Photos

Hi friends! I laughed when I looked back at my last blog post, because I actually haven’t done any of the things on that to-do list! I was so well intentioned – and tired. Very, very tired. With good reason.

We are expecting baby #5!

It’s common knowledge to those around us, but I have been asleep at the wheel of this blog so I thought it was time to show up, explain my absence, and get back to writing. Maybe you’ve been wondering how pregnancy has been treating me this time around. Wonder no longer!

I basically don’t remember the month of February. I feel like I slept straight through it. I slept at least 9 hours every night, and napped for a few hours every afternoon. My waking hours were spent dragging myself around not accomplishing much of anything except growing a human. Add to my fatigue the fact that I was quickly getting knocked out with NVP, and I was pretty much out of commission. We ate a whole lot of nothing good and just locked down into survival mode. (As an aside, let’s stop calling nausea and vomiting in pregnancy “morning sickness”, shall we? Where are the lucky women who only have to deal with it in the morning?)

Around 7 weeks into this pregnancy, I reached a point where my nausea was so overwhelming that I spent an entire morning in a walk-in clinic waiting room so I could see a doctor for a Diclectin Rx. I’m all for treating things naturally, but trying to treat my nausea naturally was like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Sniffing essential oils, eating ginger candies, and small, frequent meals only got me so far. I needed something stronger. I explained to the doctor in no uncertain terms why I was there. He laughed about me having done this before, and quickly wrote me a prescription. The Diclectin did help, but I still struggled with nausea for over a month.

While battling the nausea and exhaustion I lamented to Clay one evening, “Why didn’t anyone warn me it was going to be this bad?! ….oh, wait….I knew. I’ve done this 4 times already.”

I have to brag on my husband for a minute here. While I was busy sleeping and fighting to keep my food down, he was a rockstar. He made sure people were fed, kept the house relatively tidy, did laundry, or made the kids do any of the above things (also very helpful). On one occasion I recall tearily thanking him for all he was doing, and he acted like it was nothing. What a guy. I am blessed.

School was reduced to bare minimum requirements, and we have still not quite recovered. Now I face the usual struggle to get book work done when the weather is beckoning us outdoors, and the desire to try to catch up on what was lacking over the past few months.

Around 12 weeks I suddenly didn’t need to nap anymore and I could handle cooking and eating again. Sweet mercy! I felt like a human being again!

That about sums up the first trimester: sick and tired! I have a lot more I want to say about having this baby, but I’ll pace myself and be back with some more posts in the near future. Thanks for reading – see you soon!

For the past few years we have been members of the Western Development Museum (WDM for short). We purchase a yearly pass for our family and this allows us to visit the museum anytime throughout the year, including the time before Christmas when they host the Festival of Trees, and Pion-Era, their annual summer festival. For the first time since we’ve had our membership we were not busy on Pion-Era weekend so we finally went to check it out, and I am so glad we did. It was so much fun!

The kids all had special bingo cards that if they filled with stamps throughout the grounds, they would be entered to win a prize package. This was a sneaky way for event organizers to get feedback from the survey they printed on the back of the card, and it was also and excellent way of motivating the kids to check out all that there was to see and do.

This is a saw that cuts large blocks of wood into thin shingles.
Pion-era 2015

Here we saw a rock crusher in action. Rocks were loaded into the bottom, crushed, carried up the conveyor belt and dropped into the wagon. I always find these old belt-driven machines fascinating – the ingenuity of machinery during this period of history is so interesting to see in action.
Pion-era 2015

This goat at the petting zoo was eager for attention. Don’t you love his horns?
Pion-era 2015

The kids tried their hands at washing clothes with a washboard. The big boys assured me that they’re thankful we have automatic washers and dryers today, which makes their task of doing laundry much easier than it would have been 100 years ago!
Pion-era 2015

