Thursday, April 30, 2009

One Full Day, and Two Sweet Memories

One morning spent on schoolwork.
Rest of day spent fully enjoying precious friends at their home.
Quiet evening home (everyone else out still), and a dinner of whole wheat bread sandwiches and bananas!
Everyone in pajamas before seven.
An evening walk together through the Rose garden, and here's my delight...

Zachary takes me on a tour. Gently fingering the petals of first one Rose and then another he tells me: "Mom, this one is our Las Lina's Red. Isn't it beautiful? Gramsie loves this one over here; and this one is called Sun Sprite! That one mom? That's Abraham Darby - just like the bigger bush in the front. I LIKE this tree rose mom, it's called Baby Blanket. I'd like to take a cutting of it to Idaho, but it won't be a tree of course, just a shrub if we take a cutting. Oooh! I think this might be another Splish-Splash! My Rose is The Fourth of July - isn't it spectacular this Spring?!"
He has a green thumb, that boy. And his Gramsie is out in the garden every morning at the crack of dawn with her coffee in hand enjoying each new specimen. Zack is an early riser and is usually at her side asking a million questions, and soaking in every piece of information. If we take some starts with us to Idaho I will be relying on my Zachary to know how to care for them and which one is which.

One more short story: Not ALL my children have an eye for which growing thing is which.
Today my children discovered that Auntie Heather's front "flower bed was entirely full of Peppermint. It was one of four things growing in that space and covered every square inch that the one large shrub and two spindly plants did not.
Zachary and Clayton grabbed several handfuls of the dark aromatic leaves and began to chomp away at them. Before long all the children were putting mint leaves in their mouths, and the boys even collected some to make tea with at home.
I noticed that Susanna was ripping of a bite of something with a larger, brighter green leaf.
It turned out to be one of the two tiny survivors in Auntie Heather's "flower" bed - a Hydrangea plant.
and stem
were in Sue's hand and mouth!

I don't understand at all. I really don't. The ENTIRE bed was full of Peppermint, and she pulls out the only Hydrangea bush that was growing there!
I am SO glad that Auntie is quick to laugh because it was worth a good chuckle. Chuckle we did! I guess some have it, and some do not :-P

I'm glad AJ will be home tomorrow night. I'm ready.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WHAT little victories???

I don't know ladies. This evening I would say there weren't any little victories today. It feels that way anyhow! HA! A certain one of mine was pushing the envelope all day and others were tattling, whining, provoking, antagonizing, and foot-dragging (translated: not responding to mom with immediate and cheerful obedience).
Judging by the new picture displayed on my header I know you are shocked! "Not Momma Bug's children - oh NOooo!"

Technically it's probably not true, and to prove it I'll think of something nice to say. Here goes:

My little victory for Wednesday April 29th

This evening when I tucked my children into bed (early, and after a somewhat monotonous lecture) I attempted to end the day on a sweet note by commending each one for something they had dome today worthy of praise.

I sure appreciated you holding Carolina when I was trying to get a picture of you girls. That was certainly a big help!


Thank you for writing out place cards for everyone at the dinner table. I felt so loved to have a heart on mine!


Thank you so much for getting Olivia's clean pillow and bedding from outside and putting it away for me without being asked. What a guy!

It was a pleasure to see your smiling face when you woke up from nap this afternoon. Thank you for your happy heart!


I am grateful to the Lord for reminding me of just a few of His gentle mercies today. I sense that the night is far from over from all the action taking place in a room that should be quiet and still by now, but to end on a sweet note...

thank you for the beauty of the day and an opportunity to be outside enjoying your creation and watching my children play.

Thank you for helping me follow through with the bread-making plan. It was such another little victory to accomplish three new loaves with the doubled recipe!

You are far kinder than I deserve, that I have time still, for some Rocky Road ice cream and some Agatha Christie before getting to bed "early"! :-)
Thanks Lord for having a delightful sense of humor, and such patience with me. Please help that to overflow onto my children that they might delight in you too. I love you!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Look what my beloved bought for me!

To be truthfull, it's been sitting out on the porch for a couple weeks waiting for me to give it some loving care. With the expectation that everything I try for the first time will be difficult and time-consuming, I followed my usual form and procrastinated. It IS true that I wanted to try making bread again when I ground the first wheat berries so the time constraints on that endeavor (reading the manual, breaking in the mill, and attempting bread all in the same fell swoop) made me leary to start one hour before lunch and nap!

