Saturday, May 29, 2010

There IS light at the end of the tunnel

Wow, so are you ready? Ready for a smashing putting together of activities to catch you up on that have been keeping me so busy that I haven't been blogging much?

First, to answer all of your sweet questions, I am starting to feel better. The fatigue has not totally lifted, and I still feel pretty nauseous, especially in the evenings (a.k.a. my sewing time). However, I am getting bursts of energy here and there this last week, which is a welcome relief from the last couple months, and I feel like my appetite is slowly returning as well...which in turn brings about more energy. Sometime this next week I'll be passing into the second trimester, and as always, I welcome it with wide open arms.

I went through my photos of when Knut's brother and company were in town, and found out I had none of the twins. You see, my sister in law, Kristin, has an awesome Canon Rebel (which I'm saving up for with Nerdy Gerdy funds) and when we were with them, I took every opportunity to snap away with that thing. I got some awesome pictures...but they went back home with them.

I do have a picture of the day we went to the zoo near here. It was fun for all of us to get out of the house, and we ended the morning with a carousel ride, which all of my kids enjoyed except Elias. He was terrified of that thing.

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He did like the animals though.

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Silje, in normal fashion, read every sign about the animals before studying them. She needed to know there name, where they were from, what they ate, etc. In case you didn't know, she's pretty particular about opening birthday cards and reading every single word carefully before proceeding to the present. Drives David nuts.

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Here's Knut's two brothers...Jon and Lars. Aren't they silly?

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There's my cutie again.

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Here's my 2 of my nephews...two other cuties.

It was inevitable, I suppose, that the event we all gathered for would come to pass.

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Lars graduating from high school. Now I suppose that most high school students don't graduate with 8 nieces/nephews already notched in their belt, but this guy did. We love you Uncle Lars! He graduated with honors, and several awards. Knut and I are so excited for him to experience his first year of college this fall, as we know he will thrive there.

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Knut was finishing planting about the whole time Jon and Kristin were in town, and it was all done just as they left. It was disappointing to him that he didn't get to spend more time with them. We're planning on visiting them for the first time this summer for our family road trip, so it shouldn't be too long before we see them, and our 2 beautiful nephews again. Knut has been enjoying being home a little more, and sleeping a lot more! The whole week that Jon and Kristin were here, he was on a 20 hour day, and would come home to sleep for his 4 hour shift every night. He was able to have his meals at his mom's house, where we were all gathered, so that did help.

Now Knut is spending time with us more, even though there still is work to be done during the day. He took this, and several other pictures of Silje the other day. What he really liked was when she insisted on a prop.

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Yup. This photo could not be complete without a basketball.

When Jon and Kristin were in town, I tried to bring the kids over to my mother in law's house about every day so we could spend time with them. However, that left very little time for me to get housework done, as well as tend to my sprouting garden. The entire week I only washed diapers, so by the time the week was done, I had mountains to climb. So did a bizillion loads, and finished up their diaper order as best I could. It was very slow because I was just so tired all the time! I mean extreme fatigue!

This weekend, my mom was in town for her high school reunion, and seeing my struggle to catch up, she and Knut weeded my whole garden (well, I helped a bit) and she and I (mostly her) folded the mountain of clothes, and then she watched the kids so I could put them away in peace. A dirty dish never sat in my kitchen for more than 10 minutes without being cleaned while she was here, and I feel so caught up! I don't even know if she even grasps what a huge gift she gave me.

It was too short of a visit, and my Papa didn't come this time, as they saved their money so that he could go to Thailand with my mom next week. She works for an international charity, and they find it's cheaper, and easier for many of their workers, (many who are citizens in the countries they work in) to have their international meetings in Thailand rather than the U.S. She doesn't go there every year, but as she's approaching retirement and unsure how many more times she'll go, she thought she'd take Papa with her this time. He's always wanted to go with her.

So with the house not completely clean, but caught up, and a hot sticky day, Knut filled the little pool for the kids and we enjoyed the beautiful hot day.

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We discovered the pool has a leak. So out came the hose.

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So to sum up: I've been tired. And busy. And behind. Now I'm caught up, I'm starting to get some energy back, and we are enjoying life returning to normal. Sweet, sweet, normal.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

One Decision Down

Well, I think we're going to try it. I think Silje will be homeschooled next year. First, I feel the need to do my normal disclaimers. We don't feel that this was in any way a reaction or statement of the public schools around us. Personally, we think the school she attended was great. It wasn't a waste, and we are not ruling out public school in the future. Her teacher was first rate. I'm on the curriculum review board in town, and have seen what they study through the years and am not only impressed with the school, the school board, but our very innovative and thoughtful superintendent.

