Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hi friends!

Right now I’m chuckling to myself… remember that last post??? Yeah… that didn’t work the way I thought it was going to. Anyway, 3 months later and here we are. : )

So much has happened and I have too little time to tell you all about it.

Right now I’m trying to prepare for tonight’s Christmas party, bake pumpkin cheesecake bites (I’ll have to share the recipe soon!) and clean my house for when my mother-in-law comes to baby-sit… also, I have a very active 1 year old climbing all over me. Why am I blogging now? Well, because we haven’t had internet for months and we just randomly picked up a weak signal… I’m seizing opportunity. : )

The herbalist certification is slow going, but that’s okay, I knew it would take a while.

Gideon is growing like some sort of crazy smart, large vocabulary weed. I love it, he’s always coming up with the silliest of things. He loves “playing bass” just like daddy and keeps saying that in “Freb-ry-ary” he’ll be 3 and then he’ll be able to drive. When we tell him that 3 year olds are not allowed to drive he says, “okay, well, when I’m 6.” He is also completely potty trained, even through the night!

Silas is wonderful, he’s been walking since just a few weeks after his first step at 8 ½ months! He’s working on getting all 4 first year molars at once and has several delightful curls all around the back of his head. He also thinks that his big brother is the singly most, cool person in the world.

We’ve sort of, after a really long evolution of sleeping arrangements, graduated to a “family bed.” Which we know will not be permanent, but for now, in this stage of our lives, it’s good.

Mark no longer works for Verizon Wireless. We aren’t sure what the next step for us will be, but we are excited! Someday I will have to tell you the whole line of events that brought us to where we are now. We have been seeking God for what’s to come next, and so far, we haven’t heard much. But we are open to anything, including relocation. For now, Mark is just home with us, which is wonderful, especially because we’ve all been sick back and forth for weeks. He’s also trying his hand at wood working, something he’s wanted to do for a long time, but hasn’t had a chance, ‘til now.

Life is beautiful. We love Jesus, and everyday our little family becomes stronger.

Merry Christmas, peace and blessing to you and your family.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tryin Structure

I’m not a very structured person. I don’t mind. It’s not like my life is a big hairy ball of chaos, I just don’t eat my meals at the same time everyday, sometimes I dance instead of washing the dishes. Sometimes I clean the whole house one day, and do absolutely nothing “productive” the next day… it’s just how I roll. I like it that way, my kids are learning flexibility, which is really important to me.

However- (there is always a However, or is it an However? At any rate) I’m going to try some structure, we’ll see how it goes. : )

I’m going to be taking an Herbalist certification class. I’m really excited about it. I am taking the class from a mom of one of the girls that attend our Youth Group. I can do it all from home and can work at my own pace. So cool!

I’m thinking that in order to keep myself regularly studying, I’m going to need a few things that are daily, some things that are consistent. So, I’m going to attempt to do a little studying every day, hopefully around the same time everyday. I’m also going to see if I can post something on my blog everyday. I’ve devised a plan. A schedule of sorts, I know this is nothing new to the blogging world, just something new to me and theramblingsof. : )

Here it goes - When I get about a week ahead of myself I will start posting, and we’ll see how long it lasts.
I’ll be posting:
Sunday’s Song - Sharing the lyrics to a song that has been specifically meaningful to me, I always have a few for the moment, no matter what moment it is.
Miscellaneous Monday - obviously, I’ll be posting something that doesn’t really have a category.
Tuesday’s tip - Sharing about something that’s been helpful/useful for us.
Wordless Wednesday - I love when people do those, just a picture, no explanation, it seems so artful doesn’t it? I’ll post a photo, and not write up anything about. I will, however (see, there it is again), allow myself to write something in the comments section, in regard to questions about the photo.
Theology Thursday - It’s where I’ll pretend to be deep. ; ) Theology (the-ol-o-gy) 1. Study of religion: study of religion, especially the Christian faith and Gods relation to the world.
For Fun Friday - Something goofy, like tu-tu’s and sidewalk chalk, like giggles and bubbles.
Silent Saturday - I’ll not post anything this day.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Love is worth it

Oh to be like Jesus.

My soul is in a hurricane of sorts. The atmosphere of this home is one of strife and turmoil. My poor son, 2 ½ years old, dealing bitterly with his sinful nature, this small person, so very much human. I can see that both his 2 year old sized body and 2 year old sized mind are being overwhelmed with all that it is to be human. His strong will, his sinful urges, his raw emotion. I can see just how exhausted he is from putting up this fight, yet how unwilling he is to yield to peace.

I see me.

I see the tumult within myself as I try to suppress the actions that want to make a raging display as my toddler does the same.

I need to find a shelter from the storm. I need to find a place that, despite my surroundings, is peaceful and calm and collected.

It’s 10:00 am, and Gideon is taking his nap now. 2 hours early. He needed the rest. Me too.

To live love is my prayer. To show true love, even amidst adversity, is the greatest thing I could accomplish in this life. I want to do it in my home, behind closed doors, in view of the ones that need me to show them the most love.

It’s quiet.


I just realized that I chose my “Birthing- playlist 2” mix on i-tunes.

To give birth to love is painful. It is difficult and just when you think you can’t do it, just when you think it will never end, just when you think that to die would be better, you start pushing, pressing, releasing and then… love is here.

Love is no easy feat.

Love is worth it.

It’s worth the slaying of your selfishness. It’s worth yielding to peace. It’s worth the sacrifice of will. It’s worth the submission of the need to defend yourself.

Love is worth it.

“… Love; joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”

I want to be like Jesus. I want to love, truly.

The hurricane has died down. Strife and turmoil are far from here. Love reigns.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

blogging = nice>opinion

You know what’s rough? Being nice AND opinionated. Overall, I’m a nice person. I don’t mean to say that I can’t be mean or can’t put up a fuss, I’m just saying that I don’t like to. I’m the person that would rather drink the disgusting chocolate tomato espresso shake that the girl behind the counter accidentally made for me, than to make a fuss about not getting the chocolate mint frappe that I ordered, potentially ruining this girls confidence as a barista … you know?

With that said…

I’m naturally a very opinionated person. I tend to have opinions on nearly everything, and if I get started, I could easily go on for far too long, stating my reasons and my arguments for why I believe what I believe.

This internal tug of war has lead me to write complete rants and essays on subjects that I deem important, that I never end up posting. They sit safely tucked away in my Microsoft Word Processor, never stating controversy, never rocking the boat.

I have opinions on this too… If I heard someone saying this, I’d say “Well, what else do you keep a blog for? If people like what they read, they’ll keep reading, if they don’t like what they’re reading, they’ll stop reading…” Easier said than done I guess.

I keep saying on facebook that I’m blogging, but never post stuff on my blog… this is why.

Birth Control
Fear based parenting
Breast feeding

I just want to be nice. I don’t want to offend you. As my lovely sister would say; “I really need to grow a pair“.. Or do I?