Today was the day though! AJ got on an airplane once again, and I decided not to wait for hand-holding. I knew he'd be thrilled if I actually USED his gift - especially since I begged and pleaded for it!
We dutifully read the manual, first Zack and then Clay (I wouldn't miss an opportunity to turn a project like this into school!)

Then we put the pieces together and ground our first two cups of wheat to clean out the mill. It sounded like we were in a rocket leaving earth!

Then we got serious and made bread. We used Auntie Hannah's tried, tested, and tweaked to perfection recipe. It is really amazing how few ingredients there are in it!

Auntie Hannah's Bread

4 Cups unmilled wheat (hard red) milled.


2 Cups warm water

2 tsp. salt

1/4 honey (more or less)

sprinkle over top, 3 and 1/2 tsp yeast and stir.

Add a little flour at a time until too stiff to stir, then dump out on counter and knead in the rest of the flour. Knead in only enough flour to leave the finished lump of dough a tiny bit sticky.

Put a bit of oil on counter or in bowl, place lump of dough on it and then turn dough to lightly coat in oil.

Cover with towel and rise until double.

Once risen, cut in half and knead into two loaves.

Place each into a greased bread pan (small size: 4 x 8 1/2"?).

Score the top three times, and brush with egg white.

Cover and let rise one more time until dough peeks over the edge.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.

Let cool. eat.

So there you go. I was not counting on an edible loaf, but when we taste-tested it one quickly disappeared!

Everyone agreed that it was a success and are ready to try again tomorrow.
We'll see about that, but since I do think practice is in order there's a good chance;-)

Will you all please post or comment your own favorite bread recipe's for me?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Little Victories

I had a brainstorm last night.
I have been thinking how much I'd like to do a better job being my children's friend. I want to let them participate more in what I'm working on - be it dinner, sewing, or making the bed (which at this innocent, unbiased age they still ASK to help with). I am just so often tired. The job is faster completed without "help" and I aways graciously offer to let them watch... Humph. They don't want to watch, they want to HELP! And I know I should let them. AND I know I will regret it one day if I don't.
The thing is I have not been able to bring about all the change as fast and efficiently as I want to see it. More often than not I fail so miserably that my quiet evening hours are filled with regret (somewhat due to pregnancy hormones) and as my guilt grows, my resolve weakens.

So... that brings me to my brainstorm.
I am going to start posting little victories. As often as they occur or I want to record them I am going to post the thing I did with my child/children that went against my flesh, but I did because I knew it was best. Something I did because it was the right thing to do when I may not have felt like doing it.
For instance, today: While I was getting breakfast on this morning, Susanna asked if she could help, so I pulled over a stool and let her stir the scrambled eggs on the stove.
Then she scooped the blueberries into each bowl of oatmeal and squeezed the agave nectar over the top.
My goodness how she glowed at the breakfast table!

"...Yes, mom did let me have a blueberry already, but I was one of the cooks, and the cooks get to have tastes..."
"Mom and I have the biggest bowls because the cooks get to have the biggest bowls if they want..."

That was one of my little victories today - letting Sue help me.
When I made a quick trip to the dryer to take out a few clothes, I took Olivia with me and she did the job for me while I gathered clothes out of the washer.
Another little victory.
I know these are the things I am supposed to be doing all the time and throughout the day, but this one area is a real weak area in my life and daily routine. Rather than trying to "eat the elephant" all in one bite, I am going to take a forkful here and a spoonful there and a sliver after that as I can.

If you are inspired to attempt this challenge too, leave me a comment on my Little Victories posts and we can enjoy each other's exploits and glorify the Lord together!

I Had an Ultrasound And...

...And there's only ONE perfectly beautiful, and precious baby stretching out sideways in my womb!

Everything I could see gave me reason to think twins. I had a divine appointment with my dear friend and former midwife Janice who looked me over and didn't discount my premonition, so I couldn't stand it any longer. I HAD to know.
The Ultrasound place was booked for a couple weeks, and their "First Look" fee doubled after 20 weeks, so I called and asked (pleaded, begged, gave my sob story) if they could squeeze me in that day (Saturday).
They called back and set me an appointment for later in the day and I took Olivia with me for the first peek! I was really expecting to see two babies by this time, so before I arrived I asked the Lord to help me not be disappointed, and that if He was willing, I would be thrilled to see even just one healthy little baby in there.

