Archive for September, 2009

Pregnancy Joys

Aching back.

Heartburn every single day.

Headaches.

Insomnia.

Sinus drainage.

Steering wheel moved up and driver’s seat pushed back.

Morning sickness at least once a week.

Difficulty shaving legs and tying shoes.

Raging emotions.

The need to cross my legs with every cough, sneeze or giggle.

Oh yes.  I’m definitely feeling pregnant now.

4 weeks and 2 days until we meet our little Layla!

No Time, No Energy, No Posts

Been a long tiresome week for lots of various reasons.  I haven’t had the time, energy or desire to post anything on my blog.  Just a few random thoughts and then I’m back off this computer for the night.

  • Went on a tour of the Labor and Delivery Unit tonight.  Yeah–the hospital here is NOTHING compared to the hospital where my previous children were born.  It may be 3 times the size but I will miss my beloved RMH Family Birthplace when I have Layla in 5 weeks!
  • Asked the girl leading the tour about the docs and how lenient they are with the antibiotic ointment in the eyes and she asked who my doctors were.  Then she said, “You probably aren’t going to do the Hep B or Vitamin K either, are you?”.  Not in a derogatory way but it was kind of like, “Oh yeah–you’re one of those kind of moms.”  Aaron even picked up on that.  I told her that I would be more accepting of the eye ointment if it was going to cause major issues but I was not signing a consent for the Vitamin K or the Hep B.  She said my docs are usually good to work with but they would probably more insistent on the eye ointment.  So we’ll see how all of that plays out.
  • Taught Annagrace her first piano lesson today.  I am surprised at how quickly she is picking things up.  She is just like me though….she gets SO frustrated if she makes mistakes.
  • Homeschool is going great though I have thoughts every single day that maybe I’m not “doing things right”.  I know I am because my child is very bright and is learning so much.  I have to get these thoughts out of my head that I’m making a mistake because I LOVE this.  I LOVE being with my daughter every day and I LOVE being actively involved in her education.
  • Got to spend some time with my new friend, Jill, this week.  I love Jill.  She is so sweet and honest.  Check out her blog.  She openly blogs about her journey with ALS…the good, the bad and the ugly…with such honesty.  I am so happy to have met her and hope I have many more opportunities to spend time with her.
  • Aaron and I have both been doing a lot of thinking and studying this week about holiness.  We’ve had some great conversations and have both been convicted about a lot of things in our lives and our marriage.  It has both been hard and wonderful all rolled into one.  God is definitely working big time in our lives.  And along with that Satan is trying to work hard as well.  I started going through the Beth Moore study “When Godly People do Ungodly Things”.  Wow.  It is really opening my eyes to the damage and destruction that Satan wishes on the Godliest of men and women.  Maybe I’ll be comfortable one day sharing more about all this but for now I just have to say that we serve a BIG God.  An amazing God.  A loving and caring and forgiving God.
  • A friend posted the new Barlow Girl song, “Beautiful Ending” on facebook.  It was a perfect song for me to hear this week.  It has really touched me and I couldn’t have heard it at a better time.  So I’ll end by posting the video.  Awesome lyrics that really make you think.  How will our “ending” be?  Is it going to be beautiful?

Absence

Life has been, um . . . . interesting lately.  Some good, high points and many low points.  And the lows have been really low.  

So I may not be blogging again for the rest of the week.  I worked today and will work tomorrow.  Then Friday we have a lot of homeschool stuff to work on, I’m helping a new friend for a few hours in the afternoon, then making a dessert to take to another new friends’ home for dinner.  

Saturday the girls and I along with my friend Jenn, her baby Lilley and her mom are going to Raleigh to the Marble Museum and the NC Natural Science Museum.  I had planned to take the girls for a field trip anyway and Jenn’s mom had mentioned the marble museum to her and how she wanted to take Lilley so we decided to just all go together!  Should be a lot of fun!  

Have a great weekend y’all!

In Memory

After learning about my friend, Virginia’s death last night I went upstairs and started looking through old scrapbooks for pictures of her.  I thought I’d share a few of them on here along with a few memories.  It all seems so surreal right now.  I just can’t believe that she’s gone.

