the night he came home. He misled me to believe that he was an hour further away than he actually was. So the kids and I were hanging out, and the doorbell rang. I didn't hear it, but they answered. They came running and said, "Mom, someone rang the doorbell and left two pirate costumes and a race car!" I went upstairs to check it out (who is the generous neighbor?), and of course it was their daddy. He said, "How rude of my kids to just take the stuff and run!" LOL Of course, that's what he expected them to do. He got up and made breakfast on Sunday morning. It was sooooo nice to not have to do it all myself. We were still late to Sunday School, though. =P It has felt so strange to have him home. First off, he had this really, really LONG hair. He looked strange. In a way it felt like he had never left. I get so confused trying to put everything together. Today I shaved his head, and he looks much more like himself. But there's this huge memory gap there--yes, he was really gone.

He has really gotten the kids into shape as far as homeschooling goes. They are doing excellent for him. I can't believe it. Well, yes I can. He is a wonderful teacher, there's no doubt. The kids were all done with their work by 1 pm today!! I am hoping that I can learn some of his secrets. He has set up a discipline and rewards system. There are three basic rules: 1) I must respect authority. 2) I must respect others. 3) I must do what I am told. He made a chart with a bunch of boxes for each kid. They get a "strike" when the break a rule, and one strike equals 5 min. Next, he got a membership to the YMCA (more details to follow). The kids are like fish--they love to swim. But each strike they receive means they have to sit on the side of the pool for 5 min before they can swim. For now, this is huge motivation (obviously, since they got their work done so fast). So far it's working well.

Mitch really wanted a gym membership so that he can work on getting in shape. (Though Steph G assures me that the FedEx job will certainly be quite an exercise for him!) He wanted a family membership so we could spend time together. He also knows that exercise will help him battle depression. We researched the Y and the scholarship program. He went down and applied this week and was accepted. We are SO grateful for this--our family membership is only costing us $15/month!!!! God has met another important need for our family.

I've really got to run, but a couple more things:

The van situation is good. We have a reasonable offer from our insurance company. We are not liable for the accident, though the other ins. may try to paste us with 10% or something stupid like that. We were traveling down a 4-lane highway--Mitch in the van with 4 kids and me following in the car with 2. We were in the left-hand lane. Traffic in the right hand lane was backed up (it typically is), but our lane was mostly empty. We were headed towards a green light (but did not get to the light)--so cars way in front of us were moving, and there was no reason for us to be slowing. We were traveling under the posted speed limit. Suddenly a car darted out from behind a stop sign to make a left turn across our lane of traffic. The traffic in the lane next to her was stopped, and she did not check carefully to see how quickly we were moving. I was far enough behind Mitch to stop reasonably, and I also saw her dart. He had almost no reaction time, though, and could not avoid t-boning her even though he slammed on the brakes. She was not seriously injured, though they did have to cut her door off and transported her to the hospital. I didn't even think. I threw my car into park and bolted for the van to start unloading kids. People jumped out of their cars and came to help. Many were reassuring--I could hear one on the phone with 911 describing the scene. Another said to me, "someone's already on the way!" They helped me carry kids, and I stuffed them all into the back seat of the car. They were crying, but ok. Josh bit his tongue and it was bleeding a small bit. Since this happened on the way home from church, there was a church family who saw the accident and stopped to assist us. We called a couple other families who were still at church and they came too to help us get everyone home. Mitch was even able to drive the van home. The insurance co says it is a total loss--yay--and we have been looking at vans all week. We know that God will provide the right vehicle for us. Maybe it will even be something a little larger. It has all been a big hassle, but we are so thankful for God's protection. I am amazed that it was not me who was driving the van (normally it would have been), and so thankful that Micah was not sitting up front as he had been doing all the weeks that Mitch was gone.

Eden is a "new woman" in her words. Daddy's coming home gift to her was letting her get her ears pierced. =) (I love how she's got a grip on her Daddy's hand--this is the girl who screamed through a flu shot recently!)





Malachi had his first rice cereal recently. While he did really well as far as being able to eat it, I don't think his tummy has tolerated it well. I am not sure if it's related, but he always seems to do a bit of back-arching and screaming later after eating. =S I haven't had time to do much research. But he's still really cute....