Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Lord Jesus Christ Has Power Over All Things

The Lord Jesus Christ has power over all things! That was the main truth in the BSF children's program this week. We studied Matthew 8, and boy was it a good one. I am excited to be in Matthew because I want to really connect with and understand Jesus better. I know that sounds stupid... "Uh, isn't everything you believe centered around Jesus Christ?" Well, yeah, but studying and camping on the actual life of Christ will just deepen and enrich my understanding. It's not that I haven't read the Gospels before, but this time, for whatever reason, I am way more excited about it and already I am getting so much more out of it! Each week he shows me something in my life that he wants to refine. Each week Jesus is challenging and encouraging me. I am excited and exhausted all at the same time.

I am amazed at how many huge lessons there were in one little chapter of the Bible. If I wanted this blog post to be a 10 page essay I would tell you all the wonderful things God was teaching me this week...But since I don't, I'll just tell you my favorite part. 

Matthew 8:23-27 - 
When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!”He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Don't you just love that? I just love it! I love that Jesus was so incredibly human that He was dog tired and slept through a crazy storm! It reminds me that Jesus has been through storms. It reminds me that He understands mine and that He is here with me. When the disciples were freaking out and feeling like they were going to die, where was Jesus? He was still in the boat! That helps me remember that even if I don't have the mushy, gushy feeling of being close to Jesus, He is still there! He is still in the boat with me. When I try to put myself in the place of the disciples, I really can't imagine that I would have done anything differently. They went to him and asked to be saved. I feel like that's a good thing. But then Jesus rebuked them and pointed out their little faith. I was a little confused at that. What did they do wrong? They were just asking for Jesus to save them. They had faith enough to ask him for saving. Then I thought of my own life. The storms that have come.

Jesus has already saved me. I am His child and will one day physically be with Him in perfection. My future is secure. I am saved. As long as I live on this earth though, He is using the storms in my life to refine and redeem me. To sanctify me and make me beautiful and glorifying to Him. To prepare me to be joined together with Him in all eternity. So, what should the disciples have done? I don't really know the answer. Have more faith, I guess. Something that one of the ladies said in my class was, "Maybe, they should have just laid down next to him." I thought that was a sweet idea. The idea of snuggling with Jesus? Yes please! But in reality, they probably did have work they needed to do to keep the boat in good shape. The Son of God wasn't going to be taken out by a little storm (or a great one). That wasn't even close to the ending God had planned for him. The disciples should have weathered the storm. Resting assured that although it was hard and scary and exhausting, Jesus was with them and would use this storm in their life to make them better reflections of him. They should have known that He would calm the storm in His perfect timing, in His perfect way.

So that's my big take away. Life has quite it's set of storms. I know I'm not the only one weathering a few. I have just been through my toughest one yet, but I am certain there are more difficult ones to come. Waves come and I feel like I will capsize. Winds blow and I fear they will carry me off. That's because I have a little faith and I forget who I have with me. I have Jesus with me and He promises to never leave or forsake me. He is my help and my refuge and He uses everything for good for those who love him. Just like I told my toddler class this morning; The Lord Jesus Christ has power over all things. Even the things in life that seem really big. I can trust him with them all and know that he will use the storms in my life for good.  

Romans 8:28-30 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's ok to cry

We found out that I was pregnant while we were in Hawaii. Jordan and I were on the other side of some severe marital struggles. We were at a wonderful new place. Our marriage had never been more fun and exciting. We had reached a new place of love, forgiveness, and acceptance. I kept telling Jordan that 5 was my new favorite number. The 5th year of marriage was shaping up to be pretty awesome. Jesus had saved and redeemed our marriage and we were both exceedingly thankful. It had been a huge struggle in getting to that point, but we felt that we had reached a really great point, and we were thoroughly enjoying it. I had just lost 30 pounds and we celebrated that feat by purchasing an adorable LuluLemon outfit and by climbing KoKo Head. It was an awesome vacation. It was made even more amazing when I hesitated to indulge in fruity cocktails because I suspected something.

We purchased a pregnancy test and I was legitimately surprised when two little pink lines appeared in the window. We were so excited! We had names for both genders picked out before we left Hawaii. I had my appointment with my OB scheduled and we had told our entire family (and every waiter or guest that would listen.) We were overjoyed.