Pion-era 2015

Markus is a rockstar at milking the fake cow!
Pion-era 2015

This little train was one of the highlights of the kids’ day!
Pion-era 2015

Bailey’s favourite part was the pony rides: she went three times! Amazingly to me, she is quite comfortable around horses. I was horse crazy until adolescence made me boy crazy, so it’s very sweet to see Bailey enjoying horses too.
Pion-era 2015

A beautiful team pulling the wagon rides.
Pion-era 2015

Me and my sweetie! While the kids were enjoying their train ride I pulled my phone out and said it was selfie time. Clay asked, “Since when do we selfie?” Since now! I know I am absent in so many photos and I want to be more willing to get my face in front of the camera. I want to be able to look back and see that we were enjoying this day right along with the kids.
Pion-era 2015

Bailey and I took in a fashion show on the Boomtown stage. It was so interesting to see the evolution of fashion over the past 70 years. My favourite outfit was a dress from the 1940’s, it was so feminine and sophisticated. Unfortunately it is not pictured here, and I know this photo is not great but it’s the best I could do with an iPhone in the spot I was sitting in. It was also neat to see some of Clay’s aunt’s fashions from the 70’s and 80’s in the collection: she is a curator at the museum and some of her old clothes made it onto the runway!
Pion-era 2015

We finished the afternoon outside for an old fashioned threshing demonstration. They showcased the different methods of harvesting as technology progressed from using man power to horsepower, then steam and gas machinery.
Here they are pitching the sheaves of grain into the wagon.
Pion-era 2015

It is difficult to see what’s going on here, but the steam tractor is attached with a belt to the threshing machine, and the grain is being loaded in one end, and at the other the grain is pouring into a wagon and the chaff blows away.
Pion-era 2015

I was so pumped to see this because I have amazing memories from grade 3 when my favourite teacher took our class on a field trip to her friend’s farm to witness this process. We rode on the wagon and were up close to the action as the old tractor rumbled, and men with a commitment to heritage and passing on this piece of history involved us in what life was like for farmers in the early 1900’s. This is when history comes alive to a child, and it certainly made an impact on me! I hope some of that wonder of discovering days gone by happened for my kids today too.

The afternoon closed with the Parade of Power – tractors, cars, motorized wagons, and men and women proud to show off their restorations of the past.
Pion-era 2015

There is so much I didn’t include in photos, like delicious homemade bread slathered in butter and strawberry jam for only 25 cents a slice, Saskatoon berry ice cream sundaes, cranking homemade ice cream, rope making, three legged and potato sack races, and so much more. I don’t know how I’ve lived here my whole life and only experienced this today! If you have the chance to go, do it!

School Has Begun!

Class Picture

Classes at Bitner Academy are now in session. I like to take advantage of my freedom by not starting school when everyone else does. Setting our own schedule means starting a week later than everyone else, just because we can.

Markus

Markus, grade 2.

Wyatt

Wyatt, grade 1.

Bailey

Bailey, Pre-K/K.

Deacon

Deacon, 2 years old and along for the ride.

Nice tongue, Deacon.

My favourite students.

Painting

I had promised the kids we would paint this summer, so we pulled out the supplies and got to work this morning.

Little Artist

Bailey loved mixing colours, and adding more. And more.

Wyatt's art

Wyatt’s finished piece.

Markus' Art

Take a guess as to whose creation this is.

Creative process

“Markus, please go close to Bailey and pretend you are helping so I can take a picture.”

Ice Cream

As I promised them, an ice cream sundae at Homestead Ice Cream. In that bowl are 9 scoops of ice cream: Dill Pickle, Licorice, Caramel Cone, Cookie Dough, Grape, Peach, Bubble Gum, Oreo Cheesecake, and Maple Walnut. Wow, I remembered them all!

New Pencils

And what’s the start of a new school year without new pencils? I splurged on these Staedtler ones…there’s nothing like a good pencil.

So, um…I guess I quit my 52 project? In my defence, it was a lot harder than doing a 365 project! That doesn’t even make any sense when you hear it, but trust me. The confines of working with a weekly theme was so hard to deal with. It would nag at me every day, while I was busy with a host of other things, and I’d say to myself, “I’ll get a good shot tomorrow,” until the week came and went. The week’s themes aren’t even being given until Monday, usually mid day, and by the time I got my mind around what I might try to shoot the week was nearly over…I could give you excuse after excuse, I am sure. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t working.

