Calcified Placenta

I had an appointment yesterday. All was well with the Quad Screen test. No genetic defects, etc… I think that’s pretty good for my age. The doctor did note though that my placenta is already starting to deposit bits of calcium on it. He called it a calcified placenta. Most women start getting a calcified placenta right at the end of pregnancy… many have calcium deposits on it after a late delivery at 42 weeks. I am only 25 weeks but I guess I am getting old. The placenta doesn’t quite have it in it to do the job without tiring out.  : ) It is actually in a state of deterioration already which means that it could compromise the health of the baby as it more calcium deposits build, less oxygen and nutrition for baby. He did share that it’s normal for my age and he wants to access how the baby’s growth is from here on out. So, I will go back in 3 weeks for a check on his growth.

Next, they will have me go in for non-stress tests bi-weekly then weekly… again, due to my age as there is a sharp increase in stillbirths especially right towards the end of pregnancy. He shared that often the baby is fine one day and gone the next. I didn’t like hearing that. : (  I do have a doppler so you can bet that I will be listening to the baby more and more as the latter end of pregnancy approaches. I still think back to all the appointments of ultrasounds with the twins to check for twin to twin transfusion and how when they shared they wanted me to go in for non-stress tests that I being exhausted from pregnancy, the move, trying to sell another home and all of the appointments, I wasn’t going to go in for the tests. It was just. too. much. I went upstairs for my daily prayer one morning and the Lord asked me if I would regret not going in one or both of the babies perished. I knew then to go in. It was the 2nd or 3rd time that they found Anna’s heart rate was going from 190 and plummeting down to 60. Thank God for my inconvenience of going in. Thank God the Lord speaks and His people hear! I know there’s nothing I can do for this baby as there’s nothing I could do for the others. I can only listen for Him and obey Him when He tells me to do something. We can have rest when we follow Him knowing we were following Him even when bad things happen. It’s when we don’t listen to Him that our hearts break as Matthew and I have learned in coming back to Washington and buying this home. We’re getting there Lord but only because of You!

So, I am not panicking about my doctor’s visit, just concerned and hoping that if this is my last pregnancy that He will be born healthy. I can see how the Lord even has His timing in a woman’s fertility. She only has so many years and things start to decline. Then when her babies are ready to move into early childhood, where she cannot have anymore, she has grandchildren (if she has older children). Many of my friends are grandmothers and are having their last babies. It’s neat to see how things have been for all man’s time on earth. We didn’t all get here by families having one or two children. We think it’s normal but it’s really not. I am so thankful to have had all of these children. I was 35 when we married and really thought I was finished with my two older ones. I can’t imagine not having the life I have now. It’s like a brand new life, everything. I just love it. Thanks for reading while I just share my thoughts. I have a cute ultrasound picture of Benjamin as soon as my battery charges.

A Goose in the Tree

DSC_0019One morning the kids were eating breakfast and they shared with Matthew and I that there was a goose in the tree outside the window. DSC_0047Sure enough we looked out to see a goose in the tree up a good 30+ feet up. Something must have startled him to take such a flight.

DSC_0045He kept calling to his friends as if to think that they might come up there to save him. Then the kids shared a few minutes later that he flew down to the water.  DSC_0002Some of our eggs. When I went back to the Western side of Washington last year to visit my grandmother, she gave me a little money afterwards. The kids and I stopped by a farm and bought many Buff Orpingtons. They are a pretty chicken, beige in color and calm in temperament. They are also some of the best layers and a good meat eating bird. So far, they are my favorite chicken. We waited all year for them to start laying and they had just started getting into a good laying pattern when we decided to let them out to roam for the spring. The brisk cold was gone but that didn’t stop a hungry hawk or eagle nearby. We lost several birds and knew then that we couldn’t let them all out again so sadly we had to slaughter half of them. We can only build so much fencing for them to roam without getting eaten and knew that this was the best solution. : (  I have recently bought Aracauna chicks (ugly birds that lay blue eggs and not very often) as they were local and we also bought a bunny rabbit. I stopped by an antique store a few weeks ago and there was a box of beautiful bunny rabbits. I always wanted a bunny for Matthew and I – Oh, I mean the kids. ;  )  I’ll take pictures of him too as soon as my battery in the camera gets charged.

DSC_0067Trying out the office for home schooling. I have everything here… even the old school desks that we bought in Iowa so I thought I would try something new. We’ll either stay here or go back to the kitchen table. Whatever works best. I am still working out the home schooling. I think I will do away with the dictation and maybe go with English as it does require much writing, easy writing. I do like using the one curriculum and knowing what we’re all doing every morning. Mom and dad need it simple for us – and simple for the kids. Less complication, less fuss. I think we’ll have it all rounded out before Benjamin is born. DSC_0060

I’d like to buy four baskets to put in the bookcase to the right so that I can have each of their daily books and workbooks in each basket.

 

New Books

We received a box full of books from my aunt Karen and her granddaughter Sydney. The kids were so looking forward to the special box so when it arrived I had them all sit on the couch and wait while I brought in the books.

DSC_0021Waiting for something… Nobody looks too interested here, especially Matthew to the left.

