March 2010


I woke up this morning feelin’ a little crafty.   No, not sneaky!  CRAFTY!

I don’t get that tickle often.  I haven’t since we moved here.  It was the absolute CHAOS of this last season and I just couldn’t handle the idea of creating.  Something about being overwhelmed makes just the idea of getting out supplies overwhelming.

I felt the push to create in December, to prepare for that pretty little baby.  And then in January when my husband was in California, and me?  Oh, yes, *I* was in Iowa in January. 🙂  With him gone and with us facing horrid, wretched, awful news about Daniella, I couldn’t do anything but keep my head above water.

I was stressin’ the other day about getting kids ready for a homeschool play date… You know, the usual.  Find the shoes, matching socks, get out the door on time.  And it occurred to me I was behaving a bit more frantic than I did at any moment in the month of January when I SINCERELY had things to stress about.  Isn’t that odd to you?    Adrift in an ocean, you can scarcely keep your head above the waves, you don’t worry about the mundane.  Your only goal is to keep your head up high enough to prevent yourself and those around you from drowning.  You can’t think about what you’re doing or analyze the best way to do it…..

Sometimes we worry about this or that… We let little things bother us.    And what a blessing that is.  Essentially it means that the big things aren’t dragging you under the water.   I’m grateful for little problems.

On a lovely note, Ella Pie is doing well.  She’s growing.  Today she is almost three months old.  She will be twelve weeks on Wednesday.  She is in a newborn sleeper right now and I think this will be the last time she wears it! 🙂  It’s getting a bit too snug and small.  Bring on the 0-3 month clothing!  She has a few newborn ‘sposies left.   We’ll need to use those in a hurry, she’s getting too big.  Her fingers are starting to fill out.  Her little elbows aren’t quite so sharp.  Her legs are still a little scrawny.

And as far as metabolics, the last tests came normal.  What in the world?  It can’t be normal to have a 12 week old that is less than nine pounds when she was practically seven at birth.   Who knows?  If it isn’t a miracle I’m still willing to let God have credit and if it is then I’ll take it and be grateful.

She seems to be hitting milestones too.  Last night she was in her swing while we ate dinner and celebrated Christian’s birthday.  And her head was turned towards our voices.  That’s new.  She smiles now.  Not just randomly, but in response to seeing her favorite Mama… Er, oops, I mean people. 😛  She isn’t coo-ing yet, but she really wants to!  I can see it on her face, lol.

It’s easy to forget what a gift average is… What everyday boring is…  It’s a gift.  On a day when the sun shines and nothing better (or worse) than that happens?  It’s a gift.  I’d even take rain. 🙂

So, finally, with so much chaos behind us and normalcy appearing to settle in, I’m finally feeling the itch to create again!  I saw cold process soap yesterday… I’m almost out of mine and thought about BUYING (GASP!) a bar of soap… But DH has promised to make me a new mold so I can make something yummy for the family.  I think I’m going to do something wild,  for the sheer joy of being able to!

I’m trying to finagle DD into doing some dying for me.  Ella is outgrowing the newborn longies I made and I want something fun and easter egg colored!  I got in on a Mosaic Moon co-op last week.   A custom colorway in Seaglass and one skein of October Morning.  I managed to NOT order the Dandelion but I think it took every last ounce of strength.

We’ll see if I can manage to get anything done today…. It’s Monday.  School, more school, a lovely salt dough map is on my list for the afternoon.  But I have several lovely diapers to finish up for Ella.  Perhaps even some pictures tomorrow?  We’ll see.

Just a quick little post… Ana has decided to pick my literature for the little ones for this year.  Her first choice for this week is Bats in the Library.  This selection is absolutely adorable and I think you’ll enjoy it.  An obvious supplement to this book would be Stellaluna along with any non-fiction choice from the Young Readers selection at the library on bats.

We’ve also found this link for crafts to go along with the book:

Bats in the Library Kit

Generic Bat Crafts from DLTK

Bat Coloring Pages

And obviously explaining what a mammal is would be good as bats are unlikely mammals…. The kids had a hard time picturing bats nursing their young, lol.

Enjoy.

Nothing terribly poignant today…  I’m just tickled to announce we had a one POUND weight gain.  That’s right!  One pound and two ounces to be exact.  This officially brings Baby Ella, ten weeks old, up to eight pounds and six ounces.  I can’t tell you the relief.  It was a very PHYSICAL feeling of a weight being lifted.

She’s lying in my bed right now, grunting and hiccuping, lifting her little head.  We’ve gotten a few smiles in the previous days… Our darling seems to be hitting her  milestones as well?!  Time will tell.  She goes to the pediatric clinic next Wednesday and then to meet the pediatrician we’ve been referred to in April.   Her muscle tone seems good.

So blessed.  Yes, that’s me.  Just incredibly, incredibly blessed.

Healthy babies are an amazing miracle of God.  When you think of everything that could go wrong, genetically or just in the course of day to day adventure, a healthy child is a miracle.   If you have one (or six) give each of them an extra kiss.

