Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2009

Christmas was a wonderful celebration this year, made ever so enjoyable by the exuberance of little ones. They were excited about every aspect of the holiday. We taught them Christmas carols, decorated gingerbread houses, decorated our house, looked at the Christmas lights in our neighborhood, made a paper chain, shopped for Angel Tree gifts and delivered them to a family in need, and most importantly, read the Bible to remember the true meaning of Christmas. It is nice to get back to regular life, I will admit, and I feel my nesting instincts kicking into high gear as March seems right around the corner when we will meet our new little girl. Happy New Year to anyone that still checks my blog!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


That question has been asked of me, and my answer is............I dunno. I do have alot of other things to do during the day besides blogging, but truth be told that I could find time if I wanted to. I think that I have become frustrated with blogging and the weird world it creates. I think that if I do continue to blog, it will just be updates on our family and pictures of the kids. I just haven't found blogging a good way to talk about anything of substance. I think that it could work on an anonymous blog, but not on our personal one. I have even stopped reading many other blogs because I end up reading the comments and they usually go like this:

blogger post: I have a question for you readers....

comment #1: I have found that for me..........

comment #2: You must not know blogger because she is the best blah blah blah

comment #3: I didn't mean to offend, just offering advice..........

comment #4: Those type of people are so..........

And so on and so forth.

I can't tell you how many times I have read this scenario but at least a dozen that I can recall.

So if I do continue to blog, which I think that I will on maybe a weekly basis, it will be geared to those people that know us and care about seeing pictures and updates of my kids. (Ellie is walking around the house right now with a baby doll giving her kisses. So cute!) For those people that know me and want my opinion on current events or anything possibly contentious, email me and ask. (No, I don't expect any of those!)

We just got home from a week in CA, so I will try the new blogging schedule soon. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Psalm 146 for Election Day

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Got To Go On A Little Trip!

I have really been missing my friend Rohnda lately, so I asked Jeromy if there was any way I could fly to Minnesota to go visit her. He coincidentally needed to use a few vacation days before the beginning of the month so that he wouldn't lose them, which meant the timing worked out really well. He agreed to keep the older kids, so Ellie and I flew to Minnesota last Wednesday and were able to spend 6 days with my special friend. Rohnda had a large part in my becoming a Christian (we were neighbors in Hawaii) so we have a special bond. It was nice to get away for a little while, talk way too much, and watch a few too many "chick flicks." Her husband went on a trip Friday, so I was able to keep her company and help her keep her mind off of not going for a visit to Hawaii with him. It was hard, but she made it! I didn't bring my camera, but Rohnda took a few pictures to prove I did indeed come to visit. Ellie's birthday was on Sunday (a birthday post will follow) so we bought her some gluten free cookies to celebrate with and sang to her throughout the day. I am glad to be home and missed my family desperately. I had never been away from Bennett and Rachel for that long, so it was hard. I had a wonderful visit, but it is always nice to get back home. Thank you Rohnda for a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Computers.... You love them and you hate them.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

'If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.'

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash........
Twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single 'This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation' warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask 'Are you sure?' before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none o f the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the 'Start' button to turn the engine off.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bulllet Points

Since it is almost 11 am and I need to take a shower still and shouldn't be blogging I will quickly update all 5 of you on Markwort news:

-I had my first midwife appointment yesterday and got to hear the little 13 week heartbeat. What a precious sound that is!

-I have been extremely faintish lately which I also was with Bennett's pregnancy. I am also a bit underweight which seems hilarious to me because I have actually seen myself in the mirror. The dizziness might just mean I need to eat more and more often. Yuck, I hardly want to eat at all, so that is a tall order. It all seems so Victorian to me and I wish I had a fainting couch, although I would do without the corset.

-I have read 5 books in the last two weeks. I haven't read a book prior to that in the last year. I am not a very balanced person.

