Saturday, March 31, 2012

links i like: birth control, sensory basket for baby, getting healthy and infant routines

the bible and birth control: part one and part two - the bible neither allows nor forbids birth control. however, there are some bad methods of birth control to be aware of.

sensory treasure basket for baby- i love this idea!  i hope to make one of these for esther soon :)

lose weight and get healthy! - how many times have you heard this phrase before?  does losing weight mean getting healthier?  not necessarily...

infant routines: part one, part two, part three - in my experience, children thrive when they have predictable routines.  busy mamas also are benefited from routine.  i am not an advocate of rigid scheduling, but i love the balanced approach that this mama offers.  i find that our routines are similar to the ones she describes.

Friday, March 30, 2012

march in our home

its spring.  i've been busy.

i'm getting a little peak into the lives of farmers, on why planting season is so overwhelming  [hopefully i will also experience the busyness of harvest season...]

its been fun.  i'm enjoying it all... which is good because it has been a lot of work.

what have i been working on?

*chickens- they are a lot of work.  but still, somehow, less than i expected.  right now is harder because they are still sleeping in a box inside, so i have to clean it pretty often, and take them outside every morning and such.  but soon they will be out in their coop (like, within the next week!) which will lighten the load a bit.  its cute watching them run around the yard and peck at things.  but its a little bit stressful because i feel like i need to keep an eye on them when they are outside (mostly i am afraid of neighborhood cats getting to them. when they are older it probably wont be an issue but they are still small right now).  i also helped alex with a couple things in building the coop.  but he did most of the work and did a GREAT job :)

Alex hard at work!
in progress...
the final product!  and esther :)

*planting seedlings-  i feel like my whole day revolves around growing things- babies, chickens and now plants.  so far i have planted spinach, lettuce, parsley, columbines (a type of flower), cosmos (another flower), bell peppers, melon and tomatoes.  i also will be planing basil and ginger in the near future. i am really hoping my garden goes well this year, especially since i am putting much more time and money into our garden than last year.

*various yard stuff- getting rid of dandelions [i dont want to use chemicals, so its pretty labor-intensive].  tilling gardens [which i actually find rather enjoyable, though laborious].  moving plants around [out of the sunny gardens where i want to plant veggies, into shady gardens].  trying to keep up with the already existing gardens.

*chasing esther around- haha, not really.  but she is becoming more mobile, which requires more time and energy.  not quite officially crawling yet, but rolling and scooting pretty effectively.

*reading- one of my goals this year is to read the whole bible, and i recently started studying part of it (the book of james) more deeply with some friends.  i am enjoying both... but its been taking a lot of time, 1-2 hours every morning.  but i am learning a lot.  maybe i will blog about it in the near future.

hence my lack of blogging lately.  but i have lots of posts floating around in my head... one day they will make it on paper... er... computer screen.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

i'm pregnant again!

well i'm not actually pregnant but i might as well be... we just found out from our fostering agency that they are going to allow us start the paperwork to get another baby!  doubtless it will take months to get thru the paperwork and classes we need to do, but then again a pregnancy would take a number of months too.  its all in preparation for our next little one, and all in God's timing.

i wish i could know the exact day, hour and minute that i will get to hold her... but we really have no idea of when at this point.

if you are curious, for further reading...

this is why we are adopting

this is why we are choosing to adopt through the foster care system

this is a little about our first four foster kids

and more about lovely girl (the youngest of the four)

reading this made me really miss her today

(side note: esther has a lot of mannerisms that remind me of lovely girl... a definite evidence of God's grace on us)

and if you are interested, here is esther's birth story

and yes, i am enjoying the last of my days as a mother of just one baby

Sunday, March 4, 2012

passionate, joyful homemaking: distractions to the stay at home mom

“[older women in the church] are to teach what is good, and so train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home...”   titus 2:5

“[the excellent wife] looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness”   proverbs 31:27

the bible teaches that mothers should manage their households well, and have a homeward focus.  though this certainly doesn't mean that every second of the day and every thought of her head must revolve around her household and family, her orientation should be homeward.  often times, careers can get in the way of this homeward focus.  but being a stay at home mom does not guarantee that a mother is managing her household and family well; there are plenty of other things that can distract her.

