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Archive for the ‘Mothering’ Category

My Children’s “Thomaston grandma” or “Mimi” as she would like to be called. She comes every Wednesday afternoon at 3 to read to my children for 30-45 minutes or do special projects that she wants to do with them. They love it and always look forward to Wednesday afternoons. Here she is making Thanksgiving cookies with them. Image

A few cresant rolls raising before the fire for our Thanksgiving lunch with Gary’s. Before Thanksgiving Day we had already had 2 thanksgiving meals, so we didn’t go “all out” on Thanksgiving day, although we did have another wonderful meal. Titus spent the morning helping Gary do some remodeling at their deli and then we ladies took lunch over for them. I took the cresant rolls, candied carrots, and baked corn. Laura and her girls provided the all the other yummy food.

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Over Thansgiving week vacation from school, my 2 oldest 8 and almost 7 were introduced to “The Farming Game” and played it for many hours. My son especially thrived on figuring out the money. Cassandra and Andre’ are in the same grade level in school. I never really thought about it that Andre’ was a wiz at math in his school work, but WOW did he ever get a hang of figuring out all the money figures in this game. He learned how to double his hay harvest or cut it in half. He was wiz. It made me happy, happy, happy. Image

We have all those happy memories of a very low key Thanksgiving vacation.

THEN: Life hits with a bang through out the night last night and this morning. One of my children complained of a sore throat and by this morning ALL 4 of them have a BAD cough deep in their chests. Hadassah has a fever to go with it. She has occupied the couch all day long so far. I had the three oldest sit under a tent with the warm mist vaporizer with vicks. Thanks, Maria. I have used that so many times already since you gave it to me. 

Eliana, my dear sweet 16.5 month old has become a terror. Ok, I never did like the saying the “Terrible Twos”. I have always thought that my 2 year olds are soo sweet. They have such cute words and behaviors. They make everyone around them laugh. BUT. . . from about 14 months – 20 or 22 month old are my dear little ones “Terrible Twos”. They are literally in to EVERY thing. They are still learning what “no” and “come” mean and what obedience is all about. She is still the sweetest thing, but her little fingers are everywhere and into every cupboard, especially those that contain many little pieces. So this morning that was extra busy with sick little ones, plus spending extra time with Cassandra and Andre’ to get them to memorize their addition and subtraction facts, my little one was everywhere. She was happy, but wow what a mess. Enjoy the mess. 🙂 What you can not see, but is there is a big puddle of water between the cup and rag and cracker crumbs all over the floor. That water mess was the third I had to clean up this morning. Dominoes are her newest favorite toy to carry with her everywhere she goes. I am finding dominoes in every room of the house. Oh, yeah another thing she was found doing this morning is stirring tissue around in the toilet with her daddy’s razor.

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Learning to find JOY and to THRIVE even in the midst of these times is an on going process. Thanks so much for a friend that babysat for us last evening, Titus and I were able to go on a date. I feel rejuvenated to keep going. To keep loving my children, to keep thriving right where God has me planted. My prayer is that I can give and give and give some more to my children. To teach and train in the midst of life, to give them the best that I can, and  To NEVER GIVE UP, no matter how weary I get.

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How does this happen? How do I learn to trust IMPLICITLY? What does implicitly mean?

Meaning of implicitly: In an implicit manner; without reserve; with unreserved confidence

Do I trust him without doubting or questioning Him? Do I have FULL confidence in the goodness of God?

All these questions are because I am struggling with trusting his goodness in His decisions what the consequences of the fall would be. I am 19 weeks pregnant and feel the havoc that it wreaks in my body even at this early stage. I feel the aches and pains and know that it will only get worse till delivery. Ok, so I look forward to delivery. Oh no, that’s right I don’t look forward to delivery. I look forward to 1 minute AFTER delivery. There is going to be a pain filled day and if I am fortunate it will be just a couple of hours full of pain before delivery and before I get to see and hold the precious little one that we are anticipating. BUT even if it is only a couple of hours they are FULL OF PAIN!!
How do I trust without questioning Him when I have this to look forward to? How do I claim his grace as I struggle through each day to stay on top of caring for my family even when I didn’t sleep well or my back aches, or, or, or. . .

And then I look at what the man’s consequences are from the fall. Well, it feels like those consequences also affect us as women. We feel the effect of needing to work hard and sweat and having thorns and thistles grow.
Man’s part of the curse:“cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

In my humanness, I say, Dear Lord, didn’t we as women get a double dose? Don’t we as women feel both affects of the fall?

