Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just some thoughts. I know it has been a while since my last post. Just haven't felt like getting sucked into that much time on the computer and I guess no news is good news :)
I think most of you know by now that I am pregnant and our newest little one will be here sometime late January or early February. I love being pregnant! I love giving birth! I love all of it! Some of you might think I am crazy and that is okay. I still love it. For those who knew me many years ago, you might be laughing hysterically as I was the one who vehemently declared to everyone that might be listening that I would NEVER have kids. Let's just say God does have a sense of humor. A big one! This pregnancy has been so different from my pregnancy with Mikah. I am in a different place and it just feels normal. I can't really express it in words. You know if you have been there what I mean. I think subconciously I knew there was something wrong with Mikah. I think my 'knowing' was overshadowed by the giant fog in my brain created by the death of my brother and sister-in-law's baby, Alastair. That is a whole 'nother post which may never get written. I'll just sum it up by saying that it is different, in a marvelous, wonderful, miraculous way. God is healing my broken heart through this pregnancy. We are so excited for so many reasons. For Mikah to have a little brother or sister to grow up and compete with. For Ellie to have another sibling to love. For us to experience another perfect miracle and gift. We are also excited because there was a brief moment when there was a possibility, from the doctor's perspective, that I may not be able to get pregnant again. Now, who knows, God was probably laughing hysterically at them. Children are such a gift. How anyone could not want more, is beyond me. God desires for us to be blessed in amazing ways and one of those ways is through the arrows He plants in our quivers, if we allow Him the opportunity. Again, another post worth of discussion and thoughts.
I guess I just wanted to say Hi. We are still here and kicking (some of us quite literally and mommy's bladder is protesting). We are just taking a slower pace to life right now. One that doesn't include a lot of blogging time :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Big 'Coon Hunt

The mornings of trash pick-up Dave has been having to go out and put all our trash back into our trashcan even though we have a "locking" lid. Thus the Big 'Coon Hunt started. The first night he and Ellie very carefully placed a small plate of dog food in the live trap...in the morning there was no raccoon and there was no dog food and the trap remained unsprung. After consulting the "picture box" (i.e. computer) he found that raccoons love marshmallows and peanut butter. Ellie and I made a trip to the dollar store for marshmallows and peanut butter and the results are in...

The little white things are marshmallows.

That drainage pipe in where our culprit has been residing. The little grassy area besides the stones is where we place our trashcans...good place to hide out if you are a scavenger.

Bait of choice...marshmallow and peanut butter.

The next morning...They caught themselves a 'Coon!

He really was cute and definitely young. We have seen many bigger raccoons in our yard.

The hunters and the hunted.

The hole he dug it our yard trying to get out of the live trap. You can't tell in the picture but it was a couple inches deep.

Off to his new home.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ice Cream...I mean Dream, Anyone?!

I found this lovely blog a few weeks ago and I am so glad I did. She has blogged about a what looks like a wonderful new book coming out, The Ice Dream Cookbook by Rachel Albert-Matesz. Nourishing Days says this about the book, "The great thing about this book is that not only are the recipes dairy and gluten free, they are also low in sugar. All of the recipes are sweetened only with honey or agave and stevia. So, for anyone who can not tolerate cane sugar, or tries to stay away from too many sweeteners - you can enjoy ice cream (dream) again!". I am sold!

She is also holding a giveaway for a copy of the book! All you have to do is leave her a comment. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A 'DUH" Moment

I found myself in the midst of a major "Duh!" moment yesterday. I was reading a beautiful post by Lady of Virtue on her blog Large Family Mothering. At some point during this post something in my brain clicked and I realized that somewhere along the way, amidst all the different 'therapies' and 'specialists' and appointments and procedures and surgeries and...okay I will stop. But somewhere along this journey I forgot to just 'mother' Mikah. I forgot to do what comes naturally. I forgot that at the core of his being, he is still a baby. He still needs to be nurtured. No amount of 'therapy' or 'specialists' can replace my nurturing and caring for him. He needs me to do with him what came so naturally with Ellie. His chromosome deletion doesn't negate his need for me to follow my instincts. It doesn't mean that he needs me to change they way we naturally progress on the road to being an independent human being.

Where am I going with this?? All these thoughts were swirling around in my little brain in relation to Mikah eating. He doesn't eat. Yes, he has his tube and for some people this is how they eat, how they must eat. Many people, young and old, have physical problems, they lack anatomical features needed to eat, they swallow their food into their lungs, medically speaking they aspirate. Mikah does NOT have these problems. He just doesn't eat. He used to eat. He loved sweet potatoes and would eat 4-6 ounces at a sitting. The problem was the "sitting" would be an hour. He never had time to not eat and for a little fellow with a little mouth and little muscles and tone that was just too much work. His body just couldn't do it. This is one thing that likes to start replaying in my mind over and over again. What could I have done differently? If I hadn't been so adamant about nursing him would things have been different? Where did I go wrong in feeding my son? These of course are useless, mind numbing, depression boosting questions that must be squelched as soon as they start and so I tell myself to stop. It doesn't matter now. We cannot change the past and God knew what was going to happen.

So back to Mikah not eating and not having any of the aforementioned eating/swallowing problems. He actually had a swallow study done a week before he had his g-tube placed and he doesn't have a problem swallowing. In fact, they usually have the kids come back a month or two later for a repeat test and Mikah was so good at swallowing they didn't want to see him.

So why doesn't he eat? After he had his surgery for his g-tube he stopped eating. I hear this from other moms. There are a multiple of guesses and perfectly reasonable explanations but really no one knows. Over the past several months this is one issue in Mikah's life and yes, I think it deserves the rating 'issue', that has been surfacing more and more in my little talks with myself. Um, did I just write that? Now you all know, I talk to myself. Not out loud. Then someone else might be able to jump in with their two cents and where would the fun be in that?

