Saturday, October 26, 2013

Scheduled Nesting

Last Saturday my mother-in-law cheerily asked if I was all ready for the baby to come. I glumly admitted, "No. Not at all. I hope she doesn't come early!" "Well you already have five kids, what else could you need?", she replied. Feeling sheepish and childlike about it (does that make it "lamb-ish?")I said, "I need to clean my room". I also needed diapers, and baby jammies at the least, and all my supplies for a homebirth would be great... since we are having a homebirth. Regarding the diapers and jammies: Little did I know that a diaper shower had already been planned, and we were blessed with many packs of them, as well as some jammies and other cute things after church on Sunday. Regarding the homebirth supplies: I will have to get them this week. I usually go overboard, so I'm trying to think about what I have truly needed and used in the past. At this point it's a bit late, but with our first homebirth we simply ordered a birth kit form That made it really easy, and all we had to do was have snacks, Gatorade, etc. in the house. Regarding my room: Yikes! We have a ridiculously large bedroom. We are not the type of family in which everyone holes up in their bedroom and does their own thing. We are generally all out in the main areas doing things together. So, the bedrooms are primarily just a place to sleep. And in the case of our master bedroom -- to store junk. When we need something out of sight, or we aren't sure what to do with it yet, it goes in our room. Obviously this makes for a bit of a mess after a while. I don't like it, but it seems to be our M.O. Also, it does not make for a good space to give birth and hang out with a new baby. As this last trimester of pregnancy has been ticking away, my room has been a "monkey on my back". Amid, homeschooling, and caring for my home and children, as well as a plethora of church responsibilities and activities (which we scheduled long before I even became pregnant), and needing to rest more to make it through this pregnancy, our bedroom keeps getting put on the back burner. I have definitely been in the mood to nest, but it just wasn't happening. I needed it to be put on the calendar or something. So, back to last Saturday....That evening, my sweet mother-in-law called to invite all five kiddos over for a sleepover this weekend so that I could rest or nest or whatever I needed to do. YAY!!!! What a blessing! Nesting was officially on the calendar. Hubby helped with a few things this morning, and then left to take care of some church things. Then I cleaned, and pitched, and organized to my uninterrupted heart's content. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rip VanWinkle and the Baby Shower

After so many months of negligence, I am here, writing again. I feel like there are other activities that might be a better use of my time, but I keep thinking of things about our life right now that I would like to share. Maybe they could be a help or encouragement to someone. I read a few other blogs faithfully, and it is because of the inspiration and encouragement that I feel from those writings that I keep going back. First, and foremost, in our life right now is the new baby that will be here in the next month or so. Girl number four. We are so looking forward to meeting her! At first there was much rooting for another boy, to even the score, but a girl will be delightful and perfect for us-- two "big" girls, two boys, and then two "little" girls. Aside from our master bedroom, our home has 3 small bedrooms -- again, perfect for two, two, and two. We praise God for His precious thoughts toward us and His good and perfect gifts. On the subject of gifts, there has already been quite the "to-do" around here for this little girl. The world has much to say about a family with many children. A few things I have heard are that none of the children get enough time spent on them, and that the older ones are resentful of the younger ones. A friend who has more children than I do, says children are naturally pro-life. I would have to agree with her. I know it is not the case for every family, but my experience is that the older children are more than welcoming of new little ones. Each time we have announced a pregnancy, our children have been thrilled, and sometimes even during a pregnancy, they talk about the prospects of adding more and more kids to the family! With our last baby, there was much preparation and signage posted around the house regarding a parade for the new baby before she arrived. the parade was carried out in grand fashion through all the rooms, and included stuffed animals and siblings alike. This time around, there was plotting, sneakiness, and a lot of loud whispering. There was practicing and a suspicious trip to the store with grandma. And then there was a special Saturday, when the big girls (ages 8 and 9) cleaned the whole main living area, and then kicked hubby and I out of the house (after grandma and aunt arrived). We returned an hour later to a "surprise" baby shower put on by the children. Of course they had some help in the logistics and carrying out of it all, but there was a meal, cake and ice cream, streamers and balloons hung beautifully throughout the house, homemade games, baby-themed readings, and a song (actually two songs as the two year old sang something different while the other four kids stuck with the plan). All of the grandparents, and great aunt, were present, and there were gifts from them and the children. It was wonderful!!!!! Beautiful, humble, and sweet. My heart swelled with the truth of how much my children already love their baby sister, and how they look forward to welcoming her into our family, and helping her to know what it is to be part of "us".

