This has been some kind of week.

Motherhood, mothering, the love of a mother, a mother's joy, a mother's loss, a mother's pain, a mother's acceptance. . . .a mother's tears. . . .

My husband's grandmother passed away on Sunday. The family is grieving, but she was ready to see our Saviour face-to-face.

My mother-in-law is heart-broken . . .her Mommy gone, there with her when she drew her last breath.

Grandma was Mama to 9 children, and had a great number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The matriarch. . .great memories, not-so-good memories, laughter, tears, time spent, giving, sharing . . .

Then, on Tuesday I found out that someone dear to me miscarried. I know what she's facing. That pain can bubble up from no where, seemingly out of the blue, even when you thought you were past it.

She has a strong faith in our God. Her words: "The part that makes this the most difficult is not knowing why, but I know not knowing is a part of God's plan for me in trusting Him." Determined to trust the One who knows, realizing He is more than capable of working things out.

A mother's prayers, a mother's faith, a mother's heart, a mother's need for God . . .

So I'm weighing it all, praying. Knowing the loss of a grandmother--twice, knowing the loss of a baby without all of the answers. . .

And here I sit, in the midst of it all, while life kicks and stretches and pulls and turns in my womb . . . contractions here and there. . .wondering so many things.

Mixed emotions: pain, joy, anticipation, sadness, uneasiness, lots of prayer, sleepless nights, wonder, amazement, more prayer, in awe of motherhood and all it brings.

In prayer for mothers and the things we face:
May God help us in times of distress,
and comfort us in
times of pain. May we mothers be thankful for every
single day we are here with our children,
no matter how
many or how long. Above all, may we trust in Him.
In Jesus' Name,

Motherhood: Sometimes We Weep

by on Thursday, February 28, 2013
This has been some kind of week. Motherhood, mothering, the love of a mother, a mother's joy, a mother's loss, a mother's p...

In my life this week…
    My dear husband hasn't been feeling well and my boys are getting over colds, too. I mean no harm, but I'm hoping this is a "gender specific" cold because I just don't want to be sick again while pregnant! Husband has been SUPER busy at work and it isn't without its consequences. Super busy + not well = one tired man. Yesterday, he slept for 11 hours, poor baby!
    The day before yesterday, my baby boy decided he'd wake up at 3:00 am so I could wipe his nose and help him clear his cough. Then, after that, he wanted to play and sing! LOL Although I was so tired, I tried to treasure that moment. And actually later it was kind of funny. I took him to our spare room to lie down with me there, to try to keep him from waking everyone up. He was in rare form. He looked at me in the wee hours of the morning and touched my nose with his little finger and declared loudly, "Nahs! Nahs!" LOL Finally, he drifted off around 4:15 am or so, only to wake up around 6:30 am. Needless to say, Mommy took a much need nap that day! Baby in the womb is doing his thing--making the belly big and the back ache and putting pressure everywhere. I'm at 35 weeks and dilated 1cm. and I'm having practice contractions (Braxton-Hicks). The time is drawing near and I am getting excited to see him!
In our homeschool this week…
    We finally made it to our 100th day of school!!!
    The kids were super excited. I had a few fun things planned for them. We all danced for 100 seconds--even my little guy joined in! Then the kids jumped 100 times and then we tried to see if everyone could be quiet for 100 seconds. My sonny-boy (5yrs) only made it 42 seconds! LOL
    We wore hats in honor of this special day:
    We also had a special "trail mix" snack, made of 10 pieces of 10 different items. I asked the kids if they could eat 100 things. They were a little unsure until I showed them what it was:
    10 pieces of each: Apple Jacks, pretzels, marshmallows,
    raisins, M&Ms, Smarties, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips
    white chocolate chips and popcorn
    Then I had them fill out a couple of worksheets about having or not having 100 things, what they would do with $100, or how they would look in 100 years. Here are some of my favorite lines:
    "If I had $100, I would go to Disney World in Florida." (9yr old)
    "In 100 years, I hope to be petting a lion in the forest. I would teach the lion not to kill." (5yr old)
    "In 100 years, I hope to be friends with a Siberian tiger." (8yr old)
    "I wish to own 100 octopuses, but I'm glad I do not own 100 stink bugs!" (5yr. old)
    We also made a banner for our special day:
    100 Days Smarter
I am inspired by…
    The beauty of motherhood.
    Sometimes our culture makes being a mom out to be some "woe is me" experience that is an unbearable burden. I thank God that He is molding me and shaping me and helping me to rid my mind of that kind of thinking. Over my 10 years of mothering, I have grown in many ways because God has used these precious blessings to show me something different. I am NOT perfect and I certainly have more growing to do. I'm just thankful that I'm not where I used to be.
My favorite thing this week was…
    Thursday afternoon I took an hour and a half long nap. I really need that and I'm thinking that I might need to take a few more each week until the baby arrives.
Questions/thoughts I have…
    Still mulling over what activities the kids will do for Holy Week (Palm Sunday, Good Friday) and Easter.
    Also wondering how we'll implement school this time around with a new baby. Last baby, it was our 1st year of homeschooling and we took a month off--it was also December and so that flowed nicely into all of the Holidays. Just wondering what things will change and what things will remain the same.
Things I’m working on…
    Finishing up my "nesting" to-do list. I've gotten the boys' room organized and baby clothes sorted and put away. Just a few more things to do. I'm hoping to start on my spring homeschool portfolio review forms soon so that I'm not overwhelmed by trying to complete them in the coming months.
I’m reading…
    A lot of books on breastfeeding. I need advice and encouragement. 
    You may think, "WHAT?!!? This is your 5th baby!" It's a LONG story. . .and I haven't breastfed in years, but I want to and I'm praying. If any sisters in Christ want to help pray with me, please join in.
I’m cooking…
    Not much, thanks to my sweet husband. He's been lightening my load by getting dinner on his way home from work. Sometimes he'll order out or take us out. It's not every day but trust me, it helps so much.
I’m grateful for…
    Access to my Heavenly Father. So grateful I serve a God I can approach at any time.
I’m praying for…
    Health and strength.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
When I laid him down, he had socks on
and both blankets covering him up!