So why the switch? Well, mainly, I think we see more education there right now. A depth of education that logistically cannot be obtained through her school. It doesn't take an analyst to realize that 1 on 1 teaching might be better than 1 on 25 teaching, or whatever the ratio is now.

We feel led to this right now. I feel like God is putting our kids in front of me and saying "This is your mission field right now." Worst case scenario is that we hate it and go running back to the public school next year. However, the more we research it, the more excited we get. We spent so much time looking at different websites, and a little bummed that we didn't start thinking about this during the last homeschool convention near us, where we could page through all of the different curriculums. We did a lot of research both online, and talked with several homeschool families, and those we would consider "homeschool experts."

Still, we don't feel as we are addressing this as a moral decision: as though one is Biblical and one is not. I think you could find Biblical grounds for sending your kids to public school as well as homeschooling.

To prepare you for this this lengthy and traditionally long-winded post, I'd like to write a bit about how our minds changed about some things with homeschooling. You see, I never ever saw myself as the homeschooling kinda mom. I'm not nearly fun enough for that. When my older kids were toddlers (really...not that long ago) I remember counting down until they could go to school! Get them out of the house so I can actually go on a bit with my life! I desired nothing more than just a little bit of peace and sanity in my house, and saw the availability of schools to meet that need.

The reality of how fast this time of childhood thing is going is really sinking in.

No one was surprised more by the change than me. Well, maybe Knut. You see, I don't mean this to come out sounding awful, but I started liking being around my kids more. I mean, I love my kids, and I miss them when they're gone, but really, I couldn't wait to hand them off to a teacher.

The idea of Silje being home all day so we could do things together starting sounding more and more fun, and less like a chore. She's so smart, and so funny, and did I say smart? It's amazing how her mind works when we sit and talk about anything. Then there's the struggle that she spends so much of her day at school, that we barely see her. If she were learning or playing or having fun during that time, that would be one thing, but she's bored a lot.

If we can't see her, how are we to disciple her? How are we supposed to train her, and coach her through the challenges she's bound to face? Knut put it well, that we could still do public school, and have no problem. However, with our goals in mind, homeschooling might be easier for us. We think the idea of addressing problems as they come might be easier than waiting for her to come home, making supper, having supper, and having baths, and then maybe scheduling a time to talk to her about something right before bed she may not be interested in talking about anymore...well it sounds easier to just talk to her throughout the day when it's appropriate.

Don't get me wrong, I know it will be work. I think I'll find out exactly how much pretty soon, too! I think we realized it might be more effective, and although time consuming, maybe easier work to be in charge of her schooling. Plus, the curriculums we chose just excite us so much, that I really think Knut and I will enjoy it as well!

So for those who are interested, here is what will be ordered for our classroom for the next school year. It's probably a bit overboard, and if it is, we'll just have to roll it into another year.

Sonlight "core 1" (this will cover literature, history, geography and Bible. Many families wrap this around 2 years, but we'll see how long it will take us to get it done as Silje is a huge reader!)

Saxon Math (in close second was "Math U See" which we may try another year)

Shurley English

Apologia Science - astronomy

Rosetta Stone Mandarin Chinese (homeschool addition)

We are also planning on signing her up for the children's choir at the center for the arts in town (which practices once a week I believe), and are debating whether or not it's too much to have her be in piano lessons and/or ballet lessons this fall as well. Cost, of course, will play a role as well!

So want to hear details about what we picked? Feel free to leave now if you're not! You've been warned! First, I'll start with the core 1 from Sonlight. This was so different from other programs we saw in that it is completely literature based. There's not a textbook or workbook in sight. The program comes with a box of amazing books. (I mean, my jaw dropped at some of the titles. From a literature perspective, I love their book list.) There are books both for Silje to read independently and for us to read aloud to the family, a teacher's guide with too many activities to possibly do, a map, and a timeline, etc. From what we gather, we have daily readings, and then we discuss what we've read to insure comprehension, and then we mark all the places we read about on the map, mark all the dates we read about on the timeline, and do supporting activities. Core 1 covers creation to the fall of Rome. The Bible elective that comes with it has memory verses, which we will incorporate into our handwriting, and every memory verse is also set to music.

