Monday, May 23, 2016

A Week's Worth of Blessings

It is hard to believe that a week ago, My Farmer and I welcomed our fourth child, a baby girl, to this world.  She still feels so new, and so little, but at the same time she has jumped into the flow of our family quite well.  I wanted to introduce you all to "Tinker" but I couldn't find just that one photo that would share how truly blessed I have felt this past week.  So here are seven photos (for a week's worth of time) to show you our newest bundle of joy.

This photo My Farmer took of me and our little girl literally minutes after she entered the world.  I think my face says - holy cow, our baby is here (she was born exactly 30 minutes after we were admitted at the hospital and was delivered by the wonderful nurses because the doctor didn't make it in time), and at the same time, do we really need a photo.  But now, I'm happy that we have a look at the precious first minutes.

Here's the first photo of My Farmer and Tinker after we got settled in our maternity room.  I think his face says, I can't believe I am the father of one boy and THREE girls, but at the same time, she already has me wrapped around her finger - literally, look at her hold tight onto her Daddy's finger.

To say the kids were excited to welcome their baby sister to the family would be an understatement.  The anticipation level was quite high for our household for a solid week prior to Tinker's arrival (so thank goodness she came a few days before her due date - I'm not sure the kids could have lasted...).  It was fun to hear the kids coming down the hallway the morning our baby girl was born.  I could hear them tell everyone that they were on their way to meet their new baby sister, and my Mom told me that they were telling everyone, if they were interested or not. 

LP is loving his role as big brother for the third time.  He is a great helper and thinks Tinker is "so cute".  He may have been rooting for a baby brother, but he got over it before even arriving at the hospital.  I think he'll enjoy being the big brother to all his little sisters.

MP is loving having a new baby sister at home.  If I would let her, I think she'd probably hold her all day long.  She is also a big helper; she assists with most diapers and gives me "tips" while nursing.  There is definitely no shortage of love for our new baby girl from her big sister MP.

JP has entered into her role as big sister very nicely.  She loves tickling her baby sister and giving her kisses and hugs.  Every day she'll take her turn holding her for about a minute, but then looses interest and is off and running to the next thing (the attention span of a 16 month old is not very long...).

I am so thankful for four happy and healthy children, for a great husband who is a caring father, for a supportive family, and for quiet moments to enjoy and soak it all in.

As time has gone on since starting this blog, our family has obviously grown.  We have always used our children's nicknames we used in the womb for on the blog, but now that we have four, I'm wondering if I should change their names to actually better fit who they are.  What would you all think if I changed the kids' names to reflect their actual first names?  Let me know your thoughts and remember to Comment for a Cause!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Comments for a Cause - Lullaby Lane

Comments for a Cause - Lullaby Lane
With May in full swing I can't go any longer without sharing about this month's Comments for a Cause.  But before I share about this month's cause, I've got to recap last month's support towards Iowa C.O.P.S.  During the month of April I had 86 comments, equaling a donation of $43 to help fallen police officer families.  Thank you to everyone for all of your comments and support for our "Blue Families".

In the month of May I'm proud to be donating $0.50 for every comment to made on my blog to Lullaby Lane.

Comments for a Cause - Lullaby Lane, Elmwood Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa
A map of Lullaby Lane at Elmwood Cemetery in Mason City, Iowa
In less than a week, mothers and their children will be celebrating Mother's Day.  Mother's Day can be a fun holiday, but for many, for several reasons, it can be an emotional one.  One reason it can be emotional as a mother is if you aren't able to celebrate with all of your children.  I'm sure many of us know someone - a family member or a friend, or maybe even ourselves, who been affected by miscarriage.

Dr. Jonna Quinn OB/GYN at Mercy North Iowa is witness to these losses on a daily basis.  She is a member of this year's Leadership North Iowa class and is a member of Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa's Fetal and Infant Loss Bereavement Committee.  When this year's Leadership North Iowa class was charged with developing a service project she brought up the idea of creating a place for those who have experienced miscarriage to be able to go and grieve.  From their, the idea and plan for a prayer pathway, Lullaby Lane, was created.

