Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2 quotes from The Kite Runner:
Sometimes, Soraya sleeping next to me, I lay in bed and listened to the screen door swinging open and shut with the breeze, to the crickets chirping in the yard. And I could almost feel the emptiness in Soraya's womb, like it was a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking. And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I'd feel it rising from Soraya and settling between us. Sleeping between us. Like a newborn child.

I remembered when we used to lay forehead to forehead, sharing afterglow kisses and whispering until our eyes drifted closed, whispering about tiny, curled toes, first smiles, first words, first steps. We still did sometimes, but the whispers were about school, my new book, a giggle over someone's ridiculous dress at a party. Our lovemaking was still good, at times better than good, but some nights all I'd feel was a relief to be done with it, to be free to drift away and forget, at least for a while about the futility of what we'd just done. She never said so, but I knew sometimes Soraya felt it too. On those nights, we'd each roll to our side of the bed and let our own savior take us away. Soraya's was sleep. Mine, as always, was a book.

Now, i know that the desire for 'fruitfulness' in marriage doesn't seem to be universal among couples of childbearing age... but i thought this author captured a bit of how i feel about intimacy. Not that i *must* constantly be with-child ~ but it's that i want to hold nothing back ~ to throw all caution to the wind & trust that the Creator knows better than me... i guess choosing to impose the state of sterility on my marriage that the characters find themselves coping with in this book seems counter-intuitive to me...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One of Gage's feet is really crooked (the left one). i'm pretty sure it's this but i think i'll go get it checked out at some point. (Sorry the picture is blurry ~ like most of my pictures lately... i really need a new camera...)
When Gage stands on his feet, they both point to the right. (My father in law has nicknamed him "ten after 2" hehe. Hopefully it'll straighten out soon!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

inappropriate laughter. Something i have always struggled with. If something hurt my feelings, made me mad, shocked me... i'd laugh. & i still do.

So, here is an email i sent out to my family yesterday:

my sincere apologies to anyone i may have inadvertently offended with my issues with inappropriate laughter.
i got my dues today.
Joe (superstore) is having a 25% off sale on all their clothes. i needed a new swimsuit as i found out on Saturday that mine was completely shot in the bum (i wore it all during my pregnancy) & the bottoms no longer stay up!!!! (& we were swimming with Harv & Marion ~ Doh!!)
SO, i decided to try to find a swimsuit at Joe for 25% off. i found one i liked & went in the change room. i called Neil to come see & i opened the door & beckoned him in, but he wouldn't budge & told me to open the door farther... farther... farther... till i was standing in all my 3.5 months post partum glory in the fluorescent lights of the Superstore change room... & then the corners of his mouth started to twitch & he started giggling & then laughing (& denying he was laughing) & then ran away to "go look for something" claiming i "look great".
p.s. i bought the swimsuit. That'll teach him.

Monday, May 19, 2008

i have amazed my friends by having a 4 bedroom house with 6 kids & having one of the rooms stay as a 'guest room'. This wasn't really the plan, it just happened that way. The 3 big girls wanted to be together, so they shared a room downstairs, & then Charter had his room upstairs & it's the only room Gage's cradle could fit into when we moved him out of our room & then Molls *couldn't* sleep all by herself, so we ended up with a spare room.

All that is changing.

Neil said that one of the big girls should move upstairs (actually, i think Cai asked if she could ~ she's almost 12 & their room downstairs is really small & crowded with the 3 of them in there). Then, there was discussion about *who* should move upstairs & how we should work out our sleeping arrangements...

So, my cute homeschooling husband said that each of the 3 girls had to write him an essay. No good copy, just an essay giving their opinions on the situation. (Please no judging the homeschool mama!! Hee hee!! We're still working on writing!!)

