Thursday, August 27, 2009

Green Thumbs, or Brown Hands?

BOTH it seems!

My boys built a garden. Complete with rock border and little "Hens and Chickens" nestled in between.

They are both much greener thumbs than I, and I can't wait for them to have a real opportunity to garden.

When only two years old, I overheard Zachary talking to little Clayton in his crib:

Hi - drain - jea, Brother. Can YOU say Hydrangea?"

That's where it started, and last night I heard Clayton saying to Miss Jana:

"Are these beets from YOUR garden? Are beets annuals or

Their Gramsie taught them how to hybridize Roses this Spring, and is herself an avid (and very successful) flower gardener, so we know it's in the blood!

They boys didn't consult me about location before commencing their project, so I'm not sure how things will look when we get back to Marvel Hill (whenever that is), or how the strawberries will fare planted next to the potatoes...
but it was worth a bit tongue to commend and encourage the lovely job they did!!

We hope to really "dig in" to the garden thing next year!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cousin Circus

I've been wanting to post some of the pictures from Charlie and Hannah's visit last month, but there's always something current to talk about or show off and it seems so hard to catch up!

Here are a few group shots of my own five plus Charlies three hooligans.

These are especially for the Grama's, Great Grama's, and Aunties.

If I get to it, I'd still like to post the "action" shots of those couple weeks they were here. It really was a blast, and trust me... there was a LOT of action!!!

(You may be able to tell I was able to put my feet up today - sure was nice!)

LOVE YOU Grama's and Aunties!!

A Better Way to Say it

It turns out that Jess doesn't convert pounds to Kilograms very well.
It's - you know - a foreign thing.

That's okay though because I don't convert Kilo's to pounds.

However, for your convenience Jess (and since the internet is a tool with a million uses):
168 pounds translates to 76 Kilograms.

That's a 26 Kilo gain in eight months!

My great guy said I should try translating pounds to stones as well, and I liked that even better: 168 pounds = 12 stones.

Yeah. I weigh 76 Kilos, or 12 Stones. The fewer the better I think, even though I'm betting those are some big stones!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Story (or a piece of it anyway)

Remember the sign I painted last week? My dearest, most beloved husband (and also my only one) put it up for me a couple nights ago. It feels so good to start, and complete a project - no matter how small it is!

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know the story of Marvel Hill and what inspired it's naming, if not, click here.

It is true that we are hard to follow - blog news or no.
Since I began blogging just after the end to one chapter of our lives, and after the start of a totally different chapter, I have promised to tell the story of my recent life of Gipsy-hood so maybe some of you can understand my current life and adventures better.

I have thought this over quite a bit, and am at odds with where to start. As with all miraculous stories the Lord writes, the beginnings began long before they looked like the first page in the book.

I won't start there however, or you'd be reading for hours (and I have limited time to write a post anyways).

I will start with a little history and then pick up at two years back during the time of Carolina's birth.

We married young, AJ and I, at 18 and 21 - and have never looked back except to wish we had done so sooner. The two of us have been "growing up" together ever since, and have cherished every moment, every year together. Yes even the difficult ones. The Lord has been faithful, and very very good to us. I love my dear man even more today and I never imagined that being possible when I was 18 and "in love"!

AJ worked for and with his Dad most our married life. From those years and that experience he gained an amazing education, and acquired a friendship with his dad that few men can boast.
It was a challenging time with many many hours spent working.
I often brought him dinner at 8 o'clock at night, spent 3 or 4 hours with him while he worked, went home, climbed into bed and slept lightly until I heard the key in the front door lock, or felt him falling into bed beside me in the wee hours of the morning.

We found much time to be together in spite of work. Often it was me and a book keeping him company in the shop, but we also found time to do some road trips and there was always laughter and deep discussion and dreaming to be had.
Lots of dreaming.

We knew this wouldn't be able to continue once we had a child. AJ desired to be home. He desired to be available. To have a job where he could work from home, or at least take the children with him to work.

Children arrived. One at a time, of course, but about every year and a half we have welcomed a new little person into our family. The Lord has graciously pulled AJ away from work and provided him more and more time with us over the years, but his heart especially, was for something completely different.
We prayed, and prayed. And prayed some more. There was always silence - the "wait" kind. It is very hard to wait when you don't know WHAT you're waiting for, or for how long. I know you know. I've heard many of your stories - most of us know what it is to pray and not hear a response.
We continued to pray though, and dream.
Never stop dreaming!

