Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Parenting Perks



So, Mark and I just came up with another really good reason to have kids.

All for the sake of entertaining your children, you can run around the house singing at the top of your lungs and dance like a crazy person. It doesn’t matter whose around, or what circumstances you’re under.

If you feel like being silly, you can do it, and “it’s okay, ‘cause you’ve got kids…”

Follow most any peculiar whim (like singing the veggie tales theme song in strange voices) and your kids love it.
You’re entertaining them.

Make funny faces and put your clothes on backwards.

Almost anything goes.

If you did those things without kids, (In high school, I actually think I did most of these things) you may be thought of as crazy…

But now, we’re just thought of as parents! : )
P.S. That's Joy, my sister. She's an aunt, I guess that's okay too...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gently led

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

I have felt so gently led as of late. There are several directions I’ve thought of to take this post… several very different directions. I’m not sure which one I’ll side with. Perhaps, I’ll just type and let my heart led fingers decide. (this has potential to be one of my classically LONG posts… sorry!)

God has been leading me. Out of the few moments I can gather to catch a glimpse of my Savior, He has taken them and turned them into all out reflections. I glance at the title of a book, and He floods my mind with thoughts. I hear one line in a song and immediately He brings scripture to my mind. One sentence spoken by my husband turns into a reminder of Who God is and what he’s done for me.

The other day while at my parents house, Gideon was napping and Silas was nursing, my mom came and sat with me and said, “I’ll bet you didn’t get a chance to have any quiet time with the Lord today.” She was right, not today, not for over 2 weeks, really. She said, I’ve been reading this book here (I think it was something like “the Practice of Godliness”) She started reading. God started showing me my heart.

I wont attempt to quote for you what she read, it wont make much of a difference. With just the first few sentences I lost track of what she was reading, and began listening to the voice of God ringing gently in my mind.

“I pride myself on being (and not being) a certain kind of girl” is a thought I’ve had so many times. This certain kind of girl that I am not, is a very specific kind, its not a bad kind, just a certain kind. (no, I’m not going to tell you what kind of girl I’m talking about!)
About a week ago I had front row seats to a scene of these 2 specific kind of girls, interacting in the way that these specific kind of girls often interact with one another.

I was not impressed, in fact I was disgusted! In my heart I was rolling my eyes, gagging myself and making fun of them in many ways. Of course outwardly I was just observing. Later that night, I reflected on how I felt about my reaction to the scene I observed. I was unremorseful. I did not feel the need to repent, I was “in the right.”

Days later, as my mom read to me from this book, I had an over whelming need for repentance. As I sat in judgment (the very thing I was complaining about to a friend of mine a day earlier) I was stating unapologetically that I considered myself to be superior to these 2 girls. I was stating a claim on my importance, my worth was more valuable than theirs. I was in that moment, everything that Christ was not. I was behaving in such a way that I know displeased God. In the same way a parent wants and requests their children to love one another, and becomes disappointed with them when they don’t. I was not loving, honoring, supporting, uplifting or submitting to my fellow believers (these 2 girls are Christians) in the way that Christ wants.
I became aware of how not Christ like I was behaving. I was not acting I love, and once more, I became aware at how magnificent the love of Christ is.

1 Corinthians 13
Love
1If I speak in the tongues
of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I am, so very, gently led.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My thursday - and now its saturday...

So, this is a little blurp from thursday... its saturday, and I'm just now posting it. :)

Was to be called "Today, laundry wins"


Nap time - Shower vs. Laundry, laundry wins. Maybe I’ll fit bathing into my night time routine. Looks like I’m going with the ball cap look today.

12:14 - Sitting down to eat. Hummus and crackers. The only other things I’ve had today; 2 pieces of fudge. Easy things to grab and eat… I need to buy some fruit.

Reflecting on - His grace is sufficient for me.

My Dear Lord Jesus, Thanks for my boys. I wouldn’t trade them for a million showers and a perfectly balanced diet ever! Thanks for giving me the life of a mother, I love it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advent - take one

So, I’ve been really excited about this Christmas season. Last year (for Christmas time), Gideon was only 10 months old. Even though I talked all about it, I don’t think an infant can grasp the magnificent story of Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection?

This year (although we do have an infant) we have a toddler to share the story of Christmas with. A few nights ago we got out the advent book with 25 different mini books inside, one for every day in December up ‘til Christmas, each has a little gold string (for hanging on our non existent Christmas tree.) We started a few days late so we had some catching up to do. Gideon sat on daddy’s lap, snuggled into his chest, holding his favorite stuffed penguin. Mark began to read, but Gideon was so taken by the tiny book that daddy was reading from, Mark couldn’t continue reading. After much struggle, we finished book one, Mark decided to stand to read book 2 (so that Gideon wouldn’t try to take it from him.) As Mark read from book 2 Gideon sat on the floor at daddy’s feet drinking water from his sippy cup. Right before I could even finish the thought “what a nice, quiet, way to spend a few minutes each night reflecting on Christ’s birth.” Gideon began crying and ran to the fridge “Juice! Please! Juice!” (daddy told him after dinner, that he couldn’t have anymore juice.) We dealt with the situation, finally got things calmed down, and Mark went back to reading. But Gideon began crying again. That’s when I realized, Mark kept reading “The Romans made life hard for the Jews. They treated them harshly…”

Jews and Juice sound pretty similar.

Maybe We’ll use the advent book next year. : )

Friday, December 5, 2008

The story of Silas' birth

STOP!

Okay, if you’re a guy, go ahead and read, just be warned, I didn’t make things specifically un-detailed. I’m the queen of details and though this is not graphic, it may be uncomfortable reading.

For those of you who love details, before reading this, scroll down and read the previous 2 posts.

For the rest of you, enjoy skimming through my second birth story. : )



Early Sunday morning, about 3:00 am - Contractions start, abdominal and back, quite regular, about 8 minutes apart. I was able to sleep off and on most of the morning, got up and showered, contractions were closer now, about every 4 -6 minuets. We timed them for about an hour, then called my Dr. at about 1:30 we arrive at the hospital. We check in, go to triage and my favorite nurse, Beth, comes in, “here you are! We had a room all ready for you this morning at 9:00, we left 2 messages for you, you were supposed to be induced this morning.” (Fist of all, since when has it been okay to leave a voicemail for scheduling a dr.’s appointment, especially one like a labor induction?!? Second, how can they just go ahead and set up a room for me, when I haven’t even consented to induction yet?!?) Ugh, anyway, I’m thinking “well, I’m in labor now, haha!” : ) So, they check me over, they don’t think I’m in labor, they think I’m dehydrated… they can’t get any IV.’s in me, I am REALLY dehydrated (remember, I was VERY sick.) Finally, they had the anesthesiologist come in, he got a vein, and they started a drip of fluids. 2 bags later, I was still having contractions, but they were farther apart and less intense. They decide it’s time to induce. I’m sick of fighting, I feel like my body is gearing up for labor anyway, I give in. At 2:00 pm Sunday Nov 23rd they start inducing with a little pill called me-zo (I’m spelling it phonetically, because I have no idea how it’s actually spelled. Plus, that’s just the nickname.) They use it internally, instead of orally, it’s supposed to “ripen the cervix” I’m given this stuff once every 4 hours, I had 4 doses, not much change, still contracting. I was able to sleep, Mark and my mom were switching back and forth, trying to catch some sleep on the little pull out cot.… at about 4:00 am on Monday morning we call my sister Joy and my mother-in-law and tell them to come in because my contractions were getting closer and more uncomfortable (Mind you, I was in labor for only 6 hours with Gideon and from “active labor” to “transition” to him being born, happened VERY quick, we didn‘t want them to miss anything.) at 7:45 my Dr. broke my water, I was 3 cm dilated. (Then she proceeded to leave the hospital to go into the office, sorry Janice, But you’re not delivering on my time… maybe I’ll get to deliver baby # 3.) There was next to no cervical change all morning. At 11:00 am they asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10, I say “8 or 9” which was more then the last time they asked. Then the Dr. has the nerve to ask the nurse, “Is it really getting worse?” hoping that the monitors will tell them better than I can, the nurse says “No, she is the same she’s been all morning” apparently, the stupid machine knows my pain better then I do. They said I was maybe 5 cm, so they were going to start pitocin, “or just give me a ‘whiff of pit’” (ugh, I hate the medical propaganda, seriously, I think there is an underground religion of medical professionals that worship the “wonder drug” that is pitocin.) Anyway, They started a pitocin drip of 2... Which I guess is 2 parts pitocin to 500 parts whatever it is that they were hydrating me with (saline? I don’t know…) Literally, within 5 minutes of them starting the drip I exclaimed in the middle of a contraction “I think I need to push!” I start trembling and crying… Commotion happens… My substitute Dr. comes in “What? We just checked her, I don’t think she has to push.” She checks again, I’m at 5 ½ cm, “she’s fine, we’ll be delivering this baby in a few hours.” 5 minutes and 2 contractions later I say it again “this baby’s coming!” my mother-in-law runs out to get the nurse again. They come in, check and “oh look, the baby’s head is crowning… guess she was in active labor after all.” I pushed for 10 minutes and out came our beautiful baby boy, Silas Noah Leverenz. Then, despite my birth plan, they upped my pitocin for the after birth.

So, it was not an ideal birth, and my plan was not followed as closely as I was hoping it would be. But, in the end we had a healthy mama and a healthy baby, which is what matters most. Next time, I’m having a home birth, even if that means I need to move to Texas for a month so that Hannah can deliver my baby. : ) If I knew that it was going to go this way, I would have tried harder to figure out a way to have a homebirth this time, or at least an out of hospital one.


