23 weeks pregnant

23 weeks

Little Everleigh Rose is growing beautifully. We’ve reached 23 weeks pregnant! We had our midwife appointment this week and the belly is measuring right at 24 weeks. Little Everleigh kept us entertained as she bounced around while our midwife tried to find her heartrate. She’d kick the microphone and move from one side to the other. We’ll share more on the vlog once we finish that. It made for a fun memory, a story that she’ll hear more than once, I’m sure!

She’s about the size of a large grapefruit, weighs about 1.1 lbs and is about 11.4 in long.

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(photo and info from https://www.thebump.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/23-weeks-pregnant)

I’ve been feeling a little exhausted lately and I’m not sure if it’s sleep related, pregnancy related or the fact that I’m getting up earlier than I have since pregnancy symptoms hit a few months back. Typically by 8pm I feel done and need to get in bed. I’ll usually read or crochet or watch some youtube videos until I’m ready to fall asleep. I haven’t been sleeping great but we have had a lot going on so I assume stress could be to blame for that.

There are still some days where nausea hits me harder than it has in the past (at this stage in pregnancy) but overall it’s not bad enough to keep me from getting done what needs to be done.

Everleigh has been very active at night and in the morning but relatively still during the day. From what I recall, at this stage she is beginning to establish a sleep/wake pattern.

We’ve been gifted quite a few items of clothing and let me tell you all of the pink and floral and sparkle are just so much fun to go through!!! I just love it! I’ve been shopping around for a new carseat, the old one has been retired after three babies and started getting together a shopping list on amazon to prepare for our little lady.

I’m also starting to plan out my labor and delivery. I’m hoping to have a natural birth like I did with Greyson. I’ve had an epidural twice and both times I felt like it was a big mistake after it either failed entirely or caused complications. I don’t think I want to do that again. My natural labor and delivery was my best by far. It was also the best recovery as well. I was able to confirm that the hospital where we’ll deliver has a tub in the delivery suites so that was a huge relief for me.

It’s getting very real guys and it’s super exciting! We are so thankful the LORD chose us to be little Everleigh’s family and we can’t wait to meet her!

So there you go!

Finally an updated VLOG and NAME REVEAL!!

We finally did it folks! We updated the youtube channel! We’ve been meaning to do it for a while but never got around to it. I’m telling you, even if no one ever watches these videos aside from little family, we have so much fun going back and watching them…so many precious memories! I’m so thankful that my husband is so talented when it comes to all things photo and video!

So if you’re interested, go check out the video and find out little miss’ name while you’re at it! 🙂

 

 

Helping kids learn to type

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to share with you a cool website I’ve found to teach children how to type properly as well as allow them practice through exercises and games. Best of all…it’s FREE!!

Since we began homeschooling in 2016, I have been trying to figure out the best time and best way to teach my two oldest children how to type. I honestly have been putting it on the back burner for the last two or three years since I figured they had time to learn it and we had enough in our school day to keep us busy as is. The thing is, lately I’ve been feeling like maybe I better make it more of a priority seeing as how EVERYTHING these days is done using a computer (or phone…which is basically a computer anyway). While I want to teach my kids healthy habits in regards to screen time and all things technology, there’s no denying the fact that in order to prepare them well for life, there’s going to have to be proper training in how to use technology.

So, I’ve been on a hunt to find some ways to introduce them to typing for starters. I stumbled across this website:

https://www.kidztype.com/ 

I love it! I actually tried a couple of the games myself because I wanted to make sure it would be both educational and fun.

Here’s what you’ll find on the site:

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Tips and tricks…

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Exercises and tests.

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Lessons.

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Cute games to practice finger placement and speed.

I am always on the lookout for ways to make homeschooling more effective and affordable so if you have any tips, websites, curricula you’ve stumbled acrossed and love, please share! 🙂

The more of a community we create and nurture…the better it will be for us all! In a major way, this online community can serve as a wonderful ministry to working moms and stay at home moms. Moms who send their kids to school and those who homeschool. Each of these situations has its own unique benefits and challenges and when we walk through it alongside others it can be so much easier and more enjoyable! Moms helping and building up other moms is something we need more of in my opinion! ❤

Much love to all of you! I hope you’re all having a great week!

