Worship.

I Chronicles 16…

David appointed some of the Levites to be ministers before the ark of the Lord, to celebrate the Lord God of Israel, and to give thanks and praise to Him.

He appointed some to play harps, lyres, cymbals, and others trumpets. Every day. He decreed that thanks be given to the Lord by a certain group of people.

For His faithful love endures forever.

I am thoughtful. Every day…God was lifted up, thanked, and blessed by this group of people.

What does this mean for me today…?

Lord, Your faithful love reaches to heaven.

Your faithfulness to the clouds.

Your righteousness is like the highest mountains;

Your judgements like the deepest sea.

God, Your faithful love is so valuable

That people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

They are filled from the abundance of Your house;

You let them drink from Your refreshing stream,

For with You is life’s fountain.

In Your light we will see light.

More of the Masonry Batch Heater

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Yum! :) So, Craig made four bricks out of different ratios of clay (dug out in our field), sand, and perlite. Something makes me wonder if I spelled that right. :) Then he baked them slowly in the oven to dry them out. After that, he and the kids tested them by whacking them apart! The kids thought it was awesome. Then he knew which ratio he wanted to use. I believe he used about equal amounts of the three.

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Craig works until 6:00, which means that a lot of his work on the heater needs to be done after dark. Keeps it interesting!

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He finally got in there with his feet (in boots!) to mix it. :) Time tested method!

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Although it may seem strange that we bring mud into our house to build our heater, really, cob is a fantastic material! We think we’re too rich to use it, but it works and it’s good. Concrete, of course, would just powder under high temps.

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It looked great when it was done! And even with a fan blowing over it, it is taking a really long time to dry. Unfortunately, it’s also cracking. Craig wonders if he should have incorporated straw as well.

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The next step? Building! This, my friends is fun.

:)

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God…

She is such a beautiful friend. Aunt. Sister. I so miss her gentle influence on my soul…

I miss her sudden laughter…

I miss her turning her nose up at a naughty brother…

I miss her delight every time I walk in the door…

I miss hanging out with her.

I love using her ceramic pie pan. I love having her lavender accents in my extra room.

But I don’t want those things. I want her back.

“We would never wish her back”???

Sorry. I wish her back.

I wish her back, God…

Be with us, God…

The Beginning of the Masonry Heater and Other Pieces of Life

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I really should have Craig post these Masonry Heater pieces! But I am getting an education… :)

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So many helpers!

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So, because our house is built on a pier and beam foundation, Craig had to cut a hold in the floor and build a solid base for the Heater.

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There’s more than one reason we own an Xb! This is our truck…

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He poured a slab.

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Then built a block wall, with a wall through the middle.

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He is amazing. Amen.

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Ain’t that cool?

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Insulation.

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Meanwhile, I have a project of my own going on. Sewing!! I got inspired to make some warm, comfy, winter clothes. So since God provided the fabric pieces, I set to work! After a lot of sewing and cutting and tearing out, I came up with a maternity outfit that is fantastic in comfort and for the first time in my life, I don’t feel like a heffalump while pregnant! I still have a huge stack of fabric to sew…

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I got them new crayons and color books.

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Hazel loves to color!

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Guests. My kids say, “I LIKE when childrens come!” :)

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She helped me wrap Craig’s birthday gift, in the green bag. Then she wanted to pose with it. :)

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Now that pool time is over, the sandbox has revived!

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So fun to have our guineas walking around eating bugs all day.

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Bomani can be exceedingly neat. :)

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Crock pot meat loaf. Four pounds of it!

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I’ve been on a serious pumpkin pie kick. Like, I made one on Saturday, for Sunday lunch. Then I made one on Monday, which we ate. So I made one on Wednesday, which we ate. :)

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Since pie crust is my anti-nemesis, and since we try to eat low to no carb and sugar, I make it without a crust! I pop into the blender, a can of pumpkin, a package of cream cheese, a cup of heavy cream, and half a dozen eggs. Some honey and stevia and spices, and we’re off!

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I combed their hair. Then I watched them face each other. Hazel said, “You’re beautiful!” Daisy said, “You too!” :) I laughed…

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“Like mommy,” she says.

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Bomani will slide on anything. He constantly talks about snowboarding and sliding…

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Happy Birthday to my Awesome Husband!!

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I got him that mug for his bulletproof breakfast every morning. I searched Etsy for hours and hours…and finally ended up having him choose out of half a dozen or so, which mug he wanted. :)

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We celebrated with hot apple pie. This was the first time I ever did a lattice top pie. And yes, I made pie crust. I love him. Can you tell? It was a sort of healthy pie, as in partially stevia sweetened. But I said, if I”m going to make pie crust, I’m doing it with white flour. And I did. We ate nearly the entire pie for lunch. Craig and I took turns sneaking off to finish it that evening. :)

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Somewhere under there, is a burger.

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Cheers!

Three

I look back.

I will never forget.

We had three babies. At once. A one year old. Two newborns.

