June 26, 2015

32 weeks 5 days

Yesterday, I made red raspberry leaf tea.  I followed the advice here, but only steeped it for 10 minutes:  Less than 2 months until we meet our wee one and I want to be strong and ready for labor.
Today I am 32 weeks and 5 days.
 We have been going to the concerts in the park weekly.
 The girls were playing slap-jack.  It was the steel drum band, calypso-style music...really summery!
Olivia got a baseball from one of the Miami Marlins players at the game we went to last week.  The girls did Irish dancing pre-game and post-game and they got to watch fireworks from the visitors dugout. 
Olivia turned 12 last month.
Father and son...we roasted marshmallows after dinner at my in-laws house on Father's day.
And our oldest daughter, turns 14 today!

June 12, 2015

3 weeks ago

So much has changed since 3 weeks ago.  My dad was still amongst the living here on earth.  He wasn't doing well, and they put him on oxygen...he was having difficulty breathing and swallowing.  I still lay in bed at night, wondering "What could we have done?"  We were hoping the doctor would give him food via through the g-tube, where he had surgery 4 years ago to have a tube inserted so he could get medication that would go right to his small intestines instead of taking medication orally.  Honestly, I'm glad that didn't happen, because he wouldn't have wanted that.  He couldn't talk, really, barely a yes or no that last week...we miss him dearly. 
His funeral was in Loveland, OH.  His coffin is made of simple pine, painted around the sides with "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal have mercy on us."  My parents got both of their coffins a while ago, just to be ready.  Here are more photos from Dad's funeral and burial (which was in Jordanville, NY):
The burial service was served mainly by Fr. Chad Williams, who is Dad's Godson.  We had a nice dinner of soup, salad, fish, potatoes, peas and fruit salad at the monastery afterwards.  The kids ran around (mostly barefoot) in the grass after playing.  It was very nice to see family and old friends.
We took a week vacation to Tennessee.
Listening to a wonderful free bluegrass concert at Ole Smoky moonshine.
Beautiful morning sky in the Great Smoky Mountains.
 It really looks smoky there.
 The view from Clingman's dome.
 In Cade's cove...
We went to West Virginia last weekend for our friend's 90th birthday.
Freshly picked strawberries and cherries from some of our friends. ♥  Yum.

While on vacation, I read Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah, about life after the war in Sierra Leone.  In the story, he describes how there, after someone dies, the next 40 days are important.  Same with those of us who are Orthodox Christians, we pray for the soul of our departed loved ones, that God will have mercy on them, because no one but Christ our God is Sinless.
This photo is on our bookshelf where we keep our spiritual reading and Bible, so that we remember to pray for my Dad's soul. 

May 22, 2015


I'm now 27 weeks along.  The midwife came to our house today.  This is the same midwife who helped deliver my sister's past 2 babies and also my friend from church's baby (who was born on May 10th, Mother's day)!  We went to meet sweet baby Lydia.
My midwife is one who will assist in a home birth.  I am planning to give birth to our baby in our water!  She will bring a birthing tub (we just supply a disposable liner).  I do not want to be hooked up to IVs with a hub of noise and being checked on and have a fetal monitor the whole time, I didn't see any benefit of being in the hospital with my previous births, and post-partum I can truly rest, won't have to have my vitals taken every few hours.  However, I am prepared to go to the hospital, if necessary.

I have been to an OB who supports midwives who do home births.  I decided not to have an ultrasound.  We won't know the sex of the baby until he or she is born.  We are prepared for whatever God gives us, if the baby is sick in any way, we wouldn't change our mind...we are going to love this little one. ♥

Our basement was waterproofed and finished and is pretty nice.  We have been cleaning it up (it's the haven where all my scrapbooking and arts and crafts items are) so that we can use that space for our bedroom, as our bedroom will become a room for the new baby.
It's been a busy few weeks, we visited Rob's grandma who had gotten very ill...she died 3 days later, in the meantime, my father fell and broke his hip and was in the hospital, now he is in a nursing home for rehab, but is being treated for pneumonia, having difficulty swallowing, on a pureed diet, doesn't have much appetite because it's like eating baby food.  My mom has been with him 7am to 9pm almost every day, then she goes home, which is just a mile away to sleep.

Rob's sister flew in...for the funeral, and we got to spend extra time together.  We went to see the butterfly show that comes here every spring:
I am sick, coughing a lot, especially at night and lost my voice a few days ago, but am doing fine otherwise.  One cannot plan everything, we have to do what God plans for us, which may be difficult.
So, if you can, please say a prayer for Rosalee's soul, and the family that is grieving her loss, and for my dear dad, Father Paul (the photo above was taken in the hospital last week), and my mom, Barbara, who is vigilant in caring for him, and also for me.  And if you know anyone who is sick...go visit them, tell them you love them!

May 8, 2015

Mother's day is coming...

Olivia made me these earrings at a workshop at the library across the street. She couldn't wait to give them to me on Mother's day.  I love them!  They used a doodler pen, which is like a glue gun, but takes thin rods of colored plastic and melts them.

This past Sunday, I got terra cotta pots and paint, this coming Sunday we will plant flowers in them for the children to give to their mothers.
Velvet loves being outside when the weather is nice, but she spends half of the time in and half of the time out.
We planted the garden and I wasn't happy to see the chickens escaped and got into the row of carrots for their dirt "bath" BUT I had to admit they were pretty cute!  ♥  As you can see, we have lots of maple seeds that have fallen into our yard from the neighbor's tree.  Every year, this happens and we have to weed and pull up silver leaf maple seedlings.
I hope you remember your mother's love this Sunday, and if you are a mother, enjoy spending time with your children.  I'm finding that my girls (11 and 13) are growing up faster than I imagined, they are independent in so many ways. 

April 27, 2015

Out of town cousins

 We enjoyed spending time with family who was visiting from out of town.
 Although we have had a lot of rain, we've had lots of sunshine, too.  Everything is growing. 
 That's our plum tree covered in white blossoms!
We spent a lot of time outside.  Squirt guns and bubbles!

Face 2 year old niece and 13 year old daughter.  It was the second time...the first time she only had a little bit on, this time she got the full treatment.
I'm now 24 weeks along and feeling pretty good.  I was reading that the baby grows a lot this week, from being 1 pound to a pound and a half!  It belly is getting big!