Okay, so Mikah eating. Little things have come up, comments made to me, posts on blogs like the one mentioned above and this one by Jennifer at Three's A Charm. There was a possibility recently, which I still haven't brought myself to blog about, that Mikah was going to have surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids and that afterward he would need ICU care. One reason being that he would need suctioning because he has swallowing difficulty. I very adamantly proclaimed that he most certainly does NOT have a problem swallowing! And this person said, well he doesn't eat of course he has swallowing problems. But he doesn't! So we are back to this question of why doesn't he eat.

Something in the post on Large Family Mothering and Three's A Charm awoke a sleeping neuron in my brain and it just seemed to click. (I am hoping it doesn't un-click) Why on earth don't I just do what I do naturally? All the suggestions from therapists and specialists have not worked. When Ellie was learning to eat did I use a Jiggler or a Z-Vibe on her mouth for 5 minutes before eating, did I swing her around and stimulate her arms and legs, did I 'massage' her cheeks and stick my fingers in her mouth and brush her teeth and gums and try to get her to bite down?? No! I am positive I would have remembered that and that she would have been severely out of sorts by the time we actually got to the eating part. Which is exactly what happens with Mikah. By the time the food is on the spoon and being flown to his closed mouth and through his flailing arms, well, by then there is no food on the spoon...hopefully you get the picture.

With Ellie it was much simpler. When it was time to eat I sat her in her highchair. Put some warmed food on a spoon and put the spoon and the food in her mouth. She either spit it out or she swallowed it. When we had done this for what seemed like a sufficient amount of time I nursed her. We then repeated the process for all the other mealtimes during that day and started over the next day and the next day until one day she ate a whole meal off a spoon and then we started working with a fork and different kinds of foods.

This is my simple plan with Mikah. He is not nursing anymore, something that I am sad about at times especially when the questions about how this all happened begin. Again something I cannot change. Since he is not nursing I will sit him in his highchair when it is time to eat and before his tube feeding and for what seems like a sufficient amount of time I will put food on the spoon and airplane the spoon into his mouth. Some will come out and I will swish it up with the spoon, some will stay in and this he will swallow.

And someday, he will eat all 4 ounces from the organic applesauce container and I will cry tears of joy. Similar to the tears I cried when I realized that Ellie just didn't need or want to nurse anymore only these tears will not hold any regret because I will know how hard Mikah and I have worked for them. I will know the journey that has led to them. I will know that I have found my way back to truly mothering my son.

Did you make it through my ramblings? If you did you will be excited to know that I started to put this simple plan into action this morning. Here is the email I sent Dave after lunch: I just fed Mikah some more applesauce. I think he really wants to learn how to eat. He didn't scream. He did turn his head away but willingly opened his mouth several times. He even grabbed the spoon, I thought he was trying to shove it away but one time he grabbed it before I could move and he took it to his mouth and licked some applesauce off. So far today he has eaten half of a little applesauce container. I warmed it and sprinkled cinnamon over it. I will try again before his 4:30pm "meal".

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook~ May 18, 2009

For Today...

Outside my window... the sounds of birds singing, sunshine and beautiful green.

I am thinking... how I love the sun and the green of spring!

From the learning rooms... we learned the consonant H today. I love Ellie's excitement at discovering new things!

I am thankful for... my husband's first paycheck since he was laid off in January.

From the kitchen... beef stroganoff, steamed veggies and a simple salad.

I am wearing... jeans, t-shirt and socks.

I am reading... The Body Ecology Diet...gleaning many ideas for Mikah as well as myself.

I am hoping... to enjoy a walk with my family this evening.

I am creating... cleanliness in our Florida room and a scrapbook for my little man...I figured I should finish it since he is almost 2 1/2 y.o. :)

I am praying... for wisdom and discipline in using my time...there are so many things to be done...just trying to figure out what I should be doing...especially with Mikah's program.

Around the house... spring cleaning in the Florida room, plants to get in the ground and seeds to plant...oh yeah...I guess I should clean the kitchen :P

One of my favorite things... Mikah playing with my hair.

A few plans for the rest of the week... we checked Wal-Mart off the list today, other grocery shopping later in the week, the plants we bought yesterday need planted, general chores, last night of AWANA on Wednesday night and lunch with daddy at his new job on Friday!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

So sweet!! Mikah is 24 hours young!
Read more Daybooks here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From Seeds to Harvest

Garden update...

I guess I really don't have much to post about. We have had a whirlwind week or two since Daddy started his new job...There will be a post about all the drama later...
We did get all of our Mel's mix ingredients. We had been waiting for a wind/rain free day to mix everything together and put in the boxes. Well, that day never came so we mixed it in the garage and one wheelbarrow load at a time deposited it in the boxes. Daddy did most of this as mommy wasn't feeling good :)

One of the boxes with the Mel's mix.

Ellie and I painted and nailed the grids into place today.

The couple that we bought our house from obviously loved gardening, flower and vegetable. By the time we bought the house from them they were past their gardening prime though and if you have been here you can tell that all the beds went wild. We have been fighting thistles and many other weeds since the summer we moved in. Seriously, we could have a thistle farm! Those things just don't die. So, one of our "favorite" pastimes this time of year is weeding :)

And every lady needs a good hat...errr...visor while working in the garden. This is the first outdoor, sunny time of year since forever ago that I am using my glasses instead of contacts so my eyes desperately needed some protection. Ellie thought I got one for me and one for her :)

The clematis that wouldn't die. Any plant that is still living after the beating this one took definitely deserves a spot in the Mel's mix!

Honeysuckle anyone?? This started as a very small shoot from my grandparent's vine. It was transplanted three times as an infant and I really wasn't sure it would make it after the third transplant. Now it is taking over the south side of our deck!! Let me know if you need a starter!

Ellie with one those previously mentioned weeds.