P.S. I’m going to give Mark public props, he is the BEST labor and delivery coach I could ask for. I love the connection that we have when we’re bringing our children into the world, together. He can read me like a book, and knows exactly what I need. He’s pretty much the best, he’s my favorite!

The Birth Plan

Onset of labor - Spontaneous
Clothing - Preferably my own, flip-flops, NO SOCKS
Empty bladder - Walk to toilet, bed pan if needed, NO CATHETERS
Fetal monitoring - Preferably none, intermittent if needed
Pain Relief - Basic relaxation, narcotics if asked for, please do not offer. NO EPIDURAL
Pushing - Only when I’m ready, then with direction so as to not go too fast (Side laying position?)
Perineal Care - Preferably massage, NO EPISIOTOMY
Cutting cord - Father, wait until pulsing stops
Baby’s warmth - Placed on mothers abdomen, breast feeding asap
Afterbirth - No pitocin
Rooming In - 24 hours with mother
Discharge - Preferably within 24 hours of delivery
No vaccines for baby!


Some of this may sound silly, but almost all of it came from my first birth experience. : )

The crazy week leading up to the birth of Silas

(I started writing this prior to giving birth, then finished it afterward)

This week has been hard! Due to being; terribly uncomfortable, stir crazy from bed rest, worried about induction, and insane as I watch the house that I’ve kept so clean this month, (In hopes of bringing a new baby into a tidy, organized home) simply turn disastrous in a matter of days. (Mark tried really hard, but… lets just say, he’s not a professional home-maker.)

Here is an account of what’s gone on this week, the week that has felt as long as a month.

Thursday Nov. 13th - Regular weekly Dr.’s appointment. Dr. says: “Oh, I’m really surprised you’ve made it past 40 weeks, it should be any day now. I’ll be out of town this weekend, we’ll do a non stress test on Monday… if you haven’t had this baby yet.”

Over the weekend - I’m having regular contractions, several really strong ones. I have a head cold, and feeling kind of tired. Mixed emotions, “I want to have this baby” battling “my Dr.’s out of town, I’d really like her to be here this time.”

Monday morning (17th) - 8:30, My mom picks us up, we drop Gideon off at my mother-in-law’s, we go into the hospital for the nst. 9:00, I’m hooked up to the monitors, baby sounds great, slight contractions, high blood pressure. 9:30, blood pressure still high, but gradually going down to a less dangerous spot. 10:00 I’m thrown into a whirlwind. Mark is trying to get in contact with me, no cell phone reception, I’m hooked up to the monitors in bed so I can’t use another phone, he decides to come. Before I know it I’m told we’re going to go ahead with an induction. I’m admitted, in a hospital gown, hooked up to more monitors. Mark is running back home to pick stuff up. My dad called and prayed for me, I then burst into tears. A nurse comes in to do a random room check, she sees me, inquires a little, then sends in my nurse and Dr. “what’s wrong?” they ask empathetically. “I DON’T WANT TO BE INDUCED!” Was my not so calm response (I’m still working on standing up for my patients rights, rather than letting the medical profession make every decision for me…) They then realized that this was a real concern for me, I whole heartedly did not think it was in my baby’s best interest for us to induce, and it was not just an attempt to have a perfect pie in the sky granola birth. 1:30, They agree to discharge me as long as I adhere to bed rest, and I take every test imaginable to ensure that this baby is healthy, and I can continue waiting for my body to do what it was designed to do. Every test came back negative. I did not have preeclampsia. I was okay, the baby was okay. (that’s what they were afraid of, I had preeclampsia for Gideon’s pregnancy, and they thought I had it again.)
Wednesday - Mark and I go in to office for another nst, we pass with flying colors. Turns out I’m the talk of the office. “Some crazy girl has made it to 41 weeks gestation and she doesn’t want us to induce!!!” Even the receptionists were talking about it. I didn’t get to see my Dr., so I was talking with a different one, who said, “usually this is such an easy call to make, we literally don’t know what to do with you at this point.” (Supposedly most woman are begging for inductions at 38-39 weeks.) I was told that my Dr. would call me that night or the day after.

Thursday - I’m doing well on bed rest… stir crazy, but I don’t want my BP to go up, I was being good. : ) No call from my Dr.

Friday - No call

Saturday Morning - Still no call. At this point I think something is up, but heck, she wants to induce me, and I don’t want her too. I’m not going to call just so I can argue my case AGAIN!
Saturday Evening - Within minutes of each other Mark and I both come down with the flu. It was NOT pretty. Vomiting and everything else you can imagine. We were miserable. Thankfully (for us) we were at my parents house when we got sick, so we had plenty of caretakers for ourselves and Gideon. (This was the FIRST instance where we were both sick at the same time. It‘s harder then being sick back to back) We hardly slept that night.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

No weapon formed against me

This is a post that I wrote at about 21 weeks gestation, I knew it would be months before I actually posted it, but felt I needed to write it then. This has been saved in my little “Blogging stuff” folder, and now it is my joy to share it with you.
On Monday at 12:02, I gave birth to an extremely healthy baby boy, Silas Noah. (I’m working on a VERY long birth story post… it’ll be a while before you see it.)
I pray that as you read on, God would fill you with peace and hope, for whatever it is that your family is going or will be going through. Enjoy!

The peace of this moment is unearthly. What a calm, so surreal. Gideon is in bed, not sleeping yet, just chattering away, “a-mamma, wam a ma, Dah?” I think he just tossed his sippy cup out of the crib. The rain outside is coming down pretty hard. I love rain. The house is dimly lit, just one table lamp is on. I was reading, but had to put down my book in order to capture this beautiful moment. My feet are up (a common occurrence these days, as I’m prone to retaining water.) I just finished a small square of chocolate, and have another waiting for me. Sipping my iced coffee… this moment is perfect. The best part is, the peace. “No weapon formed against me shall prosper, it won’t work” sings Fred Hammond and his choir through the computer. “No way, no way, it won’t work… I know God will do what He said He will do. He’ll stand by his word… Don’t be afraid of the enemy.” No weapon formed against me, against my family, against my pre-born child, will prosper. It just won’t work, that my soul knows very well.

You see, this morning I received a phone call from my Dr., she was calling to share some results from my ultrasound last week. “There are many reasons why this might be, such as an incorrect due date, a measurement error by the ultrasound technician, or any number of things, but it looks as though your baby has shorter femur and humus bones than a baby this stage of gestation should have. I know that you won’t do anything with this information, but this could be a sign of down syndrome. I just need to tell you this. We’ll do another ultrasound in a few weeks, and you already said you don’t want the other tests for discovering birth defects. So, just think about it, call me if you have any questions.” I responded very cool, it didn’t even phase me. I called Mark at work, we both decided that we’d rather not have any unnecessary tests, and this little baby is a blessing, and will be born fearfully and wonderfully made. I was fine, I had peace, and I believed that our baby would be born healthy. But Satan began whispering lies to me, he started moving fear into me heart, giving me all the reasons this was happening, I couldn’t handle this. I called my mom, knowing she could stand with me in prayer, knowing her faith would spread to me, knowing that I’d be encouraged by her soothing voice and peaceful countenance. “Mom, we don’t want anyone else to know about this, because we know that everything will be fine but I just need you to pray for me…” bursting into sobs I told her what the Dr. said, she prayed with me and said she’d start fasting, and keeping us in her prayers, but she believed that this baby boy is to be born completely whole, completely healthy. I agreed.
Hours later now, I am so in awe of how the Lord has changed my spirit, from panic, fear and needless guilt, to peace, hope and complete faith. Surely, no weapon formed against me shall prosper, it won’t work!

This little baby growing inside of me is a blessing, I love him, I will always love him, but more importantly, Jesus Christ loves him, and can take so much better care of him than I ever could. That’s why I give my children back to God, he knows and cares for them in a way that’s outside of time, he knows their beginnings and their ends and every step in between. This baby has a destiny, and whatever that may be, God’s got a hold of him. No amount of worry, fear or research can give him any better than what the Lord has for him.

“No weapon formed against me shall prosper, it won’t work, when the Enemy comes in like a flood the Lord will lift up a standard against him, and he won’t prosper, no, no, no, no, no, no, it won’t work… I know God will do what He said He will do, He will stand by his word He will come through… I won‘t be afraid of the arrows by day, from the hands of my enemies I will stand my ground with the Lord at my side… No weapon formed against me shall prosper, IT WON‘T WORK!…”

Friday, November 14, 2008

Raising boys - Should violent play be aloud?

“See that? You’re having a boy!” exclaimed the ultrasound technician. Perfect! 2 boys, brothers. Close in age, they’ll take care of each other, and together, be role models for future siblings, and watch over any sisters they might have. 2 boys! We started calling our families and my brother John said “wow! Jane, you’re a mom of men!” “What? No, they’re just babies. They’re not men. I can take care of babies, I have no clue how to be a mom to men!”

As Gideon is getting older, and daily showing less signs of infanthood, and more signs of boyhood, I’m faced with a specific conflict. Is it possible to raise a boy to be a man who defends justice, protects the weak and helpless and stands up for what is right, without allowing violent play? Is it possible to raise them to be that way with violent play?

I joke with Jeffrey (my younger brother) about how I’m not a pacifist, I’m a peaceful activist. It’s rather silly, seeing as how I’m rarely active in expressing my beliefs. And honestly, still coming to my own conclusions on so many issues, that I may not even know where to start most kinds of activism.

I am going to try to refrain from making blanket statements or using any kind of generalities. With that said, I am going to avoid disclaimers as much as possible, if someone actually wants to comment on this blog, I’d love some free discussion.

