Half way there!!! Well, almost!

Whoot whoot!  We are "officially" at the half way mark for baby!!!!  TWENTY weeks!  Ok, who am I fooling?  Give me another week and a half and then I can say that I am half way there.  Seeing as I always go 42 1/2 - 43 weeks, I should just be honest with myself!  But it is still a "milestone" of sorts.  Tomorrow is our ultra sound and I am sooooo excited to see baby!!!  Sorry folks, we will NOT be cheating!!!  We enjoy getting surprised at the birth as to the gender of little one!!!  This seems foreign to most, I know.  And many say, "well, you must have everything you need for either gender"  and they are right.  But you know, we didn't find out with our first children either.  Was it an inconvenience?  NO!  People showered us with gender appropriate gifts at the hospital and the days to follow so no child ever went home in their birthday suit!!! ;-)  I love the joy of my husband telling me, "It's a......"  after many hours of hard labor and the delivery of baby.  It's a wonderful reward for all the hard work.  And it is amazing at how excited the nursing staff is when they find out that you don't already know the gender of your baby!  It just makes it fun.  Yes, it is tempting because of baby sales and such and just wanting to know who this person is, but it is worth the wait.  So..... in about 22 1/2 - 23 weeks, we will meet this little person.  Official due date:  August 16.......actually going to be here:  September 1-6.  Does this ever bother me?  YES!!!!  I am very impatient and always hopeful that "maybe this one"  will be born close to it's due date!!!  I am always hoping from the 2 weeks before due date until the actual day of birth.  You would think that I would learn to be patient, but, when you are very uncomfortable and can't sleep, you would grow weary of being "late" too.  My husband has asked me why I torture myself, why don't I just tell people I am due the first week of September?  My answer is very easy.  People expect you to be fully engaged with life until you are around 2 weeks before your due date, they then give you allowance for being tired and don't expect as much out of you.  Well, I am just as tired as any other mommy 2 weeks before my due date, and it just gets worse each day and I want FULL credit for each day OVER my due date as I can get!!! Lol!  Just a quick side note for all who are wondering, NO we do NOT miscalculate our due date, we really do go over each time!!!  40 weeks is a curving scale, some women go 37 weeks every time, the average woman goes 40 weeks, and yet others go 42 or 43 weeks every time.  This is more rare, due to induction but it still happens......such as in my case.  They always want to induce me, but if my body isn't ready, then they can pump me with the highest dose of pitocin they dare and I will barely have a twinge!!!  So, rather than wear me out, we wait and do all of the lovely non-stress tests and ultra sounds that the doctor orders.  Each of my children has a day appointed unto them to be born by God himself, and I need to be content with it.    By God's grace, each child has been born healthy with no effects from being "late".  And I don't even give birth to 10+ pounders!!  ;-)


Yesterday was a great day in God's house!!!  There was great preaching from the Word in the morning and  we had our International dinner in the evening with missionaries to Korea, the Parks.  Our sanctuary was transformed into a banquet hall and we had great participation in bringing food from many different countries.  An offering was taken for our "Word for the World", Bibles for Uganda.  We raised $4,611.00!!!!  This is even more than we raised last year!!!  I praise the Lord for faithful believers that have a heart to see God's Word placed in the hands of those who have never had the privilege of owning their own Bible!!  It was a celebratory day with special music in the morning by our young adults' group and my own daughters sang in the evening.  Many people also dressed up in clothing from other cultures, making it fun to see.  The evening went late, but nobody seemed to mind as we were all having a great time!  Two of my little ones fell asleep during the preaching with full tummies and no naps earlier.  I am looking forward to the weeks to come as we see what God's people are preparing to give for the year of missions!!!

Our week at a glance

Thursday, we had the privilege of taking our three oldest children along with others from our church, up to the George Washington Inn in Port Angeles, WA.  There, we heard 3 lectures from Dr. Peter Lillback, the author of "George Washington's Sacred Fire".  The book, an 843 page piece with 102 pages of appendix and 210 pages of endnotes,  represents about 15 years of study for Dr. Lillback.  Many in our nation today would have us believe that our founding father was a deist rather than a christian.  This book refutes that claim with proof diligently sought out by this historian.  The lectures were encouraging, educational, and inspiring.  It was an intimate group, and ours was the only one with young people.  We brought eight teens ranging in age from 13-19.  This seemed to be very encouraging to the older group that was there, including the author.  He gave them a charge to stand strong for the Christian faith and for faith in our nation.  Dr. Lillback also honored us by signing our books and allowing us the time to ask questions and even to get our pictures taken with him.  This proved to be a fantastic "field trip" for school, though I guarantee that absolutely none of what was spoken would ever be taught in the public schools!!!  I am thankful for this opportunity to learn more about our first President, and am looking forward to reading this book!  We have decided that this will be required reading for each of the high schoolers in our home.

