Thursday, December 2, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

Things around here have been busy, but in a good sort of way. We are making the most of the last few days with "just" five kids, and also enjoying the Christmas season. Nothing exceptionally interesting or exciting, just our blissful little bubble that we live in. Instead of boring you all with a long-winded post, I will instead use bulletpoints and lots of photos and bore you with that! :)

  • We have been enjoying going out to pizza on Sundays for lunch at Whole Foods. Any locals might be interested to know that they are currently running a special for whole pizzas on Sundays, for only $10 each. Their pizzas are HUGE, by the way, and the offer is good for any combination of toppings. Even such yummy ones as bacon, gorgonzola and pear pizza, or pesto sauce with veggies. The meats on their toppings are all uncured, and many of the ingredients are organic. The Whole Foods bistro is one of the very few places we still go out to eat, as almost all other restaurants make us sick now that we have been eating 100% organic at home for well over a year now. It makes for a nice treat, and saves me from having to cook, do dishes, and clean the kitchen. Plus, we can take it to go and have a picnic at the park.

  • A very sweet couple from our church just moved out of the country, which was sad. It also brings the grand total of pregnant ladies in our church down by one, to a total of 5 ~ that's a lot for a church our size, and I'm guessing it has something to do with the preaching! :) There sure are a lot of little kids in our church these days, which is really exciting. Not sure why most other churches make such a fuss about the nursery - probably 1/3 of our congregation is made up of young children, and they never cause any distractions more than the adults do. On the contrary, they learn so much, so young. And it's a joy to hear them all singing with the rest of the congregation!
  • Ah, baking season ~ so many cookies to try, so little time! Growing up, around Christmas time my mother would always bake at least a dozen different cookies, and keep them all in separate tins to be able to make a cookie platter with all various sorts of cookies every day. I have been trying to do the same for my family, but never seem to be able to do that because they eat up whatever I make before I get a chance to make more kinds. I finally had the brilliant idea of baking at night when they were sleeping, and hiding the cookies (brilliant, huh?), and it worked! I am currently aiming to add one or two new types of cookies to the stash each day, and should be done with all the baking in another week or so. These cookies also make nice gifts.

  • The kids and I also made gingerbread cookies, and decorated them. This is one of those "breathe deep and ignore the mess" situations for me - icing dripping everywhere, kids eating too much sugar, etc... It was fun, but I was glad when the kitchen was back in order and the kids were sleeping off their sugar highs. I have to put in yet another plug for Whole Foods - they sell natural food colors in the baking aisle in little bottles, but they cost a small fortune, and don't work well. Once, I bought blue, and it literally came out bright pink! BUT if you go to the bakery, the staff may be as nice as the one at my store, and sell you tiny amounts of the food coloring they use for a fraction of the price. It is also 100% plant-based and all-natural, but the big difference is that their colors actually come out the way they are supposed to! I bought 1 ounce each of red, yellow, and blue, for $2 each. Which is more than enough to get us through the next couple of months, and the colors don't keep beyond that, anyway.

  • I managed to get the kids' advent calendars done just in the nick of time, i.e. the night from Nov. 30th to Dec. 1st. This is a German tradition; it's a sort of countdown to Christmas. Each day from Dec. 1 to Dec. 24, the kids get to open a little package on their calendar that contains a small treat. Becky got one for the first time this year, and has been very pleased with it. 
My husband's

Solomon's - a repeat from a couple of years ago

Isaac's - 24 little burlap bags, each with a cross-stitched Christmas motif, hung from a cinnamon scented wicker broom. Isaac loves the smell of cinnamon. I can't believe I used to have time to cross-stitch (I made these many years ago).

 John's - a wreath hung above his place at the kitchen coutner, from which he gets to cut one little package each day

The hallway in our house with Solmon's and Miriam's calendars - the kids each also get one ready-bought calendar with little chocolate shapes for each day. Each piece is only 1/12th of an ounce, so there is not a whole lot of sugar involved in these! :)

Becky's - Isaac actually made this calendar last year for Solomon, and I am just re-purposing it. 

