Saturday, June 30, 2007


We will be gone for a few days. Post pictures when we get back. Enjoy your weekend and the 4th of July. Use the day to remember God's Providence in the creation of this great nation. He was the reason the first settlers came to this country. We should be thankful to live in a country where we are free to worship the Lord, so think upon that as you are enjoying the day off!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Trusting God With Your Fertility- Part 1

Brianna, this series of posts is for you.

This subject is something that I talked about alot a few years ago, but the Lord basically gave me a few years of living it without talking much about it except to those others that I had it in common with. By "it" I mean what is now called being "Quiverfull". It means that Jeromy and I don't use birth control of any kind and are trusting the Lord to plan our family the way He sees fit, whether we have 3 children or 20. It means that we trust that only the Lord knows our future- where we will live, how much money we will have, where Jeromy will work, our physical health, so only He can plan how our family should look.

I was asked to share how we came to this belief, and with much forethought, that is the purpose of this series of posts.

Jeromy and I did not come to this belief easily. It wasn't something that we grew up believing or brought into our marriage with us. A little history of us will be a good foundation to this discussion and will help to see how God got us to where we are now.

I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school through 6th grade, then switched to public school. I was not saved, had never completely given my life to Christ, and didn't live a life that was pleasing to Him. I didn't make that decision until I was 22. Those years of living an unsaved life shaped my worldview and left me a pretty feministic, mainstream Christian. I had lived with a man I wasn't married to for 3 years, looked at having a child as a huge inconvenience at best, was very career focused, and didn't quite know how to mix all these things together with Christian living. A large number of churches these days are having the same struggle for identity (Biblical values vs. secular/watered-down Christianity), and I didn't receive much guidance. I did get to the point where I believed that I would one day have a family, after I established a career, and would even stay home until they went to school.

Jeromy didn't become a Christian until he was 25. He did have very rapid maturity in his Christian walk and was truly a seeker of God. He was so engrossed in the Word that I was embarrassed how much more he knew than I did, even though I had grown up hearing about the Bible. He wanted a wife and a family, but had the same feelings that I did about it. You get married, work a few years, get used to being married and then decide when you want to have a baby. We didn't know there was any other way. No one talked about God being in the equation at all. It wasn't a question of whether we should use birth control, but which one will work the best for us.

Jeromy and I got engaged when he was 30 and I was 24. We were both in college, each having at least 2 years left. No one said, "What happens if you get pregnant," or, "You shouldn't get married until you are ready to have kids." What we did get is counseling that asked us if we had decided on a method of birth control. Of course we had. I didn't want to have a baby, I just wanted to get married. I quickly went on the Pill and we got married 10 months after we had met.

Life was great, we were settling into married life when I picked up a pretty inconvenient book called, Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? by Randy Alcorn. I was on staff at the local Crisis Pregnancy Center as a counselor, and I had heard a little about the possibility but always quickly ignored it. I read the booklet in a day and knew I had a problem. The answer to that question is, YES, it can cause abortions. I am adamantly against abortion, so I had a definite problem on my hands.

The journey was about to begin.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Week Modified

I think that I was being overly drastic in my last post. Since being more aware of the problem between the kids, I have been able to do more to correct it, even admist regular life. I am still going to do the tomato staking, but instead of dropping my life to do what the kids want, they will be following me around instead. I will be making a better effort to "play" with them in order to teach them to get along better. It is crazy how a whole day can go by and I realize that I didn't interact enough with them. Since they have each other, it is easy to just send them off to play while I do my thing. I hope to make that a priority this week.

On the issue of potty training, we are going camping soon, so I think I should wait until we get back. I don't want to make a hundred trips to the bathroom with a newly potty trained 2-year-old.

