This has been the week of weeks. To start with I've been on pins and needles waiting for my friend Kelli to go into labor because....she asked me to come and take photos for her! I've been at her last two births but once again, what an honor to be asked! So, on Tuesday the midwife decides to bring her in and induce, which happened to be Andrew's 6th birthday-so after celebrating at lunch time I went to the hospital at 3:00 pm (they didn't arrive until 4:30...a little mis-communication and some extra reading time at the hospital for me :) and I got home at 1:00 am! Watching her have a water birth with little one's shoulders getting stuck was, well.... let me describe it this way, I felt a tremendous weight in my knees, the force of gravity willing me towards the floor, as the urgency to pray surged through my spirit like never before. It was an out of body experience and I'll never forget, finally as the midwife screamed at Kelli that she had to get the baby out and I decided to put caution to the wind (I didn't want to scare Kelli) and pray out loud something to the effect of, "Jesus! Get that baby out!" and literally as the word "out" left my lips the rest of the baby was delivered. I've never felt such utter relief and thankfulness.
Okay, so now the rest of my week will seem dull in comparison. And to a certain extent it was. Well, if I didn't include the part where we got the privilege of keeping her 4 older boys for a 24 hour period, bringing the grand total of boys in the household to 9! Yipee for boys! I truly do love them like crazy. So it's all good :)
The week ended with an end to, my voice. Yes, a cold that I thought I had successfully fought off became ugly and stole my much needed VOICE. I feel utterly helpless with my boys without the aid of Steve. Thankfully he has been here with me most of the time or had the boys out with him. Tomorrow, I'll just have to go with the flow :)
So here are a few pictures as of lately...
This is the sort of thing older brother Isaac likes to do to his baby brother. He does make me smile. Both of em.
Benjamin and daddy-oh how I love those boys.
These two really remind me of each other. When Andrew was Samuel's age he smiled and stuck out his tongue all the time too. And he has had lots of articulation issues. I hope Samuel won't follow suit.
Dear Benjamin, sweet little helper. He is always ready to come along and wipe spit up or snot or whatever needs wiping.
Not sure Samuel is real appreciative. But he is fairly tolerant. Surely they will be the best of friends. Yes, the best of friends. :) Words can't describe how IN LOVE Benjamin is with Samuel. When Steve comes in the morning with Benjamin to my room, where I'm typically nursing Samuel, Benjamin says over and over "Baby! Baby! Baby! See baby!"
Totally random, I know but I just thought I would say, I wouldn't know what to do without my steamer basket. I do not like the taste of frozen veggies (I can handle frozen peas and the frozen peas and shredded carrots from whole foods, but that is it) so I always buy broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, squash, and zucchini fresh and steam them with my handy steamer basket.
This was an attempt at chewy gluten free granola bars. They actually weren't half-bad. Isaac and I liked them a lot. I am always taking recipes calling for white flour and I typically sub half-oat flour, half rice flour for the wheat flour and then add xanthum gum. Most things turn out just fine. I grind the oat groats and the brown rice in my wheat grinder. Since I'm just gluten intolerant and I don't have celiac disease I seem to tolerate the little bit of cross-contamination without any problems.
Often times this is where you will find Samuel. He will play on the floor for a few minutes and he is even starting to get up on all fours and rock back and forth, oh dear, this means he is going to be crawling soon.... Someone...help! Okay, just kidding. Life will go on. With. A lot. More. Chaos. Okay, I'm breathing again. I will get through this stage with the boys. Oh and then we will have another baby. Maybe. Just maybe. But I won't think about that right now. Anyway, I love these boys so much that I'll endure every bit of chaos that having them produces. And I pray I become a better and better mother.
Perfect segway to sharing one of the things that really helps me manage the house. And that is CHORES! Yeah for chores! So just to give you an idea I'll list out what the boys do:
Morning chores: Cleans his room, puts away his clean clothes, gets dressed, unloads the dishwasher, makes the oatmeal that was soaking the night before, fills up a water bottle for me and Steve and Benjamin, feeds the birds.
After meals when he is home:
Washes and loads the dishes
Cleans the counters
Sweeps his half of the kitchen
Takes out the trash at night
Monday: Vacuums downstairs
Tuesday: Vacuums upstairs
Wednesday: Cleans a bathroom
Thursday: Takes out all trash
Friday: Deep cleans the kitchen counters
Micah (8 1/2)
Morning chores: Cleans his room, puts away his clean clothes, gets dressed, makes his bed
Cleans the floor of any wet food and toys
Sweeps the floor in the part of the kitchen that has the kitchen table
(after dinner he moves out all the chairs and stools and sweeps)
Sweeps the school room (on Friday he vacuums the rug in there)
Sweeps the entrance way and shakes out the rug in front of the door
Cleans up the school room and entrace way
Light cleans one bathroom (he alternates the upstairs and downstairs bathroom)
Morning Chores: Same as Micah
Clears the table and wipes the table
Takes the dirty clothes basket upstairs and sorts it (we have a laundry basket downstairs that collects the rags from the kitchen and anything else like burp cloths or dirty cloths I took of the little ones, etc.)
Cleans up the deck
Cleans up any toys out in the living room or the playroom
The boys usually do their afternoon chores about 4:30 after the have had their showers for the night. So by the time dinner rolls around at 5:30 or so, they are all clean, in their pjs, and the house is in relative order. We have dinner, then they clean up after dinner, and then Steve reads them the Bible while everyone is cozy on the couch, and I'm trying to get back in the habit of reading a chapter a night from a book. Right now we are 3 chapters into Dangerous Journey, a delightful abridged version of Pilgrims Progress.
Last but not least-here is my precious birthday boy. I love this kid so much! He is so very very sweet. He is my most affectionate child so far. Everyone should have an Andrew. He just makes life that much sweeter. Thank you God for Andrew!
And I can't leave without giving ya'll the recipe I found for White Chicken Chili which is SO yummy!
1 medium onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional, I didn't use it)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz each) great northern beans (rinsed and drained)
2 tbs minced fresh parsley (or use less amount of dried)
1 tbs lime juice (I didn't have this the 2nd time I made it and it was fine)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
2 tbs corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
In large saucepan, cook onion, pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in broth, beans, parsley, lime juice and spices-bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into chili. Add chicken. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Makes 6 servings.
Enjoy! This is a combination of my friend Amy's recipe and the recipe I found from a website called Kitchen Stewardship that has lots of great healthy recipes.
Please excuse typos-I've got to go to bed now!