Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm going to be honest with you today. I have seriously been questioning my parenting capabilities as of late. And my general qualifications as a wife as well. I yell at my boys (and girls) daily. The microwave saves dinner often. Heath has to scavenge for clean socks (sometimes undies) on more than one occasion. The children seem to be full of disobedience, idleness, lies. And then the questions of defeat come knocking at my door.

~Am I doing enough to raise my children right?

~Can I work more to give them a proper upbringing?

~What more can I do to be better?

~What am I missing?

~Why won't these cycles ever change?

I have spent many nights over the last month broken hearted and defeated before God. And these are five things I've have learned.

*1- It's not about me. For I am just a broken being God has redeemed.

*2-I cannot work, do, discipline or love enough. For my strength is in Him only.

*3-These children are not mine. For I have only been granted stewardship from The Most High.

*4-I am not alone. For this is not a wilderness in which I have been left alone.

*5- There aren't any get right quick schemes that work. For this is a race of endurance led by my Savior Himself.

It would be nice if we could say certain words in certain ways, a certain amount of times and have the "perfect" child. But we are not puppeteers or magicians. We are child of God, raising His blessings. It takes time, faith, trust, hope, and hard work. And we as Moms (with a few Dads) are getting together to strengthen, support, and encourage one another for 21 Days in Prayer for our Sons. Brooke McGlothlin has written a wonderful prayer guide that has launched this world wide event (there is a leader living in Thailand!) that begins June 8th. And I'm going to give away one of her books this week to get one Mom started. Leave me a comment telling me how many boys you have and their ages, and one way I can pray for you over this next month. And June 7th at 9pm CST I'll choose a winner! And don't forget to go over to 21 Days of Prayer for Sons and join a group.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The one where we duck for cover

What a whirlwind of a night! From the moment we got up yesterday morning, we were warned of severe weather, and the dangers that were to come. About two o'clock storms started firing up in western Oklahoma, and the wait began. How big would the storms really get? Would the eminent tornadoes be small, large? Would they form over pastures or would they stalk cities?

As we get up this morning, we now look at the devastation left behind. There were at least 5 major tornadoes, all of which hit townships, towns, and cities. The death toll is up to eight after a child passed away this morning from injuries sustained last night. We are fervently praying for a pregnant mother who was in her bathtub with her three children. When the all clear sounded, she only had two children still with her. The search is on for her missing three year old. Tears are streaming as I think of the emotions she is dealing with. Waiting on her husband to make it back into town. The area she was in is completely leveled. Smooth concrete foundations are all that are seen as the rest of the homes have been blown completely off. There is a report of a high school rally ribbon being found 100 miles from the high school it came from.

There are also reports of courage and valor. People who opened up their already cramped and over capacity storm shelters to just one more. People bringing water and blankets to devastated areas. Local news helicopter landing while reporting to help a family get out of their demolished home and to safety as their propane tank was spewing propane.

This is the storm that sent us underground. We had already packed our vehicle with our necessities. The kids were quick and orderly rushing to the van. We drove the short distance to a church members storm shelter and safety. The rain and hail hit before we got there, but other than anxious nerves, we were fine. Right before we left, I posted to Facebook and Twitter we were going to shelter. It was a short stay in the shelter. Maybe 10 minutes at most. The twister had ran its course and fizzled out before it got to us. Multiple phone calls were made to family checking in, making sure they were okay, and passing along news to one another. I popped on to my social networks and was blown away. There had been a frenzied plea for prayers for our family. I was dumbfounded over all the people who went to their knees on our behalf. People who have never met me, don't even know our family. Yet there they were, interceding for us, none the less. What a joy it was to report our well being! How beautiful is the body of Christ?! I immediately went to Ephesians 1:15-16

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.

Our God is good. Always. The same God has been good to this mother of 8, and the mother of the missing child. He isn't good because we are safe, He is good because that is his very nature. Keep up the faith, and continue to lift up the saints. You have no idea the encouragement that you are!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baby Food 101

I decided to make a real effort making baby food with Georgia Beth. The others have had a few homemade bites, but the majority of their food was store bought. I did a little research, found a baby food site I liked, and then worked with it to make it work for our house. These are just the basics.

First, gather up some basic fruits and vegetables. These are what we had to work with today.Apples, pears, bananas, carrots, and avocados. Simple.

Next you have to cook them all. The carrots you peel and chunk up. Then just roast them. Like you would for your Pot Roast dinner. Only leave out the pot roast. I put mine in with a little bit of water to help steam and soften. They still took forever to cook. Or an hour. But that is a long time in my world. I threw them all in the food processor, and pureed the day lights out of 'em.