Morning sickness hit me pretty hard. I couldn't keep anything down at all. I felt like the worst wife and mother on the planet. I think Jadyn watched more Curious George those few months than I care to admit and Jordan brought dinners home most nights. I felt exhausted, sick, and dizzy almost all the time. Everyone told me what a good sign nausea was when I was pregnant with Jadyn, so I thought all things were a go with baby number two. I was dumbfounded when I saw my sweet babe laying still on the ultrasound. I couldn't believe it. "But what about all my symptoms?"

Anyway... Tomorrow was our due date with my baby that we discovered while we were in Hawaii. I thought that being pregnant again on this day would ease it for me. I guess I don't know if it would have or not, but the thought of that suspected comfort reminds me of our second baby that we loss which just worsens the pain of it all. I am so frustrated that a silly thing like a projected due date could bring me back to this low place. I feel like I should be able to compartmentalize things better. I mean, how many people actually give birth on their due dates anyway? Why couldn't I just forget my due date? It's not like I have a squirming, growing baby to remind me of this impending day, so what's the big deal? I can't really answer that. All I can say is that I'm frustrated with emotions.

Today, I stood in front of a checker sweating and fanning myself because I was doing everything in my power not to burst into tears. I dropped my daughter off with my wonderful mother-in-law and bawled my eyes out all the way home. My husband keeps telling me that it's ok to cry. It's ok to cry. It's ok to cry.

Monday, September 23, 2013

When I Go Home

Since I miscarried, my thoughts have turned towards the promise of heaven. These last few months, it has been comforting to me that I will one day meet these babies that I have lost and that I have not lost them forever. Heaven has always been a hard concept for me to wrap my head around. I have not studied what the Bible has to say about heaven in any real depth. I am sure this adds to the ambiguity I feel towards my forever home, but I have been thinking a lot lately about what I do know of it. 

I recently read I'll Hold You in Heaven by Jack W. Hayford. It was a wonderful, biblically-based answer to "What happens to the unborn?" It helped me to have a more eternal mindset on my situation —not to be consumed in the trials of here and now, but to rest in the incredible promise we have of eternity with these sweet babies. How absolutely wonderful that God loves us even from conception, before anyone else, and that the babies who have been miscarried or aborted are not forgotten or tossed away. They are alive in heaven praising Jesus! What an incredible, gracious God I serve! I am so thankful for these truths, but have been realizing that my desire for heaven might be slightly skewed.   

This week, I have been studying the second chapter of Matthew with Bible Study Fellowship. I was learning about the Magi who traveled so far to just be near King Jesus. These wealthy wise-by-the-world's-standards men wanted to humble themselves and bow before a baby king! They made an incredible trip, at great cost and upheaval to themselves, just to meet this king and bless him with lavish gifts. It got me thinking about my desire for Jesus. Am I seeking him the way these non-Jewish men were seeking Him? Am I serving Him and blessing His name with my time, treasures, and talents? Do I spend enough time marveling at what an amazing savior He is? Am I longing for the day when I will be in His presence? I began to realize that, lately, when I imagined the moment that I would be before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, I was looking around to find the children I never knew instead of relishing the fact that I was in the presence of the Most High GOD! This week, I am beginning to realize that heaven has to be so much more incredible than I could possibly understand. 

It takes a new level of trust, but I am realizing that when I finally reach heaven, I will be so taken with the glory of God and His tangible presence that I won't have time to even think about anyone else being around me. There is no way I will be searching the crowd for my heavenly babies — I will be all-consumed with the Almighty God! It is going to trump any homecoming known to man! I get so emotional when I see videos or pictures of a soldier returning to their family after a long deployment. I do not think I could imagine a more incredible homecoming than that. This week, I am realizing that arriving to my real home is going to be even better! I am choosing to discipline my imagination. Meeting God is what I am going to focus on and look forward to. Being with the Savior of the World is the most exciting part of heaven. Meeting my two babies will be great too, but nothing compared to my faith and belief in God becoming sight. Jesus, come quickly! 

Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. — 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Taste of Defeat

There has only been one thing I was certain I wanted my life to consist of and that was to be a wife and mom. I always pictured this calling to look like a full house, busy and full of laughter, tears, and noise. I didn't know what kind of mom I would be. I didn't know whether I would have boys or girls, but I always just assumed there would be children.