P.S. As I’m reading this over before I post, I’m chuckling to myself because in my fictional example I had to put an absurd drink to be the “disgusting one” because I didn’t want to accidentally put one of your favorite drinks… ugh!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

My how I’ve missed you! How I long to spend hours typing my thoughts, and send them into cyber space where I feel they receive some sense of validation.

I cannot describe the endless amounts of blogging topics that have run through my mind, a snapshot here, a quote there, sprinkled with little stories of my life. Alas- these things have been lost to cyber space. Only to be held in some secret part of my mind. Like Mary, Jesus’ mother, I shall take these things and ponder them in my heart. For after all, this is what I was told to do. To take a step back from the public eye, and spend this time away from you, to learn first, loneliness, and through that, dependence on my God, Jehovah.

That is not to say it has been easy, nor is to say I will never return. I simply must be obedient to the things I have been instructed to do.

Good bye again -


:: Mood- a little dramatic. Can you tell?

:: Kids- growing at what I deem to be an unnatural rate. TOO FAST! Beautiful, loving, teething, challenging, briliant.

:: Husband- still as goofy and corny as ever. Loved by me more now, than ever. Can’t wait to start his own business. Tired of working “for the man.” Just told me how much he LOVES the “Burts Bees Shave Cream” that we bought a few weeks ago.

:: House - Getting there. AND my beautiful sister Joy moved in with us! YAY! I’m helping her get dreadlox (I’ve seen so many spellings for that, I went with the fun one) That is not why she moved in. I’m just telling you because it’s fun. : )

:: Garden - LOVLY! Spinach. Peas. Beets. Garlic. Tomato’s. Carrots. Peppers. Flowers.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hi again!

Hi friends! Just a few things...

:: Computer screen - still broken, but we were given a replacement monitor! YAY!

:: Now we just need to get internet... then again, maybe not. : ) I can now do Facebook on my phone... I just like to keep in touch with people who I usually wouldn't get to keep in touch with. So, I'm in no hurry for yet another distraction... again!

:: I'm trying my hand at a new routine system. Maybe I'll share it some time in detail. For now I'll just say I'm finally having some inspiration as to how to arrange my day, around my husbands ever changing schedule.

:: Garden - coming along!!! Couldn't be happier about that! : ) Someday I'll share the book I've gone by.

:: I'm going to blog much less frequently... lol, I know, you can't blog much less than I have been lately, but I'm feeling inspiration to write. Just not blogs. I'm going to spend some time actually working on my other projects, and try to release some of the ideas I have zooming around my head.

:: I'll still be posting stuff, but I'm going to use the ramblingsof as more of just a rambling outlet - you know, like small talk over coffee, and a glance at my photo albums. That's what I intended this blog to be - an it's going back to it's roots. : )

:: My kids are doing so well!!! Silas is growing to be huge! He has 2 teeth! Gideon is growing so quick, and I'm feeling a little apprehensive about raising a child as brilliant as he is... I know that sounds silly, but really, he's very smart, and I'm just not so sure how up to the challenge I am. It's good to know God chose me to give him to, so at least I know God thinks I can do it, which really, is what counts. : )

:: I still miss everyone, but I have a secret to tell you... I still read your blogs - but I do it on my phone, so commenting is really... well, actually I think it's impossible, if it's not impossible, it's at least really hard. : ) So I hear what's going on with you, and if you're looking to see what's going on over here - Facebook me some time. =D

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Hello, anybody out there?

Just wanted to say that I am loving my blogging vacation. : )

God is doing a lot in my heart. The kinds of things that are so deep and so secret that you can hardly put it into words. The kinds of things that make you excited about life, and looking forward to all the rest that God is going to do. Do you know what I mean?

Things are good, life is good, God is good. I love my boys, and even though Gideon is 2 now... my boys are good too! : )

I do miss everyone though. : )

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

R and R by force


I'll be back when I can... here and there.

I'm thankful for a little forced break. ; )

I think next time will be - "Basement... here it is!" Or "Gideon and his butterflies." : )


Sunday, March 1, 2009

A misty dream

Funny, what comes forth from your soul, when you have a creative avenue.

I am very tired of winter. Looking forward to spring, because I know it will come. Eventually.

It’s cold, gloomy, lonely and at times, ferocious. I just want things to be warm, and sunny. I want mild weather. I want the lovely rain of springtime and the flowers that it brings.

And then I realize; this “season” in my life, and for a lot of other people, feels very much like winter. It’s a winter that has lasted in one way or another, for about a year. I look forward to springtime. I want things to feel warm and welcoming again. I want a cool soaking rain, and I want the flowers to poke their heads out again. I want sunshine, and I want rainbows. I want EVERYTHING to be okay. Not just for me, but for all the people that I love.

I look forward to springtime - in so many ways. I know it will come. Eventually.

I enjoy my “magnetic poetry kit” so much. It was my very first Mothers day present. Quite fitting actually, even if I just have a minute or two, I can form a poetic phrase. I’m always shocked as to what comes out, which words stand out to me, and how I put them together.

Indeed, I am anticipating springtime, in so many ways. I suppose, winter is what makes springtime so enjoyable.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Husban!

I just want to take some time to talk about my husband.

Because really, he’s quite wonderful!

I came down with a pretty hearty sinus/head cold. (Can you catch a virus via blog? Because I read about sick people, then came down with something… just wondering…)

I was feeling awful, Silas had the same kind of thing that I did, so we were up a lot. Mark was exhausted because Gideon had decided to wake up extra early. We got in bed after a long, long day, and, despite his exhaustion, he immediately pulled out our massage book. He was looking up acupressure points for relieving sinus pressure and neck/shoulder pain. I didn’t ask for it, at all, he just did it. (It actually helped quite a bit, it was temporary relief, but relief just the same.)

Here’s the thing though, Mark didn’t get up with Gideon because I was sick. Mark didn’t search our book shelves for the massage book. Mark got up with Gideon because that’s what he does. Every morning that he doesn’t have to work opening shift, he gets up with Gideon. Mark knew exactly where the massage book was, because it’s always right by our bed, because nearly every night he massages my feet, or my shoulders, or my arms, or my back, or my face (which sounds kind of weird, but feels incredible!) Obviously, because he has a book to reference, he’s not just doing a half hearted, lazy massage. He cares enough to spend at least a few minutes before each massage to check certain pressure points, techniques, or special information about the area that he’s working on. I know that’s not normal. My husband is extraordinary!

I could go on writing page after page of all the amazing things he does, and all the wonderful things I love about Mark. I will, however only keep it at this - he loves me so much, and he figures out how to show me that he does. I feel that I don’t deserve him, which is why I’m so thankful that love is not something you must deserve.

I genuinely love to spend time with him. He is my best friend. He is my favorite.

I know not all of my readers are married, but for those of you who are, I encourage you to take some time to see how your spouse is showing you that he loves you. So I guess, consider yourself tagged - Tell me how great your spouse is too. : ) Remember that no one is perfect, and most are almost completely flawed, but focusing on even just a small act of kindness is unusually uplifting. The really great part about speaking good of another, is you can’t speak wrong of them at the same time! : ) Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it might impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speak be put away from you, with malice. (assuming malice is already put away from you… if it’s not, do it all at once.) And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

P.S. I have to give my beautiful sister-in-law special credit, because she gave me the massage book along with some wonderful massage lotion a few years ago for Christmas. Thanks Kate!

