Steve and Angie

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My facebook isn't working this week, so I'm back to talking to myself in my blog again. :) It has only been a few days since my last blog, but with the quick pace of our lives, that is certainly enough to make a nice, long, boring blog!

Yesterday morning began early since we were sending Hannah off to a basketball tournament in Ft. Wayne. I got up about 6:45 to put a blueberry coffee cake in the oven, and the day started from there. As soon as I finished school planning for the week and got the remaining six kids ready, I took off for six stores with six kids. I got some good deals at CVS ($4 Huggies and $2 - 12 packs of Coke for Steve) to start off the day.

When we were checking out at the Dollar Store, the cashier complimented me on the kids' behavior. She said she couldn't believe there were so many kids in the store because sometimes one or two kids come in and drive her nuts. Let me just take a minute to thank EVERYONE that takes time to praise mothers (especially if they have lots of children) in public for their children's behavior. I usually can't see beyond all the trees around me to realize the forest big picture that my children are making strides toward godly behavior. I once heard of a mother that would treat her kids to ice cream when they would get compliments in public. My kids just have to be satified with a thank you from mommy! :)

Steve wants me to make matching Easter dresses for the five girls and myself this year, so we stopped by Jo-Ann. We found a material the girls liked, but even with my 50% off coupon, I couldn't bring myself to spend $100 on clothes. That would pretty much wipe out the clothing budget for the whole year.

We also stopped by Aldi, where I had just been scratching out a list through the week of things I ran out of. Steve had just gone to Aldi for me the week before with a thorough list, so I only took $70 (of my new-found money). Dumb! I guess I'm one of those old people now, but things have gone up sooo much over the past few years, and I'm still calculating things at their cheaper prices. My total came to $74, so I asked the cashier to take a few things off. A sweet lady behind me that had been talking to a few of the kids gave the cashier the money for me to get the items I couldn't pay for. I thought that was so sweet! We also found a cart in the parking lot, so we made $.25 off the extra cart. :)

After our shopping we headed to a birthday party then home to make cake and corn bread for the chili supper. I also need to share that the kids put the groceries away while I was getting the two little ones down for a nap. I must admit that I was pretty tired after baths and Bible reading last night!

Today we had a nice church service - Steve is doing a series on the family then a birthday party in the afternoon. Now I have a cake in the oven for our chili supper for tonight. Hmmm . . . does this sound familiar to anyone else? :)

I'm 33 weeks today!! We are starting to really look forward to Mary's arrival. I spent some of my new-found money on shelves/hanging bars for the girls' closet since four of them will be sharing the space now. Hopefully that will get completed this week and Ruth will be oficially moved upstairs. Then I have to get all the baby girl stuff ready in the nursery. I fell down a few stairs this week lugging drawers downstairs, so I'll be very happy to have all this done before the bump in front of me gets any larger!

The Lord has so greatly blessed me! I have a precious family, a wonderful church family, and so many godly friends! In our quiet time reading this week we read of the Mary and Martha story. It was a good reminder to choose what is better in life, serving the Lord, then being worried and troubled about many things, which is way to easy to do with seven kids in the house!

Well, the cake just beeped, so it is time to end!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blessing of the week

I often find myself looking at the mountain of work and sin issues that need to be dealt with in my home. Just today I was cleaning a room and took a minute to deliver some items to the girls' room, and I was quite discouraged to see the need for more decluttering in their room. So, I've decided to remind myself of some of the blessings of this week. By the Lord's mercy we are not consumed; great is His faithfulness!

These are in no particular order; just how my silly brain pulled them from the memory bank.
1. In the midst of cleaning off my bookshelf, I opened a box of Bible verses I had memorized years ago. Amazing! The $155 I lost 3.5 years ago. As far as I can remember, I put it in there just a few hours before Noah (just 6 months after his neurosurgery) split his head open and had to get staples and a CT scan, etc. I think through the events of the day, I had just forgotten where I put it.

2. Ruth spent her first night upstairs in the girls' room. Not exactly in her own bed, but we are making progress!

3. Ruth went potty on the potty chair for the first time this morning! I'm still holding out hope (her middle name, btw) for an easy trainer.

4. I have gotten a lot of things cleaned out this week. I know I won't feel much like cleaning in a few weeks, so I'm thankful for the energy to do it now. The boys closet is clean, and I think I should take a picture . . . well, at least it was clean yesterday; can't really say for sure about what it looks like tonight!

5. We were in dire need of dressers around here. Steve built me some "poor man's dressers" with rubbermaid containers and shelves; although, I'm not really sure they were that cheap in the end. But, the boys can now, in theory, put away their clothes and not just throw them on the floor because "they couldn't get the drawers open.

