Monday, December 29, 2008

A Timely Post. . .

That I must pass on. May this minister to your soul, as it does to mine.
Click here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Four Favorites-

I wanted to share my four most favorite blogs. These are the ones that I have discovered through surfing around from blog to blog, and I check on them regularly. They are as follows:
  • Method's Blog: A friend sent me this link, and I love it! This woman is an incredible baker. Since I've been following, she has mostly posted cookies and pastries, with occasional savories. A sweet tooth like me! But, I love how she substitutes wholesome ingredients into her creations. The pictures are always mouth-watering. So, for some kitchen inspiration, check it out!
  • The Frugal Girl: A very practical site for homemakers. Kristen is so positive and encouraging. She blogs about being cheerfully frugal- mostly with groceries, but also other creative ideas. She posts her supper menu plan weekly, reports on her grocery costs, and every Friday takes a picture of her food waste that she throws out from her fridge. It is very motivating for me.
  • Eyes of Wonder: This is the blog of a lovely wife and mother who live in the country somewhere. The photos and music on this blog are amazing. It makes you feel like you've been transported back in time at least 100 years. I think it's incredible to see families actually living like this in our day and age. Breath-taking.
  • Anna Maria: My new ultimate favorite. If I had to describe my style, I would show people this blog. It is so gorgeous! Color, color, color. In fact, I discovered this blog off of a "10 Most Beautiful Blogs" list. My sewing skills are not quite up to par yet, but Anna Maria really inspires me to keep on creating beautiful things!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Quote I need to absorb into my skin-

"A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."
By : John Henry Newman

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Owl



Look what was waiting to welcome us at the top of our crabapple tree when we pulled into our driveway last night.

A Jack of all trades. . .






Corbin spent the day with Nana and Papa on Saturday and these are the photos I got texted to me from Nana's phone. Corbin worked on some shelf supports with Papa in his woodshop. He made a huge train track in the play room he was really proud of. And then, he apparently made a Christmas gift for Lindy.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Help-

I'm losing my good attitude about the dog. Arg!
So, what I'm looking for here is some encouragement from you dog-lovers reading this. Remind me again why I'm happy about having a sweet, dumb, huge doggy? Why is this good for our family? No comiserating please!

Thanksgiving report




And, for anyone wondering- Thanksgiving was fabulous. The turkey ended up a little dry, but the maple-glazed carrots, apple stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and turtle pumpkin pie were all big hits! I wasn't thrilled with the roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans, but Kent liked them. Just my parents came over. The pics are of Lindy helping Nana and I with the gravy (just before it boiled all over the stove because we were so busy taking pics!), and Papa covered with paper cut up by the kids, taking a little Thanksgiving snooze. Kent read a Thanksgiving story and led us all in prayer and songs. We all played cards while Lindy napped. It was a really nice day!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday, an American tradition.


Painting by Norman Rockwell.

I did not shop on Black Friday, but I did go out with Kent on Saturday. Got many good deals- shoes and boots for the whole family. Pretty sweet!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Unicorns and Ladders-

Out of the blue (actually- we suspect this was "The Princess Bride" movie-inspired), Lindy declared while avoiding eating her dinner this evening, "I have an idea!" (A common phrase uttered by Corbin when he was 3 too, along with the expressive index finger pointing upwards) "After dinner, let's all go for a hike and look for unicorns and ladders!" Now, we live up north and it's already pitch dark at this time. But, it was so cute and sincere.
So, around 8:30 the kidsos were tucked into their warm PJs and beds, we grabbed them both and their fleece blankets from great-grandma, and put them in the car for a Jammy Ride. Off to McDonald's we went for ice cream cones and decent decaf for Kent. Corbin told jokes in the car, we listened to Christmas music, and even saw a few houses lit up already for the season. I drove so that on the way home I took us by a place where I've often seen a horse in the field, and in the dark it looked perfect: we pulled over and aimed the headlights into the field- it even seemed a little misty, and the white horse stepped out of the shadows, into view and nobly walked through our light, we could barely make out his head, and it looked just like a scene out of a movie. Lindy was just sure that it was indeed a unicorn. After shushing Corbin a little not to spill the beans, we returned home to tell Lindy the story of Snow White as she drifted off to sleep in her own bed, surely dreaming of princesses, unicorns and ladders.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving-