Yesterday, I was going through the process of miscarriage. I had read a lot of other women's experiences with natural miscarriage and spoken to quite a few others. Just like pregnancy and birth, no two stories were the same. It ranged from an intense period to almost as intense as labor. So I was left feeling a little unsure of what to expect. I won't share all the nitty-gritty parts, but as things progressed, with the information I had and knowing what red flags to look for, I realized a trip to the ER might be needed. Although my overriding emotions at the end of the day were shock, upheaval, and horror, I want to begin with praising God for how he provided and loved me — even in these awful circumstances.

I was alone with Jadyn when things began to progress. Thankfully, I had laid her down for her nap late, and she struggled to fall asleep until about 1:30pm or 2:00pm, which is when things really started to pick up. She never saw her mommy in distress! When I began to realize the red flags my midwife had warned me about, I thought it best to begin planning for the worst. I must have called ten people who I thought could get to me in fifteen minutes or less and was panicking because I kept getting voicemail. I was mostly worried about Jadyn and how this would impact her, but it was also an emotional thing to go through. How would we explain everything and not leave her scared. I finally got hold of a dear friend who lives no where near me, but she took over my cold calling and got other dear friends from church over to our house. All within ten minutes, Jordan was home, our caregivers for Jadyn arrived, and the nurse gave us the official "go to the ER" call. Jadyn was completely spared from any of the upheaval and was delighted to see our friends from church! She was whisked lovingly away to watch the Lion King and play on their playground! God knew that my heart needed to see the excitement on my girl's face as she left the house to go play. Apparently, that changed in the driveway, but my wise husband kept that information from me.

We arrived to the ER, which was packed, loud, and distressing — people moaning and crying. I wanted nothing more than to get back in the car and go home. God saw me crying and struggling to cope in the environment, and we were called back so quickly! We had our own room, which I decided was a huge blessing since there were two other people suffering right outside my door in the hallway. We were blessed by the privacy of a room. Praise be to God!

The rest of the stay at the ER was traumatic. I felt strongly that someone was trying to defeat me. I don't know whether I've ever felt as close to death then when I am giving birth to it. I know that sounds awful, and it is. It's so hard to desire so deeply the preciousness of new life and instead have to suffer and wait to pass death.

The physical parts were hard, but I'll spare you the details. This morning, I felt very slightly sore, and those physical hurts are minor. I still am very weak but the emotional hurts are, for me, the difficult things to cope with. The best way I can describe it is like watching a horror movie. I typically stay away from intense movies, graphically especially, because I can't stop playing the awful scenes in my head again and again. I wake up with nightmares from just recalling or imagining the same horror from the movies happening. That's how I feel about my experience at the ER last night. I can't stop playing the scenes and the conversations over and over.

"What pregnancy is this for you?"

"This is my third pregnancy. I had one child born alive two and a half years ago, a partial molar pregnancy a few months ago, and now this one."

"How far along are you?"

"I am nine weeks along from my last menstrual period, but was told this is a blighted ovum with a gestational sac measuring six weeks."

That doesn't seem like some graphic conversation does it? But that is what I keep playing in my head over and over. I was asked it three or four times, and the version didn't change. It was like I was being taunted. "You've have three pregnancies and only have one child!?" I played the statistics in my head. Well, if I want five children, and have a one-in-three ratio now, how many times will I have to be pregnant and miscarry to achieve that? Obviously, pregnancy isn't a game of craps, but that's where my mind went, and that thought process started to defeat me.

As Jordan and I were driving home, I realized my struggle, and I chose to begin preaching to myself. I am fortunate to have amazing family and friends who hear words like defeat and also begin preaching to me, so it wasn't long until I was recalling all the ways God provided for us even in this awful situation. I began to remind myself of his attributes and of what it means to be a Christian. I remembered verses and chose to stand firm… stand firm… I'm not always sure stand firm is what it sounds like it is. I hear stand firm and I think stubborn. I hear stand firm and I think illogical. In practice, I think stand firm looks rather pathetic and sort of embarrassing. It looks weak and futile. Almost like giving up. But that's where I am at. I am giving up my struggle. I am stopping giving in to my every emotion and thought, and giving them up to the Lord. I am stopping giving in to my plan and giving up control to God, since I don't have any anyway — you see? I don't have any control anyway. I'm nothing without Jesus, so I'm really not standing firm in anything but Him, but it doesn't feel like standing firm. If feels like cuddling, crying, and giving this life up to Him and trusting Him with it — pretty pathetic, huh? It's the best place to be though, and the company is great! Everyone else knows they are just as pathetic as you!