We Made It--100 Days!!

by on Friday, February 22, 2013
In my life this week… My dear husband hasn't been feeling well and my boys are getting over colds, too. I mean no harm, but I'm ...

We've been having fun the past few days around the No Idle Bread household!

Last week my family and I celebrated Valentine's Day. (You can read here about the ways God changed my heart and how my husband I celebrate each year.)

My children enjoyed doing a Scripture countdown to Valentine's Day:

A few years ago, we started a tradition of my husband getting our daughters a Valentine's treat, while I do the same for our sons. This year, my husband decided to take our oldest son to get a treat for us ladies, as well. . .it was so cute! He chose Fun Dips (candy) for the girls, and a bag of Fritos for me! He knew mama was craving some chips! So, my girls wrote out some lovely thank-you notes for their dad and brother.

My babes on Valentine's Day

My "goofy" babes on Valentine's Day

I made a new yummy dessert: Strawberry Fudge! You can check out the original recipe below, but I'll tell you now, it's super easy!
You need:
1 can of strawberry frosting
1 bag of white chocolate chips.

Melt the chocolate (double-boiler or microwave) and add the frosting and mix together well.
Spray a 9x9 inch pan with cooking spray and then spread the frosting/chocolate mixture evenly in the pan.
Chill in the 'fridge for 30 minutes and then cut into squares or heart shapes!

Husband took us all out to dinner. Every restaurant near us was SUPER crowded and there was no way our hungry family of 6 wanted to wait in long lines. We looked across the street from the restaurant we had considered and there was a different restaurant, its parking lot pretty empty except a few cars here or there.
So, do you want to know where we went? To good ol', empty-parking-lot-no-wait Bob Evans!! And guess what?? The kids ate free that night--what a blessing!

After getting home that night and getting the little ones into bed, I had some birthday decorating to do! The day after Valentine's Day is my youngest daughter's birthday!!!

I made cupcakes for her special day:
Cupcake balloons
My baby girl (TM) is 8 years old!!!
Since we don't have school on birthdays,
she declared it was a pajama day!
We celebrated TM's day by having a game day. We played Sorry, Simon Says, Hot & Cold, played the Wii, had a pillow fight, and we even did a limbo line once my husband came home. We used the broom and it was a lot of fun! There were many laughs all around. Even the baby tried to limbo!! LOL

Next up on our fun list is the 100th day of school! It looks like we'll make 100 days this Friday!!!

{I'm thanking God for the little, simple things in life that I treasure most!}
God bless you!

A Bit of Fun!

by on Tuesday, February 19, 2013
We've been having fun the past few days around the No Idle Bread household! Last week my family and I celebrated Valentine's Da...

A beautiful love song for married couples. . .so touching and sincerely sweet. The words are very deeply heartfelt.
To my Husband: I love you and I thank God for your love, leadership, guidance, and provision. My heart swells and overflows with joy because of you. It's our God, you and me until the end.
". . . a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12b

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A Sweet Love Song

by on Monday, February 11, 2013
A beautiful love song for married couples. . .so touching and sincerely sweet. The words are very deeply heartfelt.   To my Husband: I lo...