Stay tuned for more updates on all things baby, new year’s goals, homeschool, homemaking, etc! 🙂

22 weeks

22 weeks

We’re 22 weeks pregnant this week with our little girl. That means there are (at most) 18 weeks left to go. I delivered my first at 38 weeks, second at 36 weeks and third at 37 weeks. We’ll see how patient this little one will be. So far my babies’ gestational age at birth is fairly on point with their patience level. LOL.

I don’t think too much has changed in the last week other than the size of the belly maybe. I did however manage to pull a muscle (I think), in my abdomen on the left side. The best I can tell, I did it while sneezing when I had a sinus infection about a week ago. It doesn’t seem to be improving so I’ll be going to the Doctor for that here as soon. It’s not unbearable but it is uncomfortable and I want to make sure it’s nothing else and that I know what I should and shouldn’t do to allow it to fully heal.

She’s currently about the size of a spaghetti squash, 11 in in length and weighs about 1 lb.

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Photo credit: https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/week-22.aspx 

Other than that, the normal pregnancy exhaustion and achiness are in full swing but I feel pretty good for the most part…just very pregnant. ;P

We’re so excited to meet this sweet little girl! The boys are asking pretty much daily how much longer we have left to go and it’s so sweet to see how excited they are to meet and hold her!

All three boys were able to feel her kicking and punching the other morning! It was very special for them. I find it so comforting when I feel her. It drives my mommy heart crazy when she’s positioned in a way that I can’t clearly feel her since her movements are the only way she can tell me she’s ok.

So there you have it…22 weeks down, 18 (ish) weeks to go! YAY!!! We are so excited to meet you baby girl! ❤

 

Happy New Year!!

I’m a few days late on wishing you all a Happy New Year, I’ve been trying for days to get this post finished and up but it just didn’t happen. I hope you had a wonderful time with your family/friends and that your year is off to a great start!

Here’s a few photos from our evening (the outside photos did not turn out very well):

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We started a little early in the evening in case we lost a couple of kiddos waiting for midnight…Jaden and Greyson managed to stay up the whole time and Leeland was so close! He fell asleep about 15-20 minutes before midnight! We had sparkling apple/cranberry juice, sparklers, poppers and balloons.

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I’ve always loved the idea of “New Year”…new beginnings and a chance at a new blank slate and routines/habits. I’m not much of a resolution maker or choose your word for you year type girl but I do set some goals for myself after evaluating the previous year and try to improve where I see I need the most work. I don’t ever want to grow stagnant. I want to make sure that I continue to improve each year. Some years will be harder than others and I will fail to do as well as I would like. As long as I can sincerely say I’ve done my very best, I’m ok with that. This past year was hard in many ways but it was still a great year in many ways too! I feel that despite a lot of challenges, I did my best. That said, there are some areas I REALLY want to work on this year. My hope is to have made the major improvements and worked out most of the kinks by the time our little lady is born so that we have a somewhat solid routine in place already. Having a new baby will definitely throw some things off, but having a solid routine in place helps to minimize the chaos some…for the rest…I’ll have to give myself grace and tackle it after we adjust. It’s always easier though to get back to a routine if what you had going was working beforehand.

Here’s what those are:

  1. Personal Quiet time/family bible study: Particularly to read my bible…it’s so hard to get that quiet time these days but it’s something I need to get better about. Now that I’m through the worst of the morning sickness and fatigue I’ve been making it a point to get up much earlier and get a jump start to my day. I’m still working on figuring out the best time for me to get up so that I can still get adequate rest and allow myself a couple of hours to work in the morning before the kids get up. Right now it looks like 5 am will have to be it! I may have to do even earlier. As far as family Bible study, we typically read at night and pray together before bed. We also do some Bible study in school most days. I’d just like to get more organized and intentional about it. Sometimes in the rush of the evening, getting everyone to bed and all…takes away from how special of a time it really is.
  2. Organization: Oh my, the more our family grows and the more we tack on (ministry, work, home school, personal projects, etc.) the more I realize how organization has been difficult because it takes time to plan out schedules and start the process. Once I fall behind…catching up is awful hard to do! Everything from meal planning to school schedules, budget, shopping lists, over all home organization and chore schedules…it all needs work to improve it! I am happy to say I’ve been working overtime to get those things in order. I’ll share more about that in the coming weeks. I have a few things in mind that I would like to share in case it may help someone else out there!
  3. Work: I want to find something to do from home that allows me to contribute to our financial situation without taking away from my family and my home (as well as our kids’ education). That’s my primary “job” and calling and I don’t want to lose sight of that. I’ve done the working mom thing for years and it never felt right, I never got caught up on anything at home and we had just two kids at the time. We were and are very certain that GOD was telling us that I need to be home with our children to raise them and keep our home in order. It’s a huge responsibility and a lot of work, especially with larger families. It is a full time job in itself. That said, as our family grows, we need to increase our income because even living on a strict budget will only go so far…there’s only so much you can cut out.
  4. Finances: We definitely want to re-evaluate budgets and be sure to stick to them as closely as possible. We’d like to make some changes and progress in that area and plan for our future as well as our children’s future. We would love to get to a point where we’ve paid off every last penny we owe, live frugally and be able to freely give as the LORD leads. We’ve been through some very difficult times financially and I would love to be in a place someday where we can bless those who are going through something similar.