Yesterday, we did some much needed spring cleaning!  The day proved to be quite profitable as we got much accomplished.  We had a little encouragement as our basement kept flooding.  We were trying to figure out where the water was coming from, cleaning out drains and just keeping a watchful eye.  The girls and I started noticing that the floor would be somewhat dry until after a load of laundry was finished.  It appeared that the washing machine was draining all of the water directly onto the basement floor!!!!  That is a lot of water, when you think that each load produces approx. 40-45 GALLONS!!!!!  And all of this was flowing into our basement!!!  Praise the Lord (once again) for willing and capable people who help out!! We had to replace our pump as it had completely burned out.... imagine that, a pump burning out in our home that does anywhere between 4-6 loads a day!!!! ;-)  I am thankful that we can once again do laundry!  We also took a load of garbage to the dump, got our septic pumped, oil in our tank, a large garbage bag ready for Goodwill, and the boys did some yard work.  It feels good to get so much accomplished in a day!!

Today, the older children, with their Daddy, went and met Bro. Dave Hardy for coffee.  He was in the area preaching at a church in Tacoma and called to see if Craig wanted to meet up.  My husband and children were very willing to oblige!! They love their "Grandpa Hardy"!!!  The rest of the day will consist of preparations for the Lord's day, including our International dinner tomorrow evening.  We are making a much loved soup from Belarus, borsht.  I love this soup and am looking forward to the tastiness of it tomorrow!!  The dinner is the wrapping up of a month long missions theme as we commit to giving to missionaries all around the globe for the furtherance of the gospel.  This is always a highlight in our church each year as we love our missionaries!!!  I have mentioned in the past that it is our hope and vision to take each of our children to a foreign mission field sometime after their 13th birthday.  My son, Samuel, is 13 and is hopeful for a trip to India this summer!  My husband has been asked to come and speak for Bro. J.D. Moses once again, and as long as the Lord wills it, it is a possibility.  Craig has had the awesome privilege to go there twice already, preaching to and teaching national pastors and loving on orphans, often coming home from these different countries begging people to pray about adoption!!! Though it breaks our hearts to see these little ones without the love of a mother and father, we are thankful for those who lovingly serve them in orphanages, teaching them the love of Christ.

Well, this pretty much wraps up our week!!  Hope yours was a great week as well!!  May all glory be given to God alone as we seek to honor our Lord with our lives!!!



It is just sometimes hard to get the creative juices flowing in this ol' brain of mine!!! As I still have this borrowed computer, I thought that I should try a little harder to think "blog post" as we journey through the days.  The problem?  Life has been normal, not much interesting to blog about!! :-)  So, please bear with me especially since I have no pictures to make it a bit more interesting!!! Lol!

We did get the privilege of going to an ordination service last night in Cle Elum, WA.  What a wonderful thing to watch as a young man is set apart by the calling of God, having the hands of the Presbytery laid on him in prayer.  What a journey this young family is about to partake in!!!  Many joys and many trials await this family, along with the blessings of God.  As they devote their lives to serving others, pleasing God over man, and preaching solidly the Word, our family is committing to upholding them in prayer, and sending encouragement to them along the way.

Currently, we are finishing up a days worth of school, and catching up on much needed cleaning of the house.  The sunshine is very enjoyable and is beckoning us to come outside and enjoy the fresh air!! (even if it is cold out there!!)  Winston's buddy, Dudley, has just moved away and so he is very anxiously awaiting his little people to come and play with him.

Progress on baby is coming along very well! I can't believe we are already 19 weeks today!!  Baby startles me often throughout the day as my thoughts are on other things and baby starts kicking! It is a most wonderful feeling and never ceases to amaze me that there is a life inside of me!! The children all enjoy "seeing" the progress of this little one through the ticker at the side of my blog! It is fun to see the changes in baby and to read about the length and weight of little one.  Next week, we go in for our 20 week ultra sound!! I can't wait to get to see this little child again!!

Last Wednesday we had a first!  Usually, when people see our family, the typical questions are:  Are you Catholic?  or Are you Mormon?  This time, as we entered McDonald's for some dollar menu fellowship with friends from church, we had two young men comment on the size of our family.  They were amazed that all of these children came from one daddy and one mommy!! His next question?  Are you Amish?  Hahahaha! We all got a kick out of that!  Craig quickly asked him in return, "do we LOOK Amish?!!!"  We all got a good laugh, even the young man!!!  My children invited him to our church and his response was that he'd been out of church for awhile and that maybe it was time to get back in!!!  So maybe, someday we will again meet our "Amish" friend!!!!

On that note, I must get busy.  I hope you all have a very blessed day!

We could......

