This Page

has been moved to new address

Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: October 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Preschool Corner: Gladys Aylward

preschool corner

Between colds and apples and everything else, I haven't been around here much. But that also means I've been busy doing other things.

One of those things has been reading. Though I am far from reading to my kids as often as I'd like, we've been incorporating chapter books in with the other picture books. Last night we finished our third chapter book since beginning this summer. We've read Mr. Popper's Penguins, Charlotte's Web, and now Gladys Aylward.

Gladys (as she's become affectionately known around our home) is the last we've read. I'll admit, that when I started reading chapter books to my 2 1/2 year old and almost 4 year old, I wasn't sure how much they'd really get, if anything... not to mention if they'd enjoy it. But just when I am sure they haven't caught anything, Tornado pipes up with a question or comment during the reading that tells me he's catching more than I thought. And though I know Sweet Pea is catching even less than Tornado, that isn't stopping her from requesting that we read it just as much... or from carrying the book around and looking through the picture-less book during other times of the day.

We all really enjoyed the read! It was a great introduction to missions (aside from "let's pray for our missionaries"). I really appreciated the opportunity to discuss death, hardship, and some of the other themes in the book from a Biblical worldview with my children. While I don't know that Sweet Pea even picked up on them, Tornado definitely has and it has opened up some conversations about them.

In addition to reading the book, and in order to expand on it, I worked in a few things into the reading. Initially I thought about doing something with each chapter, but I don't have time and energy for that and I was afraid I'd put off reading the next chapter until I could do the "fun" thing I'd planned, and I decided that reading was more important than putting it off to do some little something. So we did what we could.

With chapter one we looked at the globe and trekked out her planned journey on Google Maps. Then I let them color a map of the eastern hemisphere and drew a line for him to trace of her path across Asia. Tornado liked that. He also found and colored China. Tornado often talked about China and Russia, both when we were reading and when we were doing other things. Often the earth comes out to look at where she was. (Geography)

During the chapters when she was traveling through and trapped in Russia (and therefore surrounded by people who didn't speak her language) I found a website that had some phrases in Russian and we listened to them. (Social Studies)

I also stopped here and there to explain things, answer questions and expand on things.

One important thing you should know is that there were a few places that I chose to edit out for content, either skipping the paragraph entirely, or changing the words around a bit for issues I wasn't ready for my 2 and 3 year olds to hear about. Be aware of these things when reading anything to your littles! :)

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Applesauce Money

I was talking with our mail lady when a friend pulled up in her van. I didn't know she was coming and we haven't connected in person since before Little Man was born. I didn't know why she'd come and I was in the middle of discussing portraits with my mail lady (we did senior portraits for her daughter recently) so I couldn't just stop and give her my attention.

I was aware of the activities behind me. The kids were on the porch. Friend and friend's kids were out and up to the house... in the house... back out. I was grateful she had a couple minutes to wait while I finished up. Once I could give her my attention she let me know she dropped some money on the table (to pay for her share of the 7 bushels of apples). After a few minutes she was gone.

I looked all around when getting back in the house but didn't see the money, so I asked Tornado.

"Did Miss T leave something, Tornado?"


"Do you know where it is?"

"Yes... right there," he said running over to point.

"What is it?"

"Applesauce money."


Friday, October 22, 2010


I'm sitting here today, finding it hard to believe that some of my favorite bloggers are here, less than 20 miles from me, and I'm not going to meet any of them! :( Very sad. I didn't know it until yesterday, but I wish I was at Relevant! And I could have gone and still come home at night.

I'm reminding myself, though, that this is apple week, that I'm far behind on business work, and that things are already a *little* crazy around here. Sigh... I'll be okay. My place is definitely here! My babies are here... and really, I love them more than all the best bloggers in the world!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A truly sad testiment

I was clicking through a few news articles online today when I happened on one that really made me sad... if not climb a little higher up on my soap box!

Did you know there was a "50 and Fabulous Gala Benefit"? Didn't sound so bad in and of itself, until I read the next line where I learned they were "celebrating 50 year of Women's advances since the Pill." I guarantee I'll never think of Cybill Shepherd the same again. (And what's more, it was benefiting all sorts of abortion supporting organizations here in the states and abroad.)

Fifty years of women's advances since "the Pill"? From where I sit it's more like 50 years of societies regression. 50 years of stepping, day by day, away from the heart of God.

This has me wondering. Where would we be if "the Pill" was never created... never introduced? Where would we be if, instead of stepping out, women had made another decision 50, 80, 100 years ago and each year since? Where would we be today if women had made the decision to stay put? Support their husbands? Keep their homes? Raise their children?

Was this really an advance? Are women really needed outside the home more than inside the home?

In case you can't tell where I stand on this issue, I don't think so!