children's activities.  moms can get very busy driving their kids around to karate, soccer, cheerleading, dance class, swim team, and so on.  not only can this be a big burden and distraction on mom, it can also take away from important family time.  sports practices and other activities are often scheduled during the dinner hour, making it impossible for a mother to fix dinner, much less getting the whole family to sit down together to eat.  

these activities may also be a day-time distraction.  i know of some mothers who go to play dates with other moms/kids on a daily basis.  it starts to take away from their one-on-one time with their kids, and makes it hard to fulfill their household duties.

in our culture with the ease of getting places and lots of leisure time, opportunities for kids abound.  however, activities like these can become burdensome and enslaving.  in order for a mother to be able to serve her family well, she may need to limit the amount of activities her children are involved in.  it also helps to keep a focus of discipleship with your children:  choose their activities with an eternal perspective for the whole family (what is going to benefit the family most for eternity).
'Niall trying to eat Mom's computer' photo (c) 2009, Peter & Joyce Grace - license:

the internet.  it is amazing that with technology these days, a mother can stay in her house all day without even thinking about her household or family once.  the internet can be a huge distraction to many mothers.  even "good" things: keeping up with friends, looking up recipes, learning home keeping tips, or finding fun kiddo activities, can become bad things when they distract from a mother's important service to her family.

hobbies. hobbies are a much needed outlet for many moms.  some hobbies, like gardening, sewing, scrap booking, baking or knitting may even contribute well to the needs of the household.  but just like the internet and children's activities, good things can be bad things when they take over your life.

certainly, we honor God when we enjoy life through things like hobbies.  but the bible also makes it clear that the christian must lay down her life and desires to serve others at times.  so, there could be times when your hobby needs to be set aside so that you may serve your family well.

what other things can distract mothers from having a homeward focus?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

gardening WIN

so, today i was poking around in my garden a bit.  feeding my worms here, planting a few spinach seeds there, nothing major.

i happened to look at my cherry tomato plant (which came up all by itself last year, and incidentally was pretty much the only plant in my garden that produced anything) and noticed something that looked black and furry.  upon closer inspection i saw that it was an infestation of spiky black bugs!!

nooooo.  i thought.  how can this be?  i am not immune to the bug infestations that all my gardening books talk about like i was hoping??

so i went inside and googled "black spiky bug tomato" and found out that they were tree hopper nymphs.  (seriously, how did anybody do anything before google??)  relief!  the problem is named.  but how to rid my prized tomato plant of them?

almost everything i read suggested picking them off and squishing them by hand.

now, if you know me, you know that i CANNOT squish a bug (except for ants... i hate ants...). its not because i feel sorry for the bugs, but because i absolutely hate the crunchy sound/feeling under my fingers when i have to squish one (even thinking about it makes me squirm!).

so what to do???  i went outside again, and noticed that most of the branches they were on were probably dispensable (they didn't have any flowers or tomatoes on them), so i considered cutting them off and throwing them in the trash.

and then the brilliant idea came!  i carefully cut off the branches and took them into the house, and tossed them into our chicken box.  at first the chicks were a bit scared but eventually they started to peck... and soon they devoured all of my tomato pests.

bugs are very nutritious for chickens.  so, not only did i get rid of the bugs, but i also helped to nourish our chickens.  two birds with one stone... yeah!

sarah + chicks = gardening WIN!!!! :D

Thursday, March 1, 2012

training our boys to be men

i read this two part blog series on training our boys to be men this morning and i just had to share it with you... i highly recommend it!

training our boys to be men, part 1

"If I want my men to be dangerous for the kingdom of God, I need to be dangerous too. Over the years, God has shown me that I need to be WARRIOR in prayer and intercession, and not a WORRIER.
Today’s world desperately needs REAL MEN; and as mothers in God’s kingdom, we need to do our part to raise our boys to make a difference."

training our boys to be men, part 2

"Let’s raise our boys to not be wimpy, but strong and uncompromised; to have a heart for the persecuted, the lost, and the needy; to stand-firm against injustice; and to boldly advance God’s kingdom and His righteousness."