Friday, March 30, 2012

Little of this and a little of that!

Stilll here, still pregnant. Which is a good thing! Patrick, Elisabeth and Brenna arrive in 4 days and the baby is not quite ready to come yet! Yay! We're enjoying our time here, except for the mini-cold three of us have down with. It's really going around our church, so it's not surprising that we're getting it,too. We find that when we're gone from Fort Myers for a length of time, that when we come back our immunity isn't built up to flus and colds. We seem very susceptible! As I felt a sore throat coming on and Silas became stuffy, I bought some chewable Vitamin C. Silas and Callie are so excited evertime I announce it's Vitamin Time! Josh on the other hand....not so much. I feel like we may have caught this bug in time and we are all feeling a little better. I had my midwife appointment yesterday and things are looking great. Baby could come tonight or in 4 weeks, who knows!? I just pray it will wait until at least Tuesday night when the rest of our family arrives! We did learn that the baby is posterior just like my Silas was. That makes for a no-fun-at-all labor! (Like there are any fun labors, but the back labor was absolutely horrid!) So, I've been reading up this morning on how to get this baby turn! I told Josh to not laugh at me today. He might find me doing some crazy things to get this baby to move right! When I told him that I will be crawling for at least 2 hours today, that's when he thought for sure I've lost it and called his Dad!

Josh has enjoyed balancing family time/working/school/ and friend time. He's taking advantage of every available minute. My Dad let him convert his Shed into a perfect place for a guys night. Last week he and Noah played games and ate pizza until 4am. Tonight there is another guys night planned and Josh is thrilled! I'm thankful the Lord has given him some friends that are a good influence on him and that like to have fun. When I went out to check on them at 3am the other morning, I could heare their laughter and I just had to smile. Thank you Lord!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Services Yesterday (Here and There)

It was a great Sunday! Joshua, Silas, Callie and I enjoyed attending our home church here in Fort Myers, Florida. I love my church family! Silas was excited to be dressed up as a preacher! They said Callie did great in the nursery. I was a little concerned since our nursery in St. Barths is in the kids room with our girls taking turns teaching the lesson and doing Sunday School. I knew they do a great job, but I also know my "Little Miss Callie Grace" knows how to get her way sometimes! When I picked her up the worker said to tell Elisabeth and Brenna that they are doing a great job. Every toy she got out, she put away when she was finished! Wow! They said they didn't have to clean up after her. (I don't think she does this at home!)

And here's my handsome Josh. Doesn't his glasses look great? He's enjoying seeing some of his friends from church and his taking one of them out to lunch today. He and I sang a special in the Sunday morning service and I love to sing with my boy!

Patrick was excited to call me as soon as morning services let out. He told me that a man we had been praying for accepted Christ as his Savior yesterday! Praise the Lord! What a great Sunday it was!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Heart of the Matter~Considering our Children

My children need me. It’s a fact of life that we will hear “Mommy” about a zillion times a day. This is true whether they are toddlers or teens. When I’ve heard “Momma” for the 1,002nd time and I’m still mixing the pancake batter for breakfast, how do I react? Am I considering some of my children’s needs? Here are some good questions I can ask myself:

~Am I overreacting? (Hhhmmm, how did this one get on here again?:o)

~Does that Lord want to teach me or my child something through this? (Don’t let your harsh reactions stand in the way of a teachable moment that the Lord is providing.)

~Is my child acting childishly or foolishly? (There is a difference. Children are going to be childish and make mistakes, but it becomes foolishness and sin when they know what they are doing is wrong. We need to deal with and correct their sin but we also need to have compassion and realize that sometimes they are being just kids. It’s easy to have my expectations too high and expect too much.)

~Is my child doing the best he can for his age? (My little Silas wants to please me. I love that! I’ve been teaching him how to make his bed. I gave him a little tutorial on the “how–to’s” of making a bed and told him that we’re going to start making his bed in the mornings together. He was so excited! He gets to do something fun with Momma every day! I love it! [If only my teenagers would think it’s still fun!] It’s so cute when he remembers. He takes his sheet and throws it over his pillow. Voila! The bed is made! Now, yes, he has forgotten his quilt, a couple of stuffed animals, and the wrinkles, but you’d never know it by the way we all cheer! He’s so proud and so are we. Eventually he’ll have some more teaching sessions, but for his age he’s doing amazing! Now, if my 15 year-old Joshua did the same thing, it’d be a little different story! I require more of him because he’s older and has been taught how to make the bed. It’s important to consider the child’s age and capabilities throughout our day. We can sometimes have too high of expectations and our poor kiddos will feel like they could never win or achieve what Momma’s asking.)

