Friday, August 23, 2013

A Better Week

This week I have started to get some life back in me.  It is a huge answer to all the many, many prayers that I know have been offered.

The last month has been a challenging one.  I went down for the count almost a month ago.  I'm talking, in bed all day and night.  I was so weak from all the sickness I could barely lift my head from the pillow.  Relentless, severe nausea and sickness.  No talking to anyone and no interaction with people.  It was so bad I could not take care of myself or my family.  About twice a week I would make myself take a bath and brush my teeth and that was it.  The rest of the time was spent in the bathroom or bed wandering how on earth I could survive the intense sickness.

Eating and drinking was a challenge.  I just couldn't do it.  Every time I was in an upright position I was getting sick.  So for over three weeks I laid in bed, miserably sick and unable to do anything.  My prayer every morning was begging God to help me and asking Him to make the day fly so I could endure it.

God provided for us in so many kind ways.  In all the suffering, His goodness and faithfulness was there every step of the way.  It came through people.  Prayers, cards, meals, help cleaning our house, taking our kids for the day, groceries brought, toilet paper left on the front porch.  You want to talk about being overwhelmed by the love of people being the hands and feet of Jesus, we have been overwhelmed.

The boys have grown up these last weeks.  They have taken care of each other.  They have played hours upon hours of video games and watched a ton of TV.  They've made their own lunch. Corn dogs, chips, ice cream, pizza-they haven't been too torn up over any of it.

This week I have turned a corner.  I've been awake, eating and drinking.  Boy have I been drinking.  I've been able to get dressed and have graduated to spending most of my days on the couch.  I have thanked God over and over for helping me come up for air to breathe.  I am having moments where I feel OK, and the nausea is not so intense.  It makes the other moments where it is really bad seem so much more bearable. 

A couple of mornings ago I was wide awake at 4am.  I was thanking God for all the ways He has carried us these last weeks.  I was especially thanking Him for answering all the prayers for me to feel better.  Around 5:45 I got up and looked outside the window.  It looked like the cloud was spelling a capital A over the moon.  It was so neat.  Almost like God was saying, "I have seen you every step of the way and you are welcome, it is always my pleasure to watch over my children even when the way is hard and you can't always understand."

Within seconds the clouds had dissipated and moved on. 

One thing I found that sounded good was Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream on a sugar cone.  Tonight is going to be spent watching Little House On The Prairie and we're having ice cream cones.  Hope you have a sweet weekend.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Yesterday was a big day at our house.  Besides getting school kicked off, I spent most of the day in the living room.  Up.  Bathed and teeth brushed.  With real live clothes on.  Prayers were offered for a new school year and I prayed for many little ones by name as they headed off to school.

We got it kicked off without fancy new clothes and school supplies.  The house wasn't perfect and the boys picked out their own outfits.  Including a pair of pants with a big hole in the knee, and I was OK with it.

Three weeks in bed will chill a mama out.  It will make the things that are really important rise to the top.  Things like family and being present with a joyful spirit.

This man has kept our ship afloat.  He even wore the sweater vest which I love him for.

He has cooked. Cleaned. Menu planned. Grocery Shopped.  Done laundry.  Kept the yard.  Learned how to make his first roux.  Changed jobs after thirteen years.  Entered into a new phase of ministry.  Ordered our family the complete series of Little House On The Prairie as a surprise during these quieter days.  He has become the guitar lesson chauffeur.  And never complained not even once.

Some things I have learned from the solitude of my last weeks.  My eyes and ears are better.  It seems like I was missing so much happening around me until I was forced to lay down and stop.  I have been amazed at how the giggles of boys can light up my day.  There are piles of clutter and we are OK.  Canned soup, crackers and Gatorade are gifts from above. 

My heart has also been softened toward the suffering.  Last night greeted me with a surprise.   The blinds were turned down.  When I turned off the lamp, moonlight flooded my pillow, bed and nightstand.  As I looked up, I could see the biggest moon through the slats in my blinds.  The dark of night is my cue to pray for the suffering.  There are so many people in my life who are suffering. 