More gardening to be done later. I received a gift card for flower/plant shopping for Mother's Day. I will post what ends up in the cart later!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Battlefield of the Mind Giveaway

There is a giveaway going on at Moms By Heart for Joyce Meyer's new DVD Battlefield of the Mind Series. Just go here to enter.

If you win you have to let me know :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Psalm 71:5-8

Psalm 71:5-8

"O Lord, you alone are my hope.
I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.
Yes, you have been with me from birth;
from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.
No wonder I am always praising you!
My life is an example to many,
because you have been my strength and protection.
That is why I can never stop praising you;
I declare your glory all day long."

Some Peace

Psalm 40:1-2

“I waited patiently for the Lord;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire;
He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (NIV)

You Remain

by The Wrecking
I watched you fall
Like I didn't care at all
Thinking myself great thinking you so small
A window to my soul reveals a breaking wall
As the pieces of it fall
I'm hearing you call
Broken down and you never made a sound
I'm reaching out
Will you pull me from the ground
You loved me before I knew your name
Sometimes this world just seems so strange
No matter how things seem to change
You Remain You Remain
Minutes tic tock by and hours pass
And a peaceful smile has found my lips at last
No matter if this world is spinning slow or fast
I'm safe in this shadow you cast
Broken down can I give you back your crown
I'm reaching out
Will you pull me from the ground
You loved me before I knew your name
Sometimes this world just seems so strange
No matter how things seem to change
You Remain You Remain
Jesus You Remain
Jesus You Remain
Jesus You Remain

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook~ May 5, 2009

For Today May 5, 2009...

Outside my window the sun is starting to peak over the trees, I wonder if it will be a sunshiney day...

I am thinking it is good I didn't do this yesterday; there would have been many angry words...

From the learning rooms Ellie is loving the reading program; I really need to re-group and get on the ball with Mikah's program; need to find more patterning helpers...

I am thankful for God's peace and for beautiful songs put together by some of God's followers; one that has been special to me recently is By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North...

From the kitchen vegan burgers, homemade fries, salad and chocolate chip cookies...

I am wearing my pjs...

I am reading several books and just finished The Year My Son and I Were Born; it is one of the best books I have read recently...

I am hoping for a peaceful week...

I am creating... honestly, I don't know what I am creating right now; I am just trying to get by...

I am praying for God's peace that surpasseth all understanding...

Around the house regular chores, a grocery list to make, garden boxes to be filled...

One of my favorite things watching Mikah and Ellie play together...

A few plans for the rest of the week a doctor's appointment Thursday, praying that the doctor's appointment is nothing, Ped appointment Saturday to talk about Mikah's "sleep" study, trying to get back into a new groove and schedule...

Here is a picture...err...video thought I am sharing with you...
By Your Side
Our Quiverfull shared this video a while ago. It came at a time that I really needed it and it has resurfaced again over this past weekend.
For more Simple Woman Daybooks visit http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From Seeds to Harvest

This looks like a fun blogging world challenge and one I have already started. Check it out here, From Seeds to Harvest.

As I mentioned Monday, I am trying the Square Foot Gardening this year. My wonderful and handy husband built me a couple 4x4 boxes already. We are waiting for the vermiculite, one of the Square Foot Garden ingredients and then we will be ready to fill the boxes and plant away.

I am still not 100% sure what we are planting. I am thinking of flowers, herbs and vegetables though. I thought I might start with some of what Mikah gets in his "blends" everyday and expand from there. Carrots, tomatoes, kale, broccoli, chard, other lettuces. Maybe some basic herbs, basil, thyme, parsley, sage. Some marigolds, I love how they smell and they remind of when I was a little girl and my mom and dad had a fairly large (it seemed large anyway) vegetable garden. Zinnias and sunflowers. I guess just a mix.

I am planning on trying the Square Foot Gardening method of growing any vine plants, cucumbers, squash, melons, tomatoes, vertically instead of horizontally by putting a trellis in at least one of the beds. I also have a Clematis vine that we tried to kill last year and guess what! It didn't die! I will transplant it and put it in a corner of one of the boxes next to our deck.

Ellie seems to be excited and she has already asked what she can grow. She wants to grow marigolds and she has helped me start a compost pile. She loves running food scraps, napkins and toilet paper rolls to the compost pile. Actually, she found it quite amusing that toilet paper rolls could be added to the compost pile :) Now I just need a little compost bin or bucket for adding scraps to throughout the day in the house so we aren't making a trip outback every 5 minutes.

This year we are following the directions for Mel's Mix for ease of getting started. Next year though I would like to try the Lasagna Gardening method of layering with stuff found in our backyard. These authors both wrote wonderful books on their methods which will be some of my next purchases for my own personal library.

I also read in the No Greater Joy magazine recently that Mama Pearl has her own Heirloom Seed collection through the Bulk Herb Store. Something I have yet to look into but definitely peeked my interest for seeds to buy.

Happy gardening!

A Sense of Urgency

How to instill a sense of urgency in my 4 y.o. ???

I am frustrated...She has a chorepack. We have been using it for several months now. Simple things I know she knows how to do and is very capable of doing. I have witnessed her accomplish them in a timely and efficient manner on several occasions without my help, except maybe to brush her hair and teeth. She is to put her pajamas away, get dressed, brush her hair and teeth, make her bed, pick up her room and feed the dogs. Like I said, she has done all of these things independently multiple times and very joyfully.

This morning, and this is not an isolated occurrence, I was finishing feeding Mikah and then feeding myself and cleaning up breakfast, changing Mikah's diaper and a couple other odds and ends. All of which took about 20 minutes. Ellie was to go and start her chorepack, the first thing being to put her pajamas away and get dressed. So, 20 minutes later when I finished all my breakfast stuff I went down the hallway to start on my after breakfast chores and walked past Ellie's room to see her NAKED body dancing around her room! Naked! Nothing even close to being on her body. How long does it take to get dressed?