P.P.S. For those of you not married, just pick someone, anyone, to write about. Or write about Jesus, we all need to hear about how wonderful He is. : )

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ethical consumerism - Save more, live better?

~Lifestyle - Reducing our standard of living. Looking at every possible way to “cut back.” Sharing, blessing, giving. Selflessness. ~

So, I feel a little silly. The other day, at my parents house, Mark was looking up his usual on-line news sites. There was a little news clip that said something about lowering your standard of living. “Cool, can you play that? It’s kind of funny, that I’ve been blogging about it, and here’s a clip on the same sort of thing.” with a bit of a giggle in his voice he said “Jane, the “standard of living” topic is all over the place. That’s kind of the new biggest news coverage stuff.” “Oh, uh, well, okay. That’s what I get for staying home with the kids all day, with no internet, no TV reception and only the tri-county newspaper to keep me up to date.” : )

APPARENTLY, Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock has had this “standard of living” stuff coming at them from all sides. So, if I’ve simply been redundant , in adding to the clamor of abc, nbc, cnn, fox news and all the others out there. I’m sorry. Truly I am. I do, however, hope that, unlike the standard media, I have helped to shed a positive light on this subject. I honestly believe that for the average American to WILLFULLY REDUCE their standard of living would be a really good thing. Not because you have to, not because you’re fearful in the presence of a sickly economy, but because you want to have more. More to share, more to bless with, more to give.

Walmart’s new catch phrase is “save more, live better.” (I like “rollback with a smile” better… why’d they have to go and try to get sophisticated? It’s Walmart for goodness sake!) Anyway - I’m still not sure how I feel about this new catch phrase. If the idea of saving, is cutting back on excessive spending, and the idea of living better is living with a higher commitment to charity;

char·i·ty n
1. organization providing charity: an organization that collects money and other voluntary contributions of help for people in need
2. provision of help: the voluntary provision of money, materials, or help to people in need
3. material help: money, materials, or help voluntarily given to people in need
4. tolerant attitude: the willingness to judge people in a tolerant or favorable way
5. impartial love: the impartial love of other people, especially as a Christian virtue

[12th century. Via French charité < Latin caritas < carus "dear"]
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Then I’m all for it. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what they mean… We can, however, glean from this slogan, and choose to save, in order to live more charitably, better.

I read somewhere (disclaimer- I’m just passing along a rumor, I believe it, but quote me not, and do not consider this your daily history lesson) that the idea of a “standard of living” was concocted by the US government, shortly after the industrial revolution. They realized that the average American no longer needed to work to survive. I suppose that people understood that their government wouldn’t just let them starve or die from exposure. So, the government came up with ways to encourage Americans to continually aim for a higher standard of living.

But, when is enough , enough?

God save us from the American dream!

“There is enough to meet everyone’s need, not everyone’s greed” - Gandhi

Funny how God works. This morning we were watching Veggie Tales “Gideon - tube warrior” and I was so comforted when I heard “pa grape” say to “Larry the cucumber” “Trust Him [God] Gideon, He’ll never let you down.” Now, as I write, I hear Steve Green singing on i-tunes Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” (This childrens CD is great, “Hide ‘em in your heart” by Steve Green)

I’ll leave you with that.

This concludes “Ethical Consumerism - by Janice Leverenz” Tune in next time to read…

Monday, February 23, 2009

The "sock"

Oh yeah, here's the sock. I still laugh at myself...

I think I'll keep it. Tucked away as a little reminder, a reminder of so much...

Ethical consumerism - Stewardship, not always what it seems

~Stewardship - When faced with a purchase I ask myself, can I actually afford this? (Which is far different from “do I have the money for…”) I ask myself “Can I do without this, or figure out how to get this in a better way?” I ask, “What could I do with this money that would serve a greater purpose than this item would?” I ask, “If I don’t purchase this, what will I do with this money?”~

In my last post I addressed most of the first 2 questions. “…Can I actually afford this?“ and “Can I do without this, or figure out how to get this in a better way?”

Now I want to spend some time on the second two questions. “What could I do with this money that would serve a greater purpose than this item would?” I ask, “If I don’t purchase this, what will I do with this money?” I know they seem like kind of the same question. And Maybe you would only need to ask yourself the first question. I, however, need the second question in order to keep myself honest where the previous question is concerned. Here’s my example; If I’m in Target (I thoroughly enjoy that store) and I resist buying a pair of black flip flops for $10.00 because I have a brown pair of flip flops, and I have black flats, I reason with myself and say “even though having a black pair and a brown pair of flip flops would be easier, I could certainly be creative enough to find outfits that would work just as well with either brown flip flops, or black flats.” Then I think to myself “Yes, this is good, $10.00 would pay half of my monthly phone bill. Or I could just stick it in our jar of change that we save for the 30 hour famine (a fund raiser through world vision.) $10.00 would feed 10 kids for a day. I certainly don’t need black flip flops.” Here’s where the second question comes into play. On my way home I realize it’s 1:30 and I haven’t eaten lunch yet. I pull into Tim Horton’s and buy a large mint chocolate ice capp, a chicken salad sandwich on a whole wheat bun, and a honey dipped doughnut. It comes to about $10.00. Blast! Instead of buying black flips flops to make my wardrobe a little easier, instead of paying half of my cell phone bill, instead of feeding 10 children for a whole day, I had lunch 20 minutes earlier than I would have if I waited ‘til I got home and made myself lunch. Should have just gone with the flip flops, at least they would have lasted more than 10 minutes.

Do you know what I mean?

Here’s the thing though - I’m not anti-dining out, in fact, just the other night we went to Pizza Hut and had dinner there. But there was thought behind it, thought put into it. Mark had th day off, we had errands to run, youth group at 7:00, and we had to drop Gideon off at my in-laws before youth group. It was nearing dinnertime when we realized it would be crazy hectic to try to run home, make something for dinner, then get all 4 of us back out the door in time for youth group. So instead, we went to Pizza Hut, had a nice time eating together as a family, I was able to nurse Silas while we waited for our food to come, and everything was calm, relaxed and we had some quality time together. Our alternative option would have been much more stressful and Silas would have cried his head off ’til I could sit to nurse him during dinner, making us late for youth group. So, thank you Jesus and thank you Pizza Hut for an alternative to that!

Dining out isn’t JUST what I’m talking about. I’m trying (and maybe not doing very well) to get a point across.