Here I am; 31 years old, been married almost ten years, and this year will be the first time that I will host a Thanksgiving day feast. I'm so excited! Got the turkey today. Happy thoughts and prayers welcome. I'll let ya'll know how it turns out!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pooley Family Mini-Reunion-









Here are just a couple of pictures from our big family get-together when both of my sisters and their families were in town last week. Kent, Corbin and Lindy got to meet Annika for the first time, and I got to see her again. She is my sister's 9-month-old daughter- my kids' first cousin on my side of the family. She's adorable!
We took some professional photos I think I may be able to post on here soon. We'll see!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I remained calm. . .


This is Corbin's first big school project that we had to tackle together at home. It is a salt dough map of ancient Egypt. He was so funny when he brought home the instructions two weeks ago saying with big eyes: "We have two whole weeks until this is due!" But, did we start on it that first week? Of course not. Did we end up doing the whole thing the night before it's due? Of course we did. Grumble, grumble.
Overall, I did very well, considering. (Those of you that know me well, know that I have always struggled doing art projects, a.k.a. messy things, with my children. Like I live in some kind of pristine, glass box or something?! What's my problem?) I mean- where is the line with these kind of projects? My 8-year-old son can not do this kind of thing himself without disaster messes (one at home, and one to turn in at school), I'm sure. But, determining what to let him do, so that I don't do the whole darn thing for him, is tough. Ended up; he drew the map, he put the food coloring in for the brown land, he splatted the "land" dough onto the map, he cut out the labels, and put the labels in the correct spots. I didn't lose my temper and the mess wasn't too bad. And actually, I think it turned out nicely and he loved the experience. He actually seemed to have no idea that I was not thrilled with the experience, as he was.
He said- "I wish we had projects like this all the time in school!"
And I thought- "I'm sure they'll keep coming, and I will need to pray for continued wisdom and patience." and I just sighed.

Methods and Principles

You will notice when you are pregnant with your first child that you start to get advice and comments from everyone. This does not end when your pregnancies end- this is only the beginning. And women in particular become quite passionate about topics such as birth, breastfeeding and parenting. (I must confess here that I was one of these over-bearing, passionate women about these things about 4 years ago. I am wiser now. I think...)
Anyways . . . I love this article here from Nancy Wilson. It describes how to have peace among women in community at church. Very good advice!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Speech Meet Results



Here are a couple of pictures from the speech meet. (Sorry about the terrible quality, my phone's camera isn't quite doing the job these days. There's rumors of a new digital camera for us for Christmas. Please Santa!!) Anyways, these photos are particularly funny because they are taken before I explained to him that blue "Superior" ribbons are, in fact, superior to the red "Excellent" ribbons. :) (Note the girls' blue ribbons.) Poor boy!
Really, he did a great job, considering that he came down with croup on Wednesday night. His voice was pretty quiet for the competition, but the flow of his piece was better than ever. Yea Corbin!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Corbin won the speech meet!

Well, that's what he reported on Friday after school. Actually, him and four others from his class are finalists in the speech meet, so he gets to attend the big classical school speech meet in Moscow, Idaho on Friday and compete. He is reciting "The Travelers and the Bear" from Aesop's fables. So exciting! I will video tape it, and maybe I can figure out how to post videos on here?! No promises.

In other family news- Kent and I had pink eye last week and a severe stomach flu this past weekend. So gross. Oh, and Lindy puked all over her lovely dress when we were almost to the ballet in downtown Spokane last Thursday. (A good excuse to buy her an adorable dress on sale at Gymboree right before the show, though.) Oh, and the puppy is limping bad in his right leg. Arg!

