Sunday, December 31, 2017

Three Birthdays!

And a cute pretend meerkat

She's still in our sun room after being fixed. She has a bare belly from the operation and it is CRAZY cold outside.

Father-Daughter Bonding

And...our dishwasher is acting up.  Like, a lot.  Ugh.

But on the positive side, Kevin and Rose had some good father daughter bonding as they looked at the dishwasher.

Kevin has ordered a part and is hopeful it will make the dishwasher work normally. Right now, Kevin has to beat on it periodically to make the water flow. Which isn't ideal.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas Break

We're officially off from school until early January. Kevin has a lot of 'use or lose' leave from work (he can only carry over so much every year) so he's off a lot this month.

I find being off schedule rather challenging.  It's good, no doubt about it, but I thrive on routine so I have to keep reminding myself that being off routine is a fine thing.

The children are, of course, enjoying it. They still read books from the library and Isaac is watching copious quantities of Sherlock Holmes on Amazon.  They are really well done and educational, from my perspective.

Naomi and Lydia are both sleeping a lot. We've had an illness, a cold, and of course that wipes us out. But they are teens and need sleep anyway.  And actually, amazing as it is, even Isaac is sleeping in a bit these days.  He used to pop up at 7 a.m. every single morning, for years and years on end.  (This was because we made the kids wait until 7 a.m. to get up.)  But in the last couple of weeks, he's slept in until 7:30 a.m. more than once!

Isaac is now 6 ft. 1 inches.  That boy is TALL. And probably not done growing.

I have been sick too, which is tedious, but I'm slowly getting over it.

Four of the children participated in our church's Christmas musical this weekend at two services. They did well.  I don't have pictures, unfortunately, as I forgot my camera.  And really, it was hard to see anyway with so many people in the pews. We were near the back.

Our kitten, Mocha, goes in to be fixed today.  There is a wonderful organization locally called Tenth Life which provides lost cost neuters and spays for cats.  Such a blessing.

Naomi is 18 in the next week. EIGHTEEN!  I still remember when she was born, when she held Kevin's finger with one tiny hand, when she nestled in the crook of my arm. And now she's almost all grown up.  It is wonderful, and it is challenging.

And then of course, our caboose is 3 years old.  We've got lots of time with Littles.  Time with Bigs is awesome as well, but this season of maturity and letting go isn't necessarily easy.

A very Merry and Blessed Christmas to you all.  The Savior was born in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago, and we are saved through his death and resurrection. Hallelujah!

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

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Small One

Partly these pictures are a record of how cute our youngest is. And she is really really really cute.

She's also not just one handful, but two. She's a pistol, a spitfire. A ton of work.

I am so thankful for Rose. She is healthy and smart and all of those things are gifts from God.  

But I also must say she is very exhausting.  She's busy almost all day every day, she's very demanding, she loves to make messes, and she rarely can be left alone (except in her room, which is child proofed) for more than a few minutes.

All this is to say that parents of small children deserve a lot of patience.  Some kids are mellow. I've had some.  Some are less so.  I've had some of those too.

I have confidence, based on experience, that Rose will mature and stop trying to destroy the house or herself.  In the meantime, a remarkable amount of our time must be devoted to her personal safety.  

May the Lord grant us wisdom, strength, and resolution.

Monday, October 23, 2017

48 years old!

Yes, friends, if you cut me open and counted the rings, you'd see I'm 48 years old as of this week!

Not many 48 years old are blessed with such a nice 3 year old toddler.  She keeps me on my toes. And young, I hope.

Kevin and the kids dug up the sweet potatoes. AND WOW. We got a bazillion. Awesome crop.

And the deck project is in full swing!  Kevin worked on it like 8 hours over the weekend and made great progress. The older kids helped some too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Mocha has definitely decided we are 'her people'. She gets friendlier every day.  She is still small but has grown quite a bit in the last month.  In about another month we'll trundle her off to get her fixed. No kittens on our watch.

My back is way better. I am so thankful.  Kevin has had an aching back, as has his mother. So apparently this viral thing attacks backs.

