GOD's my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
(Psa 32:7 MSG)


to eat, or not to eat, that is the question

...that we ask cj now when he's being picky at mealtime.

last night was our church's Sunday School Christmas program.  but before that, we had to eat supper.  and cj refused to eat.  again.  no amount of coaxing, not even telling him that he'd have a cookie (and cookies are his FAVORITE treat!) after the Christmas program if he ate was enough to get him to try the yummy ravioli my husband made for us. cj wouldn't try his peas either.  so he didn't eat.  and he got really hungry during the program (thankfully, that was after he was done with his part).  we stuck to our guns and the poor dear got no cookies, no snacks...nothing but water.  (maybe he's learning that no amount of crying will get us to change our minds about this rule!)    

as for the Christmas program itself, the boys did their parts very well and their mama was more than a little pleased.  bubba played a piano solo that he started working on a week ago.  (nothing like deciding at the last minute that you want to participate after all!)  and you'd never know he hadn't been working on it for weeks.  yes, the kid has talent.  (and his mama can't help but be a little bit proud.  i do teach him the piano too, after all!)  bubba also had a vocal solo during the song "We Three Kings" that he did quite nicely and a short recitation as part of his class's part of the program.

cj also did his part with the pre-k class just fine...he even said his line "A is for all He stands for" into the microphone.  a week ago, i wouldn't have guessed that he'd actually do it!  and when the younger kids (pre-k thru 2nd grade) sang their songs, he even tried to sing along.  :D
one good thing about cj's not eating supper is that he was more willing this morning to try a new food.  T, the wonderful daddy that he is, helped cj eat some apple.  yes, Grandma, you read that right.  cj ate real, fresh, apple this morning!  the trick with this kid is honey.  give him a little honey to dip it in and he'll eat it!  i think he ate at least half the apple.  it was amazing!  top it off with trying a second new food...Grape Nuts cereal with a little milk and honey (of course!) just the way T was eating it this morning and i'm currently in a state of shock.  :D  cj even asked for more!  you bet you can have more, kiddo!


my week in review

i was on the phone last night, talking to my mom, when i heard the cutest thing...cj was singing "twinkle, twinkle, little star."  (he doesn't often sing all by himself.)  i wish i could have captured it on video!  but i did manage to get him to sing it again for grandma, who also thought it was incredibly adorable!

(a sort of recent photo of cj...dressed up like a pirate for the day!)
otherwise, it's been a rough week for us.  parenting can be so hard sometimes.   cj has become the pickiest eater i know.  things that he would eat--and even liked!--6 months ago are suddenly "yucky."  i know this is a relatively normal stage for a 4 year old.  he's asserting his independence and all that.  but the kid has been living on junk food for too long.  and he is old enough to understand when he's doing something he shouldn't--like disobeying his parents. so we now have a new family rule regarding meals.

you eat what we eat or you wait until the next meal where you will be offered either a repeat of the meal or something equally healthy.  (no more skipping dinner and then eating a poptart for breakfast! ha!)

and that means no more making separate meals for each of the kids unless we're eating up leftovers.  that goes for bubba, too, who hates pizza!!  so on monday night when we had pizza, bubba had to eat a little sliver of it too. and he did! (and it didn't kill him...go figure!)  after he ate his required amount, we allowed him to make himself a piece of toast (with yummy nutella on it!) to supplement.

same rule applies to cj, but he has been a bit more stubborn about it.

cj has never "liked" fruit or even juices.  but then again, he's rarely even tasted any!!  and the veggies he used to eat have slowly become foods he won't touch.  so this week's battle was basically over peaches.  we wanted him to just give the peaches a try.  NOPE.  this kid would rather starve than eat a tiny piece of canned peach.  in fact, he only drank water all day Thursday!  (all it would have taken for him to eat something else would have been to try the peach.)  anyways, after reading Dr. Dobson's advice about this issue in The New Dare to Discipline and checking out the Sonlight Forums to see what other parents do in this situation (i knew someone else must've been through something similar and chatted about it out there--sure enough! lots of parents had been discussing the same type of situation just last year), i knew we were on the right track. but i could see that my son is just stubborn enough to not eat for days.  after much consideration, i decided to try a compromise.  instead of eating a piece of peach, i asked if he would just taste the juice from around the peaches.  he agreed to taste the peach juice.  with his water in one hand a spoon that had been dipped in the peaches in the other, he did it!  and he even said "it's not so bad!"  (but he wouldn't go for any more.)  i know it might not seem like a big accomplishment.  but to us it's a beginning--a breakthrough of sorts.  i'm just praying that he gets used to the idea of trying new foods--and quickly!

