Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Future Agrarian in Our Midst?

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. ~Genesis 2:15

Friday, May 25, 2007

I. did. it.

I made something. I made something with sleeves.

And all of the blood, sweat and tears (yes, I mean that literally) were all worth it yesterday morning when my daughter rose up in her brand new nightgown and called me blessed ;). Maybe I will do it again after all.
I have got a ton of patterns, some even cut out. I have made aprons, doll clothes (all sleeveless), I've done a lot of mending and I could have "whipped up" a jumper pretty quickly but I have always balked at the idea of even trying sleeves and now I know I can do it! I just need to try a zipper and then I'm good to go!
Thanks for the pattern suggestion Tanya :)!

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. ~Psalm 90:17

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Have any of you experienced Dermatographia?

   We've had some interesting things come up lately. Most disquieting to my mother-mind is a little issue Andrew is having. From what I have read it is harmless but I would still really like it to go away. On its own. So, if any of you have experienced dermatographia  and had it go away on its own (or through natural home treatments) I would be so encouraged by your testimony! It doesn't seem to be bothering him, it is just so disconcerting to me to see his face turn bright red every ten minutes! Here is a picture of Andrew after rubbing his eyes with his little fists and his face on my shoulder shortly after waking up from a nap...

The camera didn't pick it up very well for some reason. Anywhere you see red, picture it twice as dark and that would be closer to what it looks like in person.
And here he is about five minutes later, practically flawless skin!

Isn't that odd? I have gotten some great information through a forum I'm a part of, in fact that is how I figured out what was going on in the first place! That was such a blessing to at least have a starting point in my research. But if any of you can share anything else pertaining to this I would be so appreciative.
   I truly believe that during his first round of vaccinations his immune system was overloaded. Not only did he have the same screaming fits that Bethani used to have, but seemingly overnight he developed extremely red patches of dried skin that we have been battling for months now. The same thing that caused his dry skin has now left him predisposed to develop this new problem, especially if he came into contact with an allergen, and allergies are nothing new to our family. Lee has extreme allergy problems and the girls and I all have our own things we can't handle. There is some regret there because I really felt during Bethani's babyhood that God was leading us to stop vaccinating our children and I didn't listen. I was more afraid of what  "man" may do to me than listening to that still small voice and searching the scriptures. In the end, after prayer and study of both the scriptures and from a medical standpoint, we made our decision based on the fact that God puts a high view on the "lifeblood" of a person and we were concerned with injecting pig, chicken and monkey DNA into our children's blood and even more discomforting and saddening was the knowledge that we had been allowing them to be injected with cells grown from aborted fetuses. Other concerns were the levels of aluminum and mercury, among other things, in the vaccinations. If you are interested in learning more about the health concerns with vaccinations I highly, highly recommend the documentary 
The Hidden Truth, that you can watch online. It is long but sooo interesting!  We did not know that this documentary existed until after we had made our decision but it was very confirming from a medical standpoint. I got my spiritual confirmation the day that we went in and had already decided that we were going to tell the doctor our decision and there was a bible verse hanging in the office that really spoke peace to me. I had been kind of nervous about a confrontation with our very vaccination pushing pediatrician but the verse put my spirit at rest and the conversation with the pediatrician actually ended up going surprisingly well!  It probably helped that he had lost his voice that day ;). We'll see how it goes next time when he can actually speak above a whisper. Anyway, we had never seen that bible verse in the doctor's office before and I continued to see that verse throughout that day, it got almost funny :). For information on what ingredients are commonly found in immunizations see here and for a chart of cell lines used see here
   In other news of excitement...I checked up on a credit account yesterday (which I do quite regularly "just in case" there was ever a problem) expecting to owe nothing and learned that our card has been hit with a very large charge that was not made by us. Capital One and Home Depot both gave me the run around so when Lee got home he called back and wasn't on the phone for ten minutes before they had actually done something! Grrr ;). Anyway, they are doing an investigation so it should be cleared up in the next thirty days. The odd thing is they are saying that the card was swiped but we still have the cards in our possession. Irregardless, neither of us have ever been to Tampa, Florida so I'm confident they will be able to get it cleared up. I  just have a nature that is so prone to worry even when my head knows everything is going to work out fine. I guess God is giving me plenty of opportunity to practice letting go and trusting.
   To leave this on a positive note... I spent Wednesday visiting with my mom, dad and sisters with the two littlest littles. It was a very sweet time of fellowship for me, it had been a while since we had all been together. It was the first time Bethani has seen a cat up close, it was so cute. She called the cats everything from bears to doggies ;). Bethani had a ball and Andrew obviously enjoyed himself. It was the first time he has ever gone to anyone without even batting an eyelash since he was a few months old. Hopefully we can do it again soon!
   Lastly, here are a few links for you. My friend
Tanya posted about her family's recent visit with our familyKim C. at Life in a Shoe has a very thought provoking post on technology versus the Bible and Carmon at Buried Treasure is sharing about how the view of contraception by the church has changed over time (The March 22, 1931 Washington Post quote is very interesting!).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Praying Scripture