This Ultrasound place is a really neat business. The Lady who owns it is also the sonographer, and has plenty of room in her "office" to fit all your family, friends, strangers, and maybe even enemies too, right in where they can watch baby with you on a big screen TV in front of your bed. It is really very neat, and Olivia and I fairly rattled around in there just the two of us.

The Technician could determine only one baby right away, so there was no room for even guessing. I kept thinking "Don't you want to do a better job looking? Maybe he's hiding!"
For novelties sake I was disappointed.
After I watched in awe for a while and fell in love with that dear little figure, I was sensibly relieved for logistics sake! HA!
The logistics of twins are probably better left to the imagination;-)

I have to tell you that as I watched the ultrasound technician take measurements and show me the baby's tiny heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, and other functioning parts, I felt overwhelming gratefulness that my little one measures exactly in accordance with the dates I had been sure of.
He or she is 18 weeks, 6 days.
Weighs 9 ounces right now.
The paperwork says in effect, that every little thing is normal, normal, normal.
There are times in my life in which that word is the very music that carries me. Normal.
My baby is normal, and has enough brothers and sister's ahead of him to have made that dark nest a very roomy apartment! The U.T. said Little Bug was stretched out, and "very high" (so I had noticed!), and I told her that this is the most space and quiet this baby is likely to EVER have, and I hope he is taking full advantage of it and enjoying himself ;-P

I'd love to post one of the pictures I have, but my computer has been commandeered for a time and I'm grateful to be borrowing another.
Thank you for your kind words and encouragements. The Lord is so good to me. He has blessed me beyond my dreams and expectations, and certainly beyond what I could ever deserve.
I am very, VERY thankful!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Two Pictures

Tell me this isn't the most precious thing you've seen today!
Little Carolina likes to stop and smell the Roses. My, she looks so sweet with her nose stuck in the fragrant blossom!
Carolina Candy:-)

Zachary caught this fella today (I would wear gloves too!) and Gramsie wanted ol' Lizard Lips removed as faaaaaar as possible from the house:-) I was proud of his exploit!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Egg Rolls

Ugh. I ate too much!

(short post, short post, gotta make it short so I can go to bed... sleep off some of this food!)

I made stir fry and egg rolls for dinner followed by strawberries (4 lbs. for $5.00 at Safeway!) and whipped cream. I know. More sugar. What can I say?

OK, back to the egg rolls.

Egg Rolls:

One package egg roll wrappers.

Thinly slice about half a cabbage.
Add grated carrots (maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
Some ginger (fresh is best!)

Brown (in olive oil) one large boneless skinless chicken breast cut up into tiny pieces.
Add cabbage mixture and cook on High heat for a minute or two, stirring constantly.


Use your finger dipped in a little bowl of water to wet two edges of egg roll wrapper.
Place one large spoonful of cabbage and chicken mixture in the center of wrapper.
Fold in in three corners and roll the rest (being the moistened two sides).

To cook on stove, fill a shallow sauce pan with about an inch of olive oil.
Heat oil.
Place Egg Rolls into hot oil (beware of hot splattering oil!), and turn to finish when one side is browned.
Adjust heat as needed to keep your oil from getting over-hot.

Sweet and Sour dipping sauce:

1/3 cup vinegar (rice vinegar recommended. I used cider vinegar)
4 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. catchup
1 tsp. soy sauce.

Bring to boil while stirring.

Add while stirring, 2 tsp corn starch mixed into 4 tsp. cold water.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grandmas Are My Kryptonite

It's true. That blog post about the pumpkin bread and three cups of sugar? That's nothin'! Try Grandma's galore (which is just peachy with me, and the children think they've died and gone to heaven!).
How that works out is like this:

Yesterday: I took the children to my Grama H's where her sister Aunt Rosie was visiting. She offered the children each "two chocolates apiece" (after graciously checking with me). This followed by "just one more", followed by "There are a few left in the bowl, you can divide the rest", and finally "how about just one peppermint?" and so on...
As you can imagine no one was happy about the proceedings!

And then...

