Hey, It's Jade! and family

Monday, October 1, 2018

You've Got This (because God's got you), a book review

You've Got This! (because God's got you) is a 52-day devotional written by KariAnne Wood. This tiny book is filled with sweet and often-hilarious anecdotes about how no one is ever truly perfect... except Jesus.  The author constantly reminds the reader to remember grace, love and joy instead of wallowing in doubt, imperfection and mishaps.  Sprinkled with scripture references, most of the stories come from Ms. Wood's own learning moments, that just about any mom or wife could relate to.  This book would make a nice gift for any mom feeling a little less-than-perfect (which, is all of us, right?).

Tyndale House Publishing provided me with a free copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

Prayers for the Battlefield, a book review

Prayers for the Battlefield: Staying MomStrong in the fight for your family and faith, written by Heidi St. John, is a wonderful complement to her book Becoming MomStrong, which I previously reviewed here, It also works beautifully as a stand-alone devotional or prayer guide.  This little purple book would make a perfect gift for anyone going through ANYTHING as a mom, the highs and the lows are covered here.

As I previously learned by reading her other book, Heidi St. John knows her stuff.  She has raised 7 children and is now a grandmother as well.  She has been through much over the years and learned from it, and continues to point the reader to Jesus as the main source of comfort, credit, and wisdom.  In this little book, she offers quick, but powerful anecdotes along with scripture verses and specific prayers to pray about a wide range of topics a mother might face.  Anywhere from unplanned pregnancy to a prayer over your child's teacher to overcoming worry or self-control trouble.  I appreciate the brevity of this title, as it can be gleaned from as needed thanks to a topical index, or read cover-to-cover, even used as a daily devotional.  I cannot think of a mother that this wouldn't benefit!  Motherhood is definitely a battlefield, and it's important to be armed with God's Word.

Tyndale House Publishing provided me with a free copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Making A House a Home...

Every so often I get bitten by the #DECLUTTERALLTHETHINGS bug and I'll get on a roll making my house not only livable but pleasing to the eye.  It usually dies off pretty quickly, but I am left feeling somewhat accomplished.  Until it all builds up again.  Endless cycle of getting rid of stuff, bringing in stuff, moving stuff around, etc.

The other day I was lamenting how our tiny bread box was just silly at this point, because it couldn't hold the amount of bread items we regularly have, and it spilled over looking cluttery.  A friend of mine posted a cute wire basket she had just purchased to use for her bread and I was like DANGIT, I want something like that.  I hit up Pinterest for ideas, searched some shopping sites, but just didn't really see what I was looking for.  In the midst of all that, I decided I needed a shelving system to use as a pantry in my kitchen, too.  My cabinets have built in shelves that are incredibly short, so things like cereal boxes, syrup, tall bottles only fit in the ONE cabinet that IS tall enough... over the stove.  This leads to my kids climbing up on the cabinet and over the stove to get their cereal.  Not cool.  Also, the other day I may have expressed envy of my friend's pantry and my husband decided he would "get me a pantry!" Whatever that means.  So, I measured and researched and figured out that for $15 I could get the perfect sized shelf system for our little nook behind the backdoor.  Off to IKEA!

We got our shelves and a plain wooden crate to serve as a bread box, plus had dinner and coffee, too.  I love my new-to-me kitchen and am working to declutter it to have some actual counter space. I also plan to paint the ceiling and walls in the very near future.  Cannot wait to have that project over with!  All this time with the yellow, we are overdue a change!

Anyway, I ended up decluttering the hall cabinet that houses things like medicines, extra towels and random stuff of all kinds, too.  Now I feel the closet in the Littles' room calling me.  Oh, dear.  That's a big job that I've undertaken many times and it finds it's way into a mess so very quickly!  Michael also got inspired to work a little more organization into his tool closet.  So, we'll see where that goes.

We have lived in this house for 4.5 years, and sometimes I wonder why we haven't done certain things sooner.  Time, effort, money, or simply just not even thinking of it!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Starting School, 2018-2019...

