Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Anderson Infirmary

Odd as it may seem, all the kids are sick AGAIN. This time they are all running a high fever, coughing terribly, and have a bad cold with sore throat, runny nose, and all. Even the poor little baby caught it and she is not doing too well unless I hold her. The older three are doing fairly well and are content to just lay on the living room sofas all day long with me there hanging out with them.

This is really strange because our kids rarely ever get sick, maybe once a year each or so. Twice in two weeks is not typical. The youngest three have never even been to a doctor once in their life, not because I am against doctors but because the kids have never been seriously ill. We don't take them in for checkups or vaccinations, both of which cause more harm than good. Of course, I didn't take them in this time either just to have someone tell me "Yes, they have a cold." and then ask for $120 per child to tell me that. Who knows what diseases the kids would have picked up in the waiting room.

I have been giving the kids half the recommended dosage of children's tylenol to keep the fever reasonably low and to alleviate their sore throats, which is something I usually don't like to do. Isaac even wanted to refuse that, assuring me at 104 degrees that he felt just fine, but I made him take it. I haven't given the baby anything. Her fever was lower, around 102 max, and if she still has it tomorrow I will start her on some homeopathic remedies.

I am not advocating neglecting your children's health at all. Quite the contrary, I think every parent should take responsibility for their child's health and educate themselves as much as possible in the medical field, rather than just blindly trusting their pediatrician. My guess is that I have read close to 100 books on natural health and medicine since becoming pregnant with our first child. I also specialize in translating professional articles from medical journals, which gives me some really interesting insights into conventional medicine. I would have to say that really hasn't helped build my confidence in the medical field! :)

My favorite book on natural health for children (and the whole family) is "Naturally Healthy Babies and Children" by Aviva Jill Romm. This lady is not a Christian so obviously I have objections to some of the things in the front of her book, but the A-Z guide to treating common illnesses is my most often used health reference. I have never tried a remedy in that book that didn't work. In the back the book gives a very good list of items for stocking an all-natural medicine cabinet and first aid kit. Putting that together is one of the many projects on my mental to-do list.

So anyway, this evening when the baby fell asleep I laid her down and went to run a bath for John. The older two also got in the tub before I noticed (they usually shower themselves) but I let them stay in because I hoped the hot steam would help clear them up. Well, one of them took something away from John, who started screaming loudly. He is not allowed to act like that but was emotional because of being ill. So the baby wakes up, and while I go to pick her up Isaac is yelling from the bathroom that Solomon's nose is bleeding. I go in to check and realize I need both hands, so I put the poor screaming girl in the Exersaucer so she would stay put in a safe place. Back in the bathroom, Solomon's nose is bleeding profusely, and I cannot even keep up with switching to clean tissues. While the bath water becomes a bloody mess, John is still screaming, Miriam is having a breakdown, and Isaac starts having a coughing fit and throwing up. I stand him in front of the toilet, where he is shaking and miserably cold but I can't leave to grab him a towel because Solomon's nose is still just gushing blood. Then the phone rings...

About a half hour later everyone was dressed, warm, and cared for, but it wasn't easy. My husband was out working. Solomon's nosebleed lingered for a long time and was one of the worst I have ever seen (and that is saying a lot because I get very bad nosebleeds when I am pregnant).

I have no idea how I am going to finish everyone's advent calendars before Saturday morning. And I don't even want to think about having to catch up with all the missed school work. But I'm sure it will all work out fine.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Our Thanksgiving

Without exaggeration, I can say that this has been the best Thanksgiving ever. Not that past years haven't been nice, but the more children we have and the older they are, the funner it gets. Every year I think it can't get any better, and then it does. Johnny was very funny walking around and telling everyone "Happy Thanksgiving!" over and over again all day long.

Here is a picture of Solomon and Daddy enjoying bacon and eggs for breakfast. Notice the dining room table in the background - it's loaded with my craft supplies for making everyone their advent calendars (3 down, 2 to go).

I started cooking at 9 AM, and we ate at 1:30 PM. It was all very leisurely, as evidenced by 3 of the 4 kids coming to the table in their pajamas.

