Monday, March 16, 2015

what i've been reading

I love to read and although I don't often have lots of time to sit down and read I usually have a number of books that I am working through, some more quickly than others.  Anyway, I thought I would share some of the things I am reading now, or have recently finished reading...

I have been talking about wanting chickens for years and recently decided that it was time to do some serious research on chickens and see if chicken keeping was something doable for our family.  So along with lots of internet research I purchased these two books:

I finished A Chicken in Every Yard pretty quickly and really enjoyed it, and if you can only get one book on keeping chickens, this is a good one.  Lots of helpful information and easy to read.  I am still working through Keeping Chickens and the further into the book I get the more I am getting out of it, although most of the information is very similar to what I already read in the first book.

I was picking up some books we had on reserve at the library and came across this book.  I am always looking for good reading material for my kids and this looked interesting, so I grabbed it.  I am only one chapter in, so I can't really give a real review of it, but I am looking forward to reading what happens next.  And just to be clear - I do not always (actually rarely ever) pre-read books before I hand them off to my kids, but sometimes when I see something that looks interesting but has not been recommended my someone I trust then I will read at least part of the book before recommending it to one of my kids.

In the wee hours of the morning, while I am feeding Kai, I have been reading Edie's Lenten devotions.  I look forward to those few moments of encouragement and reflection in the still darkness of the early morning. I will be sad when the series is over!  You can read day 2 and find out how to subscribe to her Lenten devotional emails here.

This is another devotional I recently read and really enjoyed.

Tallulah and I started this book together last night and I am looking forward to finding a few moments each day to connect with my child who is feeling her place as the middle child right now.

We have not started it yet, but Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles inspired me to read A Tale of Two Cities aloud to the kids.  I am hoping to start this week :)  You can get if on your kindle for free from Amazon.

What have you been reading lately?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Last night we had our third snow storm in the last 10 days.  Addie was out early and made this snow man all by herself!
After lunch all the (non-napping) kids headed out to make an igloo.

They worked hard all afternoon and ended up with a pretty awesome igloo!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

a birth story

About a month ago I started looking at the calendar and thinking about when the best day to have this baby would be... you see, I have never gone into labor on my own, so I just figured the chances were not too high that with baby number seven my uterus would finally realize what it was supposed to have done all those other times and get itself in gear.  We settled on the 6th, three days before my actual due date, for several reasons both practical and self-serving.  Having the baby on a Friday meant that the hubby (who just started a new job) would not have to take as much time off work, also it meant the kids (mostly Regan, who's work load is the largest and from whom we would need the most help with the little kids) would not have to miss out on too much schoolwork, and of course the most self serving reason being that I did not want to be in the hospital on my birthday next week :)  The midwife was on board with the time table, but neither of us wanted to push an induction just for convenience sake if my body wasn't ready, so we waiting until my 39 week appointment to see if my body was actually ready.  When I went in on Tuesday I was starting to dilate and the baby had dropped so the tentative induction date became the actual induction date... unless I were to miraculously go into labor before then - and well, we all know that didn't happen so...

Friday, February 6 we got up early, said good bye to the kids, and headed to the hospital, me, the hubby and my mom.  It is all a bit surreal, walking into a hospital, no signs of labor, yet knowing you'll be holding a baby in your arms before the day is over.  We got registered and they had me strapped down to the bed (monitors) and drugged up (IV antibiotics for GBS+, and Pitocin) by 8:20am... of course because I was GBS+ they did not want me to deliver until I had the antibiotics going for 4 hrs, so the Pit level was so low I was barely having contractions.  At one point the nurse said "If those contractions start to feel at all like labor contractions, let me know, and I'll turn the Pit down"  Which of course made me think, why are you even giving it to me if you don't want me to have "labor contractions"? but whatever.  So, I spent the morning reading a book (The Fault in our Stars) and waiting for the magic 4 hour mark before they would really get things moving.

 The midwife came in at lunch time and broke my water around 12:40pm and the fun began.  Within the hour the contractions picked up but the nurse wanted them stronger, so the upped my Pit.  Sometime before 4pm I knew things were going to get serious soon so I told the nurse I wanted her to speed up my IV fluid and call the anesthesiologist, she didn't believe me and said they had to check me first to see how far I had progressed... because you can never trust a woman who is giving birth to her 7th child that she might just have some idea how her body works :)  (The nurse was a newbie, so she had to stick to the rules), so I acquiesced and allowed the nurse to check my progress, which immediately sent me into transition.  I begged them to turn down the Pit, at least until the epidural was done, but they would not... at this point I was really wishing my midwife was there. She delivered Addie and Emmy and knew first hand how my body would respond at this point, even if we turned down the Pit, but she was not there, she was still at the office seeing patients and waiting for word that I was ready to deliver to run to the hospital.