I don't often delve into controversial topics on this blog... it's a little scary. I know there are a lot of people out there who disagree with me on this point (though I don't know how many of them read my blog). I would ask this...if you disagree with anything I (or others in the comments) have said, please have Scripture to back it up. I will not post negative comments that do not include Scripture to back up their opinion. And let's remember to build one another up! Thanks!

(Updated: I've been enjoying the conversation in the comments... join us!)

Labels: ,

Learning to use Herbs: A giveaway

I may have mentioned a couple times that I'm working on learning how to use herbs to bless my family (and friends). This week at Keeper of the Home, there is a giveaway for a new book to help us learn just that!

Check it out!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Something to "Think Think Think" about

I was reading over at Homegrown Mom this morning and found this great post in her archives! I definately need to remember this every moment of my mothering journey! Give it a read... it's short and sweet!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apples, apples everywhere

Saturday afternoon we arrived home with a trunk full of apples.

That evening, My Beloved set right to work slicing them for the dehydrator.

Yesterday and Sunday we worked on our first batches of applesauce.

And last night, well into the wee hours of morning, we canned.

And it was worth every jar... even if I don't get as much done today because of it!

Labels: ,

Monday, October 18, 2010

No place to be

Saturday filled up quickly, like so many days of recent. A photo session in the morning. Our mail lady's daughter is a senior. We had no sitter and were "begged" to bring the kids. We were expecting 47 degrees at starting time with 19 mile an hour winds. Coats for all of us... just in case it never warmed up.

I was awake at 6, out of bed closer to 6:30. Barely any breakfast for any of us, except Little Man, and none for My Beloved, we were out the door, late, for our 8am shoot. Then pictures were done.

By 10:30 we were on the way home. Little Man needed to eat again, quickly. Kids pottied. Out the door again around 11:30. Off to Bigglerville to pick up apples... a lot of apples. It's an hour away and we needed to be there before 1. We decided to wait for lunch until the return trip since the kids are slow and we didn't really want "fast food" (chicken nuggets being the easiest, though undesirable, "car" food.)

At 12:30 we picked up 7 bushels of apples (5 of which are ours). From there, lunch would be the priority. We'd seen signs for a fun store we thought had a restaurant. And it was nearby. Turns out we were wrong, but we didn't know that until after driving the crazy route and feeding Little Man in the parking lot.

1:30 now. Kids have pottied and we asked about a restaurant. None here. No worries. My Beloved shopped some and I took the kids outside for a chance to run around.

I sat on a bench with Little Man, watching the kids play in the large grassy area. I sat thinking, realizing that I was nervous about the time. We really needed to get back. Or did we? All of a sudden it occurred to me that we didn't need to be anywhere. We were all there... together. The ones to decide our schedule were us. Sure, there would be a party to be at later in the evening, but even that was optional.

There was no reason to worry. No reason to hurry. No place we needed to be. So unlike our lives these days.

I relaxed a little. Watched the kids run and play. When we left, I enjoyed the drive through historic, then downtown Gettysburg on the way back to the freeway. If we'd wanted to, we could have gotten out and meandered by and through shops. We decided not to. We'd head home for a short time so I could feed the baby before we left for the party. We ended up at Burger King after all (a decision we'd be sorry for later)... so we could stay in the car. But the decision was ours.

holy experience

Thanking God for...

11. weekends

12. slowing down

13. no where to be

14. family

15. children

16. parties & hayrides & fellowship

17. time and energy to work on a quilt at the end of the day

18. a husband willing to slice and dehydrate the first batch of apples!

Labels: ,

Friday, October 15, 2010

When it "can't" get any worse

Don't let this little bundle of cuteness fool you. He can be a trouble maker just like the rest. And sometimes you just have to go with it... and let out a hearty laugh!

Lately, Little Man has been tending toward pooping while he eats. This makes it a little tricky to "catch" those poops in the toilet like I prefer to do. As soon as I hear evidence of this, we make quick work of getting to the bathroom... in the hopes of catching whatever may be left. Some days it works out that way. Other days....

I was talking to my mom this morning while dealing with a "situation" in the bathroom. "This couldn't get worse," I said through the phone. "Don't say that," she quickly advised.

This afternoon I was feeding while the kids ate their lunch. Before I new it, and only a few minutes into the feeding, there was that tell tale sound. Off we went to the bathroom to see what sort of damage had been done.


The second (of 2 I might add) diaper cover to be covered in poop today! Since we only have two, I try to keep them washed so that there is always one ready for such a moment. When they are back to back pooped on, I can only do so much! I took a deep breath, smiled at him, and moved onto clean up.

Where do I start? It was everywhere. This doesn't happen nearly as often as it did with the other kids when they were his age, but it does happen occasionally. I was on my second wipe when he started spitting up. Clear-ish milkiness oozed and dribbled, soon poring from the corner of his mouth. What could I do. I just let it happen. I'd get it in a minute.