I suppose this is really what I mean to say; A steward is a property manager: somebody who manages somebody else's property, finances, or household
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

If you believe that God has given you your property, finances and household, it is prudent (and far beyond beneficial for everyone) if you give them back to Him. So, if these things are His - consult Him as to what to do with them. I don’t think that the average Bible believing, Jesus loving person is surprised when God leads us to use our money doing something “churchy” like giving to a charity or buying a bag of groceries for a less than well off family. But I personally begin to second guess myself when I start to feel that God wants me to spend money on something less “churchy” like… a pedicure. Yet, several months ago, I did feel that way, and I believe it was God’s leading. My closest girl friend and I have drifted apart a bit, over the last few years (funny how husbands, kids and real jobs will do that, huh?) I honestly believed that God was having me treat my friend, and myself, to a pedicure for her Birthday. And we had a lovely couple of hours together, catching up, and feeling a little closer than we had been. I believe that God was smiling like a father on that sunny autumn afternoon, as he watched 2 woman become 2 little girls again, chatting, giggling relaxing and catching up like they used to. His daughters making time for each other. Doesn’t that seem like something that would make a Daddy happy?

I feel like this kind of thought process can apply to most, if not all money spending situations; What will help build a stage for God to do what he wants?

God, I believe, has created us to be relational. Eating at Pizza Hut, in my opinion was ministry to our family, we didn’t do it out of laziness or neglect, we did it because eating-out was the best dinner situation for us at that point. God wants us to have healthy relationships. Thriving, growing, loving, blessing relationships. If that means God is leading you to treat a friend (and maybe yourself) to a pedicure, at a locally owned, earth friendly salon, then so be it. Because that’s relational ministry, not frivolousness.

P.S. God is so faithful! When you do with God’s money what he wants you to do, he always provides. : ) Always, always, always. Isn’t that incredible?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ethical consumerism - enough really IS enough

~Stewardship - When faced with a purchase I ask myself, can I actually afford this? (Which is far different from “do I have the money for…”) I ask myself “Can I do without this, or figure out how to get this in a better way?” I ask, “What could I do with this money that would serve a greater purpose than this item would?” I ask, “If I don’t purchase this, what will I do with this money?”~ (Ethical consumerism - So it starts)

~I’ve come to realize, to an extent, how frivolous we can be. Last April we went credit card free (don’t admire us, I’ll tell all in the next post.) Since then, when I think “hm, food to eat? Or this pair of shorts for Gideon?” the answer is a no brainer. On our one income, you get creative, or you go without. It’s that simple. Next time I’ll share our story of going credit card free, along with a silly story of my pride. Socks.~ (Ethical consumerism - I expound)

When Mark and I got married we were NOT good with money, and on top of that, we were literally not earning enough to make ends meet. Our solution? Marks credit card. Instead of spending less, we just charged everything. Please don’t go shaking your head at our parents for not educating us on proper money management skills - they taught us, we just chose not to learn from them. To this day, I wish we had. So, to make a long story short, we maxed out, and missed or was late on several payments. Our monthly credit card bill was usually about $400.00, minimum. At that point, Mark was earning enough money for a family of 3 to make ends to meet, but with a bill of $400.00 just to pay the interest on our card, we were in the same financial boat that we had been in. Mark was earning more, but we owed more. So, last year we were referred by a friend to a debt management program, and we enrolled. Payments were much more affordable, we got to chose the day of the month that we paid the bill and there was an end in sight - to be debt free. However, the company that we had our credit card through, has a policy that if you enroll in a debt management program, you MAY NOT OWN/USE ANOTHER CREDIT CARD, AND YOU MUST STOP CHARGING. Which really makes perfect sense. If we did use another card, and they found out, they would kick us out of the program and we would be back to square one. That, my friends, is not a risk we are willing to take. (This is how I learned to ask “can I actually afford this?” (Which is far different from “do I have the money for…”)

So it became official, on April 3 2008 in the year of our Lord, we went credit card free.

And we were/are in a good spot financially, because if we stretched just a bit, we can make ends meet. Without owning anyone anything further. Unless, the car needs new tires. Or we had a co-pay for the Dr.. Or we were in a wedding. These things were not and could not, be a part of the budget. On more than one occasion my parents stepped in to help us with something that needed to be charged, so we do owe them some. (For instance, there was just no way to get around the fact that in November I needed a $300 satin cognac maternity gown for my brothers wedding, don‘t blame the bride… someone else picked out the dresses.) So Like I said before, you get creative, or you go without. Speaking of that November wedding, and creativity - it’s now time for my story.

Before Gideon was born, we were handed down plenty of very nice baby clothes. Some as big as 3T. There was an adorable little pants and vest suit. That just so happened to fit Gideon in November. So for the wedding we had several dress shirts to choose from, a clip on tie, and my mom found a pair of perfectly sized perfect condition dress shoes at goodwill. However, we had 0 dress socks. All we had for Gideon to wear under his new dress shoes were white, tan or red socks. Did I mention that because of a job position switch , Mark was making less than we needed, with his first commission check weeks after the wedding? Well, we were broke. We literally only had a few cents in the bank. So, I start thinking “what am I going to do? Gideon needs dress socks. I don’t have a card to charge it on! If Lisa’s (the bride, and now my sister-in-law‘s) family sees Gideon with a suit on and white socks, they’ll think our family has no class. They’ll think we’re a bunch of country bumpkins (which isn’t far from the truth) and they’ll forever hold us in judgment. They’ll think of John and Lisa’s children‘s “other grandparents” as unsuited to be their grandparents. They’ll fear that Lisa’s children will grow up unprivileged and uncivilized. They’ll look down on John . I can’t do that to them! I can’t do that to him!” Worry. Pride. Sinful. Silly. Socks. So, what did I do? Out of shear brilliance, and obvious desperation- I crafted toddler dress socks out of 2 mismatched toddler socks and one mismatched men’s dress sock (on a side note, how does that happen? So many socks, non that match.) For your enjoyment, I will post a picture of said dress socks soon… well, only one, I’m not sure where the other one is. : )

And you know what, At the wedding reception, I realized that Gideon’s beautiful “dress socks” never even showed. The pants were just a tad too long, which hid his socks completely. He could have worn NO socks and no one would have been the wiser. *Sigh* Some things, most things, just aren’t that important.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How did we get here?

I’m taking a short break from writing on ethical consumerism to post this, at my husbands urging. After I mentioned this in another post, I started writing, and just finished. I hope you are inspired, or at least challenged. Please, let me know what you think.

How did we get here? It seems as though we’ve taken so many steps to the side, we must go backward, to find where we veered off. Yes, to retrace our steps and move backward is the best option for us now. To come to the place where we first lost our way, and continue in the appropriate direction from there.
Walking through church history of the decades 2000-2010, 1990-1999, 1980-1989, How have we reached where we are? Yes! Good things happened. Yes! God moved. No, it wasn’t a waste, but why does our generation look so shabby compared to Faith’s Champions of yester year?

Where are the spiritual disciplines? Where has forgiveness gone? Where is temperance?

I’m speaking in reference to second and third generation Christians. Those whose parents or grandparents were saved from lives of obvious sin, and needed severe lifestyle changes. I’m speaking of the people that have “always been saved” the ones who said the “sinners prayer” at age 4. The ones whose earliest memories are playing in the church nursery, and can fluently speak Christianese on demand, or even worse, don’t even know when their speaking Christianese. Why do we look the way we do? The real question is, where is your mark? How can one tell that you are sanctified?

