Let Me Be Clear…. This Was Obedience

This is a post I wrote while I pregnant and then didn't publish.  It wasn't the right time I guess?  Now, as we are nearing the end the the second week of waiting for Ainsley's CF test results, I remembered it and felt led to post it. 

Let me clear...this was obedience.

Not an accident… our newest addition that is.  I refer to her as our "bonus baby."  We had made it so very clear that we did not plan to have more children that many may have taken this the wrong way.   She, however, was no accident.  I don't mean in the way that God doesn't have accidents.  Of course he doesn't.  What I mean is, we stopped preventing pregnancy, deliberately.  This is going to bring harsh judgment on us by some, as the main reason we stated for not having more children, many times over, was the fact that we have a 25% chance of a having a child with Cystic Fibrosis.  Our daughter has it, our son does not.  There are all the common reasons for not wanting this… all of them which I am sure you can imagine on your own without my listing them.

So what changed?  Frankly, God changed our hearts.  I don't know why.  Who ever KNOWS "why" with God?  It happened slowly within both of us.  I always wanted more children, but Aaron never did.  Then, when we got our daughter's diagnosis, I made my peace and was perfectly content with two children.  After a while, I even decided I was HAPPY with two children.  They are healthy (Ashton is doing VERY well) and happy, and I love them, and who wants to change diapers again anyway?  I was enjoying having my body back and having a little more sleep at night too.  It was nice to leave the house without a billion things and to have kids that could basically dress themselves. 

About two years after Ashton was born, Aaron said if it wasn't for the CF he would want another.  That was a shock.  He always only wanted two.  I think that was the start.  His heart was changing, though we didn't realize it at the time.  As my babies got bigger, I missed having babies.  We both gazed at new babies in Church and didn't really feel we were ready to stop having babies ourselves.  During these years, I had intentions of having a permanent birth control procedure done, but multiple moves and finances caused it not work out for some reason or another.  Finally, it was do or die time.  I was going to make an appointment to take care of things for good.

But I heard a whisper.  I know God's voice.  I have heard it many times before, most notably here, if you haven't read that yet.  The question was "Why?"  The only thing I could come up with was CF.  Then the idea came to me of one day Ashton asking why we didn't have more kids.  I could say lots of things, but what if she heard the truth?  What would that do to her?  Regardless of what was said, she would hear that we didn't want another like her.  That, my friends, was not okay with me. 

A few days later I sent a text to my husband in jest.  It was something to the effect of "Can't we just see what happens?"  I got a totally unexpected response.  Instead of the "NO!"  I expected, I got a "we'll see."   We started praying, separately, that night and a few days later discussed it some more.   We searched and searched for a reason that we agreed upon other than the chance for Cystic Fibrosis. There wasn't one.  We both felt God nudging us to get out of the way and let Him work.  Not that we could ever really do anything to stop Him, but we felt He was looking for obedience.  We did not know if that obedience would result in another child, and we had no promise of a child with or without CF.  We only heard "obey and watch Me work."  So, we obeyed.

We knew the risks from the start.  We know them now as I feel my almost 20 week daughter wiggling in my belly.  I know what I may face as a mother, what she may face as her life, and what our family may face together.  I also know God had a plan for this child at this time, He intended for us to be her family, and he formed her…. CF genes or not….in His secret place with a specific plan for her in mind.  He knew her name when He was on the cross, even though I don't know it yet myself. 

We won't know for sure until she is born and tested if she has Cystic Fibrosis like her big sister.  The 25% chance is big, and it seems even bigger when you hear the number of families with multiple CF children.  I just felt the need to set the record straight.  She is the result of an act of obedience.  She is not an accident.  We went in with eyes wide open, and we are prepared to take care of the child He has blessed us with no matter what.   It is scary and somewhat overwhelming to think of what could be, don’t get me wrong.  There are no promises in the Bible for an easy life however, and I only pray we can, as a family, use WHATEVER comes in our lives and the lives of our children to bring glory and honor to God. 

Just Where Is "Afar?"

"She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar."

I have addressed this topic on here before, but it is a season of my life where it bears revisiting. I thought it would be fun to revisit it togetherJ  The Proverbs 31 Woman brought her food from afar.  I really am not sure what that means in the context of the time in which she lived.  I know that putting food on the table was hard work.  It meant growing it yourself or walking to the market and spending money, as wisely as possible, to provide nourishing meals for the family.  What does that look like today?

Pretty much the same I suppose.  We drive to the market rather than walk, and we have many more options than she had.  I am pretty sure we have many more unhealthy options mostly.  I could write a whole post about how you should coupon, grow your own food, and make everything from scratch.  However, I know for a FACT that is not always possible.  Some of you work outside of the home full-time, which I did for over 10 years.  Some of you, like me, still work a job at home other than your regular home keeping and mothering duties.  I was thinking it would be more helpful to list some ideas, and you choose which ones work best for you and your family during the season you are in right now.  Remember, the idea is to provide the most nourishing meals possible for the least amount of money possible.  Ready?  Try some of these on for size.

·         Have a stockpile of fast, not too bad for you meals that you can turn to on nights when cooking is just not in the cards.  This could be for nights when practices, ball games, or working late just do not allow for a full meal.  Pinterest is a great resource for these.  One of our favorites is grilled sandwiches with fruit or a salad.

·         Utilize the crockpot.  Again, there are tons of resources available, but Pinterest really is great for this too.

