PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Farmhouses for Your Viewing Pleasure

Here are a few farmhouses in and around our area. Enjoy!

(Photos not taken by me.)

{Sevierville} This one is really a Victorian, but everyone knows that a Victorian is simply a hardworking Farmhouse all dolled up with a dress and makeup.

{Friendsville} This one is a Bungalow, but since the Farmhouse came first, the Bungalow takes a lot of inspiration from its predecessor.

{Corryton} This one is a Farmhouse cottage, just plain and simple cute. This one is my favorite!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Contraction City: Prayers Needed

I fear the contractions have already begun. I experienced pre-term labor with Griffin starting at 28 weeks. Luckily he stayed in the oven until full term at 39 weeks. I believe it was all the prayers that kept him safe and healthy. I ask for your prayers again. I have not contacted Dr. B's office yet because the contractions are not in regular intervals (like every 5 or 7 minutes) and because I'm stubborn and don't want a trip to the hospital. But, I have noticed a marked difference since Sunday afternoon. Over the course of this week I've had days with few contractions followed by a day of continuous contractions. Today is one of those continuous contractions days. At my appointment and ultrasound on Friday, I was experiencing very few contractions. But they have definitely picked up every day since Sunday. If things continue as they are through the night and a large part of tomorrow, I will be calling Dr. B for instructions on next steps. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things Have Changed

Since Lily was born 5 1/2 years ago, things have changed in the baby gadget world. As I've been browsing through looking at a few baby necessities I'll need for Baby Four, I've come across a few additional things that I may need to consider for her.

1. Breathable crib bumper - This is new on the market since Lily. When she was born, the big, fluffy, custom-designed crib bumpers were all the rage. I never thought those were practical because I wondered how you could cram them into the washing machine once your sweet angel spewed all over it. Then, I noticed the "professionals" were advising against crib bumpers altogether to decrease the chance of SIDS. I never thought that was practical either since my babies would probably end up with a limb stuck through the crib bars, or worse, lose a paci and scream out for me to come find it at 3 a.m. The breathable crib bumper looks like an awesome compromise and one I might consider.

2. BPA-free bottles - Thank goodness Lily never took a bottle because now I'd be fretting over the cancer-causing particles I pumped into her little body if she did. Schaeffer was the only one who took a bottle, but luckily we quickly purchased a few BPA-free Avent bottles for him after I had already used the cancer-causing Dr. Brown's bottles for a few months. I will need to upgrade to these wide neck Dr. Brown's bottles since Dr. Brown's are my favorite.

3. Infant car seat - Things have changed so much in the car seat industry since Lily's birth. Now all car seats are equipped with three different seat securing devices: the car's seat belt, Latch, and tether. Our old infant carrier is only compatible with one, the car's seat belt. In the event that the car's seat belt were to fail in a crash, the other two securing devices would be backup. In addition, almost all car seats now come with EPS foam which is better for impact absorption. Again, this might be another important new purchase to consider for Baby Four. Our old infant seat is Graco so I may look at replacing it with this one.

It's funny how just a little while ago I posted about how I didn't need a single thing for Baby Four except a 2-3 years' supply of Pampers. Well, I guess things have changed...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Baby Four is...

...gonna be wearing PINK!! And not because it's a girlie-boy. Haha! Baby Four is a girl!! She looked great today on the ultrasound - healthy, growing, moving and even doing some hand sucking. The ultrasound tech flipped over for a few minutes to 3D and 4D, a first for me, and we could see almost every detail of her sweet little face. Today has made me even more excited to get to meet her in early February. Let the name game begin! Will share more later on that...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moby Wrap - Need Feedback Please

Dear Moms,
Anyone out there use a Moby Wrap Baby Carrier or know someone who has? I have a Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier and have found it to be worth every penny...with one exception, I cannot wear it for a long amount of time. The weight is distributed mostly to my shoulders and that can make my shoulders and neck really tired and achey. Same with my Ring Sling, which I made. Otherwise, I love both my Baby Bjorn and Ring Sling carriers. The one benefit of the Baby Bjorn is that BJ can wear it too without looking silly. The Moby Wrap, however, looks so comfy because it looks like wearing a soft stretchy shirt with a baby tucked inside. The weight looks like it's distributed evenly between shoulders, back, and waist. I welcome feedback about this wrap or other carriers you've found to be exceptionally comfy that you can wear for a long period of time. I have a feeling Baby 4 will have to go along for the ride, and that will probably mean on my person most of the time.

P.S. My 20-week ultrasound is scheduled for tomorrow at 10 a.m. I am so excited I can hardly wait!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Grandparents' Day at RECA Smithwood

Today Lily's school celebrated Grandparents' Day. Granddad and Grandmama were both able to attend which made Lily very happy. Today's event began with a special presentation and then chapel time. During the presentation each student gave Miss Violet Tudor a carnation with a card tied to it containing their name. Today Miss Tudor became the honorary grandmother of this first class of River's Edge at the Smithwood campus. Miss Tudor turned 90 years old this year. She was born and raised in the Fountain City/Smithwood community. In fact she still lives in the same house in which she was born. She had attended Smithwood Baptist since birth. Miss Tudor devoted 40 years as a school teacher in the community. Here are some really neat facts she shared with us today:

- When she began teaching with Knox County schools many years ago, teachers had to sign a contract stating that they would read at least 10 verses of scripture each day, pray, and lead the pledge of allegiance in their classrooms.