(sanc·ti·fy [sángktə f]
(past and past participle sanc·ti·fied, present participle sanc·ti·fy·ing, 3rd person present singular sanc·ti·fies)
1. make something holy: to give something holy status
2. free somebody from sin: to perform a ritual or other act intended to free somebody from sin
3. bless something through religious vow: to give a religious blessing to something such as a marriage, usually through an oath or vow sanctified the marriage
4. officially approve something: to give social, moral, or official approval to something
rules sanctified by tradition
5. make something route to holiness: to make something a means of achieving holiness or a source of grace )

Simpler put, where is holiness?

God is into symbolism, just look at the scriptures and you’ll soon see, God likes symbols. He likes there to be illustrations for things, He likes parables, He likes signs and marks. What better sign or symbol of the presence of Jesus in our lives, than a life transformed? If the life of a “believer” remains untransformed, if the life of a “believer” continues to look the same as the life of an “unbeliever” then one has to ask, “is Jesus actually present in the life of the ‘believer’ at all?”.

My parents, and the parents of many of my friends, became Christians during the “Jesus people” movement in the ‘70’s. The “Jesus people” were a part of another movement, the “Holiness movement.” As far as I can tell, it pretty much went like this, “We read what the Bible has to say about how we live, and then, to the best of our ability, we live that way.” (otherwise known as obedience.) That’s how a movement should be. Simple.

I’m not saying that obeying is a simple thing to do, I am saying that the concept of holiness is simple. But in order to obey God, you have to know what He is asking, commanding and requiring of you. In order to know this, you have to know what He says in the Bible.

I want to live in such a way that someone, anyone, can tell that Jesus is why I live the way I do. I want to live different from the common man. Not in a way that makes those who were burned by the church cringe, or in a way that people think “great, someone else to judge me.” But in a truly Christ like way - in love and compassion, in truth and confidence, in forgiveness and understanding. In a way that God has asked me to. In a way of obedience. I want to live a holy life.

Can anyone else sense something coming? It’s like a big wave, or a wind, a storm, a rain cloud, something is coming, something new. It’s almost here. Something is stopping it. Has there been a great movement since the ’70’s? Like I said before, yeah, plenty of good has happened since then, but I mean a real movement. Has there been an environment changing movement in the past few decades? I don’t think so.


My theory is this: As the children of those who were a part of the “holiness movement” grew older, we began to rebel against the ways our parents did things. We saw this “holiness” as traditionalism, we saw it as prudish, and judgmental. In an attempt to create our own movement we entered the areas of “grace and freedom.” As a whole, we began drinking to the point of drunkenness, we stopped listening to moral and edifying music and began filling our homes with profanity, we started focusing more on “self” and stopped caring, we stopped heeding the law and started smoking marijuana, we had sexual relations with people who were not our spouses, we let profanity flow from our lips and let bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness reside in our souls. We let every manner of sin become a part of our daily lives. All in the name of “grace and freedom.” This is what we embraced, this is what we even took so far as to call a movement of God. This is the church. And this is what’s kept the “new” from coming.

We must go backward. To the placed we veered off. Yes, to retrace our steps and move backward is the best option for us now. To come to the place where we first lost our way, and continue in the appropriate direction from there. We must choose to live a life of holiness. We must raise our children in not just good behavior but in the way of holiness, and obedience to God. We must live a life that’s imitating Christ. We must earnestly search the scriptures and let our lives reflect it.

Then, I think, we’ll be in a place where God is free to let the new things come. So live in a way that the new can come. Do it for our children. Do it for the church. Do it for the rest of the world that needs to see Jesus the way He is, and not the way we’ve been portraying Him. Do it for your soul. Do it for the One who asked you to do it in the first place, the One who loved you so much that in order to be with you forever, chose to die in your place.

This is where I was going to put a scripture to back my point, when I realized, my point is backing scripture.

All: of-it

A man walks into a party, he’s very late. “sorry I’m late,” he says “I was hit and run over by a semi-truck on the way here, it messed me up pretty bad.” “No you weren’t” said the host. “How do you know? You can’t judge me like that” replied the guest “You weren’t there, you wouldn’t know!” “Well“ returned the host, “No one can actually have an encounter with something that big , and not be changed. If you were truly run over by a semi-truck, we’d know, because you would look like you were.” (my own morphed version - original story told by Paul Washer)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ethical consumerism - I expound

~Ethical consumerism - when I spend money I want to know who and what it’s supporting, whether or not it is ecological, how it was manufactured (I’m anti sweatshop), and if I do indeed NEED to buy (or consume) it at all. ~

Who or what it’s supporting - I take great care to (and urge you to do the same) look closely at as many companies as I [you] can. Especially the ones that you frequently patronize. Find out what they financially support, because they support with your finances. Giving your money to company X, so that they can turn around and give it to “cause that goes against something you believe in” is, in my conviction, the same as giving your money directly to that “cause that goes against something you believe in” … I’ve been using this ethical consumerism strategy for about a year. (If you’re looking for an incredibly challenging piece of literature, here’s my favorite - Irresistible Revolution, by Shane Claiborne.) Yes, I’ve had to go out of my way, and put in some extra work to buy certain items. Yes, I’ve on occasion given in and painfully walked away with a purchase from a company I can’t in good conscience support. But overall, it’s really not so hard to shop this way. (Most companies have a list right on their website of the charities they support .)

Whether or not it is ecological - This is pretty self explanatory. For the record, I’m not a tree hugger. I just feel that when God gave us the earth as our domain, he expected us to take care of it. I try to apply the same stewardship to the earth as I do to my kids, my money, and my body.

How it was manufactured - I suppose I am a bit of a civil rights activist (supporter is the more appropriate term for me.) I think of the movie Amazing Grace, my mind goes to the part when the girl says “I actually told my friends that there was slave blood in their sugar…” (I probably misquoted it, if you haven’t seen the movie, you MUST! Then you can correct my quote.) I take care to see that the item I’m purchasing was made in a fair trade/fair wage standard. I understand this is often very hard to track for a manufacturer and even harder for the consumer to truly know, but it’s worth a shot. Chances are, if it’s way cheaper (when it’s not on sale) than it is anywhere else, corners were cut somewhere, and I don’t think it was the CEO’s paycheck. Actually, it’s so hard to tell, that as a family, we have switched over entirely to making or buying things secondhand. (because at that point, even if the item was made in an abusive way, it’s no longer supporting that company. Instead it is supporting something like Salvation Army…) Not to mention, you’re spending WAY less on something , therefore freeing up some extra money, hopefully to give away or save for something important, like an adoption. : ) (often, if I need to chose an item that was made outside of the US, and potentially made in an unjust way, I’ll opt for buying from a small mom-and-pop kind of store, rather than a huge corporate x-mart. To at least support local economy…)

And if I do indeed NEED to have it - This is a good one. I suppose by good, I mean hard. : ) We, as Americans (or Brits, in Tash’s case.*wink*) have such a misconstrued idea of the word “need.” I’m going to quote my friend Sarah, and at first you’ll think, “no, that’s not true” but the longer you reflect on it, you’ll realize just how much of a consumer you are. “Really, the only thing [that you don’t already have] you NEED [when you have a baby] is a car-seat.” (I feel like I should put a “Selah” here) I know that you are intelligent, so I’ll leave it at that, you know exactly what you need and what you don’t.