Their essays turned out so cute, i thought i should post them on my blog for posterity. We'll start with youngest (7) to oldest (11)

i think Cairo should go up because she would be the best with Gage. If Gage cries. And Cairo is always picking up Gage and that's why i think Cairo should go up. And i want Cairo to go up 'cause then i would be second in the bath, not third. i think Sloanie should stay because she is good at CD's and stuff (they listen to stories on cd downstairs before bed) That's why i think Sloanie should stay.

i'm sort of afraid of Cairo maybe going up 'cause then Sloan might run cold baths!! i'm also scared if Cai goes up 'cause then the lights might be on forever 'cause Sloan would want to read and i would never get my sleep.

i think i should stay down because i like listening to CD's and because me and Sloan are always so bad and having hissy fights. So that's why i think it's good for Cairo to go up so that me and Sloan will get along better and won't have hissy fights. And me and Sloan are always getting in trouble because we have hissy fights. i'm mostly the one getting in trouble, and Cairo is the one breaking it up, and i think me and Sloan should learn to break it up on our own because Cairo never gets any sleep all because of us.

Now, for the 9yo's essay:

Dear Dad,

May 2008

I think that Cairo should go upstairs because I don't want to feel guilty giving her bad nights. But, I also want everything to stay the same because me and Cairo have been together for a long time and I'd feel sad if one of us left.

I also think Peyton should sleep upstairs because she sleeps with the kids half the week anyway, and if we were alone downstairs, we might fight.

I don't want to go upstairs, but if i did I would read late and be tired in the morning.

I want everything to stay the same. We already have all our clothes downstairs. We already have a routine with baths. We're close friends. We might want to have sleepovers all the time if one of us moved upstairs. So, please consider leaving us together.

Your loving daughter,


To: Dad

From: Cairo

May 13th 2008

pg. 1

I think that I (Cairo) should move upstairs because Sloan doesn't really want to , so it can't be her, and if Peyton moved up, she would never sleep in there, she would always be in the room with the kids or downstairs with us, and if she kept coming downstairs to sleep, we would be back to where we started. I also think that Peyton and Sloan need to learn to be nice without me forcing them (which I do alot) and if Peyton moved upstairs, I think that Sloan would just exclude her more than she does already.

Also, when you were changing the room upstairs, you said that you thought that Sloan needed to learn some responsibility like learning to keep the room clean etc...

You also said, that if I moved up, I would have to change the sheets whenever we had company, would Peyton be able to do that too?


Well, Peyton doesn't know how to do that, and wouldn't she have to to get the room? In addition, since it is the guest room, we would have to keep it sort of clean, and now that we are older, Peyton is getting worse at that and I am getting better at it.

Well, this is why I think that I should get to move upstairs.

P.S. Here is another reason. (It is not very logical, mom thinks it is, but...) I have to use a different kind of shampoo than the girls, they can use normal stuff, but i have to use head and shoulders. So, if Peyton was upstairs, and me and Sloan were down, me and Sloan would have to keep both shampoos, and Peyton would have to share with you and mom.

I would be a little bit sad leaving the girls though.

That's about it!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Quite awhile ago (during the last month of my pregnancy with Gagey) a friend of ours sent an email to me & my sisters saying this:

So here's my other daily grind as of late...explaining to flabbergasted individuals (including some friends) why we possibly would have chosen to have such a "big" family. It really is wearing me down at the moment. For the most part, I have felt it easy to be positive and personal and just share pretty simply that "we've never felt done", and have really prayed about whether to expand our family after each one and have felt totally excited to go for it each time. But lately, I sense more and more people just don't get it, and perhaps don't really respect us for it, or even think it's just plain wrong. 98% of the time, I feel completely on the blessing end of choosing to live life a little differently and am mostly concerned with how God thinks of me, not the "world"....but for some reason it's hitting a little harder, or more often, or something right now! So mamas of 5, and soon to be 6 and 7...I would love to hear your experiences on this!

i thought maybe i'd post my response ~ just 'cause it's my blog & i know some people are curious about it...

So, i guess i'm the only one who hasn't weighed in on k's comments yet... Sometimes i'm too lazy to write out my thoughts... but i thought, i'll maybe give it a go.

