Advent stars and family time.

I am getting so much better now. The antibiotics really helped. Now I'm dealing with a viral infection instead :( . But most of all I'm dealing with the pain in my pelvic and my extremely swollen legs and feet. I promise that I have several litres extra just in my legs and feet :/

My third son Emanuel, fell in the forest when they were out playing. He hurt his arm and has had to deal with pain the last weeks. He's out of the cast now, but it will still need a couple of more weeks to heal properly. Poor little guy! It always hurt the parent so much when one of the children are suffering!

I have started studying for my test to become an adviser/advocat for breastfeeding. It's a volontary organisation and the qualified women answer questions and offer advise on breastfeeding both in person, over the phone or email. The picture shows how many different ways a breast can look like and still breastfeed the baby.
I love studying this topic. I believe breastfeeding has been one of the most important periods of my children's lives. I've been breastfeeding for more then 8 years of my life now.

My beautiful daughter miss Ruth went to a hallowe'en party last Friday. This is the makeup sha was wearing. She looks quite different then her ordinary cute pink fresh look. 
Two days ago miss Ruth baked her first very own chocolate cake. She did everything herself and she even decorated it. I think it turned out beautiful. We served it with whipped cream and it was divine! 

Here two of my daughters are playing together. The hobby horse they are riding was made by their oldest sister when she was young. I'm so happy it still amuses one or two little girls! 

My oldest daughter heard that her youngest brother needed a winter jacket. So she went ahead and bought him a brand new rainproof, wind/water resistant winter coat. It was even green, which is the favourite colour. He got it by mail and was so excited to open his first Christmasgift this year! She made a boy so very happy!!! What an awesome big sister!

My two youngest sons Emanuel & Nathanael took on a challenge as well. They made their very own first fried bacon and eggs. They both did everything from start all by themselves (supervised by an adult, of course). Well, as you can see on the picture, it turned out real great. Both with the food and with their self-esteem. 

The kids have been taking turns sleeping at their granny. They absolutely love spending time with her. 
On this picture my mother had put up miss Ruth's hair the same way she used to do her own when she was a young girl. Beautiful!

My strong and kind sons came with me to do the monthly groceryshopping. It was so much easier to do it with their help. I just love these guys so much.

My husband and miss J also joined in a bit later. I wish we had cupons here, like they do in the states. Our monthly shopping always looks something like this & we would probably save a lot of money if there were cupons...

Yesterday my kind mr Björklund put up some of our advent stars and coloured lights. I just love them and I have hardly been able to wait. I know that people here in Sweden traditionally do this on the 1 of December... But I want to enjoy it longer then that! 

Today we've had a familytime day with lots of board games and fun. Almost like tournaments! Lots of laughter and fun going on. I think traditional games are a great way of practising good social skills and learning to be humble (instead of watching movies, video games or TV-games all the time). We are a bit strict with what the kids are allowed to do. So no more then maximum one movie a day or one program on the TV. A grown up parent is always around joining in on the activities with the kids. The rest of the time we bake, play games, talk, play, do outdoor activities, cook together, read books, do sports, colour or talk. I think the children will benefit from that in the long run. The older teens or adult kids have a different set of roules, since they are young adults and need to start taking responsibility for their own lives. A lot of the time they actually do choose to hang out with the rest of us... 

Here miss J's playing with her older sister. Jemima loves being outside, but actually settled today with watching through the window in the door.

Gabriel recieved a gift today. He's started to collect things he needs when he moves away from home. (All the older kids have actually). It's a super cute coffe brewer. He was quite pleased with it actually! 
The pregnancy is getting heavier and I am more tired. But all we go through strengthens us. I hope to be strong and in a good spirit when the delivery finally starts! 

Some of us are having a harder time then others right now. And when one person in the family is extra vulnerable - the rest of us support that person even more. 
So my darling - this too shall pass. Even if it doesen't feal like that right now... You will arise and then you'll be even stronger then before. I believe in you! And I always love you!

An infection & some environmental effects.