6. Steve is also working on putting up cabinets and shelves in my mud room, but it is still a work in progress.

7. The kids have had a great week getting chores done. Of course, it is because we have determined that if a child will not work, he will not eat around here and chores must be done before lunch. But the house functions so much better with dilligent kids!

8. Most of the kids can pretty well quote Ephesians 1:1-13. Mommy is still struggling with the last few verses, but I'm just memory challenged these days. In fact, I was playing memory with Noah and Esther the other day (we found some memory cards while cleaning the boys closet). After I was soundly defeated twice, Noah told me he was going to be on my team for the next game. I told him he didn't have to do that to which he responded, "I need to be on your team because you are not a good player." I couldn't argue with that!

9. Hannah and Sarah are making some progress on their research papers. I still think 7th grade seems young to be writing a research paper, but I thought I'd try it again (it didn't work well last year). Hannah wanted to write about what made George Washington a great man and Sarah wanted to write about the parallels between Narnian characters and Biblical characters.

So that has been the blessing side of my week! This weekend should be exciting with small group, two birthday parties, and two chili suppers. Next week the carpet will be laid (or is it layed - don't tell my kids that I can never remember this one) in the big room of the church addition - just in time for our first family-integrated Sunday School.

Thank you so much to those of you that think of our family and pray for us! It is very humbling to think of the wonderful people the Lord has placed in our lives, and we appreciate you all!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Christmas Letter - 2010

I've given up! I normally send out about 150 Christmas cards, but I only got about half done this year. I thought about doing New Year cards, but it didn't happen. I'm pretty sure Valentine cards won't happen either. So, I'm posting the Christmas letter here to make myself feel a little better. This was our year in a nutshell (a rather large nut I realize, but it is getting harder and harder to boil a year of our life down to a one page Christmas letter).


The family began a "through the Bible in a year" reading program.

Hannah finished up her basketball season.

Angie's sub license expired.

Hannah and Sarah participated in a calcium study for three weekends at Purdue

Hannah, Sarah, and Nathan participated in Drama Camp with the homeschool group.

Nathan played baseball for Mac's Express.

Hannah and Sarah earned the Steadfast Award for achieving gold level in Olympians six years in a row.

The kids attended VBS at First Landmark Baptist Church.

Esther and Hannah participated in the Kokomo Kids Try-athlon again this year.

The six oldest kids ran in the Coyote Kids races in the park on Thursday nights.

We camped out with Angie's family at the Grayless house over the July 4th weekend (using our new pop-up camper--a gift from Steve's parents).

Another 4-H season is completed!

The family went to Twin Lakes Camp - Steve was camp pastor for the week and Nathan was a camper.

Angie's roommate from Cedarville, Jolyn, and her family visited from New Hampshire.

We redeemed some reading certificates for a "free" trip to Six Flags near Chicago.

Esther attended Squirt Camp at Twin Lakes.

Hannah and Sarah attended Jr. High camp at Twin Lakes.

After a 9-month battle, Dana Browning (a good friend from church) went to heaven.

Hannah and Sarah attended Word of Life Camp in Schroon Lake, New York.


Hannah played Jr. High KASH volleyball and Sarah played Elementary KASH volleyball. Sarah won the award for best server, and Hannah's team came in second in the homeschool tournament.

Hannah and Sarah started flute lessons again.

Steve's college friend, Brian, visited with his family.

Sarah's choir traveled to Lafayette for a special training and performance.

2010 Family Vacation This year's vacation was at the end of August and first of September. We started by picking up Hannah and Sarah at Word of Life Camp in New York, camping with Angie's aunt, uncle and cousins along the way. Two days in Philadelphia (Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross house, Franklin Square)Two days in New York City (Staten Island Ferry, Wall Street, China Town, Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, Grant's Tomb & Time Square--during the day and later at night!) The kids all loved the NYC MTA--the subway & bus-- and Angie was just thrilled to make it out of the city with all 7 kids!We spent three nights camping near the ocean in New Jersey at Sea-Pirate Campground.We visited 3 Civil War Battle Fields (Antietam, Harper's Ferry & Gettysburg) and Valley Forge. Just for Angie, Steve took us to Hershey, PA for the "chocolate" tour.

