Wow! I'm so sorry to be so tardy with my update! I've had two pregnancy journals and I kept up with those very well, but it's not so with this parenting journal. I'm wondering if it's not because of the once a month submission, instead of the weekly submission. Either way, I'll try and do better!
I'm sure it's not just me, but I'm really shocked that Easter is already past! We have had beautiful weather here since mid March, which is very unusual for up north here. I'm certainly not complaining though! We always have snow on the ground still, but it's been warm and pleasant (with a few snow flurries in between). Hello Spring!!
We have all had the sniffles lately, with some of the children getting quite the cough. But I think we are on the mending side of it all now. At least I hope so. It's the time of year when it's hard to rein everyone in and keep school going. That's not only for the children either! Now that it will be (hopefully) getting warmer we can do more school outside, perhaps taking some nature walks and the like. I don't think we'll do much school during the summer, for there are camps scheduled and other things. But I will be requiring some workbook pages being done most, if not every day. I think subjects like math and English/language arts would be good. I remember when I was in school, I had to practice math throughout the summer just to keep it in my head! Obviously, math was (is) not my forte.
A few weeks ago, Maacah made a profession of faith and she believes that the Lord Jesus has saved her. I am so excited! I have seen a HUGE difference in her attitude and in her overall demeanor. I tell you what, I have been praying for her for so long! Okay, since her birth, but you know what I mean. The difference that has occurred in our household is amazing, too. God has been working in her life as well as mine and Adam's. He has been showing us things that are not right and we have been humbled to change things. With Him working in us and now in her, the atmosphere in our house has been changed for the better! Yay!!!
Our philosophy, if you will, is one where the family unit is paramount and we do things as a family. We don't segregate the children and we usually don't encourage the children going off one by one without the rest of us. In so doing, it is so beautiful to see them playing with each other, helping one another and including each other in their games or various activities. That's not to say they all get along always, because they don't! I probably break up more fights than most mothers do. But, even so, our children are quite close to one another and on the rare occasion that a sibling is missing from the group (for one reason or another), they are truly and sincerely missed.
Caleb is about 8 months and he's so big! He's already in 12 month clothing and while I don't put much stock in children's sizes (for it's all relative), he really is a big boy. He's eating solids now, about once a day, so he's still quite heavily nursing. Damaris was the longest time nursing, she weaned at 14 months, but this is definitely the longest I've nursed them with it being their main supply of nourishment. With the other children, I've started solids around 6 months. He's sitting up by himself now, but only if he is put there. He doesn't get himself into a sitting position yet. Nor is he getting on his hands and knees. He's a bit behind in that respect, for all the other children were crawling by this time. But that's okay. I'm fine with him staying put and not moving away from me! Adam calls him the "one tooth wonder" for he only has one tooth on the bottom. The mate is s.l.o.w.l.y. coming up besides it.
Damaris's vocabulary is getting better and better. After Maacah, she's talking better than anyone else did at her age (by 18 months, Maacah was talking in almost complete sentences. And she's still going!). She really likes to keep the other children in check with reminders of what they're doing wrong. And then she'll come tell me or Adam about it! The little bugger!
Last summer, Adam and I built a fort for the children to play in and I'm happy to report that it has gotten LOTS of play already! Over the winter, a family moved into the house next to us and the children have made friends with them. There is a 7 year old girl and a 5 year old boy, so those ages are just right. Two houses down from us, there are other children; one is an 8 year old boy and a 10 year old boy, so Isaac is in his element! Everyone has been over, playing in the fort and riding bikes. I love seeing my children play with their friends! Being home schooled, they don't have much interaction with other kids (which is not always a bad thing these days with all the garbage that is being fed some children) and while I think and believe that their relationship with each other is paramount, it's good to have friends outside the family as well.
This is the first summer in 5 years that we don't have a wedding scheduled. I'm not sure why, but perhaps this would be a good summer to get things done around the house that need to be done. We were involved in our first wedding show in early March and it was horrible! It was open from am to 3pm and there only 55 people showed up. Talk about a waste of money and time!! I suppose we made some contacts with the few people who came for their future wedding or other party, but from this standpoint . . . sigh. I'm not sure if we'll do it again or not. I know it's not fair to judge the whole wedding show idea on one flop, but it's hard not to. We don't advertise other than word of mouth, since it's so expensive and we've been doing well enough so far. The next wedding show around us is in October and the next one after that is in January, so we have some time to think about it. *Edit: before sending this out, we got an e-mail for an October wedding inquiry. Yay!! Let's hope it becomes more than an inquiry.*
Living in the state whose state tree is the Sugar Maple, we have always tapped in the spring for maple syrup. We did so this year, but with it warming up so quickly and so early, we didn't get more than 2 quarts. Umm, with a family of 9 eaters, that doesn't go very far! But, what can you do?
I have been getting quite serious about losing weight. I don't diet by any stretch of the imagination, but I do try and eat sensible portions and not eat the desserts. I have also been walking each week. I know myself quite well, so I have set it up this way: I will walk 6 to 10 miles each week, walking 2 miles a day Monday - Friday. I know a few routes that are 2 miles round-trip from our house, so I am walking those each morning. However, I know that life throws curve balls sometimes (I'm up most of the night with a sick child, I'm sick, bad weather, etc.) and getting out to walk each morning doesn't always happen. This is why I have set it for 6 to 10 miles each week. I need to get out and walk at least 3 days a week for me to be content with myself. I know that is a reasonable goal for me and I have been meeting it for the past 3 weeks.
Of course, I've only lost 3 pounds in those 3 weeks and I'm trying not to be discouraged. I've lost 20 pounds since Christmas and that came off pretty quickly. I have 50 more pounds that I would like to lose to reach my goal weight (and I would really like to lose it before/if we have another child. But since the "if/when" is not up to me, we'll see.). A close friend of ours is getting married June 16, so I have set a new "mini goal" to lose another 15 pounds by then. I think I can do it.
I've been working on sewing stuff, as usual. In one of the pictures, you can see the dresses and jumpers I did for the girls in March. The matching dresses (I have one too, but it wasn't finished at the time of this photo) were for a wedding we went to. The other dresses and jumpers were from some birthday money they got specifically for material. I got all those done in a week. Whew!! I'm quite proud of myself for that. I've also been plugging away at an extra large queen sized quilt for my mother. The quilt block picture you see my lovely helpers holding up are of the same pattern I'm using for her quilt. In fact, the really large one is going on the back of her quilt. The one in the middle is the normal size of the block and the really little one is when I was just fooling around with scraps. The quilt block is called "Swoon" if you are interested in it. I've talked a bit about it on my blog: www.dewings.us/blog/ . Her quilt top is all ready to be marked and then quilted. I'm a bit nervous about that, for it's a large quilt (86 x 91) and I have a regular home sewing machine. But I'm hopeful it will work. I have two friends who are getting married in June and I'm making things for them, too. One will be just a wall quilt and the other will be a queen size (but with a really easy pattern). I should have the finished by the time of my next entry, so I'll show pictures then.
That's about it for me. I pray that you all had a wonderful Easter! And I pray for each of you who read here that you know the love of our Lord who died for all of our sins and took the punishment for them so that we can have eternal life with Him in heaven. The joy He brings into our lives is unmistakable! And there is no substitute!
Till next time,