So anyway, here are some pictures. The kids and I made granola a few weeks ago. We found a recipe online with rave reviews, and after explaining the concept of rating systems to them, they were eager to cook and eat so that they could deliver their own rating. Five stars all around for Megan’s Granola!

Granola Crew

Aprons are a must.

Granola-2

Mr. Meticulous. He is so helpful in the kitchen already.

Granola-3

My little messy-haired princess.

Granola-4

A granola bake is not complete without a marching band!

Granola-5

Deacon. Pure trouble.

Grandpa's Boy

Finding the light.

I feel like I’m stretching the theme a bit here. I wanted to do something very creative. Something involving sunlight and warm feelings on a cold day. But you know, sunny days don’t come consistently in the great white north in January/February. So I say this photo still works, because I got some awesome catch lights in Deacon’s eyes.

This boy sure loves his Grandpa. Since he refuses to say anything that contains more than one syllable, he calls my dad, “Pa”. It’s pronounced ‘puh’, and is not to be confused with his word for my father-in-law, which is “Pa” (short for Pappy).

I will make an effort to take photos of my other children in the coming weeks…this guy is just so much easier to get candid photos of. The others are always giving me goofy grins: which are great, but not really what I am going for in shooting lifestyle photos.

A different perspective.

Soft, round nose. Squishy, rosy cheeks. Expressive eyes. My baby boy is growing up fast.

I realize I am not following any rules as far as post processing goes on this project. Black & white one week, colour the next. It’s my project, and I’ll do what I want to.

 This makes me wish I could freeze time.

Good help is hard to come by, but I’ve got it in spades. I am never wanting when it comes to an extra set of hands in the kitchen. They are all too eager to get their hands in and get dirty. While I was busy kneading pizza dough, a certain little someone was busy grabbing a spatula so he could dig into the flour bin. Admittedly, my first thought was, “Oh no! What a mess!”; however, I then paused and realized it was a perfect time to grab this week’s shot. How quickly the days of eager hands will escape me, and I will be left wishing I had someone to make my task more difficult. Praise God from whom all blessings, big and small, flow.

This makes me laugh.

Wyatt is an incredibly affectionate boy, and to say that Deacon is showered with love from this big brother would be an understatement. Wyatt loves to pour his love on his little Dekey, and baby brother loves to resist. It is hilarious to watch them battle it out! Deacon puts up a big fuss but there can be no doubt in his mind that he is well loved.

Hey everyone! I remembered to shoot my Ten on Ten today! Welcome to a day in our home.

Watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I cook lunch.

Markus has been a big help to me in the kitchen the past few days. Here he is stirring hot milk to cool it down before we add yeast and honey for baking buns.

Muffins baking.

The kids played with play dough for almost the entire afternoon. I am amazed at the amount of imaginative play that comes from some squishy dough and a few toothpicks to assist in building!

Wyatt, mastering the maze ball. He and Markus each received one for Christmas and they have been their most loved toys since they got them.

This boy is so intelligent. Despite his lack of vocabulary he is very capable of communicating with us. With a lot of inflection in his voice, the right hand motions, eyebrow raises, head nods or shakes, he feels he is telling us everything we need to know. When I ask him to repeat words for me, he laughs at me!

I figured it was time for a self portrait. Hi.

This was my first time planting an amaryllis. What a lift for my spirit!
It was so wonderful to watch it come to life while winter raged outside its comfortable windowsill.
We are now enjoying the beauty of its bloom.

Bedtime Bible story time.
I love Jesus, and am so blessed by the work I see the Holy Spirit doing in the lives of my precious kids.

This was Deacon’s vantage point for story time. This kid is so funny!

Evening rituals.

What’s more fun that snuggling and goofing around with Daddy?
Showing off your new glasses, of course!