The Project for the week

I’m working this week on getting our bar-height office counter cleaned off so that we can lower it this weekend to desk height. We’ve needed more room in our office for quite a while, but with my belly growing, it’s becoming a dire situation! lol

So yesterday, I finished cleaning off the counter – a major accomplishment, that. Now I’m working on making room in our big filing cabinet for the contents of filing cabinet drawer from our big school teacher desk, which takes up way too much room in here. I’m hoping to move that out this weekend as well, and since I got the counter clean earlier than I expected, I’m working on other things in the office that will enable us to make better use of our space.

I indulge in HGTV when I have the chance, and the Blessings have watched their share of Mission Organization, one of my favorites. A couple weeks ago, they were working in someone’s office, and Davey says, “Mom, maybe you need to have them come and do *your* office!” Oh, yes, in my dreams! 🙂

I’ve realized that I just don’t have a spot for everything that needs one, and I’m working on figuring out how I can fix that. The combination of a home office/busines office/homeschool office is just a high demand for a space. Any ideas would be met with great appreciation!

Changing Shapes

In the search for my maternity clothes, hubby and I found a box last night that had my old “skinny” clothes in it… clothes from back in the days when I thought I was chubby, lol. I’d given away most of my clothes from back then, but these were things that I just couldn’t let go.

Well, today I finally put most of the rest of them in a bag to take to Agape House (a resale shop close by that supports a ministry to unwed mothers). Other things I had to just go ahead and toss.

So all this got me thinking…

I remember my midwife chuckling during a prenatal with my first baby. When I asked her why, she said, “You know, your tummy’s never going to be this tight again.” I was, in my youthful, idealogical state, slightly offended by such an assumption.

Well, several years ago, before I got pregnant with our 6th baby, I got back down to the weight I was when we got married. Yay for me!! Out came the skinny clothes I’d been hanging on to! And guess what? They didn’t fit. At first, I was sooo dissapointed. Then I realized something…

No matter how well-conditioned I am, my body is not going to return to the shape that it was before having (as of this coming summer) 7 bundles of Blessing. And you know what? That’s okay! What matters is that I do my best to take care of my body, because it is the temple of the Lord. In many ways, my body, though different, is in much better condition than it was before I had children. I want to strive to continue to improve my physical condition.

Similarly, the circumstances that we go through in life change our shape, whether it be our physical shape, our spiritual shape, our emotional shape, whatever. It’s okay that we might not ever be the same. God wants to use all the circumstances in our lives to change our shape to be more like Christ.

What about the things that hurt and scar us? Is the goal to be restored to where we were before the hurtful circumstances entered our lives? I don’t think so… I think the goal is to not waste the pain, but rather to let the Lord use our circumstances to mold and shape us into the image of Christ.

So if you look back on who you were and what you looked like 10 or 20 years ago and don’t like the differences you see, maybe you could reconsider your perspective. If the changes don’t fit with HIS goals for you, He can still salvage them and use them for your good and His glory.

Isn’t God good?!?

Fundal Height

This is mostly for my own documentation…

I’m looking forward to my next prenatal – to seeing what my caregiver thinks of my fundal height. I’ve been consciously practicing self-palpation for my last several pregnancies, and I’m regularly feeling the top of my fundus at my belly button. On me, that’s ~22-23 cm. Generally, your fundus corresponds to the number of weeks along you are, and for me that’s held true through 6 previous pregnancies.