For the Sonlight, all the activities are ready to go, and require little to no preparation. All the lesson plans are laid out daily depending on how fast we plan on getting through it. We really loved their teaching philosophies as far as how we want to introduce our children to the world, rather than protecting them from the world. The worldview it teaches from is stellar. Not only that, it is taught in the old one-room schoolhouse style option, so that, let's say David starts next year, we'll just go onto core 2, and there will be activities for both Silje and David's level, while using the same books. There are a few modifications that would have to be made, but from our understanding, that's all laid out very well in the teacher's handbook. I think this system works well when there is less than a 4 year gap between students.

Next on the list is Saxon math. This is different because it has workbooks for Silje to do, and then manipulatives to work with more hands on. There are weekly tests with this curriculum, (whereas "core 1" only has oral review) including things like drills and timed tests. The main deciding factor for choosing this was that this is the curriculum my sister taught at her super elite private school, and she highly recommended it to us. We drool over the school that she taught at, and her husband still teaches at down in Arizona. However, several homeschool families recommended "Math U See" and said it is very much preferred to Saxon math when you get into the upper grades. So we'll keep that one in mind as well.

Shurley English is next. While I know some people use the Sonlight's program for English, and still other families recommended Abeka for several subjects, one "homeschool expert" (aka Knut's cousin;) ) told us to look into Shurley English. As an English major, all I have to say is WOW. Abeka was totally workbook, which was going to be my next choice, but I looked into Shurley English and again, WOW.

It does use a workbook, but the depth of things studied astounded me. You basically start off learning grammar and such by dissecting sentences, and labeling each word SN (subject/noun) verb, etc. Sounds dry, right? O no! Every grammar rule has a song to go to it. Can you tell I love the idea of learning through song? What a great way to embed something into your mind painlessly! So there are songs with actions, and workbooks with application, and of course, the daily lessons. I'm pretty excited about this one as well.

When it came to science, we got a lot of conflicting feelings from our pool of advisers. Not only that, not a whole lot of options were available for the 1st grade. Why? Because science isn't a huge part of most school's curriculum until 3rd grade. It gets entered here and there where it makes sense, but nothing formal. Several families said that they just studied nature together, gardened together, and checked out interesting books at the library.

We chose to go with an Apologia textbook on science because Knut especially (along with my Papa!) was horrified at the thought of doing science so laid back. The thought was there should be a plan, and it should be part of the routine. Apologia has amazing science textbooks, recommended by about everyone we talked to for all grades. For elementary school, it has 6 textbooks for 1st through 6th grade: one representing each day of creation. So we'll start there. The first textbook starts with astronomy (God made the heavens and the earth.) There are 2-20 minute science activities to do with Silje (but most likely all the kids) a week. I'm guessing it will be things like studying the moon, constellations, etc. Apologia sounded in their philosophy to not be "preachy" as some Christian curriculums can be, but rather just grounded in solid science.

Lastly, we both felt very strongly, that if we were given the opportunity to homeschool, we would introduce a foreign language as early as possible. Why schools wait until high school to introduce a foreign language, I'll never know. Language is most easily picked up and very young ages.

The question might be "why in the world Chinese?" Well, Spanish was a close second. There are a few reasons Chinese came out on top. First, Knut really wanted to learn it in college, but it wouldn't fit in his schedule. Not only Silje, but Knut could work on it as well. I have an uncle living and working in China, and Knut has a cousin doing the same. Silje's ability to Skype and speak to either of those would be within reach. We both feel that Chinese is the language to be learned in the future business world.

Not only that, it's the language Silje wants to know most. She's always had a fascination with China in general. She scours anything at the library on the country, and loves talking with people back from working there, and loves to talk with any Chinese people. She prays for China often. If there were one language she would be obsessed with, it would be Chinese.

Rosetta stone has the best program hands down. Really, nothing else came close. This class will be done completely on the computer. We'll pop in her lesson for the day, and she'll sit there with her headset and microphone, and do her lesson. At the end of the lesson, we'll get a report as to how she did so that we can track her progress.

It's done on the computer, but it's not done online. There's no instructor she's working with. We're planning on setting aside our old computer in the office that is not connected to the internet, and have that be the "school computer."

As far as David goes, I'm not planning anything so formal, but there are some plans. He misses the cutoff for public kindergarten this fall, and I would agree, he's not ready for that yet. Still, I think with Silje doing school at home, he'll want something to do as well. He's in the process of teaching himself how to read just as Silje did. He already reads most traffic signs, in church tries to sound out words in the bulletin, and he loves learning every word on a cereal box. I think I'll do the basic "hooked on phonics" (I only have the first part I got at a consignment store.) with him just to get him started.

