Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away...

Washington and rain -- synonymous, I know.  But, come on.... torrential downpours in late June?  So not cool.

I have been keeping busy to keep my focus on family, not the weather!  Here are the ways I am keeping my focus inside instead of outside:

Keep a candle lit!  I know, the smell is so relaxing!
Trying new recipes:   The Pioneer Woman's Whiskey Peach Chicken was a hit.  I am hearing Chocolate Cheesecake calling -- any advice or good recipes?
Sewing Baby Shower gifts!  Quilts, burp rags, sleep sacks and some hooded towels.  I will post my progress soon!
Researching Home school Curriculum -- a new adventure waiting for us this fall!
A trip to a LEGO Store opening in Lynnwood.  We even helped a Master LEGO builder build an 8-foot tall Yoda out of LEGO bricks.
Purchasing a Seattle Pacific Science Center year pass!  King Tut, here we come!
Trying to create a plan to update my living room -- frequent searches on craigslist, etc.
Purchasing some new summer reading for the kids! 
Playing Settlers of Catan with the family ... don't forget to add on the expansions like this!
I am teaching myself to knit!  Woohoo!

And, of course, the general business that comes with a household of three young kids, a dog, and a husband! :)

"Today is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!" Psalms 118:24

Sometimes when it is raining or I am feeling blue, this Bible verse is a conscious choice I have to make -- it makes all the difference in the world.  Don't waste a day based on bad weather, make the most of it -- there will only be one "today."  I would love to know what you are doing on rainy, summer days!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Joy

God gave me Myrra (pronounced Mira)  Joy five months ago. She is truly a joy, and I rejoice every time I see her smile, hold her tiny hand in mine and smell her plump round cheek.

Just a little over a year ago I was praying for another baby...and when I saw a faint line on my pregnant test I immediately started to cry with joy. I knelt to the floor thanking God for the chance to be a mommy again. He was faithful to grant me this wish.  I lived in euphoria for the next week in exuberant secrecy of the miracle within me.  I couldn't wait to meet this baby!

One week later my excitement was interrupted by the fact that I began to bleed. You see, before my last pregnancy I had endured two miscarriages.  That experience had grown me in ways of humility, grief and empathy I would have never thought possible---but I never wanted to walk that path again, and here I was entering into a too familiar scenario. I tried to deny it, hoping it would magically go away, but I continued to bleed.  It was then that the cramping began, not a good sign.

I was now an official emotional wreck. Something so private and devastating was wrecking havoc inwardly though outwardly life had to continue on.  Kids needed tending to, household chores wouldn't wait... I was going on with the everyday things when I really wanted to curl up in a fetal position and sob.  Every night after I had tucked my two little ones into bed I would collapse into my sadness.

"Why, God? I've already done this, I don't want to go through this again. Please, take this pain away," I would pray continually. But my biggest resounding prayer I sobbed into my husband's chest..."why?"

I didn't stop bleeding, I couldn't pretend it away, so I made the call to make a doctor's appointment. Blah. This would be the appointment I'd get to see my empty uterus staring at me on the screen. Oh, how I dreaded that appointment.

I remember the moment I felt God's calming voice telling me the answer to my big question, "why?"  The  simple answer: He would get glory. I wondered how in either outcome He'd get glory? Then came the explanation....if the baby had died, I would not be able to handle this on my own.  I would have to rely on God's strength. It was the only way I'd get through this pain, and I knew that truth too well. Third time is not the charm, and God would get my praise in my simply getting through the task at hand. If there was a miraculous healing...well, then He would obviously get the glory at His ability to give life and sustain life in any circumstance.

I headed to the appointment alone, ready to receive the bad news and begin the grieving and healing process. I pictured the Genesis scenario of Jacob being asked to sacrifice his only son, Jacob, out of obedience to God.  God tested Jacob's faithfulness just as I was being tested to trust God in this situation.  But he got to keep his son...I cried...I don't.  Then I thought of Jesus going to the cross for me. God didn't spare His one and only son for my sake. Jesus had been my atoning sacrifice, the sinless sacrifice to pay for my own sin. Whew. Heady as this was, I was beginning to accepting God's plan. I would choose to give God praise.

I smiled at a thought that came to mind. My dear brother in law had just made an early appearance in heaven a month previous to this.  Our family was still raw in that grief.  But I could see Tim's chagrin at having two rambunctious nephews to welcome him....but a third now? Oh, he was getting more than he bargained for....if this baby made it, it was because Uncle Tim had kicked this one out! Now, though this is not my true theology at work, the thought granted me the humor to get me through the situation.

Upon arrival, I lay on the table to be shown the cryptic black and white footage of what was going on in my womb. "Is that a blighted ovum?" I asked. The ultrasound tech pointed to a bright spot, measured it and said, "Well, from the look of it...this is still a positive sign for pregnancy."   What?!
"Yes," she continued, "At this point it is just a wait and check again in a week.  But it is still a positive pregnancy at this time."