I’ve come to realize, to an extent, how frivolous we can be. Last April we went credit card free (don’t admire us, I’ll tell all in the next post.) Since then, when I think “hm, food to eat? Or this pair of shorts for Gideon?” the answer is a no brainer. On our one income, you get creative, or you go without. It’s that simple. Next time I’ll share our story of going credit card free, along with a silly story of my pride. Socks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ethical consumerism - I'll start here

So, I said I would try to commit to writing my thoughts on finances. Well, I guess it’s not really finances… more like lifestyle.

A primary goal for our family this year specifically, is to consume the least amount possible. We discovered that by reaching this goal, we will be inadvertently reaching or at least working toward, almost every other goal.

I remember saying several times throughout the summer “and maybe I’ll blog about ethical consumerism soon…” but was too chicken to do it.

I’ve posted little bits here and there about frugality, and that’s good too.

I’ve mentioned once or twice about our various financial struggles, which wasn’t difficult, but I was unsure about what should remain taboo even in the blogoshpere.

I’ve mulled over my ideas for how to write something that reflects the kind of spending practices that we try to adhere to. (key word, “TRY”)

Broken up, seemingly naive or just plain weird, as it may be, makes no difference to me. I have made up my mind to dive into this subject and spend as much time and space on it as I feel necessary. Because I believe it is right.

For my own sake, I have outlined points of discussion regarding this topic:

Ethical consumerism - when I spend money I want to know who and what it’s supporting, whether or not it is ecological, how it was manufactured (I’m anti sweatshop), and if I do indeed NEED to buy (or consume) it at all.

Stewardship - When faced with a purchase I ask myself, can I actually afford this? (Which is far different from “do I have the money for…”) I ask myself “Can I do without this, or figure out how to get this in a better way?” I ask, “What could I do with this money that would serve a greater purpose than this item would?” I ask, “If I don’t purchase this, what will I do with this money?”

Lifestyle - Reducing our standard of living. Looking at every possible way to “cut back.” Sharing, blessing, giving. Selflessness.

Think on this and leave a comment. Maybe your thoughts on the matter will help me sort through the enormous jungle of ideas that I have. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oops, I did it again. : P

Hahahaha!!! I didn't post the link to the givaway! Here you go. : D

Baby wearing givaway!

Thanks to my lovely
sister-in-law, I found this baby wearers giveaway. I’d love if someone I knew won this! So enter to win, and keep wearing your babies!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And baby makes how many?!?

Last night I came across a really interesting article. Called And baby makes how many?

I’ve been planning to write something about finances, and after reading a quote toward the end of the article that said “life styles are expensive, not kids” I became determined to put solid effort into this new blogging topic.

I’m keeping this short so you have time to read the article rather than my post about the article. So head over to the NY times and read And baby makes how many?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oh Man, I hit enter by accident!

Go the the previous post and read... But to see what we were talking about go to
Danica's Blog

I was going to post a picture of us in NY, but... it's very interesting, so I won't. : P
“We’ll start today with a little update of our week.” Is the way I started the rough draft of this blog, 5 days ago… ugh, we have hit the ground (or rather, pulled into our driveway) running. Craziness galore!

On [last] Sunday morning we learned that my grandfather had passed away. Precious is the death of the saints, so we rejoice. (He would be laughing so hard if he knew I just referred to him as a saint.) : )

So on [last] Monday evening we packed up the car and headed out to Long Island. I was nervous about the trip (which on average is about 7 hours in the car) because, if you catch the kids at a bad time a half hour trip seems like an eternity… so, I’m sure you can understand my reservation about such a trip. It was fine though. Silas slept the whole way, and though Gideon only slept 2 hours, he was SO GOOD!

It was a bit difficult for me to be there, Mark and I have only made it down to Long Island once since we’ve been together. It had been 3 ½ years since our last visit. So, to see my grandfather (at his wake… open casket) was hard, I didn’t really ever say goodbye. He never met my boys. But I know he knew I loved him, which I guess it what matters. We’ll see him again. : )

On a lighter note -

::Both of our boys were SO good, I said that already, but I just felt I needed to reiterate. My uncle asked me what was in the water in Rochester that made kids so good. (Shiloh, my niece was also there and was awesome as well.) It blessed me to be honored by my children’s behavior already. I always thought that day would come when they were in their teens. (Speaking in faith) ; )

::On our way down, we drove through the Pocono’s mountains, our ears were feeling that altitude change kind of pressure. Gideon started hitting his ear saying “hurt, hurt. Ear hurt!” I handed him a chip, “here, take this, it’ll help you” “No way! Ow! Hurt.” “Gideon just eat the chip, it’ll help your ear.” I insisted, “Okay” he said as he took the chip from my hand and proceeded to stick it in his ear. He cracks me up.

::Mark and I had a really nice time together. The long car ride was a good opportunity to chat about all of the “back burner” topics that we don‘t usually have time to talk about. I love my husband. : ) (One of the topics discussed was blogged about the day after, by Danica)

::Almost our whole family was there, which was nice, as we got to everybody.

::Mark and I (and Silas, thanks to the Moby wrap) joined my 2 older brothers and their wives in a quick trip to NY city. We just walked around Time Square grabbed a cup of something hot and a slice of pizza. We had a nice time though. Plus, Mark and I reached a goal that we’ve had. To make-out in the back of a minivan while someone drove us around. I don’t even think anyone else noticed… but it was kind of fun. : P

So, I just realized how mundane this little trip was. But I’m glad to have done it. I thought I needed to give a bit of an explanation of my frequent absence from the ramblings of. With this post and the previous, I’m sure you understand. (There is a whole host of other “just life” kind of things…)

I promise, soon, very soon, I will type out something more meaningful and thought provoking. In the mean time think on this -

“If you have never felt God telling you to give, than you need to pray more.” - John J. Ebel

Thursday, January 29, 2009

And a time to mourn

~ Sitting on the floor, rocking my precious sleeping baby. My baby. Just a foot away from me, my first born is sleeping on the floor, poor little one isn’t feeling well. He just laid down and fell asleep. Music plays - “I will be still and know you are God...”
Tears flood my eyes. I’ve tried to reject this salt water flood all week. Some moments I overcome, other times I give in.
What do I cry for? Injustice. Sin. Death. Ignorance. Life. Loss. Hope. Peace. Love.
I am pro life. In every sense.
This week has me mourning, mourning life lost. ~

~ Laying Next to my child. My child. I think he’s feeling better. I love his little giggles as he watches veggie tales. He keeps sticking his pedialyte freeze pop in my mouth. He’s so sweet.
Last week we mourned the anniversary of the legalization of abortion. Mourning the loss of the people who’s lives were taken by medical means. It is admirable to mourn over this.
This week we mourn the death of my sisters beautiful friend, Abby. Mourning the loss of the earthly presence of this wonderful girl. Trying to rejoice with her as she enters the hope of eternity. It’s inconceivable not to mourn over this. ~

The thing that brings so many tears to my eyes, is the reality of the worth of a life. And the audacity of those who think that they have the right to end another’s life.