top that off with a second round of potty training him (the first round was a total failure--he was totally unwilling) and it's been a very long week.  but at least he's not throwing a tantrum every time i ask him to go potty this time around!

as for homeschooling...seems we get further behind every day.  so today, even though it's saturday, i hope to make time to do a little catch-up on our read-aloud book Little Britches.  

hope your week was better than mine!!!

on a completely different topic:  11 years ago today was my "due date."  dear, sweet bubba, however, didn't listen to his mama's pleas and decided to wait until the dr. induced her the next week.  having birthed a child--my firstborn son--at Christmastime always makes me think of the Christmas story..."And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."  Luke 2:7 KJV

stocking stuffer:  baby bubba on Christmas day, 1999...getting ready to go home

i hope you will take time this Christmas season to be a little bit like Mary:  "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."  Luke 2:19 KJV  how truly amazing, that "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16NIV


where has the time gone?

has it really been over a month since my last post?  wowzers!

i guess i've been pretty busy this past month though.  besides homeschooling and other normal daily activities, i've been given the opportunity to start a home business using my knitting and crochet skills!  yay!

so i've also created a new blog for my business adventure, perfectioKnits.  i'll be starting off by selling baby hats, pods and cocoons (photography props mostly) on Etsy with plans to expand and sell other items like fingerless gloves, cowls, and miscellaneous other things too.  it's exciting and a little bit scary.  i've started doing a little designing as well which has been a bit of a challenge...especially getting the items to fit right!  but i am enjoying the experience and am glad to have the knowledge and skills to be able to do this!
i'm also grateful for other designers who sell their patterns and give license for other knitters like myself to sell items made using their patterns.  if someone else has a pattern i can use to make items that i can turn around and sell, that saves me from spending time and energy on designing so i can get right to making things instead!


Goat Milk Stuff Soap

One of my favorite soaps is Goat Milk Stuff's Purity soap (bar soap).  My hubby is very sensitive to perfumes and other smells, but Purity is one great soap that doesn't bother him AT ALL! 

I love how squeaky clean it get my hands.  And the kids' hands.  And it's great in for in the shower too!

Why am I telling you this?  Well, the great people who make this fabulous Goat Milk soap are having a contest  from 10/24/10 - 10/31/10.  And blogging about it (and leaving them a comment so they know I did) is one way to enter!  The winner will receive 4 bars of soap plus 1 bath bomb, 1 lotion stick, and 1 lip balm of their choice!  Sounds wonderful to me...plus it'd be fun to try some more of their products besides their soaps!


it's a busy life!

I am once again busy home-schooling.  Teaching a 10-year-old everything from Math and Science to History and English (and everything else he needs to learn too!) while attempting to keep a 4-year-old occupied can oftentimes be a real challenge!  Thankfully, CJ now likes playing with Play-Doh and can stay entertained with it for a relatively lengthy period of time which allows Bubba and me to get through a lot of our work in the mornings.  But for read-alouds we need it a bit quieter...he needs to be able to pay attention as I read.  So we wait until CJ's naptime and do our read-alouds then. 

Bubba played soccer again this year.  We have a local home-school/Christian school league with 3 teams.  So there are practices, home games, away games, and even a tournament!   The season is basically done...we had our tournament yesterday.  Bubba's JV team took 2nd place.  It was a long day (and we didn't even have to be there at 9am when the tourney started since our first game wasn't until noon) but it was a lot of fun for the players.  I am glad the season is done though.  As much as I enjoy visiting with the other soccer moms at practices, it takes up a lot of our time and a bit of traveling too.

I'm helping out with our church's Pre-K Sunday School class (CJ's class).  This year I've switched from working with our AWANA Sparks to helping with the AWANA T&T girls.  It's a nice change working with just girls and the older age group (3rd thru 6th grades) is also a nice change of pace for me.