Two years ago during the time of Carolina's birth, a whirlwind hit our lives that really stirred things up in the department of AJ's employment.
Through the course of a couple months time and to our utter amazement we found ourselves "trying out" a job in Denver Colorado. Something completely different from what AJ had been doing for the 11 years previous, but he was game, and it appeared to supply him with all the time he had hoped to have for his family!
Who gets to "try out" a job anyway?!!

In the move to Colorado, where AJ's brother has graciously shared his 5,000 sq. foot house with us, I began to blog.
I started my blog to journal our goings-on and post pictures of the children for all our precious family back in California. While I have strayed off this course occasionally to expound on my own thoughts and ideas, my original purpose has kept this blog on the course you generally see - lots of "daily doings" and pictures.

Through a series of more events and miracles than I can recount (for lack of space and time), the Lord sold our house back home, gave us a precious church family in Colorado, some dear friends and kindred spirits, He expanded our vision for our family, and provided a very special place in Idaho where we could park all our earthly goods, visit to relax, dream, and hope one day to live full time.

Our reasons for choosing Idaho(over any other location) were numerous, abundant, and sure; and the Lord gave us exactly what we asked Him for - we still look at each other in near disbelief, but it seems better to just enjoy it all!

What makes all our traveling possible, and our long stays in Idaho, is AJ's ability to work remote from the Denver office with a smattering of travel hither and yon. He seems to be a pro working with laptop and phone (we get good cell service on our hill in the woods), and it has been a dream come true to have him work from home and still have time to play with us at the end of a work day.

We both realize we are blessed beyond measure with a life people only dream of (as we did!); and we realize this time may only be a season. That's okay. We are loving every moment, and thanking the Lord every day.
If He decides to do something different, we will praise Him then too.

This narration is a brief accounting of the long version, but hopefully it explains a little of our current craziness.

As of today, we have spent the last three months here at Marvel Hill, and the the previous three in California with family.
The End of next week will see us heading back to Colorado for our next baby's arrival, and possibly for the Winter months. AJ will be able to show his face in the home office, and also help me out with the children as I recover from baby's birth. It will be a luxury to have a washer and dryer on the premises along with a dishwasher, and the support of our dear Church family in that area.

We don't feel ready to leave Marvel Hill, but we are very excited to be back in Colorado for a while!
What a life!!

If I missed any important gaps, feel free to ask. Up to this point, we have been dependable home-bodies. We still are, but are learning to take with us everything of importance.
And guess what? That's not out laptops, or pillows, or school books...


Thursday, August 20, 2009

In Which I Reveal the Up-close and Personal...

WOW! You gals are the BEST, and made me smile and laugh - a lot!
I have some new names to consider thanks to you all. Please keep leaving comments with your suggestions - I love it!

Shelly it is a pleasure to meet you:-) Sophia is on my list, and I have a sweet little Olivia already so that just goes to show that one of us has great taste in names! Ha!

As to my weight...
I was just tickled at how many of you wouldn't touch that subject with a ten foot pole;
how many gingerly guessed a conservative number which would ensure the longevity of our friendship; but the best guess belongs to Shauna.

Shauna, I wouldn't THINK of being mad at a woman who (when yet a girl) helped me freeze our brother's swimming trunks, or who understands the value of a toilet plunger. History runs thick and deep, and while it's possible you could guess my weight from that picture... I doubt it.
I think you're on my wavelength.
That, and you're too far to reach ;-D

Shauna guessed my 35 week weight at 167 lbs.

And the correct weight (drum roll please) is 168 lbs. That is a 58 pound weight gain in eight months! Top THAT! Hahaha!!!

I am fairly confident the scale wasn't lying. It knows... and I am experienced.

It is a little awkward to drop all that weight six to twelve months after baby is born, and that has been that pattern for the last eight plus years, but if the pregnancy is "boringly normal" and baby is healthy and well I don't complain.

Especially since complaining would require desperate action.
Action such as giving up my Safeway Rocky Road ice cream.
Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhkkkkk!! Nnnnooooooooooooooo------!!!!!!

