Monday, June 27, 2005

10 Great Reasons To Have Another Child

I just have to link to this great post. These are fabulous reasons. But I am often reminded these days that God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. He expects us to obey His commands whether we understand and agree with them or not. And if children are blessings from Him (and the Bible states that plainly), then why are we turning them away? Sure, bringing them into the world or caring for them when they get here isn't always easy, but if God says they're a blessing then they are! There are lots of other blessings that don't come easy - health, wealth, friendships and relationships - but we believe these gifts from God are worth our hard work, so we don't complain. When's the last time you heard someone say "Please don't send me anymore money, God, I don't have time to invest all I've got now"? But when it comes to children, we've been infected by the world's outlook. The outlook that says children are not worth the trouble. That they just "get in the way" of our self-fulfillment. That they require too much self-sacrifice. Sure most people still think one or two is okay - as long as you can "afford them" and as long as they're healthy and cute. I mean, you can put them in daycare so they don't interfere too much with your other plans. But this isn't the kind of life God calls us to, is it? Doesn't God call us to DIE to self? And how great is the reward! My children have blessed me and stretched me and caused me to grow in ways I can't even begin to enumerate. So the bottom line for me is always going to be - do it God's way.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I know it's not Friday, but I'm late with pretty much everything these days:)

This is from Friday's Feast. I thought it was funny:)

What's one word or phrase that you use a lot?
I say "get that out of your nose" a lot, but I don't think that's what this means:) Let's see. I still say "cool" a lot and "chill out" - a true child of the early nineties:)

Name something you always seem to put off until the last minute.
I could list a lot of stuff right here. Putting things off is my worst habit and something God's really dealt with me a lot lately. I'd have to say I put off the laundry until we are as close to out of underware as we can get. I really need to get a handle on Mount Washmore:)

What was the last great bumper sticker you saw?
Motherhood - Changing Society One Diaper At A Time

Main Course
If you could be invisible for one day, how would you spend your time?
I'd watch my little boy sing. He loves to sing and dance and gets all into it as long as no one is watching, but the second he sees you - it's over!

Describe your hair.
Ugh. Do I have to? Let's see - medium-to-dark brown. In need of a trim. Suddenly wavy after my daughter was born after years of being stick straight. Usually in a ponytail.

That was fun!

What I thought about on Father's Day

My parents were pretty young when I was born - my dad had just turned twenty. He was a new soldier with a new wife and baby to support. He could've easily turned into a "deadbeat dad" like many of my friends fathers. It would've been easy to be overwhelmed - and now that I have kids of my own, I'm sure sometimes he was - and given up trying. But here's what I remember about my dad from when I was little.
My daddy (and I do still call him Daddy, at least 90% of the time) was a hero - a soldier. He was big and strong and able to do anything. He once built a grill in our backyard. I was about 4 or 5 and thought this was an incredible feat of genius:) I was always safe with him. I remember playing "Dukes of Hazard" in his pickup truck. My brother and I would be standing in the seat next to him (this was the late 70's before car seats) and he'd drive slightly off the dirt road and down into the ditch - we'd squeal in terror, but I knew I was safe. He took us into the "woods" and let us try his bow. I couldn't even pull the string back (I know these aren't technical terms), which just reinforced my belief that he must be the strongest man in the world. When we came home after bed time, I would pretend to be asleep and he would carry me to bed. On other nights he would tuck me in and say my prayers with me and we'd talk about my day. When my brother had to have several surgeries I remember how my daddy would hold me up to Shawn's hospital room window so I could sneak him some candy bars. Looking back now I think we probably could've just taken the candy to him, but sneaking was so much fun.
As I got older there was a lot of moving around with the army and I was pretty vocal about not wanting to leave home. I'm sure I hurt his feelings over and over again. But he was always so great. Everytime we moved he'd go ahead to scout out the place. By the time we got there, he'd found us a house and figured out a ton of fun places for us to go and things to do. When we got to Germany he took my brother and me on a nice long walk to the candy store AND ice cream shop. When we got to Hawaii he knew where all the great beaches were and bought us shaved ice (which we'd never heard of).
I can't even imagine all of the sacrifices he made for us or all of the heartbreak we caused him over the years. But I do know that it's becasue of all those sacrifices, because of all the times he went out of his way to be a great dad, that I know how to parent my babies, that I knew what to look for in a daddy for them. And because he was a great dad, I know I can count on him to still be a great dad. He's still there when we need advice or just to run an idea by him. Or when I just need to know someone thinks I'm great:) He's really good on those days! And he's the best Grandaddy ever. My kids and my neices and nephews just can't get enough of him.
So those are some of the things that popped into my head last night while I was thinking about my daddy. I hope he knows how much I love him:)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I've been tagged:)

1)What is the amount of the most books you've ever owned?
I think I probably own the most now that I ever had (although I am trying to weed out the lesser tomes). I would guesstimate about 250. Not including kid's books.

2) What was the last book you purchased?
The Excellant Wife by Martha Peace. I'm really excited about starting it - I've heard great things. And I'm excited because I found an autographed copy for $2 at a local booksale:) I love a bargain!

