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The Invisible Library {a Review}

I really wanted to like this book…REALLY WANTED TO. I tried, twice, to get into it and I couldn’t. I don’t know whether the problem was me or the book, but it just wasn’t grabbing me at all. It’s the kind of book that should be right up my alley: Books, dragons, different worlds, mystery and mayhem.

I feel like the author is spending too much time setting the story up. It started really well. I blew through the first 30 pages in 15 minutes, because it was THAT good. The next 30 have taken me 2 weeks. I’m hoping to come back to this book. Maybe the next time around it will grab me.

Homeschool Planner 2017-2018

It’s here! As promised…I finished the 2017-2018 Homeschool Planner, which is now for sale on Etsy! Just like last year’s planner, this year comes in both blank subject and with subjects printed, but everything else is just as expected. Psst….there’s a special promo code just for you at the bottom of this post.

Only this year I’ve created several additional pages to help you homeschooling mamas keep track of things that you probably have to report to your school districts. Things like Assignments, Field Trips, Grades, Attendance, and a bunch of blank pages for you to create whatever you need.
Just like last year there are pages for those of you who are bloggers, to help you keep tabs on what you have written about, what things you still want to explore, and when you want to share them; as well as giveaways and reviews.

The other part of the planner that’s my favorite is the Life Pages; which include a place to list out all of your regular and favorite meal ideas, who you’ve invited to dinner, your goals for the year, and a monthly notes section with places to keep track of things you’re grateful, birthdays, to-dos, and relationships you want to invest in (this might just be my favorite part).

And just for launch week only…

I am offering a $5.00 off coupon with code HSPJMW17 for the planner, so you can get it for $10, rather than the regular price of $15.

Where can I order the planner?

You can click at the MY SHOP link above or visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/WhiteHouseEmporium Remember there are TWO different versions, the blank subject and a filled in subject…make sure you add the right one to the cart.

PS. if you’d be interested in a reviewing or promoting the planner let me know Hello at JessicaMWhite dot com

Nothing to Prove {a Review}

I don’t know about you, but I’m a person who feels like I constantly have something to prove to someone, even though I LOGICALLY know that’s absolute rubbish. Somehow I still try and try, beating myself up and wearing myself out. Allen does a fantastic job of tackling this hard to break personality habit, with some good, sound biblical teaching.

*I received this book from Bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for my honest opinion. Find my disclosure policy here.

A Life Well Lived

Last week my grandfather passed away, he was 96. It’s taken me this long just to figure out what could be said. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live that long…to have lived almost another lifetime more than others. He was the oldest of my grandparents and yet, he outlived them all by at least 16 years. He lived an incredible story.

I had the honor of writing his obituary, or rather taking what he’d already written and amending it.

PoppyWilliam F. Beckmann, 96, passed away Friday, April 8, 2016, at the Veterans’ Home in Oxford, NY. William was born in Brooklyn, NY, December 6, 1919; only child of Frederick and Pauline (Hoegler) Beckmann. He married Mildred McCardell in November 1945, following his service in the Army during WWII. Mildred predeceased William on March 7, 1997.

William served from 1940 to 1946 in both the Pacific and European theaters, where he rose from private to company commander as a first lieutenant after attending Officer Candidate School. He received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and a Presidential Citation. He was a life member of the Veterans Of Foreign Wars, Post 270, Walton, NY, where he served as commander for 9 years. He was also a past member of the American Legion.

William resided most of his life in Ridgewood, Queens, NY, where he worked in the wholesale meat industry (George Korns and Sons) as a meat cutter for 40 years, before retiring with his wife to upstate NY in 1987. Endowed with a keen mind, he was known and respected for his broad topical knowledge, inquisitive nature, and love of puzzles, in particular, difficult crossword puzzles. He was an avid golfer, who shot his age many times. William loved animals, particularly dogs, and always had a pocketful of dog treats for his four-legged friends.

William is survived by his three sons and their families.

 

Peter’s Birth Story

My greatest piece of advice to anyone awaiting a baby’s birth is now: Don’t have ANY expectations. I’ve learned at least that over the course of 3 births.

