Foot Cramp

I am enjoying this pregnancy.  I promise not to talk about it all the time…  I will promise to talk about you cute and funny kids more often!  But tonight I was reminded of a cruel side effect of pregnancy.

As I was saying I am enjoying this pregnancy.  I am {almost} positive it will be our last pregnancy.  So I am trying to enjoy everything.  I suffered silently through the nausea and the massive weight gain.  I had to eat non stop to keep from being sick.  Eating non stop, no matter what you eat will cause weight gain.  Now I am sick of food.  Nothing really looks good to eat, except Jimmy John’s Beach Club {#12} is my favorite!  I actually had a dream about it and woke myself up feeling the sheets for stray pieces of lettuce.  If my mom had not called to see if we wanted Chick Fil A for dinner I was going to feed my kids spaghetti and go get a sub.  I just learned we are in the delivery zone.  I am not going to lie that piece of knowledge made me very happy!  Or as Phil would say Happy, Happy, Happy!

So Nausea is over.  SO very thankful!  My craving seems normal  Dill Pickles, Sub Sandwiches, and Frozen Treats.  With #1 I craved rhubarb we were up in Mi that summer for a week, we drove all over looking for a fresh farm stand where we could buy some, we had no success.  We went back to Grandma’s Flower Shop {The Daisy Petal} she asked what we had been up to, when we told her she laughed {She has the best laugh} and said “I have a big bag in my crisper drawer”, a friend from church had given it to her right before we arrived.  Let me just say I ate the ENTIRE bag.  I chomped, slurped, ate my way through the whole thing.  It was delicious.

Late last night/early this morning???  I woke up with something I completely forgot happens to me, and most people I am sure, during pregnancy.  Cramps.  As in Foot Cramps, Leg cramps.  Oh boy!  I was sound asleep {no insomnia yet!} and woke to excruciating pain.  I jumped out of bed to try to stand it out, my toes were crossing my foot was arched, and I could feel it moving up the side of my calf. I was doing my best not to yell out to wake A, whose crib is still in our room.  Eventually it worked its way out of my foot, it sure was painful and not enjoyable to stretch that cramp out.  Keith is gone or he would have stretched it out for me.  He gets back tonight, I know he is anxious for me to call out in the middle of the night “Leg cramp, leg cramp” and then try to stretch it out while I thrash about in pain.

But after I was awake and pain-free I laid back in bed and started laughing about the first leg cramp I had while I was pregnant.  The more I thought about it the more I laid in bed giggling.  Taking care to hold perfectly still so I did not trigger another cramp.

It happened late one night, or was it early one morning?  I don’t know. I was pregnant with C, we were soundly sleeping, when a leg cramp gripped my upper left  thigh like I had never experienced before.  I yelled out to Keith “Leg Cramp, Leg Cramp” over and over he woke pretty fast, after all we had no kids so if we heard some noise we noticed it.  He sat up, from a deep sleep and grabbed my right calf, he began rubbing it hard up toward my heart.  I was now crying “Leg Cramp, Leg Cramp” he kept rubbing I yelled out “wrong leg, WRONG LEG!”  He switched to my left calf.  By now I was thrashing about so hard the covers were kicked loose I wondered if the neighbor heard us?  I kept yelling out to him “wrong spot HIGHER”  he finally found the cramp and rubbed hard up until it worked its way out.  Then in disgust, he told me “that is the stupidest place to get a cramp.”  Sorry honey I will get a cramp in a more convenient location next time.

He had grabbed my calf because as a teen that is where he had leg cramps, he never had one in his thigh.  Now when I yell out Leg Cramp, he jumps up asking Where?  He is a quick learner.

What about you?  Leg Cramps when you were pregnant?  Or worse leg/foot cramps for no reason?