This was Miriam's first Thanksgiving, and boy, did she LOVE the food! Especially the dessert of pumpkin pie with vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream. Her and Daddy shared three or four helpings of that. Johnny said he also loved the "popkin pie".

Feed me!

Thank you!

Here is a disclaimer about the next picture: My husband LOVES all natural ginger ale and root beer. They are, of course, 100% non-alcoholic, but you wouldn't know it looking at the bottle that they are sold in. I always advise him not to drink one when driving because he is bound to get pulled over one of these days. This was confirmed when I went to Trader Joe's on Wednesday to pick up some of these sodas and the lady at the checkout asked to see my ID. I looked at her completely puzzled, wondering why Trader Joe's asks for ID to shop there, until she realized I wasn't buying booze. Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that. :)

After we all had too much to eat, my husband played with the kids while I put the lights on the tree that we just HAD to decorate on Thanksgiving. The kids have been asking practically every day this month if it was time to put the tree up yet, and about 5 times a day this week. I was going to get a real tree this year until I found out that no place started selling them until after Thanksgiving. I figured it would be funner to decorate a fake tree with Daddy there and lots of time rather than waiting another week and doing it by ourselves, so we went out Wednesday afternoon and bought one. As promised to Solomon, it is so tall it almost touches the ceiling. I let the kids talk me into putting colored lights on it. I prefer white, but as a child I likewise loved the colored lights and didn't understand why my Mom didn't feel the same way about it (although she, too, would usually give in to putting up the colored lights). Once the lights were up, we all decorated the tree together, as well as also decorated much of the rest of the house.

This is a picture of the advent wreath on the dining room table. On each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, one more candle is lit, until all four candles are lit by Christmas. This year, we won't get to light the first candle until December 2nd.

So this morning, the house is decorated beautifully and everything smells like cinnamon. I can't wait for the kids to wake up and remember that the tree is up and needs to be lit. Then I will fix a special breakfast for me and three of them. My husband and Isaac left for California very early this morning, where they will be doing an emergency job and coming back tonight. Isaac was thrilled to be able to go to work with his Daddy all the way in California, something he has never done before. He was just beaming when they left this morning.

Yesterday, when it came to writing down what each of us were thankful for, I was very encouraged to have all the kids list both my husband and me, as well as all their siblings. They listed a lot of other funny and quirky things, too. Here is my list:

I am thankful for...

... being saved and knowing that God will take care of us no matter what.

... my husband, and each and every one of our children. I couldn't imagine life without any of them.

... the prospect of having many more children in the future.

... having only little kids that all still love to cuddle up to me.

... our daughter, who is a Daddy's girl through and through, but loves me as well and will grow up to be my best friend one day.

... my wonderful life as a stay-at-home mom.

... being able to go to a great church.

... our health.

... living in a free country, and for the people who have paid a great price and sacrificed to make and keep this country free.

... my husband's job that allows him to get ahead and afford as many children as we want to by working hard.

... never having to wonder if or what I will feed the kids.

... clean, fresh, cold water anytime in the middle of the desert. I actually miss our water when we are traveling, nothing else comes close to it in taste.

... a beautiful house that is so much more than just a roof over our heads.

... a reliable vehicle that never leaves me frustrated by the side of the road with four little ones in tow.

... being able to put presents under the tree for everyone in our family.

... and much more than I could list here. We have truly been blessed above measure. My only wish is that every day of my life could be as good as this.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


... Solomon has come down with the bug that we have all been fighting. He had a stomach ache all day, didn't want dinner, and wanted to go to bed early. It wasn't much later that he started "losing it".

Given the fact that it is Thanksgiving this week, that I am completely behind on chores and school work because of all the illness, and that we have company coming, I will probably not be able to post anything for at least a week or so.

Please pray that we will be back to normal soon!

Friday, November 16, 2007

What we've been up to

After I was down sick all week last week, the baby has been sick since Saturday and is not eating anything, but nursing pretty well. She only threw up for a couple of days and is more cranky and fussy right now. John got sick on Monday, and has basically not eaten anything since then, but he also only threw up the first couple of days. Yesterday (Thursday) very early in the morning Isaac started throwing up, and he is still doing pretty bad today. He, too, has not eaten a bite since getting sick. My husband caught whatever we had just a little bit, and has been feeling bad but not as bad as the rest of us did. The only one "left standing" is Solomon, but he passed on lunch today saying he wasn't feeling hungry - I'm wondering if that's a sign of him getting sick as well.

