Thursday, June 26, 2008
Simply to sign up and you could win five different carriers!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Quiverfull families believe that children truly are blessings from the Lord and question why anyone would chose to turn down His blessings. We do not use birth control to control the number or spacing of our children. We believe that God will provide the resources to take care of the children He blesses us with and knows what is best for us.
Some who are Quiverfull believe that any use of birth control or natural family planning is a sin. I don't think birth control should be used just to make sure you are "financially stable" before having more children, but I don't know that every act of using any form of birth control is in fact sin.
We have a dear friend who has had two traumatic premature births caused by preclampsia and pregnancy induced hypertension. This was life-threatening to both her and her precious children. And her medical providers were certain is was too dangerous for her to continue with more pregnancies. She and her husband made the prayerful decision to have her tubes tied. Some may say that this is a lack of faith because God could have protected them in the event something happened again. I say that it is a very sad decision that they had to make to use medical science to provide the blessing of helping her stay alive to care for her children. I am sure they did not make the decision lightly. Just as my sister-in-law didn't lightly make the decision to use chemo on her dear daughter to keep her alive.
And God used the experience of losing my friend's fertility (She'll let me know if I'm wrong in my assertion and I'll correct it here.) to spurn them toward adoption. Joseph said that the thing you meant for evil, God used for good. He makes wonderful things out of the bad experiences in our lives. We eagerly await the arrival of her future adoptive son.
I believe both children and medical science are blessings from God. And I do believe both blessings can be abused. Where I do have a problem is in using birth control to CONTROL this aspect of our lives simply because we want children when we want them and we would like only two, thank you very much, so we can afford the niceties we deem equivalent to the freedom to pursue happiness. Contrary to the actions and behavior of some, the American dream and Christianity are not exactly one and the same.
What makes me sad is that the medical community and many of my fellow protestants urge young married couples to make the most our of birth control. You should wait to have children till you are a certain age, have a certain amount of money, graduate college, start your career, get out of debt and on and on. They even go so far as encouraging forms of birth control that are abortifacents. I myself have used these forms of birth control and am very regretful now. Who knows how many babies have been aborted in my own womb without my knowledge? I used to comfort myself and others by saying it was very unlikely for the other two mechanisms (preventing ovulation and creating an inhospitable environment for sperm) to fail and therefore aborting a newly conceived pregnancy would be more of an accident than a method of birth control. If you research, you can find information that being an abortifacent is just one way modern birth control works not simply a backup if it doesn't work properly. Besides, just knowing it is a possibility is enough to convict me not to do it even before my beliefs about leaving my fertility entirely in God's hands enter the picture. There are forms of birth control available that don't use this mechanism.
The rates of infertility continue to rise. Could this have something to do with our messing with the way our bodies were designed by God? I have discovered that extended breastfeeding has health benefits both for mother and child, including lowering the risks of cancer. I have discovered that pregnancy gives women a break from high levels of estrogen and therefore more pregnancies over a lifetime equals another lowering of cancer risks. I'm not saying that infertility and cancer are punishments for God, but a part of the way the nature He designed works. Trusting the maker of our bodies is akin to reading the owner's manual of our cars. They simply run better when we use them the way they are designed.
I'm not trying to judge anyone else's behavior here. I'm simply sharing my personal conviction based on what I understand the Bible to say. If any of this rings true with you, great. If not, I understand that as well. I lived for a long time before this conviction. But I had also never thought of it this way before. If this resonates in your soul, then I urge you to prayerfully consider what I've said. Otherwise, feel free to write me off as a lune who will eventually end up with so many children I'll pull my hair out. I do not recall one instance in the Bible where God cursed anyone with another child.
Of course, like any philosophy it is a continuum. Some quiverfull will say any use of birth control (even natural family planning) or fertility treatments are a sin. I am not one of those. In 1 Corinthians 8, there is a discussion of meat sacrificed to idols. It clearly explains that to some who believe it is a sin to eat this meat, it is indeed. To others, it is not. God meets us all where we are. (He doesn't leave us there, of course) But he certainly isn't OUT to get us. I believe if Quiverfull practices are what He wants you to do, He will make that abundantly clear to your heart. He made it clear to mine.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
When we opened it up and assembled the chairs I got terribly excited about.... playing with the box! It's nice and big and in our living room. Daddy is barely tolerating it. I've cut a set of French doors and two windows. It even has four precut skylights (the manufacturer thought they were handles.)