I think that pretty much sums up the major goals for this year. Mostly I just want to start the year off on a good note and do what I can to re-evaluate myself and our routines as a family, get our home running more efficiently and most importantly make sure we keep growing spiritually.

Copycat Nesquik Powder

Hi everyone!! I hope you’re recovering from the Christmas celebrations and food! We’re getting there! Ha! I’ve started taking down the decorations as of yesterday. It always makes me a little sad, but honestly I really love to start the New Year fresh so I make myself follow through with it! We sure had a cozy little space set up this year and celebrated well. I am so thankful for that and I am very excited to see what the LORD will do this year! 🙂

Now onto what I wanted to share with you guys today…all three of my kids at right around age two to three were a huge fan of a nice cup of warm chocolate milk in the morning. It was their “coffee” if you will and it gave me a few minutes to sit peacefully with them while we each drink our “coffee”. LOL.

I started off with Ovaltine and eventually started using Nesquik. I believe that we switched to Nesquik mostly because of the price difference.

Nesquik runs approximately $4.30 (18.7 oz) and Ovaltine $4.20 (12 oz) at Kroger here. Walmart is likely a few cents cheaper but either way, when I buy all of the ingredients separate at Aldi and make it myself, it costs me less than that!

There were two things that sent me on a hunt for a version of my own chocolate powder: 1) I wanted to use as little sugar as I can while still making it taste good and didn’t want to use bleached sugar 2) while it’s not terribly expensive to buy pre-made, I can still make it for less at home…if you know me, I want to save money wherever I can.

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What you need: 

  • 1/3 c cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 c of unbleached sugar (I’m experimenting with it lately to see how much sugar I can cut out…I’ve also considered trying coconut sugar but I’ll have to see what the kids think once they taste it)
  • a jar or ziploc bag to store your mix in.

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*I just realized I spelled Nesquik wrong on my lid, LOL…that’s what happens when I do things prior to drinking my coffee* 

Directions:

Measure and mix all of your ingredients. It’s that easy!

I hope you guys will enjoy using this recipe and that you’re feeling ready to ring in the New Year! Much love to you all! ❤

Merry CHRISTmas!

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Merry CHRISTmas from my sweet little crew to you and yours! We had a wonderful day celebrating the birth of our SAVIOR and making memories together as a family!

There was lots of good food, including a Birthday cake!

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Noise putty…and nerf gun wars!

I didn’t quite get those stockings crocheted as I had hoped and there were some minor things that I had hoped to accomplish, but even so, I think it was our BEST Christmas yet!

I pray that all of you feel the same! May this next year be filled with blessings and joy! ❤

Bumpdate 19 weeks

19 weeks

Hi friends!

I hope everyone is having a great week! I wanted to take some time to share an update on how the pregnancy is going with our sweet little baby girl.

First, I still can’t believe we’re actually having a girl! I’m not sure that it will truly sink in until she’s in my arms and I see her face to face for the first time. I completely assumed (and was completely fine with) having another boy. Having three babies of the same gender back to back just made for a really fun surprise when we found out it was not what we were expecting. You can check out the gender reveal video on my facebook page if you’re interested (https://www.facebook.com/nadine.dillard). It was pretty sweet! I was so thankful we decided to wait to find out until we got home and that we decided to video it! It will be a treasured memory for sure! We are in the process of revamping our very neglected youtube channel and planning to add the name reveal on there as well.

