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I read a lot of blogs. Actually, that should say I’m subscribed to a lot of blogs. As of this writing, I have 706 unread blogs n my reader. That’s after I spent quite a bit of time last night on the iphone catching up, and more time this morning. Every 6 months or so, I realize this has gotten out of hand and unsubscribe from anything that has become unimportant. I’m also a big fan of that “mark as read” button.

My own blogging has somewhat fallen off in the past couple of months. Understandably, I’d say. I mean, when you can see this every day,

and smell that sweet newborn smell, not to mention all the work that goes with it, it’s easy to do that instead of write. But I miss writing. So, I’m making it a new goal – a post a day. Check back – keep me accountable. Really. I’ll feel better.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I relate to the older kids. Since having Tessa, it’s been harder for me to give Hannah and Audrey the attention I want to. Also, even though Nick cut back his hours at the pizza place, he’s been having to work extra hours at his regular job, which has made for long hours anyway. This in turn makes for a tired mommy. I was reading my Bible (read: desperate for some truth to keep me going) a couple of days ago, and came across this:

Thessalonians 3:2 AMP

And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in [spreading] the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, to strengthen and establish and to exhort and comfort and encourage you in your faith,

Right at that moment, I heard God whisper to me, “That’s your job with your kids. Strengthen, establish, exhort, comfort, and encourage.” Oh, is that all? No, but really…that simplifies things. Punish is not in there, because the goal is not to make them feel guilty, it’s to build them up. Belittle is definitely not there. Frustrate is not there either. Not that I should never discipline – exhort means “to give warnings or advice : make urgent appeals.” Discipline is included there in my mind. But the majority of my interaction with them needs to be positive, and it hasn’t been that way lately.

My days go so fast right now. Before I know it the morning is gone and naptime has come. Evenings are a blur – with or without Daddy home – and then we’re to that exhausted please-go-to-bed-right-now time. More than anything I want to become more intentional about my time with my kids. Not just surviving, but thriving and enjoying the time with them. It’s a daily process. I feel like part of the key for us is to strike that balance between a schedule and flexibility – a continual struggle for me. If bedtime happens before I get too tired, there is still energy for conversations and Bible time at bedtime. If I get out of bed in the morning before the kids do, I tend to be more centered and better able to greet them cheerfully and purposefully. If I feed them when they’re hungry instead of waiting for some specific time when they “should” be hungry, I head off tantrums and low-blood-sugar-related bad moods…

What things do you do to connect with your kids in a meaningful way?

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Oh baby

Having a baby is so odd. I’ve done this twice before, and it’s STILL hard to remember I’ll have a baby soon. It just starts to feel like yet another ongoing health issue. 🙂

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More Daybook entries at Peggy’s

For Today…December 7, 2009

daybook


Outside my window…
When I looked at the temp this morning online, it said 0.3 for our area code. Folks, that’s COLD. It’s snowing just a bit, and everything is covered.

I am thinking…About church. About having a baby. About nutrition. Ya know, the usual. (No baby yet, BTW. After lots of intense contractions last week, things have settled down considerably the past few days. I think she moved back up a bit, but I’m feeling her very low again today. Who knows?)

I am hearing…A movie playing for the girls downstairs. The girls finishing their breakfast.

Some highlights from the week…
My helper, Dilynn, coming for the first time. She’s a 12 year old homeschooled girl who lives in our neighborhood. She’s also the only girl with 5 brothers. We’re going to trade piano lessons and pay her a bit in return for her help with the older kids. She came on Thursday for 2 1/2 hours. In that time I played around on the computer, folded laundry, made homemade lip balm (not perfect yet, but better than what I’ve been able to find and definitely fun), and did a bit of cleaning. The girls played Duck Duck Goose, colored, played dress up, played catch in the basement, and generally had a blast. It was very relaxing and refreshing to me. I’m hopeful we can have a long-term relationship with Dilynn and her family, and kind of make her an adopted sister around here. She was very sweet and helpful with the kids and even helped them clean up after each project they did. Big relief to me with Nick’s crazy work schedule!

Lunch with my fam on Saturday for my brother Nathan’s 21st birthday. We went to Salsa Brava. I’m always pleasantly surprised by the amount of GF things available there. I was not that impressed with the dish I ordered, but the chips and guac….yes.

