31 March 2008

how true~

A MOMYS friend of mine (meaning I don't actually know her, but we're friends by virtue of having spoken through email a couple of times and are MOMYS), Julie at Seeking the Old Paths, has a new post entitled You Should Have Thought About That Before... that I really enjoyed.

She begins...

There is an unwritten rule that mothers of large families know. The ones who do not know this rule, figure it out on their own pretty quickly, as there are no shortages of situations in which it will need to be applied. Any stranger in the grocery store, most relatives, casual acquaintances, pastors, and even close friends can be the tutors to introduce a Mom to this rule. How helpful.

The rule states that a mother of many children, in any case where any circumstances related to bearing or raising children are less than the picture of textbook perfection and bliss, must remain silent. Such a mother may never utter so much as a syllable indicating the less-than-Utopian condition of her health, her family dynamics or her discipline struggles in auditory range of another individual save her husband."

This is true. There is a lot of pressure (self imposed, culturally imposed...) to look as if we have it all together. This has been, and still often is, a huge struggle from me. I, ashamedly, have imposed too much stress on my children in the attempt to appear as if life is perfect, a mom can do it all, her children can be perfect, her house can be perfect, etc., etc., etc. I am working to overcome this. The Lord finally got through to me in telling me that in my being and looking like that, I wasn't helping anyone. I wasn't helping my children, and I sure wasn't being encouraging to my friends by appearing as if I had it all and could do it all. Not to mention that it was downright deceitful. The Lord showed me that part of my role in encouraging moms was how important it is to be real. Do I do this perfectly? Not at all. Have I gotton better? Yes. But just know, that if you happen to come over and my house looks great, my children are probably just waiting to share with you what the previous hours and/or day was actually like around here! You can just call them Cinderella :o)

She goes on to talk about the pressure moms of large families face because of their decision to have more than the average 2. whatever number children is currently average. People feel the liberty to criticize and/or offer advice or say, "Well, you should have thought about that before you decided to have ___ children, home school, get pregnant again, fill in the blank with whatever." Thankfully, I happen to live in a community and most importantly, attend a church where large families are not so odd. (Two of my good friends from church are Vange and Serene of Above Rubies fame and you can bet that I feel pretty inadequate to dispense encouraging mommy wisdom in light of their example! :o) In fact, I often feel funny in my writing as I have many friends and many women that I look up to that have quite a few more children than I do, but I am also in a funny place in that I do have several more children than most women my age, not to mention anyone that may happen to stumble across this blog, so I write from that perspective.) Anyway, I do not run into the rude comments as often as I think some women do, but you can bet that I feel as if I'm under a microscope a lot of the time.

She ended her post with the following, which was just, well, encouraging to me...

"I cannot speak for everyone who has a large family, but ours… I know. Let the record show that I did think about it before I did it. I counted the cost of pregnancy, labor, birth, breastfeeding, homeschooling, raising these blessings of ours, and every detail involved. What I found is that it is hard. It involves excruciating pain… backbreaking, toilsome labor day in and day out, often giving what I did not know I had to more people than I knew I could love.

Our culture is so selfish that it often surprises us to know that people still decide, even today, that just because something is hard does not mean it isn’t worth doing. Let’s not assume too much. The mothers of many children that I know are making this decision over and over again, even in the face of persecution from the ones who should be supportive. Most of us have to suffer in silence. Alone. It adds to the difficulty, but by YHWH’s grace, it cannot detract from the joy."

It was just so nice to hear someone echo my heart. Glen and I had a small discussion last night about having more children. It was late and right before bed, but for me it clarified in my mind that I do not want to be "officially done." My heart would break I think. Last week I took pregnancy test as I had just been so exhausted it just caused me to wonder. Now, I haven't had a cycle again, and I am still nursing two not-so-little-anymore guys, so I didn't really think I would be, but when it was negative, I had that moment of my heart kind of sinking and feeling disappointed. It was then that I really knew I want to do it again. That and the realization that I wish I could the one facing labor in the near future instead of my sister :o) (Not that I would deny her that incredible experience of laboring and birthing and bringing new life into the world and the privilege of becoming a mother, I just wish that I could do it too. I really do look forward to labor, it is such an amazing, incredible experience. Call me nuts, but I do. It is so exhilirating and empowering and sweet. I just walk (or sit) around in this aura for a couple of weeks afterwards treasuring my new baby and thinking about what an incredible miracle a baby really is.)