I do not want any of my sons (and obviously my daughters) to join the military, any branch. I don’t believe that Jesus would have done any such thing, and regardless of what happened in the Old Testament, I see NO evidence in the New Testament that such a thing is honoring to God.
The dilemma? Do I allow my sons to “reenact” battles from wars of our history? Does the learning opportunity outweigh the moral? Do the moral issues involved in war actually give me an avenue to teach my sons about social injustice? If I never want them to participate in the killing of human beings legal or otherwise, how can I allow it in their play time?

Carol - http://www.thoughts-of-home.blogspot.com/ put a post up about a week ago giving great gift giving advice. She had several links to articles and other blogs, that analyzed play and such… the one I chose to read was called “band, bang! You’re dead.” It was interesting. I read it, Mark read it, and we’ve been discussing it whenever we get a chance. The other night we stayed up WAY too late, because we couldn’t stop chatting. (sometimes, when bed time comes around, my husband and I are more like little girls at a sleepover, rather than a married couple with a toddler and a baby on the way… wow, not that I’m calling Mark a little girl… man, that sounds bad… anyway…) The author of this article had many interesting points. I wish I just had a recording of the 3 hour conversation we had on this, it was riveting. (everything seems more insightful late at night, don’t you think?) Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to do my best to recap the conclusions we came to. The reasons for why such conclusions were made, and what we intend to allow in our home, and for our family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A thankful heart - A Merry heart

Today, I’m just feeling thankful.

I’m thankful for our Youth Group. Last night Ian (a co-leader) and I took a group of kids roller skating, don’t worry, I didn’t skate, I sat on the side lines in the “disabled” section. : )
It was so much fun! It was way out there, about an hour drive from us, but the car rides were fun and we just had a blast!

The best part of the night was how thankful the kids were. Everyone was so considerate, and they just kept thanking us for bringing them, and for organizing the event. It was absolutely delightful to hang out with this group of kids for the evening! They’re good kids!

I was sitting here just thinking about how thankfulness, expressed last night, is still making an impact on me today. A group of teens, with thankful hearts, have influenced me to have a thankful heart today.

A thankful heart makes a world of difference in ones day.

A thankful heart makes a merry heart.

Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.


Here’s a bit on a Merry Heart, I found it on www.Sermonindex.net, by A.B. Simpson.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine

King Solomon left among his wise sayings a prescription for sick and sad hearts, and it is one that we can safely take. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Joy is the great restorer and healer. Gladness of spirit will bring health to the bones and vitality to the nerves when all other tonics fail and all other sedatives cease to quiet. Are you ill? Begin to rejoice in the Lord, and your bones will flourish like an herb, and your cheeks will glow with the bloom of health and freshness. Worry, fear, distrust, care-all are poisonous! joy is balm and healing, and if you will but rejoice, God will give power. He has commanded you to be glad and rejoice, and He never fails to sustain His children in keeping His commandments. Rejoice in the Lord always, He says. This means no matter how sad, how tempted, how sick, how suffering you are, rejoice in the Lord just where you are-and begin this moment. The joy of the Lord is the strength of our body, The gladness of Jesus, the balm for our pain, His life and His fullness, our fountain of healing, His joy, our elixir for body and brain.

Have a beautiful and thankful day, and may your heart be merry!

P.S. I'll have some photos of the evening on Facebook soon!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I've been tagged



1) I HATE wearing matching pajamas. If I have a pajama “set” than I never wear both the top and bottom at the same time. I’d rather have them be the worst clashing items ever, than to have the top and bottom match.

2) Thanks to severe motion sickness and morning sickness, in my travels I have left a trail of vomit. Someday my claim to fame will be that I’ve thrown up on every continent. If I pinned all the places on a world map that I’ve vomited, you’d see markers running quite consistently along the Romanian and Hungarian countryside one in Heathrow, one in Milan, and all over the Dominican Republic. Not to mention all along the east coast of the US.

3) If you’re into the sibling placement personality traits, you’ll find me to be a very interesting/weird case. In my family there are 6 kids, as a way of keeping organized we have typically fallen into 1 of 3 sub divided categories; boys - girls, older half - younger half, and by twos (because children 1 and 2 are closer in age than 2 and 3, 2 and 3 are closer in age than 3 and 4...) So, being child # 3, depending on how you break it up, I am the first girl (with strong “oldest child” tendencies) I am the last of the older half (with many youngest child tendencies) and I belong in the second set of sibling pairs (therefore having extreme “middle child” tendencies.) Yeah, told you it was weird.

4) Sometimes, before I know it, I find myself pretending I’m in a movie or music video. Though it’s become less frequent the older I’ve gotten, at the age of 22 I still haven’t quit my imaginary acting career.

5) I make goals for myself, never intending on going anywhere with them. For instance, I have completed my goal of writing enough songs that I like, to put on an album. Yet would never even think about actually recording them. Now, I am currently working on a goal of writing 3 books, a novel, a children’s story and one that’s just filled with my thoughts on life, but don’t ever expect to see them published.

6) I only wash my hair every other day. My good hair days are the ones in between washings.

7) Someday, we’d like to live in a “community” of sorts. The town house next to ours is for sale, and we dream of buying ours and the one next to us, in order to have a good place to start this “commune.” It’s a perfect spot for a good group of Christians to live together, serving the hurting community around us. (Anyone interested?) ;-)
So, there it is, Not many of my faithful readers are bloggers, so if anyone wants to make a blog and start with this, be my guest! Just, consider yourself tagged.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Choose Glory

:: For the last couple of weeks, in Youth Group, we’ve been reading the book of Philippians. Last night, on a slight tangent and whim of my husband‘s, we began to discuss glory. Just figuring out what it looked like, what it was, what is glorious… one of the guys began to tell us about a discussion that he had with Mark a few nights ago when they were out taking a walk back behind my parents house. He didn’t say what they had been talking about, only that they were amazed at how everything they saw was declaring the glory of the Lord. There was a brilliant full moon illuminating wisps of clouds, and all the stars were shining they’re brightest, attempting to assist the moon. They went on describing the beautiful country night, noting that every blade of grass, and every leaf that was present was declaring Gods glory. Simply by being what it was meant to be, creation was glorifying God.

:: Glorifying God was on my mind this morning at about 10:30. We were driving in the car when Gideon, from the back seat exclaimed with great excitement “the MOON!” “No, it’s day time honey, the moon’s not out right now” I replied, “moon” he said again. I looked in the direction that he was pointing, and lo I beheld, the moon. It was no brighter than any of the puffs of clouds, and honestly, I’m surprised that he didn’t just pass it off as being a round cloud. But there it was, still declaring the glory of the Lord, along with the rest of the earth on this dazzling autumn morning.
Gideon is always so excited to see the moon, we say hello to it, we say goodnight to it, we sit outside under a blanket and point to the sky saying, “MOON! STARS! MOON! LOOK!” I’m not sure what it is about the moon that makes him so excited, but I just love to watch him delight in all of Gods creation.

:: God’s creation is something that no child can ignore, it is ingrained in them to delight in their surroundings. To examine bugs, and pick flowers, feel tree bark, admire color and dirt and the sky and wind. Gideon doesn’t have to be taught to enjoy these things. Yet, we have to be taught to acknowledge the creator of these things. As I see Gideon discovering the world that he’s exposed to, I am inclined to recognize Gods creation - my son. As I see Gideon, simply being what he was created to be, I am shown the glory of God. Gideon, being a child, is declaring to the world that Gods fame, His bigness, His splendor… is real! Just like the moon, by being the moon, declares the same.

:: In the “Weight of Glory” C.S. Lewis talks about the fact that humans are given the choice to glorify God or not. Unlike the rest of creation that simply has to be, in order to glorify the Creator. We are required to choose.

:: I exhort you to choose glory. Be who God has created you to be. Take a lesson from all of creation and in every moment of existence, declare the glory of our creator!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On; domesticity and what it inspires in me

How fun it is to be domestic!

:: I think in my “nesting phase” I’m finding great joy in doing things a little more old fashioned. On Monday my mother in law came over to teach me how to make and can applesauce. As I mentioned before, she’s already taught me how to can peaches. Back in June my mom taught me how to make strawberry jam. It’s so much fun! Not just the canning process, but every time I look in the pantry I get excited about seeing food that I CANNED! Every time I open a new jar I am thrilled that I know exactly what’s in the jar, and am delighted that I did it, albeit with a little help.

:: I’m sure its very similar for other people, that as soon as autumn comes around you just start feeling like it’s time to work with yarn. It’s time to get out the knitting needles or crochet hooks and start projects. At first, just to get the creative juices flowing, I usually start with a very simple project, one that can be finished in a few hours. Today, I finished my first project, a 100% cotton wash clothes, I plan on making enough of these so that I can do away with sponges all together. You know, be a little more eco friendly.

:: It’s interesting, I find that as I work at becoming more “domestic“, my heart yearns more for becoming international. I know that somewhere down the line God will place my family on the missions field. Perhaps not for years on end, but potentially a few months at a time. As I try to become less acquainted with the modern conveniences of western culture, I am encouraged to find that I enjoy doing certain things in certain less “convenient “ ways. (Who knows, maybe I’m reading too many Amish themed books…) I guess what I’m saying is that these little steps that I’m taking, help me envision myself being a mom and wife in less developed countries. Don’t tell anyone, but, sometimes when I’m rinsing diapers to put in the washing machine, I start imagining myself standing outside with a bucket of water and some soap flakes, hand washing diapers. The front door of our little shack is propped open and I can smell some sort of stew cooking inside. I don’t know where we are, but the dirt is red and the trees are tall and tropical. Little brown children run around the yard playing with my little blondies, and I look up the road and see Mark walking along, just chatting with a few men, perhaps discussing something spiritual, or just talking about the weather. I feel the warm breeze and actually enjoy the earthy scent of the nearby farm animals and smoke from our neighbors cooking fires. I enjoy this scene, and wonder if I’ll ever be there in any other way apart from my imagination. I hope so. I want to be faithful in the ministries that God has placed us in now, so that we can be proven capable of other, perhaps tougher ministries later on. I want to serve our youth group the best we can, taking care of those kids as though they’re our own, on our week to clean the church I want to do the most thorough job possible, I want to be the most gracious neighbor we can be. I want to be faithful in the little, all of the little that there is everyday.

