Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Life Is Moving....

There has been some wonderful new things happening around our home this week. It sure feels like we have every stage of life happening before our eyes. We have teenagers, grade schoolers, little ones, and a babe soon to make an addition to that fullness!

Both Madison and Cole are in sports this year for the first time. We are all pretty excited as we have waited years to be able to swing the added expenses. Cole has been in weight training for months now in prep for the upcoming high school football season. He is playing for the Christian Youth Center's homeschooling team in our area. I have truly enjoyed the positive experiences and growth it has brought with it! Cannot wait for the games in the fall. I am still in amazement that I will be sitting in the stands watching my first babe-soon to be in high school, while cuddling a newborn babe! WOW! LIFE IS INCREDIBLE!! The weight training for Cole has been so beneficial-and he has worked hard at learning all he can and reaching new goals. We now have quite the weight set-up in the garage that he has saved and worked hard to get. It has been a very positive building in Matt and Cole's relationship as well, since a lot of it has to be done in pairs. The Lord has blessed us with some wonderful friends from church as well that helped to get us started with the team. They have been faithful helpers in getting Cole to and from training sessions and practices-the blessing of help in this way has been beyond measure!!

Madison is in track and the season is in full swing!! Oh my, what an adjustment to this life! To go from never having sports practices and games, has been a bit of a shock to the groove of family life we were used to. But, the excitement has far outweighed that!! And the stretching and challenges for me have been positive as well! Madi is also on a team with the CYC. She has been practicing for a few weeks and last night was the first official meet-she did great-and I was just overjoyed to watch her run and run and run-she certainly was built for it!! We brought the younger kids with us and they had a good time watching all the chaos of the meet. But, within the 3 hours, the temp went from around 80 to around 50-burr-for all of us wearing shorts and t-shirts! Ahh, spring weather. By the end, we had found a spot to park the van facing the track so that I could keep the little ones warm and be able to hop out quickly and watch Madi run her events. She loved it-which made me so thankful!!

Cole also was able to have a bunch of his buddies over Friday night. it was the first time any of the kiddos have had friends stay over since I had gotten sick-so it was so fun to have all of this life buzzing in our home! He really has such a good group of guys. They had a great time-maybe no sleep-but fun none the less. And all you need for teenage boys....


Many of you have followed along with me for some time now and are familiar with our tiny house. But I will recap for some of you just dropping in. We bought our little ranch a little over 7 years ago when we were expecting Bell, our fourth. It has 3 small bedrooms, one bathroom, no dining space, and a full unfinished basement which has been the saving grace for this family of 7! When we found out we were expecting our 6th little wonder, we were truly stumped as to how to fit this little one in-the bedrooms are completely full and that is with creative working of how to fit 3 girls in one and 2 boys in the smaller room. Instead of being brought down by this, Matt and I decided to just focus on the excitement and gift of this new little man who will make his arrival in about 4 months. I know that the Lord has a plan for this little life that is much bigger than where his crib will rest in our home!! We have always brainstormed about how to add space, whether it be building out in the garage or putting a room in downstairs, but all it could be was dreams which if met with reality, soon fell apart for one reason or another. The garage project meant loosing-well-a garage which for us is the only storage space for this little house and not only would bring the expense of remodeling, but the expense of where to store everything-cost of a new garage down the road or massive shed. Building a room in the basement seemed the best idea, but we were stumped as to how and where. I was also very against putting just one child off from the rest of us. But the Lord has been laying a foundation for the help we needed long before we knew of this little one's life. Some friends from church had been telling Matt that they would be willing to help us on projects in our home. He is a contractor and has experience that would greatly benefit helping us with our DO-IT-YOURSELF needs. Well, he came over Monday morning to take a look at the basement and draw up some plans, goals, etc that would give us direction and hope. Before he had come, Matt and I had finally come to a consensus that putting all 3 girls in the basement together would be the best. They are the ones struggling in their space the most, there is potential for a second bathroom downstairs right next to their future room as well, which seems to make the most sense with 3 teenage girls:). When our friend was here to measure the basement, he was in agreement-and everything fell into place. Even the issue of putting in a fire safe window for their room does not seem impossible anymore for us! I do not know when we will be able to take this on in reality, but there is finally hope and what a difference that has made-even excitement!! We will put the younger two boys together in the girls old room and Cole will stay where he is. We will lose our family room space downstairs, which has caused me to decide to give up my studio space. I obviously need to still have something since it is also my job, but Matt and I are working on how to rework the littler spaces in the basement for me. He helped me to restructure the closet under our stairway already to better accommodate supplies and storage. We will begin working on some very specific shelving projects to help as well. Bummer is, I most likely will lose my dreamy over sized studio table-but I am ready to make the adjustments for the gifts the Lord is giving us instead!! Sometimes we have to give up something good, to receive something better!!

As far as my pregnancy, I am still doing pretty well. Even my migraines are becoming less and less. And I am able to do without nausea meds quite often-Praise the Lord!! I have been a little discouraged this week, because in general, I have been feeling pretty icky. Some of it is allergies-yikes, they are bad this year! But Matt has a terrible cold/flu that has really taken him out and I have been wondering if maybe I am run down because my body is fighting that virus off-- at least, that is what I am hoping! I have been pretty limited though, even last night, we arrived home after Madison's meet, ate dinner that I had thankfully had cooking in the crockpot, and I went straight to bed, even before the kids. On one hand, I went to bed feeling accomplished, because I had made it to the track meet, and fed my family-which really is quite big still, but on the other hand, I felt as though there were so many other things needing attention and I just didn't have enough energy to do them. And I know Matt is sick because he is picking up so much extra for me. I just need to give those struggles over to the Lord though-He knows our needs before we do, and knows Matt needs healing too.

Today, is a day, for rest-for a normal routine. Just school-no practices. A chance to just do the simple things like chores maybe a little work in the shop and maybe even grabbing dinner out instead of wrestling with standing long enough to finish cooking a meal. I found yesterday, that I was even struggling with sitting on a stool while prepping dinner, so Cole graciously finished up for me. Thankfully today, there are now enough leftovers for lunch-it really is the simple things that make such a difference.:)

For those of you sewers out there-I have finally learned how to turn regular pants into maternity. Boy, I sure could have used this for the first 5!!! I had gotten rid of all of my maternity clothing-so I have started from scratch again. I wasn't too worried though because clothing today is so versatile and of course thrifting makes it super easy to put together a new wardrobe. But I do not always like the maternity clothing out there and wanted to figure out how to make my own. It really has been easy. I did a bit of studying online, and took some really good looks at what I already had and what I really liked. I found that I do not like the under the belly maternity pants, they always feel like they are falling off. I do not like the older style front maternity panel either. But I love the full belly panels that are a newer style(at least from 15 years ago when I was expecting our first). So, I have successfully combined 8 pairs of pants into 4 of which I love and feel very comfortable in-not to mention-I feel like myself. I found 4 maternity pants(that were not my style) in my size or close, with the full panels, and 4 pairs of non-maternity pants that I would really like to wear right now(some straight out of my closet) and combined them. I will try to put together a tutorial soon. It was as simple as cutting off about 1 1/2 inches of the waist band and sewing in the maternity panel. I think the full panel is probably the easiest to put in too.

And oh!! I found a new recipe that everyone loves-so i am going to pass it on!! Isn't it funny how a new recipe can measure right up there with a basement remodel! haha-and better yet-it is a crock pot recipe for those busy days!! I found it on Pinterest-which is my favorite place to find new recipes now. It is for a chicken ranch and bacon pasta. It is super yummy and quick to make.

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