I think we are having a work day tomorrow. We had one scheduled for Saturday, but we got rained out. The rain here has been incredible. It seems like it has rained every day for at least a month. Not always torrential rain, although that has happened often enough. But enough rain that we are getting virtually nothing done outside. Saturday it was raining so hard that the people that were coming couldn't get here.

I am enjoying the rain though. Last summer was so dry, we were often praying for rain. Now, much of the country is suffering through a drought and we are so lush and green. It is strange to think of all the fires in CA, and to read that the brush is so dry that even the goats can't clear it, when here it seems almost tropical.

It's like this extended spring is a special gift just for me :) The greenery feeds my soul. I love to lay in bed in the mornings and look out the windows at the thick trees, with the cloudy sky overhead. I love to watch the deer moving gracefully through the trees. I love the sound of the rain and the brilliant lightening displays at night. I love to watch the chickens roaming the yard, and our family of cottontails that grazes with them, pretending they can't be seen.

For years I have longed to live somewhere like this. A place that feeds me, like living in Oregon fed me. Who would have dreamed that it would be in Texas! When most people think of Ca, they think of forests and beaches. Beautiful weather and beautiful scenery. But that isn't where we lived. We lived in the desert. The beauty of the desert has always escaped me. I know some people love it, but it has always seemed barren and forsaken to me. It does not nurture and soothe me like verdant landscapes do.

So, I welcome the rain. I revel in the greenery and I thank God for this wonderful, wet summer. My last one here. It's a great note to go out on.

For the Foodies

Have you been to this blog?? It is a food lovers delight. Now, she is not a healthy cook mind you. But everything she posts looks delicious, and I have tried a few with rave reviews. I have made this and this. OOO, this bread was sooo good! And we used the leftover topping as a dip for chips the next day. Seriously, try it. You won't be disappointed.


Baby Poll

A few weeks back the kids and I all made guesses about the birth date, gender, and weight of our new baby. Then when Mike was here he made his. I thought it would be fun if you guys added your guesses to ours. Maybe it will even bring a few non-commenters out of lurkdom :)

I can't figure out how to do a table, so I guess I'll just list them :)

Chance 8/20 Boy 8# 3oz
Hailey 8/23 Girl 8# 11oz
Sierra 8/23 Girl 9# 8oz (she and Eli each weighed this)
Ethan 8/23 Girl 5# (that's my boy!)
Eli 8/23 Boy 30# (!!!)
Ezra 8/23 Girl 30#
Me 8/19 Girl 9#
Dad 8/25 Girl 9# 3oz

As you can see, most of us think this one's a girl. And most of the kids think she will be born on our wedding anniversary. I don't know why I picked early. Eli and Ezra would like to see my name in the Guiness Book of World Records, but Ethan has my back.

Anyone want to play?

Baby Countdown

I was looking at the baby counter at the top of my blog when I wrote the last post. Do you see that it says the baby is 33 weeks and 6 days old!! That means 34 weeks tomorrow. Which means of course that I am due 6 weeks from tomorrow. What kind of madness is that?

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled beyond words to be blessed with another baby. This baby has been long prayed for and we will all love having another little one in the house.

Also, it's not like this pregnancy has been a breeze and I just can't believe we are nearing the end. And late pregnancy carries it's own joys and tribulations. BUT...Can I really be due in only 6 weeks? How will I ever be ready?

I have a crib, it's even set up because we never took it down when Ezra moved to a big boy bed. But I will likely co-sleep and the crib will go unused for another 9 months or so. I have a swing (thanks Joni!). And I have...oh, that's right, nothing else :) But babies don't need much. I probably should pick up some t-shirts in the next month or so. Maybe some diapers :) I really, really hope to get a rocking chair.

But the lack of those things isn't what makes me feel unprepared. Those are just things, I can manage without them. No, what I am really lacking is TIME :) If you've never noticed, whales don't move very well on land. I am s-l-o-w. I really wanted to have everything done a month before the baby was born. I hoped to have that last month enjoy my children and relax. Well, maybe I can still get 2 weeks.

Once the kitchen/pantry is painted and the tile is finished I can put the whole downstairs back together and that will really help things. Having everything in chaos is really hard for me, and I am far from a neat nik :)

I think I will paint our bedroom/bathroom next. I am tempted to put it off because it is going to be hard, there is a lot of stuff to move and my bedroom will be more chaotic than it is now. It is tempting to do one of the secondary bedrooms first. But I would really like my room done before baby comes. Pretty, clean, organized... A much nicer way to greet baby.

On a happy note, the end of pregnancy usually crawls by. It seems that the weeks last forever and the last month feels like 3. But here the weeks fly by, I am always stunned that the weekend is here again. That another week is behind me. That's good, right?

Show and Tell, Updates and Blessings

I am so grateful for friends. It has been such a blessing to have meals sent home from church, men giving up their free time to lay new tile and rip out the old, willing hands (and backs) to help me paint, and a dozen other things.

Today I was blessed by the daughter of a friend who worked hard with me painting the family room. She had to come our way to drop off her brothers to work with another friend, and her mom, remembering that I am "heavy with child" thought I might need some help :) Isn't that the sweetest thing!?!