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me. God is good and has been helping me to capture wrongful thinking and realign myself with His truth. I've been reading a book called Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman and he talks about spiritual breathing. Exhale and repent of your sins, and inhale and pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you with His power. Empty yourself of yourself, and fill up with Him. It's been helping me keep myself centered.

I don't know what God has in store for me. I do still believe we will have a house full of kids, but I am going to take one step at a time and trust God with it all. He knows my heart, loves me, and has blessed me so much already.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. — 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Friday, September 6, 2013

In all your ways acknowledge Him

I'm not sure what to write. We won't be meeting this little one in this lifetime, but I imagine my two precious babies are enjoying each other in heaven. 

Thank you, everyone who prayed for us. We truly do feel God's loving hands around us. I have many thoughts going through my head, many questions, and concerns, but we're just going to take one day at a time and trust God with each of them. Like I said in my last post, we have a reason to hope and a reason to rejoice. Our desire for heaven is that much more. God has a purpose and a plan for everything, and I am choosing to trust Him with that. It's not easy, and I have to redirect wrongful thinking, but I am committed to standing firm in the Lord and not giving this foothold in my life to the enemy.

Jordan and I keep looking at each other waiting for the flood of tears to come, but I think with knowing this was a possibility for the last 10 days, we processed the option and wrapped our minds around it last week. I've shed a few tears here and there, but we're just feeling a little numb right now. I long to see my belly expand and feel the flutters of a baby in my tummy. I dream of seeing Jadyn's reaction to a baby's foot outlined on my belly and feeling the kicks of her sibling one day. I crave giving birth again and experiencing the blessing of being a apart of bringing new life into the world, and I ache to hold a sweet child in our arms one day. The only thing knew I wanted my life to include, with complete certainty, was to be a wife and mommy. God has given me my hearts desire already, but I do hope for more and more children that I can have the privilege and responsibility to mother.  

Please continue to pray for us. We have some decisions to make in the coming weeks and months and we need some direction from the Lord.
Thank you all again! 

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.  — 1 Peter 5:10-11

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Strength in Weakness

The last few months have been hard. Some days are harder than others, but overall... hard. I've realized so much weakness in my life — my deep need for God. These last few months seem to have been filled with personal tragedy. While in my own life I've felt much grief, I look around and see others rejoicing and celebrating, and in my weakness I struggle to enter into their joy because I feel overwhelmed with sorrow. I sometimes wonder if all the joyful celebrations are just the easy things to see, that if I was to look harder I would see the sadness that's prevalent in the lives of so many. I am beginning to realize that there is so much grief and toil in this world, and it doesn't get talked about as much.  That's why I decided to write this. Grief can be lonely and no one should feel alone in their sorrow.

For those of you who don't know, Jordan and I announced not long ago that we would be welcoming a new baby into our family. We were so excited and ready to welcome another child. Unfortunately, almost as soon as we announced our Joy, we had to share our grief when we discovered that our baby had gone up to heaven. What most people don't know is what occurred after that. It's not a comfortable thing to ask about or to talk about. Engaging others in the trials of their lives is hard, and maybe even frowned upon. "Why would you bring that up?", you might ask of someone. I felt like a dark cloud in every one else's joy-filled lives — a sad thought in the middle of a joyous celebration. No one engages the dark cloud, because, if you do, it might rain, and then you'd be all wet. I'm not sure if that's an accurate description of how people interact with the grieving, but that was my perspective and how I felt about myself and others view of me the few weeks and months following our loss. Come to think of it, it's probably how I interacted with others that I knew were suffering and grieving previously. It's a hard thing to engage. I get that.

A few weeks after we lost our baby, whom we named Joy, we discovered the medical reasons why she did not make it. I had the procedure called a D&C, where they suction and scrape your uterous and remove your precious child's remains. It was traumatic for me. It was awful. Afterward, they apparently don't just discard the remains, but they study and investigate what happened. It's called pathology. I suppose it gave me some peace and relieved my guilt surrounding the reasons why I miscarried. It answered the "What did I do wrong?" question, but, for the most part, it only caused me more grief and anxiety.

