Happy Heart Thankfulness

Last year we wrote what we were thinking for down in my daily planner, over supper. I’d asked the family what they had to be thankful for that day, and then we’d share and I’d write those all down.

This year I decided it was time each of my kids and husband had their own thankful journal. And so we try to keep these as up to date as possible, which for us ends up being several times a week (usually).

So today over supper as I wrote mine down before sharing I realized just how much I have to be thankful today.

Despite the fact I am home recovering, I feel great most of the time. I get to go on walks daily and going on with my husband and our 2 youngest boys was a nice Valentine’s day treat 🙂 He even took me out to eat, which was fun since it was our first “date” since my operation. Even though I did stand up the whole time.

So here is my thankful list today:

  • for the snow ( I love when winter is truly wintery)
  • a lunch date with my husband and our 2 little boys.
  • we found a cheap used phone for our daughter
  • I got a lovely red dress 50% at Goodwill. Yay!
  • God kept my 5-year-old safe on our walk home. He is a dasher, and sometimes just runs /dashes ahead of me which happened today when we were waiting at a zebra crossing. It scared me half to death! And I realized how often death has crossed our paths and it was the hand of God keeping it at bay!
  • time to read, sketch and update the website while on sick leave.
  • YOU

What are you thankful for today?


Learning A New Normal

Jan 18 I had surgery.

A surgery for an injury 7 years ago.

An injury I only found out last summer I had.

The recovery time is very long. 2 months of no lifting.

Due to this, my husband is home on paternity leave until the end of March. Raising 4 kids, one of who is only 16 mos old requires muscles. I am thankful my husband can be at home to help out.

Getting used to restrictions is hard. I am used to being active every waking moment. Now I have to learn to listen to my body and rest. I am also going on walks daily. Trying to get my strength up.

Since I can’t lift or sit I am quite limited in what I can do.

Yet at the same time, I am having time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Time to rejuvenate after a very busy holiday season in my online business. Time to sketch again. Time to dream new ideas. Time to just BE with my husband and our still at home little ones. And somehow despite my limitations, I feel happy and content. Because I was in need of a change. Something to break the running and stress of normal life.

So let this new normal be a time of healing and breathing.


This is my job

It’s Monday again and so rolls the world in the ho-hum hundrum of everyday life.

I wonder at times if I am accomplishing anything.

Being a Mom of 4 kids ages  8,6,4 and 5 months means a lot of repeating myself. I have even started making a list of what I accomplished on some days next to my to do lists so that I can see I did alot- even if not what I had planned or hoped.

The kids were delivered to their lessons nearly on time. The baby was well cared for. Meals were prepared. Homework was finished. I ran his aunt to the store as we do once a week. . .

Yet somehow I get this lingering feeling that I could have, should have done more.

I didn’t have time to work on my online business, there was no time for marketing my products, there was no time for painting. I long to be selling more, but how does one build an online business? Others seem to do so effortlessly- for me it is sort of hit and miss.

And yet when the day winds down and the kids start drifting off to sleep and I am left with perhaps a couple of hours of quiet I am reminded that this is my job. Mothering is what I need to do now, here, today.

There were will be time perhaps someday for building a business more thoroughly, and chasing those dreams.

But for now I will delight in the sweet scent of my baby- and his cooing and babbling. I adore babyhood and it is such a fleeting time. How I wish there was some way to always have a baby in the house 🙂 But since there isn’t I will capture these moments in my heart, and on paper and photos.

And I will read Laura Ingalls books when my eyes are weary. And pray and talk for so long my arms go numb on the edge of the top bunk while my 8 year old shares his heart and thoughts about ozones, and life, and friends.

Because this is my job. . . . and I love it!

A Year is a Long Enough . . .

In January I learned I was expecting our 4th baby. I was very excited- because I had wanted another. After all our youngest was nearly 4 and our first 3 had been 2 or less years apart.

I was delighted to discover my boss and I were expecting at the same time- with due dates apx. 2 weeks apart. This gave us much to discuss over the months and was fun to compare our growing bellies!

The first 3 months I was exhausted and would just fall asleep after meals for naps, even twice a day. I was nauseous- but not as much as I had  been with the other 3.

Perhaps sleeping so much added to the weight gain- but I always gain about the same- always too much for my taste. I always feel like a balloon, swollen and poofy. I’d like to be able to enjoy pregnancy- but I never do- this time was no different. I should clarify that I DO love the feeling of having a little baby kicking around in me. I do LOVE having the ultrasounds and checkups and hearing the baby’s heartbeat. But I struggle with self-image and feeling down about myself while pregnant.

This pregnancy I was also a few years older than last time- thus putting me in the risk group for the first time. And with age comes new health issues. . . This time I had too much sugar in my blood for one standard blood test and so I had to make the sugar tolerance test. You know the gross one where you have to drink sugar syrup and wait and get your blood drawn again? Well my numbers on this test were borderline gestational diabetes-too close for my midwife’s comfort to the gestational diabetes numbers and because of that she put me on a strict diet so as not to go over the edge.