Watching the ripple effect of grief as people learn of Abby’s death has been really hard. Being with my sister as she learned of the accident. Talking with grieved people who know and love Joy but never met Abby. Now, I’m sure it saddens you, to hear of this, when you may not have ever met Abby, or Joy. Simply hearing that someone I love, has lost someone whom she loved, is sad news.

And then there is war. And to mourn over this is nothing but the murmurs of an ignorant hippy. Why?

I told Mark that I can’t get Joys sobs out of my head, those deep, terrible, soulful, beautiful sobs. I don’t want them to leave my head. For they are the cries of so many who have lost. Lost a life, and a loved one to war. And to forget those sobs, I feel, is to forget those lives.

I know this sounds so simple and probably idiotic, but every life lost to war, used to be a child. Every life lost to war, was as a baby, cradled and rocked by somebody. Every life lost to war, was loved by someone, somewhere, at sometime. Every life lost, had a mother.

Then I think of my boys.

I think of the tragedy there could be of someone thinking that they had the right to take the life of one of my babies. I think of the pain that Abby’s Family is feeling now. The pain that Joy is feeling now. I think of the heart of God breaking with every “procedure to take care of an unwanted pregnancy”. I think of the people of Iraq. I think of Americas Solders. I think of the People of Sudan. I think of the people of Israel. I think of the people of Palestine. I think of the tragedy there is when we think that one life could be worth more than another.

And I mourn.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shepherd of my soul

Shepherd of my soul
I give you full control
Wherever you may lead
I will follow
I have made the choice
To listen for your voice
Wherever you may lead I will go
Be it in a quiet pasture
Or by a gentle stream
The shepherd of my soul is by my side
Should I face a mighty mountain
Or a valley dark and deep
The shepherd of my soul will be guide

While singing my son to bed the other night, I realized just how deep a declaration this old familiar chorus is. My mind nods in solemn agreement, my mind heart rejoices at the implication, and my life asks “is this true?”

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A boring update

I feel like it’s been a while, although, it hasn’t. I think it’s because I have a foot long list of all the things I want to write about, but haven’t had a chance to.

First off I’d like to say HE DID IT!!!!!! Gideon used his “big boy potty” once on Sunday and once yesterday! We are very excited. I’m sure we have a long way to go, seeing as he’s still quite young for potty training, but it was exciting just the same. : )

On Sunday we left town for a couples retreat, we brought both kids with us. Silas, for obvious reasons, and Gideon, just because I don’t like to leave my boy. : ) My lovely sister Jenessa came along to help out. So, although we had 2 kids and a sister in our room, and didn’t get a minute of alone time, we were so blessed by the retreat. It was actually meant for pastors and their wives, but Mark played on the worship team with 2 other non-pastors, and because all 3 couples are in ministry, it worked out just fine. The times that we had to sing songs in praise and worship to our God were so amazing! There was a man there who came specifically to minister to the couples in prayer. God really spoke through that man and the other couples, and Mark and I were so encouraged to hear the things that God had to say to us. We had a great time.

One thing that we heard at this retreat, was a confirmation of some of the revelation that Mark and I have been having, that we believed is God inspired. God has been showing us a lot about holiness, and what it means for us, as second generation Christians. Our parents and the parents of most second generation Christians, became Christians during the “holiness movement” of the “Jesus People.” Trying to find our niche in the Christian faith, as the people born to the “Jesus People,” has proved to be a little difficult for this generation. God has been showing Mark and I some things about this, and I’ve really enjoyed being able to learn and discover more about where we fit in the picture. So, I hope to be able to post something soon, sharing my thoughts on this.

I suppose this is all for now. : )

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Explanation - Post the fourth picture on the fourth folder of your pictures and explain! oh yeah, and tag 4 more people.

Well, this is a picture that my sister Joy took. She borrowed our digital camera for a photography assignment last semester. She has a great film camera, but was having trouble with the digital that she usually uses. Anyway, she had to do a presentation and her professor asked her to do it on “death and decay” so she went out and found rotting things… but, it snowed before her project was completed, (covering everything that was “dead and decayed”) so instead, her presentation was on Silas’ birth… which I thing wins any day compared to rotting apples. : )

I Tag Joy, Rissa, Tash, Hannah -

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sorry about the potty talk

So, I thought I’d give a little update as to how our “potty training time” is going.

Unfortunately, that’s as deep as I’ll get today. I’ve longed to sit and write deeply, but I feel that that takes much more time than a few little goofy thoughts on life. : ) My friends, time, is not something I have to spare these days. : )

Anyway, on potty training -

The day after I posted about potty training Gideon, was our official kick off to the process. I did not do well. I was so psyched about it that I started way to fast, expecting way too much.
He didn’t wear a diaper all day (except for at nap time.) Instead of a diaper he wore training pants, big boy boxers and nothing. : )

My sister Jenessa was hanging out with us that day, so it was good to have her around to hold Silas, read to Gideon as he sat on his potty , and oh yeah, help me clean up EVERY ACCIDENT!
This boy had accident after accident, and I still, somehow thought that I was to allow him to go commando, or whatever diaper less is called. With every accident he had I was very calm, told him it was okay, had him sit on the potty, changed him into fresh underwear...

But then, it happened. Uninhibited chaos struck our home when I turned to say “okay Gideon, it’s time to sit on the potty again” (I could tell something that was a little more solid than urine was going to come, you know, you just learn your kids cues.) He said, as he’s often prone to say “no way!“ and turned and ran around our coffee table, his little bum cheeks clapping as he ran. And then, out it fell, through one of the leg holes in the boxers (what was I thinking? Boxers, at 23 months old?) And I calmly replied “AH! GIDEON GET OVER HERE, AH! NO! DON’T STEP IN IT! NESSA, TAKE SILAS! COME HERE, IT’S ON YOUR SOCK! SIT HERE, DON’T GET UP! GIVE ME YOUR FOOT! CALM DOWN, GIDEON, CALM DOWN! LAY SILAS IN THE CRIB, GET ME A BAG, GRAB THE VINEGAR! UNDER THE SINK, NO NOT THE DISH TOWEL! OH MY GOSH, YOU STEPPED IT IN AGAIN!!! WIPES! JUST GRAB THE WIPES. GIDEON… AHHHH!!!!” And then, it was over, everything was cleaned up. Gideon was sitting on the potty, Jenessa was holding Silas and I was kneeling next to my poor stressed out toddler. “I’m sorry Gideon. Mommy didn’t use self control when I was yelling that way. Yelling didn’t help the situation at all. Will you forgive me?”