Lullaby Land is currently a designated section in Mason City, Iowa’s Elmwood Cemetery where children lost to miscarriages less than 20 weeks old are laid to rest through Mercy North Iowa.  The Lullaby Lane project includes creating a paver pathway to lead up to the current memorial headstone.  Parents who lose a child to miscarriage will have the option of having their child’s name and date of loss engraved on a paver to be installed in the pathway.  This part of the pathway is being handled by Mercy North Iowa's Bereavement Committee and the Leadership North Iowa class is handling raising funds to support the construction of the project by October 2017 for the annual ceremony that takes place for pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.

"Fetal loss and miscarriage is a tragedy that affects many of us.  We hope these families can feel the support of our community and know that we will work hard for them to have this piece of comfort during their difficult time," said Dr. Jonna Quinn.

So please help me support the efforts of both Mercy North Iowa's Fetal and Infant Loss Bereavement Committee and this year's Leadership North Iowa class with the construction of Lullaby Lane by commenting all month long on any of my blog posts.  Do you know of other projects similar for those that have lost a child to miscarriage?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Country Fair Blog Party: May 2016

One of our May Day baskets waiting
for our neighbors to discover it
after they return home
Follow me on Instagram (@PlaggeVal)
to see more of our daily adventures
I hope you have had a great May Day!  Our family had a great afternoon (that turned into evening) delivering May Day baskets to our neighbors.  For some, the baskets were a surprise when they returned home, and for others, we turned into their supper guests. ;) Delivering May Day baskets has been a fun family tradition of ours for years, and for my family growing up.  It is a fun way of starting off the month and celebrating spring!  Another great way to start off the month is by sharing a new Country Fair Blog Party!

Country Fair Blog Party Blue Ribbon Winner: Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats 25+ Spring Salads
During the April Country Fair Blog Party, Ally's Sweet & Savory Eat's 25+ Spring Salads post was the most viewed from the link-up.  Congrats to Ally on getting the most clicks and receiving a Country Fair Blog Party Blue Ribbon!  I love this post and actually just made her Chopped BLT Caesar Salad from the round-up the other week.  This post will get you in the spring spirit and will give you lots of ideas for your next lunch or potluck dish.

Country Fair Blog Party Blue Ribbon Winner: Jay Tried & True's Pork Fritters
And talking about recipes I've tried from last month's link-up, I've got to share about Jay Tried and True's Pork Fritters.  I made these last week and they were delicious!  We had them both plain and as a sandwich for easy eating in the tractor ;)  They were simple to make and were very filling.  Our entire family and our entire spring planting crew enjoyed them and that's why they get a Country Fair Blog Party Blue Ribbon.

Country Fair Blog Party Blue Ribbon Winner: Alarm Clock War's How Old Are Your Cows?
My final Country Fair Blog Party Blue Ribbon from last month goes to Alarm Clock War's How Old Are Your Cows?.  Mary Beth does a great job of explaining her family's cow-calf farm.  I love how she made each stage of the farm and the cow's lives relatable.

Join the Country Fair Blog Party by linking up to 3 of your favorite food, family, farming, crafts, canning, etc. posts!
I can't wait to see what great posts get linked up to this month's Country Fair Blog Party.  Country Fairs are all about food, family, friends, farming, animals, arts and crafts, canning, baking and more.  And that is what our our blog hop is all about too.  Feel free to join our Country Fair by linking up to 3 of your posts.  This blog hop is a great opportunity to check out new blogs, and if you blog yourself, have your posts reach a new audience.  Be sure to visit some other party goers and let them know you are stopping by through the Country Fair Blog Party.

Country Fair Blog Party Co-Hosts

Also, be sure to visit my fellow co-hosts:
Jan of Tip Garden
Laurie of Country LINKed and
Nicole of Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom

We're excited to see everything you share this month!  What is your favorite link from this month's Country Fair Blog Party?  Whichever post is mentioned the most in the comments will receive my "Readers Choice" Blue Ribbon next month.  Remember to Comments for a Cause!