CJ turned 4 on September 30th.  We had a birthday party for him last Sunday--just a small gathering of family, but he really enjoyed spending time with his cousins.   And I celebrated my birthday on Thursday the 7th by watching an afternoon soccer game and then dinner out.

What else have I been busy with? 

Lots of knitting {and crocheting}, of course!


Sunday Blog Hop (just for fun!)

Happy Sunday!

I was just checking out one of my favorite Blogs...Momma Told Me, saw the blog hop, and thought I'd join in the fun!


a few photos

random photos from the past couple of weeks.

wind turbine in ND
Minnkota Power Plant Tour
black bear eating plants in a ditch
(we saw it Sunday on our way over to visit my parents) 
Labor Day at a local Corn Maze!  FUN!
frog catching fun

hole in one of my hand-knit socks. (i fixed it last night)


back to {home}school

It's been a busy week around here.  Monday was our first full day of school work since summer began.  Our homeschool soccer team has started practices again too.  So the next month and a half or so will be extra-busy for us!  Bubba was none-too-thrilled about doing full-time school again, but he's even getting back into it.  CJ is starting to have a little Preschool time...mostly playing with Play-doh while Bubba is doing school.  :D

We are currently studying the Civil War.  So much about American History that I never really learned.  It just amazes me that not only is my child learning that there WAS a Civil War in this Country, but he's actually learning ABOUT it.  And not just the dates.  He's learning about the people, the issues and how people on both sides of these issues felt and thought!  Incredible.  Why, oh why, couldn't someone have taught me history when I was a kid?  It's taken me teaching my own child in order to learn this stuff.  One of the many reasons I teach my kids at home!  Thanks again, Sonlight, for making my job as a homeschool teacher a tad easier!

It seems that autumn may be coming early this year.  The leaves are already beginning to change and it's not even September yet!  I can't believe the summer is basically over and fall is right around the corner.  But I think it's been a pretty nice summer and we even did a little school work occasionally which is nice when you are in the middle of a Sonlight Core.

Interested in homeschooling your kids too?  I love Sonlight's Cores!  Go ahead and click the link to Sonlight over on my sidebar and see all they have to offer!


reward yourself for shopping online!

Some of my reasons for online shopping are 
  1. you can shop in your jammies!
  2. online stores are open 24/7
  3. you can find anything you could possible want or need online--not so when shopping at local stores in a small town!
  4. your purchase is mailed or shipped directly to your home
  5. best of all--REWARDS!   
There are many reward sites for online shoppers.  So far, I've used MyPoints and Ebates

With MyPoints you earn points that add up to rewards.  You get points for online purchases, reading emails (i.e. clicking links within the email to a featured site), and occasionally by a promotional "game" like their current "Spin N' Win."  Over the years, we've earned quite a few gift cards for different stores we like to shop at!  It's a fun way to get something "free" because you bought something else! 

Lately, I've been using Ebates too.  I like the Ebates program because the site also shows what coupons or deals are available at the site you want to shop at.  I also like the fact that your reward is a "BIG FAT CHECK" every few months.  Okay, so my checks haven't really been all that big, but a little "extra" spending money is still nice! 

Many of the sites I already shop at are available at at least one of these reward sites.  So shopping online can really pay!


socks, socks, more socks!

i just finished this pair last night.  that's 2 pairs finished in less than a week!  this pair was my June/July vacation project...a pair of socks is easy to take along.  but i didn't have enough knitting time on the trip to get 'em done.  i spent a good portion of our 2 week trip out west looking at scenery and trying to take pictures instead of knitting.  ah well.  they're done now!

pattern: Twilight from 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes
needles: US1 40" circular
yarn:  Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed in Bordeaux
since i still haven't posted anything about our trip, i'll just mention that we took a road trip out west with my parents.  our drive took us through Glacier National Park, across Idaho, to the Spokane,WA area where we visited with my cousin and his family and then on to Mount Rainier.  from there we went over to see the Pacific Ocean and then up the coast through the Olympic National Forest with its beautiful rainforests!  fans of the Twilight series will know that the story's main setting is Forks, WA.  that's right...we went right through Forks and even took the drive over to La Push {beautiful!}!  if you haven't already figured it out, I am indeed a Twilight fan--i can't wait 'til they get all the movies done but so far, the books are still better!  so now take a look at the name of this sock pattern and you'll see why i chose it for my trip project.  (besides, it doesn't scream "I'm a crazy Twilight fan!" but i still thought it was fitting!) after touring the northwestern part of washington, we headed down to Yellowstone and after a couple days at Yellowstone, we headed back home to minnesota.  it was a busy, but good trip!  and one of these days i'll go thru my hundreds of pictures and maybe post a few!