So how do I instill in her a do it now and dance around the room after I am clothed attitude? If I am not right there with her every second, which I can't possibly be, she seems to become distracted so easily. I know some may say she is so young. My response is that she CAN do it. I have been witness to this.

Is it an obedience issue?

Just some Wednesday morning musings...Any thoughts?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook~ April 27, 2009

For Today April 27, 2009...

Outside my window beautiful green grass, flowering trees, daffodils drooping to make way for more of God's amazing flowers, breezy and sunny...

I am thinking what a peaceful day so far and how good it is to hear from friends...

From the learning rooms we started The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading..Ellie is loving it and now she wants to know when we are going to start learning how to write...now that daddy has a new job maybe we can buy the program we want...

I am thankful for God's providence...for His grace He has bestowed on us with the blessing of my husband's new job that he started today...he was only laid off for 12 weeks, we know of many who have been laid off for 6 months and longer...

From the kitchen tomato basil chicken breasts, little red potatoes, broccoli and maybe some brownies...

I am wearing a pink shirt, capris and barefeet...

I am reading a couple juicing and fasting books, also Created To Be His Helpmeet...

I am hoping to create a peaceful and relaxing enviroment for my husband to come home to this evening/next several weeks...

I am creating organization with my digital pictures on my computer...

I am praying for a peaceful transition as daddy starts working again...

Around the house laundry to hang up outside and children resting quietly...

One of my favorite things was having my husband home for 12 weeks...

A few plans for the rest of the week buying vermiculite, compost and peat moss, Mikah has an eye test/appointment tomorrow and the sleep clinic will be calling to set-up a time for his sleep study, cleaning out the kid's old clothes, just trying to get back into a new groove and schedule...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

My first Square Foot Gardening box. I will post more pictures as it comes along...

For more Simple Woman Daybooks visit http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beautiful Words

Philippians 3:7-16

7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ear tubes, Sleep & Noses

First I have to comment on the Oh So Gorgeous Day!! Isn't God so fabulous to allow us a little sunshine :)

Today Mikah had a follow-up to a follow-up to a follow-up to his ear tube/ptosis surgery from January of 2008. Each time we meet with his ENT doctor I like him more. He came off really bad the first time I met him and the second time. Maybe it is the location...we have been seeing him in Westerville now instead of the main Children's campus. It is a much calmer, quieter atmosphere. But I digress...

Ear Tubes: Mikah's right ear tube is still tucked neatly in his eardrum working it's little magic of draining junk. His left ear tube is (or was at 11:30am) laying comfortably inside Mikah's ear canal waiting to fall out without anyone noticing and disappearing into the vacuum cleaner the next it is in operation. His ear canals have grown to the point though that the doctor did not need to use his ultra fancy high powered microscope to look in Little Man's ears. This is a good thing.

What do you do about that?? We wondered the same thing. I guess we just wait and see if it matters. If we start to think he is having trouble hearing or if it becomes infected (he has to date never had an ear infection, the tubes were because he couldn't pass a hearing test) than we will explore the possibility of replacing the ear tube. For now we wait.

Sleep: Or should I say lack?... Okay, I am joking...sort of... Most of you know Mikah has never slept well, except when he was first born and we had trouble waking him. I guess then he slept well, a little too well. (Digressing again...) His ENT took one look in his throat this morning and immediately asked us how his sleeping was. We both mumbled and stumbled and basically came up with Ehhh...not too good. Actually it is better than it was which isn't saying much. Some nights you have to listen really close to hear him breathing and other nights you have to put the pillow over your head or just give up and get up (and the credit at this point should go to my wonderful husband, I love you sweetie :) ). The doc said they "grade" tonsils on a scale of 1-4(maybe 5) and Mikah's are a high 3. In a normal relaxed awake state they touch his uvula, the thing that hangs down in the back of your throat. How annoying! He is pretty sure that Mikah must have obstructive sleep apnea and has ordered a sleep study. If he does, the doc may want to remove his tonsils and adenoids to see if it helps...This is something that was brought up last year and was the last worry or test on the long growing list. SO it is not exactly a new idea just not one we could "deal" with at the time. Now is the time and I am surprisingly at peace with the whole thing. Last year I definitely was not peaceful when thinking about it.

Noses: Mikah's is gifting us with LOTS of thick nasty, yellowish-greenish junk. Speaking of sleep, that is not something he did last night. Please pray he is able to fight it and it doesn't become nastier, like chest nasty.

That's all for now. I am going to wake our Little Man now and we are going to enjoy a nice Starner Style walk!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009



We are so excited!!! It was beautiful to see. I wish everyone one of you could have been witness to this miracle! He did 5 perfect, patterning like swipes with his hands and feet on his belly, on the carpeted living room floor, head not all the way up but not all the way down like normal :) All this to get his drum. I was laying on the floor, on my belly right beside him (with Ellie sitting on my back, it appeared to be a team effort) and I just kept inching his drum away little bits at a time and he went after it. He was a little man on a mission and he succeeded!! He won!!

That is definitely what we call a VICTORY!!!

Mikah is really doing fabulous. He was "sick" twice this winter and conquered both colds without having to see his ped and receive antibiotics. He did take a little longer than Ellie would have to get over them but HE GOT OVER THEM ALL BY HIMSELF.

He has been on a totally blended vegan almost all raw diet since September and seems to be doing wonderfully. He is not doing much of anything with oral eating but we are happy nonetheless. Compared to last year he is thriving! I never understood that word until Mikah was born. There is a huge difference between living and thriving. And he is thriving.

Since Dave lost his job our whole daily schedule and home program have kind of flown out the window, odd since I thought that daddy being home would help and make it easier to accomplish all of our scheduled tasks...however we are enjoying the time we have all had together. It is fun having breakfast together in the mornings and daddy has definitely had more playtime with both Ellie and Mikah individually. We have slowly been able to tackle little jobs around the house that have been hanging around and we have had more time together just to talk about life.

