a post with pictures *gasp*

Blogging feels so weird to me now. In the same way writing a hand written letter feels weird and texting a quick message feels normal. I hate to say it, but I've become one of *those* people.

 When I was introduced to Instagram I knew it would take over. Only because I know the Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles really only care about photos since we keep in regular touch on the phone and via skype. And I was really only blogging in such detail for them and for my own memory sake; I still keep journals for each kid and a silly quotes journal to remember all the hilarious that goes on in our home. 
I'm going to throw some pictures in here randomly for those of you who aren't on Instagram and haven't seen my kids in over a year... 

since I last blogged, Rachel turned 11!
This was taken a few weeks ago at her Essentials class. 

I also feel like, without babies or toddlers, life feels much less "note worthy", if that makes sense? Each day is different, but typically we're doing the same sorts of things. The kids are obviously learning, but I don't feel the need to be on here telling you every single thing they learn in school :) Its different when a child learns how to walk or talk; milestones like that. 
Ethan is changing the most I'd say. He's coming on 13 in just a couple months and the 7th grade has brought about huge changes, academically and just his over all maturity. His work load feels like it quadrupled and the responsibility factor has gone way up, which is great, but a challenge nonetheless. He is doing the Challenge program through Classical Conversations and has become too old for Sunday School so he is now a teacher's assistant in the 2's and 3's class. His little buddy Joel greets him with a huge smile each week and Ethan literally has trouble falling asleep on Saturday nights because he's so excited to get to class :) 
He's also grown an insane amount in the last year. He's about 5'3 now and eats more than all of us in the house put together. Its kind of crazy. 
I don't notice that we spend more on groceries but I DO notice we rarely ever have left overs anymore. Last night we had dinner out and Ethan literally finished food off everyone's plates when we were too full to finish. 

And in October, Kara turned 9!
Still can't believe our baby girl is nine, but time refuses to slow 
down, so there you have it. 

The biggest news around here, which doesn't feel like *news* anymore, is that we converted our garage into a family room, adding almost 500 square feet to our house! And to be clear, WE didn't do the work. We hired a contractor from our church and he did an incredible job. Most people that come over and see it are shocked because in their minds, it still will look like a garage, but with some paint and a rug on the floor. We did a FULL remodel, so it feels just like its part of the house. The door is gone (though he did build a fake carriage door on the outside of our house so it still looks like we have a garage there) and the rest of the room looks just like another part of our house. 
Its been an incredible addition! Even though it was costly and meant we didn't travel anywhere this summer, it was totally worth it. And it was WAY cheaper than adding on or moving :) 

October brought beautiful colors! 

My health has been over all very good this year, with a slight issue back in May. My lipase levels got elevated again and we eventually decided to cut out Kombucha teas since that seemed to be causing the flare ups. After not drinking any for the last 6 months, I've been 100% fine. I even feel like I'm not as dependent on my digestive enzymes as I used to be. Who knew?! 
Its been a reminder to me that every one is different and just because something is healthy, doesn't mean its going to be ok for everyone. 
Through many, many months of regular blood tests, we determined that I do in fact have very low progesterone. I probably always have, its just something that became a problem after 3 back-to-back babies (my older 3 kids). After they were all born, I was probably totally depleted and just didn't know it, which led to 3 miscarriages. A few people have asked me, "didn't you already know you had low progesterone?" and the answer is, yes and no. I had never officially had a Dr tell me that because up until I met my naturpath, doctors never seemed to really want to figure out my problem. They told me that miscarriages are normal and I needed to just move passed it. 
A good friend of mine (hi Heidi!) suggested after my 3 miscarriages that I use progesterone cream and see if it helps. She said her Dr told her that low progesterone can be the cause of miscarriages in the 1st trimester. I bought some organic, soy free cream at Whole Foods and used it for a good 2 months, then unexpectedly got pregnant with Miles and he was full term and healthy. 
Fast forward 3 years after Miles was born I got pregnant with Zachary and immediately began using the cream again. At my 8 week appointment we saw a healthy baby and fluttering heart on the ultrasound screen and when I told them I was using the cream, they told me it was a wives tale and a waste of my time. The midwife also told me the cream can actually be bad and cause cancer (looking back, I realize she probably assumed I was using the fake soy filled kind). Anyway, I went home and threw the cream away and when I miscarried at almost 15 weeks, the tests they ran on the baby said his growth significantly slowed at 9-10 weeks gestation and by 13 weeks my placenta was falling apart. 
I have NO idea if it was actually because I stopped using the cream, but I share this story just in case anyone else is having these issues and someone tells them the cream is useless. If you get the good kind, it can't hurt to use it all through your first trimester. I also know anyone actually reading this knows me and cares about this stuff, so that's why I'm sharing it :) This is the kind of stuff I DON'T share on Instagram lol. 
Anyway, I'm doing a lot better and I seem to be actually feeling normal again, which is quite lovely. 
I do have food restrictions (I don't feel like any of them are too difficult to follow) and I've worked a lot on getting better sleep this year, which has helped tremendously. Realizing at 37 better sleep is more of a priority than it was at 27 ;-) 

My Mom and Niece visited in early October! 

Homeschool is going well. I have an extra kid this year! Some friends at church asked if I would homeschool their 9 year old son, who was struggling with reading and writing and after some prayer, I said yes! His name is Michael and he fits into our daily routine quite well. He and Kara do all the same work (except Math - he's one book ahead of her) so it works well to lump them together. 
He comes everyday from 8am- whenever I send him home, haha! He's able to go home at 2:30 but he usually stays with us and plays after school is over. 
Rachel is in the Essentials class at CC this year and we are doing Foundations here at home, which has gone really well! We basically do 30-60 minutes of new grammar everyday and then on Friday we play a review game. We already have an art and science curriculum so that gets done with our regular school. It was becoming difficult to have a whole day devoted to co-op so I decided to try doing Foundations at home - since I've tutored it for 4 years, I assumed I could handle it :)  

Ethan and Michael 

we don't really "celebrate" Halloween, but we enjoy 
getting pumpkins, carving them and then watching them rot, apparently :) 

This one probably doesn't need an explanation :) 

Ok, that's probably enough for now... I should do this more often and then I won't need to write so much, haha! 
Hope you all have a wonderful week! 

3 {comments}:

Emily said...

I love your pics on Instagram, but reading a good update is so satisfying! <3

Charlotte said...

Love this update! I LOVE Instagram for its simplicity, but I am thankful you update periodically about your precious family. Hang in there! You are doing a great job. :)

Gina said...

I agree with the above ladies’ comments. I may not read in a timely fashion but I love reading your posts, especially because they are more inclusive of information than Instagram and you’re too far away these days :-). Love you!


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