In all these thoughts, how do I rest and trust that God has only our good in mind. I do feel like every pregnancy has been a pruning time for me. It never fails that I struggle with these same thoughts and feelings. And every time I come back to I just need to trust, to give it to Him, to tell Him about how I feel. I never find answers that completely satisfy and take the struggle away for the next time.
So I wrestle. . . I cry out to God. . . I ask for grace for each new day. . . I also realize that God will give grace and strength when the time for delivery come. . . but that doesn’t take the fear and anguish away. . . and yet I again say “God, I WANT to trust you implicitly. . . Increase my faith”.

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School is just around the corner. We are planning on starting August 19, which is next Monday. My children are excited. I am apprehensive. I do not feel organized enough. I feel like I am barely keeping up with the work that is on my plate now and what will happen when I add school. And my 1 year old has been extremely fussy and clingy lately. Hopefully that will soon resolve because I noticed one of her molars is through. So hoping. . .

Things that need to happen before school starts on Monday: a daily/weekly schedule made for the school days, chores need to be re-worked to fit into a school day (i.e. which chores need to be done before the school day begins, which chores will be done afterwards and which chores will be dropped from their lists), would love to make menus, more charts, timelines, maps, need to be hung on the walls, school book shelves need to be organized, a list of things made that I can grab to keep baby dear happy for a while, and on and on and on. But by God’s grace, I can do it. He has called and he will enable. THAT is what I am clinging to.

Curriculum is soo much fun. I love looking at curriculum and choosing what will best suit our needs. I am excited about our choices for this year, especially our history.

Bible & Bible Memory: Not entirely decided yet. I have a few ideas, but I don’t have a curriculum per se.
Math: Math-U-see Beta
Reading, phonics, spelling: Eastern Mennonite Publications 2nd grade reading
History: Faith Builder’s Living History Threads level 12
Science: Sonlight Science from Core B
Music: not entirely decided. Cassandra is taking Piano lessons, but I want to give them all an introduction to music
Art: Artpac 1 from Christian Light Publications

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Our Lord is so gracious!

Ps. 107:1, 21, 22, & 43- “O, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare his works with rejoicing. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.”

Our God is so gracious! Again and again through the years I have been impressed how gracious and loving God is toward me when I am failing or falling. When I am not being all the I could be. When I am not being the mother or wife that he wants me to be. When I am not obeying his commands. He is ever gracious in bringing me back to himself, ever gracious and merciful in reminding me where I have failed him.

I had so many plans for this summer. And they were GOOD plans. Plans to spend time with those who mean the most to me. Plans to let people know that I care about them. Plans to show my children more of God’s creation and to do fun stuff with them. Just to have fun with my family. BUT. . . somewhere soon after school left out, those plans went flying out the window. My own stuff got in the way. Things that really have very little meaning in the larger picture of life. Things that won’t matter in 100 years from now. Things. . . things. . . are you noticing a theme or rather a lack of a theme. A theme of THINGS rather than PEOPLE. I was letting the URGENT take precedent over the IMPORTANT. I was allowing life to dictate what I do rather than me direct what, where, how and when. I know there are things that NEED to be done, but I am not talking about those things now. I don’t want to get side tracked talking about how to know when I need to let my house get messy to spend time with the children, etc. I know in my heart I was putting things above my children, and that is where God put his finger the other day.

The finger of God came in the middle of a Monday morning. My children were either doing chores or had finished their morning chores by that time and where just playing. Eliana, my youngest, is 11 months old. She was playing back in the girls’ room with their dishes or so I thought. But I later learned that she had also been in her brother’s room and got into his legos. I was sewing. Eliana had just came out to me by the sewing machine and was there for less than a minute when I looked down at her and realized that she is choking. I quickly reach down and pick up her arms expecting her to spit something out of her mouth immediately. BUT. . . it didn’t happen. I quickly realized she is really in distress. I pick her up and do the hiemlich on her, but nothing happens. I start hitting her on the back. Nothing… her lips are turning blue. . . she gasps. . . I do a finger sweep, but it comes up empty. . .she somehow draws a very small breath. . . her lips return to normal color. . . but she is still fighting for her life. . . I run for the phone. . . carrying her with me. . . in the background I hear an older sibling cry out, “Jesus, save my baby sister”, echoing my own heart. . . I gently shake her, trying to dislodge whatever is in her throat. . . I do another finger sweep. . . Nothing. . . I see her eyes roll. . . I thought “oh no she is losing consciousness”. . .”Lord, show me what to do, save her”. . . desperate prayers. . . I dial 911 and as I was dialing I hear her brother yell, it is something red. Oh, relief. I immediately hang up the phone to retreive the red thing out of her mouth. . . It was a lego. . .She is breathing, struggling to cry. She has phlegm in her throat. The phone rings. . . I thought I can’t talk to anyone right now, but then I thought that it acutally is probably 911 calling back because I had called them and hung up before they answered. Yes, it was them. I was soo thankful that I could tell the operator that my baby is fine. She is crying. . . She is breathing. . . Praise the Lord!!!