Looks good!

Don't use the water from the pan if you need to add some to thin them out. It has some kind of something that cooks out of them and its not great for baby. I didn't add water to mine, but Georgia is nine months old now. She doesn't need super fine food.

Next came the apples and pears. And somehow these pictures are missing. The recipe said to half them and core them. Place them on a cookie sheet with an inch or two of water and bake. The peels would slough off after baking. Here's tip #1. Peel the pears. First. Never bake them with peels on. Ever. And I quartered mine. Because it is easier to core them for me that way. I baked them on separate sheets so the wouldn't taste like each other. They bake at 350 to 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Once they have cooled just a little, remove the peels from the apples (because you are going to be really smart and peel the pears first), and puree. I used an immersion blender for this. That's because I don't have a blender, and it was easy to stick the wand into the bowl and puree. Use the water from the apples or pears to thin. The pears were super thin without anything added. I would use them for a baby's first fruit. Make sure you have a sweet apple like a Fuji or something similar. You don't want your baby to go into shock from the tartness, nor do you want to add a bunch of sugar.

I peeled the avocados and sliced them up. Then froze the slices. When I needed some for Georgia, I just pulled out a couple of slices, let them thaw in a zippered plastic bag, then mushed up in a bowl.

Bananas you just mush up as needed as well. There is no need for appliances.

These are some quantities I have come up with.

For a 4 ounce jar: 1 apple, 1 pear, 2 carrots, 1/4 a sweet potato, 1 cup green beans

Don't freeze glass baby food jars. I make enough to last me a week. And then go again the next week. And don't just do carrots for the entire week. You might end up with an orange baby! Throw in green beans or some steamed cauliflower or broccoli.

Look at those chubby arms. She's doing great!

Have fun finding what works for you. With all the Farmer's Markets and neighborhood gardens, this is a great time of year to try this out!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Dress (Picture heavy)

Just some pictures of the dress I made for my niece, Paxtyn's 2nd birthday.

My 3 year old modeling

I love the foot kick.

Here's Paxtyn wearing it.
We love our cupcakes around here!

Visit thecsiproject.com
I'm linking up with Create Something Inspired for their Sewing emphasis week.  This knot dress has become one of my FAVORITE patterns!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Birthday!

In September of 2005, my brother's first daughter was born. My niece was a precious, tiny little thing, and Thomas and Darcy were THRILLED. I was too. For them. By the time she was born, I was pretty sure I was pregnant. Again. And wasn't very happy about it at all. This would be my fifth pregnancy, and I was under the impression my family of four children was complete. Anger, sadness, and guilt were my daily, even hourly companions. I wouldn't go to my doctor to confirm what I already knew. Because then I would have to acknowledge this was more than an inconvenience, it was a baby. I cried when I told my Mom I was pregnant. Finally I went to a doctor, and a phone call came a couple of days later. "We have never seen something like this before. Don't really know what it is. There is some kind of blood disorder. You are going to have to go to a specialist. Oh, and you are now considered high risk. We don't think this pregnancy will ever go to term."

My heart broke. This was my BABY they were talking about. I got on the Internet, contacted doctor's around the country and became an amateur expert on this disorder. And I fought. And on May 9, 2006, our precious fifth child was born. Completely healthy and normal. We named him after Heath's brother, Dad, and sister, and my mother's dear late brother. William Terry was a DOLL!

And this child has lit up our lives ever since. He lights up the night sky with his smile. He's literally the sunshine in our family. Terry is always ready for an adventure and is ready to take a bite out of life. He is a jokester (ask him to tell you his chicken-crossing-the-road jokes), a prankster, and all around lover of life. He makes sure to tell me he loves me and will always protect me, "but make sure you don't do anything embarrassing to me". He loves "suppa-ghetti", and all things pizza. He hates vegetables, but loves green beans (they can't be vegetables, because he hates those). He watches over his younger sister like a hawk, but only to make sure and let me know when she is doing wrong. He wants to build things with his tools when he grows up, but only if he can live with me.

Sometimes, I still feel the stab of guilt when I look into his large bespectacled eyes. I still hurt knowing I didn't want this child. But the Lord is faithful. And he forgives. God gave us a precious child who does not know anything except the fierce love his parents have for him. I thank God for dragging me down a path I did not want to go, and for teaching me once again a lesson in trust.

Happy 5th birthday, my Terry Bear. You are a "whole hand old", and I love you more each and every day!


Posted by Picasa