What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Cricket's not a cricket: A banging gender reveal

All throughout this pregnancy, Matt has been SO SURE that Cricket is a boy that I was beginning to wonder if he might be disappointed if the baby turned out to be a girl.  I dunno, maybe it was when we had a conversation that went something like this:

The Mister (after every reference to Cricket ever made...): "Cricket is a boy."  

Me, finally addressing the baby elephant in the room: "You know, Mattie, there is a 50/50 chance that this child is a girl.  And if it is- what are you going to do about that?!?"

The Mister, very matter-of-factly:  "Why, we'll put her up for adoption."

Okay.  So you have to know that Matt is kinda hilarious like that- I am pretty sure he wouldn't put his own daughter up for adoption (I think!) but STILL.

I began to suspect that it might be wise to forego the tradition of not-finding out the gender this go-round in order to give him an opportunity to warm up to the fact that he was having a girl, should that be necessary.

So we found out!  Or, at least, *I* found out.  And as soon as I found out, well, then I knew.  Sounds crazy, I know, but it was a weird sort of sadness- not needing to anticipate and wonder anymore.  I decided at that appointment that in order to keep some of the extra anticipation and excitement around, I would tell everyone in a super secret, special sort of way.  But a girl can only keep a secret from EVERY.SINGLE.PRYING.PERSON for so long so a week later we invited family over to a gender reveal party.

(Despite the fact that when someone from Matt's work found out, they said we are too old to have a gender reveal party!  whaaha haha.)

I chose a way that would speak to Matt's heart in a very special way.  By blowing something up.

I can now add bomb-maker to my list of credentials.  (Chill out FBI... gender reveal bombs are a thing nowadays.  Don't add me to some watch list.  Pleaseandthankyou.)

Tannerite (I am girl.  I don't know what tannerite is or how it works.  I just know it somehow goes BOOM!) mixed with a ton of chalk powder and you have yourself a fancy shmancy gender reveal with a bang!

Here are a few photos from that little geriatric shin-dig, mostly blurry and overexposed because I had my camera settings wrong throughout most of the party.


the invite

a million meringues

I had a taco bar-but you can't tell here since most of the food wasn't out at this point.

For posterity, not for clarity.
I hung up pictures of all our children, us and our parents.  Hilariously, Matt guessed every one of our children wrong!  In his defense- we do seem to only make one model.
This would be Cricket at 24ish weeks.
fuzzy favors

The Girl Side

The Boy Side- a bit fuller, I'd say.
The sharp shooter, ready for action.  He was too! He got it on the first shot!

And in real time:

When he's right.... he's right!  :-)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Thirty Seven


For you, Beth! 28 weeks and feeling full term! 

 Soooo, I'm 37 now.  It's an interesting age. In my head, I still feel like a schoolgirl.  So much life still ahead of me, Lord willing.  So many things still to learn, so many ways I need to grow and mature, so much wisdom still to seek.  Being large with child, however, makes my body feel very OLD.  Lumbering about getting out of breath, unable to bend over easily, waddling around with sore legs and feet, wearing the same 6 things over and over and over and over....  it's a wonder to feel so old and so young at the same time.

I have often wondered if we ever truly feel 'old' in our brains.  Does an 80 year old feel the weight of her years- or does she feel like the same 'ole girl in those dusty black and white photos in the attic?  It seems almost like the older we get, the more we realize we don't know- and we realize how truly YOUNG our minds are yet all of this at just  the time that our bodies begin to wear out and ache.  Maybe it is a design feature- our minds are given a more and more childlike faith, ready and excited for the great good and glory of meeting our Lord, just when our broken bodies are ready to give up the ghost. 

Adele' picked me a bouquet of lilacs for my bed (I pity anyone without lilacs on their birthday) and Corynn and Andrew surprised me by baking a cheesecake for me all on their own and in secret!  I had to get the tires changed on our van that morning and was gone several hours so I had no idea they had done it until they brought out a beautiful cheesecake that evening.  And it was divine.  That may have been the very first time someone made me a birthday dessert.  Sweet children have I.

I just LOVE these days full of flowers and bouquets and sweet, spicy floral scents wafting through the air.  I keep time of the seasons by which flowers are in bloom.  It is peony season now and golly, do I love peonies. 

You know what else I love?  Finding a bunch of pictures on my camera that I didn't take!  The moon, laundry, calf-named Winston and bird flying shots were taken by someone other than me. 

One of my favorite instagram feeds is this one.  She inspires me every day with her gorgeous blossoms and floral art.  Flowers make me happy so it is no surprise.  She recently showed how to make some of her amazing floral headpieces and I just had to try it out.  Not nearly as elegant as her and wound up with ants creepy crawling in my hair, but it was so worth it.  It will not be my last flower crown, of that I am certain.

