Family PIc April 2015

Family PIc April 2015

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I'm Worn

In August 2012, Tenth Avenue North released a song called "Worn". 

At times, the words of this song seem to be the exact words seeping from my heart.  I'll be in the van driving and crying as I sing along.   

Today, I have friends and family members who are struggling and feeling worn. 

I know that God is bigger than our trials, but sometimes I need a reminder.  This song reminds me that there is hope in Jesus Christ alone. 

Redemption wins. 

The struggle ends. 

Hearts are mended. 

A song can rise from the ashes of a broken life.

I have a few precious friends that have undoubtedly interceded on my behalf when I was too weak to lift my eyes to Him.  For those friends, I am eternally grateful. 

If you're reading this and you're feeling worn from the work it takes just to breathe and continue putting one foot in front of the other...take courage...YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 

And, I am praying for you now...that God's precious Spirit would give you a peace and draw you closer to Him than ever before. 

For how can we ever make it without Him?


I’m tired

I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn

I love the imagery in this video...
of light and life renewed.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mechanics 101

Two weekends ago, my guys were raking up piles...and piles...and piles of leaves from our yard.

Around here, we use our 1973 Chevy pickup (affectionately known as "The Blue Goose") to transport the leaves from our yard into the gully just beyond the back yard perimeter.

Just as they were unloading, Gregg noticed a quickly-forming puddle of liquid under the truck - antifreeze.

Now, I'm not a mechanical genius, but I can tell you that when antifreeze is running out of an engine like there is an open faucet, that is NOT a good sign!

Gregg and the older boys quickly rolled the truck into the shed and went to work trying to figure out what was wrong.

A freeze plug was corroded and leaking in a very bad way.  Don't ask me the details beyond that...but I can tell you that in order to "get to" the freeze plug to replace the < $1.00 part, it was going to require lifting the entire engine.

Bad news...

No engine lifting experience...what are we going to do??

After asking around for a couple of days for advice from more-knowledgeable mechanics, my dear husband came up with a plan.

He and the boys would hoist the engine just enough to get to the plug - using an array of boards, jacks, and cement blocks.  (I was having serious scenarios of 1000+ lbs. of steel landing on one of my guys.  Not good!)  Gregg convinced me that is was completely safe, and I tried not to worry.

By Saturday, they had carefully created their contraption, hoisted the engine, and managed to free the tattered freeze plug.  Yay!!  (And, no injuries!!)

They managed to replace the plug and began putting the truck "back together again."  That required remounting the starter, the manifold, and the fuel pump...and, of course, remounting the engine as well.

Gregg and Caleb working from the top of the engine...
Nathan working from underneath.

In the course of this, the fuel pump was replaced incorrectly and the fuel pump push rod was bent EVER. SO. SLIGHTLY. 

The truck would not run.

At almost midnight this past Saturday night, and a YouTube video later (who says you can't find just about ANYTHING on YouTube??), Gregg was determined to be done with this project, so he began work correcting the fuel pump.  The bent push rod wouldn't budge - NO. MATTER. WHAT.


So, for 2 days, they tried various ideas to remove the bent push rod.  Finally, Gregg came up with the idea of JB Welding a nut to the rod and creating some type of wooden contraption with a large bolt running through it - in hopes of pulling the bent rod out. 

I had no real concept of what he was describing to me in his plan...but, guess what?!?!  It worked!!

Last night, they managed to remove the bent rod and replace it with the new one we had ordered ($20).

And the truck runs like a champ!  Whew!!  We are all pretty excited. :) 

Total cost of the project was approximately $30.00 and about 40 hours of toil.

And the benefits included Gregg, Nathan, Caleb, Elijah, and Isaiah spending time together and learning some serious mechanics.  Even our 7 and 8 year olds were able to see how tiny hands can help in big ways!  We call that homeschooling at it's finest! ;)

And this Momma is praising God for an injury-free, low-cost, finished project! 

Mechanics 101...hopefully the last hands-on project for a while!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby Prep Randomness

Disclaimer:  This isn't one of my most organized seems a little scattered to me.  Kind of like my brain has been lately.  So, if you read this, don't judge my organization and writing skills too harshly.  It's the best I can do today.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions.  It has hit me that a tiny new member will be officially joining our family sometime in the next couple of weeks!  And, I'm not totally sure I'm ready!

