Wednesday, December 24, 2008


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I just need to say...

God is Good!

I praise You Jesus for Your provision!

Thank You!

It's Official....

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Nadia is finally potty trained. She's been day trained for quite some time now and nighttime she's been dry for at least a month, but we were too chicken to give regular underwear a shot. But she did it. She used big girl underwear last night and came out dry. I can't believe it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dishes... Yuk

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Let me state for the record I loathe dirty dishes. I don't like washing them, rinsing them, drying them or putting them away. Everything about doing dishes I don't like. We even have a nice dishwasher. The only thing I like about doing dishes that way is turning it on. That is short lived, however, when the machine is done. Because then I have to put them away. Groan. Hubby knows this and he does them whenever possible. But I rarely ask him to, because I know he's busy. And when I do ask him to help with the dishes it's usually to do it together. Like a working date. All that said, I do them anyway. And I don't complain, I don't whine about it. It's one of those things that you just gotta do. And when they are done, it's really nice. But I don't have to like it.

I've discovered something this evening that makes the whole process easier. We have a few hand-washables that for whatever reason don't go in the dishwasher. And usually we dirty one or two of those everyday. Not enough to do once a day, so I wait till have a at least 3 days worth. But by that time the food particles are almost permanently adhered to the surface. And I'll stand there scrubbing away. But tonight I had an epiphany. Before I got Nadia ready for bed I filled the sink with the hottest water I could get, put the dishes in that and let them soak. 30 minutes later the water was cool enough to work and the food particles wiped right off. Dishes were almost no work at all. I know to some of you this is a no brainer. But this is a revelation to me. It helps me to get it done better. And easier.

Now if I could find a great way to get the house dusted more than once a quarter.

Our Christmas Letter

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Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen How thy desires e'er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Greetings Family and Friends!

While 2008 was a busy and full year, it was also a blessed year. As the song states, our many desires were granted in His time, in what He ordained. And we praise Him for his provision.

The beginning of the year found Andrew and I taking a short vacation in celebration of our fifth year of marriage. We stayed a few nights at a local state park for some much needed rest and relaxation. Nadia had some extra special visiting with Andrew's mom and dad while we were away.
Soon after we discovered we were expecting another little one, much to our delight!
Sadly, also around that time my maternal grandmother's health was failing. My mom made a trip up to Pennsylvania and we both visited Grandma. Soon after our visit she passed away. We are grateful she didn't suffer long and is now at rest.
After 6 months we finally got an offer on our old house. That was an ordeal, but we did end up finalizing everything and selling the house by the end of April. It took a while, but it all worked out and we are out from underneath that mortgage.
In March I attended the Women's Ministry Retreat in Ohio with my best friend Sara and a wonderful friend from church. An enormous blizzard also decided to go to the retreat. It dumped at least a foot of snow on the ground while we were driving there and Saturday we ended up getting stranded at the convention center with 500 other women. Thank goodness they made the men's bathrooms into women's! But I didn't hear one complaint out of the whole bunch. Somehow they fed and kept us entertained until we were released that evening. We were told to go straight to our hotels, which we did and finished out the retreat the next morning before venturing home.
By May we discovered we were going to have a healthy boy and that the OB/GYN was going to let their midwives go in August. I was so disappointed. We prayed and searched and finally decided upon a homebirth with a midwife. It was the best decision for us. Home visits are so much better than dr's offices.
We also planted the largest garden I've ever planted (aside from the ones I helped with as a child). We had four plots tilled and planted with food! We had a pepper and tomato patch, a corn patch, a potato patch and then a general garden that had peas, beans, carrots, lettuce, squash and things like that. I planted sweet potatoes for the first time and they did wonderfully!! Everything else did really well too and I am looking forward to another garden next year.
June was another busy month. Nadia and I traveled to Ohio to attend my best friend Sara's Masters Graduation. Then we were all apart of our Church's VBS program, during which time we received a visit from my Aunt and Uncle from Michigan. The next weekend we went camping with our other family out in Ohio. Actually they camped, we cabin-ed. A 6 month pregnant body does not do air mattresses. No way.
We spent the next month organizing the basement, moving my sewing stuff down to the basement and setting up a new room for Nadia in the back room. Nadia's old room would be the baby's room. Nadia now has a huge room, complete with a small 'sitting' area. She loves it, and didn't miss her old room at all.
Nadia turned 3 in August and we had a party for her. I learned that parties for children under the age of 5 are overrated. Oh it was fun, don't get me wrong, but I was wore out! And we only had 4 little girls and just about double the adults. She had loads of fun and got loads of presents, but I think all other birthday parties will be after they turn 5.
We had a wonderful visit from my best friend and her hubby in August as well. We all visited a local state park for some swimming and hiking. It was great fun and so good to see friends.
The garden decided to 'bless' right around this time too. Oh boy oh boy! I was canning, baking, blanching and putting up to beat the band. I have so many shiny jars of colorful food in my basement shelves and bags upon bags of frozen goodies, it's wonderful.
Much of the time after that was spent in preparation for the baby. I prepped dozens of meals for the freezer, organized and caught up on odd jobs around the house, did some large scale shopping to stock up and got the things we would need for the birth together. We also finally got the baby's room put together. After all of those things were done I finally felt like I could actually have this baby. At that point we just waited.
And waited.
It seemed like the only thing we did in September was wait for the baby to come, but that's not true. We harvested our first try at Sweet Potatoes and boy did they ever do well! We planted 12 slips and dug up a 5 gallon bucket full. They are very tasty too. We dug up our Yukon Gold potatoes as well. I continued to can many things, in fact, I was canning right up until the day before I went into labor.
Then our waiting was finally over and our son, Rhys (pronounced Reece) Athanasius was born September 27 at 5:05 am at home after a 3 and half hour labor. He was 6 lbs 14 oz, 19 ½ inches long and very healthy. The delivery went smoothly. Andrew's mom and dad came up to help around the house for a couple of days. Nadia is enamored with her little brother and continues to be an excited little helper to me. Somewhere around that time Andrew had another birthday. I think I remember celebrating it.
It's been eight years since Andrew felt called to Seminary. In October we celebrated Andrew's approval for Lifetime Ordination. His ordination ceremony will be at the annual conference this coming April. Thank you for your many prayers.
The congregation is taking good care of us. They just put all new windows in the parsonage, it's a little cozier now.
I celebrated my birthday in November. I turned the infamous 29 that every woman seems to be these days. Only I'm really 29. I can't believe I'm this old. I suppose it only gets worse.
It seems the year is going to end on a sad note. As of the writing of this letter my paternal Grandmother, Evelyn (Nadia's namesake) is suffering with the effects of a massive stroke. The outlook is not good and everyone is waiting at this point. Please pray for Evelyn and our family.