Go hug your kids, the need your love.  Tonight I get to Hug O it has been too long, she was in DC with her dad and 24 other students on a field trip with SLU 201.  They left early Monday morning, every time we come home little A calls out for her O.  We are all planning on going to the airport and being just embarrassing enough to let her know they are loved and they were missed.

jen

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No Idea How It Happened

A strange thing happened at our house a few weeks back. DSCN3701This very useful hook that I made
{okay I did not make the hook we had 4 in the house and I really don’t know where they came from, so I purchased 4 wooden mounting squares at Hob’Lob and drilled holes in ALL BY MYSELF and attached the hooks to the squares all by myself}

This very useful hook, took a tumble

DSCN3699I walked in the bathroom to put away towels and this is what I saw on the floor.

DSCN3698I looked up and this is what I saw on the wall.
{Do you see those two holes in my wall?}

The most surprising thing is NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED.

Not a single person in the whole house saw it fall, not a single person in the whole house propped it up against the wall.

No one knows what happened.  No one has any idea when it happened.

In all fairness it could have just fallen but no one mentioned it to me, I don’t use that bathroom often so I have no idea when it fell.  But it would have been nice to know about so I could set about asking Keith to hang it.  That is a task I am afraid to try.

What about you, do you have things that just break in your house with out anyone’s knowledge?

Go hug your kids and tell someone you love them!  Life is just too short.
jen

The Games We Play

We are a family of game players.

I grew up playing games.  Candy Land, Aggregation, Uno, Perfection Monopoly you remember the games. Although I only remember playing Monopoly one time in my childhood I got the game as a gift when we lived in New Orleans.  We had a game night planned, my mom made popcorn, we had a friend over, half way into the game I lost interest and have yet to enjoy a game of MONOPOLY ever since then.  My son goes out with friends on Tuesday nights to Starbucks to sip cool drinks and play monopoly.  They play a more violent and fast version than I have ever played.  Watch your back and keep a hand on your money are good rules to follow if you decide to go play with them on a Tuesday night.

After I left home my mom and sister had a continual game of UNO going, they used sheets of notebook paper to keep their score.

When I spent the first of many weekends at my then boyfriends house, his family played games.  {When he was in grade school/junior high the 4 kids would each get to choose a game and Sunday afternoons they would play all 4 games as a family.}

I married that boy and we still play games.

When I was pregnant with #1 we would go to my mom’s house on Friday or Saturday night and sit around and play games.  We played PHASE10 a lot.
One night while playing phase10 this very pregnant and hormonal girl was ganged up on by her dear husband and her own mother.  This girl right here ***  she threw her cards down, burst into tears, and quit the game.  The same dear husband and mother burst out laughing at her behavior and teased her hormonal self.  This same girl refused to play phase10 with the two of them for many many years.  {This girl is a sore looser, when she has been wronged in a game}

When Keith’s parents moved down we would go over for dinner and play games.  As the kids became enjoyable during game play they have joined the table.  {Don’t think I am a terrible mother but really a 4-year-old at the table while you are trying to yell out in PIT is difficult, and not all that enjoyable.}  We saved game time for after they fell asleep.  We would play well into the dark night, then pick up our sleeping kids and head home, now more kids are awake and playing than sleeping.

Holiday time is game time with the family.  Whomever is down from the north is reason enough to go to my in-laws every night to play games.  Christmas vacation or even unexpected visits are prime game playing time.  We would play games well past midnight, pick up our sleeping children to come back again the next evening.

We play games at home as a family, and now more often as siblings who want to earn more tv time, but mostly when we have company or friends over.

Here are a list of our favorite games right now in case you are looking for a game to add to your game closet.

TELESTRATIONS
This might be our favorite family game right now.  We love it.  It is “telephone” on paper.  I am telling you that we laugh so hard each time we play the game someone always is crying and gasping for air.  If you are playing it with “hoity toity take themselves seriously” people you will not have any fun BUT if you can laugh at yourself then this game is for you too.  This game is just so funny.