Wow, talk about the Ramblings of!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Welcome this is a townhouse, we have cluster flies alas...





One thing that happened in the month of September while I was absent from “The Ramblings Of” was an incredible infestation of fruit flies in our home. I suppose it started out as little fruit fly family finding a home full of comfort and bountiful food. This home, being our broken garbage disposal. They gathered inside when I wasn’t running the water, and when I was they would hover around the shadow box I have hanging on the wall above the sink. Over time these fruit flies started having babies, and their babies had babies, and before they knew it, the garbage disposal was just too tiny a home for all of them. So one branch of this family tree flew several feet north and found a lovely little spot in our pantry, one lonesome potato at the bottom of the potato tin. (that I of course didn’t remember) This fruit fly colony was really beginning to be a hassle for us. Of course, once these two areas were well settled, the younger and more adventurous little flies would seek out new frontiers, and travel over to Gideon’s highchair, where they could always find crumbs. Or they would venture upstairs to find a cereal bowl next to my bed (you know pregnant ladies and their late night snacks…) Before we knew it, we had a real problem on our hands, and to make matters worse, peaches were in season, and I had been planning ALL SUMMER to learn how to can peaches. So, on one of Marks days off, we headed over to a friends farm and picked LOTS of peaches. Peaches which sat on our dinning room table and counters for several days, while waiting to be canned. Our fruit flies were in peach heaven!




Enough was enough! I set out to annihilate this little settlement, and I would have no mercy!
I heard of a trick to get rid of fruit flies, “just set a glass of wine out on the counter over night , the flies will be attracted to the wine, then drown in it.” For any Ann Of Green Gables fans, I thought immediately of the mouse in the custard and thought, “hey, not a bad way to go… wine may be even more romantic than custard!” Seeing as how I had a bottle of cheap wine product that we wouldn’t drink and we had A LOT of flies, I set out a bowl of wine.


Guess what, our fruit flies are gone!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Looks like I'm back

It’s been quite a while... almost a month.

Why haven’t I been around? I don’t know… I guess I just haven’t felt a blogging inspiration.
I’ve had plenty of other inspiration though, perhaps I just need to drift about from one creative project to another.

Here are a few examples of the things that have stolen my blogging time as of late: Seasonal decorating, (I LOVE autumn and find that my moms knack to seasonally decorate is inherent) sewing, (I’ve started making my own pre-folds) reading, (I just finished a series by Beverly Lewis, just silly Christian novels set in the Amish country of Lancaster PA, but my younger sister and I both read them so it’s fun to discuss the books) and reorganizing (I’m just trying to get everything in place for our new little baby to come)

Speaking of the baby, all is well. I’ve been given the liberty go about my normal activities again, and was told “at this point, you can afford some contractions.” So that’s a relief, I just don’t care for “taking it easy“ it’s not really my style.

I know some of you have heard of my quest to find a midwife that that will take me THIS pregnancy for a home birth, but alas, I have given up my search. I’ve been told that there is only one, possibly two midwives that will do home births in our area. I could only get the contact info for one of them, and she is too far away from where we live to come out for the birth. I did learn however that we have the best kind of health insurance for a home birth, so, perhaps for the next pregnancy we can get things rolling a little sooner, and find someone willing to come out. I spoke with my Dr. about how I was on a quest for a midwife, and she said she understood why I would be interested in a home birth and such a route. She also said that she wishes my first delivery went a little better than it did, don’t get me wrong, I thought over all my birth experience was GREAT, but my two qualms were 1.) the episiotomy given by a Dr. I had never met, and 2.) the occasional annoying night nurses that had a bee in their bonnet about everything. My Dr. said that out of all of the Dr.‘s that deliver at that hospital, I got the one who was least like a midwife in the fact that she was quick to intervene. She said that overall, every other Dr. in that practice is primarily anti intervention and strongly believes that some soft music and a change of position is better by any measure compared to an epidural or any other kind of intervention. I am confident that because of different circumstances with this pregnancy I will have a much better chance of having my Dr. or at least one that I’ve met, do the delivery.
Wow, this post is SO long already, and I haven’t even started writing about the things I had intended on writing. Oh well, I guess that’s for another day.
I think I will go eat some ice cream. : )

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fellow workers in Christ

“The fourth thing, which I suppose isn’t really just specific to Priscilla, but rather the early church as a whole, is there commonality. I know that in our recent attraction to the “hippie commune” we’ve earned ourselves some strange looks and a bit of a weirdo reputation. Which is partly why it’s been something we’ve kept on the down low, but we’ll let you know when we’ve transcended from closet communers (don’t worry, I didn’t say communists) to public communers. At any rate, I thought it was so cool that Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers, and so was Paul, that’s their original purpose that they started living together, they worked on there common trade. They weren’t just doing “church ministry” all the time, but were using their skills to earn money for their ministry. I’ve read that from time to time, Paul would stick to one place for a while in order to make enough tents to sell and then use that money to keep him going in ministry, probably until he ran out of money and needed to sell more tents. Seriously, read about the financial state of the early church, it makes so much sense. It’s inspiring! (Maybe that will be my next topic of study to post up here?…)”

Like I said, we are NOT communists. Communism, like everything that has become evil, was invented by God, and Satan perverted it so that it became something that it ought not to be.

Acts 2:40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The early church, in all her glory.

Mark 10:17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother."
20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
That passage can also be found in Luke 18.

I’ve briefly mentioned a book that we’ve read this year that’s called The irresistible Revolution, I highly recommend it, for us, it was life changing. There is an interesting point that Shane Claiborne (the author) made, he touched on the fact that the doctrine of being born again is not questioned by Christians, Jesus speaks of it once in John chapter 3, then it’s mentioned again in First Peter. Funny how we’ll make that doctrine, something we MUST follow as Christians, but look at selling all of our things to give to the poor as just a suggestion… they’re mentioned just as often, and arguably, taking the passage from Acts, the concept of commonality is mentioned more.

I like the idea of working side by side, for the same things, the same heart. Unity, like Jesus prayed that his bride would have.

I don’t agree with the welfare system. I know it’s helped lots of people before, but I think that the government is doing the job of the church. I think the church should be helping the lame, the crippled, the widow, and the orphan. I think that if as a church, meaning the whole body of Christ, globally, caught the vision of the early church, than there would be no need for our government to stand in place of what God’s people should be doing, and we would eliminate so many needs. I know I sound idealistic, but I’m talking about the Kingdom of God, His kingdom operates on a system I don’t understand, but, I think He can do it, if we become willing.

I feel like I have so much to say about this, and I’m sure that it will be something that I sprinkle around my blog from time to time. So, this is all for now.

But just think about how Paul mentioned Priscilla and Aquila as his fellow workers in Christ. Someday, I want to be spoken of that way, someday I want to have people that I can speak of that way. I want to be in a community of people where we can stand and work side by side, for the same things, the same goals, the same passion, and really see Gods kingdom come to earth and watch it grow. Doesn’t that sound thrilling?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What can you buy for 20 bucks?

So I’ve mentioned before, money is tight for us. To be honest, I like it that way. Don’t get me wrong, I know God has more in store for us, and there are definite things that He’s calling us to do in the future, things that require money. I’m excited for that stage of our lives, and I know that it will be better than I can imagine. But, for now, God has us here. Yes, I believe that God has us in the financial state that we are in. It’s not something that needs a “name it and claim it” kind of attitude. It’s not something we need to rebuke. Our needs are being met in INCREDIBLE ways, and we are not going without. God is showing us His unbelievable favor, and doing it quite creatively too!

Marks Aunt Mary passed away last week. Mark believes she truly knew the Lord, and so with all of her health problems, it really was a blessing for her. My mother-in-law (Laurie) has been working tirelessly all week, sorting through Aunt Mary’s apartment. Laurie has this incredible gift, I don’t even know what to call it, maybe it’s a gift of helps. But she has this magnetic pull that just draws stuff to her garage, (possibly the cleanest garage ever!) the funny part about that it that she doesn’t like to have a lot of things lying around. (an attribute I well admire and must learn!) The part where the genuine gift comes in, is that she knows exactly who needs what, at what time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought “Oh, I could really use… too bad I can’t afford to buy that right now” and within a day I’ll get a call “hi Jan, it’s mom, Leverenz, listen, I have… here in my garage, could you use it?” No joke, a few months back I decided that I really ought to start using cloth diapers diligently, (we don’t have any credit cards so what we spend, we must have) “I really need more than the 3 diapers I got at my baby shower.” I thought. Then, “Hi Jan, it’s mom, Leverenz…” Somehow, she had a stack of pre-folds and diaper pins! The same goes with Dressers, stand up fans, beds, groceries, EVERYTHING! It’s pretty cool. So, anyway, we were really in need of a few grocery items, and Aunt Mary had a pantry full of the things I was in need of. Out of six kids in Marks family, a church full of people and plenty of neighbors, Laurie knew that we were in need of those things. God provides!