I was working on my 3rd or 4th wipe when he began peeing all over himself, his onsie, and the mat. I let out my breath, thankful I had the disposable mat down over the bath towel I use folded up on the counter for padding. (Last week messy things happened there and I didn't have a mat down.)

Ugh. Oh well. I'll just clean that up in a minute.

Finally there was no poop to be seen. All clean. I debated whether I would set him on the toilet now. I usually would, but he'd already pooped and pottied, so there was probably no need. I paused to think of how to best get his soaked in potty clothes off of him.

Then I heard it.

The noise.

A gurgle.

Oh no.

There's no time.

It's coming.

I did what any experienced mommy would do. I lifted the bottom part of the mat to act as a backboard for this next activity. More poop... squirting. Puddling. Under him. All over the mat. Praise the Lord for the disposable mat. It really did it's job today!

More wipes. Now there truly was no reason to put him on the toilet, but I think I did anyway.

Sometimes there is no response but to laugh. Laugh and do the next thing.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Changes are coming...

In our worlds it comes as a change of seasons.

On this blog it comes as a new design... a new look.

I have most of the design finished... with just a few quirks to work out yet. Before things are final, I want to ask you all a question.

What do you want?

Are there any suggestions you have for my blog design (or blogging in general if you want)? What would make it easier for you? More pleasant? What are your favorite elements of other blogs?

I can't promise I'll use every idea (hoping you give me some), but I'd love some input!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chasing Three: 2 Months

As you may have noticed, this weekly "Chasing Three" posting is not happening. I do still want to include it in my line up, but I barely get my weekly shower chores done around here, so committing to a weekly anything extra is just not practical. I do want to keep the blog up to date on my experiences as a mommy "chasing three", however, for a couple reasons:

First, it's nice to have it chronicled somewhere... and there are several friends and family who read. This is for you... especially those of you I don't talk to on a regular basis!

Second, I'm hoping some terrified mommy of 2 with one on the way will find their way over here and have the opportunity to read what adding a third little to the mix really looks like. Sorry it's not all roses, but at least you know the reality! It's really not as bad as I would have expected in those last days and weeks of this last pregnancy though.

And as a bonus third... it's a place to share my journey with Elimination Communication! I may throw some extra EC posts in here and there with fewer Chasing Three posts to use, but we'll see. I may just sit and drink a glass of water. (Hold a sec... that sounds good!)

So here we are...

A rare and special treat. You can tell by the blurry picture how excited
they were to be sharing such a BIG dish of ice cream!

Chasing "Babies"
We've had several opportunities to do family outings in the last couple weeks. More on that later, but it has been a great time for us to be together as a family... even with the rough edges that come with such events.

School has been even more out the window as we haven't done much at all aside from reading... and even then, I'm often guilty of falling asleep while I read. Tornado has taken to stroking my cheek gently when he notices my speech slurring or that I've stopped altogether... in a non-stopping place. I am grateful for two things in regards to school these days... one is that I can live such a "flexible" life and the other is that no one is keeping track. I have several years still before our state even cares! Someday we'll ease into something disciplined!

My big goal this week has been to get the kitchen table nice and cleared, and to clean it up after each meal. This way we can actually use it... and on the spur of the moment too. If kids want to color, cut, or whatever, now I can say "get in your chairs" instead of "Mommy has to clean the table first". Much more likely that we'll actually do it.

While waiting is still our reality, we're also starting to feel a flow to the days. There are still days when no one sleeps much and we just survive our way through, but I'm working on being more intentional so that things happen in some kind of order. Of course this doesn't mean I'm not nursing while stirring spaghetti sauce or having the kids sit on the floor until I can get to them... but maybe, just maybe, we're getting better about it all.

On one of the last warm days of the year, we all headed out front to play on the grass.
How sweet they all were together on the blanket!

Little Man
My nights have been stretching longer and longer most days as Little Man stretches closer and closer to the ever coveted "sleeping through the night". In fact, I'd say we've had one or two days when that has happened. I'm not sure I slept through the night, but we'll get there. Of course I still hear everything... or almost everything... and when he fusses through a light sleep period, I wake up thinking he wants to eat. By the time I'm upright and getting ready to grab him (or returning from a quick trip from the potty room) I'm awake enough to really think about what I'm doing. Look at the clock. Think about how long it's been. Decide to lay down until he's really upset. Yeah, that's sounds good. Laying back down! Most of these times he's back asleep within a couple minutes. I do believe he sleeps and self soothes better (at night anyway) than either of my other two at this age. It's a blessing to not be rolling over half a dozen times a night to re-insert the pacifier when I could otherwise be sleeping.

