Timeline and future learning

Yesterday, the kids played outside a lot, and I got carried away making a timeline. It goes back as far as 0 A.D. 

It’s old scratch paper and some lines, but each page represents 50 years. Simple, not incredibly pretty, but so far, we have these dates noted:

0: Jesus is born (I know not technically, but we’ll go with it for now!)

33: Jesus died and rose again

325: Nicene Council

476: (ok, might be off a hair, I’m not looking at it right now) Fall of Rome 

590-604: Pope St. Gregory the Great

800: Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor 

1252: St. Elizabeth of Hungary died

1373: St. Bridget of Sweden died

(Those two dates? Requested by Pumpkin since we talked about holy queens/royalty the other day!)

1492: Columbus discovered the Americas (we’ll add the Vikings living in North America at some point too)

1620: Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock

1776: Declaration of Independence 

1814: Star Spangled Banner written 

1861-65: US Civil War

1867: Laura Ingalls Wilder was born (we’re reading Little House in the Big Woods so this was of interest!)

In the 20th century we include: the Great Depression, WW I and II, landing in the moon, fall of the Berlin Wall, St. Gianna’s death, Mother Teresa’s death, great-grandma’s birth, all grandparents’ births, parents’ births. And in the 21st century: 9/11, death of John Paul II, parents’ wedding, sibling births–and that brings us to today!


Our days

I have a new and simple goal for this blog: snapshots of our days and what we learn as we live.

Yesterday: Columbus Day. We discussed with 5yo Pumpkin that Columbus’ goal was India. He was mistaken in the size of the earth and thus discovered continents otherwise unknown to each other. We also discussed how the people living where he landed lived and ate as well as how people lived in North America where we currently live (BISON as clothing, tent, and food). We discussed where our ancestors lived at the time of Columbus’ discovery (Italy, Ireland, and Germany to name a few). We talked about the ships that Columbus sailed and alternate routes to India.

Google Maps helped visualize and we googled for images of natives in the Bahamas, Great Plains of North America, as well as life during the late 1400s in Europe.

Social Studies: check.

Today: while pretending she was a queen, we discussed the stories of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary and her dedication to the poor (this would actually make an awesome Disney princess movie complete with evil queen and all). We talked about Queen Bridget (Brigitte?) of Sweden as well and her dedication to the poor and her many children.

In a little bit, we plan to make banana bread. Always a lesson in chemistry and math.

Pumpkin and Peanut (2.5yo) almost always manage to do the 100pc Poland puzzle from their aunt on a daily basis. Shapes, patterns, and geography in one!

Helping take care of their baby sister, Peach, has to count for something too!

Pregnancy announcements: The when and why

You’ve probably seen the news that Jill Duggar Dillard–a newlywed from the show 19 Kids and Counting–is expecting. She’s shocked the mainstream world by announcing her pregnancy right away. Jill explained why they made their announcement so soon:

Jill Duggar Dillard and husband announced pregnancy right away. Could you?

Jill Duggar Dillard and husband announced pregnancy right away. Could you? photo: Jill Duggar Dillard via twitter

…believing that every life is precious no matter how young, we decided to share our joyful news as soon as we could.

With our first pregnancy, we told everyone within about five hours of finding out we were expecting. We even announced it on Facebook, so I really do mean everyone!

Since then, I realize that a lot of people wait to announce mostly to protect themselves from having a loss be the topic of every conversation–but surely, sharing with close friends and family is always a good idea–prayers and support don’t hurt. I do understand that feeling of wanting safety and privacy. Once again with baby #2, we announced to family and close friends right away, but waited to announce to everyone (via this post) until quite awhile later (14 weeks or so…). It would be hard to have a happy announcement, a loss, and then all the questions from people we don’t know very well. But, we did love announcing the Pumpkin and baby #2 to those who really value and celebrate life.

Why did we announce immediately?

1. Being Parents

One reason we didn’t see any reason to wait was that regardless of whether our baby made it to birth or not (which, thank God, she did!), we knew that we’d always be parents from that moment on–and we wanted people to know it too!

2. A Person’s a Person No Matter How Small…

I guess there was also that realization that there’s no magical week at which the baby becomes a person. Our little grain-of-rice sized baby was already the person who had completely captivated our hearts.

3. Prayers

We had so many people praying for us right away–it was wonderful! Surely the prayers did help keep our baby and myself healthy and safe throughout the pregnancy–if we’d lost her, I know the prayers would’ve helped us with the grace and strength to grieve and learn to carry-on.

4. Childhood experience

When I was growing up, my parents experienced the majority of their pregnancies ending in miscarriage. Usually, they told us kids about their pregnancy early on, but once, they decided to spare us the highs and lows of pregnancy followed by loss, and they waited to tell us. Well, instead of celebrating and loving that little life while it was a part of our family on earth, us kids only found out about the baby during the miscarriage because our mom needed our help during the miscarriage. Even though there were more miscarriages to come, my parents’ told us early from then on so that we could share in the joy–even when sorrow was to come.

5. Changing the norm!

Although I can see why people need to do what’s best for them as they grieve a loss and sometimes that means keeping it private, more people need to at least consider it. Announcing your pregnancy before 12 weeks is fine. If it feels right for you, do it! Especially if that means telling some of your closest, most supportive family members and friends. Celebrate life from it’s very beginning!

Like Erika Anderson said over at the Daily Signal,

Not everyone will be as comfortable as Duggar about sharing pregnancy news so early, but there’s absolutely no reason it should be taboo to do so. In fact, it may help some recognize the truly scientific humanness of unborn babies at every stage of life.

What do you think? Would you consider announcing your pregnancy right away?