I am using cloth diapers almost 100%, I only use a disposable at night. (on Gideon of course) : ) And it’s so funny, I really enjoy it. Yeah, I enjoy washing poop off of fabric, go figure. LOL, well, I guess I just enjoy the fact that I’m being ecological and economical, it’s highly liberating. I love hanging the freshly washed diapers on the line, and seeing how clean I got them, after knowing how dirty they were. It truly gives me joy. I love that the money that Mark earns for this family isn’t being thrown away with a pile of crap, in a weird way, I feel like using cloth diapers is honoring my husbands hard work.

I love to do menu planning. Sometimes I don’t do it, because our budget doesn’t require it. I get lazy and then I just don’t do it. But every time I need to, I enjoy it so much. I should write a memo somewhere saying “You like to menu plan remember? Just do it!” It’s been fun, (my mom has brought some groceries over as well the last few weeks, and Joy will come over with like a gallon of milk or something, she says “God told me to do it”) So now, every time we sit down to eat dinner I say, the only part of this meal that we paid for is… and it’s something silly like the parmesan cheese. : ) God provides!

Gideon was in need of some autumn shirts, I saw an advertisement on Craig’s list for a “shop-aholic moms garage sale” there was a list of items that she had that we could use. So my friend Melissa and I set out to find this sale. I had 20 bucks in my wallet. I found 4 shirts for Gideon and 2 pairs of pants and 1 shirt for the new baby. We then noticed that there was a great farmers market down the road, so we went there. With my change from the garage sale, I bought a LB of local honey, (We were in need of it, seeing as how it’s allergy season) an eggplant, 2 huge bunches of lettuce (red leaf and a dark green,) and peaches. All of that, came to exactly $20.00. It was so fun to see how much I could buy when aiming for frugality. : ) Not to mention the ethical consumerism that was practiced here, but that’s for another day, and another blog.

I guess I just want to encourage all who are feeling the lack of funds. It’s hard sometimes, but try to find joy in this time of stretching. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm and come up with a few ideas out of the ordinary. Don’t be discouraged if you’re a stay at home mom and feeling like you’re not helping your husband out. My friend Liz said the other day “isn’t cool that the best thing we can do to help our families finances is stay home and not spend money?” It’s so true. Trust in God and obey, He’ll take care of the rest!

Monday, August 25, 2008

"I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but..."

Okay, so yesterday, I was at my parents house, working on green beans (I'll elaborate another day) and I was standing at the kitchen counter. My sister Jenessa looked over at me from the rocking chair in the corner, where she was sitting and said. "Your cute, I love your big baby belly." With a smile I said "Thanks Nessa" she went on "You look really good, you have barely put on any weight besides around your belly." (Knowing this isn't true, yet feeling very good that someone would even suggest such a thing) I smiled a bit broader, "aw, really? Thanks" "Yeah" she replied, "I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but you kind of look like a fudge-sicle"

What?

I was wearing a brown baby doll type maternity shirt that makes me look EVER SO PREGNANT and apparently she thought that the skirt I was wearing it with was slimming on the legs. Somehow, the slendering skirt and the belly accentuating top made me look like a fudge-sicle. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, but hey, if someone wants to tell me that at 7 months pregnant my legs look like popsicle sticks, I'll take it!

Hospitality, who knew it takes so much?

~The third thing that stood out to me was Priscilla’s hospitality. After just 2 years of marriage, I’ve found that when we open our home to someone, it’s not really Mark that cares what it looks like, or what we have to offer the people that come. It’s me, as the woman of the house I feel a sense of responsibility to serve the people that enter out home, whether it’s for a few minuets or for a year. Priscilla’s record of hospitality is incredible, she just didn’t take a break opening up her home to the local church body. How exhausting that must have been from time to time. Wherever they moved, their house was open as a place to fellowship with other believers. ~


I realize that back in New Testament time they probably didn’t have as much stuff to bring around with them. (like us silly Americans) When I first imagined this couple traveling about the globe so extensively I pictured a big sail boat loaded up with cardboard boxes, on the sides and tops of the boxes were big label written with a black sharpie, “Kitchen Stuff, Towels, Fragile Dinnerware, Stuff for Bathroom Cabinet, Priscilla‘s Clothes (the ones that don‘t fit anymore, but she can‘t get rid of)…” You know, the way I like to pack when I move. “Oh right,” I thought, it couldn’t have been that way, I’m sure they traveled with very little, if anything. Then I realized, “wow, that must have been even harder” with every new move they made she had to gather up more of the essentials, They weren’t just living like hermits with a little mat on the floor for sleeping and 2 plates, one for each of them. Priscilla was having loads of people into her home probably everyday, or at least a few times a week. She must have been really resourceful, in order to be able to accommodate flocks of people like that.

Resourcefulness seems to be an indispensable attribute to hospitality. How to make a meal stretch so that you don’t send anyone away hungry, where to put someone when they’re in need of a place to stay, how to maneuver a guest around your families daily activities or even personal catastrophes with grace. Resourcefulness is something that God has really been teaching me as of late, thankfully, it’s a lesson I actually enjoy learning. However, in learning resourcefulness, I find that it’s a twofold task, not only must you be willing to be creative, but it takes a little more work than… un-resourcefulness… you must combat laziness, selfishness, and self pity, along with whatever little daily ailments contribute to an unproductive, ungracious hostess. It’s work, it’s not something that just comes easy, no matter who you are.

Another extremely important thing that I think must go along with hospitality is being aware of the need for strength, not of your own power, but from tapping into the rich storehouse of Gods might. How does a girl do that?

Isaiah 30:15 says; This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”

Job 17:9 Yet the righteous will hold to his way,And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.

Repentance, rest, quietness, trust, righteousness, clean hands. Search your heart, evaluate your life, if you don’t have strength, what’s going on that is hindering it? What from this list is missing from your spirit?

God says;

Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.

He is the source, for EVERYTHING.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

God has strength enough for all of us, strength to step into our role as woman. Married, single, with children, without children, living in a mansion or your parents attic, He has designed every woman to walk in hospitality. Hospitality, entailing; resourcefulness, flexibility, a nurturing spirit, administration of comfort, and acceptance. Hospitable, one of the many delightful things God has beckoned you to become. Step, run, jump into what God is calling you to be, don’t thwart His desire to give you strength, walk in repentance, rest, quietness, trust, and righteousness, and he will continually renew your strength!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What a week!

Yes indeed, quite a week it’s been!

:: I’ve had some sort of Hormone surge or something, and at some moments it’s all I can do to not burst out into tears over NOTHING! I think it could be linked to the fact that I haven’t breastfed Gideon in over a week, and perhaps my body is trying to regulate a little… I don’t know, last time I went through the weaning process I was the baby. : )

:: I have ALSO had a really great week as far as the spiritual is concerned. On Wed. we took a 2 hour drive to visit my parents who were camping with a group of very wonderful people. They were having a time of fellowship and had twice a day tent meetings. We made it there just in time to grab a snack and head over to the first meeting. Oh, LET ME TELL YOU, these people knew how to worship God - with full abandon - everyone was expressing their worship in a different way and it was BEAUTIFUL! There was a fantastic time of ministry, where Mark and I (and the new baby) had plenty of good, encouraging words spoken over us. God saw what we needed and, surprise, surprise, He met those needs. I can’t tell you how refreshing that day was! Seriously, I could blog a 7 page rant about how badly I/we needed to be there, how encouraging it was to see the church acting the way it ought to, with complete LOVE, no hidden agenda, no ulterior motives, acceptance of one another … the way the early church was…

:: On the other hand, God knew we needed to be there, because the next day and the following days brought some discouragement, and we were able to stand and say, “It doesn’t matter what it looks like, God spoke these words to us, and we are believing that just like every other time in our lives, He will meet our needs, and carry us through this time!” I’m not going to go on and on about all that’s happened, primarily it’s financial… Mark has been actively applying for sales positions (he’s currently in customer care…) and time after time the interviews go really well, there seems to be a glimpse of hope and then regretfully, the interviewee calls and says, “Mark, I really wanted to give you this job but because of, x.y.z., I had to give it to…” So, it’s been a little difficult. (A sales job would put us in a really good financial state, it would free us up to do the kinds of things that we really feel God is leading our family to do.) However, we keep seeing that God knows SO much better than we do, and he has our best interest in mind.

:: Gideon, of man, he’s so cute, he’s so smart! But this kid… *sigh*… he’s developed quite a little whine. I can’t even type the kind of noise that he makes when he’s upset… it’s like nails on a chalk board for me. Also, he’s been built to be a big brother to MANY children, because he constantly needs someone to play with. When he finally starts playing on his own, he just moves stuff around. The pile of shoes by the door become scattered about the floor, the doormat must be pulled out to the middle of the floor, every cardboard box waiting to be taken out to the recycling box it strewn over the house… and get this, he really wants it to be that way, he gets upset when I start putting them away. (He tells me this by doing a little stomping dance and making that awful noise I previously described.) I place my brown flip-flop in the corner where it ought to be, he picks it up and puts it right in the SAME spot he wanted it to be. What a kid. I actually began disciplining him for it. I wasn’t sure at first, but I realized that for my own sanity and in order to have a sufficient amount of grace with him for the whole day, it would be better for all involved if I just taught him not to do that after I’ve picked it all up. Hello toddler hood, right?

:: There is so much more to my week than these things, what was I thinking trying to compact them all into one blog entry?!?

Okay, so, this is becoming such a long entry that I don’t think anyone will actually read this whole thing. That’s okay though, I am a verbal processor, I blog for my own benefit. If you happen to read it, I hope it benefits you, but it’s primary purpose is to lasso my own thoughts into something tangible, therefore clearing my mind for other purposes.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Low CO2 hot glue

So, I was just working on a baby shower gift, I needed to glue something with hot glue. I had to buy glue sticks today because I’ve been out of them forever! It turns out, I’ve been out of glue sticks SO LONG, that I misplaced my hot glue gun… what to do… what to do?