I was shaking. . . Eliana still had a gurgle in her throat as she was breathing. She immediately started to fall asleep. She was exhausted from her fight for life. I woke her up, because I wanted that phlegm cleared out before she fell asleep. She cried enough to clear it and then slept. I held her and held her. Her siblings were begging to hold her and love on her. They had all seen it happen and were as terrified as I was. I didn’t want to let go of her. They all kissed her and touched her as she lay sleeping in my arms. We had a praise/worship service right there around the rocking chair.

God brought thoughts to my mind about the important things in my life. What would my regrets be if she or any of my children would die? My most poignant regret would be that I didn’t spend enough time with them. Oh, Lord, all my plans for the summer? Oh, I need to get back on track, incorporate some of those things into our schedule that I wanted to do with my children this summer. Oh, God how gracious you are!! You only gave me a good scare. You didn’t actually take her from me. You are soo good and so kind. Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his loving kindness!! He is good!!! He is kind!!!

Psalm 107 verse 43 says “Whoso is wise. . . will understand the loving kindness of the Lord.” Am I wise? Do I understand the loving kindness of the Lord? I think the Lord is ever loving in showing me his loving kindness. He is so merciful and gracious!! Thank you Lord for your mercy, goodness, graciousness, loving kindnesses!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for this reminder in putting my children above the things of this life.

Next post I will share about some of things we have done since that dreadful Monday morning!! We have had some fun! We have done some projects together. And I want to continue making memories together.

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Around here we celebrated Valentine’s Day a week late. We just celebrated it last evening, Feb. 21.

For the last several years, I have been wanting to make it a family affair instead of a couples night out. So with several eager children that wanted to do all they could to help make a special supper, I embarked on that adventure.

We put Valentine’s decals on our windows, made fondant for a cake, made red jello hearts.

The menu was pretzel covered Chicken breasts served with homemade Honey Mustard Sauce, baked corn, Valentine jello hearts, and Pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting with pink fondant overlay with pinker hearts on it.

I had each of the children write notes to each other person in the family. Titus and I also wrote notes to each one. We said 2 or 3 things that we like about that person. Then each person read their notes and then gave that note to the appropriate person. We did this after the main course and before dessert. It was really really special. I think it will become a Valentines Tradition for us.

We all love to be loved. We love when others tell us what they like about us. And this can be an organized way of affirming our love for each member of the family and affirming their strong points. May God be glorified in all that we do.

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O, Lord, you are so good, gracious, and merciful. Because of Your mercy I am not consumed. I have failed miserably again. I feel gloomy, grumpy, unpleasant to be around, my husband and children are tiptoeing around me. Take away these ugly, dark feelings and replace them with your JOY. You have said in your word “Rejoice alway and again I say Rejoice.” I want to do that. I want to rejoice even when I feel hurt, even when I am not able to go to my own brother’s wedding. I am missing so much by not being able to go. I want to grieve that loss without becoming bitter. Lord, I need YOU! I need your grace today. Grace to release the person that feels like is responsible for me not being able to go and as I release that person, my own heart will be released. Grace to not take my disappointment and struggle out on my children. Grace to allow You to work in my life. Grace to not dwell on the hurts. Grace to sing…

Sweet Will of God

1. My stubborn will at last hath yeilded; I would be thine and Thine alone; And this the prayer my lips are bringing, “Lord, let in me Thy will be done.”

Chorus: Sweet will of God, still fold me closer, Till Iam wholly lost in Thee; Sweet will of God, still fold me closer, Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

2. I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary; The darksome path hath dreary grown; But now a light has ris’n to cheer me: I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.

3. Thy precious will, O conquring Savior, Doth now embrace and compass me; All discords hushed my peace a river, My soul a prisoned bird set free.

4. Shut in with Thee, O Lord, for ever, My wayward feet no more to roam; What pow’r from Thee my soul can sever? The center of God’s will my home.

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(Edited on September 12, 2011 to add: Sorry, the link is no longer working and I do not know where to find the article anymore.)

I recently came across an EXCELLENT article on this subject. Just wanted to share it.

MODERN WOMANHOOD & PREGNANCY

After you have had time to read it. I would love to know what you think about the article.

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