I have been so extremely tired the last couple of weeks. Headache, a slight fever, low blood pressure (I've actually fainted) and Braxton hicks has also been troubling me. When I last saw my midwife I demanded of her to take some tests. The initial ones showed nothing, but I demanded of her to send a culture anyways (yes, we nurses are demanding patients) sensing that something was wrong. Yesterday I got the answer. The responsible doctor called me up and said I have a massive infection that needs immediate antibiotic treatment. Puh! I'm glad I stood my ground. But I have been pregnant many times before and I know when something is not right. I am not contagious. The infection is raging in my body. Last time I had this type of infection, during pregnancy, with this exact type of bacteria as I do now... They caught it late. Then I ended up at the hospital with the infection spread to my blood (sepsis/blood poisoning) and I almost died. I even had the last anointing then. 😦 I am so grateful to have caught it in time this time around & for God to have given me the gut feeling that something serious was wrong. I'll rest now, have my medication and go for some extra check ups. In a week I'll be done with the treatment and hopefully I'll have full strength back soon after. 

This past weekend we had visitors from Finland. It was my dear cousin (on my dad's side) and his family. Here is miss J with her second cousin miss E. They played very well together and had lots of fun. It was so precious to have the opportunity to meet. It's not that often we get together since we live in different countries and both have busy lives. 

Here is my cousin mr Hannus. He's the father of miss E. We know each other well and even if ten years pass by, we always pick up where we left off. I am so happy we got this time together!

I just have to brag a bit about my awesome mother! She has sown this bedcover for my oldest daughter. It's made out of old t-shirts. The t-shirts all represent memories, places travelled to or special occasions. It turned out absolutely fabulous! She is (as I've said before) an excellent seamstress! I am so proud of her.

Little miss J is growing and learning new things every day. I am amazed of how fast she learnes new things. And she has a great temper. Always happy and positive to do new things and to learn. It's gonna be interesting to see how she reacts to her new baby sister. We have actually decided on the names for her. I run it through my mother yesterday, and she definitely approved. It's going to be so exciting! Not so many weeks left now!

Miss J took an autumn stroll with her beloved oldest brother yesterday. She absolutely loves hanging out with him and everytime he comes home from school or work - she lights up like the sun! It's so touching to see how much she loves and adores him. And he loves her right back. 

He's doing so well in school and is becoming a talented chef. I love listening to him telling me about what he's learned in the kitchen, about different spices, new methods to cook things etc. I learn a lot from his story's too!

Miss J solved a problem today. She wanted to reach up to the microwave. So she opened the dishwasher and used it to gain hight. Clever girl! 

She got to go out and help daddy wih the rabbits tonight. It was the first time she wore rain clothes and rain boots. And she was so proud of them. 
The rain boots are brand new (blue with butterflies). I bought them at Ica Maxi and they have a great fit. She has put her doll in the pram and her favourite pal Elmo is sitting right next to her. She was very prepare to go out!
While I was sleeping today (I slept until noon because I had a fever) my darling husband made a love act. He washed and hanged all the clothdiapers. I am so grateful to him for doing everyday things like that for me. That's such a caring way of showing love in a relationship. Thank's mr Björklund! 
We currently use mostly Bumgenious and Poops. They are the ones that fit miss J best right now. And they are so easy to both use and manage.
I look forward to taking out the smaller sizes of clothdiapers for the new baby. That's going to be pocket models as well, just to save time with two kids in clothdiapers. 
People sometimes ask me why I use them and how I find time to do it, with so many kids. Well, first of all it's for economical reasons. It saves a lot of money for us! Then it's also for the invironment. Less garbage and we can reuse them for years. But also because my children have very sensitive skin and several of the kids have different sensitivities or allergies. So I want to use what's best for their skin. And having fabric closest to the skin instead of all the chemicals in ordinary diapers is a win-win situation.
That is also why I use cloth sanitary pads myself. I have wanted to do so ever since I was a teenager, but started using only that (cloth) a couple of years ago. I have recently bought a new stash of beautiful coloured ones that I'm gonna start using after the new baby is born. I look forward to that. I'll post a picture of them later. Many of the ones you see on the picture are either from a company called Imse Vimse or homemade by me.
We also use soap nuts from Neapel instead of the traditonal detergent and fabric softener. We only wash dirty diapers with detergent. Instead of fabric softener we use vinegar and a few drops of essential oils.
My skin has become so much better since I started washing everything like this! One of the best choises I've made actually.
I'm not an environmental fanatic, but I have chosen to take some steps to improve our environment. 