   There are many beautiful prayers in the Bible and the book of Psalms is an especially great book to read when you use scripture in your prayers, just ask my five year old...
   This particular child of mine is very, very  s...l...o...w... ;). As in, the girl doesn't believe in being in a hurry. It's not that she can't, she started reading at four and I was willing to wait until she was six or seven! And you should have seen her hurry when Tanya's family showed up and she was in the middle of folding some towels ;). When it comes right down to it you don't have to remind her to stop and smell the roses but you just might have to remind her that she's supposed to be watering them a couple of times before it gets done ;). Many times in the past I have had to pull her aside and tell her how blessed she is that God has given her such a naturally calm and patient personality, but that it could become a weakness instead of a strength if she doesn't learn to apply herself when necessary. That said, I learned two things the other night during devotions:
1) She realizes she needs to be working on this particular part of her character
2) She is listening during family Bible time
We were reading Psalm 119 and had gotten to verse 156...Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord: quicken me according to thy judgements...
At that we heard a sigh and Tori saying to herself, "I need to pray that...". So cute :).

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day Fellow Mommies!!!

   Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
~1 Timothy 2:15     


   She shall be saved through childbearing: "To censorious men it might appear absurd, for an Apostle of Christ not only to exhort women to give attention to the birth of offspring, but to press this work as religious and holy to such an exent as to represent it in the light of the means of procuring salvation....whatever hypocrites or wise men of the world may think of it, when a woman, considering to what she has been called, submits to the condition which God has assigned to her, and does not refuse to endure the pains, or rather the fearful anguish of parturition, or anxiety about her offspring, or anything else that belongs to her duty, God values this obedience more highly than if, in some other manner, she made a great display of heroic virtues, while she refused to obey the calling of God. To this must be added, that no consolation could be more appropriate or more efficacious than to shew that the very means (so to speak) of procuring salvation are found in the punishment itself."
Calvin's Commentary  
   “The coming of each new child strengthens and deepens my desire to be what I would have it become; makes my faults more loathsome in my eyes, and elevates my whole character.
       ~Elizabeth Prentiss' Stepping Heavenward, page 180

Friday, May 11, 2007

I've MIRLed :)!

   A couple of weeks ago I Met In Real Life a dear friend, Tanya, a frequent commenter here and a long time pen-pal of mine! Our daughters have also pen-palled for over two years so it was a special time for all of us! They got in kinda late the first day so it was pretty much straight to bed for the little ones but we adults sat up and talked for a couple of hours. It was so surreal to me that my good friend from Canada was actually sitting in my living room! The next morning we had a hearty breakfast, packed a picnic and headed to the zoo. The children got to go into the bird aviary and feed the birds nectar from little cups, that is my children's favorite thing to do at the zoo.


Everyone was pretty worn out when they climbed out of the vans back at home. Lee snapped this adorable picture of mine and Tanya's oldest girls together doing what they do best...

So cute:)! The children were all recharged by the time we got through supper and had a lot of fun together, giggling and making memories while we grown-ups got to chat some more.
   They had to leave early the next afternoon and there were tears from our girls when their friends had to leave. I am so thrilled to have gotten to meet Tanya! She has such a sweet spirit and she is so soft spoken! It was such a pleasure to get to visit with her and her family and I am so humbled that they went so out of their way to come to see us! Here are a few more pics...
A sweet one of all of the littles but Tanya's smallest...

I love this picture of our little stair-step daughters! By the way, Bri (my oldest in the red shirt) was the oldest child, Tanya's family is very tall :)...