I feel better with this plan for the week. We have Jeromy's parents coming to stay the following week, so I really can't let everything go this week. That is a scary proposition. We also wouldn't have any clothes to wear. Laundry doesn't care about child rearing issues! I am probably just feeling better because I am not facing potty training in the morning, but whatever the reason, things are looking more positive!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Caught Up With Life

I just can't seem to stay on top of things lately. Well, let me actually say that all I can seem to manage is the everyday minimum that it takes to run a household. Cleaning, cooking, shopping, and a mild amount of child rearing. I really hope that it is just being in the third trimester of pregnancy. I am someone that is usually really good about getting everything she wants done, done, but lately I just can't seem to get there. I have had several friends that I have wanted to call recently and chat and invite over, but I can't seem to make phone calls.

My children are a whole other topic, but something drastic will be taking place soon, hopefully. I want to take next week off to devote time to them. They have been bickering and fighting non-stop for weeks now, and something must be done! I am not going to do all the housecleaning as usual, and we will be eating simple meals or things brought home by Jeromy. I am going to practice the art of "tomato staking" my children ( and keep them with me all day every day until the fighting turns into something much nicer. The theory is that children need to be staked (to me and Jeromy) or else they grow wild and out of control and their fruit drops all over the ground and rots. Pretty good mental picture. I did it with Bennett when he was about 18 months and constantly seemed to be getting into trouble when out of my sight and it worked really well within a few days. I am hoping that the kids just need to be trained to play together, share and just generally be nice to one another. Bennett needs to learn to respect Rachel's personal space, wants and desires and Rachel needs to have that example to follow herself. She has just picked up on his bad habits it seems, but she has now learned to fight back. It isn't pretty!

On top of that, Rachel needs to be potty trained. Not just because she just turned 2, but because she has been ready for quite a while now. I am so gun-shy about doing it though because it has been such a struggle with Bennett. I just don't mind diapers all that much. I know that I need to do it now before the baby comes or it will be a long time before I get around to it. I had said I was going to do it once it got warmer outside and it is definitely warmer. I need to start praying now for a large tank of patience because I really struggled the first time around. Supposedly girls are supposed to be easier, but time will tell.

That's all for now from the Markworts. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rachel's 2nd Birthday Party

The birthday girl had the pleasure of sharing her big day with the Dad's this year. We celebrated everything at once plus my brother's girlfriend's birthday was the weekend before, so we threw that in as well. We BBQd hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken and had a big spread. Rachel was happy with her hot dog and potato chips!

She got a big bunch of balloons that she happily played with all day long!

Isn't she adorable!!

She delicately opened up all of her gifts. No ripping and tearing open for her.

I had a gluten/dairy-free success with the chocolate pie I made! It was so tasty that everyone tried some. Rachel liked her new cel phone so much that I couldn't get her to put it down even for dessert!

Rachel playing with her new toys. She got a stroller, high chair and other feeding toys for her baby dolls. She also got a new purse, cel phone, a new outfit and a bunch of jewelry. The next morning was hilarious seeing Bennett walking around with pearls on, a pink purse over his shoulder and a little girl baby doll in his arms. He has been having as much fun as she has with all the new baby doll stuff. It is about time that Rachel gets to play something besides guns or tools!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Our Two Year Old

Our favorite little girl turned two yesterday. She has been so much fun ever since she was born. She slept through the night by 3 months old, she was never fussy, and she always had a smile for us. (Not for anyone else though!) She loves her brother dearly, and wants to do whatever he is doing. She is so goofy and makes us crack up with her funny faces and things she does and says. I can't imagine a sweeter little girl. She will make such a great big sister, and I know she will a big help. Her favorite song is "Jesus Loves Me" and she sings it quite well! She has become quite the talker, albeit later than her brother, she is making up for lost time. One of her biggest accomplishments is that she is finally growing hair! Yay, we can finally use barrettes and put in pig tails. We are so thankful that God blessed our family with Rachel, and our prayer for her is that she continues to draw people in with her sweet spirit, her generosity, and her love for her family. Happy Birthday, Sissy!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Salmon Bake

