Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving! We had a wonderful time with our friends. I ate too much, but it was all so good! The nice thing was that the girls are old enough to not have to take afternoon naps right after lunch, so we ate a little after 1:00, and stayed until almost 5:00, but they did jsut fine! Next year we'll be back to toting a pack-n-play over.

One of our friends, Tim, is an excellent photographer, so I asked him to take a family Christmas picture of us before we ate. He took one on our camera and several on his, but I ened up not loving any of them. It's not his skill as a photographer. I finally figured it out--I look like a big, pregnant woman with a basketball prominently displayed under my shirt, which in this case was purple, so it looked like a giant blueberry. When I mentioned this to Nathan, as we were looking at the pictures on the computer, he pointed out that in fact, I AM a big, pregnant woman. But that is not how I want to be remembered by all my friends over the next year, so this year's Christmas card picture will not include a pregnant me. I got the kids all dressed up for church this morning in Christmas-y colors, and I took some pictures of them by the fireplace. Much cuter! No blueberry basketballs insight.

It was good that I asked Tim to take the pictures before we ate because afterward Grace blew out her diaper for the first time in many months, and I actually had to go home and get new clothes for her! Then she built on her success by peeing out her diaper at home while she took a late nap! I'm not sure what came over her, but obviously all the good food did something to her, LOL.

As soon as we got home on Thursday, the boys started asking about putting up the Christmas decorations. I don't know about you, but it was hard to even contemplate bring more stuff into the family room when the whole main floor looked like a tornado has swept through it, and there was already tons of toys, books, paper, etc. all around. The thought did not put me in a very festive mood. So I washed a bunch of dishes, and Caleb, bless his little heart, took over the cleaning up and moving of all the Little People, play food and kitchen, and other kid stuff out of the family room and into the play room. That night I stayed up late trying to organize and make some headway against all the clutter we have accumulated, so that we would have room for the Christmas stuff.

I really got inspired Friday and Saturday, as far as decluttering goes. I tackled the study and the kitchen. I threw away many garbage bags of stuff, and I packed up a few boxes of things I am not quite ready to give away or throw away, but that we don't need out right now. It all looks so nice now! Throwing stuff away is such a good feeling. And it DID help me feel more like decorating for Christmas, which we did Friday evening. We didn't do a ton of stuff, other than the tree and the fireplace area, since we are planning to go back to Ohio for Christmas. This year I got to just sit on the couch and hand out ornaments to the right people. Nathan and Luke helped Anna hang up her ornaments, and Grace just orbited. It was nice not to have to be up and around, helping everywhere!

Bob had a busy weekend as well. He was up in the middle of the night Thursday night, and he bought us an mp3 player from Circuit City online at 2:00 AM! We've decided that might be a staying fad, so perhaps we should jump on, LOL. He went out Friday to pick it up--a much more civilized way to shop than waiting in the cold darkness at ungodly hours of the morning! Now we just need to figure it out. We're planning on bringing it to Ohio, where we will ask questions of my computer-savy brother.

Then on Saturday Bob and the boys spent a good deal of time painting the deck. This time they were focusing on the rails. It looks so nice! After that, he took them all, plus Anna, swimming at our local rec center. They bought a one-month family membership, so they're planning on going a few more times before we leave for Christmas. The pool there is really nice, with lots of kid features, including a water slide, so they had a total ball.

So the house is as decorated as it is going to get, I've made a solid beach head against clutter, and the deck is looking great. The thing that really worked in my favor was having 2 days in a row that we didn't have school or anything else to do. I really need to get upstairs and work in closets, especially in Grace's room, but I'm not sure when that will happen. And we need another nice weekend of weather so Bob can put on another coat of stain. All in all, it was a very productive weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve

Well, it is now after 5:00, and I never heard anything from the doctor. I am tentatively hopeful that means I passed the 3 hour test. Or maybe everyone in the OB department at NNMC just left early for Thanksgiving, and I'll be called Monday, LOL. Anyhow, I have moved on to worrying about other things . . .

Such as where my 10x15 jelly roll pan could possibly be?! I spent a good deal of time searching for it last night, with no success. I do not think it is in the house, so that would mean that I must have left it at the church where we have our homeschool co-op, since I know I brought it there several weeks ago for the medieval feast with apple pie squares in it. But I was so sure it made it home! The platter and spatula I also brought there made it home, and I thought those items were in the (washed) pan. Alas. I shall have to search the church on Tuesday when we have co-op again, and I had to use a different pan for the apple pie squares for tomorrow. I certainly expended a lot of mental energy on where it could be though! When I am already stressed (like about the gtt), then other minor things that cause problems, especially because of my incompetance, really get to me . . .