~Does my child just need some extra one-on-one attention from me? (…the time where I look them in the eye and give them all of my energy and attention. Sometimes, we must stop and consider that our children just need our full and personal attention.)

~Does my child feel well? (Or maybe he’s catching the bug everyone else is getting. Sometimes it has taken me a while to realize that one of my children isn’t doing everything they are supposed to, simply because they aren’t feeling well.)

Now, I’m not talking about making excuses for your children. They desperately need consistency! I’m talking about stopping, thinking things through, and doing the best you can to act in a Christ like way. The Lord is so forgiving and gracious to us. Not to mention super patient! He’s the best parent, for sure. We fail when we react in a way that’s just spur of the moment, off the top of our heads and in a nagging manner. Remember, an uncontrolled reaction is just a quick response of the flesh! I want to be sweet with them and shower them with love and praises as I guide them. To do this, I must cause my heart to consider

Thursday, March 22, 2012

We made it!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for safe travels for us. We made it to Florida! We had a great trip. It was memorable! As we walked out to our plane in St. Barths Silas said he wanted his Daddy and wanted to go home. But, then in the next sentence he was excited to get on an airplane. He had lots of mixed emotions that day! When we hit a little turbulence in our St. Barths plane (12 seater including the pilot) he wanted to know if we were going to fall off! We arrived to Mom and Dad's about 1am with my Dad waiting to hug us all. It was great! We've had a whirlwind of activity since we.'ve arrived, and I'm looking forward to today to just relax. Silas and Callie are enjoying Grandma's big bathtub!

The top food on Josh's priority list for our trip was to eat a Heberito (I have no idea how to spell that!) His Uncle William and Aunt Keela (my sister) brought him one for our first dinner there. He was thrilled to put it mildly! (And Patrick is a little jealous!)

Silas and Callie have been introduced to popsicles on a stick and they are loving them!

We have had some great appointments the past couple of days. Josh got some much needed glasses (he looks so handsome...I'll post more on that soon!), Silas and Callie had great checkups at their Pediatrician (poor Callie had 4 shots. Her little thigh is red, warm, and swollen this morning. Silas had his finger poked. When the nurse was all done he looked at me and said, "She hurt my finger!!!") and yesterday I met with my midwife. Things are looking great for the baby!
I praise the Lord for providing for us and working on our behalf. Everyday He has his hand clearly on us and I'm so thankful!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

36 Weeks and It's Time to Go!

Today we are 36 weeks along. Only 4 more (or so) to go!
Tomorrow Joshua, Silas, Callie and I will leave our home around 11am and head to the St. Barths airport. (If you're not familiar with our airport you should google it. It's a fun experience...very memorable...I can't wait!) We will then fly to St. Martin, then on to Puerto Rico, then to Fort Lauderdale at 8:50. Our hope is to arrive at my parents house by midnight. It should be a long day, but I love to travel! I'm looking forward to seeing my family back in Florida, but as I sunk my toes into the sand when Brenna took these photos, I realized I'm going to miss St. Barths, too. I'm so thankful the Lord has allowed me to make this my home! When I come back I'll be bringing our new baby!
So, if you think of us, please pray for our safety tomorrow. Pray for Patrick, Elisabeth and Brenna as they will fly out on April 3rd. Pray,pray, pray that they will make it for the babies birth!
So, it's off to the friendly skies for me tomorrow!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Heart of the Matter~Considering our Husbands

On my wedding day, filled with young-naivety, I thought Patrick and I would be one of those couples that would never have a disagreement or misunderstanding. And surely we would never fight! The day following our wedding I had a little “wake up call.” We were in our hotel room waking up to the smiling faces of one another and so happy to be in love and finally married. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Good morning my gorgeous husband! (happy emphasis on the husband part!) What
would we like to do today?