-Ellie weighs 16 pounds. The last time I weighed her, she weighed 9 1/2 pounds at 4 weeks. She is following the same pattern that Rachel did. She is really low on the weight curve at a year old and then she will spike big time in the next year. I doubt she will get as gigantic as Rachel is (previously known as the world's largest two year old.)

-I am taking Ellie with me on a trip to Minnesota to visit my dear friend next week. Jeromy is going to take the older two camping by himself. Yeah, I totally think he is crazy, but he is much more of an optimist than I am :)

-I am working on a reading program with Bennett called the Victory Drill Book (I used it when I was in Kindergarten. Yes, it's still around!) It is a "how many words can you read correctly in one minute" test that you pass when you reach 30 words for a Kindergartener. It is broken down into short vowel sounds to start with and he has already passed short a and e. I also have been working on phonics rules with him loosely while we are reading books that have them in it. I have started using first grade curriculum with Bennett as he was bored with the Kindergarten stuff. He is more challenged and alot happier now.

-Rachel has learned: letters in her name, counting to 20, recognizing most numbers 1-10, saying her alphabet correctly- still working on l-m-n-o-p, counting 10 objects, knows all the basic colors and shapes, draws a circle and a line. Boy she is a squirmy one. Homeschooling her will be more challenging than Bennett.

That's about it. I better go do what I should be doing now! (I still need to go make hamburger buns too. Yes, make. Gluten-Free eating is labor intensive, and I haven't felt up to baking lately, so we are out of everything!) Have a great Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Need a Professional Organizer?

Bennett informed me this afternoon that his official job in our house is "organizer." He went on to tell me how he likes so much to organize things and likes things to all be put away and neat. This was after this morning when he went through every room in the house, including the bathroom, and picked up and put away anything on the floors and counters, organized the shoes in the closets, made the beds etc. He didn't just throw things on shelves and under beds either. He put them away neatly and organized the other things already there as well. I didn't realize he was doing this until I looked around and thought that maybe I should vacuum because the floors looked pretty clear. They were ALL clear! Way to get your mom in gear, Bennett.

When I was pregnant with Bennett, I had thought I wanted to have a girl first. In a large family, I imagined how nice it would be to have a daughter who could be my little helper with the cooking and household chores. I didn't realize that the Lord was answering my prayers in a different form. He gave me Bennett who is 50 times more helpful than Rachel on her best day. From the age of two, Bennett has helped with the laundry, dusted, put his own toys away, cleaned floors. No we aren't running a little sweatshop, he has always wanted to help. He is still that way and looks forward to the day that he can start cooking for me too. He loves that he is big enough now to carry in groceries and unload the bags. It is quite remarkable, and I am very thankful for this special little boy. (Disclaimer: Yes, he gets the "everything in its place" from me, but he has taken it to another level. The messy shoes in my closet weren't bothering me enough to do anything about them. They drove him crazy every time he came into my room. I feel bad for his future wife, he will run a tight ship!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Lady Named Irena Sendler

There recently was the death of a 98-year-old lady named Irena Sendler.
During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.

She had an ulterior motive...

She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews, (being German).

Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of her tool box she carried, and she also carried in the back of her truck a Burlap sack, (for larger kids).

She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

During her time and course of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.

She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.

After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it, and reunited the family.

Most, of course, had been gassed.

Those kids she helped were placed into foster family homes or adopted.

Last year Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize....


Al Gore won for doing a slide show on Global Warming.

(author unknown)

Monday, September 8, 2008

The County Fair 2008

We made our yearly pilgrimage to the county fair once again this year. We never miss it, and as usual, fun was had by all. Jeromy took a half day on Friday and rode the bus to the fair with the older two kids after they ate lunch, so that they could get in hours of rides to make those wrist bands worth their exorbitant price. I stayed home, napped with Ellie, and brought dinner, so that we didn't have to eat fair food. (It is SO expensive and never very good!) We looked at the animals, the kids rode more rides, and then we went and watched the rodeo for an hour or so until the cotton candy ran out and the kids wanted MORE RIDES!

I love seeing the huge smiles on the faces of my happy kids!