Which leaves me really crabby. Is it just my sensitivity, or have the kids all turned on their loudest, most rowdy selves just for today?! The girls are whiny (at least Grace has an excuse--she's teething. Anna is just pitching in to help her not feel alone, LOL), and the boys are all. over. each. other. I sent them outside to run earlier today, but they didn't stay out as long as I would have liked (several hours, LOL). I have banished them to the basement several times as well. I'm just feeling very edgy and non-noise-tolerant (is that a word?).

But somehow things are still getting accomplished. Last night Bob and I wrestled the 25 pound turkey and managed to get it brining in our cooler (in several layers of garbage bags). I made a flourless chocolate cake last night too, and I did 4 loads of laundry. We did school this morning. And this afternoon I have made the apple pie squares, cran-apple-pear sauce, and started the turkey roasting. So good that Bob has been around to help with that crazy bird! After dinner (stir-fry), I'll make a second flourless chocolate cake. That just leaves the sweet potato casserole and sweet potato biscuits for tomorrow.

In case it seems like our menu is a bit unbalanced (meat, 2 sweet potato dishes, cranberry sauce, and dessert!), let me reassure you that we are eating Thanksgiving dinner over at the L's house with 2 other familes! We will also be having a ham, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, rolls, green bean casserole, another green vegetable, a fruit salad, a corn casserole, waldorf salad, a cranberry apple casserole, and pumpkin pie and pecan pie to round it all out. We will be getting quite a feast! I know I have so much to be thankful for--I just need to relax a bit and focus on all those things, instead of what is not going right!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I made it through the 3 hour test. Yay! No problems with traffic or blood draws, either. I left here about 6:50, and I got there about 8:00, which is really good for that time of day.

They do things a bit differently at this lab. They drew blood to test my fasting blood sugar level, and they wouldn't let me drink the nasty orange sugar stuff until after that had come back. So at around 8:30, the tech called me up to the desk to tell me that my fasting levels were a bit high--"105", which of course meant nothing to me. He told me that if it was lower than 105, then they would just go ahead and give me the drink, but over 105, he had to clear it with a doctor. The doctor said fine, but still--that's not a good omen at all. And it meant I didn't start the 3 hour part until about 8:45. Grrr.

I was done about 11:45, having enjoyed a quiet time of reading, doing crossword puzzles, and starting to write our Christmas letter. I think people must not come in a lot the week of Thanksgiving, because Bethesda was really not crowded at all! When I was taking my 1-hour test last week, people were having to wait for over an hour for a blood draw, but today there was hardly any wait at all for everyone else. (Of course, I got to take my numbers from the "VIP 0-7 and above or glucose tolerance test" button and go straight to the head of the line!)

I still haven't heard anything from the hospital, but that does not necessarily mean anything at all. The tech wasn't sure the results would get to the doctor this afternoon. She will only call me if I fail, so I'll just have to wait another day and see.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Worrying . . .

So here I am, worrying about my 3 hour glucose test tomorrow. When I was pregnant with Grace and had to take it, my big worry was finding veins in my right arm. But since there was no problem last time, I can cross that worry off the list, LOL. Now my worries are more of a generalized, I don't think I can deal with one more thing, kind.

I've been having those really vivid pregnancy dreams, and a few nights ago, I dreamed that I forgot I was taking the test, so I ate a good hearty breakfast and had to reschedule. That same night, I also very clearly dreamed that I was in labor. I pushed the baby out in bright, colorful detail, and it was very disconcerting to wake up and realize that in fact, I was still pregnant. All that pain and pushing for nothing?! LOL

I ate 2 hard-boiled eggs and had a glass of milk a little while ago, and that'll be all I eat for awhile. I packed myself a peanut butter sandwich and some fruit, so I'll be able to eat before I come home without braving the Bethesda food court. I'm going to try to leave by 6:45, so that hopefully I'll be there by 8:30. Pray for no Beltway accidents on the Inner Loop tomorrow!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I spent yesterday decluttering. You would think that in a day I could possibly have made real, noticable progress, but alas, it is not so. Now I remember why I rarely spend a day decluttering, LOL--lack of visible reward! I tackled the coat/shoe closet in our laundry room first. Since that is how you get to our garage, it is where all the shoes and coats end up, and it was a real mess. It didn't help that apparently the last several times the boys have outgrown tennis shoes, I have not thrown the old pairs away, but rather have kept them around, in case they needed them for . . . ? Yesterday I must have tossed a good 7 pairs of ratty old shoes and consigned several pairs of sandals and church shoes that even Jonathan has outgrown back down to the dreaded shoe tubs of the basement. Bob hung up a better set of hooks on the wall of the laundry room, so hopefully the winter coats will stay up on those this year. It all looks so organized! Let's see how long it stays that way . . .