Patrick: Good morning my wife. (another smile) Well, the first thing is that I’m going to run downstairs and take off all the writing off of our car.

Me: The writing? You mean you’re going to remove all the words that say sweet stuff like “Happily Married?”

Patrick: Yes

Me: Why in the world would you do that? Are you not happy to be married to me?

Patrick: Of course I am!

Me: I thought we would leave this on for weeks so we could tell the world we’re married!

Oh boy! This ended up being a fun conversation with a few tears from a silly misunderstanding. Instead of sweetly realizing I had married a man who wanted to take care of the paint job on our new to us car, I assumed all the wrong things, said all the wrong things, and our first disagreement took place. I never stopped and considered that our paint job on our car could be ruined by leaving all that writing on for too long. Now I look back on it and laugh! Removing the paint first thing is soooo much Patrick. By removing the writing and taking care of our car, he was focused on taking care of his wife, and this was his first act of husbandhood! I should be glad he didn’t do it the night before! :o)

Misunderstandings sure do happen quickly with our husbands, don’t they? They are the ones we love the most, make the most decisions with and share our hopes and dreams with. Yet, it’s easy to not always see eye-to-eye. It’s so easy for our hearts to just react and not stop and consider.
I love the verse in Proverbs 14, verse 29 that says, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” It’s easy to be hasty when we interact
with our man. Our countenance and words reveal that. It’s time I truly focus on Considering him! Remembering and considering some things beforehand will help me with that goal. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you to stop and consider when dealing with your husband:

~Am I overreacting? (Did you notice that was first on last week’s list also?)

~Is it possible he’s just having a bad day? (We all have them. I’m sure he’s thankful when I’m patient with him when nothing seems to quite work out.)

~Is he just being a “man”? (Men think and handle problems differently than women. Men look at problems in view of fixing them, so when we come to our man just wanting to talk about things, he takes it as, “She wants me to fix this for her and give her all the answers.” He is looking to be the hero of our problems!)

~Is it possible I’m just having a bad day? (Me? Yes, I have some of them, too! Sometimes if I’m just emotional or a bit frazzled, I jump to conclusions.)

~Is this the worse thing in the world? (Sometimes we have “disagreements” over things that don’t even matter!)

~Is this a legitimate concern my husband wants me to address and look after?

~Can I respond in a way to help him to not react harshly? (A soft answer turneth away wrath…how we respond to situations and problems helps our husbands in responding well.)

~Does he just need a little extra attention from me?

~Have I put myself in his shoes? (A man goes through troubles and stress that are different than ours. It’s easy to not take the time to understand him or be sensitive to what he is going through.)

~Does he just need me to wink at him and help him forget all his troubles?

I sure do want my husband to feel like the King of his castle….I like feeling like the queen in return! When I consider some things concerning my husband and when I don’t react in a hasty manner, our day goes much more smoothly…and a little more romantic, too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Elisabeth's 14th Birthday

Today was my Elisabeth's 14th Birthday. We had a great day! We woke up sort of early and headed out to the beach to take her birthday pictures. She's such a fun person to take photos of! What a beautiful girl I have! Then, we enjoyed a lazy day at home with lots of games to play and Little House on the Prairie to watch.

After dinner we all enjoyed the birthday "cake" that she requested....Cheesecake with a Chocolate Mousse topping. Oh La La! It was delicious! Then, after the two little ones were in bed, Patrick, Elisabeth and I headed out with 3 ice creams and 3 spoons. We went to Grand Fond (a beach nearby.) This is the perfect place to see thousands of stars and listen to the ocean. We loved this time with our dear girl. And I realized (again) that life is truly a vapor. My baby is 14! (sniff, sniff)

14 years old is sort of a milestone birthday for our girls. First off our girls are allowed to wear blush and lipstick. (or as Brenna puts it, "lipstick on a stick") (12 is lipgloss and 13 is tinted lipgloss) We made these "Makeup Milestones" several years ago and the girls are truly loving and looking forward to them. I want to teach my girls the importance of having to wait for some things. It's good for them to know they can't do all the "grownup" things right away. I also want them to be ladies and girly, but still look natural and Godly at the same time. For Brenna's gift to Beth she bought her the blush. We had so much fun picking out the color! Then, Beth and I had a great time as I taught her how to apply it naturally. I love having girls!

