Dec 7, 2011

Mom Confession, and Hope

I went to Bible study this morning. That sounds really nice I bet. But it wasn't really that nice, because to get there I was harping on my kids, raising my voice, being impatient.
While at Bible study, I was struck by 1 Peter chapters one and two. Read them, they're amazing. Also, the speaker quoted a few lines from Steve Green's "Find Us Faithful". I had never heard that song before, but the lines she read were powerful. After Bible study we had several errands to run. Running several errands with several kids can me a little hair-raising. Then we came home to a kitchen full of dirty dishes (and a trash that smelled like baby poop . . . ugh!), laundry that is stacked and ready to be put on hangers, freshly pierced ears that need to be tended to, little bottom's that needed to by wiped, a little baby that was in desperate need of a nap after running errands, ok i'll stop there. The point is, that even after I felt so convicted at Bible study I still came home to real life and I really struggled with being the kind of Christian mother I honestly want to be. When the rubber meets the road, can I handle it in a righteous way? I'm not sure I can!! Anyway, I looked up the rest of the lyrics to this song "find us faithful". My heart is dwelling on this idea of a living hope that we have in Jesus Christ. A hope that never dies and never dissapoints. A hope that I will be able to do the right thing even when everything has gone wrong. A hope that despite all of my shortcomings as a mother, I hope that when my children remember me, they find me faithful.

Find Us Faithful
by Steve Green

We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

CHORUS:
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful


After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find


Ok, people, go! Go read the first couple of chapters of 1st Peter. Go think about the God who loves you so much he sent his son down to rescue you from sin that you might live forever in Heaven with Him. Think about the savior who suffered, oh what suffering, and yet was still righteous, think about who you are and what you do. Think about the legacy you are leaving for your family. Go and be faithful to your Savior, Jesus Christ!

Dec 5, 2011

Oh Yeah!!

Almost forgot! My midwife came by last week and we determined that at that time I was right around 15 weeks, which puts me at 16 weeks now, which means I am due somewhere around May 20.  :) Luke and I have decided to wait and find out if it's a girl or boy when it's born.

Praise the Lord for the work He of His hands as He knits this little one together!!

Do Your Ears Hang Low

For many moons Mandie Lee has been wanting to get her ears pierced. Luke and I decided that would be her Christmas present from us this year. So today we went to Claire's and she boldly and bravely endured the pain that many a girl has endured before her. I was so hoping there would be enough people there to do both ears at the same time, but it didn't work out that way. Still, my brave little girl held back the tears while the job was done. I think I was 8 or 9 when I sat in the same spot to get mine pierced 20 years ago. My Mom-in-Law remembers when she got hers done, her mom just heated a safety pin over a flame to sterilize it and pushed it through her ears when she was a girl. OUCH! I don't think I could have ever done that! Different times I guess.
I love you Mandie Lee, even with holes in your ears!! Merry Christmas!!

Nov 26, 2011

Oh Me, Oh My

Happy Thanksgiving! I can't believe that the holiday has already come and gone. This year's Turkey Feast was just as delicious, if not better, than it always is, and I enjoyed the opportunity to spend the day with Luke's family. This year I made my grandmother Beaulah's pistachio salad recipe, which Mandie found delightful, and my great-grandmother Cassy Mae Wheeler's Coke Sald recipe, which Mandie found to be equally delightful, and my Aunt LaJean's fruit salad with whipped cream, yummy yummy! (now that was a run-on sentence!!) My parents went to Austin to watch the UT game for Thanksgiving, so I was glad to have some of my side's traditional dishes for Thanksgiving even though we weren't actually celebrating with them. Luke's family really liked the Coke Salad, think that may be a new regular Thanksgiving appearance for them, too!

In pregnancy world, I really don't think it has really registered inside of me that I am going to have another baby! I told Luke that it probably won't hit me until I'm holding the little newbie in my arms! However, there is really no preparation to be done. The nursery is in full working order and is currently occupied by Michael, so I guess we need to assemble the toddler bed and move him into Matthew's room, which will soon just be the 'Boy's Room". Also, when we figure out if it's a girl or boy, which I'm thinking we may not do until birth, then I need to either wash the newborn boy clothes or the newborn girl clothes. Then I think we are ready. So that makes me one toddler bed and one load of laundry away from being ready for a baby.