I also worked in the study. We have a set of yaffa blocks (stackable crates, basically) that have all our art supplies in them. I was ruthless over there, asking myself, "If we were moving, would I keep this?" I think that's the real problem--we haven't moved in 4 years, so the stuff has built up! Then I moved on to the top of the computer desk, which also has a big hutch on it. I was able to (drum roll please . . . ) clean off the top of the desk and the bottom shelf of the hutch. Yes! That's as far as I was able to get! So as long as you don't look up very high, the desk looks great! I will say that the amount of paper we generate and accumulate really is spectacular. We should win some sort of medal or something.

So a day of cleaning and decluttering produced one clean closet, a decluttered corner of the study, and a clean desktop and shelf. At that rate, I think it would take a year for me to get through the whole house! Maybe Monday I will be motivated to tackle more. Maybe.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Well-Older Child Visit

Today I took Nathan and Luke in for "well-child" check-ups. They haven't been in for one of those since, well, since we lived in Ohio for sure. I would say maybe 2003 or 2004. It seemed like we were always in for another younger child's well-baby appointments, and obviously both Nathan and Luke were well children, so it was certainly never a priority. But with Bob possibly retiring next year sometime, I figured I would take them in one more time and make sure they were current on shots, and that I wasn't missing anything.

As it turns out, they are both healthy. What a surprise! The doctor who saw them was so very nice. I have been nothing but impressed by the pediatrics doctors at Bethesda. She spent a long, non-rushed time with us, and she was very keen on waiting to give booster shots for stuff like chicken pox and also shots for menigitis until they go off to college, where they'll be in more danger, adn the booster will be newer. She recommended I not get any shots for either boy, but I did go ahead and get a tetanus booster for Nathan. She said he would need to come back in about 3 years for one, and I just decided to get it done now. Luke was quite happy to hear he didn't need any shots.

They did vision tests for the boys, and Nathan had some trouble. His eyes were 20/50, although it is possible that they aren't that bad. This clinic uses a chart with shapes on it, instead of letters, and some of the shapes were very non-intuitive (a coffee cup, a sailboat, etc.). It was very difficult to see what in the world it could possibly even be! Anyhow, the doctor recommended that Nathan have his eyes checked by an optometrist, which I think we will go ahead and do. I remember that I got glasses in 5th or 6th grade too, which I only ever used to see things like chalkboards or screens in class, and I pretty much never wear anymore at all. Possibly Nathan would have had more troubles already if he wasn't being homeschooled. Luke's eyes were fine. I guess he inherited Bob's good eyes!

One other thing the doctor did mention about Nathan is this weird white splotchy patch he has on his right side/back. It's been there ever since he was little, and we first noticed it because it never tans. It's just non-pigmented. The doctors at Wright-Pat looked at it and decided it was nothing to be concerned about, and we haven't given it anymore thought since then. I just make sure it gets sunscreen when he swims outside. The doctor today said mentioned vitiligo, although when I looked into that, it doesn't really seem like what Nathan has. His patch has never gotten bigger, and it doesn't look sort of pinkish, like the pictures I see on the internet--his patch is all white. Anyhow, she thought a dermatologist should maybe look at it, and she emailed a friend of hers who is a doctor at the dermatology clinic there to ask about what he thought. The doctor just called and said that dermatology would like to look at it, so the consult is in, and I'll call Monday to make that appointment. It is always good to make sure nothing is wrong, but it has never changed all htese years, so I'm not too concerned. Hopefully we can get the appointment out of the way before the baby comes!

Nathan is in the 20th percentile for both height and weight, and Luke is hanging out in the 10th percentile for both. That is actually up from the 5th percentile, where he used to be, so he is really porking up, LOL. I told the doctor we were the poster family for "anti-childhood obesity". We don't grow them large!

So although not too much happened (and it took a 3 hour chunk out of our day with the drive), I do think it is good to establish a record every so many years that they are healthy, growing, and meeting developmental standards. One can never be too cautious, especially with a new, possibly hostile administration coming into office.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Amy!!

