Category Archives: Children and Family

Activity for Newly-Big Siblings

Not that you have a lot of time on your hands to make this, but if you can find some- you may get a five minute break as a reward while your older child colors it in.  If you are a close friend about to have a baby, *ahem, Joy,* I would be glad to make one for your child.  Image

Color the baby’s footprints! It promotes bonding, gives mom a mini-break, and makes a sweet keepsake.  Take your baby’s footprints and trace them out onto tracing paper.  It looks pretty awesome on its own.  So make the tracing into a keepsake and use a copier to make a copy on printer paper for your child to color.FootprintTrace


Filed under Artwork, Children and Family, Tutorials

Ace’s Birth Story

Warning: This is a birth story, with pictures of a birth at home. If you don’t want to keep reading or see pics, do not scroll down. That being said, I did try to select the least graphic pictures I had, and birth is absolutely beautiful. 🙂

For those who want the short and sweet version- 2 days early labor. 30 minutes active labor. 2 pushes. It’s a boy!


Without a doubt, this time was the best labor and delivery I have ever been through.

It started (as far as I am concerned) on July 16th, with consistent contractions every 5 minutes from about 2:30PM.

Six hours later, my midwife arrived to check me, in the middle of our community group house Bible study. Andy Andes pretended he was in labor when she walked in the door and made her laugh pretty hard.

No dice.  She said I was still at 2cm, that it was probably just braxton hicks, and it would likely go away when I fell asleep that night.

They didn’t go away for two days, and only varied in length to about 6 or 7 minutes apart, but the intensity of the pain never picked up.

Around 4AM on the 18th, I just got up and did squats for the rest of the morning, hoping for anything.  I did squats until I felt like my calves were going to snap in half.  I was determined to make something progress.


I was happy to have progressed and mildly enraged that it had only been one centimeter.


However, she finally had some worthwhile information to go with the disappointing number.  There was a “forebag” of water, or in laymen’s terms, a bubble of the amniotic fluid was in front of the baby’s head. This was what was being shoved up against my cervix and therefore the dilation was moving along as slow as molasses.  If it had not been in front of his head, he would have been born already.

There wasn’t much debate in my mind when she offered to break my water. In fact, I only asked for her opinion out of courtesy. I let her break it, and immediately saw stars with the next bout of contractions.

There was a bit of mec, which scared me, because I had never encountered that situation and had only heard horror stories of babies coming out with lung problems because of it. She assured me everything was fine, and that it was only a little. After being scared I switched to simply finding it gross, in all honesty. I think I will forever remember that this is the kid that pooped inside of me. Good thing he’s so cute.



Everyone kept telling me, “As soon as you reach 4cm, it will progress much faster.” The midwife even cited a birth she remembered going “as quickly as one hour.” Without my permission, my body declared, “challenge accepted!” I went to wash my feet off and get into the birth pool that I had been dreaming of, and as soon as I did it was as calming as I had expected. Then, of course, my body had to try out a contraction in the pool, and several others. They all hurt, but they were definitely easier to deal with. At some point, the midwife could tell I was in enough pain that I needed to be checked and everyone was shocked that I had hit 8cm already.


The pain increased quickly and severely, and I began to look around the room for help in any form.  The face of Andi Clements helping be to breathe and the Bible verses I had posted on the wall (they’re still there) became a great source of help.  When even those things wouldn’t help me maintain my sanity, I began to withdraw and my mind argued within itself, almost without my consent. “Pray.” “I’m too scared to pray.” “Ask someone to pray.” “Why make them do what I can’t?” “Just pray then.” …

Eventually I just yelled out in desperation for someone to pray for me, and a friend came through with flying colors.  Sarah’s prayer brought God into that room, no doubt.  She asked for me to feel His presence, and I absolutely did.  It didn’t make it hurt any less, but I was changed. I could handle the pain, and my fear of whatever would happen next was gone. I was suddenly enabled to conquer the amazing feat before me. Never let fear paralyze your ability to ask God for help. He is always faithful.

There was a calm moment right after the prayer, and then the hard work started.