So, yes, we do have a name and we’re so excited to share it with everyone soon! 🙂

Side note: Once we get the channel up and running again I’ll share the link for anyone interested in following along that way. The boys enjoy it so much! They’ve been asking us to start back up ever since we stopped about a year ago. We never really intended to stop but with the move it just ended up happening. 

We’re 19 weeks and 2 days pregnant today. As far as how I’m feeling…I was feeling better for the most part from about 16-18 weeks. This past week however, I’ve been struggling. It’s almost like I’m back to first trimester exhaustion and nausea. I’ve had several days where I’ve had to muster up just enough energy to make it through the absolutely necessary things on my to do list and I’ve struggled trying to figure out what to eat and when to eat. Last night I felt nauseous enough to wonder if I should have a bucket bedside or not. Typically the nausea and exhaustion subsides almost completely for me by about 18 weeks so this is definitely a difference from my previous pregnancies. My skin and hair are also different than they usually are when I’m pregnant. Normally my hair seems so full and pretty and my skin seems fairly nice by this point as well but I’ve had some skin issues from the very start with this little girl. It definitely had me wondering what was going on right from the start! Looking back now, it makes sense but it definitely seemed unusual in the beginning because I’d never had that problem before. I’ve been trying to eat healthy as much as possible, but I will say…food is still not the same. I have an appetite…I’m hungry A LOT but nothing really tastes right.

Other than that, I just feel the normal aches and pains of pregnancy. I can feel her moving fairly often now. I know where her legs are and where her hands are thanks to the ultrasound and it’s sweet to be able to tell when she’s moving what body part. Feeling the baby move in the womb is by far one of the neatest experiences in life!

I think that’s pretty much all I have for now as far as an update but I will be sure to let everyone know her name as soon as we’re ready to share it! 🙂

 

Fairly Easy Croissants

I hope you’re all having an amazing week! We’ve been going non-stop as usual but I was determined to get you this croissant recipe because…IT IS SO GOOD! We love croissants in our home! Not the store bought from a can kind…those are great for in a pinch, but for a special family breakfast or treat these are so much better! I will say, you need a couple of days to make these BUT they are not hard to make at all!

What you’ll need:

Approx. 3 1/2-4 c of flour. I usually always start off with the least amount and add more as needed.

Approx. 1/2 c water

Approx. 1/2 c milk

2 tsp salt

3 tbsp butter, olive oil or coconut oil

1/4 c sugar

1 1/2 tbsp yeast

For the butter layer, you need approx. 2 sticks of butter. You’ll want these room temp so you can roll it out.

For the top once they are rolled out and shaped, you’ll need one egg and some milk. You’ll want to brush that over them prior to baking.

How to do it:

Warm up your liquids.

Add the yeast and sugar.

Let it sit for a few minutes to get things going.

Add your butter or oil (depending on your preference).

Add flour.

Add salt.

Mix until everything comes together nicely and the dough is manageable. If necessary you can add a little more flour at this time.

You’ll want to wrap the dough up well and place it in the fridge over night.

Meanwhile, roll out the butter between two sheets of parchment or saran wrap into a rectangle. Approx. the size of a half sheet pan. You’re going to be sticking that back into the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to add it to the dough.

The next morning you roll out your dough, you add the butter on top and begin the “folding” process.

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Usually what I do is take the dough and fold it into 3, like I would fold a letter. I do this about 3 times or so. I give it about an hour in the fridge in between each “fold”. Once you finish with the last fold, you just cut the dough into triangles and roll them up into the croissant shape.

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I used an egg and milk to brush on the croissants and then baked them on 400 degrees for about 18-22 minutes depending on the size. Basically once they turn golden, I usually pull mine out. The larger ones I made ended up needing a little longer to bake.

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I hope you guys enjoy these as much as we did!! ❤

 

 

A little PINK…

I’m not sure I can put into words how surprised we were to find out that our lives are about to become a little more sparkly and PINK! The boys have been asking for a sister for over a year…we weren’t so sure that we can make those… BUT GOD answers prayers, my boys.  SHE’s so loved already! We’re still working on a name but I think it won’t be long before we figure that out. The older boys have been very involved in the picking. I honestly didn’t expect them to be so interested in helping with a name, but they sure are letting us know what they do and don’t like!