Sunday, January 22, 2012

His Eye is on the Hamster

You know the hymn, and the Bible reference, right? La la la -- "His eye is on the hamster, and I know He watches me." Just kidding! But I am here to tell you that God does care about hamsters. I witnessed His provision with my own eyes.
Last week my oldest took on the task of cleaning her hamster cage. The routine is that she puts the critter in his ball and shuts him in the bathroom while she tidies up his home. On this particular day, I stepped into the bathroom and noticed the ball sitting there all lonely-like and the hamster scurrying from toilet to bath toys to bath rug. AAAAAA! YUCK! HE's OUT!!!! Wiggle, shiver, hurry shut the door! I admit that rodents are not my favorite of God's creatures. I think they are pretty gross. So, when the hamster ran out of my reach and crawled into a little opening under the towel cabinet, I freaked out a bit. All day I pondered and stewed about the varmint and just where he might be lurking. We have a crawling baby in our house, and she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. Her favorite is dirt and bits of splintery wood that get dropped when wood is being carried in to feed the fire. I'm sure hamster droppings would be right up her alley. Blek!
Before bed time, my husband and I explained to my sweet girl that we really could not have a rodent running free in our home - soiling the floors and counters; chewing at the furniture and toys, and getting into our food. She was saddened, but accepted matter-of-factly that we planned to set a trap. I'm still not positive if this was the best course of action, but we didn't know what else to do.
Without making this any lengthier, I will say that in the middle of the night I heard the hamster crawling around in our room. I turned on the light and it stared at me from under my side of the bed. As I gathered the courage to reach for it, it ran. I moved the trap to where I heard it next.
Here is where I saw the hand of God move in the life of a tiny rodent. The hamster crawled over the trap at least three times. He sat on the trap and ate the peanut butter off of it. THE TRAP DID NOT RELEASE! I couldn't believe it! By this time my husband was awake and suggested that the hamster might be thirsty after a whole day of roaming the house. I brought his cage into our room, opened the door, and stepped back. In the next few moments, I surely felt some of what Mr. and Mrs. Noah felt as they watched animals come from all over the earth and board the ark. The hamster ran up to his home, circled it a few times, and then walked right up the ramp and inside. I know that my eyes bulged, and I covered my mouth with shaking hands like they do in beauty pageants. I whispered in awe, "Honey, God really does work miracles!"

