Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Recommendations and Signing Off

I've been reading! In the last few months, I've been sneaking in some time to read here and there, and it's wonderful! This is going to provide strong evidence for just how much of a nerd I am, but here are my recent reads: Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kids' Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast World by Marybeth Hicks, Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic, and Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider.

Obviously, I have some sort of addiction to books with lengthy subtitles. Nonetheless, I would recommend all three. The first book offers some advice on how to help your kids resist the hyper-materialistic, hyper-sexualized culture that works so hard to suck them in. The second is a very encouraging and very convicting book on relating to and loving your kids in a godly way. The third offers an approach to scaling down a house and a schedule that are over-packed with unnecessary stuff.

This is the topic that I wan to address just a little more. In Organized Simplicity, Tsh encourages her readers to spend some time thinking about a purpose statement for their family. And the short version of the rest of the book is that anything that doesn't mesh with that purpose statement should go. I am at the very beginning of this process, but our purpose statement is very likely going to grow out of this: Our purpose is to glorify God. This happens to be strikingly similar to the purpose statement that Tsh came up with for her family, but in my defense, I thought of it before I turned the page and read her family's purpose statement, so I'm still claiming it as our own.

Now, a tangent: I have been having a hard time blogging lately. While Gavin was being monitored and going though tests and his surgery, I really enjoyed blogging. Not just about him, but about other things going on in our lives, too. It was such a great outlet for me that I thought I would really miss it if I stopped after Gavin was better. So I continued. But life is crowding it out now. I find that it is a chore. I find that I need to play catch-up. I didn't get around to blogging that Carter fell and got stitches. I didn't get a chance to report that I'm taking violin lessons again. I haven't been feeling up to writing about our whole family being sick right now. I've been too busy nursing the hurts, taking temperatures, and practicing for my next lesson.

So that leads me to conclude that blogging has to go. (At least for now. Maybe I will take it up again if I have just cause.) Hopefully it has served my purpose in desiring to glorify God, but I can't keep up with it well enough for it to continue to do so. If it was energizing to me and helped my serve my family better by being a creative outlet, that would be fine, but honestly, I'd rather be playing the violin (or reading a book...or organizing a closet) than typing right now. (Yes, organizing is energizing to me. But that shouldn't be surprising--think about it: I even read about organizing.)

I'd like to think the blogging world needs me, but my family needs me more. They need me to spend my down time with things that energize me and make me a better mom.

To my blogging friends, I hope you are hearing me clearly: it is absolutely not wrong for a busy mom to spend time blogging. There are plenty of ways that blogging can an does fit within your purpose and schedule. It just doesn't fit within mine.

So in the next few months I am going to be analyzing the rest of my life. I'll be taking a good look at my stuff and my schedule and purging the things that do not belong. And if you want to hear about it, I guess you're just going to have to call me. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I never make new year's resolutions. I figure no one ever keeps them; I wouldn't either; so why bother in the first place? This year, though, I've decided to make a few resolutions. The obvious thing to do at this point is to publish them on my blog so that friends and family can see how I'm failing to keep my resolutions. Yep, good idea.

1. I will read my Bible more. (Note how I left out a specific goal.)

2. I will least once this year. Gotta start somewhere.

3. I will invite people over to my house more often. I will fight my perfectionist tendencies and accept the fact that my house does not need to be flawless and my cooking does not need to be amazing. I will recognize that time spent with friends is what's important. (That's three for the price of one.)

4. I will start things and not finish them. Not as easy as it sounds. With three kids running around, I pretty much know that I will get interrupted. It doesn't matter if a task takes five minutes or thirty; there's no way I will get from start to finish without at least one sidetrack. This is sometimes paralyzing for me. I can't bring myself to start anything because I don't know when it will get finished. No more. I will start doing dishes. I will start doing laundry. I will start sorting through the giant pile of stuff on my dresser. I am determined to just start. And start again. And again. Because getting something done is better than getting nothing done.

That's enough because that's probably more than I can handle in one year. If I think of it, I'll let you know how it's going.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Christmas preparations are in full swing around here! All the presents are not only bought, but thanks to some help from my hubby, they are wrapped and sorted by event. Some Christmas cards are in the mail, and another round is getting set to go. Carter and I just made a batch of cookies and hopefully we'll do another batch tonight. I love it when December goes this way. Some years it doesn't--sometimes the before Christmas to-do list gets done around December 29. Or parts of it don't get done at all. But every year I look for ways to make the list shorter and easier in an attempt to focus on the more important things.

We are looking forward to spending time with both our families this Christmas and New Years. We have so much to celebrate. At Christmas, we celebrate our Savior's birth. And as we look back on a year filled with challenges and blessings, we celebrate Gavin's health, Jeff's steady job, and some of the most amazing family and friends anyone could hope for. We are truly blessed.

As I look forward to the new year, I pray (1) that we will not use our health insurance nearly as much as we did this year. (2) that if we do, God will continue to give us peace and help us trust in him. (3) that He will continue to guide our little family to trust Him and serve Him. And (4) that we will be faithful stewards of the three amazing boys He's given us, consistently making decisions that help them grow into men of God.