It is so wonderful to watch the fruit of these godly families who have given their lives to raise godly offspring. The sacrifice and training that went into the lives of these children is so evident in their sweet spirits, generosity, humility, and willingness to serve. Our family has been often blessed by the efforts of "arrows" being sent forth as one was today. I pray that God has mercy upon our humble efforts that they bear good fruit and can bless others in the way that we have been blessed.

And now, since it is Show and Tell Friday over at Raising 4 Godly Men, a few pictures. I've been meaning to participate for a while, and since home improvement is our focus right now, I think this post will work :)

Okay, it's hard to tell that the colors are greens, they look very pale in the pictures. But really, they are greens. The room with the piano in it is the lightest green, the infamous Frosted Kiwi, but now that it isn't competing with the sunshine for a bit of recognition it's letting the frost thaw a little and the kiwi come forth.

The dining room is the darkest, and the family room is between the 2 shades. I didn't prettify anything for you and the family room is obviously not put back together. It only has one coat and the fireplace is only primered, but isn't it going to look great?!? I think I am going to paint the middle section of the fireplace the green that is in the dining room. The rest of it will be white. What do you think?
Do you remember what these rooms used to look like? I have been really bad about taking "before" shots, but you can get an idea from this post, and this one.


Tea Party Tales

The girls were telling us a story at dinner tonight. I seems that a while back they were throwing a tea party for their dolls. The didn't have any cookies, so they took some cactus that was growing in the yard and picked with thorns off. Then they split it open and tore it into several pieces to be the tea cookies. After preparing all of this and laying them neatly on a tree branch, they went into the house to get their dolls.

When they got back they found Eli, standing next to the tree and polishing off the last of the cactus "cookies." "MMMM, good tea party!"

Too funny!

Stinging Bugs and Serpents

There are many things I will miss when we leave Texas. But one thing I WONT miss is scorpions. We killed 2 today. Eli found one in the cupboard (a BIG one), and then there was one on the floor of the girls room tonight. I loathe scorpions. I've not been stung, and I have been told that actually getting stung takes a lot of the fear out of it. Maybe....But let's just say that it hasn't worked for the members of the household that have been stung :)

I don't like snakes either. AT ALL. We have heard lot's of snake stories this year. It seems with all the rain that they are out in force. We hadn't seen any though. Until last night. The girls went out to lock the chickens up for the night and Hailey looked in the box for eggs before she started putting them in. She noticed what she thought was a hose or toy of some sort and started to pick it up when it moved! She looked closer and says she saw at least 2 big black snakes. Well, one was big, the other was less so. They hot tailed it into the house screaming SNAKE! So I grabbed my shoes and a shovel and ran out to make quick work of them. NOT!

I'll tell you what really happened, but your going to really question the wisdom of my husband leaving us to fend for ourselves out here :) Chance decides to shoot them with the .22. Of course, it takes 20 minutes to locate the .22, and then we have to find the keys to open the gun case. And then we have to find the ammunition. All of this is accomplished and Chance takes the gun to the garage to load it. Just then we receive a providential phone call from the aforementioned husband. Who says, of course, "He can't shoot snakes with that gun! He's going to go through 30 rounds and destroy the box and the snakes will probably still get away. He needs a shotgun and we don't have one. He needs to take a shovel out there and kill them."

I won't even mention the loading "issues." :)

Of course by the time the shovel was actually got and they all traipsed out to get the snakes, they were long gone.

The girls left a couple of eggs in the box today to try to lure them back, but they didn't come.


Happy Cowboy

Good Times

We hope you all had a pleasant July 4th holiday. We had a very enjoyable day together, especially since daddy was here to celebrate with us. In the evening we joined several other families for dinner, games, and English Country Dancing. We capped it off by watching the fireworks display at the fairgrounds. Well, we weren't at the fairgrounds, but the fireworks were. We were sitting in the rain, across the road from the fairgrounds. It was really a great evening.
The only disappointment for the children was that they were really hoping to do some sparklers themselves. We tried to get some on the way, but the only stand we passed was sold out.
So, on the way home daddy decided to try a few more stands that were a little out of our way. And Lo and Behold, the second one had sparklers. Almost nothing else, but lots of sparklers.
So, last night we built a little fire and made s'mores. Then we let the kids light the sparklers. Such fun! No one fell in the fire. Although a few gave it a good shot. No one lit the property on fire, also not for lack of trying. But we definitely had a gooey good time.


The Thumb

Chance thought you would enjoy seeing a picture of "The Thumb." It's a bit anti-climactic if you ask me :) It just doesn't seem like that little cut should have produced SO MUCH BLOOD. Blood that I am still finding...

Nonetheless, here it is. And honestly, I'm very grateful that it isn't worse.

A Couple More Pictures

Eli insisted that I take his picture with his bandana on, what do you think? Better than the other choices?

And here he is all gussied up for church. (I do make him leave his hat and gun in the van during services) He tells everyone he meets that he is a cowboy, and he has cap guns, and when he is bigger he is going to get a horse. Seriously, any time someone makes the mistake of saying "Hi" they get "I am Eli. I am 5 years old. For my birthday I got a cowboy hat, and boots and a vest..."

I love this picture though :)