Rachel's favorite ride was the HUGE slide that I was shocked she could climb all the stairs up to. She looked so tiny, and she got so brave that she was pushing herself down the slide with her hands so she could go even faster. What a daredevil!

The mini roller coaster.

Jeromy and the kids in front of a police assault vehicle. Jeromy thought it was so funny that it is an armored vehicle made to withstand anything, but you couldn't touch it.

Rachel coming down her slide.

Serious Bennett laughing like that just cracks me up! I love seeing him be silly.

While walking through the cow barn, we stopped to talk to the owner of the longhorns. He was sitting inside the pen with his cattle which seemed pretty brave. He told us that they were completely docile, and he pointed out to one of them that he said he rides all the time. He asked Bennett if he wanted to ride one and of course he did. The kid has no healthy sense of life preservation. The cow looks pretty innocent in this picture, but he kept trying to see what was on his back.

The cow actually started poking Bennett with his horns, and Bennett started looking a little nervous. I think the owner noticed too because he pulled Bennett off at that point. As if a lesson needed to be learned about not riding animals that can gore you, here ya go!

This is the only ride that Bennett was afraid of two years ago when they went on the rides. He cried the whole time because he was so scared of the spinning. This year was quite different. He wanted to ride with the fastest spinners possible. This group of innocent looking girls was just the ticket to crazy amounts of spinning. He was loving it.

Ellie on her way to a meltdown past her bedtime.

Ellie having the meltdown!

The last ride of the night. The lines got so long, so we were glad that the kids got in all their rides earlier in the day. I love the headlock that Bennett has Rachel in.

Me enjoying the blessing of my children.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Time For an Update

I know that I am excused from any regular blogging while in my first trimester, and it is nice to not feel the pressure and guilt of not posting. The truth is that I am feeling pretty good. Well, I will back up a little bit and tell the complete story.

I had been feeling functionally nauseous since I found out that I was pregnant. As long as I kept my stomach full, I was okay. We had a week-long camping trip to CA planned since before I got pregnant that we were planning on still doing. On Sunday I took a major turn for the worse. I felt the severe nausea that I did with Ellie's pregnancy and spent Monday and Tuesday pretty much on the couch all day. (Lying down is the only thing that has a chance of keeping me from getting sick.) I was preparing myself for the long haul of being really sick for the next month or so (remember, I had no idea how far along I was to even know how long to prepare for.) I decided to eat more Wednesday morning so that my stomach would be more full going into lunch when I started feeling really bad. The really bad never came. Hungry, still kinda tired, but back to the nausea that can be controlled by eating. I talked Jeromy into taking me to Red Robin for dinner. I was totally craving the CA Chicken burger (chicken, bacon, guacamole wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun) and lots of french fries. I was very happy to have my craving satisfied, but starting to wonder why I was feeling so good. Thursday was the same thing. Very mild symptoms. The reason this was worrying me is because this is exactly what happened with my miscarriages. The symptoms just got better one day.

After a very bad night sleep on Thursday and realizing that I was worried and pretty sure I was going to miscarry again, I had an ultrasound scheduled for Friday afternoon. I needed to know what was going on inside there. I prepared myself for the worst and was pretty resigned to not seeing a baby or a heart beat. 32 ounces of water was consumed (Is THAT much water really necessary? I have had 3 babies and this seems really cruel on the 'ol bladder!) and the ultrasound was started. There he was. A little wiggly baby with those little arms and legs and rapidly beating heart. I am so happy I went in for the ultrasound. Now I can just relax, enjoy the pregnancy and be thankful that I am not horribly sick. I am 9 1/2 weeks along and due March 22. With my luck that probably means early April! I say "he" because I wasn't as sick with Bennett's pregnancy as the girls, so I am telling myself that it must mean it's a boy. Jeromy likes to find out the sex (I like the surprise) so we'll see who gets to pick this time. It is my turn for a surprise, but we'll have to talk :)

That's all for now, we went to the fair last night, so I will have a picture update soon!