I am starting to get rather concerned about birth. I know a lady who's having her fourth baby in a month and she is so not worried about labor or birth or any of it. That is NOT me. Birth is scary for me every time. My biggest fear is a long, drawn out birth. I pray for efficient contractions, efficient pushes, and a reasonable birth. I pray for health for all parties involved. And I pray that I do not make it something in my mind that it's not in reality. I just want good' ol plain'ol regular'ol birth. And I don't like people thinking about me in birth, I don't even like people to know that I've gone into active labor until after the fact. I absolutely have a very healthy fear of birth, and I have the utmost respect for the whole process, and I believe that the reward you gain from it is tenfold the work! Ok, more on that later I'm sure.

Well, I am somewhere between 15 and 17 weeks pregnant I think. I never had a period because I was nursing Michael, so I don't have a first day of my last period. I haven't had an ultrasound because in homebirth world you don't normally have an ultrasound until around 20 weeks, if you get one at all. I heard the heartbeat for the first time on October 28th. That means I was at least 10 weeks at that point. It was fast. It makes me wonder if there's a girl in there. It's been a while since we've had a baby girl around here and everyone seems to be hoping for a girl, but we would love a boy of course!! I have an appointment on Monday with my midwife and I'm hoping that after she measures and pokes around a bit she will narrow down a more precise due date for me. I have gained 10 pounds already, which seems like a lot. None of my clothes fit, all of my normal clothes are too small and all of my maternity clothes are too big/stretched out. So I'm mostly in sweatpants and t-shirts for now. I also really enjoy wearing my husbands sweaters, I just love that.

Also, it seems that I am less than a joy to live with. My hormones are all over the place. I get really bad headaches from time to time. I had a big RA flare the other day. And instead of placing the blame on things like pregnancy or hormones, or something that actually contributed to the problem, I like to nit pick at my husband. He doesn't like it so much. However, with the beginning of the 2nd trimester has come a surge of energy and change for the better in my disposition. Luke has expressed to me more than once how glad he is that the 1st trimester is over. He's a trooper that one!

Christmas is coming and I'm ready for it baby! I have purchased 90% of presents, and even wrapped some of them. The next few days will be spent decorating, wrapping, and doing a bit of Christmas crafting, and then bring on the Christmas Joy!! This year I really want to read a chapter of the book of Luke every evening of December. I had ambitions to do it last year but it didn't seem to fit. This year I think the kids would be very receptive to it, and I think it would be a highlight of the season for us all! Thank you God for sending Jesus!!

Speaking of crafting, Michael's baby book has finally been started! I have done his opening page, a spread about being pregnant with him, and a spread about his birth, and a spread about him meeting friends and family for the first time. Now I just have to do his baby shower and the months of June of 10 through June of 11 and it will be done. (Oh, it sounds so easy but it is so much work!) I am hoping and praying and hoping and wishing and hoping so hard that it will be finished before I give birth again! Oh my. Also, I have a grand idea to make a quilt out of old baby clothes and blankets and burp rags and stuff. I made a t-shirt quilt in hight school and I haven't done anything like it since then. I have been greatly inspired by Wendy at Sewing in the Wendy City, and I'm hopeful to start making some squares after the holidays slow down and much more progress has been made on Michael's scrap book. It's not a project that I want to finish quickly, because I would like to have pieces from every baby on the quilt, and obviously we aren't quite done in the baby department, yet. But I would love to get started on it!

Oh, my. I guess that's it for today. Have a wonderful week!

Nov 22, 2011

His Mercies

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases His mercies never come to an end They are new every morning The Lord is my portion says my soul Therefore I will hope in Him. Lamentations 3:22-24

Oct 16, 2011

A Family Affair at Blue Haven

A chance. We had a chance. A relative had a cabin, and we had the opportunity to stay in it. Not just any cabin. A cabin in a special place. A sacred place. A place where my love for the Lord and for nature was nurtured and matured. A place where I had wonderful memories. A place where I was baptized.

The name of the cabin, A Family Affair. It had literally been built by this family. It was nestled up on the mountain side, right obove the creek; just a 10 minute walk from the pond, a 20 minute walk from the camp. It smelled of pine trees. When we walked along, we could hear the crunching of pine needles beneath our feet. The creek was cold. The sky was clear. The air was fresh.

Technology was far, far away. There was no internet. No cell phone service. No TV. No one there that we knew, besides ourselves. Nature was very close by. Bugs. Birds. Lizards. Horny Toads. Wasps. Flowers. Fish. Rocks. Trees. Deer! (Thankfully, no bears!!)

This was Michael and I on a hike ( I had no idea that I was actually pregnant at this time!)

This was the cabin, A Family Affair

Taking a hike

Playing in Tekalote (sp?) creek







Observing Nature


This little girl caught her first fish with some canned corn later that day!

