Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Great Fruit!

I've been working on gently putting the baby on a schedule.  We were both ready for the structure and predictability.

I am feeling so excited about it.  We waited until she was about 6 weeks old to start moving this direction.  These last weeks have been filled with lots of longer naps, concentrating on full feedings, and just going with the flow.  That said, it feels so amazing to be on our way toward predictability.

I decided I wanted the first feeding of the day to start at 8am.  Then I penciled down times in two and a half hour increments for the rest of the feedings.  It helps me keep a good eye on her to watch for her sleepy signals.  Newborns sleep a ton, and I always get sad when I see her starting to yawn when it feels like she just woke up.

Part of getting on a schedule is establishing some routines so that she will learn to expect what is coming next.  It has also involved helping her learn to get to sleep in her own bed.  We have really enjoyed her falling asleep in our arms and on our chests.  We'll still do that sometimes (like last night when she fell asleep in my arms and I couldn't put her down because she was so cuddly and sweet!), but for the most part it was important for us that she be able to sleep without us having to hold her the whole time.

I'm going to hop off here and read for a bit before she wakes up...but I just wanted to share how excited I am about our new set of train tracks.  She has been sleeping for 55 minutes and I was able to shower, put on make-up and get dressed with enough time left over to read.

Last night I was even able to cook dinner.  Have you heard of that?  Granted, it wasn't a great dinner because I was out of a key seasoning packet and had to make my own which was a little lack luster, but still, we sat at the table and ate food that didn't require milk and a spoon or two slices of bread.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Testing 101

Today our son took his first standardized test.  He was super nervous and so was I.  I'm really glad our state requires this testing because it gives us a guideline to see how we're doing.   I stayed home with the little kids and Shane took him to the test.
I was dying at the texts that were flying back and forth between us.  A lot of real life denim jumpers were spotted on the runway today.  It made me think I may need to get a shorter one for spring/summer. 

The only one I have is long and that can get a little warm with the humidity.  He was the only Dad at the testing site and I encouraged him to avert the eyes lest he fall into an essential oil conversation and not be able to get his work done. The room was loud with ladies discussing different curriculums.  There was even a knitting table.

Meanwhile I was home and you'll never believe it but the house was quiet for about an hour.  The two middle boys quietly colored at the kitchen table for an hour while I held a sleeping baby and drank coffee.  I was gonna read my Bible during that time but I couldn't quit looking at little squishy cheeks.  I decided a sleeping baby is every bit as worshipful as a sunset on a Florida beach.  It was a sweet time of prayer.

We ordered this book from Amazon.  It was a fantastic resource to get our son familiar with test taking.

Today was a hard one for me.  It is hard to see your child anxious about the unknown.  I wanted to rescue him and just test him at home, but I knew he needed to go to the testing site for this experience.  I'm pretty sure Shane will be giving our kids the test next year.  All the homemade granola recipes overwhelmed him.

On second thought, I may just get a pair of knitting needles and call it a field trip for Mama when I take them next year.

Please don't judge me but we loaded up the bus and celebrated completed testing over a lunch at McDonald's.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Full Swing

It was 1:30 this afternoon when I was finally able to grab a slice of cold pizza and eat. 

Life is in full swing today and I've been running since my feet hit the floor.

We have a puny newborn that has been getting extra TLC.  Saturday she and I went shopping.  We had been in an accessorizing emergency because she did not have any casual wear bows.  We got that huge problem fixed, thank heavens.

When we got home from shopping the pizza was ready and Shane said he wanted to hold her so I could eat a hot dinner.  She was crying, so I went and grabbed a 2oz bottle of formula we had been given at the hospital when she was born and we gave it to her.

A little over an hour later she started getting very sick.  She got sick about 6 times in a row and then got very sleepy.  The next morning she woke up with a fever and dry diaper.  She wasn't eating or using the bathroom so we ended up at the ER.  They concluded she had a bad reaction to the formula.  She is still running a low grade fever so she has been nestled in my arms all day.  The Moby wrap has been the best thing that ever happened to me.  After her bath I put her in a little white onesie and nestled her into the wrap.  She is sleeping so snugly next to me and that fuzzy little head is easily accessible for me to keep kissing.

My oldest son has standardized testing this week so we are doing practice tests to get him familiar with the format.

We've also had some opportunities for heart training today.  I've said it before, but the Child Training Bible is something every parent should have.  It takes time to sit with a child and talk through wrong behavior but it is so worth it.

I looked in the mirror and noticed the huge bags and circles under my eyes.  I am worn out.  My heart is full but my body is tired.  Life is in a transition time right now and it is showing on my face.

My Bible is opened to Isaiah 41 today and every time I get a chance to sit with the baby I am reading truths from the pages. 