In my life this week…
    Two doctor's appointments for the little one in the womb this week. Things are well, praise God! My placenta has moved far away from my cervix, so that's good news. And they think the baby currently weighs 5lb 7oz (approximately), so we'll see what that will all add up to in the end!
    I've been having some fun flirting with my husband, on purpose. He's had a bit of a stressful week at work and the flirting has helped to lift my husband's mood. You can read about it HERE.
In our homeschool this week…
    My kiddos are putting in hard work!! They are counting down to the 100th day of school, so they haven't been so pleased with the doctor's interruptions this week. We have 8 more school days to go before our 100th day celebration!!
    The kids are still having a lot of fun studying England during the Middle Ages. The knights, the conquests, the battles, the castles, kings and queens--they are just taking it all in! Here are some of the books that we're reading during this unit:
    The Apple and the Arrow
    A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver
    Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess
    We've been doing a Scripture count down to Valentine's Day. Each day this month, we've read a Scripture about love. I made one of these:
    Our day for art and music was a busy one (re: doc's appt.), so I found a quick (and highly successful!) painting project. My kids painted pictures using Q-tips. It turned out great and was easy, too. Here are the paintings my daughters did:
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
    Let your kids make sound effects to accompany your read alouds!!!! (Why didn't I think of this before?!?!)
    Auditory learning, for the most part, is not my children's first preference. They would rather see it or read it for themselves. Even so, I still would like to train their ears just a bit so that they improve in this area, so I do this with read-alouds. Any way, during the course of our read-aloud this week,  I thought, "Why not let them make sound effects?!" That was it! Everyone perked up, waiting to be the next to make a sound. This helped them pay attention to what was going on. (In other words, no more glassy-eyed-I'm-so-bored looks!)
I am inspired by…
    Mothers who lovingly embrace motherhood, no matter what season of mothering they find themselves in.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
    A dear friend of mine, who is also expecting, met me at the doctor's office for a clothing swap. I gave her back some maternity clothes that she had given to me last year. I am much further along than she is and there were many pieces that I could no longer wear--meaning my belly was just completely busting out of those shirts! LOL We've done this for the last 6 years or so and I am blessed to have her as a friend/sister.
My favorite things this week were…
    Hearing my oldest son pray, unashamedly, from his heart.
    My youngest son wrapping his little arms around my neck to give me a hug.
What’s not working for us…
    Latin. I'm having a hard time putting it into our days. My daughter loves to learn it, but some days it just seems like there's no room. I need to correct this somehow. Any suggestions???
Questions/thoughts I have…
    Easter is coming early this year. . . Mmm. . .I need some plans.
Things I’m working on…
    Planning for my daughter's 8th birthday. She's born the day after Valentine's Day. I'm thinking I can make something like this for her, using her (current) favorite colors of pink, purple, orange and green:
I’m grateful for…
    Every day.
I’m praying about…
    Many things.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
God bless!

Fun with Love, Art, and History

by on Friday, February 08, 2013
In my life this week… Two doctor's appointments for the little one in the womb this week. Things are well, praise God! My placenta h...

So, I know I was M.I.A. in "blog land" last week. It is what it is sometimes, Ladies! LOL Life has been very full lately, but I certainly can't complain because God is SO GOOD! Anyway, I'm still working on showing my dear, sweet husband how I much I appreciate him, in word and in deed.

Last week, the challenge was to still express my admiration for my honey verbally, but a bit more creative. Two ideas I considered were to leave a lipstick message on the bathroom mirror and a sweet note in his car. I still have to do the lipstick message. . .every time I think about doing it, it's too late and he's already in the bathroom. (Maybe I should go do it right now!!)

The other idea would be a bit tricky since my husband is just about gone from sunrise to sunset. There's no way in the world I'd be fumbling around in the predawn hours to get a note in his truck before he leaves for work. That would certainly be too suspicious. Same thing when he gets home from work. So what's a wife to do?

Wouldn't you know, Husband's truck needed air in its tires and he decided to leave it at home: perfect opportunity!! The only thing was, he didn't drive it again until this past Saturday!! When he did, he came back home smiling and said some sweet things to me in the kitchen. :)

So moving on to this week's challenge. (Hey, I know it's Wednesday, but it's never too late to say, "I love you," right?)

This week, we are to kiss our husbands on purpose, intentionally! Physical affection is a very healthy part of a loving marriage!!! Now, I don't know about you, but my husband isn't the "kissy-smoochy" type of guy, so it would be completely awkward to lay a big smooch on his lovable lips out of no where! That doesn't mean I can't be affectionate though, but I want it to come across as genuine and natural for my marriage. Here are some ideas that are right up my husband's alley and will mean alot to him if I initiate (feel free to borrow any idea that works for you!):
  • Hand-holding
  • A gentle touch on the arm or shoulder in passing or in the course of conversation
  • A neck massage after a long day at work
  • An embrace that lingers a little longer
  • Sitting close to each other while watching TV
  • Snuggling close at bed time (we sometimes fall asleep holding hands!)
  • And of course, knowing one another (as in the Biblical sense!) {No offense here Ladies, but "IT" is certainly a wonderful gift given to us by our Heavenly Father to enjoy within the holy covering of marriage.}
  • And along that same vein, responding positively when my husband initiates intimate affection!
Okay, Ladies! I hope you will join me in being intentional in letting our husbands know that we admire them. Now, I'm off to go write my lipstick-on-the-mirror message!!
God bless.

"His mouth is most sweet,
Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved,
And this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!"
-Song of Solomon 5:16
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