This morning: Children bouncing off the walls, walls shaking, floors quaking, voices high and screechy (you know Jenny, there IS a fate worse than death for eating three cups of sugar)!
At breakfast I told the children we were going to purge the system and no more sugar at all through the rest of the week.
(because that's all I had the guts to commit to)

This afternoon: At my Grama F's house I served my children whole wheat bread for lunch. Grama gave me the look which told me in no uncertain terms that I am an incompetent and incapable mother if I don't put something on that bread - peanut butter, tuna, ham, anything. Somehow I won the argument if there was one (my powers for combat ting "the look" must have been pretty good at that time of day).
Then, however she proceeded to feed my children Strawberries.
In sugar.
And Potato chips (in which one of the first ingredients was sugar), and then cookies, followed by Neapolitan ice cream.
Whatever tactics I used earlier were no good now. I knew she made a special trip to the store for these goodies, and who is the hero? Obviously! And who looks like that green prune-faced old Grinch? Uh-huh.
Grama's are supposed to be grama's, and this is one of those things that mommas just have to live with. I admit (positively shamefully) that I fully enjoyed seeing my grama get to enjoy and bless my children. To me it is worth the aftermath I endure for the next few days as their little bodies go through shock and recovery;-)
I mean, you should have heard my grama laugh when a wide-eyed Clayton looked at his ice cream and said "And MOM said we wouldn't be allowed to eat any sugar for the rest of the week!"
(hopefully she didn't believe such horror) ;-P

Grama's are my Kryptonite. It's a weakness worse than a carton of Safeway Rocky Road ice cream in the freezer. How often do they get to be grama's, and when they ask so sweetly (and I remember the chocolates and peppermints from girlhood) I just can't help myself. I just can't. My resolve just melts and my lips are completely incapable of forming the words "no thank you" or "Absolutely NOT! Don't you know that sugar will ruin these children forever?!!"
It just doesn't seem important enough to remove such a little pleasure for such a dear dear person as grama. There is more to life I think.
And while I get to endure my punishment for the next few days, I feel privileged to share some of that "more" with my beloved grama's!

18 Weeks

Okay. Here is a side view and... WHOOPS I forgot to wear my Princess Leia get-up for this picture! Sorry Grace :-)
Zack is getting to be a pretty good little picture taker isn't he? And I am getting to be pretty good at chopping and hacking up the photos. You know... despite my children's opinion of my good looks, I really do think this picture is improved without the rest of me. What?! Alright. To keep my readership happy:
See, this is how pregnant Courtney looked at seven months (despite her son's recent comments), and I certainly have no intention of competing with her.
However twins might make me competitive;-) Her husband says having twins is "cheating". I bet you mommy's of twins would like to deck him, wouldn't you?
I'm betting I'm just a tank of a pregnant woman. The Princess Leia outfit would have done a better job showing you where all the rest of the pounds have gone and NO, you won't get the chance to see it. Just keep tabs on my face and arms. They don't let me hide secrets!!
I'm just glad there's a growing baby in there with little kicking feet:-)

Love you Baby Bug!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Doth My Ears Deceive Me?

Zachary and Clay have recently been granted the privilege of watching some pieces of the original Star Wars movies. this is a big deal, and you have to be big stuff to watch! Daddy is selective, and the girls are too little (of course) but not to worry, the boys fill them in on the pertinent facts later on.
This morning I stumbled groggily out of the bedroom and noticed that the bathroom was already occupied and there was quite a story going on in there!

This is what I overheard:


Zack "...Then there is the Death star. It is supposed to destroy planets, but the good guys destroyed it first."

(lots of appropriately interjected laughter by Susanna, here implying that the bad guys got what they deserved)

Susanna "Maybe I could watch some parts."

Zack "Yeah... I don't know.
Hey! There's a girl called Princess Leia and she's about twenty years old... [and here comes the really good part] ...she looks a lot like mom. [*smile* Oh happy day!] She has long black hair... yeah, she looks like mom. She's twins with Luke Sywalker..."

Susanna "Maybe I could watch some Ewoks?"


I may not have gotten into the bathroom right away, but the boy made my day!
What a guy:-)

Monday, April 20, 2009

No Fear

This has been an interesting pregnancy for me. Different from the others in many ways, and unfortunately one of the more emotional ones I've experienced. AJ says I seem to be more aware of that fact though, and it's as if I'm looking back at me from the third person.
Don't know if that's true, but perhaps I'm finally learning to cope with the hormones a little more objectively. Hey- I'll take that as a compliment!

This baby follows closely on the heels of G.R. (God Reigns), our last little one lost early to miscarriage after my exciting hospital event, and I suspect there are some family and friends concerned for my health. According to the surgeon who spoke to us when there was still the hope of little G.R. there would be no problem recovering fully in time for birthing a baby eight months from that time .
Now with a new hope to dream of, I am grateful for those words and am glad if they put some other dear hearts at ease.