I'm finishing off today's blog with this humurous picture. I hope to regain my strength fast, but until then my updates won't be very regular. 

Apples, murder and my pink kitchen dream.

I'm sorry that it takes a couple of days between my updates. I'm so very tired and the last days has been quite hectic for us.

My husband has been so wonderful and considerate! For some strange reason I've gotten my morning sickness back. So he has been coming up to the bedroom with breakfast for me most days this week. This morning he added my middle daughters love gift to the tray (a box with lovenotes in) just to make me happy.

He's also made me lunch many times, when I've been so nausious that I haven't been able to go downstairs. Thank you for being so wonderful, hunny!

Miss J has started with a new way of expressing herself. When she gets a NO, she lays down on her back and mopes. Very demonstrative...! Cutie! Well, we have a little girl with a temper and a great sence of humour. Quite a challenge for us parents! 

Wednesday night was women's meeting at my moms church. I went there with her and it was a really great night. Beautiful worship, good teaching and some good friends made the evening a success for us.

Afterwords a friend invited us to have a snack. We had cute miniscones with lemon curd and cream. And tea for me. It was really nice. I have never thought of that combination, but lemoncurd and cream was really nice!

Yesterday I got myself ready for a long day. First of all we went to our lawyer. We have been witnesses in a murdertrial and the verdict came yesterday. 

I love that they always have fresh flowers at his office. Well, the verdict was lifetime in prison and then expulsion from Sweden. The perp had murdered his ex wife in cold blood (in front of their little 3 year old daughter). The violence was extreme and an insane bloodbath. The reason we were involved in the trial was that both me and my husband was attacked by the same man a year earlier. I actually warned his ex wife about him, because he was really acting strange. It was a scary and brutal story. I am so sorry that the little girl lost both her parents and in such a damaging and dramatic way. 

While we were off running errands miss J spent the day with one of her favourite persons - her grandmother.

It was so chilly outside that we put on the snowsuit for the first time this fall.

I was so happy that my husband could come with me to the appointment with my midwife. Everything was great with both the baby and the bump. 

I love listening to her heartbeat on the monitor. I am starting to long for her and to hold her in my arms. 
I am always nervous and anxious during the last months of pregnancy.

I have lost three babies. My first daughter died during delivery. So I hold my breath, basically, until I'm sure to have a live baby in my arms. It's not so much longer now... Time flies by. 

My husband took this picture of me (and the old oak tree in the background) just after our second appointment. I'm wearing my beautiful red coat that a lady have me as a gift. I love the red colour. It actually makes me feel happy. And - I can still close it around my babybump... :)

Today miss J got to do a extreme makeover - daddy edition! She borrowed her older sisters beautiful pink brush and brushed her dad's wet hair. Then she dressed him in my pink cardigan. Last, but not least, she helped him brush his teath. The little cutie then kissed him and patted him "good boy" on the shoulder (just as we do her). It was so cute!

We went to the grocery store today. Miss J thought it was so exciting with all the beautiful coloured leaves and the water puddles she tried to splash in along the was. With her beloved daddy's hand in hers, she was brave enough for some adventure! 

This morning I felt like a whale (being in the  third trimester and all...) So I thought I would goof around a bit and try to make the best of it. My pelvic was really painful (SPD) and I felt a bit under the weather...
This is the result of some self distance, an I-phone, humour, a tiara and some selfies. Well, I left the bathroom slightly embarrassed with myself, but with a smile on my lips. 
I think it's important to do things that makes you smile, especially going through rough times. Because we need joy in our hearts to heal. And even if the storm is raging around us & life is both stressful and hurtful, Gods peace that surpasses all, can fill our hearts. 
I have found my dream kitchen! I showed it to my husband and he's actually on board with it. Since I'm the one spending hours in there every day (cooking, baking and washing the dished for our big family). He just sighed and said that he might want to compensate a bit with a green livingroom... Green is mr Björklunds favourite colour. Well, dreaming is free!