The anesthesiologist finally arrived and got straight to work.  Up to this point I have had quick and mostly positive epidural experiences (one time they made me lie flat on my back and the medicine went up my spine and my arm went numb. seriously freaky!)  That was not to be the case this time.  For some reason this Dr. could not get it right.  She stuck me numerous times (I lost count at 3) and I spent more than 30 minutes in the hunched over position trying not to move through scream worthy contractions.  The nurse finally turned the Pit down and the intensity of the contractions lessened a bit but it was still quite a painful experience.  By the time the Dr. finally got the epidural in I felt awful.  My head was spinning and my blood pressure was dropping, all I wanted to do was go to sleep.  But as soon as I laid down I felt the baby. As she walked out the door  I heard one nurse say to the other, "put the catheter in and we'll take it out when she's ready to push."  When she came over to me I said," I don't think I need that, I can feel the baby and I think I'm about ready, I think you need to call the midwife"  she responded, "Oh no, we have to do this, and we will call the midwife soon" (once again, never trust a mama who's done this 6 times before).  So, I got a catheter only to have the other nurse come in right after and say, "Oh, she's ready to push, you need to take that out."

Of course my midwife still wasn't there, so they didn't want me to push. Luckily she was in the parking lot, so I didn't have to wait too long for her arrival.  Anyway, long story short the midwife came running in to the room, pulled on her robe and gloves and in just a few pushes Kai was born at 5:02pm, Friday, February 6, 2015.  With the exception of the whole epidural experience it wasn't a bad labor and delivery and I am happy to hold Kai in my arms instead of in my belly, and I think he would agree :)

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Kai Shepherd, February 6, 2015, 7 lbs 7oz 20.5 inches

Everyone was excited to meet their new baby brother today.
But Emmaline was definitely the most excited.  It was so cute to see her love on her baby brother :)
Addie wanted to hold him, but would not look at him, lol.

Kai is loving all the attention and many arms to hold him.  This little guy is going to be spoiled rotten for sure :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I do a lot of doodling in my journal with quotes or bible verses that inspire me but I decided to actually doodle this verse on a full size sheet of watercolor paper this time.  It took me a few weeks to complete - working for a few minutes here and there - but I finally completed it the other day.  I typically draw in pencil first, then go over it with a Paper Mate pen, (these are my favorite) and finally I use my Copic Sketch markers to color it in.

Monday, January 26, 2015


With only a couple weeks until my due date I have found myself starting (and finishing!) lots of projects around here.  I needed a bumper pad for the baby's crib and just was not finding anything I really liked in the stores so I decided to make my own.
I did some searching on pinterest for patterns and decided I liked the look of this bumper that use 2" foam instead of batting.  Here is a great tutorial on how to put it all together as one piece and use a zipper at one end so you can take the foam out to wash the fabric... I will say, I spend well over an hour putting the foam into the fabric bumper case, so I don't know how frequently I will be taking it all out to wash it...  I think we'll spot clean unless it really needs a thorough washing!

After I decided on the style of bumper I made some adjustments to the original measurements as some of them didn't seem quite right to me and I also did not want it quite as tall as the original measurements called for.  (I will include my measurements and some notes at the bottom of this post for anyone who is interested.)

Then I headed to the fabric store for some inspiration!  I already had the grey chevron sheet and was thinking I was going to do all grey with just a splash of color for the piping and ties but in the end decided on the turquoise feather/chevron pattern and charcoal with turquoise stars.  One thing that factored into my fabric choice was the direction of the pattern on the fabric.  I needed 55"w cuts of fabric for the long sides and did not want seems in those pieces, so I needed the pattern to run the length of fabric instead of the width, or not be directional at all, like the stars.
In the end, I am supper pleased with how it turned out.  I think one of my favorite things is that I know it will hold its form and not mash down like the last bumper pad I made (13+ years ago when Regan was born!)

Here are my measurements and notes:


- One sheet of foam 2"x 24" x 72"

Cut two pieces 50.5" x 10"
Cut two pieces 23" x 10"

*I ordered my foam on Amazon because it was cheaper than going to Joann's.  Also, it cut easily with a serrated kitchen knife. 


- Two yards each of 2 contrasting fabrics for main body of the bumper (see note above about direction of the pattern.  If you are using fabric where the pattern runs the width of the fabric you will need more than 2 yard or each fabric and 60"w fabric to have no seams in the long sides of the bumper)

Cut two in each fabric 55" x 12.75"
Cut two in each fabric 27.5" x 12.75"
*you should have a total of 8 pieces, 4 of each size.

- One yard for piping

*You can find lots of tutorials online for piping and cutting on the bias online, these are just ones I have referenced in the past.

- One yard 44"w fabric for ties (I used 40"w fabric so my ties are a little short, 44"w fabric would have been better)

Cut 16 pieces 22" x 4"


- One 12" zipper

- 4.5 yards of cord for piping

*Everything was sewn with a 3/8" seam allowance except the ends of the ties which I used a 1/4" seam allowance on.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

addie is 5!

Addie turned 5 this week!  This is the first year I think she's really gotten that it is her birthday and been excited about celebrating.

"I think it's what I wanted... a rainbow dress!"

And rainbow tic tacs...
and jacket, and bread, and straws, and fruit... Are you catching the rainbow theme of the day here?

The cake was even rainbow tie-dye under that orange frosting :)
Happy Birthday, Addie!  You brighten our days!

blogger templates | Make Money Online