Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Could I really be considering cloth diapering?

I have to confess that I thought you cloth diapering moms were completely nuts a few months ago.  Could it be that I'm seriously considering cloth diapers for my 6th baby? 

I have a few questions, as it's really a bit overwhelming trying to figure out what's what in the world of cloth diapers. 

1.  What's the difference really between hybrid/inserts and cloth diapers?  I mean, the inserts are still washed, not trashed, right or wrong?

2.  What's the best overnight solution?

3.  What's the best cloth diaper for newborns?

4.  What's the best diaper cover?

I realize these are largely opinions, but I would love to benefit from your experience!  I appreciate any help!

Adventures in Potty Training

Louie, or Queen as she's referred to by her older brother and sister, is almost 23 months.  With a new baby due around her 2nd birthday, I thought I'd better get her potty trained ASAP.  She is my 5th child to potty train, so I'm not completely without experience, but it is interesting to me how different they all are. 

Before potty training my oldest, a boy, I sat him down in front of the tv and played a potty video.  It had a catchy little tune about "goin' to my potty, potty" that my husband and I couldn't get out of our heads for weeks.  I explained to Monk that he had to go in the potty from now on... and he did.  He was not quite 2 1/2 when I started training him and it took about 2 days for #1 and a few more days for #2.  I never used pull-ups with him because I was afraid it would be confusing.  At this point I was convinced that I had the previously unrealized gift of potty whisperer.  (At the time I thought it was all me, but looking back I realize it's more Monk's personality.  It's also not typical that Monk keeps his bathroom so clean.  He's a bit of a neat freak and a meticulous washer of hands, thus his nickname.)

My second child, a girl, was our most precocious child, well maybe until now.  She didn't walk until she was 16 months, but began talking in complete sentences shortly thereafter.  I've told you before how amazed I was that she planned her 2nd birthday party.  I mean she chose the theme, the flavor of cake, the frosting, made the invitation list, and was in charge of decorations.  She's always been a girl with a mission.  At around 21 months of age she convinced me while out shopping that she wanted panties.  I bought them for her and that was that.  At this point I was convinced that I was some kind of super genius potty trainer. 

My third child, a girl, was not particularly interested in potty training and I was working full-time, but when she turned 2 I felt it was time to embark once again on the potty training adventure.  My boss went out of town to China for 3 weeks so I took a weekend and a couple of days off to potty train Measle.  I can't remember whether or not I bribed her, but I do remember that she took to it fairly easily.  We vacationed in Colorado two weeks later and she made it through the whole trip without one accident.  Using the camp grounds outhouse was NOT fun., but my pride in my potty training abilities was still in tact.

My fourth child, a boy, was 2 1/2 when his little sister was born.  I tried training him before she arrived, but he was obviously not ready.  I had never failed to that degree, so I decided that little boys needed to be 2 1/2 before potty training, so I waited.  Then after having his little sister and nursing round the clock, I waited some more.  Finally, one day I snapped and told him I just couldn't ever change another one of his toddler- sized poopy diapers.  He was probably around 2 yrs 7 months or so.  I know you've been waiting for this point in the story, so let me just come right out and say that my 4th child, 2nd son, shattered all my prideful illusions about my possessing any skills whatsoever in potty training.  I tried everything with him and he would go along just fine then out of nowhere have an accident.  Now maybe it's normal for little boys to have accidents, but it wasn't normal for my previous 3 kids, so it totally unnerved me.  I was never prepared for when it would strike.  Even now, at 4 1/2, he still has accidents!  And we still have to tell him regularly to run go potty because we see that he needs to go before the message hits his cerebral cortex.  His hand gets the message, but his frontal lobe doesn't.  Strange.  He's extremely smart, too, and truly seems sorry when he has accidents.  I just don't understand it.

So, imagine my trepidation when I set out to potty train Queen this past Saturday.  She's been taking off her diapers for some time now, so I knew she didn't like being wet.  I was hoping that would help me, but she's also a wee bit, dare I say spoiled.  I was afraid that would be working against me, big time.  Since I really needed this to work, I pulled out all the stops.  Her first potty experience consisted of sipping a Starbucks caramel frapuccino on the potty while I read her favorite Dora book to her, making sure all the while that the big bag of chocolate candy was clearly in sight as her intended reward.  What I didn't count on from my fearless toddler is a fear of the potty.  She was so scared that I had to hold her every time for the first day and a half, even when she was sitting on her potty seat!  (I don't do those little potties- yuck!)  Sometime the second day she realized that she hadn't fallen off or in, yet, so the potty must be relatively safe.  I mean, compared to jumping off the sofa and other daredevil stunts she loves to pull, it is safe.