Anyways, despite these things, we got through our crazy busy October fairly unscathed. Have I mentioned I LOVE teaching these childbirth classes? They're over now. (Sniff, sniff.) Kent was awesome- helping me cook and clean to prepare for these classes at our house each week. Tonight he even took the guys out for a "dad talk", while us ladies talked about breastfeeding and using slings. Whatta guy! He's a keeper.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Birth Blog!

OK- I am feeling pretty random on this blog here, with no focus or theme. (Reminiscent of my life a little bit, perhaps?! :)
So, inspired by a doula friend, I am starting a separate birth blog here. There is nothing on it yet, but I will be posting articles, news, jokes, thoughts, all kinds of stuff on pregnancy, birth and parenting. Feel free to check it out and follow if you like.
This blog here I will try to focus on my personal life: family, homekeeping, and photos.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Those Darn Jackhammers. . .


Hopefully you will notice why this is funny. . . Look closely.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Apple Picking and Cider Pressing






Now, we do live in the apple state, after all. The past two years we have gone to this orchard with some dear friends from church. This year we thought it would be the perfect place to meet with some favorite cousins- the Dertings. The Dertings are actually my aunt and uncle and their kids are my cousins, however they have adopted three additional kids that are the age of my own kids. Anna is from Madagascar, she's 8 and Kassie is a foster adoption, she's 7 and Jayson is a foster adoption and he's 3, like Lindy. These cousins live in Clarkston- 2 and 1/2 hours south of us. Bishop's Orchard is somewhere in the middle, so with the Mosers (Ella's family) and my parents, we made the trek down. After a few hiccups in the plan that morning, we were off with creamy tomato soup and cucumber goat cheese sandwiches to go. And yes, Corbin was with us, but he is elusive. And, I didn't take pictures- these are Jill's. (Thanks Jill, and thanks Grandma for the cute baskets!) We would like this to be an annual tradition- fall fun for the whole family! Even Kent and my dad enjoyed the day.

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"

A clever quote I found on a blog I frequent, The Frugal Girl. I highly recommend this blog to all homemakers. She posts tips all the time on random things like converting old furniture, making yogurt and line-drying your laundry. But, her norm is posting her weekly menu and then a picture of the food waste that she throws away each week. It is quite remarkable! Very inspiring and good to see why menu planning makes such a difference in the grocery budget.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Teaching-

I love, love, love teaching these childbirth classes! Why did I not do this years earlier? I have been putting off midwifery studies for years, saying that I did not want to neglect my family, but also finances have had a lot to do with that as well. But, teaching is SO fun- I get to talk about birth, give advice, share stories, and hopefully, help families have more positive birthing experiences. All of this, without the stress on my family of having to be on call and actually go to the birth. This is a way for me to stay connected and involved in the birthing community while at the same time avoiding the on-call lifestyle that is so tough with young children.
So, I am researching the different organizations to certify under. And, there are many: Bradley, ICEA, Lamaze, ALACE, Birthworks, Birthing From Within, many more. Any recommendations? If so, you must say why you like this or that organization, please. Thanks for your thoughts!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Teddy Roosevelt-

(An attempt to keep my mind off of current politics for a few moments):
Theodore Roosevelt I declared to be my favorite president when I was a kid. I think that was for two reasons: 1.) I learned a few great stories about him while visiting historical places in South Dakota, and 2.) because I collected teddy bears. Probably mostly the latter reason.
On the note of the former, I came across this great story here. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A few more random photos-






I'm trying to show here how much bigger Niko has gotten, however he's being such a spaz (puppies!) that it's hard to tell.
The dress that Lindy is wearing is a dress that me and my sisters wore 25 years ago. Cute, huh? Also, Lindy is wearing her new Skirty that I won from the Amoretti Fortnightly Purse!!! I really did- so, post a comment on her blog and you may win too!!! See how modest Lindy is with her Skirty on? ;-)