DSC_0024Look at Matthew sauntering over to pick out a book for himself. He has a little grin.

DSC_0037Everybody is happy. Plenty to choose from. Thankfully, the littles do really good with books now. DSC_0043Hannah was drawn to the magnetic book of the zoo.  DSC_0031Leah is the color-er in the family so of course she was drawn to the coloring book. DSC_0040Thank you for the special gift. They read off and on for two straight days! Mom and dad kind of got a break as the kids were content with something new.  : )

Tabitha and Anna

I have a few pictures of the twins from last month:DSC_0108

The both decided to move the chair and the footstool over to the glass slider door. I thought they looked cute together so I had to take a couple of pictures. DSC_0104  DSC_0102

Tabitha is on the left, Anna on the right. Tabitha who was the smallest preemie is actually a tad bit taller than her sister Anna now. DSC_0063

Tabitha coloring intently….DSC_0042  DSC_0026

Tabitha and her messy head. I can’t keep their hair decent for more than 30 minutes.

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Anna and TabithaDSC_0021

Mommys’ homemade bread. I can’t remember what kind of bread it was now but it was so good… tons of eggs and butter in it. We slathered butter and honey on it. Now we’re back to eating healthy again.  : )

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Tabitha again with a different look/expression I haven’t seen. DSC_0031

Little Anna with the kitty

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Anna and Tabitha. What are you going to think when I bring home a brother to you one day soon?

 

The Beginning of Spring

Well, I’ll have to split this post. If I put up too many pictures it bombs out on me.  : (  DSC_0114   Here is a pizza that I let Elisabeth top with all of the toppings all by herself. It was the best pizza that Mathew and I had ever had. Usually I put Italian wine salami on it but I didn’t have any this time I used a sandwich type salami that was slightly smoked. It made the pizza taste so Italian! Elisabeth had fun putting the toppings on this. DSC_0074 The twins room. What they did – They pulled the carpet up (Miriam started it for them last year) and would pull pieces of padding out and strew it all over their room. When I went to get them up from their nap one day and could barely open the door due to it being pulled back, I knew it was time for daddy to fix the room. We decided to use the same paint as we used in the kitchen and since the room is downstairs, part of the basement, daddy is putting in a light colored tile. Now they won’t be able to tear it up though they are now tearing up the old carpet in the adjoining room that they are in now that we’ll be fixing as well when this one is done. I hope if I put a rug in their new room that we’ll be able to get them out! DSC_0072 Elisabeth helping daddy paint. Wearing daddy’s shirt. DSC_0057 Hannah and Elisabeth making boats for their little duckies. DSC_0053  DSC_0003 Assembling the trampoline on a nice, warm day. DSC_0019 Having fun. DSC_0002 Beautiful day. They have their own sandbox here. We’ll be fishing soon…

Homeschool and Nesting…

I think I’ve been in nesting mode for a few weeks. I want organization in all aspects of my life right now. I made a little chart on our big chalk board in the kitchen for homeschooling. I then decided to see if there was something at Walmart so I could keep our chalkboard clear for other things. I found this for only $7.00 or so. DSC_0081

I put the initial of each child’s name on the left and up above we have: R=Reading, W=Writing, D=Dictation, S=Spelling, M=Math and H=History. We start off with writing in the morning after grooming and chores. It gets them into something easy to get them going for the morning. They do either copy work or tracing letters or tracing words, depending on the age. Then when Elisabeth and Hannah start on their spelling books, I read with little Matthew and then my husband Matthew reads with Leah when I’m done. Hannah and Elisabeth finish reading after they have completed their assignments. I then take Elisabeth to our room for dictation. She writes down what I tell her to. I then show her mistakes and she corrects it by doing the whole sentence. Afterwards, she does some typing lessons. I taught my older girls to type at 8 years old, I figured she could do the same as it will help her with writing skills later. They are all doing very well and mom and dad are pleased to have some things in order.

I’ve also been printing out extra sheets of curriculum like crazy. They are thing like circling the odd numbers up to the thousands, circling verbs, mazes that count by 2’s, etc… I have been spending hours this past month researching what direction God wants us to go, what curriculum to use for History (we have a book on the way by Christian Light Publications: https://www.clp.org/store/by_subject/6. I could not decide between this one or Mystery of History: http://www.themysteryofhistory.info/ We’ll probably try both and see which way to go. We will start reading through some history books in the afternoon after it arrives. They are already familiar with many common names, presidents, states, geography, Christian history, etc… I think this is a good time to really start them in a curriculum though.