The week Dave lost his job we had actually been planning on submitting our paperwork to the Institutes for a Home Consultation with tentative plans to return to the Institutes in March or April and take Mikah with us to begin their Aspirant Program. When Dave lost his job all spending was immediately put on hold indefinitely, including Mikah's program. Since then we have received a couple miracles from God, financially, a generous gift from friends and other financial blessings that can only be attributed to the Handiwork of God. Because of these blessings it looks like we will be able to proceed with working with the Institutes more closely on Mikah's program and not necessarily have to wait until God opens the door to a new job.

On the topic of a new job...to help your prayers be more specific, Dave has several leads right now. He has actually had an interview every other week that he has been laid off which is huge in his field of work. Many others he knows have been laid off longer and have not had one interview. He has four different companies that could make an offer any day. He has an interview the end of this week and is scheduling a second interview with a firm for this week or next. Please pray for God's leading and wisdom. That He would direct our paths and make it abundantly clear where Dave is supposed to go for that next position.

I will try to get video of Mikah crawling to post for all his friends to watch :)

Have a blessed day!!! And thank you to all of our wonderful helpers and friends and prayer warriors!! Without your servant hands and hearts we would have had to wait a lot longer to see Mikah move so beautifully.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Praying for Stellan

A fellow blogger friend told me about this family and their 5 month baby. I have been following their story and thought some of you might be interested in praying for Stellan too.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook~ April 6, 2009

FOR TODAY April 6, 2009...

Outside my window God's creation is dripping with the fresh rain from last night, the grass seems to be greener every time I glance outside...

I am thinking that today will be a blessing...

I am thankful for God's peace that surpasseth all understanding, that guards my heart and mind...

From the learning rooms we are in need of a makeover, a do-over...

From the kitchen hmmm, I don't know, I forgot to look at the menu on my way in to the office...

I am wearing my pajamas...

I am creating a life that trusts God in all ways...or at least that is my goal...

I am going to stay home today...

I am reading Created to be His Helpmeet, the book of 1 Samuel and Luke in my Life Application Study Bible...

I am hoping to finish decluttering the office this week...

Around the house all is still quiet...

One of my favorite things spending quiet time with my husband...

A few plans for the rest of the week: Mikah's early intervention teacher is supposed to come, I would like to find a pattern for a simple jean skirt, creating a new menu, a couple interviews for my husband :) ...

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
We made a wonderful discovery during Ellie's birthday party...Mikah LOVES balloons!!
For more Simple Woman Daybooks visit http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Maple Syrup Recipe

We have a problem in our house every Saturday and Sunday morning...Pancakes!! Daddy and Ellie make a stack of Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes every weekend and the extras go in the freezer for a lazy morning when mommy can't get her body to cooperate with her head and get up on time :)

Along with these pancakes we of course need syrup. Has anyone priced decent yummy maple syrup recently?!? I know prices overall are going up and this is reflected in the syrup aisle. Again in my effort to maintain a frugal household I thought, "Why can't I make the syrup?". I think this thought first took root in my brain as I was watching our maple tree drip sap. It was running with so much sap that the branches had sap "icicles". It was amazing and I am kicking myself for not getting a picture. The squirrels and birds would just sit on the branches and nibble away. I joked with a friend about tapping the tree and setting up a big pot over a fire in the front yard to boil down our own maple syrup...Watch out, I just might try it next year :)

Second best to tapping the tree is the recipe I found for Maple Syrup. It is super easy, takes all of 5 minutes to make and has passed the Starner taste test. Let me know what you think.

Maple Syrup

Combine in saucepan:
1 3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat stirring often, cover and cook 1 minute. (I have found you need to play around with how long to cook it, this depends on how thick or thin you prefer you syrup)Cool slightly.
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t maple flavoring
Cover saucepan for a few minutes as syrup cooks to melt down crystals; helps prevent syrup from crystallizing later in storage. Allow to cool and store in covered container in refrigerator.

From the Starner house to yours. Enjoy!


I have come to really enjoy and appreciate the many varieties of soup during this time of Dave transitioning to a new job. We have found it to be an extremely healthful and frugal way to stretch our food supply and our balance in the checking account.

Here is one we sampled recently that all of us thoroughly enjoyed. Even the other non-soup loving individuals in the house :)

Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lb bulk sausage (I actually bought a smoked sausage and diced it, it was delicious)
1 cup lentils
1 medium onion
3-4 cloves of garlic, grated
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 potato (we were out of white potatoes so I used a sweet potato, highly recommended)
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
3-4 sprigs thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed, leaves shredded

Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat with one turn of the pot of EVOO. Once hot, add the sausage and saute for 3-4 minutes, breaking into small pieces as it cooks and browns.
While sausage is browning, pour lentils out and sift thru for small stones.
To the browned sausage, add onion, garlic, potato, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes.
Add the stock and 2 cups of water, turn the heat up to high and bring to a bubble. Add the lentils and the kale. Stir until the kale wilts in then turn heat down to medium and simmer 30-45 minutes until lentils are tender.

Next time we have this soup I am going to try it as a vegan dish. I think it will be just as lovely and filling.

Post your comments and let me know if you and your family enjoy this for a meal. Let me know any of your personal alterations.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Homebirth Questionnare

I usually ignore the questionnares on Facebook but this one was on Homebirth. I couldn't resist.

