Before the new baby! (tips for the end of pregnancy)

Question: I wondered if you can relate to the stress and tiredness and being overwhelmed before a new baby, and if you had any tips on things that you think are the most important to focus on in those last weeks?

Answer: Yes, I can relate! Here are some tips for the end of pregnancy:

1) Listen to your body. If you are tired, rest. If you are energetic, go for it! No guilt allowed. Your body knows what you need.

2) Get the baby clothes washed and ready. Get the baby’s little station set up (changing area, etc).

3) Pack the hospital bag. Or, if planning a home birth, gather all the needed supplies.

4) If time is dragging, do what you enjoy but don’t normally have time for. I resorted to Sudoku puzzles at the tail end of some pregnancies, reading a fiction book at the end of others.

5) Buy a special nightgown or pajamas for the hospital and for postpartum. Anything to help savor the stage you are in and to give you little boost along the way.

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Patchwork Post {March 2021}

The Household and the War for the Cosmos
This is an excellent series with deep and relevant content. We have watched the short videos and are soon going to be reading the book. I wish every Christian parent today could hear, understand, and emulate these concepts. From the book description: Because people saw themselves as part of an ordered whole, they also believed that they had obligations to the people around them. They were not just autonomous individuals, but members of households with unique duties to past and future generations. Words like “piety” and “religion” did not refer to what you did in your quiet time, but were more like the seemingly obsolete values of “duty” and “honor.”

Ring-a-Majigs
I found these little toys at a consignment shop while we were deep in the winter doldrums about a month ago. I was instantly taken back to my childhood! I had these toys as a child, in the same container. Anyone else remember these? Turns out they are as much fun today as they were back then.

K’nex
Also during the winter doldrums, this classic toy provided hours (literally hour upon hour) of constructive entertainment. Toby and Sammy especially enjoyed making some very complicated creations, including some with moving parts connected to a little motor. We have some books of designs with detailed instructions which helped them with ideas and specifics. Did I mind having K’nex all over the living room floor, 24/7, for weeks on end….? Yes, but not really, if that makes sense.

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Fun Stuff We Love {February 2021}

Before this month completely gets away from us, here we are with the second edition of our product share feature!

From Jennifer:

We use this rice cooker all the time. We eat quite a bit of rice and it used to be that the rice would so easily burn when being cooked on the stove. Now it never burns, which is the best part of using a rice cooker. It also has some convenient settings such as a delay start option. I have made different types of rice in it, and all has turned out well. Read the instructions carefully, because the measurement for the rice is a little different than you might expect. The only thing I don’t like is that, when cooking the rice, it doesn’t tell you how much time is left until it gets down to 10 minutes, and then it gives you a countdown. It usually takes about 40 minutes to make a batch. It will keep the rice warm and ready to eat for hours, if you need to cook the rice ahead of time.

From Beka:

I absolutely love the milk frother whisk I got recently. I use it to blend anything in a cup, like hot chocolate or my daily greens powder. What’s amazing about this little tool is that it works wonders for mixing things that tend to be lumpy. I made homemade hot chocolate earlier, and getting the cocoa to incorporate is usually quite a challenge. I took this quick video to show you.

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Inspiration for the Everyday {February 2021}

Happy Valentine’s Day! Below are some thoughts and quotations that I gathered from my Commonplace Books, on the theme of love.

My prayer for you today is that you will learn to love others more deeply as you more fully comprehend the love God has for you. If you are a natural-born pleaser/achiever like me, it can often be difficult to realize and remember that God’s love for you is not based on any merit of your own. He loves you in spite of all your failures and sins. He loves you, and not because of anything you have done or anything you are currently doing. You cannot and you will not measure up. His love is undeserved, yes, a thousand times yes, and that is what makes God’s love toward us so exceedingly precious.

This truth has come home to me over the past few years, and it repeatedly brings me to tears, because it speaks to my soul.

“How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He would give His only Son,
to make a wretch His treasure.”
-Stuart Townend

God’s love was expressed in a supreme Sacrifice. Wherever there is true love, there must be giving, and giving to the point of sacrifice. Love is not satisfied with giving trinkets; it must give at the cost of sacrifices; it must give blood, life, all.
-F.B. Meyer

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Patchwork Post {February 2021}

Without social media, it’s harder to share daily life. Although we feel that exiting Facebook et al. was the right decision for us to make, I have to admit I miss it.