Anyway, I just so appreciated what Julie said at the end. With this realization that I want to have more children comes the flip side. The work that I know is involved. I am still smack covered up in the work that comes with babies and toddlers and preschoolers and grade schoolers and grade schoolers growing into middle schoolers. I know. But I love it. I love my life. It is hard. It is really hard. I do not like the work, but I love it. I always think about that verse that talks about the boundry lines falling for me in pleasant places and having a delightful inheritance.

I was thinking last night about the people I meet or encounter when I am out with all the kids or when they find out how many I have had in such a short span of time. I have noticed a huge difference in who makes what kinds of comments. There are mainly three categories. The women of still-childbearing age are usually the ones that are amazed and have the "I don't know how you do it" kind of comments. The baby boomer generation that grew up in the dawn and heydey of feminism are the ones that give you bad looks, and snide or just plain rude comments. These are the women who are just past childbearing years for the most part, and who I strongly suspect, are largely reacting out of regret, whether they realize it or not. Regret for buying into a lie that pouring your life into your career is more rewarding than pouring your life into your family. They are getting older and realize they have precious little of lasting value to show for all their years of hard work and the sacrifice of their children on the alter of career advancement and keeping up with the Joneses. A lot of them are separated by long distances or even alienated from their children. Not all, but a lot. Then, there are the older men and women. The ones that smile, encourage, and say some of the sweetest things ever. These are the men and women of the Silent Generation and even the GI Generation. These precious men and women grew up surrounding the Great Depression. Even having grown up in very lean times, they are not the ones usually wondering how we're going to pay for "all those children." (This falls under the category of rude baby boomer comments.) They are, for the most part, nearing the end of their lives, and they know, without a shadow of a doubt, what is truly important and worth investing your life into. So many older men and women stop me and tell me how many children they had and how wonderful it is. How worth it it is. They're not remembering the diapers (cloth, mind you!), the laundry, the countless hours cooking and cleaning. The sleepless nights, the tired pregnancies. They smile at my children, they rub their heads. You can tell they know what they're talking about. They know what is important in life. They are the ones who encourage me the most in imparting value to my role as a mother. The Bible talks about the wisdom of the aged. My experience, for the most part, is that the aged realize the importance and value of family. I rarely, if ever, hear older men or women talk about their successes in life outside of their family. That tells me that what I am and the value and importance I place on it is worth it. It has value. More value than anything else I could be doing. I am in a sowing stage of life. That's the hard, intense part. I am trusting the Lord that I will reap a harvest of righteousness.

"Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
~Galatians 6:9

One of my favorite verses comes from Isaiah 32. He is speaking to the women of Jerusalem, and while the times and circumstances are different than mine, I believe in part what he is saying when he talks about righteousness has to do with the choice to live in accordance with the Father's commands and according to the way He set forth long ago which is vastly different than the way the culture around them (and us) was (is) living. When he talks about the effect of righteousness, I apply that to me as it being the choice (as the children of Israel long ago were called and instructed to choose) to live differently than the culture and peoples around me are living. What I mean is that by applying this verse to my life, I am by no means claiming to be righteous of my own accord. My righteousness is through Christ alone, but when Isaiah was speaking, the term righteous or righteousness was used when speaking of following the law and God's commands as opposed to living how they saw fit and living as the pagans around them lived.

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.