VBS family night

it was VBS week at our church. bubba always enjoys VBS and this year was no exception. last night (friday) they had the VBS program and family night. it gives the kids a chance to show their families the Bible verses and songs they learned during the week. we also had a yummy "cowboy cookout" as part of the evening's outdoor fun. hotdogs, baked beans, chips and watermelon were served up picnic style. everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. as for me, this is the first year in quite a while that i wasn't helping out with VBS. it was a nice break and i'm glad to have taken it.

here's a short video of one of the songs...it was so cute and funny! the kids seemed to really enjoy singing and doing the actions!

bubba's the young man in back wearing the big white cowboy hat.

i realize the video's a tad blurry due to the fact that i had to reduce the quality in order to upload it.  you get the picture though!  
isn't he a handsome cowboy?


new socks

at last!  i've been working on this pair since november 9, 2009.  of course, i've done a bunch of other projects in the meantime, but it feels so good to have these on my feet instead of still on my knitting needles!

pattern: Elfine's socks by Anna Bell 
needles: size US2 
yarn: Jojoland Melody Superwash yarn in MS16 (blues/greens)


knitwit knits again

here's a hat and scarf set that i made for my niece's 5th birthday.  i think it turned out pretty cute...i especially like the hat!

cj's none too happy to have his tv time interrupted,
but i needed someone to model the hat for my photo!
i really like the way these self-striping yarns combined in this
mistake rib scarf pattern!  it was easy peasy too!


summer fun

i realize i haven't posted in a while.  not for lack of things to say, but rather lack of time to say them! 

i've been planning a really nice post about our trip out west.  only, i haven't had time (or energy) to go thru the bazillion photos we took to find the few really great ones i'd want to share here.  so, bear with me as i take my time and i WILL post about it...someday.  hopefully sooner than later!

top that off with it being Fair Week here this week which means eating lots of junk foods, rides for the boys, and checking out all the animals and other things that folks have entered.  i've been telling myself for years "next year i'm gonna enter something i've knitted."  and yet again, it's fair time and i don't have anything to enter.  seems like all my projects lately have been either gifts or things that i want to use right away--so MAYBE NEXT YEAR!  we'll see!

here's a couple photos of the boys at the fair

bubba and his best buddy, ty on the tilt-a-whirl
that's right...ty's dad took the big boys on the ferris wheel. 
they're in the blue carriage at the top!
cj enjoying the rides
another fun ride for cj

oh yeah...one more thing.  T ran his first 5K of the summer on the 17th.  placed 2nd of the guys in his age range.  {it wasn't a PR, but it was better than he'd expected since he hadn't been able to train on our trip like he would've liked!}

here he is just about to cross the finish line:
T--the runner in red
it's been a good summer so far.  hard to believe it's already july 22.  and yes, we're still doing a little schoolwork here and there when we can!


a sock fix

I love my hand knit socks. 

So I was rather disappointed to see a weak spot developing on the heel of a pair I made last April.  Less than a year later and you could just about see through the stitches in that one spot.  But I knew that a hole would be worse, so I set them aside with the intent to learn how to reinforce the weakened stitches aka darning. 

It only took me 4 months or so to get up enough gumption to give it a go.  On Monday, I finally did. I Googled instructions and other helpful info on sock darning.   I learned that the kind of darning I needed to do is called "Swiss darning" or duplicate stitch.  I found a really good video tutorial hereArmed with this info, the yarn leftovers from making this pair of socks (saved for just such an emergency!), a yarn needle, and a darning egg, I set forth into the realm of sock darning to tame the mighty sock beast!  Uh. Oops!  What I meant was to fix the weakened stitches.  But taming a sock beast sounds much more exciting, don't you think?