·         If you need to pick something up, try the deli at the supermarket.  It is cheaper than a sit down restaurant and much better for you than fast food.   You can buy an entrĂ©e and sides al carte, or sometimes the meat and three type deals are enough for more than one person to eat from.

·         Do consider gardening if you can find the time.  The Bundle of the Week this week is all about how to do this frugally, in little space, and efficiently. (I don't do this, but it has always been on my bucket list and I am excited to read this bundle!)

·         Consider a CSA.  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is something my husband and I are considering giving a try.  The only thing holding me back is that I am unsure exactly how well it will fit in our budget.  My biggest eater, my son, is a struggle when it comes to veggies anyway, and I don't want to have so much we can't finish.  Look around for local ones and see if any would be a good fit for your family. If you can't garden, this is a great alternative, and we are leaning heavily towards giving it a try at least once. 

·         Cut back on the amount junk food you keep at home.  If it isn't there they will not eat it.  You will save money and they will be forced to eat what is there ( hopefully healthier alternatives) or go hungry.  I have done this, and do not get me wrong.  There is plenty of unpleasantness that goes with it at first.  This is especially true of the first time the 8 year old does not have a selection of potato chips to choose from for an afterschool snack.  (Yes, I am that mom.  No, I never said I was perfect, lol. )

·       Coupon and look at sales if you have time.  If you do not have time, don't sweat it or feel guilty.  Do the best you can.  Pay attention when you shop so you recognize a good price with you see it, and make an effort to spend the least amount possible on the best quality food possible.  .

Do you guys have more tips for us?  Let us know more about your "afar" in the comments or drop us a line on Facebook.  Also, if you do utilize Pinterest, I would love to have you join me here.   One last thing, the Bundle of the Week link above is my affiliate link.  It costs you nothing extra, and if you do purchase a bundle I get a small cut. If you are not comfortable with that just go to bundleoftheweek.com and check it out.  They have a new bundle each week, so be sure to sign up for emails.

Now, go find your "afar."

The Great Homeschool Debate

Do you homeschool?  I don't, and I said I never would, but now I really want to.  My husband and I are on different sides of this so I have no delusions that I will get to do this with any of my children.  My reasons for wanting to do so are many, his reasons not to are many, and all of our reasons either way are understandable and reasonable.  This is a hot topic so please feel free to weigh in in the comments!

 Fact is however, I have my baby girl home with me for one more year.  She attends a great program two days a week, but due to the fact that she knows all letters, the sounds they make, all numbers, and she is beginning to sound out words as well as do simple math problems, I feel she needs more.  We simply cannot afford the 5 day a week Pre-K programs in the area, so I am going to do homeschool preschool  3 days a week, with a new baby, while working from home. Yikes! 

I am looking at a lot of different options.  If we had another computer I would do abcmouse.com.  I have heard GREAT things about them.  However,   I don't see a separate computer in our future, so I am also looking at the ABEKA Pre-K curriculum. 

What do you suggest?  I know several out there have homeschooled Pre-K before.  Any helpful tips or tricks? 

Ahhh Spring... and New Life Everywhere!

As spring begins to awaken here in middle Tennessee (at least the weather man says it will tomorrow,) I feel like I am coming back to life myself.  I broke my foot just before Thanksgiving, requiring a cast that stayed put through the holidays.  That put a major crimp in my decorating, shopping, baking style not to mention regular housekeeping.  The cast came off in early January and life was good again.  In late January (January 29th to be exact) we received news that a bonus bundle of joy was headed our way. "Whoa" and "Yay" were my two reactions, respectively. 

That was until this third little munchkin kicked my mamma booty.  Don't misunderstand…the "Yay" was still there, but it was muffled for a bit by the swirling in my stomach and my head.  I barely felt bad at all with my other two, at least not to the point that it affected my life any.  By the beginning of the 6th weeks this little booger had me where I could barely get out of bed!  Yikes! Work wasn't done, housework wasn't done, and basically not much was done at all.  I got everyone fed, there was no rotten food lying around anywhere, and my youngest got her CF treatments.  That was it.

So now, Spring is here, and with it comes that oh so joyous second trimester.  It is time to get some major work done to make way for summer fun, and time to whip this poor pitiful house back into shape.  Here is what I need from you guys.  I need help. Your best ideas for cleaning and organizing from any source you have.  Do you have a routine?  a schedule?  Let us in on it.  Maybe the rest of us can find something that works for us as well :) 


Leave ideas in the comments or even leave links to your own post on the topic or to your related Pintrest board in the comments.  Go!

Premamma Prenatal Vitamin Review

It's been awhile, that's no doubt.  I recently found out I was expecting my 3rd, and that is something we never planned for.  I sold all my baby stuff before my youngest was a year old!  I have no clothes, crib, pack-n-plan, or anything else.  We are starting over, but we are crazy excited about it. 

This pregnancy has been so different than the other two.  I have felt sooooo yucky this time.  Seriously, for the past two weeks it was all I could do to get out of bed.  That makes taking a prenatal vitamin extremely difficult.  Enter Premama Prenatal Vitamin! 

This is a huge lifesaver if you are worried about not being able to take a vitamin to get your baby everything it needs. This is a tasteless powder that dissolves without a trace into anything, so you can eat or drink whatever you actually feel like.  Just mix the powder in.  Sounds like a great idea to me.

The company offered me a free sample, but the opinion in this post is solely my own.  They are even offering a 30 day supply free to one lucky reader.  Comment below to be entered.  Good luck!