PHASE 10 WITH A TWIST
Yes still playing phase 10 but now that I am pregnant I may skip out on this game for the next several months.  This phase 10 is actually a lot of fun.  It mixes up the regular game and although it is supposed to be faster we usually end up suspending the game to pick it up a different day.

BLOKUS
With a little planning this is a fun game and easy to win, until the kids figure out after the first game exactly how to place their tiles to win.  While they can beat their daddy no one has been able to beat me.  {yet}

MADGAB
This is not a new game by any means we just find it fun.  Hardest part is deciding if the person actually said the card or just the words that sound right.

TWENTY FIVE WORDS OR LESS
Is a fun group game, you and the opposing team clue giver decide how many words you would use to get your team-mate to guess the word on the card.  Starting at 25 and going down.  The team with the lowest bid gets to try to win the card.  The kicker is if time runs out the opposing team has 1 guess and could win the card.  I actually count out exactly what words I am going to say so I can be precise on my clue giving guess.

AZUMA
Now we don’t own this game, my in-laws do and they got it from a yard sale purchase.  So if you see this game at a yard sale pick it up.  It is much like spoons but not really, you collect cards than grab a color stick.  Points are assigned by your cards and stick color.  I do not actually understand this game but my in laws have it and my MIL loves to play it.  On a few nights on our vacation, as I snuggled the littles to sleep in our cabin I could hear shouts of “azuma, azuma, azuma, no no I needed pink”

What about you are you a game playing family?

We have one policy we have stuck too for years, Winner Picks Up.  Keeps from gloating about their win, and the loser from pouting about their loss.

So what is your favorite game right now?

Go hug your kids and play a game with someone.
jen

A Game of Tag and Back into Blogging I Go.

A turn of unexpected events threw a stick in my creative blogging wheel.  It stopped me in my tracks and I was left reeling.  I know and remind myself that GOD is still GOD.  I am so thankful.  God still has every step planned out, God is still good.  All The Time.  I am so thankful.  Even knowing GOD is good, it can still slow a person down.  Make a person sit still.  Stop a person in their tracks.  Kind of sucks their energy right out of them.  Thanks to my sweet friends at Mrs. Always Random and Usually Shallow, she pulled me back into blogging.  I am so thankful for her.  Her kind words and gentle pushing were just what I needed.  I will say that Random and Chicken Coop are rock star friends.  I sent them a message and the girls began to pray and encourage me.  That is why I love blogging!  To know that while I live in a southern state and they live smack in the mid-west we have yet to meet face to face, but we can still love, encourage, and pray for each other.  I am thankful for them.  I am getting my grove on.  Slowly and surely.

Ok so onto blogging.  Mrs Random linked to me in a blog LIST post.  I just have to say I LOVE lists!  But those who have read my blog for any time know I love a list.  They make me happy, they keep me organized, and they show proof that I actually accomplished something.  I love To~Do lists.  I love LOVE packing lists.  I love grocery lists.  I love book lists.  And my All Time Favorite List is my Christmas list.  I love lists.  Lists are so final, so neat, so organized, and so tidy.  The only thing in my life so neat and tidy.

Okay so I know you are anxious for me to get onto my lists.

FIVE THINGS I HAVE PASSION FOR

{in no particular order, don’t judge}
~My family  I love my children
with a passion,
they might drive me up the wall sometimes but they are mine .
I love them with a passion that scares me when I think about it.
~Keith I am quite passionate about my husband
I think he hung the stars.
He is the smartest, funniest, cutest I am quite passionate about him.
~My salvation
I cannot believe God choose me.
Seriously I cannot believe it.
I daily realize how unworthy I am, but am in awe that He still choose me.
~My extended family,
again, don’t mess with my family.
~My Friends,
I have a great group of friends,
I can call them up to pray, to come bail me out, laugh with or at me.
They are the greatest!