We met Virginia in the Summer of 2000 when she started attending our church.  She was baptized soon after and we soon got to know her then boyfriend, Adam.  Aaron and I always had fun hanging out with them.  Adam and I had a lot in common (we both loved Bob Marley, the Grateful Dead and had a thing for tie-dye and incense!).  Over the years they became good friends of ours and eventually were married (Aaron performed the ceremony).

Virginia loved our daughter, Annagrace!  Whenever we got together she would end up holding her, feeding her.  She didn’t want to put her down!  This was taken in the hospital the day that Annagrace was born.

With AnnagraceVirginia was so small and petite that I always thought Annagrace looked so big when she would hold her!  This is Virginia with Annagrace in January 2003:

With AG 2

We would often go to cookouts at Virginia’s tiny little apartment.  She was always welcoming and loved having guests over.  We worked in the nursery at church together.  We would go out to eat on Sundays after services.  She helped me plan our friends’ baby shower.

When our friend, Mike, passed away Virginia and Adam traveled with us to North Carolina for his memorial service.  It was nice to have friends with us during such a horrible time.  We stopped in Richmond on the way to see my sister-in-law at the airport.  I remember we went out to eat at a little diner afterwards and Adam and I both got so sick on our stomaches that we had to stop to use the bathroom about 3 times the rest of the drive down!  (Was that TMI?!)

This photo was taken at our friend Becky’s son’s first birthday party.  Once again–there’s Virginia holding Annagrace!  She loved playing with her every chance she got!  Annagrace was 17 months old in this photo.  (And I just realized how much Madalyn looks like a blonde haired blue eyed version of Annagrace!  LOL!)

with AG 3

And this is the last photo that I could find that I took of Virginia.  This was up at Massanutten Resort.  Virginia and Adam met us there to go to the Harvest Festival up on the ski slopes.  I remember it was rainy and dreary that day and we quickly walked through and looked at all the crafts, got some kettle korn and went back home!

Virginia and Adam

Unfortunately, Virginia and Adam did not stay married.  They had some rough times and their marriage ended in divorce.  We saw them less and less after they split up and Adam moved away.  We would occasionally see Virginia around Harrisonburg.  Aaron kept in touch with Adam for awhile and we saw him a few times around the time that Madalyn was born in 2005.

Virginia was actually working on the Labor and Delivery floor in November 2005 when Madalyn was born.  In fact, when I had my passing out/hemorrhaging/almost died episode she was the one that went out to the lobby to calm my parents and tell them what was happening.  It was so nice to have a friendly face there.  The next day when she came to work she brought us an outfit for Madalyn, a little stuffed pink snowman and a baby’s first snowman ornament with a sweet card.  Every Christmas when I hang that ornament on the tree I will remember her.

Not long after that she started working in my doctor’s office.  He was also the doctor for one of my more difficult patients and on almost a weekly basis I would call the office and talk to her about this patient.  When I went in for appointments she was my nurse which gave us time to catch up with one another and to talk.  Whenever I saw her it was like old times–like nothing had ever changed.  She was the same old sweet, caring Virginia.

Like I mentioned in my last post, I regret that I didn’t do more to invest in our friendship.  The last time we spoke she just talked and talked and talked and seemed to be very genuine about regrets in her past and about turning back to Jesus.  She was on my mind and in my prayers often but I never took any steps towards helping her or encouraging her in her faith.

I pray that she is dancing in God’s presence now.  I have imagined Mike being there to help welcome her to Heaven.  I pray for peace and comfort for her family in knowing that she was a believer and despite mistakes she had made in her past that she still held onto her faith and still desired to have a relationship with Jesus.  I am grateful that I knew her for just a few short years and that I’ll one day have the rest of eternity to be her friend and her sister in Christ.

Tired

Of sickness.

Of death.

Of evilness.

Tired of this awful, evil world.  This world where babies die.  Where people suffer with disease and sickness.  Where friends are murdered.

Praying that Jesus returns soon.