For Ellie's birth...homebirth #1....
1. What was your due date? Feb. 25,2005
2. When was your baby born? Feb. 25,2005
3. Did you know from the beginning that you would birth at home? No
4. Were you born at home? No
5. Was your home birth a VBAC? No
6. Midwife or UC (unassisted childbirth)? 2 Midwives and an Apprentice
7. If assisted, how long did you wait before calling your midwife? My husband called them after I had been having contractions for about 3-4 hours, he also waited until a more reasonable hour of the morning, I think neither of us was really convinced I was in labor
8. Was there a Doula present? No
9. Did you have any cravings? Throughout my pregnancy I craved quesadillas like a mad women During labor? No
10. Did you have an ultrasound? Yes at 8 weeks
11. Did you have other children at the birth? No
12. Was it a water birth? No. I wanted it it to be and I actually labored in the tub for a really long time. I couldn't get a good position for pushing in the tub though
13. How long was your labor? 18 hours
14. Red raspberry leaf tea? yes
15. What did you eat during labor? A Subway club sub and juice boxes, I also baked a birthday cake for the baby, we ate that when she was 24 hours old
16. What room did you give birth in? The bedroom
17. How big was your baby? 7 lbs 5 oz
18. What did you name your baby? Eliana Grace
19. What did you do with your placenta? Looked at it, it was heart shaped and then the midwives got rid of it
20. How old were you when your child was born? ?? I am too old to figure that out :)
21. What was your favorite part of pregnancy? the whole thing!! the back rubs and yoga class, I really enjoyed the actual giving birth part too
22. First thing you did after your baby was born? passed out on the midwives :)
23. How old is your baby today? 4 years old
24. Is your child still nursing? no

For Mikah's birth...homebirth #2...
1. What was your due date? Feb. 6 2007
2. When was your baby born? Jan. 23, 2007
3. Did you know from the beginning that you would birth at home? Yes
4.We're you born at home? No
5. Was your home birth a VBAC? No
6. Midwife or UC (unassisted childbirth)? 2 Midwives and 1 Apprentice
7. If assisted, how long did you wait before calling your midwife? About 1/2 hour, I went immediately into transition and had Mikah 3 hours after labor started, there was no honeymoon phase :)
8. Was there a Doula present?No
9. Did you have any cravings? Yes, I am too embarassed to say what it was... During labor? No
10. Did you have an ultrasound? Yes, at 7 weeks. I was having nightmares that the baby had dies. We found out there had been twins and now there was only one baby.
11. Did you have other children at the birth? No, my grandmother picked Ellie up 30 minutes before Mikah was born
12. Was it a water birth? No, I didn't want to get in the tub
13. How long was your labor? 3 hours
14. Red raspberry leaf tea? yes
15. What did you eat during labor? Nothing.
16. What room did you give birth in? the bedroom
17. How big was your baby? 6 lbs 8 oz
18. What did you name your baby? Mikah Alexander
19. What did you do with your placenta? The midwives took it
20. How old were you when your child was born? still too old (all right, and lazy) to figure it out
21. What was your favorite part of pregnancy? All my talks with God during my pregnancy with Mikah
22. First thing you did after your baby was born? Eat!
23. How old is your baby today? 2 years old
24. Is your child still nursing? no

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Frugal Recipe

Okay, so my brother of all people recently started a blog. On his blog he has vowed to post yummy recipes and such that his family enjoys so that others can share in their life. I thought this sounded like fun so the big sister is now going to copy her little brother :)

I recently read the Duggars new book and loved it. They share many frugal recipes and one that I have actually tried is their recipe for laundry detergent. It works out to between 3 and 4 CENTS a load!! Gotta love that! We started using it last week and I think the batch might just last us a year :) Seriously it made a 5 gallon bucket worth of laundry detergent and there are only 4 of us...

A friend of mine suggested this website, http://www.soapsgonebuy.com/ for buying the soaps you need. They shipped out the soaps very quickly and the price seemed reasonable.

Liquid Laundry Soap

1 bar grated Fels Naptha soap
5 gallon bucket
1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
4 1/2 gallons water

Put grated Fels Naptha in saucepan and cover with water. Heat on low until dissolved, this takes a while. Just be patient. Fill bucket with hot water and add soap. (I suggest adding the water first and then the soap...I did it the other way and I have never seen so many bubbles) Stir to combine. Add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup borax and mix well. As it cools, it will thicken. If mixture becomes too thick, add hot water to thin it to desired consistency. Mine did become too thick and I heated some water in my tea kettle and added a little bit at a time. I worked great. May be used immediately. Mix well before each use. Use 1/2(normal) to 1 cup per load (heavy). Cost per load .04.

I also added some glass beads(marbles would work too) to help keep the soap mixed well.


Simple Woman's Daybook~ March 30th

For Today...

Outside my window... Beautiful blue skies and gorgeous sunshine...slightly deceptive looking, when you open the door there is still a bit a chill in the air...

I am thinking... of how to better arrange our office...what to remove to make the place a more efficient and calm working area...

From the learning rooms... nothing today...they are closed down at the moment :)

I am thankful for... all of God's amazing and unwarranted blessings...for His wonderful grace in this time of unemployment...how His peace is enough and in our weakness He truly is strong...

From the kitchen... rotisserie chicken, potatoes, broccoli...

I am wearing... jeans, cotton tee...

I am reading... the books of Deuteronomy and Luke in my life application study Bible and Our Quiver Full...

I am hoping... to have a peaceful rest of the day with my family...

I am creating... a useful office space...hopefully :)

I am hearing... my daughter and husband chatting and Mikah chiming in every so often...

Around the house... a just swept and mopped floor in the kitchen... a simple pleasure...

One of my favorite things... laughing with my children...

A few plans for the rest of the week... the usual cleaning, laundry, restarting Mikah's program, hopefully Dave will have a second interview...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Two of mommy's favorite people...It is so hard to get the both to cooperate at the same moment...

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook~February 9th


Outside my window...the snow is melting and our yard is a muddy mess.

I am thinking...of my husband and his back pain.

I am thankful for...my daughter's singing her songs she has learned at AWANA. She is worshiping God with her songs and doesn't even know it yet.

From the learning rooms...we are taking the day off.

From the kitchen...noodles, hamburger, sauce and cheese. Yummy!

I am wearing...jeans and a t-shirt.

I am creating...a plan.

