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Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Baby turned 3

I think I have been putting off talking about this for almost a month now because there just doesn't seem to be away that my baby is 3 already! He is such a sweetheart and fills our home with lots and lots of laughs! Here are the top 10 reasons why we love you sweetheart: 1. You are a walking toy storage unit-- what would you do without your trusty pockets to hold all your treasures? 2. You give the best peck kisses ever! 3. You love your big brother and sister so very much and play so well with both of them 4. You still dont mind snuggling with mommy during books and movies 5. You melt your daddys heart when he comes home and you say a big Hiiiiiiii Dadeeeeee!!! 5. You milk being the smallest for all its worth! I not big enough to clean up this mess mommy-- uh huh sure ;) 6. You love food. I dont think any more needs to be said on that topic ;) 7. You make us laugh so much with your wardrobe malfunctions whether your bursting out of your pajamas, loosing your pants, or insisting that undies go on backwards, its always a laugh! 8. You love to be sweet to others whether you pick a flower, give a hug, or share a toy 9. You still sneak in some nights to sleep with mommy and daddy and nuzzle your little nose into ours and fall back to sleep 10. Your love for getting bigger and doing big boy things... just slow down a little buddy those days will be here before you know it!
I also am including pictures of his favorite meal-- breakfast! That week we had some wheat muffins, berries, and homemade applesauce :) We have also been enjoying english muffins homemade and this week-- homemade bagels (and they look so much better then last time!). http://johndlee.hubpages.com/hub/Homemade_bagel_recipe_Make_great_nadrolled_water_bagels__its_as_easy_as_baking_a_loaf_of_bread

Fall Fun

We have been busy this fall having some fun as a family with extended family and friends too! We are so blessed to live in an area loaded with activities to do! Early in September my husband and our oldest son went on a father son camping trip with our new church family and they had a wonderful time! On a side note, we are loving our new church body and wish we had followed the Holy Spirits promptings to leave our previous church sooner, but now that we have, what a blessing it has been to our entire family! It has a very strong mens ministry and having men prepared to lead their families and communities is so important! Anyway, while they were camping, my two sisters and brother in-law came up from NJ and went apple and raspberry picking with the two littles and I! The raspberries were amazing and while we did eat half, we froze the rest and have been adding them to whole wheat pancakes and our wheat berry muffins! We made lots of applesauce and applecrisp that week and ate a lot of apples and just like that-- poof! 20 pounds of apples were gone! We'll have to go back and pick some more soon!
We also have some dear friends with a wonderful little creek in their backyard and they invited us over one afternoon for some exploration! The kids had so much fun looking in the water for water creatures and getting wet. It was such a nice break in our day and a delightful experience!
We also did some corn maizing this fall. We went to two different places and both were a lot of fun! The one at Grim's http://grimsgreenhouse.com/ had an apple theme and as we went along there were apple questions to help us find our way out-- educational and fun! At http://cornstalkingusa.net/ we went through a football themed corn maize and had lots of fun! Both mazes took us about an hour to navigate our way thorugh and collect all the clues. Corn stalking USA is run by friends in our co-op and closer AND they do it at Christmas which sounds like a lot of fun!
And of course, we have been busy doing school-- we have 118 days left and my goal is to finish with room to spare before the baby joins us :) We are hoping to take a break from our traditional studies Thanksgiving week and do a Thanksgiving Unit study and a family Bible study on gratitude. Wishing you and your family a happy fall, The Gardner Gang