Though hail flattens the forest
and the city is leveled completely,
how blessed you will be,
sowing your seed by every stream,
and letting your cattle and donkeys range free."
~Isaiah 32:17-20

I am not speaking of the decision to have a large family necessarily, I am talking about the decisions we as Christians have to make every day to live for the Lord, even when, and especially when those decisions are hard. When those decision alienate us. When we live in the world, but not of it. When we walk the narrow path. That is even hard in the church. Maybe even more so. The world knows that "evangelical Christians" are different, so it's not so weird when we are different. But when Christians start making different and hard choices around other Christians, you can bet that toes get stepped on, people get offended, standards and bars are raised, guilt is imposed on both sides, etc. etc. etc. It is a fine line to walk. We are often on both sides of that line. We as a family do a lot of things vastly different than a lot of our friends, but we know a lot of people that live even more "conservatively" than we do, for lack of a better word. And they are calling us to a higher standard. It's hard, but I can trust in the Lord that though things around me may be hard, or chaotic, or seem to be falling apart, or don't make sense to people around us, or don't make sense to us, in my spirit I can be at rest and peace knowing that I right where the Lord wants me...seeking Him, following Him, and depending on Him.

As I tell my children often, the fact that I want to obey and am trying to obey, is often more important than when I fail. Yes, there is a place for obedience. We are called to follow God's commands and to obey. But He does see our heart. My children get in way more trouble for a rebellious attitude and it concerns me much more if I feel they don't care if they obey or not. But when I know they are trying, when they want to obey and it's just hard, there are still consequenes for disobedience, but it carries a lot of weight that they love me and want to please me.

One quick thing I did want to add in regard to my previous post. I didn't want to leave anyone with the impression that life with Anna is bad. On the contrary. It has some definite new challenges, but it is also a sweet stage of life. It's just new territory in our home, one that we're learning to navigate, and seeking wisdom from the Lord in learning to navigate it well. She a source of constant joy and a treasure and delight to all who know her :o)

I also didn't want to leave the impression that I felt as if God had talked to me about the whole birth control issue as if I am right, Glen is wrong, and I just need to wait for God to set him straight. I don't know what I think about the whole birth control thing as far as is it okay or not. I do think most people limit their family size for mostly selfish reasons without bothering to ask God what He wants for their family, but I am not officially in the camp of "birth control is wrong." Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Maybe the line isn't really that black and white in every situation. For me, this was, and is, an issue of my learning to not think I need to change my husband to be in line with my thinking or what I want, but learning that God works in me, and God works in him. Sure he uses each of us in forming the other, but it's up to God, not up to me to instruct my husband as if I am the Holy Spirit. Make sense? I also didn't want to imply that we are majorly against one another on this issue. We often find ourselves debating opposite sides of things just for the sake of debate. We are best friends, and get along fabulously. We prefer to be around each other more than anyone else. We don't do things separately very often. In all honestly, I have never met anyone else that seems as well matched as we are . Obviously, I don't know the inner workings and dynamics of other couples exceptionally well, I have just observed that for the most part, our personalities are very complimentary, much more so than average. (This is not at all to sound prideful. I am thankful for this beyond words and just want to convey that I am aware that things can often be easier for us as we have well suited personalities.)

Anyway, just wanted to add that on.

I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

25 March 2008

the changing of the seasons~

I am so thankful Spring is here! I absolutely love Spring. After a long, dark winter filled with laundry (laundry multiplies around here in the winter...can you tell I have a laundry thing?), this Mama is longing for shorts, tank tops, flip flops, days of kids playing outside for hours on end, walks and kickball games after dinner, ice cream night on Fridays, and that rush of energy that springs up with the flowers...my world is beginning to right itself...

This winter has been particularly challenging...gee...this year has been particularly challenging. I thought with the arrival of baby #5 that I was over the hump. I always tell my friends and people I meet when they do the "..gasp! "You have six??? I don't know how you do it" thing" that it gets easier. And it does, in a way. I tell them there's a hump, around baby number 3 or 4 depending on how close in age they are, and there is, if you can cross it, you are home free. What I didn't count on is just when you are over the hump, the hump of pre-pubescent hormones kicks in and it's a whole new ballgame...with much more weighty issues than dirty diapers, snot, baths, toy hazards, and yes...even laundry (although my laundry does weigh a ton!)

So, I'm thinking that maybe it's not so much #6 throwing me off as it is just having children growing into different stages of life.

My life is so full and so rich right now, there is so much in my heart I want to say. At church recently Bill Greenman was speaking and he mentioned about how the Lord often starts speaking to him about things mid-winter and they often begin to start coming to fruition around February or so. Boy did that ring a bell with me! That is right on for me, in past years as well, but never so much as this year. The Lord started speaking to me about so much this winter. Giving me new thoughts, new ideas, new strategies, and new vision for my family, my mothering, and my homeschooling. I really hope I get around to sharing some of it more specifically soon.