I am thankful for…My warm house with a working furnace – our landlord had it serviced a few weeks ago when it started acting weird. So glad that happened before this cold! Nick getting to come home after an hour of work yesterday. The roads were just too slick for pizza delivery. That means we’re out the money, but God will provide, and it sure was nice having him home all afternoon and evening.

From the kitchen… Beef broth going on the stove. Found soup bone at Whole Foods the other day, the only place I’ve found it from naturally raised animals here. It occurred to me that when we order our beef this spring we could probably get as much soup bone as we want at the same time. This is a new experiment for me, but so far I’m liking the effect. My digestion seems much less fussy since incorporating broth every day.

Another project – homemade coconut yogurt. It has a very strong smell that I’m struggling with, partially I’m sure due to pregnancy, but my kids love it. It was super easy too. My oven with the oven light on apparently sits right at 100 degrees, perfect for incubating yogurt.

Focusing on broths and probiotics right now, to see what kind of effect they might have on all our food sensitivities. So far I’m encouraged!

I am wearing…Very soft pajama pants found at Target for $7, the hugest tank top I own, and my robe. Very much looking forward to not being pregnant soon. 🙂

I am reading…Everything I can get my hands on about traditional food preparation. The book Nourishing Traditions is on my Christmas list.

I am hoping…to be holding my baby soon.

One of my favorite things…Honestly, what I’m enjoying this morning is having projects to think about. It does me no good to sit around and be frustrated about waiting for baby to arrive, (though I did do some of that yesterday), so I’ve been plotting things to keep me busy, and planning life a day or two in advance since I can’t do much more than that. 🙂 Been rather meticulously (for me), cleaning my house from top to bottom. Clean houses are a favorite as well. 🙂 As is nesting energy.

A few plans for the rest of the week…Having a baby would be a good plan. We’ll see if she agrees. Play date or two if she doesn’t come. Probably a trip or two or three to Denver for acupuncture. Due to the fact that I can only legally deliver at home until 42 weeks, and if I go to the hospital here I will likely be forced into a repeat c-section, I don’t feel I have the luxury of allowing labor to start on its own. Dr P does electro-acupuncture for his clients to help stimulate (or calm down, if that’s needed) the hormones that start labor, so I’ll be taking full advantage of that starting this week.

A picture thought I’m sharing… I went to the mall with my mom and sisters on Friday, and my mom paid for the girls to ride the Christmas train they have set up near Sears. They were so funny about it!

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Thankful

Tonight I had a chance to reflect on the past year as I worked on Thanksgiving dishes to take to my parents house. Thought I’d share, simply because God is amazing. Look at what He’s done in our lives in one year’s time:

Last year we lived in an 800 square foot, drafty, rather worn down cabin. This year we live in a 2300 square foot warm, spacious house.

Last year we were literally given $1200 in cash and we barely made it through the holidays. It took two months to recover financially from Christmas, and Nick and I both ended up putting some of our Christmas money from my parents into the bank to cover our account. We hoped for a tax refund, and instead wound up owing money because of the work I had done. This year we will have enough cash to buy presents and pay bills over the holidays.

Last year we were very upside down on the Jetta – owed much more than it was worth – and still were making payments on the Jeep. We had no way to even think about getting a vehicle that fit our family better. This year we own a minivan, free and clear, and we’re very close to being able to sell the Jetta. Anybody want to buy a Jetta? 🙂

Last year about this time we figured out we STILL weren’t pregnant yet. This year we’re about to welcome our next baby.

Last year we were getting multiple (sometimes 6 or 7 nasty ones) creditor calls per day, from old debt we had absolutely no hope of paying off. This year there are 8 fewer of those companies calling.

Last year we were just starting to internalize how deeply God loves us, and how complete the sacrifice of Christ is to wipe out our sin, heal us, provide for us, and set us free. This year we are more convinced than ever of His incredible grace toward us, and the amazing things that Christ did for us through the cross.

Last year we ate our Thanksgiving dinner at a table I paid $11 for at Goodwill, and sat in folding chairs. This year we have a real dining room table, and our home is comfortably furnished. Anybody need a table or a couch? We’re giving away both!

Last year Audrey had constant rashes on the backs of her hands and I was baffled. This year I know better how to help her, and my health as well as the health of my entire family has never been better!

To quote one of my favorite movies – That Thing You Do – “Hey, How-Did-We-Get-Here?” God is faithful. There is no other answer! No, things are not perfect, and there is always more to work on and more to do. But there is so much to be thankful for. I’d love to hear your stories from this year. God is good!

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More Daybook entries at Peggy’s

For Today…November 23, 2009

daybook


Outside my window…
We got a dusting of snow this morning. It’s COLD and windy.

I am thinking…About having a baby, mainly.

I am hearing… doggie snoring.

Some highlights from the week…
Taking the girls to playgroup. I ended up chasing them around more than getting to chat, but we had fun anyway.

A restful Saturday that Nick didn’t have to work at all, and a couple of good talks we’ve been needing!

I am thankful for…My healthy baby. That I am 7 days from being able to have her at home (but who’s counting, right?). My understanding and gracious husband who rubs my back and legs for me when they ache.

From the kitchen… Been trying to double up recipes and freeze everything I can, so we have some easy things to eat when the baby comes – with mixed success.

I am wearing… Khaki capris, black shirt, white sweater. If I’m feeling ambitious later, I may go through my closet and put everything maternity that doesn’t fit into a box so my sister can go through it. I’m down to the biggest stuff in the closet. 🙂

I am reading… Nothing. When I lay down, I fall asleep. Or I turn on Food Network so I’ll be inspired to keep cooking good food even though I don’t feel much like eating.

I am hoping… baby comes sooner rather than later. There. I said it. But I got the birth supplies list from the midwife last week, and reading it makes me have butterflies in my stomach. I know I can do it, I did it before. It’s just…kind of a big deal.

One of my favorite things… Sleeping. Looking forward to some of that this afternoon. I use 5-6 pillows to accomplish this.

A few plans for the rest of the week… Interviewing a possible babysitter/mother’s helper that lives in my neighborhood. I’m very excited about this.

Thanksgiving, of course. I keep debating about how much cooking I actually want to do. I ordered a turkey, and I’m sure I’ll make a side dish or two and bake something, but whether it will all be done together? That’s debatable. We’ll be at my parents on Thursday, thankfully. Nick has Thursday through Saturday off from his regular job and only works Friday night for pizza, so we’ll see quite a bit of him this weekend. That will sure be nice.

A picture thought I’m sharing… Audrey playing a dinosaur game at the playgroup outing. She was just tall enough to do it, and was completely thrilled!

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Cranky Health Food People

Here’s something random I’ve been thinking about. **Just to be clear, this post is not about anybody I know personally, either in real life or online. 🙂 Just a general observation of many message boards, blogs, life, etc.**

Have you ever met a cranky health food person? They are very passionate about the food choices they make. They are even very passionate about the choices YOU make. But they’re not very…happy. There’s a bit of anger that comes through when they communicate about the reasons for their choices.

I have to admit to completely understanding the reasons for their angst. It’s easy to start seeing health eating as a “have to” thing. “I do this because I have to, or else…” And sometimes there’s this jealousy that sneaks in when you have friends or family members who are eating something right in front of you that you’re drooling over, and you just know if you eat that same thing, you will be SORRY. But it doesn’t stop you from wanting it. And you almost resent them for eating it. So you gripe about how bad it is for them.

See? I completely get it. I’ve been that person. Sometimes I still am.

In my mind, there are a few different solutions to this problem:

One is to not worry about healthy eating very much. I don’t think this is the best option, but it is an option – for anybody. Nobody/nothing MAKES you eat the way you “should.” It is your choice. Remembering this tends to keep resentment at bay.

Another option is to do things in moderation. I do a little of this. Right now, with as sensitive as my body is during pregnancy, anytime I eat out (absolutely doesn’t matter where) I can pretty much count on two days of feeling sick. It’s not very fun. But I eat out anyway, sometimes once or twice a week, sometimes once every couple weeks. It’s fun to sit at a restaurant with friends or family, and sometimes bringing food along when I’m out is just not convenient or appetizing. But I will not feel as good as I would if I ate at home. Sometimes that’s okay.

The last option I can think of, is to have so much joy that you know how to keep your body healthy, that the junk loses all its appeal. I also do a little of this. I honestly have no taste whatsoever for Twinkies. Most candy doesn’t look like food to me anymore. I have no desire for soda whatsoever. I’ve eaten healthy long enough to understand the difference that those kinds of choices make, and they’re not worth it. Then again, when I started this process, I had to go without and I DID crave things. So there’s also a time to go through that.

I don’t really have a conclusion to this, it’s more just an observation. Thoughts?

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And again

Another great post about making healthy food choices if your husband isn’t on board…

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