And a couple more birthday pics-



We had a fabulous party with 3 friends out at Papa's place. The theme was camping- check out the cake. Party favors included glowsticks, bags of gorp, beef sticks, a whistle/compass/magnifying glass and an emergency poncho. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows around the fire on the beach. The boys ran all over the place, made pod racers out of some of Corbin's new legos, and promptly fell asleep in a pile of sleeping bags in the bunk house. Cousin Justin and Papa made a delish breakfast the next morning of waffles and sausage. Life is good! Praise the Lord for eight whole years of Corbin's life. We are so blessed by him!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Early Birthday Pics-



We celebrated Corbin and Papa's birthdays early because Nana will be at a conference all weekend. Here are a couple of pics: and yes, he already received the much-coveted StarWars legos. Thank you Nana and Papa! And very cool shirt- Brenda and Dave!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Do you have triplets?


This is what an old friend I found on Facebook the other day asked of me. I asked why and she noted all the pictures of the three girls. They are just so darn cute together, who can resist? They wore yellow dresses here for Gracie's 4th birthday party. (Note Lindy trying to be modest by pulling her dress over her knees. This was before I won her a Skirty!) Gracie is the oldest, Ella will be 4 in December, Lindy next April. (For those of you who don't know- Ella and Gracie are my two cousins' daughters- they are cousins to each other. Get it? Ah, doesn't matter- that's what we tell Lindy anyways.) So, they span out 8 months, but they should all three be in the same school year. Fun times!!!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Quote I've Heard a Few Times Lately-

Spend less time listening to yourself, and more time talking to yourself.

In other words: control your thoughts/emotions, don't let them control you.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lots of Classes-

Well, October has filled up quite fast for our family. We are all enrolled in a dog training course with Niko. I need to post new pictures of him, as he is (in true runt fashion of course) gi-normous now. :)
But, even more exciting for me are the other classes in October-
1. I am teaching a Childbirth Preparation class for the first time. I am really thrilled to be doing this- in fact Lindy and I watched birth videos all morning in preparation. My group is comprised of three young couples from my church expecting their first babies. They are allowing me to practice teaching, and receiving a semi-private class for free. Win-win!
2. Margaret and I are doing a two-weekend workshop to train Midwives' Assistants. This will be a great opportunity to impact our local birth community by further educating and inspiring women about the midwifery model of care, and also provide a marketable skill set to our trainees.
I/we are hoping to really organize and streamline these classes so that they may be offered repeatedly. Eventually our reputation will become known in the community and the classes will become a regular option available to women and families seeking knowledge in these areas.
So, don't pass the word on for me yet- I'll let you all know. Just prayers for now, that all will go smoothly for our family throughout this month and we can remember to serve one another and die to ourselves, despite our stress and weariness. (Corbin's 8th birthday coming up too!) Thank you!

One Late Summer Picture-


I have a few less Corbin posts than Lindy posts, so here's one to try to catch up.
This was a day Corbin went with Nana, and obviously with several other families as well. Another day we had a lot of fun at Silverwood (that I did not seem to photo document), is the day we brought our friend Finan with us. So many of our friends and relatives have younger-than-Corbin girls, so it was great to spend the day with a 10-year-old boy. Ah, so long summer.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Quote-

"All things considered, the furious activity of this world is about as meaningful as the half-time frenzy at the Super Bowl. But a wise man can be there and enjoy himself. This is the gift of God." Douglas Wilson

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pedicures at Nine Months Pregnant

I believe 7 months pregnant is glorious: you feel good, really feminine and maternal, you're not humongous, the peeing-every-10-minutes thing has not set in yet, you can still pretty much sleep at night. But then you hit 36-37 weeks along and you just start feeling really whale-ish. Waddling is the term to describe movement at this point. And putting on shoes becomes a daunting task.
This is when a pedicure is very necessary. Even if you have never done anything like this before, now is the time. Make sure that you have eaten, walking into those fumes on an empty stomach might be a bad idea. Find your local nail tech salon- you can call around for prices $20-25 is great- make sure that their pedicures include the massage chair! Walk in, sign up on the sign in sheet, and pick your color. Oh- and wear shorts and flip-flops, no matter how cold it is outside. Then, enjoy your $25 splurge and think of all the nice comments you will get when you go into labor like, "Pretty feet!" and "Nice toes!". The nurses are sure to notice!
Oh- and don't pass up the extra $5 for the flower- it's worth it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mama Quote-