This year holds some exciting changes for us. I feel like our life as a family is taking a 180 turn. I am very excited, but also apprehensive. I am, though, overwhelmingly thankful for my apprehensiveness because if I have learned one thing in parenting it is that I absolutely cannot do it on my own, apart from the grace of God. I lean on Him fully. And I do not say that lightly, I do not say that flippantly, I say it as a heart cry from a mother who longs desperately, above all else, for the Lord to stay with me and lead and guide me through every minute of every day, for without Him, and His grace covering my mothering, I will fail miserably. He must show up, every day, for I need Him above all else. I talk with Him continually. I must, for my life and my family and my children depend on it. I can do nothing without Him, but with Him, I can do all things. His grace is made perfect in my weakness, and for that, I am eternally thankful.

That took a little different direction that I had planned, but I feel better. It's good to remind ourselves of that often.

It's been interesting to me that so much of our life is changing with the seasons. Our schooling is changing, our children are all changing, and our diet is changing as well. I
hope to write soon about how our schooling is changing (that has a lot to do with the new vision, etc. I was talking about earlier).

Our children are all in that kind of limbo stage where they cross from one level of awareness and maturity into another. While that always brings new challenges, it also usually brings with it a sigh of relief as it signifies transition and victory in areas that have begun to cause parents to become road weary. They are at different stages, really.

Anna is currently the most challenging (if you read this sweetie, know that I love you desperately :o) She is our first born, my right arm, and our guinea pig. Her name was always supposed to be Anna, but when the Lord opened up some of the weight behind her name and opened my eyes to how He gave her that name, I broke down (and I am most definitely not an overly emotional person!) Her name means grace. He gave me Grace first, before all else. He knew that is what I needed, He covered her in grace to walk as the firstborn with a mother who was never taught how to mother. This is a daily thing for me that I come back to, and remind Him as well as myself, that I am trusting Him implicitly to cover us. My mother and I basically hated each other throughout my childhood. I did not know the meaning of communication other than strife and yelling. I grew up learning that that was how mothers and daughters communicated. My two best friends did not have great relationships with their mothers either. My example was that mothers and daughters are at odds. What a lie of the enemy! I am in a continual fight against Satan in that he will not have my daughter. Glen and I will have her heart. This is one of the things that I am most passionate about and is one of my main priorities as a mom. It is also where I seem to face the most opposition. Our culture is full of mother/daughter animosity. I am learning as I go, making plenty of mistakes, but that is when I come back to the Father and trust His promise to me that if I commit my way to Him, then He will make my path straight. I trust Him to complete the good work He has begun in each of us. That said, the whole hormonal thing is very new, and I am in daily talks with the One decided the whole puberty thing was a good idea (just when parents think they have the whole baby/toddler/childhood thing down...wham! He likes to remind us that we need him :o)

Caleb has transitioned from a little boy to an awesome big brother. He has a new found awareness of things that need to be done and a sweet heart toward the little ones, particularly Haven. He has always been sweet and sensitive, but he also deals with things by internalizing them rather than verbalizing, and that made for a very frustrated, angry little boy sometimes. He did not have the words to communicate what was going on inside of him, so we had lots of angry outbursts and tears. Lots of feeling slighted and easily hurt feelings. He was finding his place in our family, I think. In a large family, I think each child has to more consciously work to define him or herself and form an identity of their role as an individual and in the big picture of the family. The transition began for him around the beginning of this school year. He spend the first half of the year frustrated and crying. I was at a loss. Now, in hindsight, I realize it was the process of transition for him (aren't all of us natural birthing mothers intimately familiar with the process of transition!), and I am thankful to have that perspective now for when my other children are seemingly not themselves! I am also thankful that the Lord showed us that Caleb needed some space with firm, loving boundaries. (Not that I was always particularly loving...but that goes back to trusting the Lord to cover my mistakes.) He spend a good part of the winter building things, creating things, and thinking. It is very important for children, but boys in particular in my experience) to have an outlet. (Gee whiz, how many things can I talk about at the same time?) Once the weather began to turn colder, we made a conscious effort to make sure he had something he could put his energy and focus into. This year, that was mainly K'Nex. We got a bunch of sets off ebay, and he has built so many models. They are very cool, too, by the way. I'll have to post some pictures sometime. His favorites were his 5 foot tall roller coaster, and his robot that can actually walk and talk. He has become the hit of the second grade boys :o) It has been a sweet balm to this mother's heart to see him develop into a young man with a heart to please his father and me, a tender heart toward his siblings, a willingness to work hard and help wherever is needed, a heart for obedience (we had some definite defiance issues when he was in the middle of his "angry phase"), and a growing heart for things of the Lord. He discovered a love for reading the Bible as well this winter! Now...if I can just get him to get over his pouting and frustration that rears its ugly head at church sometimes when he wants to go to class but has to wait. (We're still working on the pouting!)