Thank you each for your kind and dear words that blessed my emotional spirit. I am so thankful for the Lord's blessing of you in my life:-)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

35 Weeks and The Name Game

Here I am. 35 weeks along and on the count-down!
I had my first prenatal appointment this week in which everything looked "boringly normal" according to the midwives.
It was my first and last appointment with them as we are planning to get ourselves back to Colorado to have this baby.
The midwives said my blood pressure was great, no edema, urine - perfect, baby head down, Baby's heart rate in the forties to fifties, and my weight... um. It was good. In fact, I gain weight really well. Seriously. If you only know me un-pregnant you might be skeptical, but just guess what it was when I consulted the scale.
Humor me! I'm looooong past being embarrassed about such things;-)

I feel very well thankyouverymuch. I am having a hard time leaning over my plate at dinner, carrying Carolina, walking, and rolling over in bed, but other than that I still sleep well (when I'm not trying to roll over), I'm staying cool in this beautiful North Idaho climate, and baby is moving enough to make his/her presence known. Such a blessing to know that little life is growing along fine!

As to names...

We don't have any nailed down yet. The children are a big help, and it's more fun than I would have imagined to see all their personalities in vivid color as they make suggestions.
Zachary, for instance, is a purest. He likes Bible names and the classic. His suggestions include: Mary, Jonathan, Isaiah, Deborah, and his favorite is David "which is nice because you can also call him 'Dave'".

Clay likes the Narnian characters and is for Caspian "as in King Caspian", and Olivia occasionally offers something fairly sensible such as Hailey or Jonah.

Susanna, on the other hand has a Teddy bear named "Pooky" and another named "Ja-Moe".
When making HER suggestions we often hear things like: "How 'bout 'Poppyseed Chicken'" or "We could call her 'Susanny', or 'Boobanny'..."

Suffice to say if I die in childbirth and AJ gets hit by a car before the birth certificate is signed, Zachary gets to name the child.

Susanna's help.

We never divulge the final decision until baby's birth, but if you'd like to participate, we're looking at girl names that end in the sound "ah".
Boys names are anything goes. I would sure like to hear the favorites (you aren't going to use; I don't want to get into trouble!) so leave me a comment.

Perhaps this is a good time to meet some of the lurkers?
Guess how much I weighed at the 35 week appointment (Clue: prepregnant weight was 110 lbs), and share some names with me.
It'll be fun!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For Without ME, You Can Do Nothing

John 15:5
"I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him will bear much fruit. For without me you can do nothing."

And don't I know it!
I finally have some little scripture cards up on my kitchen window sill. Since they are placed right above my bread kneading area, my bread baking days are a perfect opportunity for repeating scripture out loud, meditating on, and committing it to memory.
In an unexpected and delightful turn of events, some of my children listen in while I am repeating to myself, and ask me to "say it again, Mom" and are memorizing along with me without being cajoled.

This John 15:5 verse is dear to my heart, and more so these days when I am weary by 11:00 in the morning (before my duties are done for the day). Just up until that point every day I am sure that I can conquer the world while the smaller children nap, and then at lunchtime... I crash.
No more can do.
I eye my sons enviously and wish with all my heart that I could find a way to bottle up their extra energy (for surely they don't NEED all that), and then pour it on ice and sip it on my upstairs porch before getting down to business.
THEN I could really get something accomplished!
Maybe even EVERYTHING!!

Perhaps it's a good thing no such bottling method has been discovered. I am forced to remember that only by abiding in my Lord can I do those things which need doing. It becomes painfully clear at times that my list is not the same list that the Lord has for me to accomplish in a day. How could I be sensitive to His leading without abiding in Him? Without being broken in the works of my own flesh and crying out to Him for wisdom and strength?
I mustn't wait until I'm out of energy to abide in Him, but it's a fine place to start.
I am humbled when I realize my weakness, and the Lord will probably keep me running on fumes as long as it takes to keep me running to Him. And then not just running to Him, but abiding.
Constantly dwelling where His grace and mercy permeate my being and run over into the lives of others causing HIM to be exalted, worshiped, and glorified!
Oh then! The beautiful fruit which comes even from a tired momma if she abides in the Living Vine!

Lord let it be so.


So... Since I did NOT bottle up the excess energy of those two incredibly boyish boys, but I DID bake bread; I have been meditating on the privilege of being a tired momma, of having children who put their dirty socks in the drawer, and leave their clean clothes in front of the door; of having options for dinner, and food in the pantry; dirty dishes to wash because there are people I love, eating eating the meals I make, around the table I cleared five times but didn't actually wipe down once AND THEY DON'T CARE.

Tossing away my list and abiding in Him, I scooped up my baby-for-a-bit-longer and rocked in the Lazy Boy.
That little girl fell asleep in my arms! I can't remember the last time that happened, so I rocked. And rocked. And looked at her snuggling against me (for I am very snugly these days); watched her breathe, noticed her dark eyelashes and sweet lips, and I let the bread dough rise for too long - knowingly - just so I could rest in Him.

