What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

We've Got Tricks

Having four children keeps one on their toes.

Having a Judah ups that ante exponentially.   

He is fearless, he is strong and he is capable of doing things much bigger kids than he are too scared to try.  

He is exhausting.

All summer he has been riding his bike faster and faster, crazier and crazier.  He started popping  wheelies and they got bigger.  He started sitting on the back tire.  He started standing up.  He would try and ride without hands.  All kid stuff, right?

And then one day he said "Hey Mama!  Look!" And he was standing on the SEAT while riding his bike.

He was four years old. 

And then one day, giving his mother a heart attack by standing on the seat wasn't good enough.  He had to do it one legged.

Judah and Corynn just had their birthdays at the beginning of this month.  

Now, he is five.  Now, she is twelve.

He had a bloody nose here- hence the headtip.  ;-)

It is a hard thing to know just how to give these children of mine just what they need, even when it doesn't come natural to me.  It is hard, as their Mama, to know just how to encourage them and not stifle them while still protecting them.  Some of the things they do (or think or question) I am just not ready for- but I have to actively try NOT to hinder them just because I am not ready for it.  

This is new territory for me and I am finding it hard to find that balance.  I want to hold them close and keep them my little dependent ducklings forever but at the same time, it is almost magical, seeing these little children unfurl into creative, unique persons with skills and talents, joys and passions all their own.

How will I raise an almost teenager?!?  A girl who is working to discover who she is and what she stands for.  

How will I survive a Judah?  A boy who spends most of his time flabbergasting me and the rest of it exasperating me?

How will I do right by all my children?  

I don't know much but I do know one thing: 

I'll be doing it on my knees.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tiddle's Third Trimester

I feel sad that I haven't documented this pregnancy as much as I would have liked but the truth is, this whole pregnancy I have felt pretty much too chubby and unlovely to want to document it for posterity.  Who wants to remember double and triple chins and ginormous upper arms and legs?

So, as I usually do, I stay BEHIND the camera and not in front.  But really- I'm in my 3rd trimester now and wasn't *I* the one who so desperately longed to be pregnant again?  Yeah- that was me.  So, I owe it to Tiddle to at least give a it a go once before the actual cuteness arrives.

I took almost 50 pictures and these are the only ones that I didn't resemble a whale.  And yes, I absolutely only posted the pictures that were the most flattering.  Sorry.  (not.)

The children were away helping the grandparents with chores when I decided to finally do the dreaded deed- because the only thing more awkward than posing for photographs is to do it while being watched.

This is my "THIS IS RIDICULOUS!" giggle and it was taken about 20 pictures in.

This is my "if I look up my double chin won't be as noticeable" and it helped...I just kinda forgot for a moment that staring blankly into thin air is awkward in its' own right.

Nothing is over there, either.  Just didn't know where to look is all.

I know!  I'll do one of those window silhouette things.  My body in deep shadows can only be a good thing, right?  

Not necessarily.  One out of another 20 or so.

So- that is me and Tiddle.  27 weeks along.  (28 in two days!)

At least I look pregnant this time.

As hard as it is feeling so awkward and huge and unlovely~ I am so thankful that my body is strong enough to grow a little person (that, my friends, is miraculous) and that mine has done such good work in the growing of five little wonders.  

Body, you've served me well.  

Now to see the real star of the show...


(Ankles crossed.)

My sister says I carry like I am carrying a boy.  Matt thinks it is a boy.  The girls say it is a girl because, well, that is what they want most of all.  Personally, I am just hoping it is not a hobbit- by the size of that foot, I am a little worried!

My favorite part of the ultrasound was watching Tiddle slurp up the amniotic fluid.  His/her mouth would open wide open, the tongue would stretch out and then go back in and the baby would do it all again and again.  Here is what I saw, in action.  (BTW- if you are pregnant, or even just interested, this website is pretty incredible.  The children and I have spent more than a little time watching those movies each week, following along in Tiddle's growth.)

The tech was super nice and printed a picture for each of the children with a heart word bubble coming from Tiddle's mouth saying hello to each of them by name since she wouldn't allow me to videotape it. 

And she tried to get a good facial 4D picture for me but Tiddle was kinda hiding behind the placenta (that big thing covering part of Tiddle's face in the lower left hand corner.)   Tiddle wanted to give a wave anyway and you can see his/her little nose right underneath the thumb.  


Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Last of Sweet September

This is her Nanny McPhee look

Summer is officially over.  Geese fly over head.  Matt heads to work emboldened in purple pink rays that turn golden before he drives away...nothing can stop the morning.  Nothing can stop him. Fog hangs heavy on hillsides.  Trees begin their subtle show.  The garden gives goodness still, though long neglected and overrun with weeds.  The tomatoes continue to shine though our harvest is much smaller than last year.

I took the fans out of the bedrooms last night which made for a still and quiet night.  I heard crickets again- a sound I haven't heard since the torrent of fake wind from a box first began.  The cutting flowers are giving their last show, the flower circle is all dark and dried and dying.  Sadness.  I will mourn the flowers most.

We haven't started school yet.  I gave myself until the beginning of October, as I did last year, because now is a very busy 'putting-up' time for me, though I've done very little of what I should be doing.  (Apples!  Beets! Pesto! A last load of fridge pickles! Too many things!)  Instead, I've been determined to go through that granary and downsize our clothing bins.  I was resolved, I should say.  

A good week of work and I've finished about 65% of it.  While sorting through clothes, I also worked at doing the summer/winter clothing switchover which is always a big deal too.  I've gone to bed sore and exhausted every night, from lifting bins and carrying overloaded laundry baskets, but I've gone to bed happy and excited that it is all getting done.  The great stuff that I just don't need I've been washing up and dropping off at two different consignment stores (which equals more laundry too!).  What doesn't sell is boxed for a yard sale this spring.  What isn't in top-notch condition is getting donated.

In two weeks alone I donated 11 garbage bags of clothes and made $160.00.  I have 7 bins ready and waiting for yard sale time this spring...and anything that doesn't sell then will be donated too.  That, to me, is an accomplishment WORTH the exhaustion and sore back!

  I have a special 'Mama Fund' where all yard sale/consignment shop /photography money goes and waits for me to do something special with it.  I've been hoping to buy a new camera with that fund as my camera now is broken in several ways and is taking worse and worse pictures (I tried to have it repaired and cleaned earlier this year but was ineffective.)  I had saved almost $500.00 up until a few months ago at which time I had to empty it out for porch supplies.  So the money I make from this endeavor is going to begin that fund again.

Every time I say goodbye to another adorable dress or baby suit (which is harder to do when one is expecting a baby!) I think, a little more towards the camera!  And that makes it just a bit easier.  I hope to have enough to get the camera BEFORE Tiddle is born but since I am running out of clothing, that might be like squeezing milk from a lemon.  (Or maybe that isn't a saying...but it still works, I guess.)  We'll see.

No matter what, with every bag that leaves this house I feel a little bit lighter.  And right now, that is a really, really great feeling.