He just smiled and said “hug” and then he laid his head on my shoulder and let out the saddest sigh I’d ever heard from a toddler. We bounced back quick from that little tragedy, and had 1 or 2 more accidents that evening. Then wisdom was finally able to say something on the matter and I asked Gideon if he was ready to put a diaper on. Never in his life had he been so happy to wear a diaper. We put his PJ’s on and snuggled as we shared a gingerbread cookie.
Gideon, we’ll take this as slow as you need to.

It’s now nearly 2 weeks later and we’ve had no accidents, his little potty has been sat on many times, but between sitting on it he usually wears a diaper. He hasn’t “gone potty” yet, but I think he’s close.

P.S. We’re working on the “no way” thing… I don’t know where he got that?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Simply Vinegar

So, I have a category in my list of labels called “recommendations” it has the most random sort of things in it. I do feel the need, however, to add yet another totally random post to “recommendations” and it comes in “tip” form.

My “tip” goes as follows.

Buy a gallon of vinegar, and use it!

I pretty much clean with just vinegar and water. (I do use regular old toilet bowl cleaner, and I currently have a name brand eco friendly window/glass cleaner, but that’s because someone gave it to me. Streaks don’t bother me too much, so I usually just use watered down vinegar for windows too.)

Here are a few things I use vinegar for, but not limited to.

About 1 part water to 1 part vinegar, in a spray bottle

  • Countertops
  • Tabletops
  • Sinks
  • Gideon’s highchair
  • Windows (as mentioned earlier, but it does streak)
  • Toys
  • Refrigerator
  • Outside of toilet bowl
  • Carpet (spot treatments)
  • Cars dashboard and steering wheel

Full strength vinegar, usually in a spray bottle

  • Floors
  • Bathtub/shower
  • Inside of toilet bowl (works, but not as well as the thick stuff you can buy, that stays on longer)
  • Landry soap enhancement (you’re probably not supposed to do this, but sometimes when I’m washing an extra dirty prefold (clothe diaper) I add vinegar through the liquid bleach section of the washing machine, I’ve found it removes the scent of urine better than bleach did) I’m such a rebel!
  • Dishwasher (run through an empty dishwasher to get rid of soap buildup)
So, there you have it, it could be the worlds cheapest, safest all purpose cleaner!

And let me tell you, with a boy like Gideon running around I’m SOOO thankful to use a cleaner that’s so safe, you can drink it! It’s saved many a trip to the ER/call to poison control! : )

Here’s an interesting link, with 62 uses for vinegar -

Thursday, January 8, 2009

When Love has run of a house

I just came down the stairs. It’s nap time now, Gideon is snuggly tucked into bed already snoring, and Silas is cuddled up tight to me, inside the Moby Wrap.
It’s kind of rare these days to leave Gideon’s bedroom while he’s sleeping. Usually he needs to fall asleep on his own. We pray, then I sing, but he typically needs to be alone to finally give in and let sleep take over.

Today, he wanted me to sit on the rocking chair while I sang (I think it’s because Silas was with us this time, he usually lays in the basinet while I’m putting Gideon to sleep) But today he said “mamma, baby rock-chair” and as I sang and rocked, Gideon peeped through the crib slats and watched me cradle his brother and sing songs to Jesus.

I can’t explain the look on Gideon’s face, as his beautiful blue eyes blinked slowly, trying to stay locked with mine. It was like at that moment, I was his whole world. I looked down at Silas snuggled close to me, limp with the most peaceful of sleeps. This feeling of awe came over me. “What an incredible job I have!” I thought, as I watched Gideon let go, and give in to his much needed nap. I was taken over by immense gratitude, for being considered worthy of caring for these 2 boys. I thought of the way I felt about my mom, as she sang me to sleep, and I was brought to tears at the thought of someone feeling the same way about me.
This love, my friends, is worth it. It’s worth every dirty diaper, every sleepless night, every tear.
This week has been stressful for me, mostly, I assume, because of hormones trying to balance out as my body remembers what it’s like to not be pregnant. But the stress of this week was melted away, dissolved, disintegrated, at that very moment of intense love.

Stress = mistrust, mistrust = fear, where there is fear, there is an absence of love.

1 John 4:18 (The Message)
To Love, to Be Loved
17-18 God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry… There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life… is one not yet fully formed in love.
2 Timothy 1:7 (New King James) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I thank God that most days, Love has the run of this house. I pray that someday soon, I’ll allow Love the run of this house EVERYDAY. I pray that I’ll learn the truths of walking on Love every moment of my life. Because Love, is a powerful thing.

May Love have the run of your house, and may this beautiful kind of moment, become personal to you!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Adventures in potty training

So, we’ve begun the daunting task of potty training! (Okay, well, I’ve been potty trained for a while now. I’ve begun to potty train Gideon.) : )

Over the summer I think Gideon was ready, but seeing as how I was very pregnant and heat tends to give me plenty of morning sickness, I just wasn’t ready to start training him. I considered it an accomplishment to drag myself off the couch in order to keep up on disciplining him when he disobeyed. So, I wasn’t about to make things even more difficult! (Can you imagine how many times I’d be up and down with disciplining a toddler AND potty training him) Ha, as if no one has ever done it… I’m acting as if it were this HUGE sacrifice… well, at any rate, I didn’t do it this summer, and now we’re beginning.

I can’t explain why, but there are a few aspects of childrearing that are VERY scary for me. Starting with potty training, next being puberty, (don’t ask me why, I just feel totally intimidated by having to parent an adolescent boy!!!) and last being the entrance into a pre marriage relationship. (dating, courting, betrothal, engagement… whatever) These three milestones are highly intimidating to me!

But, we’ve reached the brink of milestone one, and I’m feeling like I’m facing potty training as if it were a big growling dog. On the outside, I’m smiling, and showing this animal NO FEAR, I’m relaxed and ready to take it on. But inside, I’m crying, “AHHH!!!! ITS GONNA EAT ME!!!! WE WON’T MAKE IT OUT ALIVE!!!!”

Help me out moms, have you felt this way?

I need some tips.

We’ve bought the “big boy potty,” “big boy boxers” and a cute little book to go along with them. Gideon really likes his book, wears the boxers on his head, and is warming up to the potty. So far, I feel good about these things.

But the questions I’m facing are, “do I use ‘treats’ as a reward?” “What actions do I reward?” “Is there ever a point where you begin disciplining for the on purpose “accidents?” (not that we’ve had any, I’m just saying.)

You know, these are the kinds of things I’m feeling so very insure about.

Yet, over and over again, I hear my moms voice saying “just listen to the Holy Spirit, as he leads and guides you through your mothering” and then I hear that verse again,

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 know God cares for the small things, and the small ones. I know God will help us, but, maybe if everyone tells me what’s worked for them, the Holy Spirit will guide me as I sift through your advice. : )