Today is the birthday of Amy, my best friend! She has been such an invaluable support for me this past year, when things have been difficult. I can't imagine what I would have done without her! She flew out to visit us in October , and that was such a time of refreshment for me!

I was thinking about Amy last night. The boys have started a new unit in co-op, one on drama. The older 2 watched some clips of movies to demonstrate showing emotions, and some clips were from The Princess Bride. The boys had never seen the movie, but those clips certainly whetted their appetites! Since we own the movie, the boys and Bob all watched it last night. I stayed upstairs and finished a Christmas project, but I got nostalgic. Amy and I used to wake up every single morning to the first 2 songs fromthe Princess Bride sound track. It was in her CD player, and that was the absolute most gentle way to ease into wakefulness! Those songs are beautiful and dreamy! But then someone had to get up and turn it off because the 3rd song is some village festival song, and it is filled with clapping and otherwise jarring sounds--NOT a restful way to wake up, LOL. So I had to dig out my soundtrack and listen, just for old times' sakes. Fun memories! Sometimes I play the game, "If I had an iPod, what would I put on it", and those first 2 songs would definitely make the list, especially for labor!

So nayhow, Amy can know we are thinking about her today! A card is on the way too, but it will be late, since I didn't think I would have to be mailing it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pregnancy Update

I'm 29 weeks along today, and I have another appointment. It's been 6 weeks since my last one, and let me tell you, I am loving this hands-off, come-every-6-weeks approach Bethesda has! I know I'll have to start coming more frequently, but it's been very nice to only have a few appointments so far.

I'm feeling pretty good, I guess. I am feeling big and unwieldy already, and I already have started having a lot of pressure on my pubic bone, which is achy. But other than that I feel fine. I'm not really motivated to do anything though.

Today I also have my 1 hour glucose tolerance test, and I am not looking forward to that. I failed my one with Grace, and I have certainly not been eating better or exercising more this time around than with her. I can't wrap my mind around how I would even get to Bethesda for a 3 hour test--leave at 6:00 so I could be there around 8:00?! I don't think I want to be driving the Beltway rush hour having not eaten! So I am praying that God, in His great mercy, would allow me to pass and not have to go back for the 3 hour test.

I'll take this test today after my appointment, which is at 11:15. This will be the first time that I haven't fasted before the 1 hour test, so we'll see if that makes a difference. I have read that people say it shouldn't matter (and that's what the doctor said last time), but I have also heard other people say that fasting is better. So that's not good. At least I'll have a nice quiet hour of reading.

**Update** The appointment went well, and I did indeed fail the one hour test. Sigh. I can't say I'm surprised, though. Tomorrow I will call to schedule when I do the 3 hour one. I'm hoping for Monday, personally. The bad news is that I will have to be at the lab at 7:30. Gulp.

Friday, November 14, 2008

All's Well That Ends Well

You may remember the Presidential fitness run fiasco a few weeks ago. Basically, the lady in charge messed up on the distances, so Luke only ran 1/4 mile, instead of a half mile. He ran it again that same day, but it was really hot, and he had just eaten lunch, so he was still off on his time. He got 3:48, but he needed 3:30.

Today was the day he reran it. We went to the park where we usually do the run in the years past, where there is a half-mile circle to run on. The McCs were there, as well as a few other kids. Luke and Caleb McC ran the half mile, but both of them didn't get the time. Luke's time was 3:44, and Caleb's was 3:47. They were disappointed, but not devastated.

As we (the parents) stood around talking, we looked at the time the boys would need for presidential if they ran a whole mile. That time was 8:31, considerably more than double the half mile time they were shooting for. So Craig McC convinced Caleb to give the mile a shot, and Luke said he would run it too. Nathan also decided to run, even though he had not planned on running at all today. I think all the cheering and race-time excitement motivated him, LOL. So they all set off, and Nathan ran a mile in 7:52, which was better than his other time of 8:01, but not good enough for presidential, since he needed 7:32. But he was only national in the shuttle run too, and he was fine with that. Luke came in at 8:01, well under what he needed, and Caleb got 8:18, which was also under. So both he and Luke will win the Presidential Physical Fitness award! Everyone was very excited. That's pretty good, considering they had already run a good fast half mile! We were glad Nathan had decided to run it with them, because he was definitely a good pace-setter for them. So the fiasco has been resolved, and everyone is happy now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apple Pie Squares

Alright, alright, I have heard your impatient clamorings! : ) The reason I could not immediately leap to the computer and post the recipe is because a girl from church who is having her first baby in a few weeks came over for lunch and the afternoon. We talked about childbirth, especially natural childbirth. She is having a homebirth, so an epidural won't be an option, and I wanted to give her some tips and hints. I had to spend the morning getting ready for that by copying a few things and printing off some articles. (Johanna, she's the one who is using your midwife.) I think she'll do just fine. She is the second of 12 kids, and her youngest sibling is 18 months, so obviously her mom has a lot to offer on the subject as well! We had a lot of fun, and it was a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon!