She had one and a half pee pee accidents and half a poo poo accident the first day.  (In case you're wondering, half an accident is when you transport them to the potty mid-accident and they finish up on the potty, so it ends up as a partial success.)  The second day she had no accidents, but she did have a little bit of a wet diaper in the morning despite awakening me 3 times in the night to go potty!  (She sleeps with me and was wearing a diaper, but was obviously aware that she was supposed to be going in the potty.  Hey, I get up 4 or 5 times a night these days, so it didn't bother me.)  Then the second and third nights she stayed completely dry!  She has been an absolute champion the past couple of days!  So, despite her initial fears, it looks like she's going to be basically potty trained in 3 days.  Don't worry, I'm not about to get a big head over it.  I've learned my lesson!  I'm grateful to God that she's going to be all trained by the time her little brother arrives on the scene.  God is good!  It has nothing to do with me!

I have learned a trick for those of you training a little one with big siblings.  Give out referral candies.  If an older sibling realizes Queen needs to potty and gets her there in time, they get the reward, too.  This has kept everyone on the ball!  We did run through the bag of chocolate candies in just 3 days, though.  I may need to switch rewards.  What are your potty training experiences?  Were your kids similar or different?  Any tips for my 4 year old?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Future scientist?

We started our homeschooling experience with Robinson Curriculum, developed by Dr. Art Robinson, a well-respected independent scientist (makes or raises all his own research funding to remain untainted by NIH bias) who was once referred to by Linus Pauling as "my principal and most valued collaborator".  (That's the Linus Pauling of Nobel prize fame.)  That collaboration didn't last after Robinson went public with his results disproving Pauling's vitamin C hypothesis, which Pauling had tried to cover-up.  Dr. Robinson is a genius of a scientist, and also a conservative Christian, who after his wife died suddenly, developed a self-learning homeschool curriculum for his children to work through on their own.  Several of his sons, having already completed PhDs, now work with him at his Oregon Institute of Science. 

All this by way of saying that, the homeschool curriculum developed by a famous scientist contains no formal textbook science until after Algebra.  I know it seems crazy to those of us indoctrinated by "the system" that our children could thrive in science in middle school after having no formal science instruction in the elementary years, but this is just what he proposes.  (I should mention that his plan accelerates math so that Algebra is usually completed prior to entering the 7th grade.)  His recommendation for the elementary years is simply to allow children to read up on their interests whether that be airplanes, spiders, the weather, or whatever.

So, this is my 11 year old son's first year in formal science (he's also taking Algebra this year- Robinson would have recommended no science until Chemistry the year following Algebra, but I just couldn't stand to wait another year).  I was quite nervous about it, afraid that somehow he would be completely lost or left behind, but quite to the contrary, he's thriving.  He loves it!  He asked me Friday if we could do every science experiment in the Apologia General Science text... this week

Here he is Friday learning about chemical reactions.  You can see in the last picture one of his sisters cheering him on.  The whole family is enjoying watching Monk's science experiments.  (They also enjoyed drinking the root beer- procuring the 2 liter bottle required a special trip to the store since we don't usually drink sodas.)

What do you think, do we have a future scientist on our hands?
Oh- and don't forget to enter my anniversary giveaway, if you haven't already!

Easy cinnamon rolls!

Well, at least easier cinnamon rolls.  I've shared with you before that for many years I did just what I had to in the kitchen for us to get by.  Since coming home full-time to stay last year, I've started experimenting more and more- and trying to make more things from scratch.  I'm easily intimidated by complicated sounding recipes, so I usually adapt things to make them easier to make.  Last night I used my bread machine to mix up cinnamon roll dough, then I rolled it out, spread the filling over top, rolled it up, sliced it into individual buns, and arranged them in a 9X13 to let rise overnight in the refrigerator.  Then this morning I got them out and let them sit at room temp 30 minutes before baking them 25 minutes at 375.  (The aroma really helped the kids drag themselves out of bed at 6:45 this morning.)

Here they are ready to go into the fridge last night.

Here they are fresh out of the oven.