Also, he hates writing, and needs the most work there. My goal for the year is to get him to write his name well. I'm planning on getting hims some "Kumon" workbooks that Silje liked so much for learning to write letters, and maybe some fun dot to dot sheets to help him handle a pencil a bit better. We're thinking he might be a lefty, although he uses both hands very well, so I'm a little apprehensive as to how to teach him writing. Then of course, he'll be apart of the read aloud books in Silje's core 1, and he'll love being a part of the science projects as well, I'm sure.

As for Elias, our goal for the year is to get him talking! We may regret that, but I think it might be a necessity!

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's a shame...

that I don't have any pictures ready for this post, because there has been an overwhelming amount of cuteness around me this week! I've been hanging out with my sister in law and brother in law who are visiting from New Jersey with their twin boys. My sister in law and brother in law who live in town have come to hang out with their 2 boys and newborn girl as well!

It's been quite a fun week, and will soon come to an end. I will admit, it's been bittersweet for me too, because I feel so bad for having fun with Knut's family, and he can't be there. He stops in for meals, but that's about it. The weather has been gorgeous this week, which required Knut and his dad to finish planting the soy beans instead of hanging out with all of us. O the life of a farmer!

Yesterday we went to a small zoo, and it was so so much fun. The kids did really well, but melted down pretty quickly after we got back for lunch. Today Silje's at school, Elias is once again taking a morning nap, and David is kicking his basketball around the basement.

My brother in law, Lars, is graduating from high school tonight, the event that has brought together so much family from across the country. Knut's dad will go, of course, but Knut may have to stay on the farm to enable that, and for that, it's bittersweet as well. Still, who knows what will be decided last minute. I think it's been kinda hard on him this week.

Not only that, but they've been working around the clock to get the beans in before the forcasted rain this weekend. Last night Knut got home at 11pm, and headed back out to work at 3am...the usual 4 hour sleep allotment during the busy times. It's been like that most of the week, and he's running on fumes and hanging on for Sunday. I love that they take Sunday's off no matter what. It gives a consistent rest to look forward to. They're one of the few farms around here that still do that. Honestly, I don't know how he or our family for that matter, would survive without them during the busy seasons!

I've been slacking on the housework big time as I've been gone, and when I've been home I've been working frantically on finishing up the twin's diapers before they leave. The pocket diapers are basically done. The inserts are not, and may need to be mailed with them. They're pretty bulky though, because I'm making the inserts in multiple sizes, so maybe they'll want them mailed anyway. This project I was attempting to get done a few weeks ago, but I've not been feeling well, so my sewing has kind of taken the back burner. At the very most, I've only been able to handle a fraction of sewing time a day that I normally have done.

On the up side, I'm at 10 weeks, which means that this nausea and fatigue will soon be lifted. I hope! I've gotten my garden finally planted, and am adding some flowers to the front flower bed here very soon. The tomatoes and peppers still need to be moved from the pots to garden, but there's still plenty of time for that.

So with the first trimester soon behind me, and planting season coming to a close possibly this week, things are looking up on the horizon! My mom is coming next week for a super short visit, and I need to catch up on all the things that should have been done this week but haven't. I think when Knut actually spends time at home again, he may like it a bit cleaner than it is now!

There are so many things I want to blog about too, that I don't have time to quite yet. From some of our homeschooling ideas, to plans for the birth of our next child. There is so much going on and Knut and I have been having so much fun planning and researching, and we have been blessed with being on the same page for so many of these decisions. It gives such a peace to be like-minded on a decision! Well actually, no decisions have been made, but plans are being made. Subtle difference. The planning process for anything is so much fun with dreaming and thinking and talking!

So as Knut finishes this marathon of a week, I'd like to ask for prayers for endurance for him and the other guys on the farm. We're praying that all of it gets done before the rain too, so that there will not be lingering worries, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Pray I can somehow manage to prioritize what needs to get done as each day seems to have 5 days worth of work in them lately. Well, that's maybe an exaggeration. Each day has more like 3 days worth of work in them. Still, I can quickly become overwhelmed and just sit down out of confusion in what I should do first! We can all relax in knowing, though, that Sunday is not that far away!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Awesome Stuff

Sooooooooo much has been going on here, and I've neglected to post the most important one:

Micaila Kay, our newest niece, was born this last Saturday, weighing in at 8lbs 2oz, and 20 inches long. Of the 5 nieces/nephews born to Knut and I this year, she was the first one we actually got to HOLD!!!

Knut Micaila

Gretchen Micaila
Silje took this one. Not bad for a 5 year old!


The hospital room was packed with visitors, so we didn't stay long. This next weekend, though, Jon and Kristin are flying out with Micaiah and Gunnar, and we'll all be celebrating Knut's brother Lars' graduation. Lots of good family time! I have a batch of cloth diapers I've been working on for them, that I'm hoping will be done soon! With me feeling sick in the evenings during my normal sewing time, it's been tricky, but they're coming along.