It really hasn't been as bad is this may sound. The kids rarely ever get sick, maybe about once a year or even less, so it's not a big deal. They are really good about lying down and resting quietly, so to me it's almost like getting a break.

We have not done any schoolwork this week because of all the sickness. It was very hard to get through the work last week when I was sick, but I managed, so I only have this week to catch up. I was planning on giving next week off for Thanksgiving, but will have them do this week's work instead between Monday and Wednesday. I spent the extra free time this week working on the advent calendars for my husband and each of the kids, two of which are done. I will post pictures on here once they are all done. My Mom sent me a magazine from Germany with dozens of cute ideas for advent calendars and it's been great fun working on them.

These pictures are from last week:

And here is my first Grocery Game update: On my first week's trip, I bought merchandise worth $205 for $88 after the sales and coupons - not bad. It takes some time to do, but I expect it to go faster and faster. When I was shopping I met another lady with a little baby in the store who had a list and lots of coupons in her hand. I asked her what she used, and she told me that she had been doing the Grocery Game for several years now, and liked it. Here is a picture of everything I bought that day. Many of the things are cleaning products and personal care items, which tend to be expensive.

Well, it's nap time now. Yeah!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A close call

Or: How we almost went camping for Veteran's Day

Today has been the strangest day in a long time. I am glad we are all home safe and sound now. Read on for the full story.

It all started with my plan today to visit three possible camp sites for our church camping trip next June. I figured it would be good to see which one was the nicest before booking one of them. Another lady from our church was going to come with me. All three camp sites were located in a national forest about 2 hours drive from home, and all were at least 10 miles from the nearest civilization. I entered the locations on a computer map program and trusted the directions the program fed me. Then I packed up a cup of water for each of the kids, a big cup for myself, and an apple and two granola bars for everyone. I also packed one sweater for each of us. As soon as my friend arrived, we left.

Our first stop was the gas station, where I realized that my wallet was not in my purse. Thinking I had accidentally left it at home, we turned around, but a search of the house did not turn up my wallet. We drove over to church next, hoping that maybe I had left it there last night, but again, nothing. I finally remembered that I had gone to Sam's Club on Sunday afternoon and had yet another tire replaced (the third in 2 months), so maybe I had left it there. When I called the store they told me that no walled was in the "lost and found" box. Since the kids were so excited about the trip I decided to go without my wallet because I had another debit card in my purse that I could use, the one from "my" account that I keep my "fun money" in. We did not stop for gas again because we were running very late by now and I had enough gas to get us to our destination.

About an hour and a half later, we exited the major freeway and switched onto a rural road that led into the national forest. As soon as we were out of the tiny village that was there, the road became a dirt path, and we had yet another 11 miles to go on it. I though: "It's a good thing I had the bad tire replaced yesterday, this will be safe now" and drove on merrily. The scenery was awesome, and we didn't really notice that almost an hour had passed during which we had not seen anyone else or found the camp site, and were now well into the forest on a curvy mountain road that was covered in big rocks and even some boulders. I was starting to wonder if I should just give up and turn around, but the prospect of having to go back on that bumpy road was not very appealing - we were going to take a different route out of the camp, one that I hoped was better maintained. Finally, 10 miles down the dirt road, we came to a fork in the road I had been waiting for. Our camp site was to the right, one mile further along, but that road was barricaded and closed off. To the left, the dirt path continued uphill into the forest and a sign pointing that way promised to take us to another village down the road. Or I could turn around and drive all the way back from where we came. I have no idea why, but I decided to turn left and continue down the path into the forest. The road became increasingly rougher, and then my friend said that the sign had said that the village was 20 miles away. Around this time we came to a clearing on the top of a mountain, from where I could see about 15 miles in each direction. There were rolling hills covered in pine trees in all four directions, our dirt path winding through them, and nothing else. Not a sign of civilization ANYWHERE. We had lost cell phone reception a long time ago, and I finally came to my senses and realized we needed to turn around. So back down the dirt road we went. I looked at my trip counter, and we had gone 5 miles beyond the fork in the road. From there to the village where we had left the asphalt was another 10 miles. I was counting down each mile as we were driving back. When we were within two miles of the village, my low tire light came on, but I kept driving because there was nothing else I could do about it. Right on the very edge of town, yards before the asphalt started, my back tire blew out, but we were now in a safe location. After a few minutes a lady drove by, and I asked her if she knew a mechanic who could help us. She called her brother-in-law who came by a few minutes later and changed the tire for us. He then escorted us to the only gas station in this tiny village, and showed us how to get back to the freeway we had left hours earlier.