Someone told me to “moo through the pain,” and I felt like saying something epic about how stupid that sounded, but then it was interpreted for me to just “maintain a lower pitch when I made noise.”  I was told not to push, but I was incapable of preventing it.  My body was shoving this kid out of me. Ladeana Cochran once informed me about the “ring of fire,” and had I not been told about it before I would have very likely lost my mind wondering what was going on because of that pain. Instead, I thankfully accepted it as a good sign that the baby was emerging.  I reached down to make sure what was happening and I yelled out, “A head, I can feel a head.” Then the head came out, and I was scared for the baby. I started yelling at everyone to just pull the rest of his body out. One more push and the rest of his body had no trouble though. I was so frantic, shocked, and elated that I didn’t even care about the gender, I just saw his face and loved him. Someone asked me though, and I came back to reality and happily cried, “A boy!”



The amount of time between the asterisks was 33 minutes total.

My body beat the record.

I never told it to try.


Regardless, his name means “Laughter Made by God” and he was born at 4:18 PM in our bedroom (the same room where I sat as a teenager on the computer talking with my husband about possibly dating him) in a kiddie pool with fish all over it, on 18 July 2013.  Ace is short for his middle name.  I am so glad he’s here.  😀


With much love and thanks to:

DeEtte and her helpers, Andi, Sarah, Debby, Mom, All of my CRC Family who Prayed, Dawn, Catherine, Cindy, Sue, Everyone who Made Food, Trish for the Awesome Shots, Daniel My Love, and God above All. ❤


Filed under Birth Stories, Children and Family, Pregnancy

Jesus Loves the Little Children…

Help me please, fellow Christian friends!

I need some advice regarding Emma with the following back story information:
We talk about God, sin, Heaven, Jesus, His death, His resurrection, and other related topics all the time. It’s a constant dialogue because she’s usually interested and brings up the conversation herself even.

A week ago she said she wanted to pray and ask to go to Heaven. It got dropped because when we started talking to her about it she switched the conversation to giraffes and crocodiles and I didn’t want to force anything.

Today she asked again to “ask to follow Jesus to Heaven,” and so I talked to her about it. She stayed focused and asked me to pray with her. I didn’t want to turn her down, so we prayed the simplest form of the prayer of salvation I could do. We talked about being a sinner, thanked Jesus for dying for us, and asked Him to fill her with faith to follow him the rest of her life.

What do I do?  I’ve been praying for her to accept Christ as soon as she can, so I want to believe He is answering that prayer. I want to keep guiding her of course. I know she will need it. I asked Daniel for help but I’m not sure he believes she’s legitimately “getting saved”. I don’t know what I think. I do know if I blow it off like it’s not the big deal that it is, then that will not encourage or strengthen her. So I’m paying attention to her and encouraging her along as she leads. Other than that, I’m just mystified that this is happening at 3 years old. Do I treat her like a Christian now? Do we pray through this again later, or even often as she grows in understanding? What do I do from here?


Verses I’m contemplating right now:

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
(Matthew 19:14-15 ESV)

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
(Luke 18:17 ESV)

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
(2 Timothy 1:5 ESV)


Have any to add to the list?


I’m really just stuck on where to go from here and what “fruit” to look for, and what to do if I don’t see any growing after a while.

Both Daniel and I were “saved” at a young age but grew up thinking we were safe, somewhat falling into a pharisaical lifestyle, and really feel like God has saved and changed us in a greater fashion as young adults in this current phase of our lives.  I don’t intend to discredit her faith at all, but I don’t know what to do with it, how to nurture it, how to grow it, how to validate it.  I don’t want her to fall into the trap of thinking that she is fine and can coast on a prayer said at the age of three, but I also don’t want to make too light of a great situation if indeed she has accepted Jesus as her savior.

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Filed under Children and Family, Help Me

Feel So New…

For those with children, this should be easy to remember, for others, just trust me:

Those first few hours and days, you may not want to fall asleep even when you desperately need to, and when you wake up what’s the first thing you search for? Your precious new baby! The first thought in your mind, the first face you find, the first intention is your child. It’s love. It’s bonding. It’s seriously needed at that time. This kid’s been tucked away inside you for nine months and you’ve known for the most part that s/he is safe and secure, and now that s/he is out in the world and you fell asleep, well you have to make sure immediately. Also, it’s just purely delightful to enjoy this little bundle as soon as possible. S/he is your child, and you LOVE them.