That was easily the most intense time of our lives, and I’m sort of guessing we’ll never quite match that.

Our first date after the twins were born?

We sank into the armchairs at the coffee shop. Sighed deeply. Looked at each other. And did nothing at all. A whole hour or two without…three babies and their needs. Wow.

I will never forget. Trust me.

:)

Now I sit down in my armchair. I watch them play. I watch them make games up together. And I know that I am home free. They are practically the same age. They love the same things. They entertain each other. They are best friends. All three.

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(They are all having a two hour nap right now. Know how cool that is?)

What else excites me?

I’m going to start them in school together. I’m going to teach them.

Three in one grade.

Does it get any easier than that?!

I’m at the easy point in my current pregnancy, and…sort of wishing for twins.

Aaa! Did I say that? Yes. Cuz seriously, it’s so…practical.

:)

School. Preschool. Letters. Sounds. Numbers. Colors. Animals.

I taught first grade. It’s so much fun. Don’t get me excited. Oh. Too late.

I think the chilly morning today is bringing on a winter nesting instinct!

But about school, and preschool…

See, Craig and I are both of the belief, for our children, that we don’t want to start them terribly young. Give them a childhood! Let ‘em live! They have their whole life to learn and study! We decided long ago that we won’t be teaching them to read by 4 years of age. We know they are smart. Not necessarily brilliant beyond belief, but we’re fine with that. They’ve got brains. They’re kids only once…

So, I don’t mind if you disagree with our philosophy; I respect yours! That’s just ours.

So what to do with this ________ itch to sharpen pencils and paint an entire wall with chalkboard paint??!!

I think last night brought it on as well. I was sitting in bed with the kids before their bedtime. They were scribbling on paper, as they love to do. I looked over. Bomani had written B, D, and H by himself. Quite nicely. Hazel had put an H on her paper. Aaa! This is fun!

So now I’m thinking about winter. And I think I might do more than provide color books and crayons. I might invest in a few preschool books and such…

:)

And keep my eyes open for a child size, wooden picnic table. That would work perfectly as a place for them to do school. And I could paint it white and it would blend in…

What are your favorite preschool books? Activities? Those of you who have researched or are experienced…I’d love to hear!

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Dear God, thank You for three at the same time…

I’m happy.

:)

Bits of News and Life

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For Bomani, creamy, lemongrass chai is love in a mug. He feels quite special. :)

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Combing baby. :)

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Guineas! Hopefully they are eating chiggers.

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They were on the roof.

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We are, as of Saturday, raising Yorkies! Kathy, a friend from our church, is turning her business over to us. The kids are ecstatic. Sunday morning Daisy came stumbling out of her room, and wanted to out to see “her dog” while she could barely open her eyes…

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Bomani came inside later on Saturday, (after skipping his nap), sighing deeply and said, “Mom, I carried big boards!” He puffed out and looked very important. “I’m a BIG boy!” I grinned. “Are you tired?” “No…” :)

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Sunday night treat. :) Peaches, with a generous dollop of sweetened cream cheese/heavy cream whipped to perfection, topped with a spoonful of toasted pecan meal/butter. Yum! (Except that I burned the pecans.)

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Off to a ladies night!

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Helping me chop apples. Bomani did a fantastic job, and felt very happy!

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Peace!

Autumn and Good Girl Moonshine

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Ahhh…how I am soaking in this lovely autumn weather! Yesterday morning was as glorious as it gets. This morning was even cooler, and almost more glorious. Yeah!!! After a lovely, not too hot summer, autumn comes. And so I pull out the beans and create my one and only, precious piece of fall decor. :) I love it. I must admit that for a short time, I cherished the idea of racing out to Hobby Lobby in Burleson and indulging in delicious, fall decor with my carefully saved money. But then…would I prefer a new diaper bag for our little guy? :)

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And that, my friends, is what happens at night just before bedtime. Melt my very soul…

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Helping me make an oatmeal cake. :)

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Not every chocolate chip made it into the pan…

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And then…with autumn, come the bugs. The flues, the colds…the sniffies. This winter, I will be using three, amazing things for my kids! Vitamin D, chewable–they treat it like candy; a shot of elderberry, which I use in concentrated form, and shoot it straight into their mouths with a dropper, to minimize the purple juice risks; AND Good Girl Moonshine. In sippy cups, above. :)

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See, Good Girl Moonshine, a carry-over from my THM days, makes a visible difference in my own immune system. Drench your insides in this stuff, and it chases those bugs away! They can’t survive! I got tired of it last year, and quit drinking it for a long time. But now with flue season approaching, I have revived it, and am loving it!

This is how I make it. I throw three, dried chillies, 4-5 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced, and 3 or 4 sticks of cinnamon into a quart of water. I simmer that until it has reduced down to about a cup or cup and a half. By that time, the house smells amazing!