We could live in a place like Southern California where the sun shines and the weather is warm....most of the time. We could, but if we did, we would miss out on this beautiful Washington weather!! Though I may get tired of the rain and the gray skies, I would miss it if I didn't live here!! Right now, there is lightening and thunder, the rain is pouring and my son is preparing a fire in the wood stove. Tea water is on and the children are working on their school at the dining room table. The baby is napping, and I am taking this opportunity to post.  The kitchen is freshly scrubbed and I am about to move on to folding clothes and then scrubbing the bathrooms.  Okay, maybe just the downstairs bathroom (I'll save the upstairs one for one of the children to scrub!!) Life is good, God is good, His creation is good. I am thankful for the rain, for the green grass it produces, and I am thankful for a warm, cozy, and dry house.  I am thankful for a family to  teach these lessons of thankfulness to. I am thankful God has placed me here, now.

I did it!!

Ok, so this may seem really lame to you techno geeks out there, but I actually got this baby ticker up all by myself!!! Seeing as it has been 4 months since I have been on a computer, I am really excited!! Next step, is to figure out how to create my own background!!!! That may take me a while so don't hold your breath!!

Has it really been 4 months?!!!

Wow! How time flies! Has it really been 4 months since the blue screen of death came upon my computer?! I am still without a computer at home,  but am currently borrowing one to live stream the conference that my husband is at.  This made me think that maybe I should log in to my blog and update! Though I have no pictures to share, I can at least let you know what is going on in our home.  So, here goes!

December brought issues with my heart (no, not spiritual, but physical!! Lol!) I started having episodes of major heart racing to the point of seeing lights, becoming dizzy, and nearly passing out.  My resting heart rate was high and the Dr. had me wear a heart monitor for 48 hours.  The funny part is that I was told to keep normal activity levels while wearing this thing but became sick that afternoon, requiring rest.  My results came back normal though the episodes continued.  Next came Christmas, which is always exciting in the Houston house!  We were actually going to have a wonderful day spent at home with just us.  What a lovely thought this was! Until I cut my thumb and had to go to urgent care to get stitches!!  This was my first experience with having to get stitches due to injury, so needless to say, I was a bit nervous. The Doc was great, though, and kept us "in stitches" the entire time! (pun absolutely intended!) We went to Astoria, OR the last week of Dec to visit family. Heading home on Jan 3, I made a decision based on feeling so sick for a few weeks (with familiar sickness for a few days).  I took a pregnancy test and received wonderful news!! Baby #11 is on it's way!!!! And quite possibly, the reason for the heart fluttering has been revealed!!!!

The end of January, we spent several days in Cannon Beach, OR for a pastor's getaway at the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center. They have a program that allows pastors and their families to stay there free of charge for 3 nights every other year.  This has been a tradition that our family looks forward to each year we go! Many memories have been made and good times had by all. We enjoyed clam chowder and garlic bread at Mo's, a walk on the beach to Haystack rock, and even a trip to the candy store.

In February, we had our first ultrasound.  I am always amazed to see a baby being formed in the secret parts of the womb!  God's creation is truly miraculous! We went in being unsure as to how far along we were, thinking we could only be about 8-12 weeks tops. You can imagine our surprise when we saw a very developed 15 week baby stretching, kicking, and waving it's little arms around!  What a glorious surprise, once again! This is the first time EVER for me to be told that I am actually a whole month further along than I thought possible!!!!  And this will be our very first summer baby!  Our due date is August 16, so I expect a first week of Sept delivery.  This does create a bit of a dilemma for family camp, though, as it starts Aug 15!!  =-)  I have recently started feeling the very first flutterings of baby kicking for which I am thrilled!  We are so very blessed!  Our children are excited, though they were all hoping for twins =-/,  though they are ok with the idea of getting to meet this little one a month earlier than expected!  This baby will also be the tie breaker as we have 5 girls, and 5 boys.  The children are divided in which gender they want (and it's not just girls wanting a girl and boys wanting a boy!)

We are currently trying to get everybody healthy. Our family has had much sickness, including stomach yuckies, strep throat/scarlet fever, and an ear infection.  I don't know of any other time that our family has experienced such a long and drawn out time of sickness!!  It seems like forever since our whole family could be at church at the same time!! God has a reason and a purpose to all things, so I know it is not all in vain! It definitely has slowed us down for a season and I am thankful for that!

Lastly, but probably the most exciting bit of news, is that our daughter, Julia came to a saving knowledge of Christ after the Sunday evening service! She went forward during the invitation and asked her daddy to pray with her.  This is something she has been talking about for over a year now, just not ready for, so I started praying that this would be the time! I then looked up and saw her bent over, shoulders shaking. When she got up, she had tears running down her face with a big smile!!!  "I got saved!" is all she said.  I am so blessed when a child of mine accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour!! And I know that it blesses the Saviour even more!  One more child in the fold! Praises to God!  There is such excitement in her countenance and she wants to tell everyone!

Well, I don't know exactly when we will be getting a new computer, but I do know it will be fairly soon.  So it shouldn't take me 4 months to update again!! And next time I should be able to post pictures, too!! Hope you are all doing well!