What I experienced was called a Partial Molar Pregnancy. They said in addition to the sweet baby in my womb, there was also a molar growth. This growth can continue to grow even after the baby is removed and would need to be treated as cancer with chemo therapy. When the pathology report came back with this information and the nurses and doctors said words like "cancer", "chemo", and my favorite, "Don't even think about getting pregnant again right now!",  I started to feel like I would combust or melt into a sad pile on the floor, feeling utterly empty and useless. I had to go into the doctor's office once a week for a few months to follow my HCG levels down completely to zero. I couldn't walk in without remembering my baby that I lost. I was faced with many, many, many other pregnant women. Come to think of it, it's easier to name those I knew who were not pregnant than the ones who were. I gave over to bitterness and jealousy. I decided I had nothing to be thankful for, and that I would wallow in my pity party because it was better than being forced to enter into life's festivities. I wanted to stay in my sorrow. I wanted to remember my baby, and I didn't want anyone to interfere with my grief. I felt the world had moved on. I received a flood of help, support, kindness, and beautiful, touching cards and notes in the next few days and weeks after the miscarriage, but once those stopped, I was still being poked and prodded at by doctors each week and began feeling helpless and alone. I felt robbed of my grief and forced into worry. Worry of chemo, of the inability to conceive again, of living through my due date empty. I was a mess. I think I must have put on a good face because no one seemed to know how messed up I was, and I kept hearing how well I was handling everything. No one seemed to see how I was spiraling out of control.

There was One who saw my spiraling. He saw my anger, bitterness, and jealousy. He saw it, and I know I grieved Him. He saw my darkened heart, and he saved me from it. It was painful, and my sin during my grief hurt those around me. God has shown me great mercy, has forgiven me for my sin, and pulled me out of the pit of despair I so willingly plummeted into. It's a place I never want to return. I still cry. I still felt the emptiness of my womb and the longing for another child, but I know I am not alone and never will be. I want to encourage anyone who is going through something hard to remember that. If you feel alone, God is near and wants to draw you near. Sometimes, it's hard and seems unfair to have to let go of what we're holding onto, but once we surrender it to God, He is faithful to comfort you! What an amazing God!

God protected me from complications. I sometimes wonder if all our fancy medical advancements are really good. I know that good has come from medicine and lives have been saved and changed — don't get me wrong. I, however, had no health problems and did not need any further poking. Whether I had a PMP or not, the end result was the same as if I had a standard-already-devastating-enough miscarriage. All went back to normal. If we had never found out about PMP, then I would be right where I was, except with a lot less anxiety and more blood. Sometimes, I think we try to know too much.

Anyway, here I am, almost five months after the loss of my second child and fearing the loss of my third. We found out that I was pregnant again July 24th, when we were on our 6th Anniversary trip in Lake Tahoe. This was happy news, but not like my other pregnancies. This one was heavier… scarier… unsure. I didn't know what to do. Before miscarrying, I excitedly announced to my whole family my happy news. This time, I was afraid to allow this news to fill my heart with joy. I was afraid to hope and accept this gift. If I loved this gift as much as I loved the last gift, then if it get's taken away, it will hurt badly again. It was a process. I finally began to tell people, the reality of our news set in, and my excitement and joy grew. I wanted to accept this gift and trust God with it. So I did… finally.

We have had two ultrasounds now. The first confirmed I was pregnant, but we were not able to see the sweet little one because it was too early. It ruled out other concerns that the doctor had about complications from my previous miscarriage and confirmed pregnancy. It was happy news. I was disappointed that I didn't see the heart beating away, but I made peace with that and began to get really excited. The next ultrasound was the difficult one. It was two weeks later than the first and it showed no real change. No baby to marvel at. "Now what?", I wondered. "What does this mean? Is there any hope that I will be the mother to this child?" There is. There is some. We were told that either our dates are way off, and we are not as far along as we thought, or we are experiencing a blighted ovum, and this pregnancy will result in another miscarriage. Not what I was hoping for.