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. I lit a candle and held my little hot glue stick over it, it took a while longer, but quite frankly, I liked not having the cord from the glue gun in the way of what I was doing. And the glue didn’t get as hot either, no burnt fingers! Yay!

Not to mention, I totally didn’t use electricity for any of my project, good for the environment, good for the energy bill. :-P

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A morning trip to triage

So yesterday, was a bit of a crazy day. Gideon was in bed with us, nursing away like any usual morning. I was in and out of sleep, trying to buy any extra minuets I could, when I started getting really uncomfortable, I was having back pain and A LOT of Braxton Hicks, my whole abdomen went rock hard. That’s when I woke up. “Hmm,” I thought, “It’s unusual for me to feel this bad already. This is how it gets at night after a really hard day.” I stayed in bed Gideon stopped nursing and began exploring our bedroom as Mark and I kept one eye each on Gideon and with the other eye, still tried to sleep. (I’m describing a very typical morning for us.) As time drew on I realized I was having a lot more contractions than what is common for the irregular Braxton Hicks. At 8:15 I began timing them, they weren’t terrible, and not very long, But my Dr. told me that if I had more than 6 an hour to call her. Every 6 minuets, lasting about 30 seconds each, and that was after it calmed down. I called my Dr.’s office and they told me to go into the hospital where my Dr. was on call. We dropped Gideon off at my parents house and headed out to the Hospital. I signed in and waited in triage as they hooked up the monitors. Baby’s fine, mama’s still having some contractions, “Here drink this… internal exam… just a fingertip dilated, tell me about your morning, tell me about last night… beep, beep, beep… whoosh, whoosh… there‘s an active little boy in there… everything seems okay… a little more time on the monitor… we‘ll give you a shot to stop the contractions… you‘ll feel awful from it though… you‘re doing okay, we can send you home, don‘t do x.y.z… call us if a.b.c. happens…” Pretty much sums up the 3 hours we spent there. Thank the Lord I’m not on bed rest! They just told me to take it easy.

I was advised to stop breastfeeding seeing as how within the last week or so, every time Gideon nursed, (or rather pacified, having no milk left) I would start contracting, and that’s what I was doing when it all started. Yesterday morning was the last time we did it, and he’s actually doing really well with it. He only has asked for it prior to a nap or bed time, and when I say “No, I’m sorry, we can’t do that right now” he just lays his head back on my shoulder and rests as I rub his back and sing worship songs. Over the last month I’ve tried not to make nursing the primary focus of our bed time routine, making it much more about snuggling, singing and a back rub. I must admit, I cried last night, it was hard for me to say “no” to his request for nursing before bed, I’ve said “no” during the day before, and it wasn’t a big deal for me, but for some reason the night time nursing was just hard for me to deny him. He didn’t seem to mind, and I am sort of relieved that I won’t have to figure out how to work our regular nursing routine in with the new baby’s demanding schedule. And if he sees the new baby nursing and decides he wants to try again, I think I’m okay with that.

So, this is my little story, and perhaps the closing chapter of my first breastfeeding experience.

Please, pray for us though, I want this little baby boy coming no sooner than he’s ready. I don’t want to go on bed rest, and I want to continue to be the hands on, playing on the floor, chasing him around, active mom that I’ve been for Gideon all along. I would so appreciate it, Thanks!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

World full of sin, heart full of sin

Yesterday while driving, I was thinking about stuff. Stuff like little girls being sold to very bad men, and very bad men selling those little girls bodies to other very bad men. I was thinking about slavery that still goes on, I was thinking about genocides and abortion. I was thinking about world hunger and how unnecessary it is. I was thinking about all the bad very terrible things in this world. “How can all of this still go on? Aren’t there enough advocates out there for each cause letting everyone else know what’s happening? Aren’t there enough people out there to care?” But then I started thinking, I have a hard time forgiving people, I hold bitterness, I gossip, I stand in judgment against so many people. I’m not clean, I know those things are awful, they hurt me, they hurt others. I sin, and this sin weighs the same as all other sin.


I’m so in awe of our need for a savior. I’m so in awe of a Savior who would die for me. How incredible the weight of mankind’s sin must have been on Christ’s soul. How incredible the freedom we now can have from the punishment of our sin. How incredible a Savior!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An Ode to Isaac Nowak



Dear young man, I like you a lot. You’re are a certain kind of kind, the kind of kind that makes people want to be around you. Not because you try to go out of your way to make people feel like they’re liked, no quite the contrary, you tend to accept people just the way they are. You even grab hold of the little quirks in people that may make them less than perfect, embrace them, and make them something to laugh about, not in a demeaning way, but in a light hearted, everyone’s human kind of way.

You respect women, (which is probably why you have so many girl friends, sorry… friends that are girls.) you respect your elders, and you seem to hold a certain respect for yourself as well. I have never (though I’m sure you’ve fallen trap now and then) heard you speaking of vulgar or crude things, nor keeping frequent company with people who do so.
You have interest in neat fitted sheet folding, or at least you are genuine enough for me to believe that you do.

You are a good friend to my sister, and I know at times, if it weren’t for you, she may have lost hope in mankind altogether.

You are a young man that I wouldn’t mind my sons hanging around, just so they can pick up on some of your characteristics.

You are a pleasure to have in our home, and are always welcome. (unless it’s girls night…)

This is my ode to you, I told you that you deserve it, and though it may be late, I am true to my word.

Now fly to Neverland Peter Pan, the lost boys are waiting!

Priscilla and Aquila - The Ideal Couple

~The first thing that stood out to me about Priscilla, or rather about this couple, is that their names were ALWAYS mentioned together, and never in a particular order. Never once was one name said that you didn’t immediately read the other. What does this say about their relationship? What does this say about their ministry?~

We have a little book that has been sitting on our shelf for… well, not too long seeing as how we’ve only been living here for about 2 years, but I had never read it. It’s called “Two Shall Be One” By C.M. Ward, randomly a few weeks ago while on my way up the stairs, I grabbed it off the shelf and stuck it in the bathroom, thinking it may be a good read while Gideon was in the bath. (Oh, you didn’t think I was going to say so I could read it while I was using the toilet, right? I can’t read more than a sentence while I’m in the bathroom. Like all my other personal time, it’s pretty much nonexistent… Anyway…) I was casually making my way through the little book of 146 pages, when lo and behold, he begins to speak about couples in the Bible, at the end of chapter 2 (entitled, One plus One) who do you think got the “Ideal couple award?” You guessed it, Aquila and Priscilla.

I’ll try not to type out the entire excerpt from this chapter, it’s a bit wordy, I’ll aim to stick to key points. (No promises though, I always failed in school when I was supposed to write a paragraph using 400-500 words, I’d have too many words, whittle it down to the bare minimum and still, I’d have a 700 word paragraph… I like words.)

“In the ideal marriage, the husbands loving leadership is supported by a wife who respects his position as head of the home. Within their respective roles, husband and wife share family responsibilities. He takes pride in his work and is a good provider. As manager of the household, the wife uses her talents to meet the needs of the family. Husband and wife exchange views and respect each others opinions. At the heart of this sharing relationship is a deep spiritual oneness that brings stability and unity to their home and marriage.
Aquila and Priscilla had this kind of give-and-take marriage. (See Acts 18:1-3,26; Romans 16:3- 5.) Lets take a closer look at this… couple and see why their marriage was such a success.”

He goes on to talk about their individual backgrounds, of Priscilla’s high social standing, and obvious clash of cultures you find within this couple.

“We read of him [Aquila] first at Pontus, then at Rome, later at Corinth and Ephesus, then back to Rome and at Ephesus again.
In spite of their gypsy-like lifestyle, Priscilla always followed her husband… Priscilla… must have faced many situations with a stiff upper lip.
During one of the first Jewish persecutions, Aquila was expelled from Rome. At this point, Priscilla’s loyalty to her husband may have been tested, but she was determined to follow him, if need be, the ends of the earth.”

Ward spends some time talking about the business they set up in Corinth, and of how Paul began to refer to them as “my helpers in Christ.” When Paul decided to go to Ephesus, they liquidated their assets, and moved with him.

“With their assets, they invested in a spacious home and began a “church… in their house” (Romans 16:5). They unselfishly opened their home to neighbors and started having services. Think of the sacrifice involved as Priscilla put the cause of Jesus Christ ahead of her furniture, her privacy and her security. She wanted her home to be used for the work of the gospel.
Paul pays high tribute to Aquila and Priscilla saying that they were willing to lay down their… necks” to save his life (Romans 16:4). Ten years later, some of Paul’s fellow-workers had fallen away, but not these two. In his final letter the apostle bids farewell to his friends, “Salute Prisca and Aquila” (2 Timothy 4:19)
Their witness for Jesus remained firm, and their marriage testified to the strong bond of love and always together: “Aquila and Priscilla,” or “Priscilla and Aquila.”


Imagine all that, imagine you were her, imagine you were him. Imagine the extreme relationship functionality required to lead a life such as that.

My prayer is that Mark and I will continue to grow toward God, together, so that we can walk in the fullness of what God has for our lives. So that we can step into the fullness of our destiny. So that we can further His kingdom, even through small ways, such as opening our home to whomever needs a place.

Perhaps someday we’ll reach a point that we could be used as an example in a book as “the ideal couple.”