You think it'd be easy to get the diapers done with Knut being home so much when it's raining on the fields. However, he's home saying "You want to watch a movie?" "Let's have people over tonight!" "Are you sure you don't want to sit down?" So needless to say, as much fun as it's been having him home, it hasn't been that productive! Sewing-wise, that is. My house is cleaner, and he does the dishes for me often, so that's really nice!

The other awesome thing about Knut being home, is he's been able to work with David so much more, and spend time with him, which David has been needing! David has been acting up so much and being so rebellious, that Knut and I have been throwing our hands up in knowing how to handle him.

Knut's been working with him so much this last week. It's almost like David is a different boy! He talks so nicely to me all day, and is so helpful. I don't spend most of my day arguing or disciplining, or just being frustrated because of his will of iron. It's been a lot of discipline, a lot of talks, a lot of hugs, and a lot of fun. I thought I'd post the fun pictures, because who really wants pictures of the other stuff? Sometimes, a boy just needs his daddy.



And then there's this guy!

He's on the move, and ALL THE TIME!!! He loves to walk everywhere, and get into everything. He loves to wrestle with David, and tries to tackle us with a grin from ear to ear. Very few things wipe off the smile on his face. It's just always there!

He's thinning out a bit now too, with all of that exercise.
There gets a point in all of my kids diapering days when you wonder if you should make a bigger size diaper. Even the one-sized ones get snug around the thighs (always the thighs! Their waists are skinny, and their thighs are pudgy!) and I wonder if they'll need a bigger stash. Then they start walking, and those diapers start getting snapped tighter and tighter as the flub comes off. Elias was so there just a week ago, where I was wondering how much longer his diapers would make it! Then just this week, the loosest setting is too loose, and I have to make the diaper tighter. He's not getting lighter by any means, just sprouting up and starting too look more and more like a little boy every day, and less like my little baby!


I'll say it again...this little boy has me laughing all day long!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Mom

I know it's not Mother's Day anymore, but let's just, for the sake of this post, call it Mother's Week. Then it won't be late.

This is my mom:

and Silje, and me, and a little bit of Elias.

My mom was born in Japan while her parents were missionaries there. She started going to a boarding school there for missionary kids when she was only in 2nd grade, and took the 6 hour train ride to visit her parents on the weekends with her brothers and sisters. She is the 2nd of 7 children.

My mom got married young. She was only 19. She loved my dad very much. My dad was an alcoholic, and she endured more than most woman could until they finally divorced when I was almost 5, My mom was a single parent to my older brother and sister and I for almost 7 years. During that time, she finished her college education through night school, took on a paper route in addition to her full time job when her job stopped paying for health insurance, and is the hardest worker I have ever encountered. I honestly don't know when she slept in those 7 years. She was often up at 3-4 am to begin her paper route before her full time job, and she was often up late studying or getting things done. Still, she never missed a school program, and was always a chaperon on my school field trips, and had us recite Bible verses before we prayed for supper at night. When I was 11, she married my step-dad.

In addition to caring for us, she was the church treasurer. And, of course, whenever the church doors were open, day or night, we were there. She required respect and she was always talking of God's love.

My mom is the definition of "tough love." She puts up with very little, but she had so much compassion on us. I remember when we moved from Denver to Phoenix, I was having a very difficult time in my new school, and at one point, ran away from the school in tears, and found my mom at home calling temp agencies. I just cried to her that I couldn't go back, I just couldn't. She let me cry, and held me. The next day, I went right back.

Another time I remember money was so tight, and she always had me go to a certain friend's house before school, since she left for work before I left for school. That friends' mom was a gifted seamstress, and I remember drooling over a dress my friend got from her mom that was navy with little pink roses all over it. I cried to my mom how I don't have any pretty dresses like that, and in fact, all of my clothes were my sister's cast offs. I couldn't remember the last time I had something new.

The next day my mom came home from work with an outfit from Ross with the tags still on. It was just for me. It wasn't my birthday or anything. It was some jeans with a button down white shirt, with rosebuds embroidered on it. I just cried. Looking at the tag, I saw it was $20 and I was shocked she actually spent that much on me. My sister was mad at me, because I made Mom so guilty that she went out and spent money we didn't have.