After that is cooled and strained, I pour it into a quart jar and add a cup of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, and a cup of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Add 1/4 t. stevia and 1/4 t. salt, and you have a fantastic drink that, poured over ice, is actually delicious. Okay, my husband takes about a sip a year, and then gives me that look that says, you have skills…

:)

That recipe is concentrate, about a fourth cup to a tall glass of water and ice. I often put a bit of raw honey into the kids’ cups to sweeten it further for them. Bomani told me it’s a bit like pop! (Can you tell they are not experts on soda pop?)

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Concentrate, below. Seriously, the kids had colds/light fevers this week. And as soon as I gave them GGMS to sip on through the day, they started getting well. Ever optomistic, (and many times unrealistic), I have hope for a healthy winter!

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“Let me help you!”

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We like cream!

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Hazel is doing perfectly well. The doctor found nothing wrong with her. We have a tentative neurologist appointment in November. So we will pray for wisdom and stay in contact with our pediatrician. With only one isolated seizure, they don’t get real worried. We are so grateful she is okay.

Blessings on your week!

My Little Girl

I think I’ll be able to write about this now.

We’ll see how it goes.

So, I’ve been reading in Exodus. The other day I read how God said that the cry of the people who were oppressed was coming up to Him. And He heard them. As I keep reading, I am getting a picture of God, over all. He sees everything. He cares. He loves.

I just see His Presence and arms stretched out wide, covering the entire world…the entire…everything that exists.

Monday evening Craig was working late closing on a deal. I took the kids on a walk down the lane. They were all excited to go, and ran most of the way down our long lane. It was warm outside, but they kind of kept encouraging each other on…some competition, you know.

At the end of the lane, Hazel quit coming. I looked back. Her eyes were fixed. I went and tried to talk to her. No response.

I picked her up, talking to her. Still no response. I told the other two to head toward the house, and in my pregnant state, I carried Hazel up the lane as fast as I could, becoming more alarmed as we went.

She started seizing, and I kept going, crying to God and crying to God as I went. When I reached the house, I found my phone and called 911. As the responder talked with me, I kept her updated on what was happening. Hazel’s whole body was twitching, then she was writhing around, in distress, her eyes upward. I could hardly come up with our address.

Then I realized that it’s hard to find our lane with an address, so I hauled Hazel outside. The responder insisted I stay on the line with her, and when the emergency vehicle drove past our lane, I headed down the lane with Hazel in one arm and my phone to my ear with the other hand. I met them halfway.

By that time, Hazel was relaxing, sucking her thumb. She sat up, and I felt relief begin in the edges of my heart. She still didn’t respond to anything I said or asked her, but she was no longer seizing. They told me it’s most likely a febrile seizure, but that we should take her to Cooks Hospital in Ft. Worth. I signed off, and they left. I hauled her back up to the house, waiting for Craig to come home.

My friend and neighbor Amanda came over and then took Bomani and Daisy to her house. Craig and I started for Ft. Worth, but decided, after talking with a Pediatrician in Cleburne, to wait until morning and bring her to his office. She was acting normal by then, laughing and being funny. Although she seemed quite tired.

When we got back to Amanda’s house and I went inside, the first thing Daisy asked was, “Where’s Hazel?”

They would have no idea how to do life without each other.

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Hazel is fine. The doctor found nothing wrong. We may still check with a neurologist…

Every health professional kept grilling me…did she have a fever that day? Was she at all sick? I just could not pull anything up. I had noticed nothing. I did think of it later that she didn’t eat quite as much as usual before our walk. And she slept longer than the others at nap time. But what is that?

And then Monday night I was sick. I thought maybe it was from the extreme emotional and physical exertion, but I was sick. And then Tuesday afternoon Bomani was sick. Light fever. Not feeling well. But it was mild and didn’t last long.

My heart is telling me that Hazel may have been mildly ill with whatever little virus we have, but she didn’t act sick. And the long run down the lane in the heat was too much.

But I don’t know. We pray for wisdom to do the right thing.

Yesterday my muscles were sore. Today they are almost more sore. But at the moment, your adrenaline gives you everything you need…

God gives you everything you need.

I know that many mothers have experienced this. It is extremely traumatic, especially with no fever beforehand and having never witnessed it before in a very young child. You have my deepest sympathy.

I am still fairly…weak inside. I can hardly look back over the evening. It was terrifying. I’m from Africa. My thoughts were, cerebral malaria? Meningitis?  What IS this? If the 911 responder would only have told me it was a simple seizure and that many kids have them, I could have at least…been more okay. My brain, though, was not working. I could have known it was a seizure, had I been more rational. But seriously, it was new to me. And it was my Hazel. And at one point, I honestly wondered if she was going to die in my arms.

That night I just wanted to cuddle her and cuddle her before they went to sleep. Craig and I were in the kids’ room…finally Hazel, tired, told me, “Mom, get out of my bed!” :) I was so happy to have my feisty Hazel back…

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Determined to head off fear from the start, I prayed. I refused it. It still wants to creep in at times. But it does no one any good.

And God really is over all. And He really sees. And He is Love.

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Thank You, Jesus, for Hazel.