Friday, August 1, 2008

A look at Priscilla - the outline

Here is the short list of scripture references that mention Priscilla; Acts 18:2-3, Acts 18:18-21, Acts 18:24-28, Romans 16:3-5 and 2 Timothy 4:19. I will post the actual scripture that I’m referring to later on, but here is just a brief summery of each segment of scripture.

  • Priscilla and Aquila were Corinth when Paul met them, they were there because all Jews were forced to leave Rome, they all worked together making tents. They were together in Corinth about a year and a half. (Acts:18:2-3)
  • They then sailed with Paul to Syria and then “as far as Ephesus.” Paul left them at that point, they remained there. (Acts 18:18-21)
  • Priscilla and Aquila meet Apollos, they take him aside, (though it doesn’t say to where or for how long) they teach him, he goes his way. (Acts 18:24-28)
  • Eventually they went back to Rome and had a home church there. (Romans 16:3-5)
    Some years later they ended up back in Ephesus, still hosting a church in their home. (2Timonthy 4:19)

That’s basically all that you can realistically gather from scripture about this couple. There are obviously other information resources that look deeper into time and circumstance, however, strictly from reading about them in the bible, this is it.

Now, you may at this point be feeling like “So what? This lady moved a lot, whatever…” But if you look into her circumstances and place yourself in her shoes, you’ll find there is a wealth of character in her.

The first thing that stood out to me about Priscilla, or rather about this couple, is that their names were ALWAYS mentioned together, and never in a particular order. Never once was one name said that you didn’t immediately read the other. What does this say about there relationship? What does this say about there ministry?

The Second thing that stood out to me, which dramatically goes along with the first thing, is that Priscilla probably wasn’t Jewish, biblical scholars agree that she was probably Roman and of a high standing family. She didn’t have to leave Rome, only her Jewish husband did, She went with him though, and left a position of comfort, influence and reputation to follow her husband. (Not to mention, she left her family there)

The third thing that stood out to me was Priscilla’s hospitality. After just 2 years of marriage, I’ve found that when we open our home to someone, it’s not really Mark that cares what it looks like, or what we have to offer the people that come. It’s me, as the woman of the house I feel a sense of responsibility to serve the people that enter out home, whether it’s for a few minuets or for a year. Priscilla’s record of hospitality is incredible, she just didn’t take a break opening up her home to the local church body. How exhausting that must have been from time to time. Wherever they moved, their house was open as a place to fellowship with other believers.
The fourth thing, which I suppose isn’t really just specific to Priscilla, but rather the early church as a whole, is there commonality. I know that in our recent attraction to the “hippie commune” we’ve earned ourselves some strange looks and a bit of a weirdo reputation. Which is partly why it’s been something we’ve kept on the down low, but we’ll let you know when we’ve transcended from closet communers (don’t worry, I didn’t say communists) to public communers. At any rate, I thought it was so cool that Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers, and so was Paul, that’s their original purpose that they started living together, they worked on there common trade. They weren’t just doing “church ministry” all the time, but were using their skills to earn money for their ministry. I’ve read that from time to time, Paul would stick to one place for a while in order to make enough tents to sell and then use that money to keep him going in ministry, probably until he ran out of money and needed to sell more tents. Seriously, read about the financial state of the early church, it makes so much sense. It’s inspiring! (Maybe that will be my next topic of study to post up here?…)

So, That’s pretty much what I’ll be focusing on for the time being. Remember, this is just what God’s got me hanging on for a while, I don’t know if it’s going to make any difference to you at all. Blogging is the new paperless journal I guess…

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Zealand Parenting... what?

Its been so long, I'll probably end up posting a million things this week. (I don't like posting a bunch of subjects all at once, I'll usually write about a specific thing, then post a second one, once the subject changes.)

A while back I had a post on American Parenting, boy, do I have something for you!

New Zealand Parenting!

Here's an article I found on the yahoo home page last week;


WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A family court judge in New Zealand has had enough with parents giving their children bizarre names here, and did something about it.

Just ask Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. He had her renamed.
Judge Rob Murfitt made the 9-year-old girl a ward of the court so that her name could be changed, he said in a ruling made public Thursday. The girl was involved in a custody battle, he said.
The new name was not made public to protect the girl's privacy.
"The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name," he wrote. "It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily."
The girl had been so embarrassed at the name that she had never told her closest friends what it was. She told people to call her "K" instead, the girl's lawyer, Colleen MacLeod, told the court.

In his ruling, Murfitt cited a list of the unfortunate names.
Registration officials blocked some names, including Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit, he said. But others were allowed, including Number 16 Bus Shelter "and tragically, Violence," he said.
New Zealand law does not allow names that would cause offense to a reasonable person, among other conditions, said Brian Clarke, the registrar general of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Clarke said officials usually talked to parents who proposed unusual names to convince them about the potential for embarrassment.





Yeah, need I say more?

Although, Number 16 Bus Shelter does have a ring to it...

Priscilla

I’ve mentioned our women’s bible study before, I love it, it’s so nice to spend time worshiping and studying the word with woman older, younger, and the same age as me. (half of those mentioned are related to me… man, I wish more ladies would come to it!) I’ve been so blessed by our current series, it’s just “woman of the bible,” each person is assigned a woman from the bible (bet you didn’t see that one coming) to study and research, and then when we come together we share whatever it was about our woman’s story, or life, or the way she was mentioned, that stood out to us. The profound things that have come up and out of these “common” stories is incredible. So far, in the few months that we’ve been doing this kind of study, we’ve probably covered over 25 different woman. It’s really cool how each time a new woman is covered there is not just a different thing to talk about, but there’s even a different way to represent her story. There has been poems read, and songs played that were specific to what the researcher got out of it. There has been stories written out of creative liberty about the biblical woman, there has been prophetic acts meant for specific woman attending the bible study that have come out of what we’ve learned from studying the woman mentioned in the bible. Even the bad girls of the bible, are teaching us things, God saw fit to have them mentioned, and a large amount of them are actually in Jesus blood line. I’m just having a really good time with it!

A funny thing though, is that I’m just caught up in one of the woman that I was assigned to. I was given Priscilla to study, and I knew who she was, I just didn’t know a lot about her. Her name is spoken only several times, scattered here and there throughout the New Testament, but, something about her just struck a chord with me. This woman has so many things about her that I admire, so many attributes that I long to have. She was one cool chick.

I’m thinking about (mostly for my own study purposes) posting a series on Priscilla and her different character traits that stand out to me, I’m going to continue along with our woman’s Bible study, but in my personal study time, I feel God’s asking me to hang on her for a while longer. So, If your confused by a plethora of posts entitled Priscilla, that’s what’s going down. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A little photo update

So, yesterday, I said I was going to help paint the trim, I totally lied. I didn't even touch a paint brush apart from handing it to Mark.



I'm not sure how the crowbar was helping daddy, but Gideon sure was proud of it!







However, I did do something worth while, at least it was a fun learning experience. :-)

V



I took a pair of 7th grade "oh-so-punk" plaid pants (not so cute for a mom) and made a long pair of play shorts for Gideon, and a pair of plaid Bermudas for me (Which is a little more on the trendy side than the pants)
I got the idea for the play shorts from Danica's Blog, and kind of just ran with it. I sowed it by hand and made SO may mistakes.
At first I was happy with the way the top part turned out, but the legs were too wide, it looked like he was wearing a skirt, or kilt at best. :-) So I took in the legs from the inseam, which made the top too small to adequately cover a diapered bum. But they're good for around the house, and I think if I put a long shirt on with them he'll be able to wear them elsewhere.
The other mistake that I made (in a very pregnant brainless moment) was on the front of the shorts I sowed the seam inside out. I'm not sure if you can see it in the photo, but I made a pretend fly and sowed on a button to cover up the seam. I think
it made them look cuter too. :-)
I've been in such a sowing mood for months, I'm glad to start finally getting it out of my system, I've been looking on-line for all sorts of patterns/ideas, and have so many projects bouncing around in my head!
P.S. The pants were fresh out of the wash, I'm hoping they'll stretch a little on me and won't be so, um... fitted.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Martian Child

Oh yeah, before I forget, another FANTASTIC movie that we saw the other night, Martian Child, it was very cute, very touching, very thought provoking and very clean. John Cusack, PG movie, highly pro-adoption. And Please tell me you’re planning on watching Bella, you’d be dumb not to. No offence. :-)

A little white wash should do the trick

I'm SO excited, in just a few min.'s Mark and I are going to go paint our trim! Well, Marks going to paint, I'm going to help a little, (whatever I can reach without climbing a ladder.) :-) The trim in our front yard is in dire need of a new coat. Once the trim is finished, we’ll then hang (hopefully) our new window boxes! YAY! Our front yard has looked a little trashy since we’ve been here. We use the back of our house as the entrance and that’s where you park as well, so we’ve pretty much kept up that side of the house, the front… not so much. Our primary outdoor goal this summer is getting the front looking a little less shabby, I think for the most part it’s getting there (considering the budget we have for it.) :-)


Mark has been SO faithful to use his days off to do some yard/house work even if it’s just a little bit at a time. Last week he pulled all of our trees out of our gutter garden. WHAT A MAN!
I can’t wait to be able to plant a few things, even if they’re just shrubs! My garden in the front is in a bloom change, where as all of the early summer flowers are pretty much gone and now the later summer flowers are just blossoming. I’m happy with it, though it could be much better. (I don’t actually spend much time in the garden.) I’m sure once we get a fenced in area for Gideon to play in I’ll have more of a chance to work in my garden, for now ~ I pull one weed, chase Gideon to keep him from going near the road, water one plant, chase Gideon, pull another weed, chase Gideon, rotate a potted plant, chase Gideon… ~ I usually end up forgetting the weeds and just start playing with Gideon. ~Water Gideon while I’m chasing him.~ It’s all about consolidating your chores, right!?!