But without any further ado, here is the recipe, which I got off of

Apple Pie Squares

2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. shortening (real butter would be fine, Melinda)
1 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
Milk (obviously I used soy milk)
1 c. crushed corn flakes
6-8 apples, peeled & sliced [I only used about 5, because that's what I had--it was fine. An apple peeler/corer/slicer sure did make it go faster!]
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg white, beaten
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix flour and salt and cut in shortening. Put egg yolk into measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 2/3 cup. Add to flour mixture and toss lightly with fork to form dough. Roll 1/2 of dough to fill jelly roll pan (ungreased). [I had a hard time rolling out the dough--it is very sticky--maybe add more flour.] Sprinkle corn flakes over the crust. They keep the filling from being too runny.

Combine sugar and cinnamon; toss with apples. Place apples on dough. Roll remaining dough and place on top, pinching edges. Brush egg white on top of dough. Bake 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch time. (May be too long.)

Combine last 3 ingredients. [You will definitely need another tablespoon of water or so to make it the consistency where you can drizzle it on or really do anything with it.] Frost while still warm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Few More Thoughts

I am so tired. Just weary. Yesterday we went to the church for a few hours to set up, and I stayed up late getting together last-minute details. Also, I cooked yesterday. I baked all that chicken, plus a pan of apple pie squares. (I baked another pan Sunday afternoon). The apple pie squares turned out really well! I'm never baking a regular apple pie again! These made so many with so much less work! One of the other moms, who has 8 children, asked me for the recipe, as she was thinking about Thanksgiving coming up.

At the feast, the other moms and I were laughing at how I always seem to get stuck in the "dress-up" units while I am quite noticably pregnant! When I was pregnant with Grace, I was part of the ancient Greek unit, where we all had to dress up for our 5th week Greek Olympics in Greek chitons. The maternity chiton was a questionable fashion choice! This time I did not have any appropriate medieval maternity dress either, if you can imagine! Oh well. Of course, last year, when I was NOT pregnant, I taught the reptile unit--no dressing up there!

The boys went over to the McC's house with 2 other boys from co-op after it was all over. They played Star Wars Risk for several hours, which means they disappeared into the basement and no one heard from them. This meant Christine could take a nap too! As soon as I got home, I uploaded the pictures from my camera, posted on my blog, put the girls down, and then I took a nap myself. My feet hurt so badly!

The nicest thing was that someone from our church brought us dinner tonight. She did it last week too, when I was teaching! That was just the absolute nicest thing that could have been done today--what a blessing! I love our church!

The final thing I was thinking is that I just want you to know that I am not a "fun mom". This is the great things about our co-op. Since it's not academic, but rather filled with 5-week-long unit studies, this is where the boys get all their messy stuff done. And I only have to be involved with one unit a year! If it were simply up to me here at home, we would never do messy stuff. It's a hassle, and I don't like to clean up, LOL. I am not crafty. So co-op leaves us the other 4 days of the week to focus on our academic stuff--the stuff I like, like Latin and math, which is all cut and dried and not messy, LOL. It's worked out well for us. I can't believe this is our fifth year with this co-op!

Medieval Day!

Today was finally the big day--the wrap-up for our medieval unit at co-op! I was in charge of the unit and the wrap-up activity, so it was a big responsibility, but I had a great group of ladies working with me. We set up the church like a castle, with a few different rooms and activities for the kids to go around to.

There was an outdoor tournament activity, where the kids got to launch tennis balls out of a catapult that Craig McC had built. This was a very popular activity! Bob was able to be there again today, so he helped Craig out with this. Also outside, the kids participated in an armor relay, where one kid was the squire and another kid the knight. The squire had to get his knight dressed up in a bunch of hockey equipment and pads so the knight could run off somewhere.