I felt that this baby had just been given back to me from the dead. I felt like Jacob getting Isaac back in his arms! God chose to be glorified in the fact that I would sing His praise at His mercy of returning the hope of life to me. 

I made it through the next week, and the next week and the next month....I had so many ultrasounds.  I continued to bleed sporadically all throughout pregnancy. I had seven months of nausea. But I rejoiced in it all! I had been given back the child I once thought dead.

So now, five months have passed since Myrra's birth, and I continue to hear God's  quiet voice reminding me of the promise to tell the world of His grace. I know this posting is most likely more than you bargained for, but thank you for granting me the opportunity to keep my promise to God. He is good all the time. Every pregnancy, every baby is a miracle to be cherished.
By the way, my sister had told me after my thought about how Uncle Tim must have kicked this one out of heaven...her reply had been, "He always said no more than two kids!" smile. Thanks, Uncle Tim. *grin, wink*

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."  John 14:27

Have a blessed day....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First day of Second

This morning, only 30 minutes ago, I walked hand in hand with my Reagan to school.  He made it to second grade with only a little scratch from a ninja move he performed along the way.  He has lost seven teeth since the first day of school last year.  His smile has changed, he turned seven -- but he is still my little boy, still able to hold my hand without feeling embarrassed.  He still wants me to walk him into his classroom and kiss him goodbye.  
 I am cherishing those moments, since I know all too soon he will grow up...
 Should I note the arguing at the kitchen table between brother and sister before these pictures were taken?  It is such a sweet photo that does not hint to "teachable moments" that happened just a few minutes prior to this photo.  The joys of being a sibling!  Kaitlyn is still only three, so this year she and I will begin the process of learning to read.  Homeschool preschool!  Woohoo!

I did not want to let go of his hug.  Reagan is so sweet.  He is gifted at reading.  He loves to hold his baby sister.  He knows right from wrong and tried to hold his sister accountable for everything.  :)  He is a blessing.  I am so thankful God gave him to me.

Daddy took time for a photo, too!  Scott prayed for Reagan, and we were ready to head out to start another school year, another beginning... I hope all your "firsts" today are brimming with joyful expectations, too!  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Been busy, no really...

Impish grins...

Water fights, Giggles, Smiles ...

Love at first sight...

And LOTS of this!!!! 

This is just a glimpse of all that has been happening in our lives this year.  Hopefully, this is just the start of filling you in on all the activities from this past year!  Summer has finally reached Seattle ... so we will be spending the last few weeks before school outside!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I am usually a black thumb when it comes to gardening, so I am excited that this pot I planted is doing so well!  I love flowers!  (Especially when I don't kill them within the first week)  Hooray!  I don't remember which type of flowers I chose ... but the red ones attract hummingbirds, I have found!  I love those little surprises flowers bring.  Let me know if any of you know the names of these beauties ...  Next year you can take an old watering can and make it into something new, too! 

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Bundle for Joy

A new baby at church is an excuse to use my new book Handmade Beginnings: 24 Projects to Welcome Baby  by Anna Maria Horner.  I tried out the Patchwork Sleeping Bag using some scraps I had from making Kaitlyn's Basket of Love quilt.  Hmm.  Which I handquilted and have forgotten to blog!  That gives me an idea.  This was a fun project.  If I had had larger pieces of fabric, strip piecing would have make the project so much quicker!  However, I had to cut each square individually with my tiny rotary cutter, (the other had been borrowed by a friend).  The results were a bit "Monet-ish" which I like to call any project where my points don't exactly match up in every corner.  If you squint your eyes ... everything blends and looks perfect ... just like a Monet!

Little did I know I would become an impressionistic quilter:)  Is there such a term?  There should be -- if not, I will be the first! 
The sleepsack is lined with a cozy rosebud flannel for those crisp summer nights.  (Looks like the northwest is having a cooler summer so far... so the flannel works!)

Sometimes I like to see the inside of a book before I purchase it.   Here is the Patchwork Sleepsack project page for you to see. Anna Maria Horner's instructions are fairly easy to read for the beginner, and anyone can have fun putting this project together.  The book has great ideas for gifts for Mom, siblings and baby -- even dad.  I plan to use a lot of the patterns in here -- so it has my hearty recommendation to every would-be crafter who likes to take something homemade to welcome a baby to the world. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer afternoons

Summer afternoons are always so much fun!  I set up a couple extra chairs outside so the kids could have a little nook to eat on the porch.  Something about eating out of doors is so refreshing on a sunny afternoon.  I used the table runner I made a couple of years ago for a mini tablecloth with just in time for the fourth of July!
We did make an excursion to the Bainbridge Island Regional Library yesterday and came back with a bag full of fun!  I loved the Japanese gardens that surrounded the building!  The kids are officially signed up for their summer reading program, and I even picked up the Aloha Quilt to start off some summer reading.   Since we are new to the area it was so much fun to find an amazing kids section.  I believe the children's section is about the size of our Kingston library.  We are hoping the levy passes here so that we will have a new library in a few short years!  But until then, we are going to pop into the nine libaries throughout the county to check them all out.  Join us on our adventure and let us know what you have found!