He's continuing to grow, though this last week or so slowed down quite a bit. I'll be watching that. (How grateful I am for the infant scale we bought this time around!) He's also been smiling a ton. Very social smiles. Especially when I'm changing him. He just lays there on the counter and smiles up at me. I just love it. He smiles. I smile back. He smiles back at me. We go on and on. (All the while I'm needed in the other room by someone, but whatever.) I'm also starting to hear little noises, but they aren't distinct enough to call them cooing just yet.

EC'ing Department
I'm not going to lie... it hasn't been going well. I am far from my "I can officially say that more poops go into the toilet than go into a diaper!" statement, but I'm working to not be discouraged. Right around the time of my last update, the whole family got sick... all of us! It was brutal. Poor baby, he and Sweet Pea had it worst of all. A six week old should not get a cold. I was only sort of thankful that it wasn't complete with a runny/stuffed up nose. At least I could have helped him with that. No... all his congestion was in his throat and maybe his chest area too. So sad. We found a way to prop up his mattress so that he wouldn't end up in a heap at the bottom by morning and so that he wouldn't be in any danger of suffocation. That helped some. Add some Vicks (I'm hoping to have a more natural remedy next time, but there is little time for such research when everyone is sick) and we were doing the best we could. His eatting was ok (I'm hoping the sickness is why he didn't gain much weight) but he was also swallowing a lot of flem! This makes for some yucky, and more frequent I might add, poops! In some ways ECing helped this, but he also didn't seem to be able to wait as long, so we had lots more diapers to clean up.

Other than the sickness, I'd say that my tiredness/laziness has also been hampering our progress. We keep at it though, giving him some latitude when he just wants to fuss (read: scream) instead of potty in the potty. I'm working at doing it enyway when I don't feel like taking him to the potty. I'm always sorry when I don't! Always! Hopefully I'll be more encouraged next time I report in!

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Modern Era

Tornado's little 1 month old feet

Most of us don't give it much thought. Most of us don't have need to. But should we?

Medical science. Modern technology. The industrial age.

In some cases, we're sorry for the "advances" that have come along with all that. Much of it has taken the simplicity out of life. Made sin more accessible... more prominent... acceptable.

Our world has changed more in the last hundred plus years than in the thousand (maybe thousands) before that. Overall, I'd say that we are glad for this... any negative that may come from it stems more from our sin nature and the depravity of man than from the "new" itself.

We are glad for it. But are we grateful? Truly grateful?

I know I don't usually give it much thought. I flip a switch, lights go on. I lift the lever, water comes out of the facet... clean water at that. I am so grateful!

It takes my husband only 4-5 minutes to get to work in the morning... in a car. Imagine how much more time it would take on foot (since we don't have a place for horses where we live.) Tonight, Lord willing, we will use that same car to bring home the food we've gathered... from a grocery store. (If we were dependent on our garden this year, we would starve... it was a giant flop!) I am so grateful!

There are so many other things we could pause to reflect on. To be grateful for. To say a quiet "Thank you Lord." I challenge you to think through a few of the ones that affect you the most and pause in gratefulness.

This past month, though, I've paused to reflect on another one. Medical science. Modern medicine. Sometimes I think they try to do too much. That perhaps we're better off fighting some of these bugs ourselves. That we over medicate. That it sometimes does more harm than good. It's possible.

But then I slow to reflect. Look beyond the surface layer. Then I wonder.

What would our lives be like without modern medicine?

There are so many precious lives in our church whose fight against cancer would have been over long ago... assuming we even knew what happened to them. Friends involved in car accidents would have no chance for healing... for the life they lived before. Infection would run unchecked in our bodies and on our limbs.

I am grateful for medicine.

These are all things I've never really paused to think about. But they are all things I should hold close, praise our Lord for and be ever grateful because of. Let me share a few personal ones.

Without medicine, Tornado may not have lived through is first year... failure to thrive. Wasn't gaining weight. Spitting up most, of not all his feedings. I am grateful!

Without medicine, Tornado may not have survived his first asthma attack. Or his second. Or his third.... You get the idea. I am grateful!

Without medicine, we might not know all the things he's allergic to. Might not know to avoid them. Might not know what causes the rashes, the hives. Might not know that eating peanuts or shellfish (we discovered this allergy a couple weeks ago after having shrimp for dinner) one more time could bring death... without the medicines. I am grateful!

Sure, we could spend our time thinking through what actually causes all these allergies and illnesses. We could talk about where we would be where we are today if these pollutants or those chemicals weren't around. And we sometimes do as we work to avoid them. But for today...

Today, I choose to be grateful. Grateful for the advances our Creator has helped us to make as a people. Grateful for the wisdom and ingenuity He has given so many over the decades to bring us to what we know and have today.

I choose gratitude!

What can you choose to be grateful for today? How would your life be different without "progress"?

holy experience

6. inhalers that quiet wheezing

7. scales that chart growth

8. tests that show allergies

9. Epi-pens for just in case

10. doctors who know more than we do

Labels: ,