2010 at the Gollner House

Steve *Daddy's schedule has picked up even more this year as the building project at church has demanded a lot more of his time. He still volunteers at the Kokomo Rescue Mission on Friday mornings and preaches in the chapel service once a month. He also spends every free Saturday working on the church addition. During the week, he teaches the lessons on Wed. night to both the Olympians and the teens, leads a Thursday night Bible study, and teaches the teen class in Sunday School, and helps with youth group on Sunday nights . . . oh, and preaches too! He is also the treasurer for our KASH (home school) group. This year he is reading the Left Behind series to Hannah and Sarah and leading the family in our reading through the Bible.

Angie *I'm sure it goes without saying that mommy is very busy, but I'll say it anyway! Mommy is extremely busy! Most days are filled with teaching her five students, cleaning, disciplining, managing the home, cooking, and running kids to various activities. She still teaches a 3rd and 4th grade Sunday School class but only helps with the Gopher Buddies on Wed. nights now instead of being the administrator. The family hosts youth group, church activities, and KASH events regularly, which adds a little extra excitement to the schedule. Her hobbies include facebook, reading, cooking, sewing and crocheting . . . NOT mudding drywall.

Hannah *In three short months, Hannah will be a teenager, and she is growing and changing almost every day. This year we have noticed a big change in her desire to "be cool" in all she does. She still loves to be active and plays basketball and volleyball. She really wishes she could run cross-country, but IN doesn't allow home schoolers to play IHSAA sports, so Coyote Kids and the Try-althlon fill that slot right now. Not only did she win first place in the Try-athlon this year, but she was first in all three (swimming, biking, running) categories. She has played piano for almost four years (although she is ready to end this phase of her life) and has kinda played the flute for two years. She still has spelling and reading issues, but she has made tremendous progress over the last few years. In 4-H this year she took the following projects and received the following awards: shooting sports - trophy for rifle and honor for poster, personality - grand champion and blue at state fair, sewing - blue, bicycle - honor, garden - champion

Sarah *Our little singer is also growing up way too quickly. She is now in her second year with the Kokomo Children's Choir and enjoys it very much. She sings a lot at church and at home (just ask Hannah). She has played piano for almost three years and the flute for two years. She still loves to read and cook, but isn't crazy about getting her school done. In 4-H this year she received the following: crochet- honor, foods - blue, microwave cooking - honor, make with a mix - blue , sewing - blue. She enjoyed an almost perfect season in volleyball again this year and will move up to junior high volleyball next year.

Nathan *He has taken on "man's" work this year in helping daddy with chores and on the church addition. He completed his 3rd season of baseball playing third base quite a bit for his team this year (which was mommy's base for those with really good memories). He has played piano for almost two years and is plugging his way (reluctantly) through the third grade this year. He is Hannah's little "project" as far as being cool goes, but he's a stubborn Gollner boy and just prefers to dress the way he wants to dress! He practiced with the elementary boys basketball team just a bit in the summer, and is looking forward to playing next year.

Esther *She is really enjoying second grade this year. She often works ahead and will probably complete her books early in May (and certainly start those third grade books right away). She started piano lessons in January and has made great progress. She really likes to cook with mommy and thinks everything mommy makes is wonderful. She worked really hard on her swimming this summer so she could complete her try-athlon with no life jacket. She has really taken grandma and grandpa's divorce really hard and talks about it a lot.

Noah *He started Kindergarten this year, took his school books on vacation, and is almost done with his books for the year. He is our little "flipper" who hardly ever just walks across a room without jumping, rolling or running. He is reading pretty well, but he would probably be reading even better if learning to read didn't require sitting in one place for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Joshua *This big guy finally potty trained this year. He loves to read books and play with swords (or anything remotely resembling the shape of a sword like sticks, wood, metal bars, etc.). He finally moved up to the boys room this fall.

Ruth *Our little baby isn't a baby any more! She tries to do everything her siblings do. She talks quite a bit (when strangers aren't around) and is very much loved by all her brothers and sisters!

Mary *Due to arrive on March 20th, but Hannah really wants her to be born at exactly the same time she was, which would be March 19th at 8:25am.

Quotable Quotes

Joshua after mommy called him pumpkin pie: "I not your pumpkin [pause] I not your watermelon"

Joshua after mommy ran the garbage disposal: "I not like that song."

Noah: "You need to ask the daddy because he knows more than the mommy."

Angie: "Why is that?"

Noah: "The bigger you get, the more you know, so the daddy knows more."

Noah (after mommy told him not to cook a hot dog in the microwave because she was cooking one on the stove): "What is a stove?"

Anonymous (to protect the not so innocent): "Grandmas are known for not so good fashions."

Hannah (after Angie said Nathan lookedlike Opie Taylor): "NO! Opie doesn't wear his pants up to his chest."