I finally finished Jane Eyre on audiobook.  Love it so much.  (Also- where we got the name Adele though when I read it the first time, I mispronounced it in my head.  I read it as A-de-lay, not Ah-dell so...whoopsie!)  I also finished Mrs. Miles' Diary, The Great Divorce and Virgil Wander, all within a week or so of each other. (I had started them all- except Virgil Wander- a month or so ago... I am not a reading machine!) I am now onto Rosario Butterfields' book The Gospel Comes With a Housekey: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World:.

Between that book on 'radically ordinary hospitality' where Rosario essentially lives to serve her neighbors and listening to a new-to-me podcast (which leaves me grinning and chortling every time I listen) in which Rachel Jankovic (a mother of seven) and her sister Beckah Merkle (mother of five) casually talk about hosting parties of 20-40+ people at their homes each week, I am feeling convicted that I could do better in the area of hospitality. 

I think I am pretty decent at throwing parties for large gatherings throughout the year, homeschool parties and reunions and holiday gatherings and picnics; making sure the house is super clean and making a menu of fancy food we don't normally eat and making a big deal about it. 

What I am feeling convicted about is getting better at inviting people into our ORDINARY lives, into our ordinary messes, into our ordinary food and having them feel welcome and at ease.  And not just 'our people', the easy ones we already like to hang out with- but those people who could really use friendship and neighborly love.  My hope is that if it is ordinary, then I will be more at ease in preparing for said gatherings instead of feeling overwhelmed at the prospect, and it will become more of a routine and less of an undertaking.  Also- large gatherings are great for small talk with lots of people and less good at worthwhile conversations.  Inviting individual families into our home will allow for deeper discussions on more intimate levels- which is an excellent thing.   I mentioned this to the kids, that this would be a new goal for me, and then we wound up having five different opportunities to have families over impromptu within the first two weeks!  I hope it keeps up.

On crafting: besides making silly floral headpieces and beautiful bouquets for the house, on Sunday I turned out a beach towel tote bag for my nephew for his birthday with funky cow fabric.  You turn the bag inside out and store the towel inside the pouch, along with any other treasures you want to bring along.  He's 8 now and I fear the handmade gift possibilities are dwindling.  I also knit a hat with a single skein of chunky baby yarn that I got for $1.00- but that really isn't good for much more than a hat.  Those chunky baby colored yarns- what else does one do with them? 

I want to knit Cricket a romper in the worst way but I really don't know if my skillset is good enough to actually be able to do it.  I am loving this one, or this one, or this, or this but, as usual, doubts bubble up and make me too afraid to start (and fail).  If you've ever knit a romper- how hard do you think they are?   Are they doable for an advanced beginner- which I guess is what I would call myself. 

Speaking of failing, tomorrow I have a 3 hour glucose test for gestational diabetes at the hospital because I failed the 1 hour test... I guess if ever I were to try to knit a romper, 3 hours in a waiting room is a good time to do so.

Friday, June 07, 2019


If friends from church ask if you might want some raisins....  it is POSSIBLE that 'some raisins' means a 20-something pound brick of them.

Bonus: it can double as a toddler chair until properly eaten.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019


Right above the sink, I painted the words "Do Not Grow Weary in Doing Good..." precisely because of the seemingly unending dirty dishes.  Apparently, she prefers sticky graphics and selfies for motivation. 

Before my double chin came back.  

She REEEEAAAAAALLLLLYYYY wants earrings...

Man, I love her squint.

First mowing for the boy

and the Papa (for this season, anyway)

First porch supper of the season (this was May 2nd.)  Now we eat out there daily (pretty much all meals) though sometimes still wrapped in blankets or sweatshirts.  It is strange how cold it can still get...

NOT funny Corynn.

I wonder what I will do when my beautiful mulch piles in the woods are finally emptied?  One of the only perks to having woods ransacked before you move in is the free mulch.  

We have more kittens!  They are cute- all four.  But they grow up!  So....anyone want a kitten?  You may have one or all four.  Thankyouverymuch.

The 'big girls' got invited to a fancy shmancy Girls' Night Out at the Philharmonic. 

I love (and hate!) how grown up they became a few minutes before we had to leave.

And the little girl wanted to be fancy too- so she put on her skirt wig for some lush locks. 

Nothing fancier my dear!

Here's all the lovely ladies of the evening.  Not a nicer crew of girls was ever found.
Bet you can't guess which is the chaperone!  Such a fresh-faced mother of nine.

And it rains!  The garden is a swamp!

The weeds skyrocket!

And I discovered our fresh raw milk is pure gold!