(Oh yeah, we aren't going camping after all. With my not feeling well and now my mom not feeling well, we decided that being over 8 hours away from home, living in the woods wasn't a good idea. The kids are sure disappointed, but I am trying to talk Jeromy into taking the older two overnight somewhere to go fishing.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Here are the reasons why chickens cross the road:

The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!

My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

To die in the rain. Alone.

Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too.

In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

I invented the chicken!

Did I miss one?

Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

Monday, August 18, 2008

China confiscates Bibles from American Christians

BEIJING A group of American Christians who had more than 300 Bibles confiscated by Chinese officials when they arrived in China is refusing to leave the airport until they get the books back, their leader said Monday.

The group arrived in the southwestern city of Kunming on Sunday as China hosts the Summer Olympics in Beijing, its capital.

Pat Klein said he and three others from his Vision Beyond Borders group spent the night at the airport after customs officers took the Bibles from their checked luggage.

"I heard that there's freedom of religion in China, so why is there a problem for us to bring Bibles?" said Klein, whose Sheridan, Wyoming-based group distributes Bibles and Christian teaching materials around the world.

The Bibles were printed in Chinese, he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Last year, false media reports claimed Bibles would be banned from the Olympic Games. The state-run China Daily reported last month that 10,000 bilingual copies of the Bible would be distributed in the Olympic Village, which houses athletes and media.

In China, Bibles are legally printed at just one plant - the world's largest - run by a Communist government-backed Christian association, and are available in many bookstores. But the officially atheistic government prohibits proselytizing and is worried that if the spread of religion goes unchecked, believers might ultimately challenge the Communist Party's authority.

A woman on duty at Kunming airport's customs office confirmed over the telephone late Sunday that 315 Bibles were found in the passengers' checked baggage.

The officer, who would only give her last name, Xiao, denied confiscating the Bibles. She said authorities were just "taking care" of them and provided no further details. She later said she was not authorized to speak to the media and referred questions to the national customs headquarters in Beijing, which did not answer phones on Sunday.

On Monday morning, Klein said Chinese officials had shown the group what they said were regulations that banned bringing Bibles into China, but that the documents were in Chinese. "We are waiting for them to come back with the law in English," he said.

Chinese officials had asked the Christians to leave the room at the airport where they spent the night, but Klein told the officials they did not want to go without the Bibles.

Klein said the customs officers had told him that they could each have one Bible for personal use, but no more than that. He said the officers had videotaped them and were insisting that they leave the airport.

"We don't want to go without taking those books. It cost us a lot of money to bring them here," Klein said. "They're saying that it's illegal to bring the Bibles in and that if we wanted to, we had to apply ahead of time for permission."

China faces routine criticism for human rights violations and repression of religious freedom. Religious practice is heavily regulated by the Communist Party, with worship allowed only in party-controlled churches, temples and mosques, while those gathering outside risk harassment, arrest and terms in labor camps or prison.

A Chinese Christian activist was detained Aug. 10, the opening weekend of the Olympics, on his way to a church service attended by President Bush in Beijing. A rights group said later that the activist, Hua Huiqi, a leader of the unofficial Protestant church in Beijing, had escaped from police and was in hiding.

Police have denied any involvement in Hua's disappearance.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

HCG Levels

I got the results back from my second hormone test, and the levels are a little bit higher. Yay!!! They are not doubling anymore because at 8-11 weeks, they level out and then start to go down a little bit in the second trimester. I am really excited and can't wait to hear a heartbeat! I always feel so much better then. I am a little shocked that everything is okay, call me a pessimist, but I have been guarded and trying not to get too excited. Well, I am excited now! Now to just get through the morning sickness!

Sufficiently Sick?