We had a really fun time again this year at the Salmon Bake that Jeromy's work, Battelle, puts on in the summer. We go primarily for all the fun stuff for the kids to do, but this year the food was pretty decent too. We had salmon, coleslaw, pasta salad, corn, rolls, hot dogs for the kids, all you can drink soda, beer, wine, water, and for dessert, frozen treats from Schwans (popsicles, fudgsicles, ice cream sandwiches, and drumsticks). They had a bounce house, a boxing ring with those funny huge gloves for the kids to wear, a bounce house obstacle course with a slide, pony rides, clowns making balloon swords, dogs and bunnies, and games where you receive tickets for all sorts of prizes. With their tickets, the kids got kites, water guns, books, sunglasses, and misc. bobbles. A fun time was had by all!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Internet Woes

I have been on a forced internet fast since Tuesday. Our server was having problems and it has taken days to fix it. It was painful at first, but I started to find other things to do besides read blogs and surf the web. Imagine that! Anyway, I am back and will post a more interesting blog soon. All is good here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Settling In

We have been at the place where we are about 80% unpacked, but that last 20% has just been staring me in the face begging to be dealt with. That was one of my desires for this weekend. The annoying part is that I can't just get it done myself. I need Jeromy to do most of the work because things have to be moved up from the basement and into various rooms and closets. The other thing that has needed to be done is to buy a desk that Jeromy and I both like so that I can unpack my office boxes. We decided at 7 pm on Friday night to drop the kids off at my parents and to go searching. We found one that was a possibility at a furniture liquidation store near our house after Jeromy got off work, but in our usual style, we felt like we needed to exhaust ALL possibilities of finding a better one first. 4 stores and no desk later, we got the kids to bed at 10 pm.

Saturday came and I spent the first half of the day cooking gluten-free belgian waffles for the week (the kids and I eat them for breakfast all week) and two batches of banana muffins, one with fresh blueberries and one with walnuts. Jeromy mowed the lawn, weedwhacked, and cleared out a flower bed next to our back door to be replanted later. He then went and picked up the first desk that we looked at on Friday night. It is one of those desk armoires that has doors that close all your mess into. I liked that idea, but we weren't sure about the color of the wood matching anything else that we own. The other question is what you do with your desk chair once the doors are closed? We have just been putting it to the side which works because there really isn't any seating for us when we are downstairs with the kids. Jeromy put the desk together, and we were pleasantly surprised with the results. The color is a darker honey finish than we had anticipated and it matches an oak bookshelf that is downstairs perfectly. I unpacked my office, unloaded a bin of books to a bookshelf downstairs and had Jeromy rearrange some furniture. All in all, it seemed quite productive.

Before dinner, we ran to Home Depot where I spent way too much money buying plants for the flower bed that Jeromy cleared out for me. After dinner, Jeromy buzzed his and Bennett's hair to a nice, short summer length, and I spent the rest of the night lamenting over my aching back (ironic since Jeromy did all the heavy lifting!)

Sunday after church we went over to my parent's house, played Pinochle, ate dinner and left the kids there for the night. I get to spend the day doing all the things I normally do on a Monday, but by myself. I needed a recharge and am thankful to have my parents so close to give me a little reprieve.

We have a busy week ahead of us.....Midwife appointment, Bennett's first dental visit, Jeromy's baseball game, my brother moving to WA, a family party at j's work, Rachel's second birthday and father's day. Why some weeks are so empty and others are so busy, I'll never know. I can't seem to get things spread out evenly.

It should be fun and hopefully I will get pictures of most of it to post soon!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Our Return Trip from Minnesota

Okay, okay, this will be our last MN post. We left Rohnda's house at around 12:45 to drop off two of her kids for a playdate before we headed to the airport. After a potty stop (for me :p) we got to the airport a little over an hour before departure time. Rachel slept for about an hour in the car, and I was torn whether or not to let her. My hope was to have an extra seat and she would sleep the whole plane ride. She was exhausted though and there was no way to keep her awake!