I could have missed those moments in my tired determination.
Instead I received just what I needed from Him to "do what needed doing" and still capture a moment of rest in His faithful arms.

I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but the Vine that nourishes this branch keeps providing sap, the Holy Spirit, who patiently teaches me all along.
What strength there is in that knowledge!

Thanks Lord.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Boys, Noise, and Jumping Jacks

Two boys sitting behind Math workbooks (IF you can call standing on one leg with the other perched up on the chair, sitting)

Noise. And LOTS of it. Something about boys. They just NEED to make noise.
All the time.
I am learning to be flexible. To let them wiggle and even make noise if it helps the to learn.
But... after a spell, I could tell there was very little little learning going on for the amount of noise and I had a brainstorm: jumping jacks.

"Come here boys! I want you to do twenty jumping jacks while I count out loud."

Hilarity followed.
I discovered that my children can't "jumping jack"
Arms and legs everywhere, and no coordinated movement whatsoever. I was laughing so hard and so were they! I decided to give them a "lesson" in how to do a jumping jack, and actually had to break the thing into four pieces ie. "this is what you do with your feet: out, together, out together..."

I had to demonstrate for them a few times, and that caused it's own fun. Only imagine...

In my minds eye I saw my eight-year-old at fifteen being told to execute jumping jacks and doing what I currently witness. YIKES! That would be embarrassing!!
So commenced the exercise (no pun intended).

"Out, together, out, together..."
"We're going to learn how to DO this children!!

There are important things to learn in life.
Doing your Math homework without a lot of noise is good, but you just haven't lived if you can't do jumping jacks!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

One and all...
Those of you who are my friends (met face to face or not)
My upstairs porch has room for each of you, and is now patiently awaiting your presence! (unlike myself who is not as patient)

You may come if you are brave enough to:

*use an outhouse

*wash your hands in a bucket
*bunk with a bun
ch of crazy hoodlums or camp out in the yard (hoodlums look better once you hear the coyotes howl on your trip to the outhouse!)
*shower on the porch (no one will peek - I promise)
*visit by can
dle and lamplight in the evenings

, you can wait until we have:
*a toilet in the house

*running water (also i
nside the house)
*a guest cabin
*private shower (now what fun would that be?!)
*possibly electricity. (that's one I wouldn't count on, and really, I rather like visiting by candle or lamplight so if you come you'll have to indulge me!)

However, we are always ready for you with:

*open arms
(you laughing at us more than likely)

*hot coffee. or tea. or hot chocolate. or whatever you like:-)

*an upstairs porch to si
p it on
*plenty of quilts to wrap up in
*critters to watch
(even if only the two-legged variety)
*and lots and lots and lots of stuff to make memories out of!

Please come.
I mean it!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Upstairs Porch

I mean "UP" stairs upstairs porch!

The second story is actually about three stories up and affords a beautiful view out the back of our cabin.

There is actually a creek at the bottom of our hill behind all the brush and trees; and we hope to clear the view all the way down to it eventually.

For now, this is the place to sip anything delicious, with anyone wonderful, and observe what is lovely to behold - God's glorious handiwork!

It makes us feel a bit guilty to "vacation" from home!!
(almost) ;-P

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Created

Just the hum of the generator to keep me company now. The children are at least quiet (if not sleeping) and the computer is all mine!
What to write? What to post?
Sheesh. Maybe I should go get my book and curl up (yeah right - seen my belly lately) on the bed with the glow of the candle. Perhaps that would be more relaxing without the hum of the generator...
Decisions, decisions.

I painted a sign today. It was so much fun to have an achievable project that required a little creativity of my own. (I don't consider making dinner creative these days - at least not in a way that gets me animated, but paint? Woo-hoo!)
I have a few empty spots on my walls which I want to paint some Bible verses, but the paint will be there for a while so I want to make sure I know what I want to write.
What I worked on today will be photographed in a couple days as I need some hardware to hang it. Rather than painting directly on the wall for one certain spot, I scrounged up two weathered 2x's and painted my Marvel Hill quote on them.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that He called me Beloved..."

- From The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis.

I used chalk to freehand the writing, then painted over with white acrylic paint.
In the living room.
With Carolina's company.
What is it about doing a project like that that just inspires the most hard-to-resist affection from little ones? The whole time I was trying to paint, she would sidle up to me and put her face in front of mine, puckered little lips requesting kisses...
It made it hard to see what I was trying to work on, but who could resist? I'd rather have Lina than a sign any day! (So she got her kisses).