I am going...no where else. I have already been to the chiropractor to drop my husband off and to the library and back to the chiropractor to get my husband and home. That is enough traveling for one day for me.

I am reading...The Centurion's Wife and A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning.

I am hoping...the my husband hears from the company he interviewed with last week and receives a call for another interview.

I am hearing...the faint sounds of a Pooh Bear movie and my son chattering.

Around the house...there is trash to take out, floors to sweep and toys to be picked up.

One of my favorite things...hearing my son laugh and seeing his adorable smile.

A few plans for the rest of the week: finish reading Matthew, fill out more financial help papers, grocery shopping...

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Just reminiscing...This is my son, Mikah Alexander, a few hours after he was born. How precious.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook~February 2nd


Outside my window... the sun is shining and the trees are casting shadows on the snow.

I am thinking... of my husband, his search for new job and wondering what will happen in the in between time.

I am thankful for... all that God has blessed us with and the trust and peace we can find in Him and His promises. And the interview my husband has tomorrow. God's mercy and grace is overwhelming.

From the learning rooms... we are continuing our reading program and I am halfway through The Charlotte Mason Companion.

From the kitchen... we will be making Maple Syrup and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

I am wearing... a green cable kniw short sleeve sweater and jeans. My feet are cold, I should really put some socks on.

I am creating... peace and order in our house through the use of my new schedule.

I am going... to stay home as much as possible, it is still too cold outside for me.

I am reading... A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola and The Centurion's Wife by Janette Oke.

I am hoping... that my husband and I will strengthen our relationship together and with God through this time of uncertainty.

I am hearing... the hum of the computer, the furnace and my son playing happily beside me.

Around the house...there are dishes to wash, a fish tank to take down and clean and a warm inviting fire to relax by during quiet time.

One of my favorite things... knowing that there are so many wonderful friends praying for our safety and well being during this loss of a job.

A few plans for the rest of the week: calling to find funding for Mikah and his medicines and tube feeding supplies and any other financial help he qualifies for and enjoying the quiet moments with my husband.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Our giant pine tree during the winter snows last week. The picture does not do it justice. It was as if it was bowing down to our Majestic Creator.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Simple Devotion~January 28th Entry

For Today...
Dear Lord,I bring you my shortcomings...my fears and my worries for my family, my children...all the things I want to do more of with them, the things I feel I am failing at..Please help me to trust that when I am weak, You are made strong in my weakness.
I bring you my worship and praise...for the beauty of Your creation. For each individual snowflake that is like no other. For the precious moments with my children...
I bring you my prayer...Lift me up out of this pit and plant my feet upon Your rock. I pray for joy.
You spoke to me...through Your word today...
(Join us...more information found here)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blogger friend school Assignment #118 - All You Add Is Love

I found this on another blog and thought it was so cute...

Assignment #118 - All You Add Is Love (Purina Dog Chow)

Memory Verse: Psalms 127:3 (New Living Translation)
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

Intro: This week we continue with shaking things up a bit. Children are often so pure in what they say. There is no sugar coating it, they just say it as they see it. Their thoughts can make us laugh, touch our hearts and open our eyes.

Assignment: This week are going to do an “Interview With Mom” and post it to your blog. There are a list of questions below to interview your children with. Feel free to add your own questions or remove any question you don’t want to use. You will then ask your children the questions and post the answers that they give you.

Ellie age 3~ I love you

Ellie age 3~ when I ask you to color with me

Ellie age 3~ I don't remember

Ellie age 3~ when I say funny words

Ellie age 3~ 6

Ellie age 3~ kind of as tall as up to daddy

Ellie age 3~ color

Ellie age 3~ helping me

Ellie age 3~ spaghetti

Ellie age 3~ you always say the love you words

Monday, January 26, 2009


Mikah is saying CAR!!! It is official. Dave and I heard him say it several times. Ellie heard him say it. My grandparents heard him say it.

I am so proud! I am so excited! What a good word for a little boy to say!

This is his Superman car that his Great Aunt Faye bought him for Christmas. I think this car is what prompted his use of the word. He LOVES this car even though Dave and I thought for sure it would be too "old" of a toy for him.

Thanks Aunt Faye!!

Mikah's other favorite cars.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Good Monday morning friends! I am starting something new called the Simple Woman's Daybook...

FOR TODAY January 26, 2009...

Outside my window the snow is peacefully covering the grass and trees...

I am thinking how this week is another chance to start over...

I am thankful for my strong, amazing husband...

From the learning rooms I am exploring different homeschooling styles, looking mostly at Classical and Charlotte Mason right now...

From the kitchen we baked Southern Chocolate Chip cookies this weekend and I was again reminded that I need to find a yummy vegan recipe so Mikah can join in the fun...

I am wearing a comfy maroon and cream sweater ...

I am creating post-its with verses to post around the house to remind me of God's almighty power in my life...

I am going into my children's rooms after this post...

I am reading The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home and A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning...

I am hoping that Mikah's mask arrive today...

I am hearing the wonderful sound of silence...

Around the house the dogs are peacefully sleeping and the fire is warming the Florida room...

One of my favorite things: a cozy blanket, a good book and a mug of hot cocoa...

A few plans for the rest of the week: fill out Mikah's Home Consult forms and mail them, declutter the office and send a thank you card to my grandparents

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

We love you Gary.


Friday, January 23, 2009


At 7:30 am two years ago Mikah was born in dramatic fashion in our bedroom. Immediately it became apparent that there would be something different with this little guy. He just didn't want to start breathing as quickly as a baby should. As I watched the umbilical cord still pulsing and the midwives suctioning and bagging him it seemed surreal. As if everything was moving in slow motion and I was dreaming. Then I was jolted out of my revery by Nina, one of my midwives telling me, "He needs to know his mommy is here. Let him know you are here." Instinctively I placed my hand on his tiny chest and whispered in his ear how we much we had all been waiting for him and how we were so excited to meet him and how we loved him so much. In the few seconds it took for those words to come out of my mouth he took his first deep breath. We cut the umbilical cord and the midwives placed him on my bare chest and covered us with many warmed blankets. So began the love of snuggling Mikah and I have together.