Today is definitely one of the full kinds of days.  At the recommendation of a friend I am using my crock-pot as much as possible these days.  Our French dip sandwich fixin's are cooking away and smelling oh so good.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

If you know me...

If you know me then you know how pumped I am about today.

True, it is Thursday and Thursdays are extra exciting because they are like our Fridays at our house.  That was weird, I just used a big amount of are/our combo's in the last sentence.

Today is more exciting than that though.

We have weather heading our way.  I get so giddy on the inside about severe weather.  I am thinking this is not a normal response.  I don't know what it is, but I get excited about big weather events.  They make me wish I had cable so I could get lost in The Weather Channel. 

I like when the meteorologists are getting wound up and taking over the TV stations.  I like texting my sister to joke about how long they've been in the storm shelter.

This is not normal, I know. 

I have been anticipating this weather day all week and looking forward to seeing what is going to happen.

Right now the skies are getting dark.  The air is humid and the wind is blowing.  If feels great outside.  I've been on the patio drinking my coffee and enjoying how the air feels.

Every cotton picking lamp in the house is on {Shane, I hope you are not reading this right now because if you are I just gave you a heart attack}.

My Orange Vanilla Trapp is burning and the skies are starting to rumble.

We are all in pj's.  Technically that is not true.  The boys are playing in the yard while they can.  But I am in my pj's and that is what really matters. 

This morning I've been doing research on curriculum for next year.  That is another thing I love besides severe weather-researching stuff!  We are praying about what to do for school next year.  Right now, Shane's vote is to join a co-op.  My heart is divided on the issue, but I think I love the idea of fellowship with other families!  We have three options.  Join the co-op, My Father's World or Heart of Dakota.  I am very ready and looking forward to a fresh start to a school year.

This year had a lot of twists and turns I had not planned on.  Namely, having a baby!  It has been beyond wonderful and it has also challenged me to unclench my fists and walk with God into the different direction He had planned for us.  Nothing about our days has been predictable.  Earlier this week I was having a very hard time surrendering control.  I am ready to get us on track and have structure to our days so that I can feel productive.  I've surrendered that desire to God and am choosing to walk in the path He has for our days.  He is saying slow down sister!  We're going to keep taking it slower than you'd like and it is going to be OK.  He is saying you are not going to get it all done sister and it's going to be OK.  I am at great peace with this.

I am pretty sure that by the grace of God I will not look back on this slower season with regret.  Letting go has been a battle some days, but for the most part I've been able to embrace this slower season and let go of my expectations.

Yesterday I read something in Colossians 2 about walking with Jesus.  This year I have seen that walking with Jesus has proved to be a slower pace.  We have gone in different directions than I would have planned and the scenery has been absolutely great.  I've resisted some days, but for the most part I've been able to go with the flow and there has been blessing in that place.

My prayer right now is two fold.  One-that we don't get blown away today and Two-that I would increasingly be able to walk in the paths chosen for our days.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Tarred is southern for I can barely keep my eyes open.

All day I have been asking myself the same question. 

"How the heck am I supposed to be getting it all done?!"  Maybe not even getting it "all" done, but just getting anything at all done.

Today has been kicking my tail.  Tale?  Phtail with a silent ph?

I'm tarred.  I feel impatient.  The kids are extra loud.  I've heard my name (Mama) called a gazillion times.  Every time I sit down to attempt a lesson an interruption comes.  I did sign up for this, no?

We've been inching our way through the day, one interruption at a time.  I keep reminding myself to be kind, smile, and respond with a gentle tone, even though on the inside I'd maybe like to be sitting at Panera all by myself with a book and something good to drink.  Since that wasn't really a viable option for today, I did enjoy my bowl of Fruit Loops on the patio this morning by myself.

And we just ate cake together.  And right now I'm taking a blogging break.  And later this afternoon I'm taking a nap.

It's good to be good to yourself, especially on the hard days.

I also just got the most encouraging text from a dear friend.

"Hey girl! Take it easy with school and adjusting to baby.  You don't have to do it all.  XOXOXO"

Ahhhh.  Can I get an Amen for friends with perspective whose words are wrapped in grace?!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Encouraged Me...

Sometimes it is easier to nag, worry, or completely give up hope for change than it is to remember to ask God for help. 

This week I've been meditating on Psalm 107 and it has been so encouraging to me.  For the time being, I've put my reading through the Bible plan on hold, and am choosing short passages to read through and meditate on. 

This Bible reading format works so well, especially in seasons where you want to go deeper but maybe only have shorter spurts to devote to reading.  Camp out in a passage every day for a week.  Every time you read and re-read it, new things will stand out.  Today I wanted to share with you some things that have encouraged my heart this week.

