Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 09


I found out on November 11th that I was expecting our seventh child. Wow. It was quite a surprise- just as much as the first 6 were, if not a little more. You see, I guess I had talked myself into believing I might be too old to get pregnant again. So I wasn't even considering pregnancy at first. But after I woke up nauseous a few mornings in a row, and my lower back started aching (among other things), I gave it some serious consideration and raced out to Walmart to buy a pregnancy test.

I paid for the test and then went immediately went into the restroom - I couldn't even wait until I got home. The result- positive. I was shocked- I mean, by now I pretty much knew it would be positive, but I was still shocked. I ran home and showed the test to Paul. You would think that after six kids, he'd know what a positive test looked like, but nope. I showed it to him and he said, "Well, I don't know if it's positive or negative!" I said, Have I ever showed you a negative one?? And then the realization hit him. It was a good thing he was already sitting down- he might have fallen over.

7 children. It seems so much more than six. I still can hardly believe I'm pregnant again; however, reality is sinking in pretty quickly. I am nauseous 24/7. I've only gotten sick once, but came close many, many times. The house has pretty much fallen to pieces and we are so behind on the laundry I don't know if we'll ever catch up. But, that's not true- I know we will catch up, it may just take a little time. And the house will still be here when I feel better in a few months. (!)
I know this will pass- I just forget every time how wearisome it is to feel queasy all. the. time.

Yet, on the other hand, I welcome the nausea. The nausea pretty much tells me the baby is doing well. I miscarried in 2003, and the first symptom (which I didn't realize at the time) was the loss of nausea. So, while I may get tired of it, I also welcome it.

I'm sure you've all watched the video of Thanksgiving when we told Paul's family. (If you haven't, you need too!) They were shocked and the reactions were priceless! We told the kids a few days after we found out- all except Samuel. We knew he would not be able to keep that secret! I forgot all about the fact that he didn't know on Thanksgiving and didn't even give him a thought with all the goings on about the baby. We started eating and about 5 minutes later, he was by my side, tapping me.

"Mom", he said. "Are you going to have a baby?" I felt so bad I hadn't told him. Yes, I said. Oh he replied with big eyes! He came back to me several times during the meal, telling me that he couldn't believe I was going to have a baby. It was so cute!

So, I covet your prayers. I'm no spring chicken- I'll be 44 when I deliver this baby next summer. And I have high blood pressure that rises slowly over the course of a pregnancy. And, as I have already mentioned, I miscarried a few years back and that is always in the front of my mind. So your prayers for my health and well being and also for the health of the baby are much appreciated!

PS- We're praying for a girl! (But would be just as happy with another boy)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Surprise

Surprised? We were too, but now we're just thrilled!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Thoughts

  • I've kind of been in a blogging slump. Nothing much to say, if you can believe that!
  • Seems amazing to me that the day after tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Where did 2009 go?
  • We're having about 27 people here for Thanksgiving. When we first moved here, we were without any family. So we decided on Thanksgiving, we would invite everyone and anyone who had no place to go. That first Thanksgiving, we had another family of 4 and 2 much older couples. We loved it and a tradition was born! Of course, we now have family included in that, so our numbers have grown by leaps and bounds, but our motto is the more, the merrier! It will be interesting to see how everyone fits this year!
  • We all split up the cooking so no one person has to do it all. For me, as long as I don't have to do the mashed potatoes, I'm great!
  • I'm making my traditional dishes I've made for years and years: broccoli casserole, sweet potato souffle and green bean casserole with chocolate pie and cream cheese pie for dessert.
  • I'm making a new pumpkin dessert this year. It sounds good- I hope it doesn't disappoint!
  • We have been blessed with several deer in the past few weeks and our freezer is full to the brim with venison! What a blessing. I am not a country girl, but I will eat venison. And, really, it's not that different than ground beef, other than it has no fat.
  • Our stray dog (TJ) has found a new home, thanks to the diligence of Anna. When she found out that the pound would put him down because he was part pit bull, she was having none of it!
  • So now we're back to 2 dogs. Sweet little Schnitzel and Big Wild Sheba. Enough!
  • Good night.

Wright on Time

Wright on Time by Lisa Cottrell-Bentley was sent to me for review by the author for review for MamaBuzz.

What a cute book! The author was very creative in coming up with a series of books for "middle" kids to read and enjoy. This book, book 1, takes place in Arizona with the Wright family, a homeschooling RV family who travel across the country. Therefore, subsequent books will take place in all 50 states. The author is very careful to add in detail about each state, so while your child is enjoying the story, he/she is learning about each state.