My beloved kids (and my oldest grandson) when miss J was newborn. They are having a "Rafiki moment". I love this picture!

Well I'll end today with a picture of today's harvest from our apple tree on the back of the house. I'm going to peel them, slice them and put it all in the freezer so I have everything ready for winters baking and applepies.

Dolls, a birthday and parkour.

I promised to tell you about the dollclothes my mother made for her great grandchildren for their birthdays. She is an excellent seamstress. 

The clothes are so beautiful and she sew several of them without a pattern. 

Here they are together. So cute and the quality of the clothes is excellent!

Yesterday I started light treatment because of a really bad itch that medications doesn't help anything against. It's been like this during the third trimester my last five pregnancys. I'm going to get UVAB-tanning twise a week until delivery and that usually helps a lot.
Well, the hospital clothes doesn't make me feel so sexy. But it shows my bump well. And I love my bump!
I'm getting my treatment at the Department of dermatology at the university hospital here. 

I'm in week 33 now, so it's not so far to go. I love my baby bump. A long time since I saw my feet though. The t-shirt says Bebis, which translates Baby. 

Miss J has been out picking leaves. It's exciting to touch all the leaves with the beautiful colours.

She also loves borrowing her dad's IPhone. She listens to music and watches Veggie Tales on it. She is always very focused!

I continued with my Project Christmas baking yesterday. I made carrot cake that I put in the freezer. I'm gong to decorate it with lime before serving it. It tasted great. It's actually the first time I made carrotcake. The result really made me proud. I'm gonna do this again!

Today my awesome youngest grandson turned 1 years old. Happy Birthday Silas! I can't believe it's been a year already. You are one of my heroes and a true survivour. I wish we could have shared the day together! I love you so much!

Miss J was out playing with her dad in the sandbox today. She had so much fun! 

She also got to swing. She loved it and laughed the whole time. Cutie! 

Here they are, miss J and mr Björklund. They are both wearing hoodies and that really amused miss J. She loves that her daddy is home on paternity leave & I am so happy that we have this opportunity. 

I found a quote that really said it all. That is my firm view on parenting and how I see all my eight kids. Even the adult ones. Take care of every moment, cause they grow up so fast. I cherish every moment we have together. And I will do that for as long as I live!
I'm  finishing this day with a beautiful, powerful picture of my oldest son. He is training parkour. 
I love the raw power in this picture and the beautiful sky behind him. He is awesome!

Church version of "Walk of fame"

Being in the third trimester is exhausting right now. I have the best pregnancy I've ever had, except for this terrible back pain. I'm starting to feel a bit immobile, especially when it comes to turning around in bed... 

Well, the picture says it all!

Miss J attended the open preschool last Friday. Both me and her dad went along with her. She has so much fun there and it's so exciting to se her interact with other children. And I am so grateful that all the noise and stimuli she's being subjected to there, hasn't made her cramp. So she seams to be coping great with the new invironment there. Thank God!

Here her dad is showing her how to build with Lego.

They have a lot of fun together. But when she's really cranky only one thing helps & that's to ride in the ergo. I love my babywearing husband.

Well, yesterday I started "Project Christmas baking". I want to bake as much as possible and store it in the freezer, since I'm going to have a new baby at Christmastime and not enough hands. First on my list was a sponge cake type of applecake. I'll serve it with whipped cream/icecream or homemade vanilla sause.
We tasted some today and it was absolutely delicious!

Second on my list was saffron cake. That is my husbands absolute favourite cake. So I had to make several of them. They also turned out absolutely delicious!

While I was at it I made one of the kids favourite dishes - Sailor stew. I love making it, because it's easy to make, I can easily make a much bigger serving by using a big oven pan instead and it tastes really good.