Almost a year ago, i started an email to you, K, & before i finished it, (it had ended up in my drafts box) all of a sudden i was awash in my grief & every time i'd clean out my drafts box, for some reason that little email couldn't be erased because it was a part of my pregnancy with Hope, & i had so little to hold on to... so it's sat there all this year... so maybe i'll start with that little snippet. You probably don't even remember writing me an email in the first place, but we were talking about Neil's reversal:

"o my yes! it is so strange to have that part of our life so public, but it is... (it's something that has become a little obvious). It's been hard hearing opinions... (because Neil did this not really out of a change of heart, but out of love for me) ~ So, i've been accused of "wearing the pants" being an unsubmissive wife, & controlling... it's hard. i guess i want people to see my heart, but it's not always that easy. The pastor said this morning there's a saying "seek first to understand & then to be understood". Maybe this is my time of gleaning more understanding. Neil in all this is being kind & good & gentle. i feel abundantly blessed."

So, after everyone had gotten out their comments on the reversal, & my pregnancy with that little one, God called baby home... & i guess there has been a certain degree of compassion grown among most people 'cause with this little bun, we've certainly had less comments... i didn't make any effort to hide my grief ~ & it's still pretty raw & close to the surface, so i'm relieved they've trodden carefully.

In some ways, it's felt like almost all my pregnancies (& the questions about family size) have brought either pain or embarrassment, or both :) ! My first pregnancy was such a joy & yet, shrouded in an amount of pain too, because i knew i had done wrong. (i was pregnant when we got married) ... i was so looking forward to being pregnant again & then when we lost that little boy, i felt like, i'll never just experience the 'normal' joy that one does when one is expecting. As time went on, & we kept having babies, i was embarrassed by the way people asked publicly about sterilization: "didja get snipped yet??" & was mortified that i could be associated with it when finally the casual answer became: 'yes' ~ especially as i really felt God pulling at my heart & as my views (on children & the blessing that they are) had become very clear to me. But, then, there was a certain degree of embarrassment with the reversal too... (why did everyone have to *know*?! & have an opinion on something so personal??!!)

& finally, with the loss of our last baby i've become pretty fragile on the whole subject.

That said, i've sort of made my motto in responding to people, like the la leche league's motto on weaning, 'don't offer, don't refuse' ~ & yet i know that many, many times, people *do* want to go beyond the simple answers... "we have lots of babies because we like them :)"

Neil has felt frustrated that it's been his christian contacts and friends & family who won't leave him alone ~ kinda like you said, K, not only not respecting a difference of opinion, but seeing it as just plain wrong...(as a matter of fact, at *work*, almost every month, someone tells him how he'll never regret his big family & he's doing such a great thing... so neat to see God bringing encouragement to Neil this way).

So, here i sit... with 18 days left till this little one is due... not much 'fight' in me... just tearful hope that i get to keep this one. Seems as though all God has asked of me is to have my heart laid bare in public. It's becoming a bit of a habit to learn to be transparent. It's like that line in that George MacDonald book that mom lent me: (about the 'pastor') "To work thus, he had to lay bare his own feelings; where it was brotherly to show feeling, he counted it unchristian to hide it."
my humble .02c

Now, reading this (slightly revised version...) i'm realizing i didn't really answer k's question about how i respond to the question, "Why would you want to have so many children?!" (or i did, but it's kinda burried in there...) i guess my short answer is, "i want to be transparent". i've shared my grief, i've shared my joy. i pray that if someone meets me, they will see my gratitude to my Father for blessing me with these little lives to mother for Him. i guess if they prodded a little deeper, i'd tell them that i want God to be in control of this area ~ i trust Him & i count all *8* of my children as blessings. When they ask if i'd take a dozen (that happened to me this sunday!) the truthful response is: (neil would be shaking his head here *smile*) Yes.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers day...

How lucky am i??

Funny (& horribly embarassing) story... We went to the seniors center for the mothers day service (my littles sang & brought their fiddles to play) & all the little old ladies were *in love* with Gage (3mos) & he was cooing & smiling at them & being an absolute angel, & they were all telling me how lucky i am & i said, "yes, i'm RICH!" & my son pipes up, "uh, no, dad says we're POOR" (hahaaaa, Neil said that after grocery shopping last week) & my 4yodd adds, "YEAH, that's why all we get to eat is MACARONI" OH.... MY..... GOODNESS!!!!! i almost died.... i had no idea how to recover & i was laughing soooo hard... One lady saved me & said, "yes, but your mom is rich 'cause she has all of YOU!" but i felt like an idiot :) Silly stinkers!! (we make them have macaroni every Saturday so it's easy for swimming... maybe that's where that came from.....) i've been a very good cook lately!