My midwife suggested on Friday that I take an HCG hormone level test to tell us whether or not my levels are increasing and how high they are. They are supposed to double every two to three days in the first trimester, so if mine are going down, I will know that a miscarriage is imminent. I had someone say how awful that is to want to find out, and while it would be sad news, I would definitely rather know now than have it be a surprise later. I had the second test done on Monday, so I should find out this afternoon what the second reading was. My midwife called me yesterday with the first results, and she was very pleased with how high they were. She also said that the levels were consistent with me being around 8-9 weeks along which was my best guess as well. I figured that I first noticed symptoms around 5-6 weeks along and that would put me at 8-9 weeks right now. I am also starting to feel much sicker every day that goes by which usually happens around that time as well. Although with Ellie's pregnancy, I was really sick starting at 3-4 weeks. So, I am guardedly hopeful that I may break the every other pregnancy cycle, and we will have a new baby the end of March. I got my first (of what I am assuming will be many) comments about being pregnant with such a little baby from the phlebotomist. Ellie will be 18 months when the new baby arrives which is not uncommon or even as close as many siblings we know happen to be, but people still like to comment about how "full" my hands will be. I had to tell her that they are pretty full as it is, so what's one more to add to the barrel of monkeys :) Someone else commented recently about how small our house is and where we are going to keep putting "them all." I told her that at least the kids are small, and we will just keep stacking them. I am very happy that we have bunk beds with a trundle because we really CAN keep stacking them :) Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ohanapecosh with the Covers

We did our first camping trip of the summer a few weeks ago. We met our pastor and his family up at Mt. Rainier for a couple of days of fellowship and fun. Previous camping trips we have borrowed a friend's trailer to pull all of our stuff because there just isn't enough room in our small van, especially with Ellie in the middle row now. We planned on squeezing Ellie's car seat in the middle seat between Bennett and Rachel in the third row, but when Jeromy tried, it didn't fit. We had several options at this point. Buy a smaller carseat for her to use when we need to squeeze her back there, borrow a trailer, buy a trailer, buy a platform that attaches to our hitch, or just make do with the space we got. I got on Craigslist to see what I could find, and I came across a cheap but old tent trailer. I called Jeromy, and he decided that we would drive the hour north to go look at it. Oh, let me mention that this was Tuesday night, and we were scheduled to leave on Thursday morning.

Long story short, the trailer needed some work, but the price was right, and we bought it. We registered it, got new tires for it and got on the road a little later than planned on Thursday.

The roof has quite a few rips that need to be repaired, but we decided to use duct tape as a short term fix until we have time to sew. It has two queen beds and two tables that fold into two full beds.

Sleeping arrangement on night one were: Jeromy in one queen bed by himself. It was too short for him, so he had to sleep diagonally. Ellie was in her port-a-crib where one of the tables were detached. Bennett and Rachel shared a queen bed and I slept below them in the full bed. I have a hard time sleeping in the best of circumstances, but add in camping and sleeping with 100s of other people close by, and I usually have a hard time. I put in my ear plugs, but was bothered that when the trailer moved and shook around, I couldn't hear if anyone was in distress. The night was pretty bad with Rachel kicking and fussing all night, bothering Bennett and me constantly having to move her off of him. I am not sure if she is just a very restless sleeper or if it was the environment. Night one: no sleep.

Our first full day of camping we hiked to a waterfall and had a great time. It is a little under 3 miles round trip which is a long walk for little ones, but they all did great. The Covers have 8 children, so there were lots of people to help us with ours. Samuel wore Ellie on the hike, and Bennett walked with the older boys most of the time.

That is one of the slugs that Bennett found on the trail, and yes, he did lick it. He is so my son!

Ellie finally fell asleep.

Pictures around the campfire. It was cold, so we kept a fire going most of the time and hovered over it.

