Saturday, May 29, 2010

Berry Picking Day at the Farm

The O family welcomed our homeschool group again for our annual Blackberry Picking at the farm! We split into 2 groups, and our group went on Thursday. What a wonderful day!

Steven Joseph went right to work. He claims he had a "turtle" inside this cup!

All 3 working hard to find the ripe blackberries

So sunny!!!

The G boys playing in the sandbox and baby Santiago with his mommy

Such a beautiful farm!

Mary Clare with blackberry juice dripping from her lips :)

Miss Wanda said the chickens would eat the red ones, and Steven Joseph only wanted to pick red ones. So the chickens got a lot of berries that day!

Time to bake blackberry pies!

Mother Daughter

Starting with the flour for the crusts

All these girls are really enjoying it!

And the G boys are too!

Finishing up

Pinching the crust

All smiles :)

Big helpers, making the strudel topping

All done!

Now for lunch! Nachos!

Digging in the mulch

Tire swing!

Our sweet Godson, Santiago :)

Girls parading back from swinging in the barn

And my boy getting just a little bit dirtier before heading home...

Bye, Bye to the farm!

Thanks again to the O family for providing us with such a fun day! Until All Saints' Day...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Baby Update!

Yesterday was my 20-week ultrasound and OB appointment. Actually it was scheduled for Monday, but while we were all getting ready and coordinating a pick-up of NeNe to help with the kids at the doctor office, I got a phone call that my appointment would need to be rescheduled.

So yesterday morning after picking up my mom, we arrived at the appointment early and got in quickly to see our beautiful baby! I was worried I'd accidentally see something that might reveal the gender, but the tech did a wonderful job staying on the top part of the body. At one point she needed to measure the thigh, and told us to turn away. I was so proud of Mary Clare, who really wants to know but went and hid in the dressing area so as to not peek at the screen.

Everything looked great! We saw Baby waving at us, giving us a thumbs-up and praying hands, sticking his/her tongue out and swallowing, and with all body parts looking good and healthy! Baby measured about 3 days bigger than my current due date of October 12th, so that was encouraging. Mary Clare was watching it all, Ellie was a little bit distracted, and poor Stevie only wanted to crawl up and down the rolling stool in the room. When I'd ask him about the baby, he'd comment that "Baby take my toys." (His biggest worry about his new sibling!) Daddy and I are guessing it's a girl, but most others think it's a boy. We're still discussing names and I think we'll end up waiting to fully decide until after he/she's born, especially after the Peter name fiasco with Steven Joseph!

I had a nice appointment with the doctor while the kids played and talked in the waiting room. Then we were off for a fun afternoon shopping and eating with NeNe, followed by swim practice and an evening with Daddy. But aside from my beautiful baby, the other highlight of the day was "My Maria." Do you remember that song by Brooks & Dunn? "I've been longing to see her, when she's around she takes my blues away...she's a miracle work for me..."

So I've shared about the horrible state of my home for awhile now. I just can't keep up with the housework and it was time to bring in some professional help. I came home from our day away to find a "miracle" in the house. I've never seen it so clean before! And it's been a wonderful feeling to know that there aren't some huge cleaning projects that I need to get to. I can't explain the relief that I feel having that help with the house cleaning. I can focus on the kids, homeschooling plans, and letting myself rest. What a gift My Maria was to me yesterday!

But of course the greatest gift of yesterday was seeing this precious little one looking healthy and well inside of me. I've had so many worries with this pregnancy; I think with each child I recognize more and more the miracle these little lives are...and worry that something serious is lurking around the corner. So every time I hear positive words from the doctor, nurses, and ultrasound tech, it just makes me thankful to have carried this new little blessing for 20 weeks. I hope he/she will stay put and complications will stay away for almost 20 more! Thanks be to God for the gift of new life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Production Preview

Mary Clare and her tap class as Irish dancers. (she was hit with a walkie talkie by her brother earlier that day, hence the large, colorful band-aid by her eye)

Her ballet routine, Cowgirls!

I can't wait to see my big girl perform in the big production! This is her first time to be in two dances in a show. I know that both my little sweethearts will dance beautifully and enjoy themselves, and I can't wait to watch them shine on stage!

Dance was such a big part of my childhood; I am glad my girls are enjoying it and giving me that chance to be on the audience side of the stage. Although I admit, I do miss the limelight a little bit :) I'm right now watching the final episode of "Dancing with the Stars" and wishing I could just jump on the stage myself! It looks like so much fun. Maybe I can find myself a maternity exercise class sometime soon; I'm definitely needing some workouts other than toddler-chasing. I got so worn out with only a few dances at the Daddy Daughter Dance and find myself even winded after doing the dishes! Ahh...pregnancy!

Tomorrow morning we'll get a little peek at Baby! Can't wait to see him or her dancing around inside! I can surely feel the movements consistently throughout the day now. We're waiting to find out the gender until Baby's arrival, so hopefully he or she behaves and doesn't give mama, NeNe, and the kids a peep show tomorrow. We (at least Steven and I) are really looking forward to that big surprise at the end!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pickwick Daddy Daughter Dance

Last night was the Pickwick Daddy Daughter Dance, an annual event held for the little girls in our homeschool group's Pickwick Society. This is a little club for girls 6 and up that meets twice each month to learn about homemaking and other fun "girly" skills like sewing, embroidery, soap-making, manners, old fashioned dancing, etc. We were all excited to dress up for this special event!

Here are the kids ready to go! I'm having problems with putting my finger in front of the flash and getting tons of photos that are half dark! Oops.

The girls wanted a special hairdo for the dance, so after a lot of hairspray and bobby pins, here are mommy's works of art on their heads!

The whole family at the dance. Gosh I look like my face is swelling...

All the girls and their daddies lined up and ready to be announcde and escorted to their tables

"My name is Steven and tonight I'm escorting my lovely daughters, Mary Clare and Ellie."

Daddy and his dates!

After dinner (too bad I didn't get photos of the beautiful place settings and food!), the girls started dancing away!

Practicing the Virginia Reel, which ended up needing to be split into 3 groups!

Ellie's group, she's dancing with her friend J

Mary Clare and Daddy were in another line

Steven Joseph did not want to dance, but also cried whenever Daddy or Mommy would try to dance, that is unless he was eating these veggie chip "fries" or playing with a helium balloon!

Ellie doing a little square dance with J

And another dance with precious Joseph!

Daddy and Mary Clare waltzing

Doing the chicken dance!

and the "official" pictures of Daddy and daughters

and the whole B family. What a fun night!
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