I got my HUGE suitcase checked in and again was not hassled for it being too heavy (yay!) We got through the security checkpoint with no problems. My kids are such pros with putting their little backpacks in a bin along with their shoes. They bravely walk through the metal detector heading toward the scary looking person on the other side. It is so nice that they can get on their own shoes too. Huge help for me!

We had about a half an hour before our flight was boarding and found a play area for the kids to get out some energy before the 3 1/2 hour flight. I was hoping to feed the kids before we took off at 3:30 because we would be in the air during dinner time, but there was only a sit down restaurant which we didn't have time for. Luckily I had a backpack full of snacks.

We boarded a full flight yet again and had the middle and aisle seat to share for the 3 of us. I think the under two year old lap infant was not based on a child the size of Rachel. For those of you that don't know her, she is gigantic, an enormous 23 month old. She is off the charts tall. Anyway, the three of us squished into our seats and settled in for the flight.

The return flight home was not nearly as easy as the flight to MN. Rachel was a bit out of control due to being tired and Bennett was less than tolerant of her because he too was tired. Thankfully the lady sitting next to the window was very kind to Bennett as he was tying her arms to the armrest and rapid firing questions at her. I fed them snacks for over an hour which did occupy their time, but eventually they didn't want anymore. Bennett and I played a game of UNO (which he won) and then boredom set in. They didn't want to read books or color or do any of the things I had packed for them to do. It was a long 2 hours! I was very happy when we landed in Seattle and was shocked when the pilot announced it was 90 degrees outside! It just doesn't get that hot there, and I knew that it must be ridiculously hot further east where we live.

Our luggage arrived, and I somehow managed to get it off the carousel by myself (man, is chivalry dead, or what?!) We waited for our shuttle back to the hotel where we left our car, and I contemplated spending another night there and driving the 3 hours back home in the morning. We had an early 5 am wakeup that morning, and I was so tired! When we finally got to our car, I just wanted to get home and decided to power through (with the help of Starbucks!) It was 5:30 when we got on the freeway and were met by bumper to bumper traffic. It took us about 15-20 minutes to get onto our freeway, but we just swept over to the carpool lane and cruised past the creeping traffic.

We had four more stops before finally heading home, Trader Joes , Starbucks, dinner and gas. I found the Trader Joes before I could find dinner, so I cruelly made my children wait even longer to eat. After stocking up at TJ's, I tried to find somewhere to feed my kids (I got the Spicy California Rolls at TJ's). We were in a town I had never been to before and there were so many trees that you couldn't see what was behind them. It was like a town was built in a forest. Very cool unless you are trying to find somewhere to eat. Of course all I could find was McDonalds, and I had to convince Bennett that he could eat the chicken nuggets even though they have wheat in them. He was upset, but ate them anyway. After all of our stops, we finally got on the road at about 7:30 pm. Rachel fell asleep immediately after she finished eating, but Bennett didn't. He spent the whole ride thrashing around, trying to get comfortable. He is in a booster seat now which isn't nearly as comfortable for sleeping as the carseat. I think he finally fell asleep about 45 minutes from home. We somehow made it. I didn't even need to stop for a bathroom break which is a miracle unto itself. We got home at about 10:15 pm. A very long homecoming, but the trip to MN was so much fun that it made it all worth it!

Thank you again, Monroys for such wonderful time!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Memorial Day at the Mall of America

We got to the MOA right after it opened, hoping to beat the crowds. It wasn't very busy which was nice. We walked around the rides to show Bennett and Rachel and see how many they wanted to go on. They were bursting at the seams to get started, so we went to buy tickets for the kids. Rachel had never been on rides before, so I wasn't sure if she would be scared or not. She did great! She went on most with Bennett, and they had a blast. We ate lunch once the tickets ran out and then did a little shopping before heading home. It was a fun day!