Staying Warm




Playing Outside

Playing in Mandie's Tent


Thank you, Lord, for Camp Blue Haven!

Oct 12, 2011

Last Wednesday

was a day I will not soon forget. That morning I skipped breakfast, except to eat the last few bites of my kid's gluten free rice krispies, and I just did not feel well. Honesly, I hadn't been feeling well for a while. The Sunday before I thought I had some kind of stomach bug. A few days before that I thought that maybe I hadn't been cooking my meat well enought. I just felt sick. Well, last Wednesday was no exception. I felt bad. But, life went on. School was done, snacks packed, and off we went to Bible Study, where I felt so darn tired. I mean pooped! In fact during the last half our I was taking notes, well, trying to take notes, but my eyes kept closing and my head kept dropping, and my notes were just illegible scribbles on a page, and that's when it hit me . . . I'm pregnant! I knew I had to be pregnant. I felt sick, I felt tired, I felt like a pregnant lady. So after Bible study we joined our dear friends for lunch, and then I went by CVS to get a pregnancy test. I had to pee so bad, I thought I might accidentally pee in my pants at the check out!! Thankfully that didn't happen, but I unwrapped the box and the test on the way home and ran in the house to the bathroom as soon as I could! I didn't even get the kids out of the car! Sure enough, there was a cross . . . not a line on the test.

Shock!

It wasn't that we didn't want more kids, because we did. However, we also wanted a little space between kids. It wasn't that I didn't feel pregnant, because I did, it was just a shock to see that test. The crazy part (WARNING: this may be too much information, proceed at your own risk) is that I never had a cycle after Michael was born. I guess it was from all of that nursing. Did I know you can get pregnant nursing, of course. But I had never not had a cycle between babies before, so I just figured I would worry about birth control after I had that first cycle.

Anyway, here I am. Pregnant. I don't know for sure how far along I am, somewhere between 6 and 10 weeks it seems. My midwife has a plan to figure that out without an ultrasound. There is a good chance that this baby will be born either towards the end of May or the first part of June. Yes, June. This may well be my 3rd June baby. It seems that September is a really good month for Luke and I :)

Later that day I wrapped up my pregnancy test in tissue paper. Wrapped the tissue paper in a box. Wrapped the box in a bag. Put the bag in another box, Wrapped the box with ribbon, and left it on the kitchen table for Luke when he got home. When he came home, he asked what it was and I just told him to open the box. When he got down to it . . .

Shock!

Then he smiled and said, "Hooray!" I love that man. I love the way he reacted to that news. He is such a great man. And an awesome Daddy.

Kids take work, so much work. They require money. They take up all kinds of time, energy, effort. They push us to our limits emotionally, phyically, spiritually. But they bring with them joy, love, laughter, enlightenment, relationship. They teach us about ourselves, and about our God, even about our parents and our grandparents. Raising children is good for the heart, good for the soul, it is good. Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a precious treasure that bring back ten fold what you put into them. I am honored to carry a child in my tummy. I am humbled to have another little one under my watch and care. I am excited to see how this child changes our family. And I am eager to teach this child in the way he/she should go.

Praise the Lord! Let all that is within me praise the Lord. His timing is perfect. His love covers my sin. His word lights my path. His way is good. Praise the Lord!

Sep 29, 2011

Fair Fun



Last Tuesday Nana Jana took us to the Tri-State Fair! We enjoyed riding rides, petting animals, watching performances, and most of all, eating carmel apples and fried potatoes! We had a great time! Thank you NJ for you generosity! We love our Nana Jana Banana Bobana!!











Sep 28, 2011

Faces (and feet) of Family









 





(Mandie took the picture of Michael's feet)

A Favorite Baby Thing


This is truly one of my favorite baby moments. The other night we were all sitting around the dinner table talking away. I looked over and saw . . .






Oh, I do love him so much. 

Brothers and Sisters

Sitting in the front yard this summer:




Sep 14, 2011

A Bear of Very Little Brain

Fluff!

I feel often times that my head, unfortunately, is filled rather sparingly, which is also unfortunate, with fluff. After 257 pages of Winnie the Pooh (which is still 5 chapters short of the end), I have concluded that pooh and I have two things in common, a sweet tooth, and a fluff-filled noggan. Thankfully, after much effort on my part and much answered prayer on the Lord's part, I honestly feel like I am becoming much less of a flake. As far as I know, I have missed fewer appointments, returned more phone calls, and been late far less often. Praise The Lord!! In some strange way I feel like homeschooling has given me the right amount of structure and responsiblity to help me get my cotton picking act together! I am so relieved. It is worrisome to me that another pregnancy may in fact put me right back in flake-ville, not that I am pregnant . . . just speculating.