Prayers offered at first seem canned.  Mechanical.  But then something happens.  The ability to enter into the pain and suffering of others comes.  Tears fall and the wordless prayers offered on behalf of my loved ones reach the throne.  It is a small offering but compassion toward the suffering is something that has blossomed ten fold in my world these last weeks.  Fragments of scripture come to mind.  Psalm 23.  Isaiah 53.

He knows the sorrows of our days.

Sleep comes and this morning I am up again and all I can think about is apple fritters. 

That's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Charlotte Mason

So the day we decided to homeschool, there "just happened" to be a meeting that night where a panel of moms was going to be sharing about the different ways they teach at home.  We went and I immediately loved the Charlotte Mason style of teaching.

It is very heavily influenced by submerging your children in reading good literature.  The lessons are short and gentle.  Every day the boys do a simple math, writing, spelling and reading lesson.  The pace is laid back, most can be done on the couch and plenty of time is allotted to play and explore outside.

That said, we turned to the Abeka Academy DVD curriculum for our first two years at home.  I was so unsure of myself.  If you'll remember, I am the girl who majored in lunch and minored in passing notes.

Last year we jumped ship and entered the world of Charlotte Mason.  It was a sweet year.  We were all so happy with (most) of our days.

This year, little baby has thrown me a curveball.  I have been in bed sick for going on three weeks.  Just feeling miserable and not talking at all because it makes me sick.  The idea of schooling the boys has made me sick at my stomach because it seems like an impossible task.

There are a couple of things that bring me comfort as we move ahead.  The first is that I believe God will give us the grace to complete our lessons.  The second is that my husband has offered to teach the lessons in the mornings before work.  The third is that I can always put them in school if it doesn't work.  I even have a friend who has offered to come over a few days a week to help teach my boys.

I've laid in bed and prayed and thought through all the scenarios.  This really could have been the year I would've been completely ready to send them to school.  I think they are ready and I could've been.  But the hubs did not think it was time.  Then all the resources we needed were provided free of charge.  It was obvious what we were supposed to do.

There is a measure of, hmmm, how do I say it.  This year is not going to start with a lot of fanfare.  There was no back to school shopping for school supplies day, no new outfits for the first day, I probably can't even button my denim jumper to make my dramatic teacher debut on the first day.  All our bookshelves are filled with last year's books and I am feeling very behind.

Normally this time of year we have a month under our belt.  This year I have had to let go of every single expectation.  I suppose it feels a little blah.  But this week I had a ray of sunshine.  We have gotten into the habit of watching TV at night.  One show after another.  Two nights ago we traded the TV in for Uno and a time of family reading out loud.  I cannot tell you the joy it brought to be all gathered around a book.  Seeing those brown eyes hanging on every word their Daddy read re-energized me.

It's going to be a simple start without a lot of fanfare but come Monday we're opening back up the Little Red Schoolhouse. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Baby News

5 tests confirmed it.

We are having a baby.

Monday we saw the little peanut on the ultrasound and I still could hardly believe it.  We are so, so, so happy.  I always wanted a fourth baby but finally released it to God and came to peace with the fact that it probably would never happen.  But surprise!

So our new normal looks a little haywire right now because man, do I get sick.

Shane should win an award for all the ways he has kept the ship running while I live in the bedroom/bathroom/and on a good day the couch.

I am amazed and humbled at all the ways God has provided for us during this last couple of weeks.  I am literally flat on my back in survival mode right now and friends and family have rallied around us to love on us.  It is humbling beyond all get out.  We sure do have the best family and friends on earth.  They are the most loving, kind people!

Our boys are so happy about getting another brother.  haha

The texts and emails of people praying for our little girl tickle me to death.  Ya'll know I don't make girls! I cannot imagine what life would be like with a girl.  I guess we'd put her in blue stripes with a blue bow and buy her a Lego set.  So far our 5 are all voting boy.

We like to wait till delivery day to find out what we are having.  It is sheer torture!  But it sure does make delivery day extra exciting.  I love the fact that Shane is the first person to meet the little one and that he gets to make the announcement to our family.  It is a very sweet time.

We are feeling very blessed right now.