Here are some possible reasons I found on for measuring “large for dates”:
• Your due date is off. (Nope, don’t think that’s possible)

• You have looser abdominal muscles than most women as a result of an earlier pregnancy. (rofl!! I’ve had 6 earlier pregnancies – ya think?! But my abdominal muscles have been looser than normal for 10 years, so I’m not thinking this is it)

• You have uterine fibroids. (This is a known side effect of estrogen dominance, so I’m not ruling it out. However, looking at the list, pre-pregnancy I had no symptoms of uterine fibroids, so I’m not super concerned about this)

• You’re carrying twins or more. (Twins do run in my mom’s family…)

• You have too much amniotic fluid. (I suppose this is possible, but honestly, what I’m feeling does not feel like amniotic fluid to me)

• Your baby is positioned high above your pelvis, which might be the case with a breech baby or if you have a placenta previa. (This early in the pregnancy, I don’t think these would really be issues)

• You have a bigger-than-normal baby because of gestational diabetes. This condition is known as macrosomia. You may need to be tested to rule it out. (Given my history, the list of risk factors, and my current condition, I really don’t think this is it. And my urine’s been “great”! lol)

So that’s the fundal height report. Any reasons you know of that aren’t listed here?

Corn Adventures and The Simple Life

Months ago, I read an article by Debi Pearl on the No Greater Joy website about different uses for corn. It fascinated me – though we are far from being self-sufficient or old-fashioned in our way of life, anything related to the simple life appeals to me. We would love to become more simple in our way of living, and thanks to the wise advice in the Cumberland Books catalog, we are working on making Baby Steps in that direction.

Anyway… we received our NGJ magazine last week and I was thrilled to see that they had reprinted Corny, Ten Different Ways. I showed it to Jonathan and he thought it looked pretty neat as well.

So last night, the guys come home from work with a 50# bag of Deer Corn (which J had researched and found was the same thing as the feed corn Debi refers to in her article). Woohoo!

Here’s what we’ve done so far:
**We have hominy in the works. We cooked the corn in the ashes last night for quite a while, but it’s not quite done, so it’s back on the stove this afternoon. I’m going to wait for Jonathan to get home to do anything with it, because he’s really enjoyed our experimenting.
**We roasted corn last night to “grind” for corn meal (to use for corn meal mush and corn bread, two things we really like but have never made from meal we ground ourselves).
**We tried “grinding” the roasted corn in the Cuisinart last night, which sent me into the giggles – using the Cuisinart to aid our “old fashioned, simple life” experiments, lol. It was evident that we really do need to be on the lookout for that handgrinder Debi Pearl refers to, but I went ahead and put some of the “ground” corn into the crockpot to cook overnight into corn meal mush. Again, what to me is a humorous blend of old and new.
**The corn meal mush this morning was yummy but rather chunky, due to the incomplete grinding. I also could have used more water in the crock pot. But a successful breakfast, nonetheless.

Here are some of our goals for this year, as regards the simple life:
**Find a hand grinder for corn (this can be used for other grains, too, of course).
**Get our feet wet with Square Foot Gardening. The Blessings are each going to get a few squares, and Jonathan and I will probably have a 3×3.
Chickens! We need to start small, but we’d really like to have chickens, for eggs especially, but also for meat.

And now it’s time for a nap!

Getting back in the saddle

We’re working on getting back in the swing of things around here. I’m trying to be careful to not do too much too soon, but we’re thankful to all be feeling much better.

We’re trying some new stuff with school this week, with help from An Old-Fashioned Education. Public domain works + the internet = wow! Also trying to get back on the ball using our Ray’s Arithmetics. Since we have the whole set anyway, I need to stop doodling around and get with the program! That’s the one area in which our Blessings are “behind.”

I think I’m going to go ahead and make the big $8 plunge for Motivated Moms for this year. I’m not in a rush to get it, though. Since I basically lost last week due to sickness, I’m just going to do what I can from each day off of that page of my sample.

I have lots of stuff I’m wanting to blog, but I’m going to stop for right now and try to make time to do several posts today.

Notes to self (cause my brain is still stuttering):
Fundal Height
Philosophy of dealing with Illness

I’m still alive!

I haven’t posted much lately, but thought I’d at least check in. I’ve been sick since before Christmas, and it seems every time I start to feel the least bit functionable (I think I coined that word – are you impressed) I go nuts being productive and set myself waaaaayyyy back on the path to health.

