Gender reveal and baby names

Our Pumpkin had her second birthday last month, and it just so happened that we were able to see our Baby #2 on Pumpkin’s birthday.

The following weekend, we had a birthday party, and Pumpkin got to unwrap a big box of…

Pumpkin's birthday present--pink balloons because a little sister is on the way!

Pumpkin’s birthday present–pink balloons because a little sister is on the way!

…pink balloons!

With both of our pregnancies, we’ve found out the gender of our little one at 19 weeks. I’ve heard that the surprise at birth is amazing, but I love the surprise at 19 weeks.

Why do we find out early?

One reason is the help in preparation… Such a relief this time around to know that all the pink clothes from the first time can be handed down to the next baby!

But, beyond a doubt, the biggest and best reason in finding out our baby’s gender during pregnancy is that we avoid referring to our baby as “it.” Not only can we call Baby, “her,” but we also start calling her by name and tell everyone what her name is.

We’ll still be surprised at birth when we get to see our little girl for the first time, but for now, we have a little idea about who she is–and we can’t wait to meet her!

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Current pile of books…

I have a lot of good books going right now. Besides trying to read a little bit of everything, I’ve also been napping more lately. Lots of good things keeping me from blogging, as you can see. But here’s a list of the books in no particular order (click any of the titles to buy them!). What have you read or would like to read on this list? Stay tuned for reviews of these and more!

1. A Little Way of Homeschooling 

edited by Suzie Andres

I started this one months ago. It’s taken me awhile, but not because it lacks appeal–I just keep starting new books! Still, this one is easy to pick back up. Each chapter is by a different Catholic homeschool/unschool mom. Because of this book, I discovered the Catholic Unschoolers group on facebook and the blog of a mom in my own home state, Karen Edmisten. Besides seeing how homeschooling/unschooling is as unique as each family, Suzie Andres does a great job of summing up how she sees unschooling as an application of St. Therese’s Little Way.

The pile currently being read (minus Deathbed Conversions which was out in the living room).

The pile currently being read (minus Deathbed Conversions which was out in the living room).

2. Deathbed Conversions: Finding Faith at the Finish Line

by Karen Edmisten

I was fortunate enough to win a drawing for a copy of this new book from the author’s blog. Since I’m looking forward to doing a review of this as well in the not too distant future, suffice it to say for now that the best part about it is that  as it sits next to my couch in the living room everyone from the babysitter to my parents and from The Hunter’s hunting buddies to my little siblings pick it up and take a look. Everyone is intrigued by it!

And, here’s my first reaction when I began the book:

Just read ch. 1–and I cried and felt inspired to be that beacon of light, even when I don’t see any effect in my friends’ lives.

So, I highly recommend this short book for your inspiration and coffee table conversation starter!

3. Red Storm Rising

by Tom Clancy

Just in case you thought I only read spiritual books (which are wonderful, of course), here’s one that The Hunter recommended. He’s more of a doer than a reader (unless it pertains to what he’s doing…), but he has lots of Tom Clancy books and has finally convinced me to pick one up and read it. I’m not very far yet, but the writing style is enjoyable, and I know I’ll learn a lot!

4. How Weaning Happens

by Diane Bengson

This is a book published by La Leche League. I love their books–they touch on so much more than just breastfeeding, it really encompasses the whole mother-child relationship. And I have a toddler, so I’m just curious when/how weaning will eventually happen!

5. When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings

by Thomas Green

You’ve probably seen my excited posts about Fr. Green’s first book about prayer, Opening to God. I mentioned that one here and here. Now, I’m excited to get started on the next book and learn more about living and growing in this relationship with God.

6. Parenting with Grace: The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising almost Perfect Kids

by Gregory and Lisa Popcak

I actually read this book when Pumpkin was about seven months old. As she discovers her own will and “experiments” more with spilling things and breaking things and whatever else comes into her little head, I’m picking it back up for some of the great tips and suggestions about understanding and disciplining gently. I love the philosophy behind this book which is to tie in the Theology of the Body with parenting. Our goal? Self-donative parenting.

7. Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose

by Matthew Kelly

I started this book quite awhile ago, but it’s easy reading and really inspiring. I feel like it gives me good information to present to others if they have questions about the Catholic Church in today’s day and age.

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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.

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9 Reasons for starting THIS blog

1. Avoid:

Avoiding an idle mind and idle hands! Why not blog instead of turning on the tv? This may be productive!

(Image from by Keemo Nolen)
2. Interests:
What better way to sum up my interests? I love writing, and with a blog, I can write about any and all of my other interests. Which will include parenting, marriage, pets, music, homeschooling/unschooling, gardening, hunting, reading, and the Catholic Faith.
3. Sharing:
Maybe not wisdom, but at least my thoughts and experiences may resonate with someone else out there!
4. Challenge:
This writing will challenge me to come up with something at least partially coherent on a regular basis!
5. Life:
There’s so much to share and record about the way we live, what we enjoy, and our goals.
6. Love:
Blessed with the love of God and a loving family, why not share these blessings?
7. Learning:
Living and loving always includes learning! This provides a way to share and remember what we learn.
8. Family:
Perhaps other families will be able to relate to my family which consists of: MrsF3, MrF3, known as The Hunter, a daughter (Pumpkin), and the dogs (E and Z).
9. Honesty:
Last, but by no means least, the main impetus that finally got me to start a blog was this article:
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