Of course, I didn't think to take a "before" photo.  So you'll have to take my word for it when I tell you if I had but worn these colorful sockies even one more time, I would have had to learn how to fix a hole in my sock instead!

the darned socks!  
{note: only one actually needed darning at this time. thankfully, i've got lots of yarn leftovers remaining so this pair should last me a very long time now that i know how to darn 'em!}
{here you can see the darned stitches where the brighter not-yet-faded yarn is! :D}

So that was my knitting (repair) lesson for this week! 

Actually, I also learned how to do an invisible double increase as well.  But I won't bore you with that story.  At least, I won't today.  [grin]



okay, so i'm a LOST fan. we got sucked into the show from the start and have been watching every episode ever since.  tonight's finale was going to be the end.  the final episode.  i knew that i could then go on with my life without wondering if there would be another season of LOST or what twist or turn the storyline would take next. 

we sat down at 6pm tonight and watched the 2 hours of LOST review and interviews with the actors and all.  all was going well, until about 8:50pm.  suddenly, our local ABC channel froze up in the middle of a commercial break. after about a minute without it coming back on, i'm thinking "no! this can't be happening.  please come back on! please come back on! i don't want to miss a minute of LOST!" 

it's now 9:35, and we're watching a black screen.  as in, the tv's on, tuned to ABC, but nothing is coming thru.  so since we've missed over half an hour of it already {and if you know the show, you know that a lot can happen in that time!}, we're going to have to wait and see if we can watch the rest tomorrow night.  i'm hoping ABC will have it available online!  i can't believe what a let-down this has been for me tonight.  i even got my parents to watch the kids for us this weekend so we wouldn't have to worry about interruptions from them--requests for a drink of water, getting out of bed for no apparent reason, needing tucked back in, etc.--during our viewing of this epic finale. 

i guess it just goes to show that you can plan, but you can't ever know exactly what's going to happen!


My new 'do!

I know I've been a bit focused lately.  Obsessed, actually.  But changing my hair was and is a big deal to me.  So, now that the change is done, here are the before and after photos!



My stylist did a great job of listening to what I wanted from my new hairdo.  Layers.  The ability to let it air dry and still look nice.  And not need to use styling products unless I want to.  So, that kind of threw out some of the ideas I was looking at.  They're much more high maintenance than I am!  {smile}

My hair cut ended up very similar to the style I had back in 2008 when my hubby and I went to Maui to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  Same sort of layering and similar length.  I think the only real difference is that I now have side bangs which I did not have then.  As you can see, they kind of blend in (for the most part), but when I pull my hair back in a ponytail or bun, they hang down to the sides of my face.  It's a nice change.  And my head feels about 2 pounds lighter!   :D


a week to decide

my apologies to those who thought i was getting my hair cut this week.  if you were reading fast, you might have missed that i said next week. specifically, my appointment is on the 20th!  so i still have about a week to decide what exactly i want my hair cut to look like.  (and then we'll see if the stylist--and my hair--can do what i want!)

i also asked my Facebook friends to check out my last post and requested their input/advice.  {thanks to all who responded!}

here's the "voting" results so far.  {i'm still open to suggestions!}

two friends suggested i cut off enough to be able to donate it to Locks of Love. (i still have to figure out if hennaed hair is accepted.)  i'm not sure i want to go that short again anyways.

two friends like hair style #1 (selena gomez's long, layered look with side-swept bangs) but another friend cautioned that long bangs like that might be annoying if they tend to fall in front of my eyes {she also mentioned that it could be easily remedied by cutting them shorter.}

one friend likes hair style #3.  another likes style #2.  (both are mandy moore styles...similarly layered cuts with slightly different bangs) but another friend thought my hair might be too straight to actually get the same look.  

another friend mentioned that she liked my hair in my maui luau photo and thought the addition of bangs would look cute.

and finally, a friend who recently watched the movie "Fireproof" recommended i check out the hairstyle of the character Catherine Holt, played by Erin Bethea.  it's another very similar style--layered, with side-swept bangs. 

i'm so glad i have some time to really think about this!

i thought it might be fun to look through the hairstyles i've had in the past few years.  so here we go...