All done with 3rd Grade, age 8
Finished 7th Grade, age 12

Preston and Callen successfully wrapped up their 7th and 3rd grade years in the middle of May.  After just a couple of weeks off, on June 1st, we were right back at it, starting up their 8th and 4th grade years.  Hard to believe, but yep... my big guys are growing quickly!  Since Preston started First Grade, we have used My Father's World as our core curriculum.  It worked well for both boys, we all liked it a lot.  But... this year, because my hands are full chasing two littles, I need the boys to be able to do their work more independently.  We are trying out the free online Christian-based curriculum called Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool.  We are about 10 days in, and so far, so good.  The boys seem to like it, and while there has been a small learning curve (them figuring out how to follow instructions I'm not reading to them, lol), they seem to be doing well.  Did I mention it was free?  Yeah, that's awesome!  Here are a few pix from our first day...

Ready to start a new chapter
Of course, Josie wants in on the action.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Brennan's Half Birthday

My sweet #4 is six months old already! He is such a good, easy-going fella and I am trying to soak up every minute of his baby-ness because it's fading quickly.  He is rolling, scooting, sitting up and even starting to pull up already.  He has two bottom teeth.  Babbles and raspberries with the best of them.  He's still exclusively breastfed, but has had some mashed banana here and there - he's a fan.  His siblings still adore him to pieces.  And he loves them right back.  He gets majorly excited when Daddy enters the room, or he'll be sound asleep and hear Daddy's voice and bolt right up!  My little chunker is less and less a baby every day, and it's bittersweet.

Edited to add: At his 6-month check up on June 19th, he weighed 19lbs and was 27 3/4" tall!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: The Lifegiving Parent, by Clay and Sally Clarkson

The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living in Christ, written by the dynamic couple, Clay and Sally Clarkson, is just what I needed!  I have read many of Sally's other books including the other two in this "trilogy," The Lifegiving Home and The Lifegiving Table.  Their personal experience, insight into Biblical knowledge and real life, and way with words brings this beautiful message of parenting done right directly into your soul.  It isn't a how-to book on parenting, no step-by-step new-fangled method... thank goodness!  This book is about having YOUR life in Christ so that you can help guide your children on their personal path! It's focus is to have God a living part of your daily life, home and relationships so that He is seen in all ways and in all things!  This is the basis for good parenting!

The Clarksons take key passages from the Bible and help to shape them into points, or "heartbeats of lifegiving parenting," as they call them.  Each chapter delves into the Word of God, as well as offering personal testimony and anecdotes,a brief page or two of Sally's own, unique takes on life experience or "Momoirs," three "ParenTips" on how to realistically put this information into action and a quick recap of the "heartbeat." 

I love that this book is rooted in Biblical priciples, inspiring and practical.  Clay and Sally have been blessed with the gift and we, as readers, benefit from their wisdom and hopefully some of it rubs off on us!

I was given a copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest blog review.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Introducing Brennan Michael...

Thanksgiving bump.
Today our fourth child is one-month-old!  Hard to believe, but true.  I suppose that means I should introduce him on here and post a birth recap, for posterity's sake at least!  Poor #4, barely mentioned on the blog. 

I had a feeling that baby would come early, and not a week or more late like his previous two siblings, but I really had no idea what to expect from this one.  After all, his very existence was a surprise, and then I was pretty sure he was going to be a girl, so his gender was a surprise, too.  Why wouldn't his entrance into the world be a surprise as well?  It was.

Thursday, December 7th... I noticed that getting in and out of the car and moving around in general was more trouble than usual, but I just shrugged it off as "getting close."  I had a midwife appointment that day, but didn't see my usual midwife (Lisa) because she had been sick with stomach flu.  I went to the ECCHO monthly board meeting and got back home around 945pm.  We got everyone ready for bed, and I chatted online with Amazon customer service because they had sent me the wrong Alexa cord replacement.  I stood at Michael's computer and got really frustrated with them because they weren't understanding what I needed and tried to send me the wrong cord again.  Once it was finally worked out, I laid down in bed next to Michael and felt something... odd.  My water never broke on it's own with my first two babies, and with Josie it broke RIGHT before she was born, after I had been pushing for a long time... so my water breaking was new to me.  But that's what it was I discovered - it happened at 1125pm.  I was excited and nervous as I texted my birth team (midwife and two students) to let them know that my water broke but I wasn't even having contractions or any other sign of labor.  I texted my mom so she would know what was going on, and Michael called his boss so he could be off work.  When I didn't hear back from Lisa very quickly, I called her to see if she was still sick or what the plan would be regarding who would come for the birth.  She said she was well and would be coming.  She said it sounded like it would still be a while before delivery because I wasn't having contractions yet.  She wanted everyone to try to get some rest before things heated up, so we all laid down and tried.