Mine - Solomon made this one for me. He is such a sweetie, and has a heart of gold. He just couldn't stand the thought that I would be the only one without a calendar.
  • Today, I totally rearranged and organized the office/guest room, which is the room I am planning to have the baby in. It wasn't messy before, but it still looks so much better now. The boys helped me a lot with it. 
  • Speaking of helping, the older kids are seriously starting to be a major asset. Yesterday, we got a whole week's worth of laundry hung/folded and put away in less than one hour! In the past, that would have taken me much longer by myself. Plus, that way they weren't off making messes on the other side of the house while I was working! Also, now when I go on an errand or to an appointment and leave them home with my husband, I can call on my way home and tell them to put the house back in order before I get there, and they actually do it! In the past, getting home after being gone for any length of time was like entering a war-torn zone. I am starting to notice that the kids are getting in a pattern of "don't put it down, put it away", and they also notice stuff that needs to be taken care of as they move through the day (such as picking up dropped things, re-rolling the toilet paper roll for the umpteenth time after Becky had fun unrolling it yet again, etc.). It really has made my life a lot easier. Now if I could just get this through to my husband somehow... :)
  • Becky is getting close to being potty-trained. I think having her in cloth diapers has really helped with that.
  • At night, I am still working on making the kids Christmas gifts. Most all of them will be handmade this year, although I really am hoping to be able to get them a zoo membership as a joint gift for our family, too. We haven't had one in over a year, and it's such a wonderful alternative to more stuff and toys that they absolutely don't need and we don't really have the room or inclination to store. 
  • One of the young guys working at Trader Joe's commented on my "five beautiful children" today. Pointing at my stomach, I said "and another one due any day now!" to which he incredulously replied: "You are pregnant again?". Uhm, yes, 9 months along, but I was flattered that apparently I am not looking as huge as I feel. He then proceeded to ask me if I knew whether this would be the last baby. I laughed, and told him I was only 31 and still had lots of childbearing years left in me. He then asked if I was going to go for 10, and I told him that we would have as many as God would give us, which hopefully would be a lot since my husband and I were both still young. He was not being rude whatsoever, just genuinely curious, and I think that is perfectly normal and acceptable. I am always fascinated by large families, and would like to ask them all sorts of questions.
That's all I can think of for now. As I said, nothing exciting, just our everyday busy lives with the kids. I know I am going to terribly miss all of this one day.

I probably won't be posting much over the weekend, because there is always so much going on around here, but lest you start thinking I might have gone into labor, I will do a quick update in the unlikely event that that happens. So unless you read about it here, I have not yet had the baby! :)


  1. I read your posts and think to myself how in the world you have time to do everything that you do? It really is wonderful and inspiring! I only have 2 (another one due in March) and with housework, cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, errands, and whatever else comes our way...I am entirely overwelmed and by the end of the day am too tired to do anything else.
    Praying that you have a safe delivery!

  2. I can't believe how big the kids are getting! They are all so beautiful. I can't wait to see your new little bundle :) I love the advent calenders and the cookies look yummy.

  3. We could not be more different, and I'm sure we disagree on pretty much every major value we respectively hold, but I just wanted to tell you how inspiring it is that you do things like this with your children. I know stay at home mom's to 2 kids who don't do 1/5 of the work you do- they're certainly not making crafts and made from scratch food and homeschooling! You truly are doing a wonderful job by your kids and you work harder at that job than many people I know. Here's to a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

  4. Your little blessing is making me impatient. I know how impatient you are too! Can't wait to read your birth story.

    The homemade advent calendars are beautiful! Well done.

  5. That pizza and those cookies sure look yummy!

    Hope you have an easy, uneventful labor and delivery at home just as you are planning. Hope little one is healthy and strong. :-)

  6. That pizza looks so good , I hope someday we get a whole foods . Those advent calendars look like so much fun , I think we will try that next year , glad to hear that everything is going good , just can't wait to find out if the baby is a boy or girl ...

  7. Just a word of caution. The picture of Miraam parked right behind your vehicle is a bit unsettling and I hope you're teaching her that's not a safe place to play or ride her bike.


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