Ethan is still working on his transition. He has made great strides in his self control and I believe we are almost over the hump. He is still my affectionate ACE (animal collecting expert and adorable cuddly ethan -as he likes to call himself). But he is still very much a six year old boy in that he likes to play with his animals, read voraciously (finally! I have a reader!), draw and make books, and daydream, and he hates to be interrupted. We have been working on his self control and grouchiness/grumpies when it is time to do jobs or he can't have his way...but such is the life of a six year old boy. He has been working on it really hard this year, though, and I am proud of what he has accomplished. One thing about all our children that I appreciate and am so thankful for, is that their hearts want to please us, even if their flesh isn't too happy about it. (I like to think that is how God looks at me too :o)

Moriah is in a very fun stage. She is a little girl, and no longer a toddler. She can communicate perfectly and her personality is just exploding all over the place. She brings us lots of laughs. She was often a frustrating toddler (before she learned to talk she would point and scream, we have since learned to incorporate at least a little sign language into Noah and Haven's infancy which helped tremendously!), and she still has a very stubborn streak, but she is an absolute delight (not that they all aren't, but she is in a fun stage...I think you know what I mean. More fun, less challenges.) It has been loads of fun for me this year having her home with me as the "oldest" and she has enjoyed it too I think! I am still undecided about doing Kindergarten with her this year. My plan is to do whatever she is excited to do, what I am mainly trying to decide is if I want to keep her home full time, or send her to "school" one day a week. I think she would benefit from another year at home, my only hesitancy is that she has always thought she would "get" to go to school when she is five, and her three cousins. In Glen's family there are four siblings. We all had babies within nine months. Moriah was the last born of that group. She definitely keeps up in terms of spunk, personality, vocabulary, etc. but she has such a late birthday she barely makes the "official" cutoff. Anyway, my strategy for this decision is the same as all my other ones, I've asked God to tell me, and I am watching for Him to talk to me about it and give me a clear answer. The verdict is still out...

Noah is transitioning as well. The difference between early two and three is astonishing. He is still very much a mama's boy (the kids nurses more than Haven these days), but he is fighting hard for his Independence. Never have I had a child that is so....two. Everything is do it myself, everything has to be just so, and you'd better make sure he really wants you to cut his food up or his whole world falls apart. All those round blocks better stay exactly where he put them or the offending party better run and hide! His personality is coming out as well, though, in some very funny ways. I think he is currently trying to classify himself as the family clown. He has definitely figured out that he gets attention by being ridiculously silly. He is finally getting past some of the baby crying and whining and able to verbally communicate what he needs. Whew!

And lastly, sweet baby Haven. He has long since left his babyhood days behind and is a big boy of almost ten months. My heart is breaking over this one. He was so big when he was born and this year has been so intense that I feel as though I'm grieving the passing of his babyhood. I feel as though I missed it. I think he is beginning to wean himself which is making it really hard for me. He much prefers a cup or bottle during the day (the reason Noah is so addicted to nursing is that the two babies prior to him did the weaning thing earlier than I wanted and began to prefer a bottle that I refused to give Noah one) and mostly only nurses at night. He does still cuddle, though :o) And although I miss that sweet baby infancy, he is sooo cute. His chubby little legs stuck out to each side as he learned to balance his body (he's a little top heavy, you know), he can roll or drag himself wherever he wants to go, and has just taken to jetting around the house with his new wheels (aka the walker). He is one mobile little guy now and it's only a matter of days before the older kids remember how fun it is to tie a rope to the walker and fling him around the house (just wait Dyana! my kids are going to love to come over and fling Addyson around when she gets bigger and you have a great floor for walker derby!). It makes for some very cute giggles all around!