Cinnamon roll dough- (from The Bread Machine cookbook)
1 c milk
2 T butter
1 egg, beaten
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3-3.5 c flour
1.5 tsp yeast

After rolling out dough, I brushed with 2 T melted butter
1/2 c brown sugar and 1 T cinnamon mixed together
Raisins, sprinkled on top

Cream cheese glaze
1 T cream cheese
1 T softened butter
Powdered sugar and milk to desired consistency

They were a hit with the kids!

See, almost all gone!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finally on the weekly chore bandwagon!

I'm probably the last mom of many on earth to assign weekly chores, but I've finally come to my senses and done it.  I was looking back over Managers of their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell last night and felt convicted that it was time we initiate weekly chores.  The Maxwells have scheduling down to a science, so if you struggle in this area, I highly recommend their books Managers of their Homes and Managers of their Schools.

So, why assign weekly chores now if we've gone this long without them?  Several reasons. 

1.)  We've been studying diligence lately and this gives all of us a wonderful opportunity to practice diligence on a weekly basis (without being told by mom or dad, so diligence and initiative). 

2.)  Often times I end up just doing something myself or leaving it undone because I haven't properly trained my children to do a particular chore.  Our weekly chores will require me to work with the kids and help them to master their jurisdictions.  This experience will not only benefit our household, but help prepare our kids to manage their own homes someday.  I think gaining the skills necessary for their weekly chores will also give them a feeling of self-efficacy that many kids today lack. 

3.)  I'm usually pretty laid back about chores until company's on the way, at which point I fly into a panic and shout orders at my children like a drill sergeant taking charge of his new recruits.  I think the kids and I would all rather have most of the chores done ahead of time so that our cooperative efforts could focus on finishing touches rather than expending all our energy at the last minute just making our home presentable.  In other words, weekly chores will help curb my procrastination.

I've also added a few chores to our daily regimen.

New Daily and Weekly Chore Assignments

Monk (11)

Daily- Make bed and keep room neat (morning), walk dog (afternoon), take out trash (evening).

Weekly- Dust bedroom, pick-up/organize movies in theater room, clean upstairs bathroom, sweep side porch.

Twinkle Toes (9)

Daily- Make bed and keep room and closet neat (morning), straighten and wipe down counters in girls' bathroom (evening).

Weekly- Clean arts and crafts area upstairs, clean back and side glass doors, clean girls' bathroom, sweep back porch.

Measle (7)

Daily- Make bed and keep room and closet neat (morning), wet jet floor of eating area (evening).

Weekly- Sweep front porch, clean the stairs, clean glass in front door.

Prince (4)

Daily- Make bed (morning), keep room and closet neat (throughout day), vacuum floor of eating area with Shark (evening). 

Weekly- Pick-up all outside toys from backyard and put in outside toy box

Mom and Dad- Everything else!  Actually, there are other things the kids do around the house, like put their clean laundry away.  We're in the process of overhauling our laundry room (that darn nesting), so I'll post more on this later.  It's usually semi-weekly, but of course depends on when the laundry gets done.  They are also supposed to rinse their dishes and put them in the dishwasher after each meal and my two youngest love helping me unload the dishwasher.  But weekly chores are new to us and I hope they work well for our family.

We have never given our kids an allowance.  We think they need to help out around the house because it's the right thing to do, not to earn money.  However, we have decided on a few out of the ordinary jobs that we will let them do to earn money.

Monk (11) has been learning to mow at my parents' ranch.  He mows both with a riding mower and also a push mower.  He also earned money painting a fence at the ranch this summer.  (They pay him as they have jobs that need doing.)

Twinkle Toes (9) is a master organizer and occasionally I'll pay her a couple of dollars to clean out and organize a closet for me, like our coat closet with all the hats and gloves, etc.  (Money well spent it my opinion!)

Measle (7) has earned a little money pulling weeds over the summer.  We usually pay her $1 for each Walmart sack full of weeds she pulls. (Ahh, the joys of child labor!)

How about you?  Do you assign weekly chores as well as daily ones?  Do you give your kids an allowance?  Are there jobs they are expected to do without pay?

Oh and don't forget to enter my blog anniversary giveawy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

One year blog anniversary giveaway and reflections!!

This week marks my one year blog anniversary.  I have several gifts that I want to give you, my faithful blog friends.  First let me say, "Thanks."