3) What was the last book you read?
The last thing I read...all the way through? The New Elegant but Easy Cookbook (2 thumbs up, btw), Celebrate Home: Great Ideas for Stay At Home Moms and Created to Be His Helpmeet. I'm reading now... Once a Month Cooking, Train Up Your Children in the Way They Should Eat, and Teaching Montessori in the Home.
4) What are the five books that meant the most to you?
This is a tough one! Of course the Bible. The NIV study Bible that my Grandma gave me for my 16th birthday is especially special - it has 13 (wow that's a lot!) years worth of highlighting and underlining and questions in the margins. I would hate to ever lose it just because it really shows how much work God's done on me through His word. Four more, huh? Let's see... Gone With The Wind - I reread it all the time. I'm starting to identify more with Melanie than with Scarlett - I think that's a good thing. Mary Pride's The Way Home. This was the book that introduced me to the idea of staying home with my kids, of "letting" God control our family planning, of homeschooling. Don't read it if you don't want to be convicted:) The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn (I hope she'll forgive me mispelling her name) - turned our whole way of looking at finances on it's head and taught me how to use what God provided for us so that I could stay home with Levi and not feel like we were "doing without" all the time. The Well Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. This was the first real homeschooling book I read and it just gave me such a vision of the kind of education that is possible. I was astounded by what I didn't know and what I hadn't been exposed to, especially considering I believe myself to be well educated:)

5) What is the current book that you are reading together as a family? (If you don't do, you want to? Why, or why not?) We have been talking about starting this. My oldes is just three and always before I convinced myself he was too young to really pay attention, but I think he would enjoy it provided we started off kind of slow. I'd love some suggestions on this one.

This was who to tag? :)

An Organizational Frenzy

I've been working on getting my house in shape for a couple of weeks now - slowly but surely. I guess it's a little bit of spring fever that's got me in the mood for cleaning and organizing. I know, it seems late for spring fever, but I started out the spring just working outside. We just bought this house last year and since last summer was busy what with adding to our family and all, the yard didn't get very much attention. So we started the spring with a yard full of red Georgia clay (which I love, just not in my yard) and a few sprigs of grass. Plus, of course, the standard three boxwood bushes that the buildersput in every yard. So we got rid of those and a lot of undergrowth in the our woods - now you can walk through them! And we planted grass and a flower bed (complete with stone wall) in front of the house. We did a lot of filling in with peagravel to cover some not so attractive places. We've planted 22 baby trees on the property - including two pecan trees! I l0ve pecan trees because my Grandma has a yard full of them. And for Mother's Day my hubby planted a pile of pink abnd white azaelas (by a pile I mean about 40) on this little hill that we weren't sure what to do with. He's so sweet.
This is supposed to be all about what I'm trying to accomplish inside though. I've managed to get everything spic and span so I have a good starting spot. Now I need to get some systems in place so it doesn't get messy (or at least not out of control) again. My first oragnizational feat is going to be my craft/sewing supplies. Right now they're piled in two big rubbermaid tubs so of course I have no idea what I have and what I don't. Plus they're all the way downstairs in the storage closet so if I have even a little project to do it's a lot of trouble. I also just got my first new sewing machine (I'd been trying to make my Granny's 70's model work) so I want to set up a sewing area. I have lots of projects in mind and I can't wait to get started. Also I thought I'd start with something fun to motivate me because my next project is laundry:( There has to be a way to keep laundry for 4 people caught up without piles on the floor or "delicate" dresses that never get worn because they need handwashing. Any ideas are welcome! After I get those projects finished, I'm planning on trying Once a Month Cooking. Evenings are often crazy around here - especially in the summer since we tend to be gone or outside so much, so I'm looking forward to getting supper under control.
In the meantime, we have a busy day ahead so I'd better get off the computer. I hope all of you are having a wonderful Saturday!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Levi nearly drowned

Well, I guess not "nearly," but it still scared me pretty good. We were with our church at a picnic at my sister-in-law's yesterday and a lot of people, kids and grownups, were in the pool. Levi is still in that "I want to play with the water, but I'm still to chicken to get in" faze so I don't have to worry about him being in the pool - just around it. Anyway we had just gotten there and I was looking around for his swimmies (I make him wear them just in case when he's around the pool). He was just out of my reach when he leaned over to fill his watergun and ... in he went head first. I don't think I've ever felt my heart just stop like that. I don't remember if I screamed or what. Thank God, Eric ( a foreign exchange student from our college group) was right there. He's really great with kids anyway, but he caught Levi just as he went under and plopped him right back on the deck just as I got to him. Levi looked so scared - it broke my heart - but he wasn't going to cry! He sat down with me just for a minute to let me wipe out his eyes where the chlorine stung, but then he went right back to playing (but NOT close to the pool).
I tried to stay real calm about it - we've always kind of said "oh, you're allright" and tried to encourage him not to get too scared to try things. That seems to work well for him (with exception for the very few times he's been really hurt - then we pour on the sympathy for as long as he needs it). But after he went back to playing I had to sit down. I don't know when I've been so shaken up. It wasn't as if he was in danger of drowning - there were probably twelve people in an above-ground pool - it was just the sudden realization that he could drown or that something else terrible could happen to him. How irrational I can be - other people's children get sick or get hurt. Not mine. But I got a powerful lesson yesterday about something I thought I knew. Not only are we not promised tomorrow, we aren't promised our children for tomorrow either. My children aren't mine, they're loaned to me from my Father and one day He will call them home. I selfishly pray that He'll take me first and that they'll have long full lives and go quietly in there sleep. But I must remember to live each day with them as if it is a gift, because it is a gift. So today I'll hug them a little tighter and play with them a little longer and I'll try to remember not to take them for granted.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Levi is telling stories...

Not the bad kind:) "Telling a story" in my family always meant a little one telling a fib. Casey and I usually call that telling a lie, though, because that's what it is and we don't want to gloss over that fact with our kids. Stories however are great things - especially Levi's which are funny and creative and usually *loosely* based on truth.
He told us three last night, two (mostly) true stories with a moral and one entirely fictional one about a "kite" he'd just made from some string, a plastic hanger and an envelope. I know every mother thinks her child is the most intelligent, imaginative, interesting person on the planet - but mine really is ;)