And so, I am beginning to enter the stage of thinking that should we continue in our current pattern, I would be gearing up to think about another baby. The verdict is still out on that one as well. Glen and I are not on the same page about this, or at least not consciously. We have had several "last" babies. I am not even sure about my "official" position on the birth control thing, I just know I've not wanted to say "no more". For me it is very personal. I feel as if I would be rejecting actual children and saying they would not be worth the work, whereas for Glen, it is not like that. He does not think about it like that. I can't explain it very well. One thing the Lord did show me after Moriah was born was that it was His job to change Glen's heart, not mine. So that is where we stand. We did have number 5 and 6 because the Lord did talk to Glen about it. I am tired, though. I have been pregnant or nursing (sometimes both) for over ten years now. I want our kids to get older so we can travel and do things that we currently don't or can't do because it's just too difficult. But at the same time, there is nothing like a baby. A baby is the best gift you can give your children. It's a new present every morning around here. Cries of "Haven's awake, Haven's awake!" ring through the house anytime he wakes up in the morning or just from a nap. It is so, so sweet. But then there's the interrupted sleep for years on end, dirty diapers, more to do at the same time than humanly possible, meals and laundry and schoolwork coming out my ears. But also hugs and flowers and kisses and pictures and songs and laughs that are priceless that only multiply with each new baby. So...I think I need to get away from so much "me" thinking and just trust the Lord and take it day by day. Most of the excuses for using birth control are selfishly motivated when we really come down to it. How much work will be created in my life, how it will affect my life, how many more months of being tired and cleaning up diapers and baby food messes it will mean for me. My job is to follow my husband's leading, and I am thankful that I can trust Him to follow the Lord's leading. He has a willing heart to listen and obey. So we'll see. I know I don't want to be done, though. They are a lot of work, but they sure are cute.

...So the other big change around here is Glen. The Celiac thing. Wow. Talk about a big change and a lot of information. I am so thankful I live in the information age where for the most part I can just type in an ingredient and find out if it contains gluten, but it still is making for a lot of practical changes. They are mostly for the better, though. Some are difficult, but it really means healthier eating. It just takes a lot of time reading, learning, planning, and being more creative. We've developed some yummy, healthier meals, it just takes quite a bit more time. We are actually in the process of having Anna tested as I have strong suspicions that some of her issues could very well be diet related and Glen and I have mentioned to each other more than once that perhaps his diagnosis was the Lord's mercy in showing us what some of Anna's deal has been. Not just emotional stuff, though that is very often tied to it as well, but she's also just generally felt yucky for a long time. We will eventually have all the kids tested as we've learned that lots of people actually can have Celiac but not have typical symptoms. I'll have to write some about that sometime. I'm still learning, though!

Well, now that all my cleaning time is mostly gone, I am off to speed clean (you know when you do your best to make it look like you've cleaned all day, but really you spent most of your time reading or on the computer...story of my life...)

And by the way, I'm sure everyone wants to know...I am 28 now. I am finally a grown up. I'm not really sure when that transition happened, but it did. No longer do I feel as though I have to give my entire life story when someone finds out about the number of children I have. I have been married for over a decade and am close to 30.
Enough said...ha ha ha :o)

(And if any of you are wondering, I wish I could blog more, but for some reason I always end up writing a novel and I just don't have tons of time for novel writing. I need to figure out a way to keep it shorter I think, but as I've said before, a lot of my purpose in this began as a way for me to just work through some stuff outwardly, in a more conscious manner, so a lot of it is just my thoughts in process or for me to bring a measure of closure to things I've been pondering and feel as though I've put to rest mentally and emotionally...make sense? I just felt as though I needed to explain that. Hopefully (as always) I'll get around to writing about some of the stuff I mentioned earlier.