Overall 2008 has been a year of tremendous blessings and deep sorrows. It has run the gamut. But we have learned the Lord provides and sustains. We praise Him.

Christmas blessings and much love,

Andrew, Kathryn, Nadia and Rhys

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen sound from His people again
Gladly for aye we adore Him!

For You.....Evil Christmas Cookies

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As requested by Shannon, the famed Evil Christmas Cookies.

Enjoy, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grandma Evy update and Sickies

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My Grandmother has made marked improvement. She is taking her meals in the dining room, sitting up, able to hold a cup and even using her right arm. She is doing really well, actually, surprising us all. Thank you for your prayers. The bleeds in her brain have stopped, so that is really good. I hope I've gained some of those hardy genes she has in her.

Nadia is sick with a really bad cold. She wakes up in the morning nauseous and wanting to throw up. Phlegm draining down into her belly and the fact that she's not eating much. I've gotten her to drink three cups of broth this morning, which is great. I think she's feeling better, now if I can just get her to eat! I'm trying to keep the baby away from her, but Andrew's already taken yesterday off to help. Thank God he doesn't have a sermon this Sunday, it's the Children's Christmas program. He is starting to feel a tad congested, I'm hoping it's just sinus. Right now she's perched on the couch with a cup of broth watching Alvin and the Chipmunks. Video's are the only way I can get her to rest. Otherwise she's running around.

My brother-in-law is coming up for a few days and we were going to go down to visit. But with all the sickies around here, I don't know if I want to go. We'd all (yes, that's all of us, baby, mama, papa and sister) would be sleeping in the same room. Oy. And we're not talking a big room either. I don't want to go. But this is the brother we don't see much. We saw him two years ago. This stinks.

Somehow I am getting housework done. I don't know how. Especially when Rhys didn't sleep well yesterday for naps. I've figured out that Tuesdays are his bad day. Mondays were Nadia's, Tuesdays are Rhys'. Sunday just messed them up. Oh well. He's still napping now. Maybe I can get some laundry folded. I think I'll skip the run tonight. I don't know, maybe I'll need it!

I hope the rest of you are staying healthy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

G-Ma Evy Update and Rhys Naps!

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My Grandmother was transferred yesterday to a nursing home in the area. She survived the transport. She can swallow pureed foods and thickened liquids, so that is good. That means no feeding tube. She also moved her right hand/arm. Which is stupendous! We still don't know a prognosis. All the drs at the hospital were saying that she would die. But my Aunt (Grandma's caretaker) wants to talk to the nursing home dr, as he deals with this more. So we'll see. She had the stroke Friday evening and she's made it to Wednesday evening. Now I haven't called for an update yet, so I'm not sure how she's doing today. But no news is good news.

And Rhys had a great day of napping. He napped really well. Last night when I was nursing him before bed he had a great big watery poop. I'm wondering if he was fighting a touch of what his father had on Sunday. He didn't want to eat very well all day and then at the end had that poop. But he ate like a boy and slept like a baby. I am so glad my little boy is back!