Today was church day. We actually went with my mom to her church today. She is not a catholic.
I decided to put a blue satin ribbon in my braid today, just to have some colour.

Miss J was happy to go to church with is. She had a dress on that her oldest sister gave her for Christmas. It's from Me & I. She looked adorable today!

Miss J learned a new skill today and that is how to clean her daddy's glasses. She was very focused doing it and it kept her busy a big part of the service.

The church had done a ramarkable thing. They had made their own "Walk of fame" out in the hallway to honour their missionaries. The text in the star says "we are missions" and underneath is the name and mission country written. I thought it was a nice way to honour their missionaries hard and often dangerous work.

This is a detail of my husbands very nice clothes today. I love when he dresses up and he is so handsome!

Home from church we made tacos. That is one of my mothers favourite dishes, but also the kids!
I made my first very own homemade guacamole. Made from my second oldest sons recipe. It tasted great!
Next time I'll wright about the awesome dollclothes my mother has sewn.
Have a great weak!

Resting and a bubble bath

I'm so very tired right now. I have been resting & only resting since our roadtrip. 

When we came home we finished up remaking our very narrow hallway. Mr Björklund put up the red shelf on the top and then we filled the shelves with beautiful coloured paper boxes. Everything is from Ikea. Now (almost) everyone in the family has a box to put gloves, scarves and caps in.
I have a craving for mackerel with tomatoes sauce on hard bread. Delicious and a bit salty. I don't have an appetite for much more then this right now. Even though I eat everything served.
I made our bed today with my favourite bedsetting (romantic pink roses on white background). That's about all I've done today. I've spent the rest of the day resting and sleeping.

The best thing today was the long and luxurious bubblebath I took. I feel so refreshed afterwords.
Miss J and her daddy went to the store to buy a birthday giftcard for my grandson who turned one next week. So I had the house to myself a couple of hours. That was actually nice! 

This is us!

We are out in a roadtrip again. This time we're driving up north for a couple of days. The car is full and all eight of us are neatly packed in. The rest stayed home busy with school and work.

Here I am at the first stop on this trip - dragon gate. It's a piece of China on the way up.

We took the chance to grab a kiss to build a dream on.

Miss J made her first drawing the other day. She loved it. We have proudly put it up on the kitchen cupboard.

This is us - me and my beloved family. You guys are everything to me. The reason that I live. I am so proud of each and every one of them. 

Saffron & chocolate.

I had a rough day yesterday. An old enemy came for a visit, the migraine. Different intensity each time but I actually had to lay down immediately and sleep for an hour yesterday.
And last night I had a bunch of nightmares. I know it's not unusual to dream crazy stuff when you're pregnant... But cross country driving with a really old moped, that is run on wood is one of the crazier dreams I've had! Maybe my subcontious is afraid of not having the baby in the hospital (not making it in before I deliver). Well, that could be an explanation...
This selfie is taken just after I woke up from my nap yesterday.

The evening was rely nice yesterday. My mom and I attended "Ladies teatime". An arrangement by one of the churches in the area. There was live music, only women, candlelight and tea with pastry. We bought a chocolate muffin with white chocolate sprinkle and tea. We both felt very pampered!
I actually managed to buy a rare and tasteful thing that I brought with me home. My husband is actually crazy about saffron. The tea you see on the picture is saffron tea.

Today has been a very busy day. Here is miss J in the morning. She loves strolling up and down the corridor that leads between the nursery and our bedroom & the library.

I have spent the last two days sorting through three different sizes of babyclothes. The pile was huge and I had to call in reinforcements (my mother) because miss J was "helping me" in her own way. Tearing down all the folded clothes (so I had to do it all over again...)
Well, it turned out great in the end and everything is now neatly tucked away in boxes, waiting for the next little girl to wear them.
Now I can soon start sorting through clothes for the new baby! That's something I really look forward to.
Two of my sons came home with surprises for me today. My second oldest son has made these. He has picked lingonberrys and then also cooked jam. I absolutely love lingonberry jam!