june 2006

also june 2006, after cutting off enough to donate to Locks of Love.  this one was an ugh! style for me.  it looked nice from the back, but didn't frame my face properly. 
thankfully, my hair tends to grow quickly and by november it already wasn't quite so bad.
 i think it even looks nice in this photo, but it's a tad shorter than i like.

by 2008, my hair had grown out.  (here's the maui luau photo mentioned earlier)
 this photo from the same trip shows the length a little better.

well, as you can see, i haven't had bangs for quite some time.  in fact, i think it's been about 8 years--give or take a year or two.  {i'd have to dig out my older photos to find out for sure!}  there have been times when i liked them, and others when i hated having 'em.  i think that's going to be the hardest part of the whole hair style decision.

bangs?  or no bangs?  what do you think?


lookin' for a new look

in other words, i'm sick of my hair. 

it comes down to this:

long & straight = simple & BORING 

i know some people may be shocked to hear me say this since i haven't changed my hair much for the past couple years {at least!}, but after a while, long hair like mine just gets in the way.  perhaps if i could be creative with my hair styles it wouldn't be so bad.  but i can't even braid my own hair and have it look nice.  also, the length makes it rather heavy and the straightness makes it slippery so it won't even stay up in a bun or ponytail very well anymore.

i've been thinking about this for at least a month.  i really just need a change.  so i made an appointment with a hairstylist {who i know from church} for next week.  thursday.  i'm so excited!  i haven't had my hair cut {except an occasional trim} for a couple years! 

so i'm thinking layers.  and a bit shorter, but it'll still probably be longish since my hubby likes it long and i do want him to be happy with it too!  maybe i'll even be adventuresome and get bangs cut while i'm at it.   i haven't had bangs in years. 

it's been kind of fun to look for a new style and see what's trendy for spring and summer 2010.  {not that i ever intend to claim trendiness! lol!}

after much online-hair-style-hair-cut-trendy-website browsing, i've found a few celeb styles that i think i like.  but i'm not sure what would look good on me.  

examples of styles i like:  

1. selena
2. mandy
3. mandy

i like the longer length of selena's hair, and the layers look nice.  and the side-swept bangs are really pretty.  i also like mandy's many layers but i'm not sure about the bangs in #2.  however, i like the fact that mandy's hair style seems easy to care for and appears to be somewhat versatile.

what do you think?  
i'd love to get a little "hair advice" before my hair cut next week.  so leave me a comment and let me know what YOU think i should do.  and if there's another hair style that you think might be better for my low-maintenance, but not-too-short preferences, i'm open to any {good} suggestions!


Big Ol' Sweet Iced Tea

Thanks to Robin Jones Gunn--one of my favorite authors--for posting a link to Anita Renfroe's video Wrinkled Ladies on Facebook a few days ago. I had heard one of Anita's songs {William Tell Momisms (aka Momsense)} before and thought it was cute. Well, I just love Anita's sense of humor!  I have thoroughly enjoyed {many times each!!} all 4 videos on her YouTube channel. 

And after hearing the following ditty, I just had to have me some.

So this afternoon, I did a Google search for sweet iced tea recipes--southern style!--and made me a batch.

Now that I'm done writing about it, I'm gonna go have me some big ol' sweet iced tea!


shhh. be vewy vewy quiet...

i'm knittin' wabbits!  {ya.  i'd much wather knit them, than hunt them--of course, ewen bettew is knittin' wif their wovewy soft fuw!}

{oh.  alwight.  i'm not weally knittin' wabbits.} 

i'm weally knittin' fwingerwess mitts fow a couple of my nieces. 

{and being just pwain siwwy twying to type wike Elmer Fudd talks.}

so happy satuwday!  hope youws is pwoductive too!


so much to say

I've been thinking about a lot of things I want(ed) to write on my blog, but haven't published any new posts in a while. Although there's a lot I want to say, I'm just not finding enough time to write it all down here. Maybe someday I'll get to it.

But not this day. For now, I think I'll just show you all a scrapbook page I made about a week or so ago.

And write more some other time.