I have good news on the weight loss front. I was able to fit into my favorite pair of exercise pants. I realize they stretch, but they don't look like they are spread out, kwim? They look nice. Since I started actually trying to loose weight I've lost:
  • 2.5 lbs
  • 1 inch off my chest (I measure right under the arms)
  • 1.5 inches off my waist
  • 1 inch off my thighs
  • 1.5 inches off my hips
Everything else is the same. I think it's the running. At least I hope so. I am keeping my calorie intake up there and Rhys seems content. I am making sure I get wholesome healthy foods. My only junk food is frozen yogurt and well, that is still kinda healthy. My current goals are:
  • to reach my pre preg weight of 165 (I have 12.5 lbs to go)
  • to loose 6.5 inches off my waist
  • to loose 1.5 inches off my hips
  • and my thighs are already smaller than pre preg size, isn't that great?
My upper arms are a tad bigger than before, but that's probably because I am lifting a 12lb weight several times a day.

I will post a pic later.

Hubby is much better, did I mention that?

Nadia and I made Garbage Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies today. I didn't have any chocolate chips, but I did have a hollow Easter bunny, several Hershey kisses, a fun size crunch bar and several m&m's. All of that chopped up and put together made for some very interesting looking cookies. I'm told they were good. Rhys doesn't handle chocolate well. But hey, that is a frugal way to make cookies! And why not, do you think I'm going to let my daughter eat a whole Easter bunny? No way. Chopped up in cookies is a much better way to control portions.

Hasta la vista.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Grandma Evy

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An update on my grandmother. She is being transferred to a nursing home to 'finish out the process' as my Aunt puts it. Only change is that she is able to lift her right arm and was able to feel my Uncle touching it. The right side is paralyzed.

Please pray for me as Rhys is having an off day. I don't know what's up. He's not sick. I don't think it's teething. He just doesn't want to eat and doesn't want to sleep. Maybe it is teeth. But it seems a bit early for that. Although his father started teething at 3 months. So like father like son? I don't do well when the kids don't nap. It does something to my OCD mind. I just can't handle it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


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Please pray for my family. My Grandmother had a massive stroke that is continuing to bleed on her brain stem. She is to frail for surgery. The outlook is not good. We traveled to see her. In snow and ice. The kids did good, but are tired. Please pray for Andrew as Sunday is his big work day. I'm worried for him. It's been one thing after another and he's had no rest. Please pray for him.

Honestly, I'm scared.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I Fell.....

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search engine optimization the face of the earth for a week and you know what? It was nice. No email, no phone calls. Just me, the kids and my in laws at their house with minimal housework. I didn't even work out !gasp!, but that was nice too. I had a great time and the kids did great, even on the trip down. Andrew joined us later that week for Thanksgiving and then Nadia stayed on at her grandparents for a few extra days while the rest of us went home. That was nice too. While on vacation I went clothes shopping and got some great clothes that look really nice on me. I actually don't look that bad now that I have something that fits. I even bought a new pair of shoes. And I found dress pants that look nice on me too! It was a very good shopping trip.

However, even though I fell of the face of the earth, the rest of the earth continued to turn. 50 some emails (what hubby didn't check), laundry hampers overflowing, dirt dust and woodchips all over the place from the window replacement, lots of drs appts to go to, and mother hubbards cupboards are bare. Oh there's food in the house, but we lack some things to make complete meals, kwim? Like fresh veggies and such. But it's a good time to use up the stuff around the house. I hate to take Rhys out again in the morning, he's had and will have more things to go to. Looks like I'll have to go in the evening.

I put off dusting and vacuuming before I left because I knew the windows would be put in and that would've been a lost cause. I'm glad I did! It is so nasty! Oh I'm sure to the untrained eye (men) it looks fine, but to me it's a sty! I've been slowly going through and doing a thorough job of dusting with Murphy's Oil Soap and washing each window, purging it from the smeary handprints of someone I don't know. When I'm all done with that I'll vacuum every crevice. The room's I've done look great. The room's I haven't, well, lets just say I haven't done them yet.

We are just about out of bread, so that is rising on the stove.
Christmas cards need done and sent out. And that's an ordeal. Letter to write, print and stuff. Pictures to cut and stuff. And then envelopes labeled and posted.
Christmas shopping is done. I can say that YAY!
And our christmas tree is at least up and decorated. Nadia loves to decorate for Christmas, so that motivated us to get it done. She's constantly asking what more she can decorate.
Laundry is slowly getting done.
Rhys had shots yesterday. He's been sleeping alot. Which is helping me get things done, incidentally.
And I was able to run last night. Ugh, it was not a pretty sight.

The windows, on the other hand, look great. The house is warmer, I can tell a difference already. Especially Nadia's room. Throughout the house there are very little drafts, if any. That was the problem before, it was very drafty. So the thermostat might have said 68, but there were cold pockets. Now it's comfortable. I'm glad for that.

Things are good, albeit busy. I'm sure that's going to be that way for a while, at least till after Christmas.

And on one other very good note, I feel normal. Like back to myself normal. I feel good and able to handle things. I'm glad for that. And I found a family Dr in our town that will be able to do all my 'things', you know female, PPD and stuff like that. So I won't have to travel 30 mins for an appt, just 5. Nice. And it's a lady dr, who happens to be a nun. I didn't know nuns could be anything but nuns. But I'm glad for that, I'll be able to talk turkey and she won't shy away from it. Anyway.

Gotta go. Bread to bake. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!