Merry Christmas, everyone! And Happy New Year!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Catching Up

First things first. Gavin is doing really well. It's been almost three weeks since the surgery and he is just as happy as ever. The minor issues that we were concerned about after the surgery have taken care of themselves. I took him back for a follow-up with the surgeon today and it was uneventful. The surgery didn't throw off Gavin's development in any way, and he is getting better at sitting up on his own. He is also rolling and scooting backwards, so we can no longer trust him to stay put when we leave the room. Christmas decorating will be interesting this year!

We've had a lot going on at our house, and I haven't really felt like concentrating on blogging, so I've been negligent lately. I'm going to try to do a few blogs soon about what's been on my mind lately, but here's a quick recap of what we've been up to in the last few weeks:

My parents came up a couple days before Gavin's surgery, and as long as we had the extra hands, we decided to blow insulation into our attic. It needed to be done very badly and there was no other time to do it, so we did it the day before surgery. 'Cause that's how we roll. That same day, right on cue, the floor drain in our basement backed up. (It happens every once in a while--always at the most inconvenient times.) So while Gavin was in surgery, Jeff was on the phone with a plumber. The drain got fixed (hopefully for good this time) and we were able to concentrate on taking care of Gavin.

My parents stayed through the start of the next week and then my brother and his family came for a visit the next weekend. We had a fun time with them and the cousins always love to see each other.

Since then, we've been taking a break from projects and we're concentrating on every-day stuff. It's been really good because I've been feeling disorganized and really "out-of-it" for a while. Hopefully the cloudiness in my head will continue to fade and I'll be able to relinquish my self-proclaimed title of "World's Worst Kindergarten Mom." More on that later...

One Thing I'm Thankful For: A Late Thanksgiving Post

One of the things I have been exceedingly thankful for over the last year is my friends. I am always grateful for the wonderful people that God has put in my life, but have been particularly aware of these blessings in the last year. I have been itching to publish these pictures to illustrate my point, so ladies, I hope you don't mind!

I love this picture. It was taken a little over a year ago at a baby shower. Can you guess the common denominator? (Hint: Look at the ladies on the left.) Yep, all seven of us were pregnant, and we were standing in order of our due dates. There were two other women at the shower, and they had had babies within the last year, so we can't blame them for not jumping on that bandwagon. Some of these women I know well; others I am just getting to know, but I can't tell you how grateful I am to have these friends to encourage me and bless me as we raise our kids together.

Here is another picture that I will cherish forever. This was taken on the day we dedicated Gavin. We were privileged to have two other families dedicate their children in the same service. These families are not just people who happen to go to the same church, they are families that laugh with us, love us, and support us. These ladies are two of my closest friends, and I am so glad that these children, who are less than a month apart, will be growing up together.

So much to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

At Home

Thursday night was another good night in the hospital, so we felt good about going home on Friday. We got the ball rolling for discharge as soon as possible in the morning, but the pharmacy held us up and we didn't leave until almost noon. We were so glad that we hadn't tried to leave the night before.

Gavin has been doing very well at home. He slept a lot the first day, but is getting back to a more normal amount already. He is off pain meds for the most part. The boys have enjoyed having grandparents around to entertain them while Jeff and I take care of Gavin and catch up on things from the short time we were away. I've enjoyed having grandparents around to help with cooking, cleaning, and running errands.

Gavin has had a couple of small issues that we think will be resolved soon, but we'd love prayer for them in the meantime. Every once in a while, he spits up small amounts of blood. We called Dr. Saltzman, and he said that it could be due to the tube that was down Gavin's throat during surgery, but we should keep and eye on it. Also, he occasionally wakes up suddenly, crying like he's in pain. These episodes don't generally last long enough for the Tylenol we give him to kick in, so I'm not sure what causes them or what makes them go away. Hopefully these things will just resolve themselves soon.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hospital, Day 2

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday, Gavin slept the entire day in between pokes, checks, and medicine doses. He slept well last night also. This morning, he woke up ready to eat and after a bottle, he was ready to face the world. He was wiggling, reaching for toys, and he even gave us a smile--something we hadn't seen the day before. After Gaivn's chest x-ray, Dr. Saltzman stopped by, reviewed the x-ray, checked Gavin's fluid drainage, and suprised us by saying that things looked so good he could probably go home today.

A doctor came by in the early afternoon to remove the drainage tube. He ordered another x-ray for 6:00 and told us that Gavin could be discharged after that or we could stay the night if we were more comfortable doing that. We hadn't even held Gavin until the tube was out--we'd been givng him bottles of pumped milk instead of breastfeeding (And I never want to see my pump again.), so we thought we should work on that a little bit before going home. We also know how slow discharge can go, and we didn't want to arrive home at 9 or 10 and have to get settled and figure out how to take over medication dosing, etc. while we were half asleep. So we opted to spend the night and Gavin will be discharged in the morning.

Praise God everything is going so smoothly!