I wanted to take a picture of my blown-out tire but couldn't find my camera at the time. I found this picture online and it looks almost exactly as my tire did:

Before heading down to Phoenix, we stopped at the only restaurant in town, McDonald's, where my kids had the first happy meal of their life. It was here that I noticed that the spare tire showed some serious cracks. Even though the van is only a little over one year old, this wear and tear is normal because of our extreme heat in the summer. I was now worried that we were going to break down with another flat on the way back home, and I didn't even have my wallet on me. No driver's license, no debit card, no credit cards, no AAA card, nothing. Just my "fun" debit card with next to no money in that account, especially after I had just used it to fill the gas tank.

We started on the long road home, driving down the freeway with the hazard lights on because I didn't dare to go faster than 45 or 50 mph. The baby had really had it at this point, and was crying inconsolably. Finally she had just barely fallen asleep from all of us singing to her when John, who sat next to her, started screaming at the top of his lungs because he had to throw up and was scared. He continued to scream and throw up his entire meal while I tried to pull over on the side of the freeway. By the time I got back there to help him he was crying and saying how it was all because I had fed him McDonald's for lunch. The mess was unimaginable. I have cleaned up many throw-up messes since having kids, but this was the worst bar none. On a side note: it was not really McDonald's that made him sick. I had the same thing all last week. Then the baby was throwing up all day Saturday and yesterday. Then John came down with it today.

I managed to get back on the freeway from the non-existent shoulder without getting killed, and we eventually made it home while listening to Miriam again screaming her head off. It wasn't until we were home safe that I really started allowing myself to think about what COULD have happened. If the tire had gone out any sooner, of if I had turned around any later (or worse, not at all), we would have been stuck in the middle of a deserted national forest at 6000 feet elevation on a cold, dark night with no gas, a blown-out tire, no cell phone reception, no water, no food, no warm clothes, not a single diaper (I forgot them all at home), and four little children - two of which had the flu with diarrhea and throwing up. And nobody would have known that we were missing or where we were, since my husband was out of town on business tonight. Even if I could have changed the tire myself, the spare would never have made it back down that road. Even worse, what if I had gone on this whole trip by myself without my friend, as I almost did? If we really had got stuck in the mountains one of us could have hiked the 15 miles back to town and got help, but there is no way I could have done that by myself with 4 little children.

While we were sitting on the sofa mulling the day's events over my friend suggested that I call Sam's Club again about my wallet and ask the tire center instead of the people at the customer service desk. I did, and the mechanic said he hadn't found anything, but went to check the safe in the manager's office. He called back and told me that my wallet was in fact there. I was SOOOOO happy! I had lost my last wallet when my purse was stolen in May, and it was the biggest nightmare. So I packed all the kids up again and headed down to Sam's. The tire center guys all know me very well by now, and even though they had already closed for the night they had pity on me and replaced my tire, and even gave it to me for half off because I have been there so many times in the last couple of months. It only took them about 20 minutes while we all had dinner there. They checked the spare and said that it was fine, and had about another year left in it in spite of those cracks. My wallet was not missing a thing, not even the cash that was in it.

So, all's well that end's well. This has been the worst day in a long, long time, but it could have been so much worse. I am so grateful for God's protection and providence today, and how even on my worst days I am still so incredibly blessed compared to what other people have to go through. If only I can sleep all night without one of the little ones throwing up on me.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Grocery Game

Who knew grocery shopping could be a game to some? I have heard about and considered this before, but never tried it until now: The Grocery Game. It is a subscription service that claims you will save an average of 60% and up on groceries and household items through shopping with coupons when the cheapest sales are on.

