Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pearl Harbor Day

A date which will live in infamy.

Ok, that's my history for the day.  Strange to think that it has been 76 years since the lives of U. S. Citizens changed so abruptly as our country entered World War II.

So how are we doing? Well, as is all too common in winter, we are enduring an illness.  Some coughing, lots of drainage, and Rose threw up all over Kevin yesterday.

He mostly laughed about it.  That's the advantage of being a super experienced parent.  We've been there and done that.  Who cares about vomit?  Or poop even?  I mean yes, lots of cleaning and all, but we're pretty mellow.

We had a few very warm days this December and kids played outside a lot. But now it is reasonably cold.

The kids decorated the tree for me, which was awesome.  I'm not at all OCD about ornaments. I'm very much "whatever" about their placement. This year, with Rose being 3, we have had better luck with fragile ornaments down low.

Our kitten Mocha has grown a lot.  She found this lovely warm spot on the deck to hang out.  Our new deck is a warm spot as it is south facing.  We often have a conglomeration of cats out there.

Lydia is out driving with a certified instructor right now.  That's a legal requirement in Ohio if a teen wants to get her license before age 18.  So she is 16, and we are hoping she'll get her license soon.  In my day, driver's ed was taught by the schools but nowadays it is private and rather expensive.

Like a total of $450 or so.

It isn't a huge problem for us, but I'm sure for some parents it is rather onerous.  Of course, a teen can wait until age 18.  The thing I DO like is that the requirements for driver's licenses are much tighter than when I was a teen.  Lydia has to do 50 hours of driving with either me or Kevin, and 10 of those hours have to be at night. Then she also has this 8 hours of driving with a certified instructor.  I was thrown out onto the roads with only a couple of hours of practice.  My dad worked with me after I got my license, and I was super grateful for that as I wasn't a good enough driver at 16. 

Naomi will be full time at Clark State next semester and Lydia will be taking a 3 credit class at Clark State as well. If Lydia can drive herself, life will be easier.

Of course there are nerves but Lydia is a good driver and a careful one.  And I pray for her and Naomi.

So, the Christmas season.  I've scaled back on Christmas through the years.  I'm not someone who really enjoys decorating and going all out.  And with a large family and homeschooling, I choose not to spend a ton of time on it.  But we do have a tree, and decorations, and presents, and a nativity set that is truly precious to me.

We don't do Santa and never have.  This is a topic that shows up on Facebook Christian mom boards fairly often.  Is Santa good?  OK?  Bad?

I'm with the 'bad' camp since telling your kids that Santa is real is, bluntly, a lie.  But then other people have said it was a precious and fun time of childhood. Obviously everyone is different. I've always been a very black and white person and I love truth. So I'm glad my parents never did Santa or the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny.

Some kids loved that stuff and grew up and never had a problem with the stories.  So yes, children are have different personalities and feelings about such things,  which is cool.

But I literally told our babies in the WOMB that Santa was pretend :-).

Friday, November 24, 2017


My whole life, I've been one of those fortunates who never gained a lot of weight. A combination of fast metabolism plus anxiety (which were probably related) plus some food allergies and Type 2 Diabetes has always meant my weight wasn't an issue.  I mean, I had a limited diet because of the diabetes, but I rarely had to worry about how MUCH I ate.  Even after the babies were born, I dropped back to pre-pregnancy weight with relative ease.

But now I am 48, and on anti-anxiety meds, and I've been gaining weight. I was about 138 lbs back when I went on Lexapro, and now I'm over 150 lbs.

It has been an interesting experience.  10 lbs is fine.  Even my current weight is fine for my height. BUT, my weight continues to climb slowly. So a couple of days ago, yes, Thanksgiving WEEK, I decided that I need to lose some weight.

For the first time, literally, in my life, I am working on losing weight.  The first thing I realized was that I was eating quite often when I wasn't really hungry. I have a moment of boredom and chocolate sounds good so I eat a couple of squares.  I also haven't been exercising all that much because first, exercise is boring and second, I'm surrounded by children who make it hard.  Rose, in particular, wants to climb on me if I am on the floor doing stretching or sit-ups or planks, and she also loves to mess with the elliptical machine when I am on it.

So one thing I'm doing is regularly walking around the house. The goal is to have 7500 steps per day on my fitbit. 

Within a few days of less eating and more exercise, I've lost a couple of pounds.  Of course, water weight complicates everything.  I've always said, and I do believe, that weight isn't the issue -- health is.  I want to be healthy. But it is annoying when my pants are tight (and I'm weird about tight clothes -- probably a sensory issue of some kind).  And 150 lbs could become 160 lbs and 170 lbs if I don't work on this.

So I am.  I'll keep the blog updated :-).

Sarah is 7!

And just like that, Child #7 is 7.  Incredible. Sarah is missing her two top teeth and looks adorable.

I'm realizing something interesting.  Our first 6 kids are on average 18 months apart. Then there was a 3+ year gap between Angela and Sarah, and then 18 months and 26 months between the next sets of children.

So in my mind, our family is split into two major groups, the big kids and the little kids.  But now the biggest little kid is growing up. Of course, 7 is still very young, but she can do more than I've required of her.  She tends to ask me to do a lot of things that she can do herself.  Not her fault, mine, since I've not trained her or required her to practice these tasks.

We're working on that now.  She does have a number of chores and does a good job with them.  She's a major player in the continual laundry whirlwind in our house. She starts laundry and moves it over to the dryer. 

What is Sarah like?  She is very imaginative.  She has a million interesting questions per day.  She is smart. She's not reading well yet, though she's past simple blending.  But Mom hasn't worked a ton with her as Mom has been busy.

We are so blessed to have Sarah.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Kevin is 47!

For a few brief weeks every year, I am 2 years older than Kevin. Well, not really of course, but our ages are 2 years apart.

And then, to everyone's relief, he turns the next year and I'm back to being only 1 year older again!

So now I am 48 and he is 47.

Interesting factoid.  My mother is older than my father, and my paternal grandmother was older than my paternal grandfather. That is probably a little unusual, to have 3 generations where the wife is older than the husband.  Not that it is important.

Happy birthday, my wonderful Kevin!


 We are at the tail end of one of our tedious fall/winter illnesses.  I don't suppose we get sick more often than most Americans. Maybe we do.  I do know that with a family of 11, it takes forever for everyone to get well. Or at least it feels that way.

I haven't been too sick. Unlike others in the family, I haven't had a cough or even a runny nose. But a week ago or so, I got totally exhausted one day. I was so tired I lay down for a nap after lunch, got back up at 2 p.m., lay down on the couch at around 4 p.m., was chased to bed by Kevin, and slept through the night until 7 a.m. the next morning except for being up for about an hour at midnight.

Wow. I haven't slept that long in I don't know how many years.

It has been a week, as I said, and I am still a bit more tired than usual though nothing like that.  And I keep getting headaches, though the weather changes may be partially responsible.

I like to get things done because it makes me feel good about myself.  As I've grown older, I've better embraced the truth that I am loved by God no matter what I do. Really.  As a Christian, I do have certain things I need to do because I love Jesus, because I love my Heavenly Father. But life isn't a bunch of tasks to get done to win God's favor. I HAVE God's favor.

Nevertheless, it is hard to take it easily. And yet...when I rush around more than I should, when I don't get adequate rest, it takes me far longer to recover.  Since we no longer have tiny babies who need frequent nursing, I can and should rest as necessary.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017