I remember paying bills with my mom. It was a family affair at our house. Jeremy would help keep the ledger, I think, and Heidi would write the checks. I don't remember what I did, but it was probably reading something or other. We always wrote the tithe first. Then the rent, then the utilities. There were some times, when we didn't have enough. I remember Mom gathering us around, without any fear, and saying "I wonder how God will provide this month. Keep your eyes open...because He'll do something amazing and you don't want to miss it." He always did, and pretty soon, we weren't surprised by it.

She was tough, though. If we didn't do our homework, and failed a class, (which did happen...) she'd make you get a job and pay for summer school. Maybe she should have looked over our shoulder more, but she had so much on her plate! We woke ourselves up for school and if we missed the bus, we walked. We were in charge of doing our own laundry at age 12, and were assigned a laundry day when we'd have access to the washer and dryer. If you didn't do it on that day, it didn't get done. Once, when someone we knew got in trouble with the law, and his mom ran to the jail to bail him out so he didn't have to sleep there overnight, my sister and I looked at each other and said "If it were our mom, she would leave us there overnight. If we were stupid enough to get there, we deserve to be there." Mom at first acted shocked at that, but after about a minute, said "yeah, I think I'd let you stay over night. I'd visit you the next day, though!"

My mom made it very clear that we were all to go to college. Period. She also made it clear that when we were 18, we were on our own. She said if we were going to school full time, we could stay with her, and eat for free. If we dropped out, she'd start charging rent...which would increase every month, a fact we never doubted. If we lived with her during that time, we'd have to go by house rules too.

I remember when I was about to go into my sophomore year of college, I was considering taking a year off and working at my old high school. I was nervous about what she would say about it, and as a 19 year old, tentatively asked her permission to take a year off of school. I will never ever forget what she said. She said that I didn't need her permission. For anything. I was an adult and this was no body's decision but mine. She said she'll always be there for me for advice and council, and she always hoped I'd come to her for that. However, she refused to give or deny permission.

It scared me to death. The thought freaked me out that I could actually screw up my life, and have no one to blame. Then I realized...she believed in me. She thought I was capable of making the decision. She was going to support me whichever way I went. She was treating me like an adult.

She is such a great adviser to me, too. Although, she always takes Knut's side when I complain to her about something, which sometimes is annoying, but she never wants to come between us, and will always seek to remind me how great he is. Even though she lives so far away, we talk all the time, and she knows my kids, and their personalities, and my struggles as a mom. She has so much wisdom to give. I do try not to get upset when she and Knut talk so much, and I really want a turn on the phone with her. I also tried not to get upset when after she met Knut, she plainly told me that I better make it work, because if I screw it up with him, I'll have to leave the family, because he's staying. (Well, she did say she'd miss me!) With her being an accountant, and his interest in finance, they love to discuss savings stuff, and IRAs, and whatever other really boring money stuff.

My mom is a human Bible concordance. I mean, I don't need an "App" on my phone to know where anything is. I just have to call her up and say "Mom, where is that verse about such and such?" and she'll either give me that chapter and verse on the spot, or at the very least say "um, it's at the end of chapter 6 in the book of Hebrews." And then she'll spout off verses connected to that one that might clarify the verse she gave reference to. I have no idea how she can know that much information! I know that she and my papa (step-dad) pray for me and my family every day.

I don't know what else to say, besides "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!" I miss you even though we talked this morning, and can't wait to see you when you come up in a few weeks for your high school reunion. I hope that when I grow up, I can be a mom like you.

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

MckMama is redoing her site, and her button wasn't working for her "Not Me Monday" post, so if you're reading this, I haven't check to see if she has fixed it yet to update this!

Still,"Not Me Monday" pushes on...

You know, I haven't been feeling to well all the time lately, and so some of the housework has suffered. This last week, it was the laundry. Something had to give as I was trying to hold the rest of the house together! So enjoy all of the laundry themed "Not Me's" of the week:

I did not have a babysitter over the other day and feel the need to make my house look somewhat presentable, so I took all of the clean laundry up to my bedroom so it wasn't spread all over the couch in the den. After I didn't stash the still-not-folded laundry, my daughter did not lay down on the couch and ask "Mommy, when did we get this couch?"

Adding onto that "Gretchen hasn't been behind on laundry" theme (which by the way is about caught up since Knut's been home this weekend and was able to help with the kids more) I was not out of clean socks to wear the other day and needed some since I was on my way to town, and I did not just go into my son's drawer, and take some of his socks since they're so stretchy, I can make them fit. I do not know that his size socks are so stretchy because this has been done before. What, do you think I go around trying on my kids' socks out of desperation? Not me! When David saw my socks, we did not have a conversation like this:

David: "Mommy, those look like my socks!"
Me: "Yes, they sure do look like your socks, don't they?"
David: "Mommy, I think you're wearing my socks."
Me: "My socks look just like yours, don't they? Isn't that fun?"
David: "Mommy, you're wearing my socks."
Me: "That's right, David, I'm wearing socks that look just like yours."