Happy Spring. May the Lord's face shine on you increasingly this year and may you know Him in a way you never dreamed possible. May He pour out His abundant blessings on you and your family and cover each one of you in His indescribeable grace...and may you rest in the knowledge of His immeasureable and completed love for you.

05 March 2008

quick update on glen~

Just a quick update...

We should find out for sure on Monday, but at this point, the doctor strongly suspects that Glen has Celiac Disease. It is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the small intestine in response to ingesting gluten.

While this would necessitate a huge change in eating habits and dietary lifestyle, I am supremely thankful that this is all it is. I didn't realize how stressed out I was getting about the whole thing, but I can tell you there are 7 other people in this house that are probably breathing a sigh of relief that I am not on edge anymore :o) Everyone was hiding from me last night!

Thanks again for your prayers, I really, really appreciate them. So does everyone else around here :o)

04 March 2008

thanks for the prayers~

So I feel like a total dunce. Here I've been thinking, wow, either no one in the entire world actually reads this, or I totally freaked everyone out and nobody knows what to say to me. Something apparently happened with my blogger settings as I've not been getting email updates to comments left, and here I've been thinking no one knew what to say to me about Glen. So today I actually scrolled down and realized several of you guys have left me encouraging comments! So I just wanted to say thanks!

Julie, your comment was very encouraging, and I definitely remember visiting with you at Chris' wedding reception. I found your blog through Conversations with Judah awhile back, and actually just checked it the other day...so you'll have to update soon :o)

So anyway, you all are actually my real friends :o) just kidding....
Thanks so much for the prayers. All this has just come back up for me again today, actually, as I'm taking Glen tomorrow morning for the tests, and I'll be sure to update as soon as I know anything.

tuesday review ~ amazon~

My friend Jennifer has a Tuesday meme called Tuesday Review where moms share things they love. It can be anything really, so I decided to post about something that helps simplify my life.

I love Amazon. I order books from them all the time, but I've also recently learned about their subscription program that is linked to their grocery department. A lot of their grocery items are eligible as a subscription, meaning you sign up for deliveries once a month, once every two months, etc. When you do this, you get between a 15-20% discount on the price, plus free shipping. This deal doesn't work out to be the best deal all the time, but I do use it for three things so far. Diapers for Noah, diapers for Haven, and Special K Very Berry Cereal :o) I hope to find other things we use on a regular basis as well, but haven't had a lot of time to look into it yet. You don't even have to commit for using it for a certain time period. You can use it just once and then cancel it if you like. They send you an email a week or so before it's scheduled to be shipped again to remind you to deduct the cost from your checking account, and also to allow you to skip that shipment, change, or cancel it. So there is no commitment involved.

I can get the diapers (I like Huggies Supreme, but they have lots of different kinds, you would have to figure out if it was a good deal for the kind you use or not) just about as cheaply as I can from the store (even including when I use coupons). The benefit is that I don't actually have to go the store, remember my coupons, cram my cart full of diapers on top of my kids (I always get a lot at once as I stock up when they are on sale), put them in the car, take them out of the car...you get the picture. They are delivered to my door, free shipping! I pay about $.22 per diaper. The best I ever get them from the store (meaning when they are having a great sale, and I have a coupon) is about $.20 per diaper, but the sometimes slightly increased cost is worth it for me to not have to deal with all of the above!

The special K gives me the same above mentioned benefits, and saves me about $3 on four boxes.

Like I mentioned at first, I also order books from there all the time. Sometimes I order used copies, sometimes I order the new ones and usually have enough to get free shipping. I sometimes order homeschooling supplies as well. I actually have several different resources for finding the best deal on homeschool supplies/books, and Amazon is one of the ones I use often.

I order the books for our book club as well, and we usually go with the used copies. We can often find these for around a dollar or two, plus about four dollars shipping. We get the books for around $5-$6 (sometimes more, obviously, depending on what we are reading), and I can have them mailed to each member individually. This is a really good deal and really convenient!

I am all about convenience :o) As my family grows larger I love discovering new resources for great deals, and things that simplify and streamline my life...and Amazon is one of them. (Too bad I'm not getting paid for this, eh?)
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November