It works like this: you get the coupons in your local Sunday paper, clip them, and file them, sometimes for as long as 12 weeks. The Grocery Game tracks the sales and coupons in your area, observing the sales cycles and prices, letting you know when a sale is the cheapest possible price, and then letting you know which coupon from which week to combine it with. A new list is made available online each week, customized for your stores, your area, and your newspaper coupons. Items are sorted by free, stockpile (i.e. buy this even if you don't need it this week), and good deal (buy only if you need it this week).

I liked the idea so much that I signed up for the trial - $1 for 4 weeks. After that, it's $10 for 8 weeks. Four weeks should be long enough to get a good picture of whether this is something that will work for me. It does sound very fun, and I can't wait for the Sunday paper. A lady in our church always gives me her unused coupons, so my coupon file already extends for several weeks out, giving me a head start.

If you do decide to sign up, you can enter my e-mail address (under "Contact" in my complete profile) in the referral box, which will give me free weeks if you continue your subscription after the trial.

If this all sounds incoherent to you, it may be because I am holding a squirming baby and trying to get the other three ready to leave the house while they are running around like wild Indians. Their website really explains it very well, much better than I did.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Watch your kids - especially at church

This is just a little rant, I hope nobody takes it personally.

Although we certainly do not have a problem with this at all at our church - thanks to Pastor Anderson's preaching style - freaks and weirdos are attracted to churches like moths are to the light. After all, you should be nice to people at church, which to a lot of people is synonymous to trusting them, i.e. entrusting them with your children. People who would take advantage of children know that all too well, and come in as wolves in sheep's clothing. This is why our church does not have any ministries or programs where children are separated from their parents. That means no Sunday school, no nurseries, no children's church, Christian school, etc. Children are expected to sit in church quietly with their family, listening to the preaching, and learning. This used to be the norm until the 20th century. We do provide a room for Moms to step out with their infants if they need to, where they can still see and hear without being heard. But the goal is to train kids at a young age to be in church. All three of our older children have made this transition fully by their 1st birthday, and even before that I have rarely had to step out with them.

Why am I saying all of this? Because some unknown freak has been harassing us since the church first started less than 2 years ago. He calls one of our private numbers which is neither published anywhere nor ever given out, and he always asks the same question: "Hello, what time are your Sunday services?" The first time he called I gave him the info, and then answered some more of his questions, and when I got off the phone I thought "I hope this guy never shows up!" His voice sounded like that of a serial killer in a movie I saw long before I got saved - real quiet and creepy. He never did show up, but would call every few weeks, each time with the same question and each time telling me they had just moved into the area a couple of weeks ago. He would ask about children in our church, and other detailed questions about their lives, their names and ages, and how their parents raised them. He would always end the call by assuring me "I'll see you on Sunday!" Of course, I never did give this guy any of the information he was trying to get about the children in our church. The third or fourth time he called I started to just dish the guy off with a quick answer about the service time, and then asking: "Haven't you called before?", in response to which he would quickly hang up. Needless to say, his calls were private calls and his number withheld. After a few of those calls I finally told him he had the wrong number and hung up on him, since he is actually calling my husband's business number, not the church. Well, he called again today and asked his same question about the Sunday services in the same creepy way, to which I replied "Don't you ever dare call again, you freaking pervert!" and hung up.

There, you have it. I am not loving, and I am judgmental. Worse yet, if the guy ever does show up I will have a couple of our men remove him from the premises immediately. And if he shows up at YOUR church, you should do the same.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This is funny

I found this list of funny British laws in a news article.

1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down.

3. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store.

4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day.

5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter.

6. A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman's helmet.

7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the king, and the tail of the queen.

8. It is illegal to avoid telling the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing.

9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour.

10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

As cute as cute can get

Based both on personal experience as well as a survey on my blog some while back, I would say that girls overall are more work than boys. But they are so much funner to dress up, and that alone makes the extra effort all worth it. This entire post is about showcasing my favorite daughter, Miriam.