I started blogging as an easy way to keep track of family pictures, a short-cut to scrapbooking or something like that.  I had no idea that I would meet so many women who would inspire, challenge, and encourage me.  I've found friendship with other homeschooling moms, learned from their experience, and made our homeschool better.  I've learned about countless homeschool resources that have been a blessing to us.  I've been challenged to be a more godly wife and mother, to become more of a producer in the kitchen, and to read my Bible in 90 days, twice!  I've even met several of you in real life and found you're even better in person!  And blogging has reminded me that I love to write!  (The memories of the Daisy typewriter are all coming back to me now!)

In addition to winning friendship and encouragement, I've won some amazing prizes since getting into blogging!  In the last year, I've won a $50 Sonlight gift card, the NCFIC Sufficiency of Scripture 2009 conference complete audio set (I've so enjoyed listening to this!!!), two Christian fiction books, and a fabulous collection of homemade pre-school learning activities.  Since I've received so much this last year, I want to give something back to you.

The gifts for my anniversary giveaway are:

$50 Sony Style Gift Card- visit http://www.sonystyle.com/ to see the wide selection of gifts available for purchase with this card.

$25 Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift card

$25 Barnes and Noble gift card

Encouragement for the Homeschool Family 8 Session CD Audio Seminar by Steve and Teri Maxwell

Feed My Sheep:  A Practical Guide to Daily Family Bible Time by Steve Maxwell (2 CDs)

Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids:  Jesus in the Spotlight John 1-10 by Kay Arthur

The Royal Attributes of God devotional in English and Spanish

To enter comment below on your favorite post, series, or theme that I've written about in the last year.  What did you like about it?  Did it make you think or was it an encouragement to you?  Be sure to include your email address in your comment or you can send me your email privately through the Contact tab at the top of my blog if you'd prefer.  You can also comment about topics you hope I'll address in the next year. 

As a sneak peak, here's what I'm interested in and already planning to write on:  more creation science- molecular and genetics arguments, cannonization of Scripture- I've been interested in this topic for a while and have a couple of books on my nightstand waiting for my attention, more theology of adoption- I'll save these for October, more Christ in the Old Testament filed under the Advent topic- I never get tired of making these connections, maybe some more on drugs- some of my favorite topics are indiscriminate use of antibiotics, stimulant treatment of ADHD, and dangers of anti-depressants especially SSRIs, and I'm interested in learning more about genetically modified foods.  What do you think?  Have I missed some exciting and interesting topics?  What are you interested in right now?

I'll draw 7 winners on the evening of Thursday September 2nd.  The first winner will get to pick their prize, then the second winner will get to pick from what's left and so on.  If I don't hear from a winner within 24 hrs then I'll move on to the next winner so I can get everyone their prizes ASAP.  Thanks for participating and for adding a lot of fun and encouragement to my year!

Friday, August 27, 2010

This nesting is hard on my back!

I finally had Queen's 1 year portrait framed and hung it above the piano.  (She's almost 2.)  Imagine, if you will a large pregnant woman standing atop a swiveling bar stool with hammer in hand.  Not a pretty sight, but I got the job done.

Oh, and for the first time, I took the baby's one year portrait.  Big D was a little disappointed that it was a bit on the blurry side, but I love it and think I did pretty good for a novice (top right).

Next, my nesting caused me to take down all the fake shrubbery from the top of the entertainment center in our bedroom, wash it in the tub, and rearrange it atop our homeschool unit.  What do you think?  I like it better here. 

The grand finale involved moving a desk from our bedroom to our front living room around midnight last night.  Of course, that meant I had to move the two blue chairs my mom passed on to me last month, and rearrange things in general.  I love having both desks in the same room!  It makes our front living room more like a study.  I also wanted it out of our bedroom so we could make room for baby.  I'll post those pics Thursday with the 4 Mom's bedrooms link-up part II.

I'm a little sleepy and my back's a little sore, but I can't stop nesting.  I must be getting close to having this baby!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lessons learned from our first week back in the homeschool saddle

1.  I love Sonlight's language arts program!  We used a Sonlight Core last year, but this is our first year to use their language arts.  I know how to write, but teaching it is another matter.  I love that they lay it all out for you and connect it to the readers.  They also give schedules for both Grammar Ace and Wordly Wise (we're doing Grammar Ace together and Monk and Twinkle Toes are doing Wordly Wise 6 and 4, respectively.) 