My third son gave me these. Two precious cans of fine quality saffron. As I wrote before... My husband is crazy about saffron. So I tend to use it both for cooking and bakning. Suck a treasure to have in my cupboard!
We have an agreement with the kids. That is that everytime they get top score on a test in school, they get a chocolate bar. 
So tonight we settled the account and the kids were very happy.  The rule is that they can't eat them in bed or on any other day then Saturday.

Miss Ruth had five.

Emanuel had one (since he's been home sick and missed some of his tests). But he was very happy for it!

Nathan had five of them as well. Needles to say... He was very happy. 
I am happy for all the good things that God blesses us with. But I have to say that I'm also very tired and wish that my back pain would go away, at least for a little while. Well, it will get better again after the baby is born.

Marriage and two pairs of mended shoes.

We bought a new "furniture" today. They're sold at Ikea, but we bought it second hand for about $10.
We have put the family's slippers in it.
This picture is taken in our hallway. The hallway is very small, narrow and always overcrowded. Above the new trunk  hangs my favourite carrier, my pink ergo. My husband has a black ergo.

Late last night my oldest son, the chef, sliced up some mushrooms for a snack. He fried them in butter and blackpepper & served it with chives. That tasted delicious!

Today has been an intense day with a lot of work at home for me. I have sorted away all the clothes that are too small for miss J. I also moved all her clothes to the nursery that she will share with two of her older siblings. So now she has an entire new collection of larger clothes and in a new place. It turned out great.
Miss J's gonna move out of our bedroom in about six weeks. She has got a new beautiful red bed that is waiting for her in the nursery.
One of these days I'm gonna start on the new baby's clothes as well. Lot's of sorting through to do...

I don't drink coffe anymore, but for this occasion I had a delicious cup of Tim Hortons French Vanilla Coffe. It was so nice to have it, for once.

My husband went to the store and bought me a little encouragement today. It was a cinnamonbun with pink sprinkle on (since it's breast cancer awareness month). And my favourite colour is pink! I felt so pampered!

Miss J was wearing the supercute cap that her oldest sister bought from Me & I to her. It has a cute cupcake on it. And she refuses to take of the necklace that her youngest bigbrother made. My little princess!

I went to our favourite shoemaker tonight to pick up the two pairs of winter shoes that he mended for us. He has made a really god job and takes pride in his work. We can't afford buying new winter shoes for ourselves at this time, so I'm so happy he fixed them for another winter season.

I actually got these shoes from a lady who was going to throw them away (since they were broken in two places). My feet are very swollen from the pregnancy and I have about 8 weeks to go still, so I needed bigger shoes. Now that they are mended and shiny they look very nice. I'm just gonna put some new shoelaces in them and then they'll look respectable.

I saw this post today and I just wanted to repost it. As a Christian (catholic) I really believe in this. I have to say that I am just human and some days I don't succeed in reaching the excellence I want in my love for Christ. But The Lord is my strength. I don't know how I would make this walk through life, with all the difficult times, if I didn't have my faith in God!
I am blessed with a husband who loves God and who always turns to God in all devotions and all situations in life. I love to submit to him (my husband). And we have a very traditional family structure, where he is the head of the family. That is very uncommon here in Sweden!
He has his responsibilities like the economy, the cars, gardening, the animals, rules for the children etc. I have other responsibilities like the laundry, cooking, cleaning, waking the kids up in the morning, doing homework, shopping etc. We always talk things through and agree on how to do things. We have family councils concerning "big questions" and planning. But in the end, since he's the head of the family, he decides. And I respect him for carrying that responsibility and for loving us all so much.

And I love being married to my best friend! He is the sun and I am the moon. We complete each other!
People often have questions about why we have so many kids, if we use contraceptives or not etc. The answer is that we are catholic. And we don't use any birth control. So we are going to have the number of children that the Lord wants to give us.
And no, I don't have easy pregnancys and I don't have easy deliveries. And they don't get easier or hurt less just because you keep having them. Every pregnancy is different and every birth is also different.

I just love them more then anything! My awesome kids! (This picture is ten months old). 

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