I could not get comfortable because almost instantly the contractions started up, and they were strong and intensified every few minutes.  She had said to call her back when contractions were about 12 minutes apart, but they STARTED at 4 minutes apart.  Michael fell asleep but I just laid there feeling the waves getting closer and stronger until I just wanted to get things ready.  I called Lisa again around 1am and told her I would like her to come now because the contractions were strong and close.  Also texted my mom and dad to head this way.  Michael and I tried to start prepping labor stuff... gathering trashcans, towels, etc.  I had most things gathered in the corner of my room.  But pretty soon I couldn't take it and laid back down and tried not to cry.  The contractions were so intense and close, I was already telling Michael that I couldn't do it, and that I was stupid for not wanting to pain medication because it HURT.  I was so scared that it would be like Josie's birth and I would have to endure this pain for hours. 

My contractions were right on top of each other when the senior student, Rachel, showed up at our house a little after 2am.  She was like "oh!" when she saw me go right into another contractions after breathing through one.  I said I would get up so they could prep the bed for delivery, and I made my way to the bathroom because I felt like I needed to go.  I sat on the toilet and immediately felt like baby was coming, and I started screaming "HELP!"  Rachel and Michael came running down the hall and I was like "I feel pushy!"  Rachel started getting ready to deliver him right there... she called Lisa on speaker phone and we found out she was just minutes away, her GPS had gotten her turned around a bit!  About then the other student, Emily, came running in and threw on some gloves.  They asked if I wanted to deliver him there in the bathroom or try to make it to the bed.  I decided to head for the bed between contractions.  I made it into my bedroom and beside the bed and I was like "No, he's coming now!"  Rachel said if I felt like pushing on the next contraction to go ahead, so I did - standing there beside my bed!  As I started pushing, Lisa ran in the door and his head was born.  I pushed again and he was out - Rachel caught him with a little assistance from Lisa who had just enough time to slip on some gloves!  It all happened so fast, it was insane. After he was out, I turned around and laid on the bed and they tried to bring him up to my chest, but the umbilical cord was so short they just got him kind of on my lap.  His head was really coned the first glimpse I got of him, but it returned to shape really quickly and he was just beautiful and perfect.  From the moment my water broke (no contractions!) to him being born was a total of 3 hours!  It was the absolute perfect birth I had been praying about (except the part where the midwife almost wasn't there!). 

My mom and dad called as they were coming into town to see how I was, and that was when I was on the bed and Rachel had just got there.  They asked if they had time to go to the store to get snacks in case we were all there a long time (because that's how the last one was, who knew!), and we had no idea at that point...so they went ahead and ran into Walmart for a few minutes.  Because of that, they arrived at our house just a few minutes after he was born!  When my mom walked in I said "I'm sorry, I couldn't wait!"  Lol.

Hello World!
Brennan Michael arrived at 229am on Friday, December 8th, 2017.  He was 9 pounds, 1 ounce and roughly 22 inches (the team measured him at 23 inches, and then a few days later at the doctor's office, they measured him at 21... so I'm going with 22, haha!). His due date was December 11th, so just a few days early.  He is a great baby... sleeps pretty well, nurses well (still a bit sore, but working on latch adjustment), and now that he is a month old, he's starting to be more awake and alert for parts of the day.  His siblings adore him, especially Josie.  She is constantly hugging and kissing on him.  On occasion, she gets jealous and tells me to put him down so I can hold her, but for the most part, she's been a great big sister so far.

Here are a few pictures we took for Christmas cards and such...

My 4 kids!!!

This was MY Christmas outfit, 1980

Family of SIX on Christmas!
A comparison of my babies...