Peter’s birth was about what I expected, and yet completely different from what I had envisioned. How often I’d troll through pinterest, checking out all of the homebirth and water birth photography, with beautiful glowing mothers welcoming their little ones into the world, supported by those they loved, and photographed beautifully through the course of labor.

None of those photographs happened for me, and yes, a part of me is a bit sad that I will never have those pictures of laboring and our little ones being born. I had mentioned how much I had wanted to just experience and enjoy this laboring and delivery, and I did, but it was all too short {I know, I’m weird to complain about that}.

The weekend I was 40 weeks {June 13th} we stayed home with the kids and did some belly finger painting. By Sunday night we figured we’d probably have another week of no baby and soldiered into the week. I wasn’t having any contractions or anything else that was hinting at labor.

Monday. Nothing.

Monday night I slept kind of crappy. I kept waking up every few hours and having to go pee, a bit of contractions when I was awake, but nothing to even mention.

Tuesday dawned per usual. I made the kids breakfast, we picked up a bit, and played outside. At that point my back was starting to hurt every so often, but again, nothing regular, nothing like contractions.

I posted this picture of Avelyn playing “mommy” around 9:15 on Instagram….

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And Ellie took this picture of me at 10:00, the last of me pregnant….

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My sister was planning on coming down in the afternoon, around 3:30, so that I could go and sign the kids up for swimming lessons at 5pm. My mom was on the route with my dad {doing what I used to do}, Matt was at my parents’ house receiving deliveries, and I was just continuing on.

By noon I called my midwife to tell her that I was having contractions, but nothing regular, nothing increasing, nothing intense. I was texting back and forth with my mom and Matt. By 2pm I had called my midwife and told her it was contractions, she cleared her calendar for the afternoon and got ready to come over and I told Matt to have his mom come down because the kids were driving me batty during contractions.

My mother in law was here around 2:30pm and we were working on filling the birth pool when Matthew showed up at 3pm. Oh boy! Was I glad to see him! My sister arrived around 3:15…we chit-chatted between contractions for a bit, but then I had to focus too much. It was all in my back and they came hard, fast, and boy did they hurt!

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I’ve never had back labor before, but it was something I was kind of expecting given the anterior placenta. Let me just say, it wasn’t fun and nothing could’ve prepared me for it. My mom arrived just before 4pm, straight from the route, donned my pajama bottoms and Matt’s shirt and got to work.

As my contractions grew stronger and closer my mom and Matt had to push on my back and hips as hard as possible…it was the only way I could handle them. I had tried kneeling the way I had with Avie, leaning on my yoga ball, and standing…none of those positions were helping. The best I could do was lie in bed during the contractions and focus on them, rather than just being uncomfortable.

At 4:05pm I had another strong contraction and felt my water break {kept waiting all day for that to happen, to confirm I was in labor and tell people to come}. I got up to go to the bathroom, leaking, and by the time I was walking back out of the bathroom I felt like I needed to push. The midwife wasn’t here yet.

For the next 20 minutes I literally had my legs crossed, lifting my belly, trying to keep this little one from being born. The midwife raced up the stairs just before 4:30 and I got in position to push. A couple of pushes and we had a head, shoulders. The baby just kind of chilled and the next contraction our little boy was born at 4:35 pm!

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It was intense! After he was born I felt like my legs were jelly and my back was finished. I was winded after all of that and felt like I had just run flat out for my life. He was born an hour after I started to have regular and intense contractions, 30 minutes after my water broke, and I think he would’ve been born earlier if I had let him.

Then I realized I never even had a chance to get in the pool!

For the first hour he lay on my chest and nursed a bit and we all kind of sat there in awe. In awe of him, in awe of how fast everything was, in awe of the fact that we did it! We had our baby at home! {and almost without a midwife…I was to the point that I couldn’t hold off anymore when she walked in the door. I was literally praying, Lord, let her get here NOW!}.

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We then cut the cord…

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got him weighed…IMG_1733

and still didn’t have a name. It was an incredible experience and one I would gladly do again.

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Our first family picture. The kids were a bit crazy!

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But, at least someone got to enjoy the pool…

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