In other news, I met a lovely lady in Bible class this morning who also suffers from Rhuematoid Arthritis. She also handles her arthritis non-medically. She also has found that she feels really good when she cuts out wheat, sugar and dairy (and she even cuts out pork) from her diet. She is in her early 60's and has had RA for about 10 years. I am in my late 20's and have had RA for about 5 years. I am so hopeful that I will be able to manage my RA this way forever. BOOOO harmful arthritis meds!!!!! I have been walking a couple of miles most evenings for several months, and I even jog here and there when my body feels really good. I think the regular exercise is making a huge positive difference as well!

Here's an interesting fact: I have been married to an optomestrist for 4 years, yet I have not had an eye exam during that time.In Luke's 4th year of optometry school he began seeing patients. I eagerly made my way downtown to be one of his first patients. He gave me an exam, told me I had perfect vision and did not need glasses, then joked with his professor that that was an 'exam in a can' because I had nothing wrong and required no perscription. Here we are four years later and I feel like I'm having trouble seeing the print on signs at long distances. Sure enough, after giving me a non-can eye exam on Saturday, Luke informed me that I am in fact far-sighted (what a shame that I do not know how to spell that word . . . is that how you spell it? I'll ask him later!!) He proceeded to fit me with a new pair of glasses that I received yesterday. Within just minutes of putting those babies on, I could see EVERYTHING! Every sign, all the leaves on the trees, the fine details of pictures, I even felt like a was seeing the clouds in a whole new way. It was awesome!! Also, I don't squint anymore. I don't have to. I can see everything clearly, no squinting required. Hooray for glasses!! After being that man's patient, I am simply amazed by what a skillful doctor he is. I am also so impressed by the happy atmoshphere he has created in his office. What a mighty good man. In my next post I'll try to put up a picture of me sporting my new eyeware! Until then, hope you and yours are well!!



Sep 9, 2011

Silly Little Memories

A few little anecdotes to remember about each of my babes.

Mandie learned a song at Bible study on Wednesday to help her remember her Bible verse. The verse is "I will be with you always" Matthew 28:20. You sing the verse to the tune of London Bridge is falling down. Mandie decided to change it up a little bit. Instead of singing "Matthew 28:20" She changed the words to "Mandie 28:20" I guess she didn't think it was right that Matthew's name was in the song and her's wasn't. She can't sing it with a straight face. She starts cracking up every time. She's hilarious I tell you!

Matthew has experienced a major, mind-blowing, momentous occation (according to his Daddy). He has officially begun viewing the first episode of Star Wars. Tonight after the viewing, while I was tucking the little skywalker in, I was trying to tell Him that he will be a warrior for the Lord. He was so excited! He kept asking me all of these application questions like " Mom, will I still live here? I haven't heard the Lord speak, when will he tell me? Where will I get my sword?" I assured him that when the Lord speaks to him he will know it. I told him I don't know when the Lord will need him or what his mission will be . . . but when the Lord calls on him, he'll be ready to go. Now I sit wondering, what are the Lord's plans for that little boy with a lot of heart.

And for Michael, that little guy does not . . . I repeat . . . does NOT. . .  like the vacuum cleaner! When I turn on the vacuum cleaner he chases me around the house. He whacks at the vacuum cleaner and he says "No! No!" to the vacuum cleaner. Oh my. He is doing so well, though. Growing like a weed, trying to figure out how to run, saying a few words here and there (but mostly communicating via gestures and grunts and groans). He is into EVERYTHING! He pulls things from the wall. He dumps drawers. He unfolds blankets. He tears papers. Oh dear!

That's it for this little update. Hope all is well with you, too!

Aug 19, 2011

Summer Days

Right now M & M are playing in the sprinklers with the neighbors a few doors down.

What fun!

Aug 8, 2011

Easter in August

In true Cassie style, I think I will post about Easter of this year today . . .  August 8th. Better late than never!

We spent some time making Easter Eggs. This gets more fun every year as they get older. 



The cards were cut bunnies stapled onto cut out eggs. That made a little pocket to put a treat in.
 Happy Faces . . .
 Hunting eggs in the front yard before church . . .


Church Pictures . . .


Mandie and I tried to match, what do you think?





Hunting eggs at church . . .



Lunch with Nana, Poppy, and Whit after church


HAPPY EASTER IN AUGUST!