Night 2: Jeromy and Ellie stayed in the same places, I slept in the queen bed with Bennett and Rachel got the full one below us to herself. I was so tired that I fell asleep immediately which is so unusual for me. I was jarred awake at some point soon thereafter by Rachel kicking and fussing which kept waking up Ellie who would then rustle around for a half hour before going back to sleep which would wake up Jeromy who would toss and turn and shake the trailer all around. I tried to get Rachel to stop fussing. I woke her up and talked to her and finally took her blankie away and told her she could have it if she lay still and was quiet. This unfortunately had the opposite effect. She started screaming and crying as loudly as she could and nothing would make her stop. It took me 20 minutes to get her calmed down. At this point, Ellie decided it was all too much in the middle of the night and started screaming and crying. She wouldn't take her binky and was mad! I brought her in bed with me and nursed her, and we both fell asleep for a couple of hours before morning. Bennett is a champ of a sleeper. It is like sleeping with a rock. What are we going to do about Rachel? I was a wreck after 2 nights of little sleep. We are going camping for a week later this month, so what are we going to do with a week of no sleep? Someone help me!

It was a nice time, even without sleep, and we love our dear Covers! We make quite a crew don't we? I didn't know about Bennett's face until I looked at the pictures either. He is such a clown sometimes :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bennett the Pollywog

We decided to do swim lessons this summer with the kids. It is quite a commitment to go for two whole weeks every day, but I knew that Bennett needed some practice in the water to be more comfortable by the time we go to the lake for a week later this month. He started out the week a bit tentative, and I nearly yanked him out of the lessons after the first day of seeing some really naughty kids, but we stuck it out and it turned out great. I had Bennett stay toward the end of the line away from the boys, so he didn't have to get caught up in their ADD craziness. It is called discipline people. I was so sad to see what a bad start these boys were getting in life. Not being taught self control, yes, taught because it isn't natural, is setting them up for some major problems (for their teacher and other students who can't learn because they are so disruptive) down the road. If I were at all on the fence about homeschooling before (I was not) this would have solidified my decision.

Anyhoo, by day three, Bennett was bobbing his head under the water unassisted thinking it was the greatest thing in the world. He learned his back float, tummy float, crawl arms, turtle arms, blowing bubbles, jumping in the pool, and going under water. He was a pro and did everything asked of him. I was so proud of him!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Tricks

I have been so bad about blogging lately that I can't even remember what I have posted about Ellie in the last few months, and I am too lazy to go back and look, so here is the recap (or the first time sharing, whatever the case may be :P)

Ellie has been crawling on her knees, finally. Before, she just army crawled on her belly I think mostly due to our hardwood and tile floors. I moved out the coffee table, so she has a large area on the rug to crawl around now, and she uses about 50% knees, 50% feet and kind of does a a funny push off with the side of her feet. She really just uses the crawling to get herself to where she wants to stand. She stands everywhere, all the time and is officially into EVERYTHING. It is kind of driving me batty! We have never babyproofed things. We have always just taken the time to teach them what, "No hands," means. I forgot how time consuming this is and for it to work I need to be more consistent with it. I can't tell her, "No," 50 times for touching the CD's and then let her do it once because I am too busy to stop what I am doing because that undoes the previous 50 times she wasn't allowed to get away with it. Yeah, I could use a clone of myself right now, and maybe she could carry the new baby this time :) Just kidding (mostly!)

Ellie's favorite activity in the kitchen is opening the drawer with the kid dishes in it and throwing them all over the floor. Unfortunately, they actually eat off of these, so this doesn't work out so well.

Check out those tiny little twig legs. I am still amazed that they are strong enough to keep her standing. (And yes, I know they look just like mine!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Beijing Olympics

Expert on Forced Abortions in China Urges Boycott of Beijing Summer Olympics

Washington, DC ( -- A leading expert on the brutal campaign of forced abortions and sterilizations that accompany China's one-child family planning policy is urging a boycott of the Summer Olympics. Steven Mosher, of the Population Research Institute, says the games will legitimatize China's abhorrent human rights records.

"The Olympics is intended to be a celebration of the human spirit," Mosher said.

'"But the spirit of the Chinese people, not to mention the spirit of the Tibetans and other minorities, is being crushed under the weight of an oppressive regime," he explained.