My daughter Ellie, aged 10, read this book in about an hour. She enjoyed it even though it was a bit below her reading level. Once she started reading, she couldn't put it down.

It is always nice to be able to hand my children a book about homeschoolers, children they can relate to. I appreciate this book for that alone, but when you add in the educational value and the enjoyment they derive from this book, you get a winner!

Feel free to check out the Wright on Time website for more information about this book and the other books in series. You can purchase this book at the website or on Amazon for $12.99.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ultimate Cloth

"The Ultimate Cloth is an eco-friendly solution for homes as well as a time and money saver."

I was given a chance to review the Ultimate Cloth and went to the website to check it out. I had my doubts because I had tried many various things over the years to save time in housecleaning. When the ultimate cloth arrived, I was a little surprised. It seemed like a thick paper towel, and I almost laughed outloud. I did not think it could do the things that the website claimed it could do.

I got it out, and showed my daughters, who were eager to try it. (They are like their mother- anything to get the housecleaning done quicker!). So, we ran it under warm water and went to work on the hardest spots in our house.

First up, the laundry room door. This door gets washed periodically, but it seems it is always dirty. Anna tried the cloth, and, amazingly enough, it worked. I had her try it on the bottom where it was most dirty and it even worked there. Then we went to the back door. The back door is a french door, full of window panes. Because of the little children in our house and the dogs, the windows are always dirty and the white paint is dingy. I took the cloth and tried it and within a few minutes, with some elbow grease, I had part of the door back to white and a few windows clean. Hmmm. Maybe there was something to this miracle cloth.

Oh. I think I forgot to mention that you need no cleaners with this cloth. No harsh chemicals- only the damp cloth. Next we tried it on counters and the front of the refrigerator. No problems cleaning those. Anything we tried it on, it cleaned, all without cleaners. It's a big cloth, so you can fold and refold to get the most surface area to clean with. And when it gets dirty, you throw it in the washer, to be used again. I think that's my favorite thing about it- it's reusable. And affordable- you can get 2 for ten dollars.

The Ultimate Cloth reminded me very much of a magic eraser. It worked in the same way, cleaning things easily that generally are hard to clean. However, the ultimate cloth is reusable and is not filled with chemicals, like the magic eraser. The people at the ultimate cloth are so sure you're going to like it that they are giving them away for you to try. If you follow ultimate cloth on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook, you will find information to receive your free cloth. Try it- you've got nothing to lose.

This is a mamabuzz review. This product was supplied by Ultimate Cloth America for review.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


One night, I was in the dining room, and I happened to glance into the kitchen and almost let out a scream. (No, I didn't see a mouse!) I saw a big head at the kitchen window and it scared me until I realized it was our dog, Sheba. Sheba is a big baby. She's not quite a year old and has a huge head and body and has figured out how to jump up on the bench and look in the window. Well, it didn't take my kids long to figure out they could open the window and have company when they do dishes. This is now Sheba's spot. She stands there until someone opens the window and then she sticks her head in, always looking for a bit of food. She will bark at times and will scare whoever does not realize she is there.

Sam at the Dock

Potato Soup

Sunset at the Lake

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13

November 13 is a memorial date in my life. It was on this date in 2003 that I lost the 11 week old baby I was carrying. It was a traumatic time, full of emotion and questioning. I had already delivered 4 healthy babies and just assumed that this baby would be the same.

I remember thinking that I just didn't understand it. Why would God give me a baby that I didn't ask for, just to take it right away? I questioned God over and over, wondering why this had to happen. I never got any specific answers. I could guess the reasons, but I don't know the mind of God. I did, however, receive the "peace that passess all understanding" after a few weeks. God was very gracious with me and I was soon able to thank Him for the gift of that baby and also that He had taken it away.

I had not shed tears over that baby in a long time- until last Sunday morning. I had been thinking about the baby, as I tend to do this time of year, so it was fresh in my mind. During the Communion service last Sunday morning, we sang the song, "How Great Thou Art". When we came to the phrase, "When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart" I immediatly thought of going home and finally getting to meet my baby, and the tears just flowed.

Paul and I have said that this baby is our only child that we don't have to worry about. That baby is living such a blessed life, to be in the presence of the Father. I'm so thrilled for the baby, but must admit that I still feel a bit sorry for me. At times I just feel empty and I know it is because my arms ache to hold that child.