The last 6 weeks of my pregnancy I had no sugar. And this was actually very empowering- I will write about that in another post.

This time around I also had 2 stays in the hospital. The first was because in the summer I got a small electric shock- which scared me especially when I felt the baby jump after I screamed and jumped. I was in the hospital then for 24 hours to monitor the baby- he was fine.

Then just 2 weeks ago I had a strange bout in the store- where one eye seemed to have a flashing light in it. And I couldn’t see clearly unless I covered that eye. I called my husband and asked him to pray for me. And he told me not to drive with my visions empaired. By the time I reached the checkout my vision had stabilized but I was so very shaken up that I couldn’t recall a single pin code for our debit cards. Then when I had to try to explain to my husband’s aunt (whom I had taken to the store) what was going on I realized I couldn’t speak coherently. We somehow managed to get home. I called my midwife and tried to explain to her how I was feeling- but I couldn’t speak in Latvian and even my English seemed to make little sense. She told me to go to the hospital and get it checked out- (my  hand had also become tingly).

So I was admitted for 48 hours for observation and monitoring. I had high blood pressure (for me) upon entering the hospital 130, but nothing too serious. I was 39 weeks when I was admitted and up until then I was trying to get my baby to want to be born sooner. While in the hospital I kept telling him to wait until we got out- because our plan was to have this baby at home.

Thankfully I got out with a clean bill of health on Wednesday the 21st, and even made it to my scheduled vein usg to make sure all was well for a home birth.

To be continued. . . .



Faith and Life

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 
Hebrew 11:1 NLT

It has been a hard morning.

My 6 year old boy is so hard to inspire to study. He has homework to do for kindergarten, and cannot get through it withoutt numerous reminders to get on track and focus. I feel frustrated. I feel a failure as a teacher and Mom. I feel I cannot do this and how can I possibly consider homes school when this day has been such a struggle.

It isn’t like this everyday. But I hold this up so close and so near that it blocks the light of hope from shining through to my soul.

Yesterday I listened to a great program on Focus on the Family for Moms

I was encouraged and blessed and liked the idea of Bad Mom’s Club (listen to the program to know what I am talking about 🙂

Yet being a Mom is hard. Surviving the store with 3 kids is hard. Doing homework with kids is hard. Homeschool I am sure is hard. But everything is hard to an extent, right? That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

And so today as I shared with a friend that I was having  hard time and she encouraged me. And as I ran to God time and again, twice with tears running down my face for patience and wisdom; He spoke to me from His word with above passage which I will paraphrase now in my words.

Faith is knowing that what you hope for your kids will actually happen (knowing they will grow up to be godly people, and will be smart, and kind and survive theird education); Faith gives us assurance and hope for things we cannot now see. 
Faith and God together will succeed! 


Choosing Films


When it comes to films for us or our kids I like to be careful what I spend my time, thoughts and attention on. Some may think what we watch doesn’t influence us, but I strongly believe it does. Growing up I saw firsthand that what I watched would also influence my dreams- and so i am very careful with what I show my kids. 
But how can we know about a film before we watch it you may wonder? Do your research. Very rarely do I watch a film without having first read about it. I read the reviews and especially the parental reviews on this site.  http://www.imdb.com/ You simply look up the name of the film and then scroll down to the Parents Guide section. Here you can usually find a detailed list of the stuff in the film. From this I decide whether the film is something I want to spend my time watching or not. 
Another good source of reviews is Plugged In which has reviews on new films. 
As for choosing films for my kids I try not to show them anything I have not already seen or know to be good. 
How about you, how do you choose which movies you will watch or won’t? 
Do you think what you watch influences you, why or why not? 
What is your favorite movie? I love getting suggestions on good ones to see 🙂

A Crazy, Rainy Day

I’ve a wedding cake to make later in the week, and with that in mind I took my 3 kids, the puppy and my niece on a quick supplies trip to the city.

But our muffler was getting louder and one bump was enough to knock it free and dragging. Thankfully we were close enough to my final stop that I got there and went in to get my supplies. I called my husband for ideas of what to do. . .

When checking out I asked the cashier if one of the men who worked there was handy with cars and would be able to tie my muffler up so that I could get home. She sent me two guys and in the RAIN that got down and had a look. Then they drove up with their forklift to lift the car enough that they could get underneath it.

The kids were waiting patiently all the time in the car and I was so thankful when the guys were able to secure the muffler with some wire. They both also refused the money I offered them for their help. I thanked them profusely for being so helpful so I could drive home. And told my son that that is the way men need to help those in need- not expecting anything in return.

Then began the seemingly long drive home with a VERY loud car- and me avoiding the gas as much as humanly possible in order to drive oneself forward. It was a long, embarrassing drive since my car was as loud as a race car. and my son was sure everyone was scared by us since they seemed to be all driving around us ( I was just driving slowly to avoid the gas). 🙂

Thank God for:
-sending us men to help.
-that it broke in place not far from our destination.
-that we got home ok.
-for HIS goodness to us.