I switch between feeling hopeful for this child to feeling devastated. I have very few symptoms of pregnancy, and that worsens my fear. Memory of our miscarriage gives me hope and strength. I know that God is strong and will get me through this trial as well. As I wait, pray and hope for Friday September 6th, when we have our third ultrasound, I know that I will trust the Lord. I pray that, no matter what, I am able to bring Him glory. I pray that, no matter what, I will not go down into the pit I so foolishly chose last time around. I pray that he fills me with His spirit and gives me a mind set on Him, His glory, and His kingdom. I have a hope! I have victory in Him! I am his precious child, and no matter the trials I face on this earth, I have a reason to rejoice. I rejoice in the kingdom I will one day share with my Jesus, my Father, and my God.

I am not perfect. I am scared. I am pleading with the Lord to give me this child — to have even more mercy on me. What I am is filled with hope in God.

If you think to pray for us, we would so appreciate it.

May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope! — Romans 15:13

Why are you cast down, Oh my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God. — Psalm 42:5

Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxieties on Him because he cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:6-7

Friday, December 7, 2012

All Things Crafty

I have become completely addicted to all things Pintrest! My mom got me a sewing machine for my birthday and this very un-crafty girl took the plunge into all things crafty! I've always admired homemade things and wished I knew how to create such fun. I've also been inspired by all the innovative ideas out in the blogosphere of how to keep kids entertained and interested on a budget.

So since October, I have made a couple aprons with my sewing machine (and a few top secret Christmas projects) that I'm pretty darn proud of. I know I'm totally new to this game, but I thought it would be fun to share some of my adventures of all things home-made. So here goes! 

Jadyn, my sweet daughter, is a busy, busy bee and right around this time of year, she and I BOTH are pretty sick of all her toys... So, since I couldn't get her to play with anything independently I remembered a post I had seen about making a oatmeal container into a fun filled sorting activity! What an amazing trick! She was completely enamored with it the day I made it, and it still gets a lot of use weeks later. Best of all? It was totally easy and FREE!!! YAY!! I didn't do all the fancy decorations, But I might just have to go back and do some improvements!

I think that since the silly oatmeal straw toy was such a hit, I became inspired to be more creative with my sweet girl. I whipped out the cup cake tins and showed her how nicely her existing balls fit into the little compartments. Hours of sorting bliss! This Momma is on a roll!! Not sure you smarty pants need a visual for this game, but here is a link just in case. ;-)

Finally, my last mommy of the month moment was homemade play dough. I've heard of the stuff and I know how fun store bought play dough is from experience, but I've never tried making it myself... That was until I realized that there are no obscure ingredients in the stuff. Everything I needed to make it with was in my cupboards. Twenty minutes later, Jadyn and I were in play dough heaven! Rolling, cutting, and squishing the fun gooey substance, and having more fun inside on a cloudy day then we had some days when the sun was out shining. I think I will survive this winter with a toddler after all. Praise be to God! ;-) Here is the recipe I used. So, so, so thrilled with this find!

OK...Onto the sewing machine... I'll be honest, I am super daunted by this new toy of mine. I went over to my mother-in-law's (a.k.a. expert sewer) for a few pointers and a rundown of my machine. She showed me how to make pot holders and sent me home with a bunch of batting and fabric. I wasn't very thrilled with sewing pot holders over and over again, but I thought once I mastered this, I'd be ready for anything! Well... 5 or 6 pot holders in, I thought, "Well, that's good enough."  To the fabric store I went! While in the pattern section, I thought to myself again... "I could handle an apron. The package even says 'Yes! It's Easy!'" So I bought a apron pattern and came home and tried making sense of it. Fun Fact: To sew you have to learn an entirely new language. The words look and sound like English, but it's a trick. Really, they are words there to make an educated woman feel stupid. Rick rack? Right sides? Slip stitch? I'm sure all you crafty people are laughing at me for not knowing the meaning of these simple sewing words, but be nice. I'm doing well and having fun in spite of my ignorance.

My mother-in-law did come over and show me how to make an apron. She took the driver seat for a lot of it and the apron turned out great, of course. I am a visual learner, so watching her explain and show me how to make and apron really helped... A LOT!! Since then, I have made another one, all on my own and it also looks great! I have a few more projects up my sleeves and although I've had some set backs, I genuinely enjoy this new hobby of mine! I'll post pictures after Christmas! ;-) Hope you are all having as much fun this season as I am! Please let me know if there are any great kid crafts that are easy and cheap that I MUST know about! I am having a blast finding things to do with the little one during the rainy cold season! I'd love more ideas.

God bless,