This week we took a week off from 'normal school' -- everyone but Naomi, that is, who of course has to keep up with her classes.  Lydia's 1 credit class is done. She did very well.  I'm so proud of her.

Rose has her moments of not being a total terror. And then sometimes she is a terror.  Still.  Often.

I adore her.
That's about it for now. And the Terror wants me.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Oh, My Aching Back...

A few days ago, my back started hurting a lot.

Fortunately, it is just a virus.  Really.  That is fortunate. Nothing long term, nothing really serious. Just a pesky virus attacking my back.

That first day I could hardly walk straight.  Since then, it has been better but not great.

I'm extra tired, too.

It is hard being sick. I am blessed with older children who can do almost everything I can do, but the younger and middle kids rather need Mama on their case to make sure they do what needs to be done. The house is definitely a tad on the messy side right now.

Ah well.

I'm hoping by next week I'll be much better. I'm planning to do some major work on the kids' clothing and shoe needs for winter.  Daniel has almost no long pants as far as I can tell.

Kids also get to attend a birthday party next Thursday, which is fun!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Cogitations on TV

I haven't watched much TV in literally decades.  We decided against cable TV when we got married and the natural result was that we didn't watch television. Which was all to the good.  For me, anyway, TV was a temptation toward wasting time that could be better spent in other ways.

We have Netflix and Amazon Prime now, so have access to many shows now, but, and this is the big thing, we can decide when we want to watch something. TV doesn't control our lives since we can decide when and if we want to something.

I like mysteries.  I like forensics.  Last week, I heard about a long running series called Bones, about a forensic anthropologist and an FBI agent.  Our library didn't have the first season readily available so I found it on ebay for $5 and bought it. some ways, the first 3 episodes (the only ones I watched) were a lot of fun.  The main characters are amusing, the plots were interesting, the science was fascinating.

But I ended up throwing the disks in the trash yesterday.  Because, by the third episode I realized that 'sexual banter' was a pervasive part of the show.

The underlying worldview by episode 3 is that everyone is and should be having sex regularly, and having sex with random people is totally cool.

It is not cool.  It is not healthy.  The man who supposedly has slept with dozens of women didn't mention any issues -- pregnancy scares?  Worries about sexually transmitted diseases?  Emotional devastation on the part of the women involved?

It bothered me enough, and I had enough of a check in my spirit, that I threw out the disks.

Now I know everyone is different.  This issue really bothers me, far more than the gruesome nature of the dead bodies in the show.  Some people would probably be upset but since I knew it was just acting, it didn't bother me.  Some people can no doubt handle the sexual stuff without it being an issue.

But that calm acceptance of unhealthy sexual relationships was not good for me.

So I am going to try another show out, Rosemary and Thyme, British I believe, apparently very clean.  The library does have that one.  We'll see...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Up Comes the Deck

We have a huge deck out back, and it needs replaced rather desperately.  We've been dealing with splinters and other sundry issues.

So we're pulling up the boards and have replaced one section with new cedar boards.

I'm taking a trip down memory lane right now. When we moved into this house, Naomi was 5, Lydia was 3, Isaac was 2, Joseph was under a year, and I was pregnant with Miriam.

Obviously, the kids were too little help, and I was too overwhelmed by child care duties and pregnancy to help Kevin with the truly incredible number of tasks that needed to be done on our house.  It was a foreclosure, and the project list was in the dozens, I believe.

So I kept the kids alive and healthy, and Kevin toiled away with some help from a couple of male friends.

This year, we have older kids and they are doing such wonderful work on the deck. Kevin's back is not suffering all that much and the work is going so quickly.

It is truly a blessing having a large family of willing, helpful kids.

(And they are being paid, which makes them even more willing!)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hard Week

Our 3 youngest are having a hard week.

I am tired.

A friend of mine named Debbie has given me so much good advice but one of the best things she ever said was, "Don't expect to always 'enjoy' your children."

I adore my children, love them, like being with them. Usually.

BUT there are phases which are not much fun.