I've been digging through storage to locate needed baby items, washing up tiny baby clothes, putting together my homebirth items, made some new burp cloths (see the fantastic tutorial I used to make them here) and some gauze swaddle blankets (see another super easy tutorial here).  (This site has such wonderful, easy tutorials for beginning sewing!!  If you're a beginner, like me, you've got to check it out - click on tutorials at the top and pick a project.  I've learned so much from Dana!)

I actually used some bathroom hand towels that we already had,
and I cut them up to use as the terry cloth side. 
It was easier than searching for terry cloth fabric! 
I bought the flannel as a small assortment
at Hobby Lobby and used my 40% coupon. 
So I think these are going to be worth it! 

We pulled out the bassinet and the baby swing to get it ready.  And, I searched for the bassinet bedding I bought with Kedesh (which I absolutely LOVED - long skirt, hood cover, soft inside padding...) for 4 DAYS...and I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I HAVE PUT IT!!  :(   ((Groan))  I'm so frustrated that I'm not more organized!!  After much lamenting, I ordered new bedding, and I'm in somewhat of a panic b/c it may not arrive until December...

To make myself feel better, I found an easy online tutorial for making bassinet sheets and made a couple of sheets with some fabric I already had on hand.  It'll be ok, right?

Last Saturday night I had a meltdown, partially because I didn't get to finish cleaning and organizing one of the kids' closets.  When Gregg said, "It's okay!  It's not that important!"  I openly could he think it wasn't important??!!??!!

Can you say "hormonal" and "nesting"??

Well, actually, I think the nesting phase might officially be over as of this week.  The items left on my "to do" list no longer seem important - I simply don't have the desire to do them.  Today, I'm content keeping up with the kids' schoolwork, laundry, meals, and keeping the house generally tidy.  We have limited outside obligations, and we are all awaiting Baby's arrival.

On Thursday, my wonderful midwife arrived with the birthing tub (yes, we plan to have a waterbirth) and the remainder of items I needed for my birthing kit.  I can't tell you how excited I was!!  I had already brown-bagged and sterilized necessary labor/delivery items and had all the necessary items ready for Baby.  So, when the tub and birth kit items arrived, it brought me to the point of "This is going to happen...and I think I'm physically prepared!!"

Now to get myself prepared emotionally and mentally...

So, here I am, at 37 weeks (considered full term), and I'm excited and anxious all at the same time... 

If ONE. MORE. PERSON. says something to me like, "Oh, you should have this birthing thing down by now.  It's easy after 8, right?"...I might blow a gasket.  Biologically speaking, labor and delivery still require contractions, dilation, and pushing!  It still requires a tremendous amount of work and concentration.  The baby doesn't just jog out of my womb because I've had "lots of other births!"

So, yeah, I admit, I've been running scenarios through my brain.  I've been rereading books on relaxation techniques and considering the pain that is sure to come.  I've been praying and reading scriptures about fear.  Because, as much as I hate to admit it, I always seem to have some level of fear at this point.  Fear of pain, fear of baby's health,  fear that I won't be able to have the strength it takes, fear that I've forgotten to prepare somehow, etc....

As I visited with my midwife this past week, she took the time to listen to my fears and answer my questions.  (That's the neatest thing about hiring a midwife - she sits in my home, speaks kindly to my children, encourages me, and really listens to me.  She never seems to be in a hurry, although I am quite sure her life does not revolve around me.) She exuded a confidence and an understanding that 22+ years of midwifery experience has given her...

And, then, Susan held my hands and prayed with me...a sweet, soothing, earnest prayer for God's provisions, His protection, His removing my fears, His glory and His love to be known in and through our family.

Her prayer was balm for my soul that day and has given me strength for the task ahead.

So, I probably won't be writing anymore about preparing for next post about Baby will include a picture of the little guy/gal!!  (not an ultrasound one!)

We don't know the gender, so we're all excited about the surprise it will be.  We took a vote, and the tally of girls:boys vote ratio is 4:6.  We shall see!!

(I thought I might write a post on why we chose midwifery and homebirth after having 7 hospital births with wonderful OB/GYNs, but I'm just guessing that one's gonna have to wait...)