"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." -Jill Churchhill

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Being Busy vs. Intentional Living-

We often say things like"Oh, life has just been crazy lately", or "We are so busy this year". We say this as if we have no control over our circumstances. I sometimes get to feeling this way. I literally get this vision in my head of being dragged behind a horse or a car when I get too stressed out. But Kent and I have seen families in our church deal with this like no one else- they don't do it! It is amazing- I tell you, we have tried this way of living, and it is wonderful. We will not go back to the craziness.
What am I talking about, you ask? Well, here's a before and after:
Before we learned to dump the stress: I would get really stressed out and really behind in everything, feel strung out and pressured from everyone to fulfill obligations. The first thing to go would be my prayer and bible study time, any attention and thoughts toward my husband and kids, and the house (what dishes and laundry? not to mention finances as I quit cooking and hit the fast food). I would make myself appear really put-together, but my family and household would be suffering and stressed out as well. We were not living out the priorities we claimed were important: family, friends, helping one another. Instead the activities and programs of our lives would consume all of our time and energy. And for what?
After we learned to live intentionally: If we see any of our priorities falling by the wayside, an activity has to go. Priorities: our spiritual development, our marriage, training our children to be obedient and loving, hospitality, and building community within our church and extended family.
This is how we live now, not just how we try to live. Whenever I start to feel like life is dragging me around by a rope, I realize that I do not need to brace myself for the ride. I can simply cut the rope.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wrap up each decision with gratitude-

I have always had trouble making decisions. I didn't know that everyone else knew this about me until I was about 12-years-old and my grandma gave me a "decision-maker" keychain for Christmas, with a little spinner that pointed to "yes", "no", "tomorrow", "no way", "definitely", etc. I distinctly remember receiving this gift. I only saw my grandma once a year. It really surprised me that apparently everyone in my family knew that I had trouble making decisions and they thought that it was cute, and even funny.
To this day, I struggle with this. Shopping can be a major stress for me due to indecision, or in reality- worry that I will not make the "right" decisions. If I am not feeling secure enough, I should not even go grocery shopping that day.
I really do not want to pass this on to my children. I worry about Corbin in particular, because he is just like me in thought, word and deed.
This post on Femina hits the mark for me. I will be printing this off and praying about this, and look forward to making headway and pressing on.

How old do I look?! (Don't answer that!)

So, I was at a birth with Margaret the midwife the other night. We went to the hospital, settled in to the room and the nurse turns to me, "So, you're her (indicating the woman having the baby) mother, right?"- I just stared at her- "Me?"- "Well, I'm just trying to figure out who everyone is."- "How old do I look?"- "Oh, well you're tired. She just looks so young- she looks like 15. You would be a really young mom."
Mortifying. This mom was like 23- I am 31. Are ya kidding me? Seriously.

Adoption-

I went to a training on Saturday in Understanding Infant Adoption and counseling for unplanned pregnancies. Then, I rented the movie "Bella" accidentally yesterday. Whoa. If you have not seen that movie, it is really good.

Dollar Palace-

Thought I should post a non-political funny.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Girly Girls and Manly Boys-




Lindy, Ella and Gracie in their Christian dance class. Kent and Corbin splitting logs for our wood-burning stove, preparing for the fall and winter.

The Skirty and other cute things-

Please check out this link. Go here to enter a drawing for some fun, girly things for you and your daughter, niece, sister, friend, whatever. Every little girl needs a Skirty. I know that Lindy does.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Don't be scared- Everything's just peachy!


For those of you who check this blog simply for pics of my cute kids, please do not be dismayed by my recent political outbursts.
To make you all feel better- here is a pic of what we did today. We do not start school until September 15!