Eventually I finished my painting. Enough for today anyhow. It's a treacherous gamble to sit on the floor pregnant with a number 6. All my joints and ligaments are loose enough to ensure a lengthy rise from the sitting position! (Ouch!)

Perhaps you would have preferred some pictures to listening to me ramble, but the photos of my upstairs porch were taking forever to upload and now I don't even have evening left to read my book.
I gave up - at least on the pictures. For tonight.

My book may still have a chance:-)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Victorious Baby Steps!

From the first step forward it got easier today.
It's always easier if I remember to call upon My Help moment by moment!

This venture involved acrylic paint, so it was a REAL victory for mom who was imagining all the things it wouldn't wash out of:-) My sweet ones were intent upon their "sign" creations, and there were no mishaps. Just a lot of good conversation and memory-making while the juices flowed.

What a delight to get to call these amazing children my own!

"Welcome to Marvel Hill

"Welcome to Squirrel Country"

And these just because the cuteness factor is off the charts;-)

Yep. There's some cuteness here!

Baby Steps

This morning I rose with the hope of heaven welling from within
to try more diligently to capture my children's hearts.

To work more creatively, and proactively at cultivating friendships with each one.
To be softer.
To be less reactionary.
To listen better and hear more.
to know my children
not as my offspring, but as people I love.
Because I want them to respond to me as a person they love and love to be with.
And not just because I'm their mother.

The day started off with two steps forward:
My Zachary helped each of his smaller siblings quietly draw
"Good Morning Mom!" cards so I could sleep a little longer.
And I in turn helped him make Swedish pancakes for breakfast.
A promising start...
{and two steps forward}

...But then I fell on my keister.

With one little thread pulled, the "good thing" I was attempting began to unravel before my eyes.
I couldn't even tell which thread had been pulled, in order to stop the whole day from unraveling before it had barely begun!
The solution to my problems (if there was one) evaded me in a haze of guilt.
{three steps back}

Oh how the enemy uses that haze and guilt to pummel my spirit! All I can see through the fog is
(whispers, whispers of)
"I can't start from here. I'm too far behind.
My steps are too small.
Little legs can't keep up with mine anyways.
I've already wasted time and who knows if I'll have tomorrow? It's nothing to be sure of!
CAN what is lost be redeemed?"

Almost in tears, I called my dear husband on the phone
hoping (and expecting) to glean some words of comfort and help for my plight.

Among the things we discussed was being able to see the difference between
foolishness and disobedience.
I recognize in myself a propensity to take a child's foolishness as my own personal offence.
Seeing a particular situation for exactly what it is could really help me understand what my response should be.
Especially if I take another important step forward and seek wisdom from
the patient and most merciful Giver of Help himself.

Foolishness or disobedience?
My response
His grace...
Our victory!
{two steps forward}

Here the Lord reminded me
"Just today, Analene. Just today... and then just this moment.
What will you do to take steps forward today?
Even itty-bitty baby steps
will take you forward in this moment."

This moment...
Dwell not on yesterday's moment
nor the tomorrow's moment,
or even the next moment.

Just this one.

The haze subsided enough for me to see My ItalicHelp
And with His arms outstretched to me
I stumbled and blundered, but in confidence I took that one little baby step forward.

[These pictures are of my Carolina Truth on this very day.
she took her first steps a couple days ago, but staunchly declined
providing further evidence of her blossoming abilities.
As if to illustrate her point, when asked to perform, she would plant her
fanny where gravity would have no advantage..
and scoot.
Much like her mother who is learning to take those baby steps of faith,
but is all too often planted on her fanny as well!


The Lord is good and kind and faithful
and if the light is dawning for my Lina at 21 months of age
(and that in the physical realm)
then surely there is hope yet for me.]

Friday, August 7, 2009

Some Days...

Some days there is a list (a long one) I just can't seem to check off.
Some days I stand on one foot knowing I am wasting time doing so, but not knowing where to start.
Some days the sky is beautiful, the temperature perfect, the time free for the taking. Yet Some days those "perfect" moments get by me without recognition or significance.

Why I wonder, do those days usually come on the back of a really productive, every-day-will-be-as-wonderful-as-this-because-I-have-the-formula-down kind of day?

Yesterday was the "...I-have-the-formula-down" kind,
and today was one of those other kind - more in the genre of "how could I-have-tempted-such-a-lesson-in-humility".