FIVE THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE
~see all my children fulfilling their life dreams
~take a Disney cruise as a family (the WHOLE family)
~take a cruise to Alaska
~see my children grow in grace and truth
~learn a new language

FIVE THINGS I SAY A LOT
~like { I know I do and I don’t like it!}
~I love you
~Yes I am pregnant, Yes it was a surprise to us.  Yes I am thrilled.
~Apparently
~C O R J E A

FIVE THINGS I’VE READ LATELY
~Random Magazines at different doctors offices
~A Quiet Night IN {adorable children’s story}
~Library Mouse {My kids love this book and I have no idea why but I read it at least once a week}
~Alaska Twilight {Do not read if you are going to be near a bear area.  It is a Christian fiction, which I am not a fan I fund the poorly written and trivial.  This was a quick read and confirmed my fears of bears}
~A Carnival of Animals {tandem reading this with E}
{I really wish the list had been, the stack of books next to my bed at night.  Because I would look smart and like a good mom, even though all those smart books are on Keith’s side of the bed.}

FIVE FAVORITE MOVIES
{for children and family}
~Gnomeo & Juliet
~Nemo/Toy Story
~5 children and It {seriously go find this movie!  Excellent movie! not for little children}
~Tangled
~Despicable Me

FIVE FAVORITE GROWN UP MOVIES
~National Treasure {both}
~Night at the museum {both}
~American President
~RV
~The Proposal

FIVE PLACES I’D LOVE TO TRAVEL
~P E Island {I LOVED Anne Of Green Gables, always said if I had a red-head daughter I would name her Anne Shirley}
~UP Michigan
~The state I live in {I’d like to travel all over and see the history and beauty}
~New York City with Keith
~New Orleans again I’d like to go with Keith

FIVE FRIENDS I’D LIKE TO JOIN
~coffeeandcampfires
~The Strategic Homemaker
~Compulsive Overeater
~Okay so I linked to 3.  Check out their blogs when you get a chance.  They all have something important to say.

Thanks to my friend Mrs Random.  I appreciate this kick-start back into blogging.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your friendship.

What about you?  Choose a top FIVE things and share it with me, or someone you love.

Go hug your kids, life is just too short!
jen

Making Dessert With A Cute Helper

A few nights ago J was begging to bake.  I have the princess of the kitchen, who is always baking.  But she can be a bit of a kitchen bully, not letting anyone in with her to bake.  Not that I mind,we all get to sample her treats.  And the best thing is after she is done she cleans up.  Seriously it does not get any better than that!

But this blog is not about the princess of the kitchen, nope it is about J and the yummy treats he made the other night.DSCN4356Isn’t he just the cutest little kitchen worker?

He wanted to make something sweet.  I had yet to go to the grocery store so it was an improvise type treat.
I remembered seeing pictures on Pinterest using crescent rolls.

This is what we did…DSCN43581 can of crescent rolls {I used Publix brand but use your favorite}
real butter no salt
cinnamon and sugarDSCN43641 can of crescent rolls
peanut butter {I love Peter Pan Peanut butter there is NO SOY and NO CORN SYRUP, I am not climbing on that soap box right now}
Mini chocolate chips {mini is actually better than the bigger ones which don’t melt as nicely}DSCN4361Roll out the triangles and spread butter on the entire dough triangle then cover with cinnamon sugar {don’t skimp}DSCN4363Or cover with a thin layer of peanut butter and then sprinkle chocolate chips all over {don’t skimp here either}
DSCN4357Roll them up and place on a baking sheet
Follow the baking directions on the package.
When they are done baking let them cool for 3~5 minutes
We did make a glaze to drizzle over top of the cinnamon sugar treats.
{glaze~ powdered sugar and milk}DSCN4366Serve and enjoy

They were wonderful.  I will say the PB/C needs to be eaten when it is hot or the filling is just too thick.  The cinn~sugar was yummy cold or warm.

Better than the yummy desserts was listening to J tell me his dream job.  Which, if you are curious, would be to drive to your house, do your laundry and give you yummy treats.  That is his dream job this week.  Can I just say SIGN ME UP!!!  Seriously come to my house do laundry and give me treats!  Oh wait he LIVES at my house.  Today is Wednesday Laundry Day, and there is 1 yummy treat left over. Looks like I lucked out today.