(Luke 12:6-7)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


So......Spring was great, Fall was great, Winter is great so far. Now that we are all caught up, I'll share my latest endeavor. C25K. "Couch to 5K". Yikes! I heard about this program a few years ago and thought it was a great idea. I have had a few babies in that time, and have been thinking recently about what I want to do to get back into shape.
Information and glowing testimonials about C25K came my way again a few weeks ago, and I have been considering it. C25K is a plan for becoming fit through running, using an interval training plan. The first week involves warm up/cool down, and in the middle 20 minutes you alternate jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds. This plan is meant to be moved through slowly. It is for people who mostly sit on the couch. And also for people who run after little children a lot, and sit on the couch a little to read stories, fold laundry, and nurse babies. It has never been one of my life's dreams to run a marathon or even a 5K or anything, but at this point in time it is my life's dream to feel like I'm living in my own skin again.
Monday struck me as a good day to start, but then it began to rain. People run in the rain all the time,and it was "warm" outside that day so hubby and I agreed I should still go for it. We live in the woods now, with only a few flat areas on our property. "The meadow" seemed like a good place to run around in circles for 20 minutes, so that's where I headed. I forgot to take along any kind of timing device, but figured I could just count out the time, and it would be close enough. The whole experience on my own "mini-grassland-track" was GREAT! I felt the burn a little, but was not too wiped out, and overall felt very confident. When Wednesday dawned sunny, and again "warm" I was excited to execute C25K - Day 2. Little did I know that C25K - Day 2 was excited to execute me! I remembered my phone to use as a stopwatch this time, and quickly realized that my counting during the previous workout may have been a bit short. Like half of what it should have been. Oops.
Being the flat area that it is, the meadow was quite muddy after the early-week rains. So after a few times around, I decided to hit the trails that my hubby has cleared through our woods. Did I say our property is mostly hills? I ran downhill like a champion. I walked the rest of the way down the trail like a champion who is walking for 90 seconds. Then, my 90 seconds, and the trail ended simultaneously! I jogged uphill for 60 seconds after that, but barely. For the next several intervals I worked through the trails trying to time it so that I could walk uphill and jog downhill. I completed most of the workout in this way, and when the meadow came into sight again, it was so beautiful. So flat, and beautiful, and flat. I was on a 60 second jog at that point, but I really believe it was more of an enthusiastic walk. Not an Olympic race-walker strutting his/her flag around the arena type of enthusiasm. It was more the kind of enthusiasm with which a small animal tries to free itself from death or maiming from a stealthily set trap. C25K- Day 2 was way harder than Day 1. My bad. Day one should have been just as hard. Day 3 will be tomorrow or Saturday. I will do it. I will not die. Philippians 4:13 right? :) I'll have my trusty cell phone with me. So, you know, if anybody wants to call me and cheer me on.... that's cool. Or I can just keep time with it. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I drove to town yesterday to exchange size 1 diapers for size 2's for my 3 week old daughter. Yep... she's a whopper!
So she and I were truckin' along, and as we crested a hill, I saw out into the corn fields and pastures at the top of our road. The golden skim of early sunset played with the green of tiny buds and new leaves. "Spring is really here." With that thought, came the most unexpected sense of relief. I had to question myself.... Did I really think it would be winter forever? Ummmm maybe.
We started the winter off by totaling our minivan in a frightening three-car accident. Then it snowed, and snowed, and snowed. And snowed. We are snow-loving people, but enough is enough for a midwestern state!
While the snow piled up, the inches and pounds piled on my pregnant body. My sweet tooth lost the battle against the holidays. My due date came and then flitted away, smiling and laughing at me. Five days later, my precious giganto-baby was born.
I'm not complaining about any of these events. They just happened. It's how the winter was this time around. No big deal. But I think there was a subtle oppression; depression maybe?; a thin veil; or cloudiness over me. Maybe a crazy, teeny part of me really didn't think Spring would come again.
But God is good like that.... keeping the world turning, and the seasons changing and all. I'm praising Him for that. I'm praising Him for new life in the land, and in our family, and for all the wonderful things this Spring and Summer hold in store for us.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I saw a young woman at the store tonight. I can barely call her an acquaintance, but we are always friendly when we see each other around town.... which is not infrequently. There is a pretty stiff language barrier between us, so I don't know much about her other than what I can observe.
Anyway, this woman had several young children with her (3 of her own), and she looked tired. Her husband is a busy local businessman. Amazingly, one of my first thoughts tonight was "Man, I hope her husband isn't running her ragged. She looks more weary each time I see her." (I know, totally presumptuous and judgemental)
Then I thought, probably 98% of the time, I have several young children with me (4 of my own), and I know I look tired. However, I would say that most tiredness in my life is my own doing. Staying up too late, not drinking enough water or eating enough FRESH food, harping at my children/giving them chances -- instead of nipping problems in the bud and saving everyone the heartache/earache, etc, etc.
My prayer is:
Lord, thank you for each day's grace. Thank you for the insight you give to me, when I seek you first in each moment. Father, please help me to create tranquility in my home by making good decisions. Please help me --through my appearance and attitude both in and out of our house to honor You and my husband and to be a testimony of the love and provision of you both, and of the honor that my husband also shows to me . Lord help me always to consider that there is more to other's lives than what I see, and to always be loving and assume the best of people until I know otherwise.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


My hubby did an awesome job this Valentine's Day. He usually does, but this was really cool! I have commented on the commercials for Edible Arrangements, and that it would be neat to get one of their bouquets. Well, hubby delivered........

This bouquet is adorable, and delicious!! What a treat to have mouthwatering strawberries, grapes, and melon, and thick, juicy cuts of pineapple, dripping with vitamin C here in the dead of winter. Love it! So thoughtful!
Happy Valentine's Day everybody!