1. Dressed up as a cowgirl, with John and Solomon:

2. In her favorite shirt - she goes crazy when she sees it, and loves pulling on the doggy:

From left to right: Solomon, Miriam, Isaac, and John

3. At church in her pretty new dress:

Solomon and Miriam

Johnny and Miriam

From left to right: Miriam, Solomon, John, and Isaac

Friday, November 2, 2007

Lots of pictures

As usual, we have been very busy. In the last two weeks I have organized a surprise baby shower, a ladies meeting, and a chili cook-off for church. At home I have been busy with my usual chores while also trying to enjoy some special time with the kids.


Our favorite stores in town are a German sausage store and a German bakery. Thankfully, they are only about 2 miles from each other, so we usually go to both in the same day. Then we come home and have some REAL food. Here are the kids enjoying their lunch:

This is a typical picture of Isaac: he has eaten all the meat and drunk the milk, but not even touched the bread. Atkins must work, because he is very skinny.

Solomon and Johnny

Johnny being silly.

To achieve this shine, simply rub buttered bread all over your entire body. Makes for a very nice smell, too - real butter flavor!


See, it DOES rain in Tempe....about once a month. These pictures were taken several weeks ago and we have not had any rain since. Temperatures right now are in the high 70s to high 90s every day, in the 50s and 60s at night.


Solomon again

Isaac dressed up as a fireman, with Solomon and John running through the picture.


Next is an adorable picture of our beautiful daughter......who has three older brothers.

Yes, that's a dagger she is playing with. As far as I know, BabiesRUs doesn't carry those.


These are a couple of pictures of John at the baby shower. I had left the older two with Daddy that day.

I thought this looked funny.

I can hear the wedding bells ringing. This little girl absolutely loves Johnny, and I have been told that she always asks about him on the way to church.


Not much else is going on otherwise. We do school in the mornings, and run errands or play in the afternoons. I have yet again had to switch Solomon's math curriculum because he war bored with it. He is now doing 3rd grade in the Hartcourt Math series. I will probably switch him to the 4th grade book once I can find it on ebay. Having a gifted child is a huge challenge because his attention span is very limited - he learns everything the first time I tell him, and is ready to move on to the next thing. Thanks to his Dad teaching him one day when I was busy, Solomon now has a concept of basic algebra and is bored with division and multiplication. He just turned 6 a month ago, going on 16.

Isaac, by comparison, is more "normal", although still very advanced. He is 4 and starting to read (so far only one-vowel words). He, too, is very good at math, and his fine motor skills are better than Solomon's were at that age. He is always pretending to be something or someone, i.e. cowboy, fireman, waiter, cook, preacher, etc.

John talks better than the older two did at his age. At age 2, there is basically nothing that you can tell him and he doesn't understand what you are saying. He talks in long, complex sentences that he comes up with on his own, for example: "Mommy, for my next birthday, can you get me a balloon with helium gas in it, please?" He likes to be reassured every day that he is still my little baby, though.

All three boys love playing with Miriam. They make up silly songs to sing about how lovely and cute she is. She likewise adores all of her big brothers, but so far she can only call "I-aac" by name. Her eyes are starting to turn brown, something I am very excited about. Until now, Solomon was the only one with big brown eyes.

Earlier this week I was able to convince my husband to come to the library with all of us. He took the kids to the play area while I was able to finally check out some books for myself. It was great. Hopefully I can talk him into coming to a farmer's market with us this Saturday morning in downtown Phoenix.

This weekend, we are going to continue a family tradition I grew up with. Everyone in the family draws the name of another family member out of a hat. They then have the rest of the month to make an "advent calendar" for that person. This calendar is basically a countdown from Dec. 1 to 24 and you get a small treat every morning when you open the corresponding box. Gifts can be handmade, a candy, or another small gift. I am excited because so far I was the one to make all calendars every year. Of course, we will still have to help the kids, but I think it's going to be even funner like this. I plan on making turkey again for Thanksgiving this year, and we will award the advent calendars the day after Thanksgiving, as well as decorate the house for Christmas. We will finally have a tree again after not having had one for the last two years (first because we were moving, then because our entire front room was being used for church exclusively).

Lots of exciting things going on. I love being a Mommy, especially at this time of year.