I did not pull a load out of the dryer as I was catching up on laundry on Saturday, only to find one of the kids had put a ball of my 100% wool yarn from my store stash in with the load. There was not strings of very felted yarn binding up the whole load into one large felted mess! Argh!

I did not look through Elias' diapers and feel bad that he has all of my "practice diapers" that I learned to sew diapers with. All the mistakes, the boring white, etc. Here I had all of these fun diapers for sale in my store, and he had all of these awful ones! I was just sick of changing his diaper places and people saying "are these the diapers you make?" and shamefully answering "No, these are the diapers I practiced on. The ones I sell are MUCH nicer!" So I marched right on over to my store stash, and did not just grab 2 new diapers for Elias, so that he could wear some of my best as well. (They are his favorite diapers, by the way! So bright and cheery!)

I did not happen to be out of clean diapers when I made this decision to get him 2 more either. That did not have any bearing on my decision. At all. If that were the would have to be by mere coincidence.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just What We Like To See

I had an early ultrasound today, and everything is just as they like to see. The yoke sak is healthy, the baby's heartbeat is strong. (yes, ONE baby. I made the lady do a sweep of the place twice to make sure there was just one!) To guide those who don't read these well, the black part is the amniotic sac (I think...I really could easily get this all wrong.) Of the "clump" in the sac, the baby is laying horizontally, with the head on the right, and the bum on the left, and the little yolk sac just below that is supporting the baby until the placenta is fully ready to go in not too long. If you look hard, you can see little arm buds starting to form, right on target for where he/she should be right now. This ultrasound gave the same due date as the doctor: December 19th. My NFP charts gives me the date of December 15th, and since I usually go early, I'd lean in that direction.

On a different note, here are finally some pictures of Silje's school program.

Elias liked to look at the program!

Here's Silje doing her reading about lightbulbs. The whole theme was on "going green." As adorable as the kids were, it was a very...we'll say: "interesting" program.

Here's all the kindergarteners on the risers.

After the program, Silje's teacher, Mrs. B, did a special program and little snack and activity for the Moms for Mother's Day. It was so cute, I had to get a little video of part of Silje singing in the classroom:


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More New Things

The boys finally got a haircut the other night. Knut usually gives them a hair cut, and I help with holding and distracting, and then trim up anything missed by the clippers.

Elias is walking around here after his hair cute, I mean, cut.

Ha Ha Ha, Mommy! (notice how he holds his tummy when he's laughing and walking at the same time, because it shakes around like a bowl full of jelly.) That can really throw off one's balance.

Doesn't he look big! Big enough to be a big brother? Yep. For those who missed the facebook posting yesterday, we're expecting another baby. Due in the middle of December (which was the exact same as this little guy) but we're hoping that this baby actually stays in that long! That puts me around 8 weeks, and when I went to the doctor, everything looked good so far. I'm hoping to have some ultrasound pics that look somewhat like a jelly bean, on Friday.

I've been feeling fair. It's not like with some of the other kids where I'm throwing up all day. It's more like I feel like throwing up all day, but don't. Graphic enough for you? Well, people ask, so I might as well tell them. I've also been falling asleep whenever I sit down, which is becoming a problem when I'm trying to get things done. I wish I could get past the fatigue! I always forget how bad that part is!

It didn't help that last night Elias woke up several times. David too, although I don't get up with David. We have a system where Knut gets up with the older kids, and I always get up with the baby. It usually evens out the night work pretty good, because get the child who wakes up the most, and he gets the kids that hardly ever wake up, but he gets all of them. (Well, now it's both of them. When this baby comes, he'll have 3 on his watch.)

Unless of course, one of the older kids gets up and he needs some more hands on the scene, like a wet bed (one of us changes sheets, the other changes the pajamas so everyone can get back to sleep faster). David didn't have a wet bed, though, last night, but he's been doing this thing lately where he sneaks into our bed in the middle of the night, and Knut wakes up because there is another body in the bed, and since Knut and I don't sleep so soundly with kids in the bed, he took him back to his bed, which in turn woke up Elias...again.