Tell me about your outdoor chores/hopes this summer. I’d love to hear about them.


Maybe I’ll post a few photos for your viewing pleasure. ‘Til then, I’m off to beautify our little corner of the world.

Friday, July 18, 2008

3 - 2 - 1 - AAANND - AUCTION

Ah, contractions. I know that the little “Brackston Hicks” are helpful, and once it comes times to push this little babe out, I’ll be ever so thankful for the practice and muscle conditioning, but now… they’re just annoying.

This morning Gideon and I headed out to a local church to prepare for a big fundraising auction that takes place tomorrow. I’m excited about it, Mark and I (mostly Mark, I can’t see myself really making it through the long haul of the day) are heading up the youth volunteer portion of the auction. Which as far as I know is really just making sure everyone is in place, drinking enough water, working efficiently… The reason I’m so excited about this is because I really believe in the ministry that it’s helping out and I love that all of the churches and perishes are working together so efficiently despite denominational differences. This morning after holding hands in a circle while we opened in prayer, someone asked what congregations were represented there, everyone but one woman stated their name and church and she said “Oh, I’m a heathen, but I’m excited to help out here.” Though I’m sorry that she doesn’t have an eternal assurance of her salvation, I was thankful that she didn’t feel intimidated by the “churches,” and still saw the cause as a worth while one. : )

I had to leave early today because it was SO hot I was totally over heated, I looked like a lobster and Gideon needed his morning nap as well. After getting home and putting him in bed I lied on the couch and put my feet up, “Holy cow! My feet look like balloons!” I thought, when I finally got a chance to see them. “Elevate feet, drink water, try to rest,” the theme song of my summer. : ) I’ve been battling nausea and contractions off and on since then, hence the thought of not wanting to force myself to make it through the whole day of auctioning tomorrow. Especially because we have a wedding to go to in the afternoon, and I’d like to fit in my shoes.

It’s always hard to get our youth group kids involved in stuff that’s not the “super fun all about me kind of stuff,” not that these kids are overly selfish compared to any other group of young adults, I just think that the overall spirit of the youth in our little group is a little on the lazy side. I think we have a decent amount of kids committed to showing up tomorrow, but today we just had 2, and one of them is a Jr. Leader, or whatever Jake likes to call them. (They’re like the up and coming youth leaders.) So anyway, THANKS CHRIS AND JARON! You’re muscles today were very appreciated!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Footprints in the fryingpan


How do things happen? As a mom (I know I say this all the time when blogging, but hey, that’s what’s on my mind…) I keep getting hit with this sense of aw as to how some things happen, nothing big, just little, totally out of the norm, kind of things. Several weeks ago I was going to make stir fry, I pulled out my frying pan, and there were 2 little Gideon sized foot prints in it. I know Gideon had been playing with the pots and pans, but footprints… common, that’s just weird.
:: A few days ago Gideon was refusing to nap, every so often he does this, I think he wants to see just how far I’ll let him go before rescuing him. Usually when he dose this he’ll cry for like 20 min’s, give up, and fall asleep. But the other day he cried for an hour and a half, with no sign of stopping. I went up to his room and he just looked SO tired, but was refusing to sleep. My thought process was as follows, “He really needs a nap. He’s so tired, he’s just being stubborn. If I let him get up now, what will happen tomorrow? He’ll probably cry for over 2 hours. He wants to nurse, I can’t get him up!” And before I knew it I was hoisting my big pregnant body into his crib, I lied down with him to nurse, within 2 min.’s he was out like a light “What am I doing in here? Now I’m stuck! If I try to climb out it’ll wake him up, gosh, I wish I had a pillow…” We napped in his crib for about an hour, I woke with an incredibly stiff neck. I slept in a crib… what the heck?
:: This morning Gideon has been a bit whinny/clingy, I finally got him occupied long enough to run to the bathroom to pee, as I was sitting there I realized “wow, my toenail polish is really chipped,” so I grabbed the bottle of red nail polish and globed it on, the task was complete before I was done peeing. It was a sloppy job, but the task was accomplished… Why am I painting my toenails while I’m on the toilet?
:: We have a little basket of bath toys hanging in our shower, it’s totally normal to see a few rubber duckies and squirting toys… why is my pampered chef rubber spatula in the shower, and why haven‘t I taken it out yet?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good Movie

I just finished watching a movie with Nessa, it was wonderful! I'm into independent movies, often you get a lousy story with too much swearing, but sometimes, like today, you find a beautiful film. And beautiful it actually is, the movie is called Bella. It's a little confusing at first but by the end it all makes sense. Everyone should see it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Photos

By the way, I'm beginning to post photos on my separate little photo blog, it’s just easier for me that way… just go to “my complete profile” under the “about me” spot and scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on photo’s. Enjoy! (FYI… There’s a picture of me in my ridiculous tu-tu at my birthday party.)

American parenting; Where has your common sense gone?

Wow, it’s been almost a whole month since last I blogged, and now, once again, I’m sort of lost as to all that I could go on about. I have a bunch of stuff already written out that I was putting together to comment on Rissa’s site… perhaps I’ll go with that. :-) (My secret is that I’m a terrible speller, so I go into Word, type up my stuff, than copy and paste it into my blog… just easier that way.) :-)
The subject I was commenting on from Rissa’s page, was “You’re still breastfeeding?!?“ (www.mamarissa.com) When Gideon was 6 months old someone said to me “you know, you can wean him now.” I just stated that we’d continue breastfeeding Gideon longer than what was considered “normal” in our culture, and I think she mostly understood. I’ve run into a little judgment when people discover that I am 22 weeks pregnant and still nursing my 17 month old. I’m often asked (or told) “Isn’t that really dangerous for the baby! Doesn’t that cause a miscarriage?” The other funny thing is that people from my church, (or other people who knew that I was doing “extended breastfeeding”) will go out of their way to ask if I am still nursing. As if they know that I’m just some crazy, barefoot, anti-vaccine, attachment parenting psycho and the confirmation of continued breastfeeding is fuel for the flame of speculation.
After becoming a parent I was ABSOLUTLY ASTONISHED at the complete lack of common sense in the world of American parenting. Not just as far as breastfeeding is concerned but almost every aspect of it. EG A) People find out you have your child on a different vaccine schedule (mind you, not anti-vaccine, just a different schedule) than what is commonly used, and people say “You can Do that?!?” “Yes, as the parent, I have the right to decide.” B) Your baby cuts his first tooth and you hear, “Oh, time to start weaning, you wouldn’t want to get bit.” “Well, I’ll just teach him not to do it, he is rather inelegant.” C) “Sorry parents we aren’t allowed to sell ANY cold medicine for infants, apparently some people’s thought process was, ‘if a ¼ tsp. works to alleviate the symptoms, than 2 tsp.’s will kick the cold right out!’” “uhg…” D) “Your baby’s not sleeping through the night yet?!?” “No, he’s only 4 months old, he still needs to nurse throughout the night.” D continued) “He’s not eating any solids yet?!?” “No, he doesn’t have any teeth (being 4 months old, you know) I feel as though operating within the principle of design would mean to not feed him any solids until he at least has 4 teeth for chewing.” E) “Your son has a bit of a runny nose, just bring him to the Dr., he’ll get some antibiotics and he’ll be just fine” “Hello super bugs!” F) Or the whole idea that your child watching Baby Einstein movies can in some way teach your child more than consistent interaction with a parent, doing creative play or otherwise. Man, people are so ridiculous! I don’t believe that these people who say these things are stupid, I just feel as though they don’t recognize their right, or ability to make appropriate decisions for their children.
Anyway, I was told by a well meaning relative several months ago “Well, if you keep letting him nurse he won’t wean for a VERY long time!” “Yes, I know, and I’m actually okay with that.” Was my reply. I didn’t really know what to say. Of course that would happen, and I didn’t really see why it was such a bad thing not to wean for a VERY long time. Gideon was 10 months when she said this. It’s not like he was 4 years old. I think a lot of people think that if you let your child nurse when they desire to, or do child led weaning, you’re giving them some sort of unmerited power over your life that they ought not to have. I wonder what she would say if she knew I was 21 weeks pregnant and still breastfeeding my son. Hmm…
And by the way, I think my milk is almost dried up, but Gideon mostly likes to pacify anyway. Our usual routine is to sit down before bed, he snuggles one of his stuffed animals (usually monkey) and holds his sippy cup, and nurses, sips from his cup, nurses, sips from his cup… It works well for us. The other night though, we sat down and he refused the breast, he just snuggled into me and drank from his sippy cup. “So this is how child led weaning really works” I thought, it was a little sad, but mostly pleasant. The next day in the early morning he lied down with me in bed and nursed for a good 25 minutes, and was more interested in nursing throughout the day than usual. But it was just encouraging to know that child led weaning is working for us, and that even if Gideon does feel the need to increase his nursing time once his baby brother comes along, it’ll be okay. I think many mothers over analyze every single step of motherhood to the point that there’s not much room for just reacting naturally to their children‘s needs. Breastfeeding, which is so natural; within the principle of design, is just a part of mothering. God has naturally given woman an ability not only to feed their babies, but to care for and nurture them as well. The best parenting advise that I EVER received was from my mom, “Just be led by the Holy Spirit, listen as God guides you. He cares for every aspect of our lives, certainly for parenting decisions.” God has given us decision making skills, he’s given us a good dose of common sense, if only we would seize the opportunity to use it, I think our children would be much better off. And in the areas where I think I have chosen to use my God given common sense, It’s been so nice to see the positive evidence of following Gods lead as I raise Gideon. Mothering, it’s a wonderful job!