Please pray for my friend Virginia’s family and friends.  She was one of our first friends when we moved to Harrisonburg.  We spent a lot of time with her and her (then) husband.  Going out to eat (we even spent one of our anniversaries with them at IHOP!), sitting around talking (and burning incense!), counseling them through tough times.  Even traveling to NC together to attend a friend’s funeral.  As some friendships do, we drifted apart for several years.

Virginia and I had a good talk recently (in February) about faith and God and getting back on track.  She talked about how she still had faith.  How she often wondered if she had made the right decision in getting a divorce.  And about how she was trying to get “back on track” with God and wanted to get back to church.  About how she still believed in God.  I told her about our house church and how we would love to have her join us again.  About how we really missed seeing her.

I had really good intentions of calling her and getting together before we moved.  And although I talked to her frequently (she was a nurse at my doctor’s office and I called them at least once a week about one of my patients) I never asked her to get together.  I never took the time to spend time with her before we moved.

On Monday night, her estranged boyfriend murdered her outside her home in front of her neighbors–including three children.  He shot her three times.  She had told her neighbor that she was scared.  That she was afraid that he was going to kill her.  And she stayed there anyway.

What if I had made that call before I moved?  What if I had reconnected her with our church?  What if she had someone to talk to about her fears?  Somewhere safe to go.  She had recently relocated to Grottoes–about 5 minutes from where we used to live.  We were even in town on Monday morning before it happened.

I know that I can’t blame myself but I am really disappointed in myself that I didn’t act on my good intentions.  That I didn’t take the time to sit down and talk with and encourage a friend who obviously was reaching out to me.

God knew Virginia’s heart.  She was a baptized believer in Jesus.  I know her heart was in the right place and she was a good, honest person.  She had a sweet, gentle spirit.  I pray that I will see her in Heaven again one day.

Jesus, please come back soon.  There are mamas who want to hold their babies (some for the first time), there are people suffering who want to be well and there are friends missing friends.  Please come soon.  We long for the day when there will be no suffering, no pain, no death, when you will WIPE AWAY OUR TEARS.  Come soon.

Old Virginia

Boy has life been BUSY lately!  It’s pretty bad when you think to yourself, “Maybe when the baby comes things will calm down a little bit.”!  But that is exactly what I have been thinking lately!

Last weekend we were able to travel up to Virginia to visit with family and friends.  It was a nice trip.  We stayed with my in-laws for the weekend and my sister-in-law was also in town (she lives in Kentucky) so it was nice for all of us to be together.

This was taken on my father-in-laws farm.  I miss these pretty Virginia sunsets!

Sunset-Virginia

We stayed in my in-laws cabin on the river.  The girls enjoyed it and Aaron and I did as well.  My father-in-law built the cabin several years ago and he has a lot of people stay the night there.  It’s simple but cute.  He has a living area downstairs with two couches, a dining room table, a fridge and a microwave.  There is a nice deck out back that looks out over the river.  Then there are outside stairs that lead up to a bedroom with two beds and a loveseat.  There is no running water but there is a bathroom that is around the back of the cabin.  He has a composting toilet  in there and actually it doesn’t smell at all and is fairly clean!  So the only bad part for a very pregnant woman is when it’s time to get up in the middle of the night to pee you have to walk down the outside stairs and around to the back of the cabin.  Luckily I was able to hold it each day until 7am when it was light out!

On Saturday we got up early and the girls and I along with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law met my former boss for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  Janice was a great boss and a great friend and she and Annagrace always had a special relationship.  It was nice to see her and get caught up on life.  She recently got married and left for her honeymoon to Spain on Saturday evening!

After breakfast we went to the Shenandoah Farmer’s Market because I just had to get some homemade Pumpkin Butter and some Kettle Korn.  Kettle Korn rocks!  I had never heard of it until we moved to Virginia but it is delicious!  It’s not like the nasty Orville Redenbacher stuff in the bags.  This is homemade, fresh, straight out of the kettle, Kettle Korn!  It is lightly salted with just enough sugar.  Yummy!