I digress. As annoying as the nausea and fatigue have been, they have actually been a bit of a comfort, as a good dose of pregnancy symptoms often mean less chance for miscarriage. I think if I felt normal I would be very worried. We thought at first that we would wait to tell people until I got past the second trimester. However, with another niece due very soon, we didn't want to announce my pregnancy so close to her birth and steal a princess' thunder. (One must never steal a princess' thunder, you know.) And although I'm sure no one else can tell, but I feel like I'm showing already.

Knut and I did have the idea to just never tell anyone, and see who would be the first polite Minnesotan to ask me about it. That could have been funny! In the end, we decided to tell.

As for today, Silje has her school program, so stay tuned for pictures later.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Things

Back to the crafting...

Today is the first of the month, and I'm sure you all know by now that is store stocking day at Nerdy Gerdy. So far, only 7 new items have made it in, and maybe up to 5 more will make it in there by the end of the day. You see, I've had trouble getting pictures of everything with the storms the last few days, and I have a few things sooooo close to being done in my sewing room. I've been, however, happily busy with some special orders this month, and haven't had as much time as I have in the past to put new items in the store.

My custom spots won't reopen for another 2 weeks or so, as I'm still booked up there. Yeah for that! The custom wool order I was working on just went out yesterday. Want a peek?

Here's 4 items just sent out. They were blocked, so that's why they were sitting on a towel in this picture. She ordered the salmon shorties that were already in the store, and then 2 wraps custom ordered in the size needed, and then she sent me a picture of the cute silly face on the butt shorties, with some slight modification requests, such as the added ruffle on the bottom.

The other order I'm working on is for a bunch of one-sized pocket diapers, which seems to be what everyone is ordering when it comes to diapers! I haven't had a chance until now to put individual one-sized diapers in the store, so I made 7 for this month's stocking. However, at the mall event I went to, someone bought one of them, so I only have 6 added to the store. A bit more expensive than prefolds and covers, the one-sized diapers are popular because they are the cheapest choice for "modern" diapers since a stash of diapers in each size becomes unnecessary. They're a bit big for newborns, though. I think it might fit on a 10 lber, though, so it depends how big the newborn is!

It was so frustrating, though, because they are so curvy to fit baby that I can't make them look straight and flat for pictures. I was rushed this time around and didn't fiddle with them as much for the pictures, so I might go back in a few days and redo the pictures to look a bit better because they are actually not wonky in real life!

I was hoping to get 2 hot mama bags done, but alas, only one of them made it out of the sewing room. The other one is just waiting for the lining, and may show up next month. However, the one that is in there is just gorgeous. Seriously, when it comes to the bags, I honestly don't want to get rid of one of them. I make each one to be "Wow! This is my favorite bag!" If I actually say that out loud, then I know it's ready to go in the store. (That way, if it sells, awesome! If it doesn't, than I've got a really cute new bag that I love! Call it an insurance policy to only sell diapers that I myself would buy!) They are all my favorite. This one is just my new favorite. I had to hunt down the fabric for it, but it's sooooo worth it.
It's called "poppy" and when I got it in the mail after I specially ordered it Knut liked it so much I think he would have liked to frame it and put it on our wall because it looked like a cool painting. I could not get the interior to come out right in the picture no matter how I tried, but it looks light brown, and it's actually really dark, as shown a little in the other pictures. It's just freakin' awesome. I mean, seriously, where have you seen a diaper bag like that before?

The items that are done but don't have pictures yet: 3 more wool items, some cotton knit dishcloths that have been requested by a few people. The hot mama bag that was supposed to join the poppy one was very vintage in feel and had some polka dots that I've really been drawn to. I don't know why I've been drawn to polka dot fabrics lately. What can I say? Anyway, the fabric totally inspired me, and I am a bit sad it didn't make it into the store. 3 buttercup bags were also supposed to make it in, and 2 of them were so close to completion. (Well, one of them is completely put together but needs something. I think it needs some coordinating fabric flower or something.) If by some miracle I get them done before next month, I may add them mid month. But...probably not. I have so much going on this month that I don't think I'll have a lot of sewing time, and it will be nice to have a few projects near completion to wrap up and add to the store next month.

What is going on, you ask? Well, Knut's brother and sister-in-law will be flying in from New Jersey with their sweet twin boys for Knut's other brother's high school graduation. They'll be staying for a week, and I can't wait to finally hold at least one set of twins born in our family this year! Seriously, my arms just started aching thinking about it.

After Lars' graduates, my mom will be flying in for her ** year high school reunion, and will spend a bit of time with us as well, though not too long, as her official yearly visit with my Papa won't be until later this summer.

And of course, the garden, my very active kids, and my absent-unless-it's-raining farming husband whose is not around to help, and actually needs more help from me this time of year. So it will be a busy month! I love it!