Starting at fourteen weeks, I began to strongly suspect the possibility of more than one baby this time. My belly is popping out way early, and my fundal height is four to five weeks ahead of my dates. I have felt the baby earlier, and feel very pregnant already. "Welcome to number six!" says an experienced friend of mine, which I suppose means I'd better get used to feeling large and stretched out - fairly common symptoms of a many-time-momma.

I've not had an appointment with a midwife yet as I'm hoping to establish that connection in Idaho and I'm very excited about the options available there, but... with my growing belly and volatile state of emotions I have been getting downright anxious to take a look inside.
That is rather odd since I never feel compelled to find out baby's gender in advance and don't care about having ultrasound pictures taken. But this time I want, I want, I WaaaANT!!
And while I haven't actually had that calm intuition that says something is wrong, that hasn't stopped my mind from wandering over the less desirable possibilities associated with this big melon of a tummy. I have tried rationalizing the feelings away. I have tried to mind over matter the issue. I have tried to ignore it, but always to the same end: immediate relief followed by another onslaught of fear.


It is subtle.
It is ugly.
It is mean.
It is relentless.
It is from the enemy of our souls.

With this realization though, I remembered there is only one way to combat fear. And that is by power of the Holy Spirit in me, and through God's Word.
This is what the Lord gave me the other day from Psalms 34 verse 4:

"I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."

Isn't that a wonderful verse? I was so excited as I meditated on these words, to note that while God delivered David from his fears, there is no mention of his being delivered from the things he was fearing.
If I have an ultrasound today to relieve me of my fears, there is no reason to believe that would be the outcome. I might very well find out that my fears were founded.
If so, there could simply be more fear and less peace, for peace doesn't come from having control of our circumstances does it. He will do His will through my life, my trials (or joys), no matter what, and i
f He is going to do that then why entertain fear? The only thing fear does is paralyze. I am infective for the Lord's work - even giving my children the care they need with singleness of mind and purpose - which will not bare witness of His peace in me. I see no alternative to letting go of the control I imagine, relinquishing my fears, and trusting Him to fill me with HIS peace as He accomplishes His will.

I think for me, there is no alternative.
And so... I asked the Lord to remove my fears and help me to wait on Him.

He has done that for me!
(I know, big shocker there)

I am still curious to know if I'm just a stretched out gravida 8 para 5 or if there is a more fun reason for turning into a pumpkin so fast. But whether I decide to have an ultrasound tomorrow or wait for the midwifes assessment, I am content to be content.

By God'
s merciful grace,
and patiently waiting.


First "Getting Wet" of the Season!

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cousin Fun!

Today was another precious opportunity to enjoy family. This time it was my Cousin's wife and little dolly Vivian as our family joined Char and Hannah for brunch at Auntie Cheryl and Uncle Jim's house!
At Aunt Cheryl's all you have to do is think it, and surely your hearts desire shall appear before your very eyes;-)

Judah Christopher endured a tea party with the girls and staunchly stood his manly ground when the they called him "beautiful". No way ladies, I draw the line at good company and drinking from a delicate little cup - call me beautiful and them's fightin' words!

It was delightful to watch Jeanette in all her full-fledged-motherly glory with little Vivie. She has most definitely joined the ranks of motherhood as proven when she reached for a drink of water and (unwittingly) took a swig out of a sippy cup! HA!

Here's the most beloved Auntie of all time: holding Micah. Truly - she is the Baby Whisperer!

And the Uncle who facilitates it all:-)

Here's the crew - all the great grandchildren together on my dad's side (Aunt Cheryl is my dad's big sis)

Thank you Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Jim, Jeanette and Vivie!!! We have a GREAT time!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Memories and Memory Making

Daddy wanted to take the Bugletts for a walk today and I decided to go with them. Especially in light of our more recent blog conversations - er(cough cough) ahem ;-)

Have you seen the old Robbin Hood movie with Errol Flynn?

AJ and I grew up playing in Bidwell park where that oldie-goldie was filmed,
and that's where we walked today.

The whole Sacramento Valley used to be covered in oaks like this.

AJ used to skate through Lower Park all the time and often rode his bike on the North Rim Trail in Upper Park. When he and I were "just friends" we took our deck or cards, lunch, and long visits under these trees fairly often.
Lots and lots of special memories here:-)