So here is a “patchwork” post… various items of note, combined into one rambling post, kind of a “facebook not facebook” if you will. 😄 I’m hoping to do one of these every month. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, or hear from you personally!

Here I Stand – A life of Martin Luther – by Roland Bainton

I’ve been trying to read this book for quite a while. I’m ashamed to even admit how long it is taking me! But, I’m determined not to give up. I found out that Joshua is also reading it for his Reformation History class. I’m struck by so many things as I poke along through this book. Here is one quotation:

“I will tell you straight what I think. I am a Christian theologian; and I am bound, not only to assert, but to defend the truth with my blood and death. I want to believe freely and be a slave to the authority of no one, whether council, university or pope. I will confidently confess what appears to me to be true, whether it has been asserted by a Catholic or a heretic, whether it has been approved or reproved by a council.” -Martin Luther

Luther only made this statement after hours and hours of trembling on his face before God. He didn’t strike out on a limb without knowing Whom he really must answer to. God help us to raise warriors with this kind of courage! And help us to be those kind of warriors ourselves!

BJUGrass

Joshua has taken on a new venture. He is now the string bass player for BJUGrass, and has the opportunity to travel out several times this semester to minister in churches and various venues. This weekend he is in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. All those violin lessons and summer Fiddle Camp experiences have paid off!

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There is no future in that

The lines of separation between good and evil in our society are now drawn more clearly than ever. Evil is definitely raising it’s ugly head and gleefully having a heyday. As we observe the chaos of our times, one phrase keeps coming to my mind: “There is no future in that.”

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading and re-reading Psalm 37, which speaks to the same theme– those who have a future, and those who do not.

God has made His world to work by certain unchangeable principles. He tells us who will have the future. Although we find ourselves living in a time that is not for the faint of heart, take courage and take comfort from this Psalm, which presents a clear contrast between the good and the evil.

Repeatedly mentioned in this Psalm is the phrase “inherit the land.” This phrase strongly implies a future.

Memories of a summer past…
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Photo Post: Tie Dye

Although I’m not much of a crafty mom, I do love tie dye. Olivia received a tie dye craft kit at a Christmas gift exchange and so we took our opportunity for a little mid-winter crafty fun! This kit was for dying a bandana and three scrunchies.

I love these enamel pans. They are so homey and come in handy for various and sundry purposes.
After soaking in the soda ash water, items are ready for die to be applied.
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Fun Stuff We Love {January 2021}

Once a month on our chat group, these ladies and I (see picture below) share a product with each other— we each choose something we enjoy using and can recommend. These sweet girls have graciously agreed to allow me to share these products with you here. Each of us will share one item each month, highlighting four products for you, from our various ages and stages of life. From apps to appliances and everything in between!

But first… introductions! Left to right, below: me, my daughter Katie (17), my sister Beka (just had her first baby, an adorable boy, in November), and my sister Rachel (mother of three lovely girls ages 7 and down).

Here are our products to share for this month!

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Stay Grounded

As a woman, there is an undeniable pull to my home, to my nest. This is what I call a “grounding force,” placed into the heart of a woman by Creator God. We must stay deeply rooted and grounded during such turbulent times.

We need to make a deliberate effort to step out of our paralysis of fear and all that we cannot control, and step into some positive action right here in our homes. Even a small amount of energy will begin to build upon itself, and you will find yourself looking around at things you can control, a place where you can make a difference and create a peaceful haven, a place where you can have real and lasting influence (the kind unknown to Twitter) in the lives of others, and thereby have real influence in the real world.

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Two simple things to do after Christmas– your future self will thank you

Here we are in that odd week between Christmas and New Year’s, when we find ourselves tired/happy/reflective, out of our normal routine, but also trying to do something useful if at all possible. Here are two useful things that I’ve learned to do in the week after Christmas. They don’t take much effort, but as the years go by I am more and more thankful that I’ve gotten into the habit of doing these simple things. So, I thought I’d share!

1.) File away the family Christmas card or letter into an album. Mine is a simple binder that now contains our Christmas letters and/or cards, going back every year, all the way to 2006. I use plastic page protectors in the binder to hold the extra cards and letters, labeled for each year. It’s an easy way to gradually collect memories and thereby create a treasured family heirloom.

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