Monday, October 15, 2012

Becoming a Mommy again

Okay, I feel like I was in a bit of a cold haze last week and just quickly shared a photo with you all and now I am ready to back up and share and always share what the future may hold for us :) I'm excited! First, I had previously shared how I was going through menopause this summer. I did get pregnant in August and miscarried and then in September when things didn't happen, I said to Matt, I just dont want to do the menopause and miscarriage thing over and over again. So, I didnt take a test till October and then realized we were not only pregnant, but past the point where we have miscarried two other times. This is God showing us how soverign and awesome He is. We just feel so blessed and know how big and impossible it could have been. I did share the news when I was 7 weeks along instead of waiting till the second trimester because if something should happen and we loose the baby, it was worth it to share the joy of our moment even if it lasted for a little while. We still choose joy and thanksgiving for the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. We're glad He is giving us another family member. We also went ahead and shared so you could join us in praying this baby into the world. I am physically and old hat in a 29 year old body and each pregnancy has gotton progressively more uncomfortable and the challenges increase. This time we are turning down the shots to stop my early contractions as last time not only did they not work, they worked against my gestational diabetes, and I felt awful. So Ill ride the contraction train to the end and just take it in stride as long as I am not dialating, we're good. This was something we discussed with our delivery doctor last time and she agrees-- its just not good to try and prolong my pregnancy in the long run as my body can only go so far and when we went over the 37 weeks last time, it just got a bit more rough then needed be. We are also going back and forth between a VBAC and a c-section. Our doctors will weigh on on this obviously, but I'm just gonna say I'm not the champ of the delivery room. Its actually pretty embarrassing how wimpy I am. If we go with a V-Bac (and thats where we are leaning) our doctors are very good-- the NICU doc is normally close by, I have to have an epidural to proceed, and some other precautions which make us have faith in the doctors God has placed in that room with us, just little faith in me. The other thing we are going back and forth on is breast feeding. Now, I had always envisioned myself nursing and then I had my first son and I was very very sick and it just wasn't a realistic option. Then came my daughter who also had some issues and so i pumped for 5 months and she drank that. Then came my third who did latch and we seemed okay, but again some weird complications and after 3 months it just wasn't realistic. I am choosing not to share some of the gory details here just because I don't feel it neccessary and you have to remember that my body underwent a lot of experimental chemo and radiation. Which, brings me to my next point-- the two children who did consume my breast milk had febrile seizures. The child who consumed it the longest, had them the most. I am a part of a study at St. Jude's and I wrote in and asked them and they have begun to look in to the affects on cancer survivors children. Sooooooooooo, all that to say, I dont know if my milk is best. It could be coincidence, or we could be right on the money. All we know is we are commiting this to prayer and accepting and following where God leads us in this area. I will say it has opened my eyes to why other moms literally can't breastfeed and choose the best for their babies which is not always breast milk ans that was very enlightening. So, all that to say we are thrilled to pieces and very excited for where God is taking us. We would love your prayers for a safe and healthy mommy, baby, and the rest of the family! Thanks friends, the Gardner Gang!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


First, I dont even like pineapples even a little bit. And when you get to the bottom of this post, you might forget the title had anything to even do with pineapples. About 3 years ago when I was large with child-- with baby number 3 child, I saw a video called the Pineapple story. I Loved it. Its all about Otto the missionary and these people who kept stealing his pineapples. And laundry. And anything not nailed down. He was a missionary to some thieving natives. Some very proud to be thieving natives who drove him bonkers. So, at the end I came to realize Otto wasn't just there to minister to the natives (who did by the way stop their thieving ways and come to the Lord)... he was there for God to teach him about anger and patience. Today as a mom I thought, "Lord did you call me to do full time laundry or full time mommyhood-- because right about now, it feels like the first over the latter." And sometimes I feel like the full time disciplinarian, referee, maid, driver, cook, um, did I mention maid? Today we had a pretty crappy morning-- I could give you our daily break down, but lets just say someone is stil stubbornly finishing up school, laundry is waiting, dirty dishes abound, and mommy has been a crank. Am I perfect for the job of being a mom? No! Are there days I wish I could hide in my room with a book? Yes!!! But, like Otto-- I am not called to an easy road, I am called to minister to these children who can melt my heart, but they have also been known to melt toys and make catastrophies that would make the faint of heart run for cover. I love them, but I think some of that love that defies all understanding is that I love them when they drive me crazy and when I want to cry because I have cleaned milk up about a billion times in one day (numbers are not exageratted!). So, thats why as crazy as our lives are, I am about to share this picture with you. Because it is a calling. It is my mission field and that does not mean the days will be perfect and easy, if anything, I think they almost need to be the other way around so I can learn what God is trying to teach me.
and to check out Ottos story for yourself, the book version is here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Pineapple-Story-Bill-Gothard/dp/091688838X and the cd version is here: http://store.iblp.org/products/ctps/