Anyway, i've had the best best best day.... My husband has been so good to me (& my children too, but i know he's the one modelling...) They got me a new journal & the sweetest mug that they decorated... even included my angel babies in the picture on it. We went for a family walk/rollerblade today & i'm feeling very blessed today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Peyton with her new homemade dollie.

Carrying a sweet sleeping boy while trying to get supper on the table.

Cutest picture ever.

Monday, May 5, 2008

i changed my profile comments ~
Somehow i felt that i couldn't just post about *life* ~
Now, i gave myself that little freedom.
Neil & i had a neat conversation about prayer. It seems funny ~ that He keeps bringing me back to *prayer*. i think He wants my first instinct to be seeing prayer as a way to get intimate & build relationship.
Neil said, "yeah... but when i talk to my dad, he talks back..."
& yes, God does too...but...
but ~ i've had seasons where He's been silent. i remember really clearly, that He felt almost palpable while i carried Hope ~ & yet, after baby was delivered ~ it felt like He was silent.
Anyway, my mom addressed a bit of this in an email & she's always got such good stuff to say.

I believe that He deliberately withdraws at times….not that He isn’t there….or doesn’t care….but to allow us to practice trusting Him, and to practice living his life. If He was there moment by moment telling us each move to make and each word to say…..(well just imagine if we did that to OUR children)…would we ever grow up to be (in the words of D.Willard) “the kind of person that He could set free to do whatever WE WANT in the world?” If an eagle kept bringing food to it’s offspring and never let it learn to fly and hunt….would the offspring ever become a true eagle?

The idea that we can even have *relationship* with God ~ maybe seems so unbelievable ~ that we give up when we should try harder. We don't hear Him, so we stop listening... We can't touch, or see Him, so we conclude He isn't there. We hurt, so He must not care.
God is Good. He sees, He hears, He has compassion. So much of this relationship, must be based on *faith* & *hope* ~ (we hope for what we do not see...)
i love that verse: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (romans 12:12)
's where i'm at today...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

~ Was talking to steevie about our post-baby bodies. We both have a few pounds to lose, but were both saying how *good* we felt. When i was in highschool, i probably weighed more than i do right now & i was always hating my body & feeling badly about how i looked ~ i guess that's before i realized how 'fearfully & wonderfully made' i am. hehe... Sounds braggy, but i've felt more confident with my body since i first pushed out a wee wailing princess in the fall of 1996... How could i possibly have done that? How could this body have housed one of God's creations? How could it be that colostrum and then milk both came in to feed a hungry baby. i realized my body had done something incredible.
When we lost Caleb, 4 months into my pregnancy ~ i lost faith in my body. How could it give up on the little one i wanted so badly? My belly and my breasts were empty.
i love that passage in the bible when Rachel is longing for a baby & she says to Jacob, "give me a baby or i will die." & He responds, "Am i God?" (Gen. 30)
i guess i'm not God.
& i'm glad i'm not God.
He gave.
He took.
Blessed be His name.
When i found myself counting down 'days till baby' again ~ & again ~ & again ~& again over the years that followed ~ my confidence grew. i laughed at the girl i was when i threw up my hands in despair the first time that 2 little ones needed me at the same time. i learned that i could do more than i ever thought i could do with the body i despaired of in highschool. i did laundry, cooked & cleaned ~ i nursed sick ones, when i was so sick i'd have loved to have been nursed... i sang, & played music, read stories, kissed cuts & put lotion on sunburns. i taught them things like reading, writing, baking & 'never leave a sibling crying on the street'. i carried them on my back, pulled them in wagons & pushed them away on bikes with no training wheels...
i'm so grateful for this body ~ despite it's flaws & shortcomings...
"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me togehter in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of
of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139: 13-16


Related Posts with Thumbnails