And then somewhere along the way, I don’t know what happens.  My assumption is that you start to realize that if you are ever going to successfully care for them, you HAVE to get some sleep. You look forward to the first full night/week/month of not being woken up for 4/6/8 hours. There is nothing wrong with this, because it’s necessary. If your child screams his/her little head off immediately upon awaking, instead of quietly preparing you a bouquet of origami roses with their blankey while awaiting your return with a smile, then you learn to “prepare” yourself for going in there.

Eventually, it’s just not the first intentional delight on your mind every awakening moment. Eventually that might become a cup of coffee, a simple shower, your quiet time, or even dare I suggest your husband.

And that’s not bad at all.

But this morning, I wanted my children first thing when I woke up as badly as children want to raid the tree on Christmas morning. It was delightful to feel that yearning to see their faces again, to know that just across the hall a smile and a hug were available just for me and tailor-made to fit my heart- and want it.

I know that’s from God.  I know it’s His love filling my heart for them.  Because that’s where I get it from, that’s what I’ve been praying for so desperately- a renewed and fuller, overflowing love for them, while my hormones and selfishness would dictate otherwise.

And I’m just so glad!

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Happy Birthday to Bug!

Three years ago today, I was nowhere near prepared for the dramatic change that was about to take place in my life.  My life became her life.  She was born and everything changed.  She brings so much joy to us all, and I love her VERY much!  The past three years I’ve been learning a lot, and God has chipped away a lot of selfishness from me through caring for her.  I am so glad she’s here.  I can’t imagine life without her!!

DSC_0916 2

Hello, World!

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One Year


Two Years

Photo on 2013-01-16 at 10.17

Three Years Old!


I love you, Little Bug!  You are growing up so fast!  Let’s have lots more fun over the next year!  May God pursue you and keep you for the rest of your life.



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Filed under Children and Family, Picture Perfect

What ‘ave Dey Got? (A Lot of Sand??)


Did we go to the beach?

No, although I would really like to at some point, and had my hopes up for TGC13 in April, alas!

Home Pre-K is in full swing with both kids.  This “semester” I am opting for less structured, more open ended, less stress, and unfortunately more mess activities.  Playing to learn so to speak.  This is home-made play sand, which was a huge success.  On her own, she started singing what she called the sand song, “…the foolish man built his house upon the sand…”  We buried things and found them, learned the words “gritty” and well, “sand,” made towers and castles and covered their toes.  It was a blast.  I love that brother can join in.  I love that it’s a lot less stress on me to just lead her natural play instincts and curiosity into learning.  I think I had too high expectations and designed a kindergarten level curriculum last time.  Oh well, I’ll just wait a few years and keep it around.


Future preacher?


He loves it. Can you tell?




Interested face.


Excited face.


Assisted mess-making.

Moldable play-sand:

I followed Learn with Play at Home’s moon-sand recipe, which is an 8/1 ratio of flour/oil, replacing the flour with ground up rice (left over baby rice cereal from when Bug was a baby, simultaneous cabinet purging.)  It turns out more gritty, but holds form well, and feels pretty much like moist real sand.

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Filed under Children and Family, Picture Perfect

Let it Snow…


Bug had prayed for two weeks that God would send her snow.  Her first prayer went like this:

“Dear God,

Thank you for the snow.

Jesus Name, Amen.”

Followed by opening her eyes and loudly whispering, “It’s coming!”


I find that she is often better at praying and trusting than I am.  Every time the clouds moved, she said that God was bringing her snow in them.



So, here’s our family tradition for when the snow finally showed up.  We bring it inside on a platter and let her build tiny snowmen, touch it, mold it, add sprinkles and food dye to it, whatever she wants.  And this year, Brother got to join in on the fun!


You gotta taste a little… 🙂





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Filed under Children and Family, Christmas, Picture Perfect