After the farmer’s market we went to the Green Valley Book Fair–which is a MUST if you are ever passing through during the times that the book fair is going on.  I bought lots of books for not a lot of money!  Most hardback novels are around $4.  I got Madalyn two of her favorites–“The Day I Became a Pirate” and “Pirates Don’t Change Diapers” for her birthday and only paid $5.50 a peice for them.

Then we were off to visit my friend and former co-worker, Pam.  She and her hubby have a horse farm and they had a new baby born a month ago.  They also have 3 pregnant mares who are all due very soon!  I thought this would be a great chance for the girls to learn about horses.  They loved it!  Annagrace asked some very good questions and we all (even the adults!) learned a thing of too.  Anyone else know what a “gelding” is?  Now I do too!

Here are Pam, “Aunt” Steph and Madalyn with Sandy who is one of the new mamas!  Her baby was born a month early and had been a twin.  The twin died and she went on to deliver a tiny little baby!  Pam said it was unusual for a pony to live after being born that early but with a lot of TLC from Pam and her hubby, Randy, Shadow the pony is thriving!

Steph-and-mad-with-horseAnd here is Annagrace with one of the other horses.  They have a ton of horses on their farm!  They are Mountain Pleasure horses.

AG-with-horse

On Sunday we went up to visit with our friends at Discovery Christian Church.  When Aaron and I pulled up to our friend’s house we both looked around and thought, “Wow–we don’t know half these people–that’s awesome!”.  It was so nice to catch up with the ones who were there.

That afternoon we took Annagrace over to visit her friends, Ally and Jordan.  Ally lived down the street from us and Jordan is her cousin.  They all went to school together and were best buddies!  They didn’t know we were coming and they were so excited!  I haven’t seen Annagrace smile so much since we moved!  She was so happy to be with her friends again!  They asked her to spend the night and of course we couldn’t say no!  She had the best time and Aaron and I enjoyed catching up with their moms Sabrina and Chrissy (who are sisters).

3-Musketeers

The little three musketeers together again!  Such sweet little girls.  Annagrace sure does miss them!

Of course Madalyn spent the afternoon outside torturing playing with the  cats.  She LOVES cats.  Glad she can enjoy other people’s cats because we will never have a cat in this house.  Sorry.  Not a cat fan.  Can you see the look of fear in this poor kitten’s eyes?!

Mad-and-the-cat

And since I just happened to have my camera and there was a precious baby (Ally’s sister) there and nice lighting coming in the dining room window I took some photos.  Here is 6 month old baby Londyn.  She has the most amazing eyelashes!

Londyn

I also got to see my friend, Christy over the weekend.  She is the owner of  Taylor Made Organics.  I had mentioned on her facebook page that I wanted to buy some of her Pumpkin Sugar Body Scrub and she surprised me with a little gift pack of that and some of the Calendula/Chamomille lotion (to use on the baby!).  I was so surprised and grateful!  I LOVE the pumpkin scrub.  It isn’t too overly sweet smelling and doesn’t have that “fake” pumpkin smell that some lotions and things do.  It has a nice fresh pumpkin smell and really makes my skin feel smooth!  I highly recommend her products!   Aaron wanted to know what was in it so I read the ingredients to him and he said, “Wow–I know what all of that stuff is”!  I told him it’s so good for you you could eat it and it wouldn’t hurt a thing!

So that was our busy weekend!  We drove back on Labor Day and did a little bit of homeschool stuff on the ride back.  Tuesday I had to work so my mom watched the girls (and Annagrace did all her homeschool work by herself and didn’t even complain!).  Then today we had homeschool co-op registration, then pottery class, then back home to do schoolwork all afternoon.  Annagrace did really well today and didn’t complain too terribly much!

A Letter to my Middle Child

Hey Ladybug.  I know lots of things have changed for you this year.  Starting preschool, and then ending early.  Moving.  Trying to make new friends.  Moving into a new house where you sleep in your own room.  Getting used to Dad being gone all day (and mom being home!).  Having a babysitter for the first time in your young little life.