So, after writing, reading, spelling, dictation and typing we all take a break for an hour or so. We come back together and get math out of the way. We are doing the Numbers with Spunky/Schoolaid Math: https://www.milestonebooks.com/list/Rod_and_Staff_Curriculum/. The only problem I find is that I think 2nd grade is a bit early to start kids in multiplication or higher. It seems that they really should have a good grasp of addition and subtraction and being able to sort and other such things in their heads before moving on to another and then onto another. There’s plenty of time. I didn’t learn multiplication until 4th grade. I thought it to be a good pace then. I read a wonderful book by Ruth Beechick: http://www.amazon.com/Three-Rs-Ruth-Beechick/dp/0880620749/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428361560&sr=8-1&keywords=ruth+beechick. The author has since passed away I found, but this little book is so rich on how a child learns math concepts, that they need to learn to write well first before teaching them much on English grammer, etc… It has changed my whole idealization on how we educate our children. Teach a child how to read and write well before breaking down the sentence into parts. Show a man a car before you show him all the components that make it run and he will understand the components then. That’s my ideal on it anyways. Though we teach them “lightly” about nouns and pronouns, etc… it is not the focus right now. I’m still trying to get my ideals away from “how” I was taught at public school. It is fun and exciting to me. We can do it our way and I love it! Psssst…. I did not like homeschooling for the first couple of years. I am just starting to really enjoy it now.  : )

So, in the evening after the babies go to bed I or dad read from the Bible… just a chapter or so. Then we read from this wonderful gem. The kids so look forward to it:  http://www.heritage-history.com/index.php?c=read&author=baldwin&book=deeds&story=_front. I love this website and book. All of their books in the library are only $1.99 to download. The library on this site is a fantastically rich resource for homeschoolers. I can’t wait to get through our reading to start another. : ) Anyways, we finish reading a short chapter here and then the kids go to bed at 8:00 and read until 8:30 until lights off.

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Here, I added another chart for chores. We don’t do enough chores around here yet. It seems it’s always easier for mom and dad to do much of it but that’s not teaching them that they have duties too. We are starting them in doing something for a week… we have enough confusion around here to change it day by day.  : ) Of course they often help with the dishwasher, some dishes, prepping food, etc… Hannah loves making sandwiches for all of the kids each day and we let her. Elisabeth, Hannah and Matthew are out with dad right now getting free wood. They will be treated to a popsicle on the way home. I’m just so grateful that the Lord is refining our place in home schooling and general organization in our lives right now. I have always wanted this. It is a hard thing to have many children and to keep running things by the seat of your pants or changing things all of the time. We are finally settling in to a place where we feel very comfortable and it works for us. Thanks for listening. Many of my posts are for our family so we can reflect on these things and see where we came from and where we’re going. It’s nice that there’s actually a few people that like to peek in on our lives.  : )

I have a multi-picture post coming up soon. Have a good week everyone.

The Turtle

It’s been a hard couple of weeks emotionally. It is funny how even if you don’t know someone well, if they live nearby and pass away it does have an affect on you. I am feeling better today, I think because I get to drive to Wenatchee (3 hours away) by myself tomorrow to see about some of the discount grocery stores like Cash and Carry and Grocery Outlet. It will be a nice reprieve.

Anyways, a couple of weeks ago when the doctor put the ultrasound device up to my belly, he went right for looking for the gender. I could not see the famous 3 lines that are for a girl at all so I was hopeful that it was a boy. He shared in a couple of moments that now he was 100% sure that it was a boy. I was so happy! He said, “See, here is the turtle that we look for.” He pointed and I had to ask just to be sure that the penis is the head of the turtle and the scrotum the shell. You can see by my explicit picture here at the end of the pencil that we have a turtle. I thought it was a cute way about describing what a boy part looks like. I had never heard that before in all my 10 children and 28 years of being pregnant.  : )  DSC_0093

So now I get to think about Benjamin when he kicks me. I have a person to the baby now. : )

I have a story to share… Back when I was probably 6-8 weeks along, Matthew shared to me in the living room that he liked the name Benjamin. It just resignated in my spirit so deep. I loved the name dearly. It so happened that I had to go to town for a few items about 15 minutes later. On my drive there, I kept tearing up with an indescribable emotion at the name Benjamin. I just felt such an attachment to the name and felt that if it was a boy that he was really supposed to be named Benjamin. I felt the Lord was very close to me and I had trouble holding back the tears all the way home. Now I am in such joy. I know God has a reason for Benjamin to be born and to be born into our family. I am so looking forward to holding him as a newborn and seeing who he will be when he grows up.

I am on a forum in which most of the women have given their child bearing years to the Lord. One woman is pregnant with #18. Some have only two children. Anyways, oftentimes I saw that a family named a new boy Benjamin and he happened to be the last child they had. They would mention how it made sense later on as Benjamin was the last child of Jacob’s and one of names of the 12 tribes. I always said I wouldn’t want to name our son Benjamin as I wanted to keep having children, but I believe this is from the Lord. The Lord knows the place He put in my heart that day about the name Benjamin. It is a very deep thing to me. So, if Benjamin is the last, praise be to God. If God gives another, praise be to God.

Now we only have about 16 weeks left until the c-section. I am getting excited. My belly is getting in my way when I roll over in bed or do the dishes or have to pick up something off of the floor. He is big. He’s awake in the morning kicking around and every evening. I already made a nursing dress and will be washing some of little Matthew’s old baby clothes soon. We’ll wait until maybe June to set up the crib again… the crib we just put away after 8 years in practice. We are just so excited to see Benjamin. It overwhelms me with tears that we can have one more and that we can have another boy.