The other more major milestone is that this is the year our girls receive their Promise Ring. We've taught our children the importance and blessings of staying pure until they are married. I've discussed specifis with our girls and shared with them what the Bible has to say. So, when they turn 14 and if they are willing to, they make a promise to God, as well as to Patrick and I to stay completely pure until they are married. The ring is to be worn as a reminder and a symbol of their promise.

Patrick and Beth have had a great time the past few months looking on the internet at rings. She's leaning towards a ruby or an amethyst. When we arrive in Florida Patrick and my Elisabeth will have a special date night out for dinner and shopping for a ring.

I watched them today look at rings again. I love how Patrick joked and talked and oohed and awed with her about the different rings they saw online. He's doing such a good job being a Dad to a teenager. She loves her time with her Daddy!

I'm so proud of my Elisabeth. She's a Godly young lady that is such a great big sis. She's diligent and faithful. Thank you Lord for my girl!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Date with My Boy

Last week Josh asked me if he could take me out for a coke. (He knows I have a weakness for Cokes!) We left after he finished school and he bought two cokes and two straws at a store in Gustavia. (As a side note...cokes in the fridge at the store are not very cheap. A can of soda is .60 euros. Then, they add on a charge of .50 euros or more for them being cold. That's about $1.44 for a can of cold Coke) then, we walked by the water, watched the huge yachts and sat on a bench for while. It was so nice to spend an afternoon with my son. We talked and talked and laughed! I am so blessed!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Heat Resistant Table Runner

I'm using up my Sanibel Scraps and adding a few extras to it. Have I told you I love this fabric! I decided to make a quilt-as-you-go table runner. But, I wanted it to be for my kitchen table, so I used the insulated/heat resistant batting. (like what I use to make potholders.) It works out very well when I have hot dishes to set on the table and it keeps my table pretty, too!

I made the back in this autumnish fabric that I got in Canada. I'm ready for Fall! (I know I should be preparing for spring!)

Another project accomplished that's useful and that I love!

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for her finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Heart of the Matter for March

I truly understand what Paul said in Romans about doing the things he doesn’t want to do, and how he doesn’t do the things he wants to do….our heart is in a battle! It’s easy to just react to everyday life and hope for the best in my reactions….not really the way I want my life to be. I want to live and do on purpose. I love the word God gave me for this month! I need it so much and I’m looking forward to putting it into practice.

For me to truly live on purpose, I need to stop and Consider. 1 Samuel 12:24 says, “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he hath done for you.”

When I was younger my Mom had a rule. If we were getting a little angry, frustrated, or upset, she would tell us to count to 10. Now, sometimes I needed to count to 20 :o) but, her plan made sense, and most of the time it worked. It caused me to stop, think things through, and approach the problem with a new perspective.

Fast forward to a few years later (well maybe more than a few)…this idea makes a lot of sense to me now. I’m not necessarily talking about counting to ten, but as you’re faced with things that may upset you or throw your day in a loop, stop, take a deep breath, and consider. Also, as you’re faced with things that aren’t necessarily a problem but just maybe unexpected…stop and consider. When you are given some constructive criticism (hard to take, isn’t it?) what should you do? Consider. When you cross paths with someone that has a need….stop and consider. This could apply to so many things in our daily lives!

It’s easy for us just to react, isn’t it? A day spent reacting to everything that comes your way, is a day wasted and usually a day you regret. By the way, “reaction” is just a quick response of the flesh. Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” This is a great verse teaching us to stop and consider before we make a quick response of the flesh with our tongues! And Proverbs 29:20 says, “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.”

Sometimes it’s all the little things that cause us to react wrongly. They seem to add up so quickly! Sometimes it’s news of a good friend or family member that’s making decisions that aren’t the best. Sometimes it’s seeing your child treated unfairly. Whatever the situation may be, I want to stop and consider before I react.

What are some things that I should consider?