I know that there are things we struggle with day to day.  I don’t want to downplay the emotions we feel when we’re frustrated with a messy house, or a child that isn’t quite “up to par” with where we feel they should be in school.  I know it’s hard to keep up and keep going.   But please try hard to put things into a context.

We know how excerpts from books can be taken out of context and warped.  Goodness! People do it all the time to the Bible… They take scripture out of context to twist and thwart for their own purpose.

Today… Today try to put life into the “bigger picture.”  There are those in life to whom every thing is a one or a ten.  Either the sky is falling or they fail to feel enthusiasm for the little things.    I have noticed two women have particularly encouraged this lately.  I noticed Marcia Somerville (Tapestry of Grace author) specifically writes encouragement into the curriculum.  I also remember reading about the need to encourage our children in a couple of Teri Maxwell’s books.   I remember something Teri wrote about that often encouragement, to those who aren’t used to it, feels false or odd.   It’s a worthy habit to practice.  So often when we are learning a new skill or beginning a new habit, things often feel strange.  It doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile.  It only means we must keep at it until it feels normal.

Too often I think we fail to encourage or to recognize that little things are worth celebrating!  I am not speaking of praising our children very every little thing.  I think that can become false.  But I do think that sometimes we have a tendency to get so caught up un the “gottagetitalldone” insanity, we fail to:

STOP!

SLOW DOWN!

BREATHE!

RECOGNIZE!

APPRECIATE!

I’d love to give you a handy little acronym to remember…  Um. Hm.  Not really my thing though and ssbra doesn’t have a nice ring to it. 😛

Recently a dear friend of mine started a gratitude journal, a very worthy practice.   And just yesterday the kids and I were digging into Hebrews and there is a lovely verse in Chapter 10.
Hebrews 10:
“And let us consider how we can spur one another on toward love and good deeds. ”  When you spur a horse you give it a nice kick in the right direction.   So, this morning, while I’m not advocating giving your children a good kick in the right direction, lol, I think you can certainly “strongly encourage” them onto love and good deeds.

So often as Christian parents I think we are walking in a trap that Satan loves to use.  We use verses, we talk about love, we discuss encouragement, we utilize scripture.   But it’s  hard to live and breathe it.    Without gratefulness, you’ll NEVER appreciate what God has given you.  And without that appreciation you will fail to treat those gifts as gifts.  This isn’t a one woman guilt trip.  What once was, was.   Two points for you to consider this morning that I found personally useful.   We are in the process of finding a local church.   Last week the pastor made an interesting observation.  Each of us can be one of two things – a thermometer or a thermostat.  They are two very different tools.  As applied to mothering, the temperature can tell us the temp. in our children.  Yes, yes, they’re a little too hot or a little too cold.  But that is all it can do… It’s very limited in it’s application.   But the thermostat has the ability to gauge the temperature and then ALTER that temperature.   If the thermostat recognizes the room is a little too hot, it has the ability to lower the heat a degree or two.  So, today, decide what you’ll be in your home.  Will you simply gauge the temperature but make no effort at changing what’s going on in the room or in the attitudes of your children or yourself?

Two weeks ago we visited a large church and it was very nice.  More importantly I’m wondering if the teaching wasn’t just for me that morning. 🙂  I know that we all have our own little personal struggles.   Some have a tendency/weakness towards one particular sin or another.  You may not struggle in the same area I do.  My personal struggle is my tongue.  There are days that I know I’d be better off if I just cut it out now.   And on particularly good days when I’ve prayed for assistance and managed to choose my words well, I’m encouraged.  But, on those days when I’ve lost my temper and lost my encouragement, I can use my tongue to inflict evil. 😦  And on those days I think I am NEVER going to get to where God is pointing me.  Ever.  It’s on those particularly hard days I feel like giving up.  I wonder how in the world God can use me in my childrens’ lives when constantly I learn a lesson and then do something stupid.  And, generally, it DOES follow that pattern… Learn something wonderful, screw up.

This pastor must struggle with the same… Wondering how God can use such an imperfect person.  Because he pointed us in the general direction of Peter that Sunday morning.  Look at Peter.  He walked and talked with Christ Himself.  Promised to stand by His side.  And Christ loved him deeply.  And yet Peter denied him, not once, not twice, but THREE separate times.   Peter must have felt like an utter failure.  Christ had even told him he’d do it and he denied that he would.  And here he was, just a short while later, doing exactly that which he professed he would not.  And surely he must have thought, “What good am I to God?  How will He ever be able to use me in the lives of others?”

And yet the good Lord, in His mercy and wisdom, used Peter mightily.

And so I say to you, you’ve screwed up.  Most likely you’ll do it again. (Nice, hm?)  And yet God CAN use you.  You must be willing.  I pray that each of you would go out this morning and love your children, encourage your children.  I pray that you’d be SPURRED on to encourage and love.  And that you’d also teach your children and spur them on to do the same.  No kicking please. 😛