"We should no more celebrate the Olympics in China in 2008, than we should have celebrated the Olympics in Nazi-controlled Berlin in 1936," Mosher told

Although China is hoping to gloss over the problems during the games, Mosher says its record on forced abortions has gotten worse instead of better in recent years.

"China is one of the worst violators of human rights in the world," he explains. "Giving the Chinese Communist Party bragging rights over the games makes a mockery of their meaning."

As recently as May, a Chinese court upheld a decision by Beijing authorities to prohibit the wife of a leading opponent of forced abortions there from leaving the country.

Yuan Weijing had hoped to be in the Philippines in August to accept an award for her husband.

Yuan is married to Chen Guangcheng, a blind attorney whom Chinese officials jailed for preparing a class action lawsuit defending more than 10,000 women in Linyi who became victims of forced abortions and sterilizations two years ago.

Chen exposed the barbarism to the world in interviews with American media outlets and he was detained by local officials afterwards and sent to prison on bogus charges.

Mosher has formed the "Beijing Boycott Coalition" to oppose the Beijing Olympics. His group invites activists and groups of different backgrounds to join in protesting ongoing human rights violations in China by refusing to watch the games or patronize its sponsors.

The Beijing Boycott Coalition reaches across ideological boundaries to include all those who care deeply about human rights and the Chinese people, and want to send a message to the Beijing regime, he explained.

Related web sites:
Beijing Boycott Coalition
Population Research Institute

(I don't think I will be boycotting the Olympics, but I will be watching them with the knowledge that China not only has a horrid record on human rights when it comes to forced abortions, but also in regards to religion. Christians are still beaten and jailed for meeting outside of the "official" Christian church and are sometimes jailed for years on trumped up charges. I am disappointed that the Olympic committee would be willing to hold the Olympics in Beijing and allow the Chinese government to falsely bolster their reputation without their need to change. I just heard a report today that a local Chinese newspaper published a picture of students wearing bloody t-shirts in Tiananmen Square after the confrontation, and they were forced to remove the picture from their website and all the newspapers were removed from newsstands. How about that for freedom. I will be remembering these things while watching the Olympics.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ellie's Favorite Time of the Day

Miss Ellie Bellie has decided in the last month that food is where her happiness can be found. She is eating lunch and dinner consisting of half a jar of fruit for lunch and half a jar of vegetables for dinner each mixed with a hefty amount of rice cereal. Anyone who has seen the bowl of food is astounded that she could finish it all. She can, and I learned early on that if I didn't make enough, she would scream and cry until more appeared before her. I think that she is starting to fill out just a little bit which makes mommy happy although she is developing very normally which helps me not to worry about her petiteness so much. Bennett enjoys getting involved in the process too, and although he makes quite an impressive mess, it helps me greatly that he can feed her while I get lunch ready for us.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Well, I found out why I have been so unmotivated to blog lately. Drumroll please.

I am pregnant again.

I know, big surprise! When i told my mom, she said that she has been waiting for an announcement for the last few weeks. I guess when people know that you don't prevent pregnancy, it is assumed that a new pregnancy is imminent around 8-12 months after the last baby is born. It really shouldn't be supposed because there are no guarantees of a new baby, but that's what happens. I don't have any trouble getting pregnant, my problem has been keeping the first pregnancy after I give birth. I am trying to stay positive, but it is hard knowing that I have miscarried after Bennett and Rachel and not assuming after Ellie too. It is all about trusting in the Lord, His timing, and His plan, so this is where I give it over to Him and trust that He knows what He is doing.

I am just concentrating on sleeping all the time, eating constantly and making sure a bathroom is close by at all times. Oh the joys of the first trimester. This is my 6th first trimester. It does feel like I am a pro at it by now, although I am still holding out for mild morning sickness. Jeromy refuses to let me talk about it like I will definitely be really sick again, but he is more of an optimist than I!

Keep us and this little new one in your prayers, especially that I will be able to enjoy it instead of worrying about whether or not I will miscarry.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Obama: Made For TV or the Real Deal?