But, life must and does go on. There are others to care for, things that must get done. But I like to, on this date every year, remember the joy that sweet little baby gave me for 11 short weeks and thank God for His gift of life.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This is a picture of my Grandma Benzing and her older brother, probably taken in the 1920's.

Jantsen's Gift

Jantsen's Gift by Pam Cope A true story of Grief, Rescue and Grace
I was sent this book to review. It looked like an interesting book, so I was looking forward to reading it. What I didn't realize was how interesting it was going to be. This is a book I was not able to put down. I spent any spare minute I had reading it.
Pam Cope was an "ordinary" mom and wife. She owned and worked at a hair salon, had two kids in school, and lived in the suburbs, but always had a nagging feeling that her life was not all that it was supposed to be. Tragically, her son Jantsen died at the young age of 15 from a chronic heart condition. As you can imagine, this threw Pam's life for a loop. She struggled with her grief, being admitted to the hospital at one point and she battled depression also for years.
She and her family accepted an invitation to visit Vietnam. Pam thought it would help her grief if she were able to get away from the familiar for a while. She never thought that trip would change the entire course of her life.
The book details that trip, along with many other trips that literally changed Pam's, her husband and her daughter's life. Pam has been able to do incredible things for many unfortunate children around the world. I especially enjoyed the chapters on Lake Volta in Africa and the stories of how they were able to save so many children from slavery.
I would have liked to hear Pam share more of her faith and how God sustained her during her darkest hour. She does share somewhat about God's grace in her life, but I would have liked to hear more.
This book is a great read, and I have two copies I'd like to give away. If you'd like one, leave me a comment and I will get it to you.
*This is a Mama Buzz review and the book Jantsen's Gift was provided to me by The Hatchette Group to review on my blog.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Can Trace/Prismacolor Colored Pencils

This is a Mama Buzz Review. These products were supplied to me by Timberdoodle for review on my blog.
When this product was offered, I jumped at the chance to review it, for several reasons. First, the publisher said it was for children beginning at age 2. I thought Benjamin would have fun doing this. Second, Timberdoodle is a great company and anything they put out is excellent. And third, I knew Sam would love doing this book.

I was not wrong on any count! As you can see, Samuel really enjoyed this book. Some of the tracing was too easy for him, but he did it anyway and enjoyed it. It has alot of different things to trace, some straight lines, some curvy/wavy lines and some odd shapes. He especially liked the mazes.

He also enjoyed using the Prismacolor Colored Pencils with this. It made it all the more special having "special" pencils to do his schoolwork with.

Benjamin was thrilled to give it a try. However, I'd say he's still a bit young for this. He LOVED coloring, but didn't get the concept of tracing. Maybe in a few months. He won't be 2 until February, so maybe I will try it with him then.

But he did enjoy himself!

As you can see!

I would say that the $10.50 for the I Can Trace book is a fair price. It is a huge book and the paper is thick. It has a bonus section in the back so you can see and try the other books in this series. The colored pencils are wonderful- they are of a much better quality than what you can buy at Walmart. The 12 pack of pencils cost $8.00 are are very worth it.
I would recommend this book for children ages 2 or 2 1/2 up to 5. Of course, the pencils are good for any age, even adults!

Random Thoughts

Can't believe it's been a week since I posted. It doesn't seem that long. I thought this was so cute. She was reading him library books and he was sitting so atentively.

While wearing his darth vadar mask. Where else but in a homeschool??

Benjamin is saying alot of new words these days. Interestingly enough, most of them have to do with food. Peekool (pickle), ketchup, toas, (toast), juice, water and lots more. He has perfected saying no and mine.

The girls spiked his hair one night after his bath.

He was getting a little irritated here- he had enough of having his picture taken. Paul and I have each tried to cut his hair, but he was having none of it. He is very scared of noises, with the vacuum being at the top of the list. He'll scream before it is even turned on.We are expecting alot of rain tomorrow from hurricane Ida. Maybe 2 - 5 inches for the day. It is supposed to be rainy and windy, but Wednesday is supposed to bring cooler temps. Yesterday was on of the most beautiful days that we have had this season- absolutely perfect.
I've started taking the little boys to story time at our local library. In all my years of being a mom, this is the first time I've done that and they love it. Sam sits and listens intently to the stories and puppets. Last week he kept raising his hand and telling the story lady little tidbits. It was funny. Benjamin ususally is up and down, but last week he sat for the whole time. It's so cute watching them.
(don't pay any attention to this last pic. Blogger won't let me delete it for some reason.