What about you?  What was your dream job when you were little?  I am pretty sure I never entertained the thought of having a job at 9.  I’ve always been an under achiever in the real job world.

Go hug your kids, they need your love.  And ask someone what their dream job would have been when they were little.
jen

A Tie Breaker For Our Family

As far as large families go, we are unusual in our division of statistics.

We are equally boy and girl
The percentage is quite low with a family of 8 that we are equal.

We are equally athletic/artistic
What are the odds?  There is no way to check, but it seems unusual

Out of the 6 children
3 are born in the same month who are also born on an odd date

We are equally left and right
That is an anomaly, lefties are not prominent, yet we have half a house of lefties

This January we are introducing a tie breaker.1069866_10200985309448954_206835973_nThat is right, we’re having another baby.  Everything about this baby will break the tie.

What do you think?
boy or girl
athletic or artistic
left or right

We were quite surprised with this new gift.  Pray for us as we prepare our hearts and home for a new one to love.
We were given some discouraging news with this new baby, a lot of risks, and scary things.  But this one thing we know God planned our steps.  As a family he designed this path just for us.  We know that nothing is a surprise with God, he was there with me in the doctor’s office, he will be with our family every step of the way.  Pray for a healthy baby and healthy mom.  And tell me what you pick, boy or girl.

Go hug your kids they need your love
jen

I Do, Twenty Years and Counting

Twenty Years ago July 9th at 6pm we began our wedding ceremony.

Twenty Years
Twenty

It honestly does not feel like twenty years.  I have said for years I don’t remember not being married.  Which of course is not true, I remember, but it is a long time ago.

Keith graduated from college with a degree in Elementary Education that spring.  I quit a year before, I quit because I was not college material.  I loved the social life but academic life was not enjoyable.  I did enjoy some specific classes, but it was a struggle for me in other classes.  Keith realized this I realized this so before his senior year I quit.  I hope my children are college material but if they are not I realize that they will still be successful adults who can contribute to society.  Sometimes I feel too much emphasis is put on academics.  {But this is not a soap box about pushing children into college, it is about my wedding day}

I had a lovely wedding.
Looking back there are things I would change.
BUTT BOWS
Those were a product of the early 90’s and have not been reintroduced into fashion.  I pray that they don’t ever come back.
RECEPTION
We had a stand mix and mingle reception which was great but we did not get to eat a thing.  Thankfully one of the ladies in the kitchen boxed up some food for us, which we ate at the hotel.
THE DRESSES
No they were not fabulous, they were home-made, I love the love put in them but they really could not be “worn again”  even though the bride thinks that.

There are things I would never change
THE PEOPLE
I am so thankful that family and friends were able to come
Ok I would change the people.  Keith’s brother and family had just moved they could not come to the wedding I wish they could have made it!
MY DRESS
I loved my dress, I loved the way it felt on me, my mom made it, We searched high and low for the lace for the hem.  I loved my shoes.

DSCN4328Our Engagement Photo.  After this we changed photographers.  The outdoor engagement picture was great the indoor one was terrible.  Terrible.DSCN4317Me age 20.  My hair is stick straight, the girl who does my hair still, did it for the wedding.  Make up and hair.  I loved it!DSCN4318I loved the dark gray tux, he was 22.   He could not yet rent a car but we could get married.DSCN4326Wow we were so young, and so in love.  While we are not so young any more, we are still very much in love.

A deeper, smarter, less selfish, greater love.

So Thankful for 20 years and looking forward to the next 20 years.

Go hug your kids, they need your love, and tell your love story to someone today.
jen

p.s. notice the weird pictures?  Yeah I did not feel like pulling the pictures from the album and scanning them, I simply pointed and clicked my camera, so if you look close you can see me in the reflection.  I am good and lazy like that.