I wish I could say I learned something today, but these "some days..." are the kind that just need to play themselves out to the end.
Unfortunately I am still standing on one foot, and I'd like to believe I'll do something worthwhile before the clock strikes in a new day; but if not, I'm thankful that I may have another chance tomorrow.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

On This Evening

Momma Bug should blog tonight but is instead sorting through a pile of printed photos that need to be put into albums before the next pile of pictures is printed.
...Or before the baby is born...
...Or I forget who is who...
...Or Jesus comes back...

(Please don't wait for ME, Jesus, feel free to come back any time!)

I just want the general months in order since the last two years were so eventful and full of memory making. Plus I always try to get the last baby's scrapbook (first year) dome before the new baby arrives. Uh... little behind there, but you never know, I still have another seven weeks!
It could happen;-)

I'm afraid I'm not very good at sticking with the task when it comes to pictures though. I get all distracted LOOKING at them - fancy that!

Such as this one. I like this one.

Or this one - it's even better!

I've only had my digital camera for a year and a half, but digital is a different animal. I have more pictures to put away than I'd taken in the lifetime before I got it.
Too fun!


Olivia came to me quite seriously today and put her hand over her chest
"I can feel my baby moving inside Mom."

To which I responded by gravely placing my hand on her chest and trying not to smile too much replied
"You know what that is, Olivia? That's your heart beating."

I just appreciate her frame of reference. You know? Just three years old, and while ignorant about many things, yet such an experienced person in other matters.
She told me she is planning to call my baby "Jonah".
I like it.
If it's a boy, that is.
And told her she should run it by Dad.

And that's the way the cookie crumbles on this day.
Between pictures and the real thing, one can't do much better:-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Well Fiddlesticks!

It was a long day and it's not over yet.
Thankfully I decided to be a momma children might actually WANT to have when we spent the day doing errands two hours from home.
Amazingly, we had a nice time.
I am amazed. AMAZED...
Arriving back at Marvel Hill the children unloaded themselves while I myself marveled at how smoothly things had gone.
And then...

The eggs.
They had been in the ice chest which was now a chest-full-of-water.
And were above my head in reach (no they didn't land ON my head).
But I did lose the bottom of the egg carton and five of the eggs to the inside of the van.
Hmm... Just when my work was almost at an end.
It just goes to show you shouldn't count your eggs... you know.

On the thankful side:
There was a roll of paper towels handy (that's the foresight of my Great Guy).
There was a pot with just enough water to wash off my egg splattered feet and shoes.
There was still 13 eggs left.
There was a recliner to sit in when I finally finished my chore and got into the house.
There is a half gallon of Safeway Rocky Road in the freezer.
Life is good!

Now... What was I saying?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Berry Pickers and Such

If you liked the picture your imagination conjured up when you thought of me racing up a hill dragging Clayton by the arm...
It was actually like Dejavu for me.

Two years ago when I was about eight months pregnant with Carolina, I let Olivia (then 18 months old and not yet a sturdy self-defending toddler) play out front of the house with her brothers and big sister.
I was working in my kitchen not ten yards away from the open front door and my baby, and yet it was a close call.

We had a rooster. Beloved by all and bequeathed with the fitting moniker of Fancy Pants.

While it is true that we loved Fancy, it is also true that he was the cockiest of roosters, picking fights primarily among the innocent and unsuspecting. He preferred to assert his ruffled indignation upon a child or the turned back of a grown man which showed some amount of cowardliness, an attribute I was never impressed by.

It seemed to me we had an understanding with one another. Something to the effect of "you know who has the power to send you to the ol' stew pot buddy, and don't you ever forget it!"

In the course of his time with us, the venerable Fancy Pants drew blood from every one of my children (and more than a few guests to the farm), but was the one primarily responsible for the chivalrous bravery of my two sons - valiant they have indeed become in protecting and defending their sisters!

On that fateful day, I heard screams and looked up from my work in the kitchen to see my baby Olie on her back with an arrogant chicken hopping around her!
In one bound this barefoot, pregnant woman leaped to the aid of her daughter shouting and kicking at him (with those bare feet, mind you) with one thought in her mind "Please Lord! Please not her eyes!"
And thankfully, ever so thankfully I scooped her up with both eyes unharmed, even though blood trickled from her temple in two places.

These little episodes in my life reminde me that one should not underestimate the speed and agility of a barefoot pregnant lady, AND that bee stings are relatively small potatoes in the scheme of things.

My berry pickers: