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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: June 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

An ugly word... (updated)

And an ugly thing at that. Divorce. And no wonder it's so ugly. Just look at what it is, the destruction of something God gave. The brokenness of loving your closest neighbor, the second greatest commandment. It destroys something in each of us -- husband, wife, child, parent, friend.

I have wanted to post on this subject for a long while now (year and a half maybe), but it never seemed the right time. Too personal perhaps. Too close. It's still just as personal, and still just as close, but in the moment, I'm bringing it up. At least to some extent. You see, in the last 2 years my family has been touched by divorce. A year ago this month my parent's divorce was final. The eight months prior to that were an emotional roller coaster as we struggled through it with them. Bringing them to Scripture and hearing them say it didn't matter.

We have been blessed that much of the stress on these relationships has been relieved in the past 6 months with the repentance of one heart, but renewed again with more rebellion and another ugly word... remarriage.

It makes me sick.

Updated: Please be kind in your comments. I know this is not an exhaustive post on the topic of divorce and we want to be sure to love one another in our conversations. I will try to cover this topic in more detail sometime soon. Thank you!

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Femininity and Reverence

I stumbled over to The Stay at Home Missionary's blog today and was enjoying her topic on femininity.

In one of her posts she had this video and I was challenged by the things Voddie Baucham said:

I took a few notes to remember...

  • Meekness in a woman means she is not boisterous, does not draw attention to herself
  • I am to conduct myself in such a way that my goal is to bring honor to God and not attention to myself
  • Loud and obnoxious is not reverent
  • In our society, we are no longer raising women, but men who are biologically capable of bearing children
All are great thoughts to chew on!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

"I'm just touching my face"

Yeah... sure! This is the answer we often get when asking Tornado if he is sucking his fingers, or when we tell him not to.

"I'm just touching my face (or eye or lips or whatever)" he says in reply.

"Well, don't touch your face," I tell him.

Seriously! He's 2... and it's hard to tell if he's lying outright (you know, in his own mind) or if he's saying what he's doing now, hoping we won't focus on .04 seconds ago.

Kids! They say the funniest things. Or is it that the things they say are funny because they are kids? I wonder about that more and more these days!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Harvesting: First Broccoli Head

I haven't done much talking about our garden/greenhouse. In a perfect world I'da blogged it in real time, but it took so much time and energy that I didn't blog about it at all. But you know what? We built a greenhouse this year... and planted a garden inside it.

Maybe someday I'll get pictures posted.

But that is not what this post is about... this post is to share about our first harvest!

And broccoli at that.

And don't think this is any small thing. Broccoli has proven very difficult to grow. After giving up on starting it from seed, we purchased a transplant from the natural food store we like to shop at. It doubled and tripled and more very quickly. Then before we knew it, there was a flower head growing in there. And now...


Can't wait to eat it!

Any tips on preparing and eating home grown broccoli?

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Alone in a tent

A two and a half year old left in a tent alone... before falling completely asleep... can cause all sorts of trouble. You can't tell as much on the right page, but he totally got my sudoku book. And the puzzles weren't done yet. It was very tricky to finish those puzzles with scribble all over them.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup and Mashed Potatoes

We had left overs from the freezer for dinner last night. They were originally from different meals, but I was inspired by seeing someone else's recipe for Chicken and Gravy over mashed potatoes, so I combined them. I figured, homemade chicken noodle soup is almost is just glorified chicken broth, so I thickened it and poured it over re-warmed mashed potatoes.

Ta-da, an easy and yummy and fast meal!

For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy's blog!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Toddler Menu for the Week

This week I only had to plan for a partial week because we are camping with our church and someone else plans the meals, we just chip in with prep and serving. I'll be making snacks for the weekend and we are responsible for breakfasts (though I haven't made final decisions on what those will be yet.)

Anyway, enjoy the menu...

More menu ideas at MPM!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Sweet Pea's Birth Story ~ Part 2

15ish months ago I promised you all Sweet Pea's birth story. Well, here it is. I'll be breaking it in to smaller pieces because, as some of you already know... I'm long winded!

Click here for part 1.


Still writing March 8, 2008

I had just finished telling the nurse thank you and that we'd get to the Birthcenter when we could and she said she'd let them know we were coming. There was still so much to do, and stopping every few minutes for contractions was slowing down progress. First I had to call My Beloved. He knew he probably wouldn't be at work all day, so he wasn't surprised to get my call. He was going to wrap up one last thing and be on his way home. Next I called MG to let her know we were on. We would leave as soon as she could get here and we could get out.

Before we were off the phone, though, and I could give her any details, I looked up and saw H standing on our front porch. Perfect timing! H is a wonderful younger lady in our Sunday School class. She has 2 boys 2 and under (though they are 2 and 3 now) ~ she started way ealier than we did) and had said we could use her bassinet again. She was supposed to "bring it over on Friday." I really appreciated it, because I really wanted it set up and ready before Sweet Pea was born.

Having the bassinet here before the baby came was a blessing in and of itself, but when she found out I was in labor, she offered to stay and help with anything. My first impulse was to thank her and decline, but I jumped at her offer instead--even if it meant that she and her 2 year old simply distracted Tornado while I worked. Turns out she was a huge help, starting a load of baby clothes, grabbing fresh sheets for MG to use on our bed, following the boys around and generally offering moral support until my back up arrived. She even rubbed my back during a particularly intense contraction. Like I said... she was a blessing straight from God!

When My beloved got home a little bit later, he helped me finish gathering things and worked on the last business thing that needed to be done before we left for the hospital. All the while my contractions continued growing in intensity and getting closer together. Some were even starting to make me light headed. We needed to get going. Were we ready?

MG arrived and H left. With each contraction my head got fuzzier and it was harder to focus. I kept loosing my train of thought. My Beloved did such a great job telling MG all the things he thought I would want her to know, had I been able to think straight enough.

Just before noon, we were getting in the car and on our way.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Potty Training

So... we've been potty training for a while. Maybe since January or February officially. I stopped putting diapers on my boy and started putting him in underwear. I know some would say that what I've done is train myself, but it's still saving money on diapers. I started by taking him every 15-30 minutes, and he usually went. Even before I switched to underwear, we'd been going at key moments throughout the day and it had been weeks since I'd changed a poopy diaper. The theory here is that he'd get it eventually.

Well, 4-5 months later I'm still taking him regularly, though it's more like each hour. We have our accidents, but I'd love to have exact numbers on how much money we've saved on diapers... not to mention not having to change them. I put them on him for nap and bed times, but even then he is dry sometimes.

He doesn't mind using the toilet for potty time or even the *other*. He is very good at it, uses the "big potty" and even gets himself up there all by himself now.

Sounds great doesn't it??? Only thing, he doesn't tell us when he has to go. Sure, when we are at the grocery store or sitting in church he does (for which we are thankful since we keep him in underwear even when we go out), but that is only because he doesn't want to be wherever he is... an excursion to the potty is a welcome retreat. At home though, it's only happened once or twice... and maybe I was just imagining it.

A couple weeks ago he took off his pants and gave them to me. Was that an "I have to go" or a boy stripping for the fun of it? I have no idea. Occasionally I catch him "grabbing" and I say "run to the potty!" Accidents happen when Mommy looses track of the time or forgets to take him before meals (as he definitely won't stop to tell me when there is food involved.) Lately he has taken to hiding before pooping in his pants. I wonder what he is doing behind the recliner, or yesterday, sitting sneakily behind the ottoman, and it turns out he was hiding to poop. This tells me he knows it's coming and has control to go somewhere to do it.

So... what do I do? Any idea from you experienced moms? If you have my phone number, feel free to call. The rest of you, I'd welcome any comments and ideas! He is so close... I know he knows, so what do I do to connect the rest of the dots?

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Toddler Compatible Menu for the week

A few days late, and a few dollars short, I have a menu to share with you. I wouldn't go crazy and say "I'm back" or anything, but life runs more smoothly with these long missed menus and, well, it really doesn't run at all without them. And I was so *proud* of all my nutrition back in the early days. As it says, pride does come before a fall! And I fell, and I fell long and hard, and I'm slowly trying to crawl back up to sea level... not to mention the 800ish feet above sea level we live at (I think).

At any rate... life gets crazy and I shut down, but I'm trying... and this week I've been working to follow this menu. I'll admit that even though I haven't posted it yet, I've strayed here and there. It was just too hot to make rolls yesterday, so I made rice pilaf instead (yum!). Today, I'm working hard to get all those things made... from scratch. I've been in the kitchen all day (with normal life activities mixed in here and there.) My legs and feet hurt and I'm SO tired, but I need to get back in there and finish up the potato salad so I can get it in the fridge to chill.

No matter what, my family is better nourished when I have a plan!

Enjoy the menu!!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sweet Pea's Birth Story ~ Part 1

15ish months ago I promised you all Sweet Pea's birth story. Well, here it is. I'll be breaking it in to smaller pieces because, as some of you already know... I'm long winded!


Written March 8, 2008

She's precious, and tiny! 6 pounds, 10.4 ounces and 19 inches long. She's sleeping now on my chest. My Beloved went home to shower and change, so it's just us. When he returns, Tornado is coming to meet his sister for the first time. We are blessed to have MG staying with him at our home. She reported last night that he said "mama", "dada", and "baby". He's never said a word before, so we'll see if this was real or just imagined! :)

I suppose I should write down the birth story for our little Sweet Pea while it is still somewhat fresh.

Thursday night, MG was over for dinner and she and My Beloved both "informed" me that I was not allowed to go into labor during the night. They both wanted to sleep. I told them I would see what I could do. Nothing was happening yet though, and I was still a few days from my due date, so I wasn't worried.

I awoke the next morning, Friday, March 7th, at around 7am, as I normally do, to use the bathroom. I wasn't feeling great, but otherwise all was normal. Over the next hour I was up two more times "not feeling great", yet finding that I could do nothing to help. The cramping persisted and as I lay down again with My Beloved (in the hopes that laying would help) I began to wonder if I were in labor.

Around 8am I was aware of the first official contraction. They were sporadic in minutes apart and in strength, but by the time My Beloved left for work at almost 9, I was pretty sure I was in labor. I called my sister (a couple hours from here) to let her know this might be "it" only to find her on her way to New York with friends. Hmmm... I thought she was going to stay with Tornado... and this is the weekend I was due.

Next I called MG (all the while Tornado is eating his breakfast). MG answered her phone with "your kidding right?!?" I said, "Well, maybe and maybe not." I was glad I called. It gave her a chance to arrange her morning for "just in case."

Assuming I only had so much time, I tried to get all sorts of things done between contractions. It was easy to sit and read several books to Tornado though, as this was his greatest request.

Around 10, some of my contractions were getting pretty strong and they were ranging from 2-14 minutes apart. My mom called, as she does each morning on her way to work, and I gave her the news so far. Before we'd been talking a minute or so I was having a contraction I couldn't talk through. A good sign, we decided. We then decided that even though the contractions weren't 10 minutes apart (regularly) for an hour, that I should probably call anyway-- just to see what I should do.

I talked to the nurse and she said she'd call back after she talked to the Doctor. Tornado and I took care of a couple things on the computer and until she called us back. "You just got yourself a ticket to the Birthcenter," I heard her say several minutes later from the other end of the line.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009


Our township does a firework show for it's anniversary each year. In the 4 1/2 years we've lived here, we've never been... that is until this year with a 2 year old who is afraid of everything and a 1 year old who is afraid of thunder. If you can't call me a good mother, you can at least know that I was showing love and submission to my dear husband. He *loves* fireworks, but only from the front row. In years past we've completely passed up the chance to see fireworks from afar... "there's just no point".

This year we thought we'd take them for the hay ride and fireworks. Hayride? Very fun! Fireworks... interesting.

Waiting for the fireworks was tough, though we killed some of the time by sharing an order of fresh cut fries. Then we just sat and sat and waited and he wasn't aloud to run around and "come back here" and such and such and such. Then, all of a sudden, without warning, we saw a speck of light shoot from the grassy field in front of us, into the air. We had very little time, and not enough time to alert Tornado (who still had no idea what "fireworks" were) to what was about to happen. He was standing in front of us, back turned to what was happening, Sweet Pea on my lap. Concerned with what Tornado would do, I didn't have the time or thought to think of what Sweet Pea would do. Before we knew it the first firework was exploding in the darkening sky... and my two year old was freaking out!

The darkness was making it increasingly difficult to see around us, and I wasn't sure which direction Tornado would run in his panic, so I was out of my chair and rushing toward him in very little time... whisking a screaming Sweet Pea with me.

What? Earplugs, you ask?? Yeah, that would have been a good idea. Where were you Saturday?

With Tornado's arm in my hand and screaming Sweet Pea over my arm, I retreated to my chair and thrust Tornado into Daddy's lap where he could calm down and watch the show with Daddy's hands pressed tightly over each ear.

I proceeded to hold Sweet Pea against me, pressing one ear into my body and holding my hand over the other. She calmed down... Tornado didn't... ever.

After a moment of listening to his hysteria and calls for Mommy, I moved from my chair to the ground beside my sweet husband and took on Tornado also. The transfer was comical for sure, as we were careful to keep his ears covered the whole time. It was a bit of a juggling act, but eventually he did stop screaming. He wanted to see them, but wasn't happy about the noise. He made continual whining noises, I imagine because it echoed in his head with his ears covered and drowned out some of the sound.

At any rate, it's all he's talked about today... "Are we going to see more fireworks tonight?" he asked me this morning on the way to church. He remembers how scary they were, but he doesn't seem to care.


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Thursday, June 4, 2009

What I've always wanted to be...

I've always wanted to be a cook... to create fine meals and menus and to present them beautifully. To work short order or to plan several courses. To feed the same people day in and day out, working to make them healthful. ...So why do I dread starting each new meal?

I've always wanted to be a waitress... to serve, to prep the table, to "be right back" with whatever someone needs or wants... so why are my feet so heavy now?

I've always wanted to be a bus boy... to clear dish upon dish upon dish from the table. To wipe down and even scrub the remains of food and drink from the surface. To sweep (and even scrub) the floor underneath each chair once each meal is over. why do I let it sit so long before finally doing it?

I've always wanted to be the "dish washer"... to have my hands in water so much during the day that it is impractical to get a manicure (even if I could have one). To rewash the same plates, bowls and cups, pots and pans, spoons, forks, knives, etc., etc. over and over and over and over... just to see them dirtied and in need of washing over again. why do I avoid it as long as possible?

I've always wanted to be a cleaning lady... to spend hour upon hour upon hour sweeping, wiping, clearing, dusting. To do the same monotonous work day in and day out, just to see it dirtied again. why don't I do it with joy now? (correction: why don't I do it at all now?)

Then there are the other jobs I've longed to do...

nurse sick and injured

The list can and does go on forever!

Ok, so I suppose I never realized that these are the things I've always wanted to be... but when I longed to be a wife and mother, this was part of it! When I was dreaming of the day I would have children, I was dreaming of wiping noses, scrubbing floors, potty training, pushing a train around a track, dusting, meal planning, doing dishes. Like I said, the list goes on.

So why are my minutes not spilling over with words and thoughts of praise to my God for blessing me with the desires of my heart??

Lord, open my eyes, with each new minute, to all I have to rejoice in! Thank you for all you give me! Help me to be thankful for all that being a wife and mother entails!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Change of plans

I wasn't up during the 6 o'clock hour this morning. Really it was closer to the normal 7:30. But I'm ok with that. You see, after an already late bedtime, I had the opportunity to be awake and out of bed for 20 or so minutes right around 1:30 this morning.

Opportunity? you ask. Yep, but I didn't think of it as an opportunity at first. I was woken up by the brightest lightening and loudest thunder I've ever heard... and it just wouldn't stop. It was one after the other after the other after the other. I believe I now have a small taste of what it must have been like to live through the Civil War or to try to sleep through air strikes in WW2. But I was so tired that I tried to ignore the noise and light intruding upon my bedroom. I pretended that it wasn't bothering me and prayed it wouldn't wake Sweet Pea, who is afraid of thunder.

Before I knew it I'd been awake long enough to need to use the bathroom. While I was up, the loudest crack of thunder smacked the sky, sounding like a very loud gun going off just outside our home. That one woke Sweet Pea. She was crying wildly. I made my way through the darkness to find her in her crib and took her with me to the living room where we could ride out the storm together.

I've never been held so tightly by one so small. Her arms gripped my shoulders more tightly than she had midnight strength for, I'm sure of it, but with each new crack of thunder or each new flash of lightening, she clung to me tighter still. It wasn't too long before her crying quieted with the distancing of the storm. She lay quietly against me now, tightening her grip with each distant thunder, but remaining quiet.

When the thunder was distant enough and one arm had slid down from my shoulder, I walked her back to her bed and lowered her in. I will remain ever thankful for that time in quiet noisy darkness with her little arms clinging to me, head on my shoulder. And I don't feel a bit bad for changing the alarm clock when I returned to my bed.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This weeks challenge

I've set myself a goal for this week. I'm trying to get up at 6 each day to get a jump on the day. Well, yesterday it was 6:20 when I stumble from bed to the shower (yes, that's right... the shower. Amazing!) I got granola made in time for My Beloved to have some for breakfast before leaving for work and bread started in the bread machine. I got the dishes organized too, making the kitchen look much cleaner than it had.

This morning it was 6:15. My Beloved was to shower later this morning, so I left him the hot water and skipped right to getting dressed to the shoes (a philosophy I shrugged off long enough, now to admit that for me it's the only way to be productive around the house). I wiped down the sink and toilet in the bathroom and moved out to the kitchen. I booted up my computer (for a recipe) and straightened up the living room from the toy mess I left last night. Recipe on screen, I moved to the kitchen to whip up these delicious Whole Grain Banana Oatmeal Muffins (where I substituted approx. 1/2 hard red wheat and 1/2 soft white wheat ground in my own kitchen, and oil for applesauce because we ate all the applesauce.) They were very good... even my husband said so! And... they were ready for breakfast this morning.

I got Tornado up around 7:30 and we took out some trains to play with. I got a couple blogs checked and the kitchen mess organized and cleaned a bit (again, waiting to use the hot water.)

Now here I am... just after 9 and so much already done. Now if I can just be productive the rest of the day!

How about you? Do you get up early to get things accomplished. I find that I get pretty tired later in the day... any of you beat that one? I'm working on getting to bed earlier, but I struggle to fall asleep.

Off I go... to get more done!

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