And now in two months we’re bringing a new little girl home into our family.  I know it’s tough but I can’t imagine how you feel.  I was always the baby in my family so I honestly don’t know what it is like to have a younger sibling.  Maybe we’ve talked too much about the baby.  Maybe we’ve read too many books about babies.  Maybe you’ve seen me buy her too many things.  But you are definitely starting to realize that you are not going to be the baby of the family any more.  Just a couple days ago I heard you crying in the living room and when I went to check on you, you said, “I want to be your baby!”.  And it dawned on me then that maybe you are not as excited about the baby as I think you are.

I know it will be tough.  There will be days that you HATE being a big sister.  There will be days that Layla needs a lot of attention and you may not get as much attention from Mommy that day.

But know that I love you VERY much.  Layla is not replacing you as the baby of the family.  One day you will see that her presence in our lives will make you the person you are.  Not the oldest.  Not the youngest.  But in a very special place, right in the middle.

I pray for guidance as we raise you and your two sisters.  I pray that I have enough patience and love and time to devote to each one of you.  I pray that you never feel left out.  That you never feel second best.  That each of my girls feels equally loved and cared for.

So hang in there.  Like I said, there will be bad days being a big sister.  But I pray that the good days far outweigh the bad.  I pray that you and both your sisters grow up to be best friends.  And please know that no matter what . . . you will always be my little baby.  The one that wakes me up at night standing by my bed sucking her thumb.  That crawls into bed between me and your daddy.  That hogs the bed and the covers and who likes to snuggle up so close to me that I’m almost pushed off the bed.  I’m going to miss that one day!

You will always be my special little baby.  I love you, Ladybug!

Madalyn

Because I need a break

So Week 2 Day 2 in the school of Saufley has not gone so well.  Let’s just say teacher and student were both in tears by 9 a.m. and teacher was threatening to call the public school system and have student enrolled.  It was not pretty.  After a talk with the “principal” (Aaron) things got a little better for both of us but still it has been a rough day.

Annagrace is having difficulty with getting used to the new structure.  She thinks that if the work she has to do is not fun then it must be busy work and she doesn’t want to do it.  Which leads to whining.   And fussing and fighting.  And tears.

Anyway . . . I am taking a break and thought this would be good to get my mind off of things.  This is totally copied from Lindsey’s blog (and she copied it from this blog).

1. Do you cook every night?
Who, me?  Umm . . . . NO.  I like cooking and I try to cook more often since I am home more now but Aaron has always been good about helping out–especially with me being pregnant.

2. What kind of laundry detergent do you use & why?
I have recently started using Charlie’s Soap because it’s gentle and biodegradable and lasts for a long time.  But I will still pick up other stuff if I can get it really cheap with coupons.

3. Do you do laundry every day or loads at a time?
Usually do a couple loads a day but I have been known to let them pile up and then I’ll do about 5 at one time.  I hate laundry!

4. How often do you eat out per week?
Used to be really frequently (like 2-3 times per week).  But recently I have been trying to watch my spending more closely (thanks to the Spend Nothing August challenge) and we’ve been eating at home more.  We do usually eat out if we have company in town (like last week).  And when we have church at our house we sometimes order pizza.

5. Where do you usually eat out?
Depends on what coupons I have at the time!  But if I had my choice it would be McAlister’s or Ruby Tuesday.

6. What is your favorite retail store?
Anyone who knows me knows I love Target!  Although I have to say the Target here is a huge disappointment compared to the one up in Harrisonburg!  Looking forward to the Super Target to open here.  And it will be about 2 minutes away from home.  Could be dangerous.

7. What’s your favorite thing to drink?
McAlister’s Sweet Tea.  Yum-O!  I also love Pepsi though that comes and goes.  I’ll drink a lot of it and get sick of it and then not drink it for awhile.

8. Do you take vitamins? What kind?
My prenatal vitamins although I haven’t taken one in quite awhile.  I’m horrible at remembering to take medicine and also the prenatals have a tendency to induce morning sickness!

9. What percentage of the household chores to you do?
I’d say about 80-90%.  Aaron helps straighten the living room when he gets home and he’s good about helping with the dishes.  And he is in charge of the garbage and mowing the yard!