Rose has been crabby.  Daniel has been crabby. Sarah has been crabby.

Crabby X 3 is exhausting!

I have been busy with 2 afternoons of work and 2 trips to take Lydia to her college class each week. It may be that the busyness is stressing out Rose, in particular.

In other news, it has been insanely hot for this time of year, but tomorrow the temps will finally fall.  I'm looking forward to fall weather.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Tired Rose

Rose very very rarely takes a nap anymore, but she was clingy and whiny this morning so after lunch I put her in her room, thinking she might fall asleep.

After an hour, it was very quiet. I poked my head in and looked around.

Where was Rose?

Ah, there is a Rosie foot!

She woke up and heard me.

But decided she wasn't ready to get up yet :-).

Cute girl!

Friday, September 22, 2017

I'm Thankful It Is Friday

Busy week!  Still sick off and on, though improving. My tailbone is better after a trip to the chiropractor on Monday. That actually helped a lot, and I'm thankful.

It has been a very busy week.  Chiro appointment on Monday, dental appointment for Sarah on Wednesday, normal work 2 afternoons a week and then Lydia has a class Monday and Wednesday afternoons for an hour, but she drives me here and there to get driving time in.

So yeah, I feel stretched.

Kids went crazy checking things out on the microscope one day this week.  It was homeschooling on the porch!  It was great.  I think that was one of my "not feeling well" days so it was terrific they were excited about learning when I was just in survival mode.

(To be totally clear, I am NOT PREGNANT!  I know that sick Laraba makes people think that but dudes, I'm almost 48. No more babies!)

Mocha, the kitten, is still timid and nervous and living in our shed, but she is warming up to us.  Lydia touched her for the first time today.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Still a Little Sick

And I'm getting tired of it.  Sigh. I think I am improving but this morning hasn't been good.  I'm functional but not happy. Nausea, fatigue, aches and pains.

Kevin has had it, some other kids have had it, Kevin's mom has it.  It is just taking a while to get through the system.

And when I am tempted to be whiny, I'm reminded of Nabeel Qureshi, who did pass away yesterday from cancer.  While I rejoice that he is with Jesus, free from his pain, I grieve intensely for his wife, his daughter, his extended family, and his friends.

Not that I know the man. I just know his books. His story is being repeated all over in other families losing loved ones far too young.  But for some reason his life resonates because his books have meant so much to me.

This is Mocha.  She is a small calico kitten (we presume female) who showed up a few days ago.  She is super skittish and won't let anyone touch her, though she is friendly with our cats.  We tried to capture her in the garage and she sank sharp teeth into Lydia's finger, then hid in the underside of Kevin's car, before fleeing into the back 3 acres.

But she was back the next morning, and is getting to the point that we can get within a few feet of her.  We're feeding her and hope she'll get comfortable enough soon that we can touch her.

We don't know her story, but she is small and needs care, so we've adopted her.  Or she's adopted us. Not that we need another cat, in any way, but...we're cat lovers and we aren't going to turn her away.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Weird Week

Let's start with the new car.  In the picture above you can clearly see the front bumper on the passenger side.  Looks pretty good, doesn't it?  Well, the second day we had it, I bumped the minivan into a pole!  It made a big dent in it.  Kevin has been toiling for a couple of weeks to get the bump out and paint on and it looks terrific now.  Thank you sweetie!


Rose asleep on her bed.

More chess on the computer.

Our cold pool. It was a fairly short swim season due to a cooler summer than usual.  Kevin will be closing it soon.

I am sick this week. Last week was of course the great tailbone catastrophe, and it still hurts.  Now I have a virus on top of it.  It takes a lot to put me off my food, but this virus is doing it.  However, it really is just a virus and I really will only be nauseous for a few days. Compared to 3 months of early pregnancy, this is (sort of) a breeze.

I'm thankful for big kids who have been so helpful with the littles.  We did school this week and when the children weren't doing work, they were often helping.  And playing chess for fun.  I am not good at chess so it is wonderful we have several kids who enjoy it.

Naomi is doing very well with her college classes. She is taking 4 and that requires a fair amount of organization. So far she is getting high A's in 3 classes and a high C in the fourth; the last is due to some confusion on one of her assignments so I am sure she will bring it up.  I am so proud of her!

Lydia is toiling away in her class. She is doing well though she is shy so not looking forward to an upcoming group presentation, but I know she'll do fine.

In the middle of irritation over tailbones and viruses, I am both counting my personal blessings and grieving over Nabeel Qureshi.  He is former Muslim turned Christian evangelist and his book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is a favorite of mine.  He combines excellent apologetics with respect for those of the Islamic faith and lifestyle and a big dose of humor as well.

He is dying of stomach cancer.  Like, last few days dying, probably.  It is heart breaking. He is only 34 with a wife and one child.  

Breaks my heart.  He'll be with Jesus but his family and friends will miss him so much!  Of course God can heal him and I do pray He will, but I really don't expect it for some reason. But maybe that is lack of faith on my part. Well, it isn't. I have faith the Lord can heal him. But I have a sense that this is one of those "I don't get it God, so I'm giving it to you" situations which happens all too often in life.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Gift of Pain

A totally fascinating doctor named Paul Brand, and a well known Christian author named Philip Yancey, wrote a book called The Gift of Pain.

The basic idea is that pain is a gift from God, because pain helps us figure out that we are hurt and therefore that we need to protect ourselves.

Paul Brand did groundbreaking work with people afflicted with leprosy. He discovered that the leprosy bacterium destroys pain sensors, and people with advanced leprosy stop feeling pain. They don't take care of themselves and their bodies are badly damaged.

As a simple example, many will stop blinking because their eyes don't register discomfort from getting too dry. And some go blind.

Diabetics have similar problems, especially in their feet.  High blood sugars can cause long term damage including the inability to feel pain in the feet.

Anyhoo, I'm in pain, and I'm trying to be thankful for the gift of pain.

I'm not in pain all the time, just when I sit wrong :-).  Wow, I walloped myself when I fell a week and a day ago!  I'm sure it is just bruised but it is taking its sweet time to heal.

But I have a nice doughnut pillow to sit on, and the pain tells me to sit "just so" to prevent a flare up.

Here's an interesting story.  Paul Brand did a test where he had people walk long distances in specially prepared shoes that had small blue gel balls under the foot.  As the people walked, the gel balls broke.  The result was that he was able to see the major pressure points during walking.

People without pain impairment will constantly shift their pressure around to prevent sores in the feet.  Leprosy patients will walk exactly the same way all the time unless taught not to.  Thus, even with good shoes leprosy patients will tend to damage their feet because they don't shift around to prevent blisters.

True for diabetics too, I believe.

Anyway, my tailbone is recovering slowly but I'm still not a totally happy camper.

But I am thankful for pain to tell me when I need to shift my position to take pressure off that sensitive area!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Our Precious Adorable Terror

I truly adore this kid!  She is so bright and energetic and amazing. But she's also a TERROR!

Today we had some guests who were buying our old minivan (yes, it is sold!  We pray it is a good vehicle for the gentleman who bought it.)  Rose had just had a bath and was wrapped up in a big towel in my lap.  She actually sat quietly on my lap due to shyness for, I don't know, 3 or 4 minutes!  It was amazing.

Because she usually will not cuddle with me. She is way too busy running around, throwing water on the floor, and writing on the walls (thankfully, usually in pencil.)

We are not lax parents. We have lots of experience. We discipline her.  We are working with her on self control and obedience.

And she is still a ton of work.  A TON!

We are very thankful for her. But if you happen to see a kid throwing a tantrum in Kroger, that might be our kid. And give us grace.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


I don't think I've mentioned our garden this year.

Cucumbers have been great.  Beans Ok but not terrific.  And the tomatoes, oh, the tomatoes!

Kevin has been toiling away and we have 41 quarts of tomatoes!

Stay tuned for our sweet potato crop.  (Which Kevin thinks won't be wonderful.)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Thankful We Started School in August...

  I am not feeling too terrific today.  In addition to a sore bum, I have aching arms and legs and I'm tired. So I almost certainly have a virus. What fun.

However, one of the many joys of starting school early (in early August) is that I feel at peace about taking a week mostly off from school.  Naomi is full time at Clark State so of course she is working away. Lydia has her college class.  Most of the kids are doing math. But other than that, we're taking time for me to recover and the other sickies as well.

I don't think I mentioned that I had a minor bump in the new van the DAY after we got it.  Combination of distraction from a loud child and confusion about the way the car worked. Kevin has spent hours and hours learning how to fix it, and he mostly succeeded. It looks almost as good as new.  We have some paint on order to cover up a few scratches and then it really will be as good as new.

I am grateful, not for the first time, for a talented husband.

Right now, Hurricane Irma is sweeping through the Caribbean, heading toward Florida. It is scary.  It seems strange sometimes to be in a safe place when I know people in our country are dealing with floods and wildfires and hurricanes.  And in other parts of the world, very hard things are happening with natural disasters and wars and political craziness.

So in spite of not feeling well and being frustrated by not feeling well, I am grateful for what we have, and am praying for those suffering far more seriously than I am.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Hard Fall

  So I took quite the fall yesterday.

Rose likes to watch Sunny Bunnies and Monica Toy on Youtube. Don't ask. It's for little kids. But it keeps her quiet and less inclined to climb on the fans in the ceiling, so indulge her.

She was wiggling, as usual, and I was adjusting my arm around her, and I lifted her toward me, and I sat down on the computer chair...

Except I didn't.  Said chair, which has new castors, had drifted deliberately away from the computer desk and I instead fell hard on my keister.

And then Rosie, to finish the deed, fell hard on me and drove me further into the floor.

Major major ouch.  I was like, crying, literally, it hurt so much.

I have this vague memory of Rose either saying something encouraging or annoying, but I don't know which. I was in too much pain to respond.

Lydia asked if she should Kevin (who wasn't up yet) but I wasn't that far gone.

So, bruised tailbone. I was afraid it was broken but I'm nearly sure, now, that it is merely a bruised and/or swollen tailbone.

Kevin drove me off to CVS and we got a blow up pillow for me to sit on.

I rested a lot yesterday and today I feel somewhat better.

And I am realizing again the true blessing of older kids. It has been a hard day as I have a sore posterior and Sarah and Daniel and Lydia are not feeling well.  But Naomi and Isaac and Joseph and Miriam and Angela are doing a lot to keep the house in reasonable shape.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


  Last week, I told Kevin that I wanted a new car.

  Yesterday, we picked one up from the dealership.

  Of course (I hope it is 'of course') there is more to the story than a demanding  and spendthrift wife!

  Seriously, we've been thinking about replacing our old minivan for at least a year.  It has served us well, SO well, but it is over 17 years old.

  We've been looking around and thinking and praying about the proper replacement. After much cogitation, we settled on the new Chrysler Pacifica.

 Now we're enthusiastic about used cars.  You can usually get a good deal on a car that is a year or two old.

 BUT the Pacifica is new as of 2017.  There are a few out there on the market that are used, but they aren't substantially cheaper than a new one.

  We love the blind spot monitoring, the additional safety features. Kevin is excited about the ability to fold the middle seats into the FLOOR. So much easier on his back than hauling out the seats as needed.

 It has 8 seats.

  We can't quite pay for it outright so we took out a  loan which we plan to pay off soon.

 So Kevin had been in contact with a dealer for a couple of weeks and we made the decision a few days ago. Yesterday, we went over there and picked it up and I drove it home.  It's a sweet ride.

My Dad's Surgery

  Sunday afternoon, my dad had an emergency appendectomy.  It came out of the blue, really. Saturday night at 8 p.m. he suddenly felt sick, like really really sick. He was miserable all night.  My mother firmly took him to the ER on Sunday, and within a few hours he had been diagnosed, prepped, operated on, and was in his room.

  We are very thankful for good outcome for him!

  And here is the "God" part.  I will give the Lord the glory for this!

 A week or so BEFORE my father's surgery, our neighbor's 3 children suddenly showed up on our doorstep asking if Lydia could come next door to watch them as their father was sick with, you guessed it, possibly appendicitis.

  Lydia and I went over and sure enough, our neighbor was in pain and misery and was about to drive off for a CAT scan.  I offered to drive him but he said no, he could make it so long as he was sure the kids were Ok.

  And it WAS appendicitis, and he was operated on that day.

  So I mentioned this is an email to my parents, and my mother thought of appendicitis when Dad got so sick so suddenly.

  What are the chances of that?

 And to make things even more bizarre, our neighbor's nephew had come down with appendicitis a couple of weeks before he took ill with it! So our neighbor had possible appendix problems on his mind.

  We live in a world with sickness.  I am so thankful that we have good medical care in our country and that people with appendicitis can be operated on and saved.

And I'm very thankful my daddy is Ok.

P.S.  I just remembered that for Five in a Row this week, we are reading "Madeline", which is about a little girl with appendicitis!  She was in the hospital 10 days  in the book. My dad was released within 24 hours of surgery. How times have changed...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cats and A1c and Supergirl, oh My!

And the kittens are OUT!  Outdoor cats, I mean. They've been living in our sun room but getting more and more ancy.  Then one of them (who will not be named in a public blog) started peeing in the corners. Ok, we're done. So far they love being outside.  When winter comes, we'll beef up our cute little outdoor cat area. We already have little houses for them but I have plans to make an even nicer 'cave'.   We knew they'd be outdoor cats eventually and the peeing just made the decision for us.

And Lydia is Supergirl!  For Renu, the youth group. They are having a series of 'days' where they dress up like a superhero, or with crazy hair, and so on.  She won first place, not surprisingly.

Our sweet little one is actually mellowing.  She sometimes sits for minutes at a time and 'reads' books and drinks her milky. Though in this case, she had copped some yummy liquid from her grandmother.

Crazy photobomb.

And oh yes, A1c for ME.  I went in this week and my latest A1c was 5.0!!!  That is the best it has been since I was diagnosed. I have to think that my minor weight lifting is helping?  My weight is actually UP, as I said previously, but I have real muscles now.  I'll keep exercising.  My doctor took me off all diabetes meds and I'm now a "diet controlled" diabetic.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Health and Weight in Middle Age

I have always been thin, and in that totally irritating way that probably has annoyed scores of friends.

Because, ya know, we live in a culture which celebrates being thin.  And my whole life I stayed thin without much effort.  

Now I haven't eaten anything I wanted since I managed to become diabetic in the middle of all this thinness, so I've been eating low carb for 14 years.  But yeah, in the midst of a restrictive diet I still ate plenty and stayed thin.  I lost weight easily post partum.  

I've rarely been in good shape as I disliked exercising and have spent much of the last 18 years pregnant or recovering from childbirth.

But I was thin, by gum.

It has been probably 18 months since I started taking Lexapro for anxiety and my weight has been climbing since then.  I'm up almost 15 lbs. now.

I have said, and thought I believed, that the important thing in life is not how much I weigh, but how healthy I am.  But the actual reality of being a bit chunkier has been harder than I realized.

In the last couple of months I have ramped up my exercising. I am actually lifting weights some, and doing other strength and core exercises. I have been able to do 3, count them THREE, push-ups.  Which really is a major accomplishment as I couldn't do a single one 2 months ago.

And yet, the weight keeps inching upwards.

It is really pretty easy to gain weight in this culture, isn't it?  I am wondering if my constant anxiety and adrenaline rushes meant my metabolism was ramped up a lot before Lexapro?

Or maybe I got to be in my late 40's and my metabolism finally slowed down?

I'll keep working at being healthy, but I really am trying to embrace that my weight may be higher and that is fine. It is better than fine.  I'm going to focus on cardiovascular health and strong(er) muscles and eating well and not worry about the weight.

Because it really shouldn't matter. But in this culture, it does and it takes hard work not to worry about it.