2.  I'm not sure if the switch to Teaching Textbooks for math was worth it or not.  So far, neither of my kids has cracked a CD.  Maybe that's because it's still just review.  Speaking of review, all three kids forgot a lot of math over the summer.  I'm kicking myself once again for not making them review their math, at least periodically, all summer long.

3.  I'm so glad I added science for Twinkle Toes and art for both Monk and Twinkle Toes!  They have more time in the day than I thought they would and have had no trouble getting everything done.  I alloted one hour per individual study block, but art and reading are only taking 30-40 minutes.  Math and science are taking closer to the full hour. 

4.  We're all enjoying our read-alouds and readers- thank you, Sonlight!  We've been consistent with the timeline and map activities this week, unlike last year.  We read for about 45 minutes in the living room then move to the table where we spend 10 or so minutes on map and timeline and then 30-40 minutes on language arts. 

5.  This is the first year I've done dictation with the kids.  My older two are doing well, but my 7 year old is really struggling!  In addition to Sonlight's weekly dictation assignment, we're doing daily dictation exercises from Spelling Wisdom book 1.  I know it's doing them all a world of good.  It's helping my older two pay closer attention to punctuation and occasionally they find a word they didn't know how to spell.

6.  My wonderful planned pre-school activity stations are not working for Louie.  She's almost 23 months, so maybe it's an age thing.  I'm having a really hard time keeping her quiet while the older kids are doing school.  We're having our read-aloud time while she naps in the morning.  (I dare not drop her morning nap, then what would we do?)  I'm so grateful for the nice fall weather we're having!  I can always just send my pre-schoolers outside to play.  Of course, sometimes I happen upon scenes like this one...

Yes, that is a snake wrapped around Prince's head.  (Measle has given her little brother a new nickname.  He's now called Prince and Louie is Queen.)  And, yes, Queen is wearing her birthday suit- her favorite outfit these days.  At least she wasn't in the sandbox.

So, how was your first week?  What have you learned?  Any tweaking going on?

4 Moms Open House- Bedrooms

I'm so thankful Kimberly gave us a heads up this week that we would be showing our bedrooms.  I always need a few days notice to get our bedrooms looking decent.  We are on the brink of bedroom transition at our house, but I'll show you the way it is now and tell you what we're planning on doing.

When we bought our house it had 4 bedrooms laid out in a split plan with the master on one side of the house and the kids' rooms on the other side.  This is the hallway to the 3 original kids' bedrooms.  To the right is our dining room/dollhouse workshop :), to the left is our kitchen.

As you walk down the hall, the first door on the left is our storage room and the next door on the left takes you into the bedroom shared by Twinkle Toes (9) and Measle (7).  This is the view inside from their doorway.

Then panning right...

And now panning to the left...

All of this beautiful Ethan Allen furniture in the girls' room was mine growing up.  We haven't done a thing to it.  What a blessing!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

I mentioned room shifting:  Twinkle Toes really wants a room to herself and Measle really wants to share with Louie, so we may be moving Measle into Louie's room at some point in the not-so-distant future.  Speaking of Louie's room, it's the last door on the right down the hallway.  Here's the view from Louie's bedroom door.

And there's Louie!  She was hiding.  Now, panning to the right...

And the view of the left side of her room taken from the closet.

At the end of the hallway is the girls' bathroom. 

Next to Louie's room and across the hallway from the girls' room is a bedroom in transition.  First it was Monk's then it was shared by Monk and American Boy, then it was just AB's (after Monk moved upstairs), this summer it was my husband's adult nephew Josh's (after AB moved upstairs), and now we're getting it ready for the new baby.

I think I've decided to leave the bed in here.  This is our largest kid's room and we didn't really plan on using it for a nursery, but it was the only way to avoid re-doing a children's bedroom since this one was already "boy".  Our plan is to move Baby Calvin upstairs when he's 2 or 3 to share American Boy's room with him.  In fact, AB's already excitedly talking about this.  Oh, and please notice the painting above the bed- Monk (11) painted this canyon scene in art class this summer.

Imagine a crib here where you see the parts leaning against the wall.  Big D's working on getting it together and he informed me that this has to be the last baby boy since the bolt casings are getting stripped inside.  He doesn't think the boy crib will survive being disassembled and reassembled even one more time.  Hmmm.  Maybe we'll just have to find a way to store it in the built position, or have girls from now on :) .  The crib bedding is 11 yrs old and the twin bedding and room decor are 7+ years old.  I've never had the crib and twin bed in the same room before, but am thrilled that they coordinate so well.