"Life is pain, Highness..."

that's one of the most quoted phrases {i think} from the movie The Princess Bride. it also happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies.

and that one little phrase is oh-so-very true, wouldn't you agree?

my own "life is pain" issue has come to the fore of my mind once again--my seeming inability to conceive another child. i suppose it's due, in part, to the fact that my sister-in-law recently announced that their 6th baby is on the way. i am truly happy for them. it just happens to be a reminder of how much i've wanted more babies that God hasn't, for His {as-of-yet unknown} purposes, given us.

i do believe with my entire being that it was part of His divine plan for us to adopt. and we did! cj is a true member of our family...no matter that i didn't carry him in my womb or give birth to him. he is ours and we are his. but financially, another adoption {like cj's} is not an option for us right now. so my wanting another baby at this point is seemingly pointless unless i'm crazy or i believe in miracles. well, sometimes i do think i am crazy--or on my way there, but i don't think that's why i hope. my hope is in a God who has proven time and again to me that miracles can and do happen. but if i've learned one thing from the past 8+ years dealing with infertility, it's that having faith that God can, doesn't mean that He will.

it's now been over 10 years since i gave birth to bubba. i cherish the memories i have of my one and only pregnancy. i feel blessed, as an adoptive mom, to have a "birth story" to share with other moms. and yet, deep in my soul, is a place of agonizing pain. a place of grieving.

i still feel like Humpty Dumpty after he fell off the wall--all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put him together again.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again!

in 2002, the attempt at having my fertility "put back together" began. i saw doctors and specialists, took a variety of different fertility meds, and endured 3 {or was it 4?} cycles of IUI. of course, i can't ignore the fact that my husband played a huge part in the attempt. it was his faith in God and his love and support of me {even at my worst, most emotional times} that got me through the many ups and downs.

despite all our efforts and wonderful intentions, God said "no."

to my prayer for another child-of-my-womb, that answer was the most painful thing i've ever experienced.

and the diagnosis? "unexplained secondary infertility."


that's right. there's no reason that they could find. i don't have any explanation to cling to or remind myself of when this terrible desire rears its ugly head up and roars {like it so often does}.

so i find myself still hoping. a hope which inevitably leads to more pain.

i remember when the RE {reproductive endocrinologist} told me at my last IUI, that if it didn't work, his only guess was that there might be a problem with my eggs. and only by going to the next, more costly option of IVF, could that be determined. T felt strongly against doing IVF {its too unnatural for him and i respect that he feels that way}. besides that, we had already spent as much as we could on medical doctors {and our insurance sure wouldn't cover it}, so we instead began the process to adopt that brought cj into our hearts and home.

now i suddenly find myself back on that same road i was walking so long ago. i hate this road. it's such a hard, rocky road, with hills so high they're like mountains and valleys that are like deep ravines you fall into. yet, here i am again. what happened to my nice paved path? it only had a few little bumps here and there, otherwise it was level and easy to travel along. where did it go? did i somehow make a wrong turn? nope. my easy path seems to have merged once again with this more difficult one and i've no choice but to go forward.

to hope.
to pray.
to be aware of God's presence with me.
to hurt and not be ashamed.
to cry.
to love.


another {parenting} adventure

it was an interesting afternoon.

i took cj to see our family chiropractor today. both T and i had been in earlier this week for adjustments, and i took the opportunity to ask a few key questions about cj while we were there. {he doesnt' sleep well and he doesn't eat healthy foods...specifically any fresh fruit or veggies.} the chiropractor suggested i bring him back for his own appointment. so i scheduled it for today.

i was a little uncertain about bringing a 3-year-old in for an adjustment, but i've heard others talk of having their children in for adjustments so i went ahead to see what, if anything, could be done to help him sleep better and eat right.

ultimately, my baby boy was in need of multiple adjustments. he did so well! {mommy did too!} he just looked at me like "what is going on here?" but didn't cry or act scared at all. the chiropractor also recommended some supplements: a wholefood-derived multivitamin and calcium.

so we now have new chewable multivitamins that we'll start giving him in a couple days. {bye bye flintstones chewables!} and as for the calcium, the rest of us try to take it regularly already, so i just need to figure out a way to get him to ingest it too.

i'm hoping and praying that the adjustments will help him sleep better, and that he'll start to realize that fruit and veggies are actually quite good tasting! if i don't see improvement in a week, the chiropractor asked that i bring him back.

i really hope i don't have to.