Esther: "Noah, God didn't have to send His word in a Bible. He could have sent a notebook, or a highchair, or a desk with His words on it, but He sent a book."

Sarah: "Mom, dad is singing out of tune again."

30 week update

3/4 the way through a pregnancy would sound pretty exciting if it weren't for the fact that I know how hard the last 10 weeks can be! I told my friends at church Thursday night that I feel like I packed all my energy away with the Christmas decorations. The third trimester exhaustion really seemed to hit last week!

A few things may be contributing to the sudden exhaustion. First, I think I was purely running on adrenaline through Christmas; a necessity with all I had to accomplish. When Christmas was over, my body decided to catch up with sleep.

Also, I think the baby moved from transverse to, oh, I can't remember the technical term but head down, in utero last week. I've been feeling a lot of pelvic pressure, which is something I really don't remember ever feeling before. However, my last four or five babies were still very high until . . . well, until I pushed, pretty much! :) Wouldn't it be something if this baby actually "dropped" before I was 7 cm dilated? I measured 30 cm at the doctor two weeks ago and measured 29 cm yesterday, so I'm pretty sure the baby significantly changed postitions.

I've also started to have a lot of contractions, which isn't anything new with me. I went to the doctor when I had early contractions with #4, but I've learned that it is just normal, at least for me, to have a lot of contractions leading up to the "birth" day. They aren't strong, so I can ignore them pretty well, but I think they do wear me out some.

Esther made our countdown chain to keep track of how many days until the due date. I still have to add some black chains on the end though because chances are I'll go past my date. Although babies #2, 4, and 6 were a day or two early, so maybe #8 will keep up the even number trend!

As much as I would love to continue chatting about pregnancy and birth, my break should really end, so I can clean the boys room. Ewww! I feel sorry for Nathan because he got all of his chores done all week, but he went to work at church with Steve today, so he probably won't have time to get his "Super Saturday" today - which is when all the chores for the week are done. It was actually a very good week for chores, and I may have five kids that get a Super Saturday. What a help that would be if they all did that every week until the baby comes!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New Year

Well, it is just that time once again. Time for a new start. Time to think about goals for the new year. Here are a few things I / we are going to try to accomplish.
1. The family is reading through the New Testament together this year. Seems a bit whimpy after reading the whole Bible last year, but this way we can work on other things as well.
2. Memorize the book of Ephesians with the kids. I only got through about two or three verses before our Christmas break from school, but I really want to try to memorize two or three verses a week.
3. Well, this will have to wait a few months, but I'm really determined to get in shape after the baby is born and run a 5K. I've wanted to do the Raptor Run at the Creation Museum for several years now, so maybe this will be the year!
4. I have got to do a better job of grading Hannah and Sarah's books! I grade as I go with the three little ones, but I am way too far behind on the older girls' work!
5. I'm trying to think of how I can incorporate an exercise program into our day (PACL memories abound- for my Cedarville friends). I haven't really figured out how I will find time for it yet!

That's all I've really thought of so far. There are always a million other things I would like to do, but these are the most important to me.

Steve started the new year by finishing up the financial books from 2010. Once again I'm grateful I don't have that headache! It wasn't a banner year for our budget, nor for my food portion of the budget. In fact, something about the color red was mentioned for the first time in our marriage, but I didn't ask too many questions. Steve and I were listening to the radio the other day and learned that the government doesn't consider food or fuel when they determine inflation. However, unlike the federal government, food for our nine hungry mouths and fuel for our two full sized vans are making quite an impact on our budget. We are continuing to test Steve's ability to stretch our dollars! But I have all the confidence in the world in my budget king husband!

Steve took me out tonight to use a Christmas gift card for Ruby Tuesday. I almost laughed when they brought the A-1 and ketchup in little silver cups. Uh, where is the bottle? I had to pretend like I belonged there. But hey, I didn't pass out, and I really enjoyed the meal! A good way to start the new year, and we still have two gift cards left. Yes, I got one for Steve, so it was a selfish gift. However, I've determined that we (meaning each other) are really the only hobby each of us has, so I thought it was a rational decision.

This afternoon I did the school planning for next week. Friday we should be half-way through the school year. Taking three weeks off for when the baby arrives, we should finish up June 3rd. Then the summer craziness begins! Funny how quickly the calendar fills up!

Well, tomorrow I'm teaching Sunday School and Children's Worship, so I really should go prepare. No special music though (I got a music book with accompaniment CD for Christmas, and I already tried it out last week). May the Lord guide you as you seek to serve Him throughout the next year!