My Mom did this kind of thing for us when we were kids. Today I've done the most childish thing I've done all week. I feel like so much more of a mom since I'm passing on the legacy.
Oh! My Hannah is such a little girl now. The last two nights my baby has gone to sleep snuggling her doll. She holds him tightly in her arms and hugs and kisses him. Oh and she always nurses him too. In fact I have to nurse him as well. He usually smacks his little cloth lips loudly and says, "YUMMMM!"
The other way I know she's a little girl is scraped knees and the screamed NOOOOO's. My favorite though is sleeping with the doll!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Anyway, John came to me wearing a pair of shorts this morning. They were precariously balanced on his hips and hung way below his knees. Last fall they were a little too snug.
He looked down in dismay and said, "Mom, I believe these are too loose even with underwear on."
Yep, son, that's how you know it's time to put it in the Goodwill pile.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
After we finished school today, John spent a great deal of time playing in his room. I was pleased his toys were finally getting some use. I was mildly curious when he came out to retrieve his laminated number line. But hey, Hannah was napping and I was getting 'net time, so I let it go.
As I left to get my wallet. He called to me, "I prefer cash!"
Monday, April 7, 2008
Anyway, school went great. John was learning! He was engaged. We worked on ADDING FRACTIONS today. He just seems so old. He finished all his subject quickly and without much pain.
In the middle of science, he said, "Mom, can I give my brain some fresh air?" He wanted to go outside and get the mail. So I let him (That's one of the "good mom" parts). He came back in and sorted our mail from my mother-in-law's mail. (Extra reading!). This is one thing I do love about homeschooling: fresh air for your brain opportunities at will.
John learned that Psalms is smack-dab in the middle of the Bible. If you open the Bible in the middle, you can find it. You'd be surprised how happy something like this can make an 8 year old. It's like a magic trick. I'd have let him do it several times but as the book just after Psalms tells, I suppose happiness is fleeting.
After school he went outside to dig in his "garden". This is a bag of dirt my mother bought him and poured into an abandoned flower bed. Woohoo, I'm the honored recipient of wild onions. The harvest of the last several days will soon yield enough to make a whole garlic, according to my horticulturist. I'm not sure how that's going to work but just listening about it and receiving those onions gets me more "good mom" feelings for the day.
Then he came in and did some crafts while Hannah slept and I surfed the 'net. That's the part where he got "good son" points. He made me a necklace using pony beads, buttons and a shoelace. He tied it on my neck while I had my eyes closed to avoid ruining the surprise. I'm still wearing that necklace.... the boy ties a solid knot!
This afternoon we ventured to the park yet again. (Yep, good mom points) He even found a couple of children to play with. I watched from afar as they rubbed some sticks together trying to make a fire. My good mom feelings led me to think about enrolling him in Boy Scouts. My common sense suggested encouraging him to build fires might not be conducive to continuing to live in a house.
Hannah climbed things on the playground which should not be possible developmentally for her. I let her do this. More mom points.
I just didn't want the day to end so after we returned out videos to the store after dinner. We went to the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge and bought duck food and fed the ducks and took a walk.
Hannah finally learned to throw food to the ducks instead of eating it herself all the while calling "woof-woof, woof-woof".
And I got to listen while a fellow parent tried to avoid explaining why the ducks were wrestling tag team with one poor other duck. Gotta love mating season for teaching opportunities.
Hannah was dry and peed in her little potty in the car before we went home.
Yeah, it was a good day.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Now that rages and panic attacks are at a minimum, we have to work on some of the social skills he's missed while being so sick. My goal for John at the park on Thursday was to approach some children at the playground and join in whatever they were playing. He tends to take RC cars or toys to the playground and pretend to play with them hoping it will attract the attention of other kids. It never does and he's always disappointed. Another thing he does is simply follow kids around hoping they'll invite him to play. Sometimes they do, but he doesn't want to play what they are already doing. He wants them to do things his way.
The goal was a big one. When John used to participate in Awanas he would PANIC when they started playing most games. He would panic if they sang a song he didn't know all the words to. He's run crying to me when other kids have invited him to try something new before.
But, we've been working.... so we got to the park and... Praise the Lord, there were lots of children. He tried the looking-bored technique and I reminded him of his goal.