Monday's Musing

Music has long been an important part of my life. I've played piano, taking lessons from 3rd grade through high school. I sang in the school choir and at church. In junior high, I learned how to play clarinet, but couldn't fit band into my high school schedule and quit playing it. I've taught myself a little guitar and most recently a little mandolin as well. I love music. I love how it can really speak to one's soul. But lately, I've found that music {at least when it comes to just listening to songs on the radio or my old cds} doesn't give me the same soul satisfaction that it used to. I can remember playing CDs and dancing with Bubba when he was a baby. And we still do stuff like that. Just not as often. We listen to The Message radio channel {SiriusXM} in our van. And I enjoy it. But in my home, I don't listen to CDs like I used to.

Perhaps I've just gotten bored with my old CDs. Perhaps the difficulty of secondary infertility has somehow changed how I feel about music. Whatever the reason, no music has really sparked my interest or screamed "Buy me!" for a very long time. Not until last Friday that is.

That's when I heard a song on The Message that struck a chord in my soul. I absolutely LOVED it! It's called "Your Hands" by JJ Heller. I'd never heard any of her songs before this. This song was so beautiful and the lyrics were so real. If you're interested, you can hear it here on JJ's myspace page. I highly recommend it.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Twilight knitting

I'm currently knitting myself a pair of mittens. They're sort of like Bella's mittens in the movie Twilight. I just recently finished reading the saga, and LOVED it! Note: I realize these books are written for teen girls, and I have to just say that I really wouldn't recommend them to pre-teen or teens. But just like the Harry Potter books (that I also don't think are appropriate for kids), I (as an adult reader) really enjoyed the story the author has written. A Ravelry member {and Twilight fan} saw Bella wearing a pair of gray mittens in the movie and wrote a pattern which the rest of us fans get to use in order to make some for ourselves. I've actually made quite a few alterations to the pattern because my gauge was different and I didn't want them coming so far up my arms. I used Ann Budd's formula for changing a pattern to work with a different gauge. Pretty neat stuff. And worked wonderfully! My mittens are going to be a rich red color since that's what I had in my stash. I like that it sort of goes with the red from the book covers. These mittens are gonna be warm and cozy. If I can get the second mitten done, I might even get to use them before it warms up too much! It was 40 degrees here today. Spring is in the air, snow is melting, but since it is only March 7th we're most likely not through with winter weather quite yet.

UPDATE: finished the mittens today {monday 3.8.10} so here's a photo!


Ravelympic Finish

the Ravelympics are done now that the Olympics are. it was a fun 17 days and i've completed more projects than i had first anticipated.

so just how many projects did i finish? 5
2 pairs of Fetching mitts (i really like the pattern!)
1 Darkside cowl in toddler size
1 Nest Tote market bag
1 Luna Lovegood crochet scarf

the bonus {for me} is that i've also got one more project that i sort of planned to do for the Ravelympics until i started working on it and realized it would take me too long. it's a beautiful scarf in Malabrigo lace yarn. the pattern i'm using also required that i learn how to ktbl and ptbl {that's knitting and purling thru the back loops}. so i got a new technique bonus as well!

it's such soft yarn and makes a delicately soft fabric, but the yarn is so skinny that i'm finding it much more difficult to knit with. i do like the way the colors are pooling. it's interesting. so this is one project i'm happy to have started {even though it didn't get to cross the finish line!} and will just have to keep working on it until it's done.


only a couple more days

of Olympic {and thus, my Ravelympic} coverage.

here's a quick update.

cj's darkside cowl

Medals were awarded:

Most recent project completed is a pair of fingerless mitts for my mom.

Pattern: Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
Yarn: Cascade 220 wool in Navy #8393
Needles: US8 Bamboo dpns
Started: 2.23.2010
Finished: 2.26.2010

I liked how this pair turned out even better than the 1st pair I made last week. Made one pattern change. I didn't go with the picot edge at the top of the mitt. Rather, I used a normal bind off...just doing so in pattern instead. I think I may have to redo the top edge of my brown mitts this way also so it doesn't roll back anymore.