So this Monday, I was feeling better than I had in a long time. Got a bunch of stuff done around the house and sent myelf into a tailspin. Tuesday morning I was committed to watching a friend’s children (interesting set-up, that – segregated babysitting to try to keep her kiddos from getting our yuck). Got home Tuesday afternoon, went to bed at 3pm and slept till 9 Wednesday morning (with a couple hours up to eat supper and such). Wednesday and today I’ve done very little active stuff, just trying to rest and get well.

I wonder sometimes how many times I will have to re-learn the lesson that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of anyone or anything else. I owe it to my family to be wiser than this, I tell ya! 🙂

If you have “extra” prayer time…

I haven’t posted about this because I am at loss for how to ask for prayer in an appropriate way. But if you have the chance to pray for our family relationships right now, I would so appreciate it. I can’t say much, though I can say that Jonathan and I are doing well with each other, and the kids are doing well with each other and with us.

But we desperately need your prayers, especially for Jonathan and I. For grace, for wisdom to “honor” and yet do what is right for our children and our family.

For me – that I will be taking “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” and that I will have discipline to have my mind dwelling on the things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise. That God will give me a gentle and quiet spirit, and that I will be like Jesus (“while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously”).

May God be glorified as He works His grace in us!

Pregnancy Stuff

16 weeks today!

I had a wonderful treat last night, thanks to our cat Beren. He climbed up in my lap to be petted, and started purring away. I’ve often heard that babies in the womb really respond to cats, but I’d never experienced it myself, as this is the first pregnancy I’ve been through while having a cat.

It’s true! Our little one must have felt that purring and gotten excited. I got to feel the baby move for the first time. And the second, third, etc. It was so special!

His Ways vs our ways

We never really thought we’d be in Missouri for more than 5 years or so. We hit six years this past August, and it was hard for both of us. We believe we are where we are supposed to be right now (and are blessed in so many ways by being here), we just don’t understand why we are still here.

Desired Earthly Home –
In 2006 we were blessed with more trips back to Kansas than we’d had in the five previous years together, I think. They were times of growing and of learning lessons that I think were necessary to prepare us to move back to Kansas. They also rekindled our desire to move home. That desire comes with mixed feelings as we really treasure the dear friends and church family we have here, but Kansas has always been home, and we feel the Lord preparing us to move back. Someday.

Desired Ministry –
Many years ago, a wise and godly man, Gordon Wakefield, shared with me the following truth: He said that if the Lord puts a fire in you for a certain ministry and never lets that fire go out, you can be pretty sure that at some point He’s going to put you there, even you live with that fire for years without any visible assurance of it coming to fruition.
Jonathan and I have both longed since before we were married to be involved in ministry to the Navajo Nation, specifically to serve at Immanuel Mission. This is the fire that has never gone out. And we cannot, with our human vision, see a path that will lead us there anytime soon. We think there are many lessons and lots of growth that will have to come first. But the fire burns, and on days like yesterday, when we get newsletters from three different dear friends serving at IM on the same day, the tears flow and I wonder “why???”

So there they are, our unfulfilled desires. And we have a Father Who knows our hearts and minds, Who longs to give us the best gifts, Who knows far better than we what the best gifts are, and Who is strong enough to move any mountain to give us what is best, both for our good and for His glory. And we must trust Him with both our present and our future. That’s the bottom line.

Incidentally, we do think we might have gotten a clue while we were gone as to why we are still here in Missouri. It seems rather obvious and simple, but it really hadn’t occured to me before that perhaps one job that we must finish before we move on is to help get midwifery legalized in Missouri. Not like we’re doing it ourselves – we’re a little cog, but maybe that’s something the Lord has for us to accomplish before we move on to other things.

In the meantime, I love these lines from a favorite old song of mine –
The Lord has a will and I have a need
To follow that will,
To humbly be still,
To rest in it, nest in it, fully be blessed in it,
Following my Father’s will.

And Isaiah 55.8&9 –
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.