Subject: First Hand Report on BarackObama's visit to Afghanistan

This is a first hand account from the cousin of one of our friends.

I don't know each of your personal political convictions,
but I thought it was important enough to share.
This is Jeff's first hand view of Senator Obama.
> Jacki>
> ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
> Hello everyone,
> As you know I am not a very political person. I just
> wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan for
> about an hour on his visit to 'The War Zone'. I wanted to share with you
> what happened.
> He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof
> vehicle, got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is
> the commander here at Bagram.
> As the Soldiers were lined up to shake his hand he
> blew them off and didn't say a word as he went into the conference room
> to meet the General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the
> ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play
> basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity
> pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to
> Soldiers to thank them for their service.
> So really he was just here to make a showing for the
> American's back home that he is their candidate for President. I think
> that if you are going to make an effort to come all the way over here
> you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are
> providing for you.
> I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball
> Players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheer leaders than from the Senator, who wants
> to be the President of the United States . I just don't understand how
> anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that
> he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and
> our great country.
> If this is blunt and to the
> point I am sorry but I wanted you all to know what kind of caliber of
> person he really is. What you see in the news is all fake.
> In service,
> CPT Jeffrey S. Porter
> Battle Captain
> TF Wasatch
> American Soldier

Monday, July 7, 2008


Yes, it has been a long time between blogs lately but feeling lousy for so long has set me way behind with life. That combined with some potty training setbacks, I have had alot to do around the house. We picked 50 pounds of cherries (at least) this last week, so I have been drying and baking and eating cherries, cherries, cherries. I love this time of year! Bennett starts swimming lessons tonight, so I will take some pictures of the very excited boy! The lessons are every night at 5, so I will have to be very organized with dinners this week before I go. I decided to do one session with Bennett, then one with Rachel and maybe a third in a higher level with Bennett again. I'll see how it goes (and how hot it is outside!) Summertime is always busy for us, but I will try to be a better blogger :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Headache, Sore Throat, Coughing, OH MY!

I was sick a couple of weeks ago, but have been plagued by the same malaise for another week, so I am thinking it is a really bad case of allergies. It is either allergies or strep throat which when I went online to research it found out that even if I went on antibiotics, it only cuts the time of suffering down by 1.5 days, so what's the point? My head has been so full of pounding pressure that when I cough, it feels like it is going to explode. The coughing doesn't feel so hot on the sore throat either. I had my tonsils out when I was 17, and I haven't had a sore throat this bad since. It is so swollen that it feels like it might close shut. It has been pretty depressing to feel sick for so long. I don't think Jeromy enjoyed my coughing ALL NIGHT LONG either. I told him yesterday that if I was going to feel like this every year from allergies, we were going to have to move. His reply was, "To Hawaii!" It is Jeromy's dream to move there. I lived there for 3 years and don't know that I would want to live there full time, but Jeromy and I spent 3 weeks there for our honeymoon, and he loved it. Needless to say, my allergies were great there. Next year in Hawaii? Who knows!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ellie is on the Move!

Ellie overnight has gained many skills I haven't been keeping up with posting about. Last week I went into her room to get her up from her nap, and she was sitting up in her crib. I had yet to see her accomplish this feat, so I was quite surprised! She isn't crawling yet but is scooting a bit and pulled herself up to standing on the laundry basket Saturday morning. She is standing before crawling?! I didn't know that was a possibility, but I am happy with any new skills she masters that help me not worry that she is too small and skinny. She will be 9 months on Saturday which is unbelievable! I know that some babies skip crawling all together, but I hope that she isn't one of them. What I am not looking forward to is her crawling after me wherever I go crying and tugging at my skirt because she wants to be held. At least now, I can put her down on the area rug with some toys so that she can't see me. She is so bad about seeing me but not being held by me. I am always told wherever we are not to come into the room because Ellie is happy with someone else. That is so terrible! Here are some of her new tricks. (She starts out on her belly, pushes herself into the crawling position, and then always stands on her head for a while. It is too funny.)