This week I've been thinking about the promises of God and wandering if I know them so that I can believe them and apply them to my life.  What are the promises of God?  There is one phrase that has come to mind as I've asked the question, "What are the promises of God?"   I will never leave you or forsake you and I will not leave you as orphans.

There is a Psalm I've been meditating on this week.  As I've read and re-read, I've been searching for threads of promise.

His lovingkindness is everlasting.  I love the NASB version because it doesn't just says "kindness", it attaches the word "loving" in front.  Lovingkindess. 

This Psalm, Psalm 107, is filled with stories of people in trouble and needing help.  Multiple times the passage says the people cried out to the Lord in their distress, and He delivered them from their trouble.  It was not worrying or nagging that delivered them.  It was crying out to the Lord in their frustration.  Maybe even a half-hearted cry for help because the bigger parts of them did not believe change was possible.

His lovingkindess hears.

His lovingkindess moves Him to action on our behalf.

We can be wandering in a wilderness.  Not even just a wilderness, but a desert wilderness where there is no food or water or life around.  We can be lost and not know the way that will put our feet on the right path toward life.  In our hunger and thirst, we can call out to God and He can deliver us.

His lovingkindness can put our feet on a straight path that will lead us to where we need to go.

His lovingkindness can satisfy the thirsty soul and fill the hungry with what is good.

During the times when we are dwelling in darkness and in the shadow of death.  When the same struggle feels like a prison.  If we will call, He will hear and save.

His lovingkindness brings us out of darkness and brakes the chains.

It does not matter how strong the chains are.  His lovingkindness shatters gates of bronze and cuts bars of iron. 

His lovingkindness can save us out of distress.

He sends His Word and heals us.

His lovingkindness can change a wilderness into a pool of water.  It can change a dry land into a spring of water, and He can put us there to dwell in that place.  It is in that place, that He establishes an inhabited city.  A place filled with life.  Fields, vineyards, fruitful harvests, blessing, growth, newness. 

His lovingkindness sets the needy securely on high away from affliction.

His lovingkindness makes his families like a flock.

Consider the lovingkindness of the Lord.

These have been encouraging truths for me this week.  It does not matter what is going on, His lovingkindness is near and available.  He can brake any chain and deliver us out of any circumstance.  I don't know if you have a problem you've been dealing with.  Maybe something that has been causing you frustration.  An area where you want to see change, but have lost hope over.

These words are an encouragement to keep crying out to God because He hears.  Trade in the worry and striving for some talking to God time.  The worry and strife will only wear you out.  Talking to God about it is what will set our feet on the right path and start producing the change and fruit we are desiring.

God hears us when we cry out to Him, and He saves us out of our troubles and distresses.  I like those promises a lot.

Psalm 107

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week Two

Today I am embarking on week two of trying to figure out our new normal.  Last week I got really sick with some postpartum stuff and was in bed a few days running fever and in bad shape.  After several days on antibiotics, however, I am a NEW woman!  The kind that even remembers how to put on make-up and jewelry!

Let me start by saying oh my heavens!  We are LOVING our newest addition to the family.  She is such a sweetheart and has really completed us.  When she wakes up her hair is all fuzzy and crazy and adorable.  She loves to be held and with five of us passing her around, she gets held a lot.

This morning I have made some plans to start slowly heading toward routine and normal.  That being said, most of my plans the last nine months have been traded for more time on the couch with the hubs and kids.  I think you'd be proud of the fingerprints on the glass and the layer of dust on the picture frames.  God has done a huge thing in my life by letting me be able to tolerate {a little more, anyway} some of the things that drive me that I can just rest or be with my family.

Here's what I started working on this morning {which, so far, has turned out to be a big fat flop}.

Today I've been trying to gently move the baby toward a routine.  The last two weeks my goal has been to get her to eat full feedings.  Newborns are so sleepy and it is hard to keep 'em awake to eat.  Heading into week three with her I'm trying to steer us toward some consistent routine.

We start back with school today which is a great feeling.  I thought I'd be up and running last week, but my sickness took me down to China town.

Since I was up for two straight hours last night with Sleeping Beauty I am hoping my afternoon reward will be a little {or big} nap.

It's Monday so that means the washing machine is whirling away behind me.  It is Living Room week at Flylady, so if I have time later today I may feather dust and run a quick vacuum.  The mission today is to put out a hot spot in the living room.  We have a small table with books piled in a big jumble.  Here's hoping that by the end of the day the books are lined up nice and neat.

I'm off to reheat my cup of coffee for the 5th time and teach an English lesson and add fabric softener to the laundry and try to settle the baby who is crying again.  I love my life!