For a long time after that and still today at times, when he wasn't breathing right or needed calmed all I had to do was place my hand on his little chest and it was as if some great peace overtook him. I think that is kind of how I feel sometimes when the world just seems to be too big for me with all the troubles and trials we have gone through the past two years, just when I feel like or do start screaming at God about how it isn't fair and I didn't sign-up for it...His peace will overtake me, as if His big hand is holding me, pulling me out of my self misery and despair. Or maybe He is just covering my mouth telling me to shut-up and get over myself :)

I received an email today from Proverbs 31 Ministries that really touched my heart deeply. I am not sure if I am allowed to copy and paste so I will leave a link. It is titled When Your Worst Fears are Realized. The author, a mom and wife, always had a fear that she would have a child with a birth defect...hmmmm...is that just a coincidence on Mikah's birthday? I never even considered or feared having a child with special needs. I think I thought that it just doesn't happen to my family...Some of you know how stupid that sounds since you know my own sister was born with a birth defect!! Hello, is anybody home in there?!?! I guess I don't consider her as having special needs anymore because God was amazingly GOOD to her. She has done everything the doctors always said she wouldn't, except ride a bike. ( Although, I bet she could if she really wanted too ) :)

When it became apparent that there was something going on with Mikah that just wasn't typical, I remember telling a friend that God couldn't do that to me because I couldn't handle it. And then we got the first tests back and they were normal. I thought, "See, God wouldn't do that to me." How foolish, I am pretty sure Solomon was talking about me when he wrote many of the verses about proud fools. We later met with genetics doctors and came to find out the previous test was just a very basic test and they had much more sophisticated tests and Yes, they were 100% positive Mikah had a genetic disorder...WHAM!! It was like a blow to the gut, even though I knew deep down that it was coming. I am not sure you can ever really be prepared for something like that. Someone telling you this child, created out of love, that you carried and took special care of and brought into this world, wasn't perfect. That he would not be capable and never should consider having his own children. That he probably wouldn't be able to go to college, might not understand high school and probably would never understand love enough to be married. I didn't bother to ask them if they thought he would be able to understand salvation.

For me one of my biggest fears is our children not being saved and not spending eternity with Jesus. Now one of my children might not understand that, which I am confident means he will spend eternity with Jesus and, yes, I am a typical human, I am upset, I want him to understand and make that decision...

It dawned on me the other day that I should never have thought this couldn't happen to me, for many different reasons, but one it that it did happen to me when I was about 9 years old. When my mom birthed my sister. Maybe not as directly or in the same way but my mom knows about all these feelings I have. She knows things I don't yet because I haven't been there. And she knows how to keep on living. She knows how it is to come out on the otherside of the valley of the shadow of death, the death of a dream of a perfect baby.

And God knows too. He is the one who created the first perfect man and watched as he became imperfect. God knows exactly how I feel and "He is who in me, IS greater than he who is in the world" trying to draw me down. I loved all the verses in the devotional today. So here goes,

"You came near when I called you, and you said, 'Do not fear.'" Lamentations 3:57

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1b

"After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." Genesis 15:1

If you visit Marybeth's blog and read to the end of today's entry you will read her happy ending. Her son is twelve and God has healed him. I pray that ten years from today I can say the same thing...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some Mothers Get Babies with Something More

I was decluttering my saved documents and came across this article. I thought it worth sharing.

Some Mothers Get Babies with Something More
By Lori Borgman Jul 25, 2008

Expectant mothers waiting for a newborn's arrival say they don't care what sex the baby is. They just want their infant to have 10 fingers and 10 toes. Mothers lie.

Every mother wants so much more. She wants a perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, button nose, beautiful eyes and satin skin. She wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for being flat-out ugly.

She wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first steps right on schedule (according to the baby development chart on Page 57, column two). Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and fire neurons by the billions. She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire ballet class. Call it greed if you want, but a mother wants what a mother wants.

Maybe you're one who got a baby with a condition you couldn't pronounce, a spine that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome or a palate that didn't close. The doctor's words took your breath away. It was just like the time at recess in the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming and it knocked the wind right out of you.

Some of you left the hospital with a healthy bundle, then, months, even years later, took him in for a routine visit, or scheduled her for a well check, and crashed head first into a brick wall as you bore the brunt of devastating news. It didn't seem possible. That didn't run in your family. Could this really be happening in your lifetime?

I watch the Olympics for the sheer thrill of seeing finely sculpted bodies. It's not a lust thing; it's a wondrous thing. They appear as specimens without flaw -- muscles, strength and coordination all working in perfect harmony. Then an athlete walks over to a tote bag, rustles through the contents and pulls out an inhaler.

There's no such thing as a perfect body. Everybody will bear something at some time or another. Maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes, or maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor, therapy or surgery. Mothers of children with disabilities live the limitations with them.

Frankly, I don't know how you do it. Sometimes you mothers scare me. How you lift that kid in and out of the wheelchair 20 times a day. How you monitor tests, track medications and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred specialists yammering in your ear.

I wonder how you endure the clich├ęs and the platitudes, the well-intentioned souls explaining how God is at work when you've occasionally questioned if God is on strike. I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy columns like this one -- saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you're ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer for this, you didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, "Choose me, God. Choose me! I've got what it takes."

You're a woman who doesn't have time to step back and put things in perspective, so let me do it for you. From where I sit, you're way ahead of the pack. You've developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box in July, counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark mule.

You are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability. You're a neighbor, a friend, a woman I pass at church and my sister-in-law. You're a wonder.

Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. You can visit her at www.loriborgman.com.

This article was reprinted with Ms. Borgman’s permission