I've been working on getting Baby's closet ready.  It's so fun getting down the baby boy clothes again.  It's been 11 years since we had a baby boy.  Our American Boy came to us at just under a year, so he wore lots of his big brother's 12-18 month hand-me-downs, but I haven't seen the 0-6 m and 6-12 m baby clothes in a LONG time.

Before we move upstairs, let me tell you a bit about how our upstairs came to be.  A couple of years after we bought our one-story home a huge hailstorm came through and wiped out our roof, which was shake shingle.  Our insurance company encouraged us to switch to a composite roof, but according to our policy paid us replacement value on the shake shingle roof.  So, Big D and I decided rather than just spend the money, which was substantial, that we would re-invest it in our home.  Thus began our 4 year upstairs addition project. 

Big D did much of the work and contracted out what little he didn't do.  It took four years because he does have a full-time job, after all, and we paid as we went.  There were MANY times we regretted ever starting this project, but now that it's finished we're so glad we did (except when it's time to pay property taxes each year)!  We LOVE it!

I showed some pictures of our playroom in the last post on living areas.  We also have two bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs.  Here is our American Boy's bedroom.  My husband designed and built the built-ins, with my input, of course.  The two large drawers under the window seat are filled with toys eliminating the need for a toy box and the cabinets house our board games.  We just added a closet to AB's room, but it hasn't been painted yet.

Now, moving across the playroom, we arrive at our oldest son's bedroom.  He is completely responsible for the upkeep of his room incuding dusting, which is why it's a little dusty.  I did have him tidy it up a bit before taking the pictures.

As you can see, Monk likes to build things.

With the exception of the white shelf that used to be in the playroom, all the furniture in this room was my dad's childhood furniture.  It's all over 60 years old!  We did have it refinished about 10 years ago, but can you believe how well it's held up?  They don't make furniture like they used to, that's for sure!

I'll show you some old pictures of the boys' bathroom since it's looking a little more lived-in this morning.

How do you like Big D's handiwork?  This was his first time to tile a shower.

Monk painted this nautical scene a few years ago.  It hangs above the toilet, and you really don't need to see that, do you?

Now, descending the stairs once more to the master bedroom.  Big D says this is really the only bedroom we need.  Just yesterday I rolled up three sleeping bags from our floor, Louie usually sleeps in the bed with us, and our arm's reach co-sleeper is on the way for Baby Calvin.  Why do we have so many bedrooms, again?  I once helped a friend babysit for her nieces who informed me that their beds were just for decoration.  We're not quite there yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's where we end up.

The dresser was my aunt's when she was a little girl.

I just moved the baby swing in today.

Notice the paint and wallpaper books?  Our bedroom is going to get a facelift in the very near future.  We've decided to go green.  What do you think?

It's not that I don't like the yellow, though Big D has never much cared for it.  When we bought this house, the master bedroom already had a border around the top of the room and Big D explained to me that the easiest thing to do was to find another border and slap it on top.  I don't know what I was thinking, but I chose monkeys.

Well, 7 years later I just can't stand to have those monkeys looking at me any longer.  I asked Big D if we could paint our room, but he said that would involved taking off the two borders, sanding down the floated out border area, scraping the texture off all our walls, and then re-spraying texture over all the walls.  Or he said I could pick a paper.  I chose the latter.  (Remember the dollhouse? It still isn't finished and I'm having a baby in 6 weeks!)

And finally, our master bathroom.  This room had to wait 6 years before we touched it- I guess because it's so out of the way that no one ever sees it, until now, anyway.  It was definitely worth the wait, but it wasn't easy waiting SIX YEARS.  Before we re-did it, the laminate flooring was peeling up, it had a pink tiled shower for two, jungle animals all over the walls, and a swimming pool of a jacuzi tub so big that we didn't have enough hot water to fill it!  So now you know why we love our master bath SO much! 

A friend of mine who's a real craftsman made me that jewelry chest as a gift.  (I don't have very much jewelry, but it's so beautiful I love having it out.)

The shower is to the right of the tub.

No glass shower door means no glass shower door to clean :) .  And a close-up of the shower.

Big D and I are extremely grateful to live in such a nice home.  We certainly don't deserve it, but are happily filling it with children.  I think we can easily fit a few more, don't you?

Now make sure you check out all the 4 Moms bedrooms at Raising Olives, Smockity Frocks, In a Shoe, and The Common Room.


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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.