Inside, we had a monk's room, where the kids illuminated a page which had their first initial printed on it. We had paint pens and other colored markers for them to use. The best part of this room was that the ladies in charge told the kids that the monks had taken a vow of silence, and so they had to be quiet too. I had brought 2 CDs of Gregorian Latin chant music, which they played through out the day. This room was such an oasis of peace and quiet, as the kids busily and quietly worked away at decorating their letters!
I was in the armory, where the kids decorated foamboard swords that we had previously cut out. We also had paint pens to use to "etch" the blades, as well as glitter glue and lots of shiny plastic jewels.
Elizabeth and another lady were in the apothecary room,w here they talked about different herbs and spices, and what they were used for in the Middle Ages. The kids all got to take home a sachet with lavender or apple potpourri.
After all the kids had cycled through all the rooms, they marched into the main room for the actual feast part of the day.

The Feast

We ordered 20 pounds of turkey legs from a bulk food co-op, expecting to get about 120 smoked turkey legs that were a little bigger than chicken legs. Instead we got 20 turkey legs, with each one weighing a pound! They were enormous! We gave them to the fifth and sixth grade boys, who had a great time eating them! The younger kids all ate chicken legs. I bought those (84 of them!), marinated them in Italian dressing, and cooked them all yesterday. It was five pans of chicken legs, and we had none left over!
The kids ate on pita bread "trenchers". They also had cheese cubes, slices of bread, carrots, celery sticks, and cream puffs and apple pie squares for dessert. All we had left over were a few carrot and celery sticks. It worked out perfectly!

We had entertainment during the feast. First, a boy from the high school part of our co-op came and acted like a jester, doing some gymnastics and juggling. Then 2 men from the fencing club that gave the boys lessons came and did a demo. They talked about the different kinds of fencing blades, and showed some theatrical fencing. They dressed up 3 kids and let them have a go at fencing the instructors. The kids really enjoyed the demo.

Here I am with my 4 knights in shining armor!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Happy Birthday, Caleb!!

We celebrated Caleb's 7th birthday today! We just celebrated as a family, which was still fun. Caleb asked for a Bionicle cake in the shape of "Toa Gali", whom he had received as an early present from Grandma and Grandpa G, before they left Monday. I discovered that I am a lot less motivated when no one else besides our family is going to see a cake, LOL. It didn't help matters any that while I was making dinner, Grace took a knife to the side of the cake, knocking off whatever the round thing in front is supposed to be--some sort of eye replacement?
Here is another picture of the cake, but I could never really get a good shot of it. Obviously my graham crackers wings or whatever those gray pokey things off the helmet are supposed to be are way too short, and I only had royal blue icing gel. I needed navy blue or something. Plus, the actual mask on the left is too small for you to see what the face actually looks like! You'll just have to trust that there are these weird eye parts on the one side. I think I'm done with Bionicle cakes. They just are not that satisfying!

Here is Caleb with his presents! We got him the Veggietales Pirates movie, and we bought him another Bionicle with money from Bob's folks. He was obviously very happy! After cake and ice cream we all went downstairs wand watched the movie. It was really good! They have seen it over at the L's house during Bible study. Anna is quite the "Rock Monster" dancer!
For Caleb's birthday dinner, he again requested tuna pockets and pierogies, that easy convenience meal. He told me that next year he was going to request fish sticks! LOL! Soon he'll be asking for sandwiches, or maybe bowls of cereal! We did have a nice day though--Johanna and her kids stopped by this afternoon. She brought us their baby swing, since they are done with it. Let me tell you, it is much nicer that any swing we have ever had! This baby will be living the good life in it! The boys had a great time running around with her boys, and the girls admired her cute baby girl, Olivia. Johanna and I just relaxed and talked, which was very nice!
Last night, Caleb enjoyed hearing about how I started having contractions with him while I was making dinner (some sort of fish). I was mindful of my mom's experience with me, where she too had made fish for dinner the night she had me, and she tasted fish the whole time. I only ate a little bit of the fish, so I wasn't bothered! We went to the hospital around 9:00 or so, and Caleb was born at 1:10. He was a big baby--9 pounds, 5 ounces--almost 2 pounds heavier than Luke, my lightest! I could tell he was bigger when I was pushing, LOL. Interestingly, his birth was the last time I went into labor on my own. I was 2 weeks overdue and induced with Jonathan, I was 5 cm dilated but not in natural labor with Anna, so I was induced, and with Grace, I had that paranoid doctor who induced me a few days before my due date just because she was worried. I am hopeful this one will not have to be induced, but I'm not holding my breath!
Caleb is such a fun boy to have in our family! He has a beautiful smile and a caring heart. He is a wonderful big brother for Anna and Grace. He loves to write me notes (creatively spelled!) and draw pictures for me. We're so thankful he's been in our family for 7 years!