Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Button, Button, Who's Got The Button?

Hannah pined after and received a Josefina "mini-doll" for Christmas. If you are unfamiliar with Josefina, she is an American Girl doll, (not one of the originals but at least not one of the "dolls of the year". Don't get me started.) only instead of being 18" tall, she is only about 6". Much more affordable.


Hannah also received a book on making your own miniature furniture for said dolls and she has been pouring over the pages and raiding the recycle bin to craft and create beds, desks, lamps, tables, food and the like. She's gone through at least 100 sticks of hot glue and many of her creations are really clever.

And with this I'm learning to live with an open hand.  Over the years I have been given and collected many random craft items. In the past year alone 4 different women cleaning out their craft/sewing supplies have gifted me tubs of fabric and random baubles. And yet, that is where I hoard.

When Hannah started she came to me asking for buttons from the mason jar o'buttons. I said no.

Then I started thinking, "How often do I actually use these buttons? I hate sewing on buttons. What purpose do they serve sitting in a jar on the shelf? Am I afraid of not having enough buttons? And more importantly, what does this teach my daughter about sharing with an open hand all that we've been given? I want her also to know that her creations and her creativity is important and I want to encourage it."

So when she came to me again and asked if she could please have a button, I said, "Sure."

When she came to me for another and another button, I said, "Sure."

Last week at the Ladies' Sewing Circle I attend every Monday night a lady said, "Someone gave me a large tin of buttons and asked if I knew anyone that needed them. I thought of you. Could you use more buttons?"

I laughed and said, "Sure."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jasper Charles Dante

 Note: Found this in my drafts, never published. He may be over a year old but here is the beginning of Jasper's story.

Jasper Charles Dante is here!

He was born Monday, October 1, 2012 at 7:21pm. 9lbs 12 oz and 22 inches long - he is a sweet, healthy, "little" boy. We are so very blessed and my heart is continually praising the Lord.

But you see, I feel like I need to be honest here with what God has been doing in my heart. I had been living with and struggling with an anxiousness in my heart that something would go wrong this time, or our baby wouldn't be healthy. A nagging fear that God would ask hard things of me that I couldn't handle. We have 4 healthy children- are we "pushing our luck" in asking for a 5th? But it is not luck, there are no odds, there is only God.  For God created Jasper's inmost being and knit him together in my womb - he is fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-14)  And no matter if Jasper is healthy or has all his toes or not (he is! he does!); he is a precious creation of God's and God is good.

The 3 year break between Marilyn and Jasper has given me a breathing space to step back and "come out of a fog", so to speak. I feel more aware of the everyday happenings and not so caught up in and by them. But I've also become more aware of the problems, the things that can go wrong. Aware of food allergies and toxic loads and sickness and disease and often feel hounded by thoughts of "am I doing enough to ensure good health for my children". And these thoughts make me anxious and fearful.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

I cannot ensure good health, I can help but ultimately it is to God that my children belong and get their very breath.

So...am I rejoicing only now? Now that I've given birth to a healthy baby boy in a beautiful home birth that was relatively easy?

No. I have been at peace for a while now, resting in the peace of God promised me:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (emphasis mine)

Even before Jasper was born I was resting in that peace, giving thanks, no matter the outcome. My one and only tattoo references Psalm 104:33:
"I will sing to the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Contingent upon no circumstance, I will praise my God.

Ah- but you came for a birth story, didn't you?

Sunday, September 30 we went for a 2-3 mile walk/hike with the kids and I had pretty strong contractions but nothing I had to stop for. Erik wanted to keep on walking but I had my heart set on an October baby so we came home and had dinner and went to bed. Contractions lasted until 1am but I got some good sleep anyway. Monday morning I decided not to start schoolwork with the kids but instead to clean the house to see if we could get the contractions going again.

That helped and contractions came with a definite downward pressure, helping reassure me that yes, this indeed was the time. (You'd think this being the 5th time I'd have some idea!) I called my midwives to let them know.

Erik wondered if he should just stay home from work after lunch but decided to head back in to finish up the job he was working on. When he was done with that he came home and started setting up the birthing tub. The kids got excited and started asking "Are we going to have a baby today?!"

I called my midwives again and they came. I texted my sisters (who were living and working in Cannon Beach); Mindy took a personal day at work and came down to help corral kids and Bethany came down when she got off work. Erik's boss' wife brought over dinner.

The afternoon passed with much talk, laughter, reading about placentas and regular contractions. Oh and a fan blowing cool air, it's been unusually warm around here.

Towards evening I climbed into the birthing tub to help with relaxation between contractions. Oh how I love the birthing tub!

My water soon broke and surrounded by Erik, my sisters, my wonderful midwives and all the other kiddos, Jasper Charles Dante was born at 7:20pm  7:21pm. Ivan was quick to pipe up: "Actually it was 7:21" when the time was announced.

My mom made it an hour later, after stopping at Dairy Queen for a celebratory ice cream when Bethany called her with the news.

The kids helped take down the tub.

Bethany and Mindy went home, genuinely thrilled to have been able to be there for the birth.

Erik's parents came and took the 4 older kids to their house for a few days and Jasper and I spent quite a few days in bed resting.  It is so wonderful to have this amount of support and help.

My mom left the following Monday. Erik took a few hours off here and there during the week to help out and the kids enjoyed the extra movie watching. The generous ladies of our church provided evening meals for the week as well.

We are quite taken with our new little man.

"Jasper made a face like this!"

Oh Jasper, you precious gem. May you grow to be a man of God, who shares and upholds the foundations of God's word as we look forward to the coming of God's holy city, who's walls are as Jasper (Revelation 21:18-19). May your decisions and direction be pleasing to God and may you serve before him. (Exodus 28:15-30)

To God be the glory- great things He has done.  Amen.

Time sure flies when you're having fun: 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

All The Things

I've been away so long that I really want to update you on all the things.

Let me esplain...no that will take too long, let me sum up.

I've been doing other things instead of blogging.

There you have it.

And I have nothing of real great importance to share, but must it all be of great importance to warrant a few words or a picture? (I'm not promising a picture)

I've started to miss the practice of being forced to share in complete sentences, or nearly complete sentences, what's going on around here and what I've been up to. So here is my attempt to start once again sharing things.

Maybe not all the things, but some.

Visiting my home lately you wouldn't guess that I've been reading books, blogs and articles on minimalism, but I have. Not so much minimalism as in stark, sterile, own nothing, minimalism but rather an intentional owning and possessing of stuff. I've been clearing out corners and closets and cupboards all in the quest to not have stuff define my days. It's a process and I'm fully enjoying learning to use what I have and to get rid of what just takes up space. I've also been devising and constructing things to better make use of our home and the stuff we do want to keep around and store and use.

Erik jokes that "when we moved into our home it was completely finished and it hasn't been since."

I lovingly remind him that when we moved into our home we had one child and one on the way. We now have 5 and our house has not adapted to work with us.

We are in the process of catching our house up to speed.

This includes a garage addition with living space above. It includes the window seat and bookshelves that I alluded to just a few posts ago in blogland but which in reality was quite a few months. And that post, which was about our "new bed", is no longer accurate. I've been building again.

I may have been gone for awhile but I hope that somewhere "you" are waiting now to see what we have done, what we are doing and what, God willing, we plan for the future.

See you soon!