And here is a group shot...

As you can see, I am very short ;). It was such a neat time!
Thank you again Leif and Tanya!!!

A friend loveth at all times...~Proverbs 17:17

Thursday, May 10, 2007

There is Truly Nothing New Under the Sun...

   Countless times in Blogdom I have come across mommies explaining what they see as choppy comments or lack of capitalization/grammar, etc.. I've written a few of them myself. Our reason? Babies in arms ;). I got such a tickle out of reading the following quote out of a letter written in 1754 by Esther Burr (married daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards) in the book Marriage To A Difficult Man: "You will not wonder if you see many blunders for I write rocking the cradle." And in explanation of several blotches on the paper she writes, "Now I write with Sally in my arms for I am resolved to write...".
   It has been a wonderful book so far! I remember when I could get through a book in a day or two. The last few years it has slowly stretched out to the point that sometimes it takes me a month or two to finish a book if I really want to get anything out of it. Could that possibly be because I used to read one at a time and now it is nothing for me to be reading several? There are my books, the books Lee and I are reading together, the books the girls and I are reading, the book I'm reading with Bri, the book I'm...well, I think you get the picture.
   Incidentally, please excuse any mistakes you see in this post, I'm typing with one hand as Baby sits snuggled on my lap in the other :).

   Disclaimer: I know my husband would like me to make a point of sharing that I'm not married to a difficult man. When my nine year old saw me reading it for the first time she said in a teasing sing-song voice..."I'm going to tell Daddy!!!" ;).

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. ~Ecclesiates 1:9

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Happy Birthday Bethi!

   We had a great day celebrating yesterday, but today it is becoming obvious that we had a bit too much sugar and a bit too little rest!
   We did the birthday party thing exactly ONCE! And I will never do it again, haha :). I think it is so much more special to celebrate the children's birthdays as a family. After all, every time the Master Carpenter has added two feet to our home has been a very special day for all of us. My main tip would be keep it simple and keep it sweet!  
   We love seeing the looks on our children's faces when they walk out into the living room and see all of the decorations, so our children know they are to stay in their rooms until mommy and daddy come to get them. Lee and all of the "unbirthday" children then escort the birthday child out to the living room while I immortalize their reactions through the video camera. Tip: if you run the video camera you can't be caught on the video camera ;). After that we may video a special gift and we will video blowing out the candles by just setting up the camera and leaving it. I used to video everything and after a couple of years I realized I was missing seeing it in action by trying so hard to keep a record of it! Now I focus more in the moment as much as possible with my children while still keeping a few special moments as a record for the children.
    One thing we did for the first time this year and will definitely do again was watching home videos of Bethani's first year while we ate breakfast (and for a while afterwards). That was such a special time! We relived her newborn sweetness, her first steps, and her first birthday. She loved it too! Afterwards we packed up and went to the park to walk the nature trails...

pick weeds flowers...

and we stopped at the park on the way back to the car...

We were all pretty tired by the time we made our way back to the car...

   After that Lee dropped us off at home and he went on to get and bring home Bethi's favorite meal...french fries and chicken nuggets from McDonalds. She was so worn out she didn't get half-way through them before she was asleep at the table. Once our children hit about 3 or 4 they get to start going out for a special birthday meal with Lee in the even years and with me in the odd years.
   While Bethi slept, the rest of us wrapped her gifts and decorated the cake. When she woke up she was refreshed and ready to go! We had such fun getting her gifts together this year. I made her a little apron and head cover to go with the little broom Lee and I gave her...

 I'm working on matching aprons for the other girls and myself. Bri made her a child size doll sling which turned out really cute and Tori made her baby some cloth diapers. She cut the diapers out of fleece that matched the baby sling and I helped her sew velcro tabs onto the sides...  

She is good to go!

She also got a bible storybook. After a couple of hours to play with her new things it was time for cake! I often spend a couple of hours the day before decorating an extravagant cake but I just threw one together yesterday, it took me about 10 minutes after the cake itself was baked and cooled, and it was just as cute as many I've done in the past, though you could tell it was a quick job ;).

It was a very special day and now I have a two year old again! They are all such blessings!

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.~Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Goodbye Wonderful Ones...

Hello terrific twos!

It's Bethani's second birthday!!!

To see more of Bethani look herehere, and my personal favorite...this.