He played near the children for a while and about 10 minutes later, I overheard a girl asking some other children who wanted to be "it" for tag. I looked at John and told him to ask if he could play. He did it! He did it clearly enough the girl understood him and he did it without drooling! She asked if he wanted to be it. He accepted the job. She told him to start counting. So he hunkered down and began.
I watched attentively while pretending I was hovering over Hannah. Miss Indepent really didn't need as much help as I made it seem. John continued to count. The other children squealed and ran to different places. John still counted. Hannah climbed a ladder and slid down a slide. John was counting.
Oh my goodness... it was like programming a loop in BASIC on an Apple IIe in middle school.
- 10 Start counting
- 20 Goto 10
Something HAD to be done. I needed to Command-Open Apple-Reset my son. I nonchalantly speak through my teeth, kindof a thrown whisper, "John, how far are you supposed to count?"
He raised his hands in desperation. There was frustration in his eyes. He said, "I dddooon't know."
"I think that's enough. Go catch the kids."
And he was off! Whew, a whole reboot was avoided and nothing crashed. He ran around and around. Children narrowly dodged his grasp. They all made it back to base. He was it again. He giggled and ran and chased and caught a much smaller little girl. The older playground leader who organized the game said, "Don't catch these two. They're too little. They don't count." Drat, she had no idea how delayed John was socially. I thought the half-pints were perfect for John's abilities. But, wow, it wasn't obvious to her John wasn't as capable as she was at this game!!! So she told him he was it again.
I started to mom-fret. You know, that's where you see injustice and you want to fix it but you want to let it work out on it's own. Sometimes intervention is necessary and has no side effects. Other times intervention works against your mom-intentions (related but not identical to mom-fret). If your mom-intentions are thwarted, you face causing greater problems than the original injustice and causing future problems as your child has not learned to work things out himself. Mom-fret always happens when there is little time to make a decision. It is never a black and white decision. Wording is of utmost importance. A mom-fret also involves wondering just who to address: another child or your own?
The source of my mom-fret is that John does very, very badly with perceived failure. He had failed to successfully catch anyone twice now. I wasn't sure he perceived it as failure or not. The catch and release issue with the younger child compounded things. It could mean he felt challenged or corrected by the leader. In the past, situations like this have caused complete melt-downs that turned into rages for an hour or more. I could've encouraged John but he might have seen that as embarrassing or interfering. I felt that he was taken advantage of because the other kids were working together to get past him and some of the rules were changing and he's really just a social baby.... Or, he might learn to say, "Okay, I'm tired of being it. Someone else needs to take a turn." if left to fend for himself.
In a moment of momness, where preservation of your own child's fragile self preceeds all other impulses, I say to the leader, "Do you have a limit on the number of times someone can be it in a row?" I try to sound like I'm just curious, for clarification's sake.
Another little girl, Leader's Associate said, "Three times in a row is enough. This is his last time." Apparently the new rule was ratified by her supervisor with an approving nod of the head. My heart rate slowed to normal. No mom-fret side effects, phewwww.
So he's it again and he catches no one. Leader's Associate volunteers. They play many rounds and John learns through trial and error what base is and how to say "1-2-3 base on me". He learns to stay in bounds through a minor correction by Leader's Associate. Sometimes he is caught and becomes it. Sometimes he is safe. He plays and he plays hard. It is a group of children aged 5 to 10. He fit somewhere in the middle. To everyone present, including me, he looked like a "normal" kid. When most of them had to leave, he waved bye and played a little by himself. We left the park about 15 minutes later.
This was the first time John has ever played at a playground and interacted with other children that not one single tear was shed. He didn't even throw a tantrum when we left. Hannah took care of that ritual!
On Thursday.... that boy was really IT and possibly a bag of chips! I'm so proud!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Two thousand eight in the year of our Lord ushers in the reign of the Naked Princess in our household kingdom. It has been six years since the last naked heir to the throne and I'm honestly out of practice in dealing with such regents.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Well, this is post number three and I find myself already wondering what on earth I might blog today. Sadly, my dear squirrel hunting friend has returned to her normal, non-crittercidal self. So I can't even share news of her misadventures. (Yes, I did just create a new word. I think its definition is self-evident.) Now that I'm thinking of it, there might be a hint of lipstick on the end of the marshmallow gun this afternoon but I think I shall let sleeping squirrels lie.