10. Do your children do chores? {Or will they, did they, etc}
They both help clean their rooms (although sometimes it takes a lot of prodding to get them to do it!).   We had a chore chart and I haven’t kept up with it very well.  I need to get it out and get it going again.

11. Do you go to church?
Well . . . I don’t really have far to go since we have a house church that meets in our home!  But yes, I go in the living room for church!

12. Do you have a housework schedule?
Not really.  My kitchen floor is scrubbed at least once a week.  The laundry is done as it accumulates.  I try to clean the bathrooms once a week but sometimes I let it go 2 weeks.  I vacuum at least once a week and dust about every other week.  I am terrible about changing the sheets on the bed–especially the girls sheets!

13. Do you keep a working budget?
Aaron does . . . but honestly I have been very hands off in that department.  Although since I have been home and I am paying the bills now it is helping me to see where our spending is going and it helps me to stay focused on not spending so much.

14. What do you do at night as a family?
Aaron reads one of Annagrace’s homeschool lessons with her.  We sometimes watch a movie.  Aaron and Annagrace love to play games.

15. How do you prepare yourself for a new week?
We have two dry erase calendars in the kitchen.  One is a family calendar and the other is for our homeschool stuff.  The homeschool calendar is really for Annagrace so she can see what we are studying, what days I am working and who will be babysitting, when we are going on field trips, etc.  Our other calendar has our family activities on it and I include doctor’s appointments and other “mom and dad” appointments on it.

16. What do your mornings look like?
I usually get up around 7:30 or so.  I try to be showered, dressed and ready for school to start by 8:15.  At 8:15 I get Annagrace up for the day and she does some independent work while I fix breakfast.  We start schoolwork  and then Madalyn usually makes her way downstairs around 9:00 or so.  We do schoolwork until at least 12 when I fix lunch.

17. What time do you get up in the mornings?
Usually around 7:30.  Sometimes later depending on how I am feeling!

18. What time do you go to bed at night?
Usually I get in bed by 10:30 or 11–sometimes earlier if I’m reading to the girls but I usually read until I fall asleep and sometimes that is after midnight.

19. How do you manage all of the paperwork that floods into your household? {bills, school work, magazines, ads, etc}
Bills were being filed in our filing cabinet and moved to a paid folder once they were paid but after reading Lindsey’s post I have started a binder for bills!  School work is all organized in our “school room” which is the breakfast nook in the kitchen.  Magazines are everywhere!!!  When I have time I will sort through them and tear out the articles that I want to keep and put them in one of 4 three ring binders that I have.  I have a fitness/health binder, a family/kids binder, a home inspiration binder and a scrapbook/craft binder.  I have page protectors in these and I just slip the articles that I like in them.  Coupons are also organized in a binder using baseball card holders.  I have it sectioned  by areas of the grocery store.  I admit though that I get terribly behind on organizing them–it is not my favorite thing to do!  Important papers are filed in our filing cabinet.

20. How do you keep your household organized? {calendars, charts, etc}
See above!  I couldn’t live without my calendars!  I also carry a red leather calendar in my purse to keep track of things.  I feel lost without it and with my pregnancy brain I’d never remember anything without it!

Week 2 Day 2 Part 2:

Went to homeschool playgroup.  Annagrace was having tough time fitting in today.  Not sure what it was all about but she kept saying she didn’t want to play what the other girls were playing and I kept finding her off to herself on the playground.  I went over to talk to her about it and another little girl came over and asked Annagrace if she had something she wanted to play instead.  They decided to play with Annagrace’s American Girl doll and after that things seemed to improve.  All the girls came over and played together then and Annagrace seemed much happier when we left.  The girls (and the moms!) in the group are all really nice and I think it just may take a few more weeks for Annagrace to really feel like part of the group.  One of the moms told me that her daughter really liked playing with Annagrace and that she hoped that we would keep coming to playgroup!

Madalyn on the other hand is having a great time!  She is just fascinated with her new friend Andre.  She loves this little boy!  It’s kind of funny.  When we got there today and he hadn’t arrived yet she said, “I want my other boy here!”.  So cute!  He’s a little handful which is why I think they get along so well together!


September 2009
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