- Another part of her contract stated that she could not date or get married as long as she was a teacher. She was to be devoted to her students. Miss Tudor never married.

After chapel time we returned to the classroom for a reception for the grandparents. All us homeschool moms provided the food and drinks. It turned out to be a really special and fun day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Counting Down...6...5...4...3...2...1

Just 6 more days until we know the sex of Baby Four! I cannot wait!!! In a lot of ways this pregnancy is moving quickly, but some days - when I'm feeling really pregnant and another year older - this pregnancy is moving slowly. I'm grateful for all the little distractions in my life that keep me from dwelling on every second of this pregnancy. I can honestly say I've been stress-free this time around because I don't have any nervousness about labor and delivery. I'm very excited about that part. My past experiences have been so joyful and beyond anything I can describe. And I'm not nervous about caring for a newborn. It feels so routine this time. I start to get nervous when they turn 3 years old and all of a sudden I don't know what happens to my precious babies, and I don't have a clue how to make them stop throwing tantrums. That's usually when I turn to BJ and say, "Take care of that! Use any means necessary to make it stop!" Ha ha!

Friday, September 24th is the big ultrasound day! And then the real planning can begin - blue or pink?

Friday, September 17, 2010

RECA Camping Trip

BJ and the two eldest kids are headed to Bandy Creek in Big South Fork for a camping trip organized by Lily's school, River's Edge Christian Academy. There are about 200 students enrolled at RECA and there will be about 100 campers (students and family) going on this trip. Their biggest turnout yet! This will be Lily's and Schaeffer's very first camping trip. I hope they have a blast...and take it easy on their daddy. I hope to have some photos to share when they get back tomorrow night.

Pillow Talk

I love my husband for many many many reasons. One of the top reasons is his ability to make me laugh until I almost (read: slightly) pee in my pants. One of those moments happened just a few nights ago. We were trying to catch up on our long overdue conversation time - which mostly happens while we are lying in bed at night because the kids are also snug in their beds and the house is quiet. Our converstation drifted toward tatoos. BJ is always pitching a new tatoo idea to add to his existing artwork. Most days I think he's just brainstorming and being silly. I had the idea of using your body like a lot of people use their vehicles: a billboard for bumper stickers. You know, why not use it as a chance to spread a message or support a cause? BJ replied, "Yeah, how about a tatoo across my back that reads 'I heart my Shi Tzu.'" I just about rolled out of the bed laughing so hard. I couldn't stop. You know the kind of laughter that hurts your ribcage and you can't catch your breath? Hadn't done that in a while. It was awesome!

Playing in the Rain

One thing that every kid needs to do at least once in their lifetime (mine do it at least several times a year)...Play in the rain! I bet our neighbors wonder what kind of parents we are letting our kids run barefoot in the backyard in the middle of a downpour.


How long have I lived in this house? Hmm...over 4 years. And I finally have a workspace of my own. The office has generally been BJ's domain. That's obvious by the coffee mugs, literary selections, and abundance of techie gadgets in the room. But now that I'm homeschooling, I desperately needed a prep/work space of my own. The dining room table wasn't cutting it. So I took over the large desk in the office. I still need to go through all the drawers and clean out a bunch of stuff to make room for school supplies so they don't crowd my workspace. But, this new workspace makes me feel so organized and efficient. I LOVE that!!

P.S. On the desk is a desktop computer and a laptop. My laptop is where I do most of my work. The desktop is quite old. About a year ago we had to completely wipe it clean because it was running like an old man. Now it works really great for just web surfing and a few other applications. We have kept the old man around for the kids' online learning resources and computer games. I feel the old man will eventually need to be moved to another location once the kids are old enough to crowd around it (and crowd me out of my workspace). For now it'll work just fine where it is.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Penny for the Arts

Check out for some local (Knox County) arts and culture events that your student can attend for just one penny. Pretty nifty and thrifty!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

09.06.2010 Metcalf Bottoms

We spent Labor Day at Metcalf Bottoms in the Smokies with a whole slew of family: Grandmama, Granddad, Jonathan, Heather, Jacob, Ethan, Amelia, Matthew, Abby, Ciera, Nana Faye, and Heather's parents Rees and Betty. Grandmama and Granddad arrived early to secure us a good picnic location right on the river. And then they cooked us a big breakfast over a fire - eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, and coffee. The rest of us brought lunch stuff and snacks for the rest of the day. We had a blast!

09.03.2010 Chattanooga Discovery Museum

BJ was able to take a few vacation days surrounding the Labor Day weekend. First stop: The Discovery Museum in Chattanooga...