MrsF3 and Family is on twitter: https://twitter.com/MrsF3andF and Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/mrsf3

Love stories…

I loved reading this post from Sarah Bessy about the love that doesn’t show up in movies and songs. It’s a reminder to cherish our own love story and pass it on to our children. Also, a reminder to cherish our continued and growing love as our family grows.

My thoughts on this in no particular order:

The first time we held hands--and someone happened to catch it on camera.

The first time we held hands–and someone happened to catch it on camera.

1. This year, our anniversary was very much a loving one–but definitely not like in the movies! The Hunter came home from a long day at work to cook very bland food (cheese ravioli with no sauce!) for his morning (read: all-day) sickness afflicted wife. I had laid on the couch all day with Pumpkin watching kids’ shows, and the most I could muster for The Hunter was a little hand-made card that Pumpkin helped me decorate. But what true love!

2. Our love story is full of stories from the time getting to know each other in highschool to the time The Hunter asked me out…and I said “no.” I liked him, but he was younger than me… That guy never gave up! It wasn’t until three years later that his patience paid off!

3. The time The Hunter drove all the way across the country to see me and pick me up from the airport on the other side.

4. When I was abroad and walked around every where with my first generation iPod touch trying to find wifi signals so that I could facebook message or email The Hunter back in the states. And that same iPod touch was filled with a playlist of love songs that he made for me the night before I left.

5. The times we’ve gone hunting, boating, or fishing together.

6. Walks around my parents’ acreage–we didn’t hold hands yet, but what a thrill just walking and talking and getting to know one another better!

7. Our first date: we covered The Hunter’s recent novena to St. Joseph for discernment, and The Hunter asked me what my thoughts were on vaccinations, breastfeeding, and homeschooling. He wasn’t wasting any time… We agreed on everything!

…our love story is better than any movie!

Have a love story or two to share? Please comment!

MrsF3 and Family is on twitter: https://twitter.com/MrsF3andF and Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/mrsf3

An additional miracle

Noticed the infrequent, irregular, and short posts of late? The past three months or so, to be exact? There’s a reason for that.

God has a sense of humor, or at least, likes to show us that He truly is in control.

Little did I know it, but when I published “Things you don’t say to couples with few or no kids,” I was already growing a new life inside of me! Our 1.5 year struggle to conceive Pumpkin was a trying one–and short in comparison to many couples that I know. It involved research, doctors’ visits, specialists, diets, and surgery. The day we got our positive pregnancy test is one of the best and most memorable in my life.

I never expected we’d be blessed with another only 2.5 years younger than Pumpkin. To both The Hunter and I, that seems like a very close age range. Neither of us have any siblings closer than 3 years apart (and two of my sisters are 7 years apart…). Subfertility is no stranger to either of our families. Now, if #2 turns out to be a boy (and given the differing symptoms from my first pregnancy, The Hunter is sure junior is on the way), we might start getting comments about whether we’re done… I certainly hope not!

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my own journey and from the stories that people have shared with me since writing my post about those struggles, it’s that God has a unique plan and a unique set of blessings and crosses for each and every person, couple, and family. We’ll embrace and welcome each new life He gives us for however long we are given these children.

And I can’t find a picture to go with this post! I have a small bump, so perhaps at some later point, you’ll see some maternity pictures. I’ve also been pinning like mad on my secret board about announcements, gender reveals, and introducing baby to big sister. So far, Pumpkin is already sharing her toys with my belly, so we’re off to a good start.


MrsF3 and Family is on twitter: https://twitter.com/MrsF3andF and Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/mrsf3

The Dogs: 10 ways dogs are great for our family (and yours!)

1. Immunity building:

Yep, that’s right. E and Z do track hair and dirt into my house every day, but this constant stream of germs means our immune systems are being strengthened constantly!

You can read about how dogs help strengthen your immune system at webMD.


2. Exercise:

I always thought having a dog would help get me up and off the couch needing to take them out for exercise. While this may be true in a few cases, it’s been somewhat less of a factor than I anticipated–except when I’m chasing the fence-jumper, Z.


3. Protection:

Even though my dogs are just over 50 pounds, and sweet as can be, they have ferocious barks when they feel threatened by a stranger or when they hear something they don’t think is right. Even at night when The Hunter is gone, I never feel alone.


4. “Fur-therapy”

Just having a warm, furry body (or two) curl up next to you as you relax in the evening can be totally therapeutic!


5. Laughter:

When you see a dog sleeping upside down or halfway falling off a piece of furniture–you can’t help but laugh; or a dog dreaming–running and barking in their sleep; or when they roll on their back trying to itch a spot. They can brighten your day without even trying.


"I love you" said with doggy eyes.

“I love you” said with doggy eyes.

6. Heart-warming:

These dogs steal your heart when they come nose up against you when they sense that you are sad or hurt.

7. Vacuums:

Well, other than the need to pick up dog hair, the vacuum at our house has been made practically obsolete by the dogs. Even when our Pumpkin (our dear, brown-eyed, 20-month old daughter) dumps all her food on the floor, there’s no need for anyone but E and Z to do clean-up.


8. Hunting:

I couldn’t appreciate these black lab/coonhound mutts fully without commenting on their instinct for hunting and how beneficial that will be to The Hunter in the fall with his duck hunting!


9. Patience:

They give a lesson in patience as they allow a 25 pound child to sit on them, kiss them, pull their ears, and more.


10. Love

Besides the love The Hunter and I feel for our dogs, the love of Pumpkin for them and their love of her is beyond telling. They were two years old when Pumpkin was born, and they welcomed that tiny bundle as if she were their own. They followed her around and made sure that we were taking proper care of her. Now that she’s a toddler, they allow her to hug, kiss, sit on, and dress them up. Their relationship with her will be one that she will always treasure.

MrsF3 and Family is on twitter: https://twitter.com/MrsF3andF and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mrsf3