~Am I overreacting? (Is this really that important?)
~Is this the worst thing that could be happening? (Sometimes just stopping and realizing that things aren’t as bad as they seem is just the medicine we need.)
~Is the Lord trying to teach me or another person something through this situation? ( I don’t want my wrong reactions getting in the way of what the Lord would have me to learn or what He is trying to teach others through me.)
~Is this person saved? (Sometimes we expect lost people to act like saved people. Maybe it’s time to pray more diligently for the salvation of this precious soul.)
~Am I putting myself in this person’s shoes?
~Is it possible this person is just having a bad day? (Patrick and I have been working on just giving people the benefit of the doubt. You never know what someone is going through.)

Lord, help me to live each day considering the needs and lives of others. I don’t want to react in a way that doesn’t please you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review of Laura Ingall's Wilder Books

I had the pleasure in participating in The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge last month! The challenge was to read a book by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (My Elisabeth was so excited, she loves those books!) I chose to read "Little House in the Big Woods" and "Little House on the Prairie." I absolutely love the Little House on the Prairie shows, but have never read the books. I did enjoy them!

The first book, "Little House in the Big Woods" talks about the daily life the Ingalls family had on their farm. It made me tired just reading it! There was so much effort put into everything they did, but in return they appreciated everything they had. I loved it when they had family get togethers and everyone enjoyed one another so much.

The second book, "Little House in the Big Woods" talks of when the Ingalls family decided to move west. There was even more work and diligence in this book! They picked their land and started from scratch. Whew! Reading these books makes me very happy for the age I live in!

In the first book, for their Christmas celebrations, Laura talked of one of the treats Ma baked every year. It was salt-rising bread. As I read this, I remembered that I have a recipe for this in one of my antique cookbooks (this one Patrick bought for me in Helen, Georgia) So, I decided to try this recipe. It did take some effort! It took about 24 hours from start to finish. There was lots of rising periods and mellowing, too. It was interesting to bake a bread that didn't require yeast. It was almost like a sourdough process, and the flavor was similar, too. We liked the bread, although I might just stick with my trusty yeast recipe!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Great Sunday

We had a great service this morning. I love Sundays! Patrick started by sharing the praise of having 6 French Passports! Yay! He was so excited to show an answer to a prayer request we have been sharing. It was also great to have Maria back with us! She returned from her hospital stay in Martinique and was ready for Church Services. Praise the Lord! Please continue to pray for her. She has to have triple bypass surgery next month once the Operating rooms in Martinique have been updated. We have our three faithful ladies back together and the fellowship was so sweet. We're thankful for the good start the Lord has given us on Sundays.

Joshua continues along with his 5 minute teaching time each Sunday. He has been taking a book of the Bible a week and telling some background of each book. He's using powerpoint and doing an amazing job. His french is coming along great and he can carry on conversations and comprehend. Yay Josh!

I praise the Lord for a great Sunday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

We're back!

Thank you to all who prayed for us during our trip to St. Martin. Patrick and I had a great time together and enjoyed our mini babymoon. (My Mom and sister Keela called it that!) Our hotel was clean. Yay! and we enjoyed some fun foods, and we laughed and talked and had a great time just the two of us. We had a great time driving around St. Martin and buying foods at the huge grocery store that we knew our kids would enjoy (Captain Crunch, Poptarts and Otis Spunkmeyer Muffins! We were almost jumping up and down in the store when we saw those!) And.....I passed my medical exam! double yay!! The visit went well, and I now have a paper stamped that I've passed this portion of the visa qualifications. Now, it's on to the next step! (not exactly sure what that is yet!)

When we unpacked our suitcase full of snacky/breakfasty foods Josh said he never realized how much he took for granted. In the USA, Captain Crunch (which was a cereal he always passed on), Chips ahoy, and Poptarts were a weekly experience. You just expect to be able to have those. But, when you live in a place where you can't get the convenience foods your used to, you realize how special those things can be and you really enjoy them. You also learn that you can live without them,too.
We heard in a message the otherday that "Gratitude produces Contentment" My kiddos have become thankful for things they would have normally taken for granted, and in that process they've truly become content. They are enjoying the extra special blessings that God gives them and not overlooking them as "just another day". What a blessing!