Monday, July 30, 2007

Good Friends

We had dinner with some good friends on Saturday night. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, and I got some one on one time with my friend while the kids were outside playing with the dads. She is a mother of soon to be four, and I used the time to ask for some advice about my attitude and problems with childrearing lately. For starters, it is always so nice to know that I am not the only mom who struggles. We put on such a brave front for the world that I think it makes us feel isolated when we are having a hard time and feel like no one can possibly understand. I want everyone to feel like having kids is so wonderful that I hide the fact that it is hard and challenging and frustrating at times.

I gained a good piece of advice that I am still mulling over in my head trying to completely understand. God doesn't approach us, His children, with the expectation that we will act perfect and be sinless. He knows we are going to screw up, require reproof, lead us to repentance, and restore our fellowship with Himself. This is a perfect picture of how He expects us to raise the children He gives us. Instead of approaching my children with the expectation that they will remember all the rules and obey every one of them, I need to expect that they will need reproof more often than not. That eliminates my attitude of frustration that they let ME down. My job is not to be disappointed and constantly frustrated with their sin, my job is to be ready to give reproof, lead them to repentance, and restore our relationship.

This is all easier said than done. I am still going to battle my own flesh that wants to get impatient and frustrated, but if I want my children to be followers of Christ, that relationship needs to start now with me showing them the love of Christ. I also want to make a more concerted effort to pray for the salvation of my children, that the Holy Spirit would begin to soften their hearts and dwell within them, leading them to follow Christ. Praying more often for them will help me to remember that they are not saved, and that I want nothing more for them than a life dedicated to the Father. There is no loftier goal as a parent than that.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Today I am so disappointed with my attitude. It sounds so ridiculous to say it, but I find myself expecting Bennett to be a perfect version of myself. Not only is he only four, but he is human and will never be perfect. I have been told by more than one person that I really expect a lot out of him, and that is probably a true observation. I know that there must be a balance between requiring obedience with a good attitude from a child and realizing they will never be perfect. I have a hard time knowing which side to fall on.

Maybe the requirement of obedience is the right thing, but my frustration when he fails is where the problem lies. He is going to fail just like I fail, and we all fail. I know that I have good intentions. I want Bennett to learn to obey and respect his parents so that he will learn to obey and respect God, but God doesn't yell and get frustrated with us when we sin. I know that I am much more frazzled and tired lately, but I still need self-control over my actions.

How do we as parents balance Godly expectations of our children with the reality that they are a work in progress and will fail?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

32 1/2 Weeks

I had my twice-monthly midwife appointment yesterday. I lost a pound which was no surprise due to the recent stomache flu, and she wasn't worried because I had gained more than necessary the month prior. It all evens out in the end I guess. I have gained 21 pounds so far. I need to look back at Bennett and Rachel's pregnancies to see how much I usually gain the last month or two, but I think I am on track to stay within the 25-35 pound range. The bummer about being pregnant in the summer is that it has been too hot to take many walks. I can't get out the door early enough when it is still tolerable out. By the time we all get dressed, eat breakfast and get out the door, it is starting to get hot. I have never been one to do much exercising while pregnant, but a little walking here and there is nice. I usually feel motivated to exercise when the baby is about 3 months old, and I look like I am still 5 months pregnant. By then it will be snowing out, so I will have to break out the workout tapes. I am not so much driven by vanity as I am clothing that is too tight. Waistbands that are cutting off my circulation really bum me out!

I had such an easy second trimester with this pregnancy that I hardly noticed I was pregnant. The realization has finally hit me that a baby is coming. (The constant indigestion these days is a reminder I can't ignore!) I am feeling twinges of nesting and starting to think about getting out baby clothes and blankets and burp cloths and all that fun stuff. It is strange how fast a pregnancy goes by when you have two little ones already. I haven't thought about it too much. I have talked to other moms with lots of little ones and they say that it only gets worse. You just are too busy to sit around daydreaming. My first pregnancy seemed to take forever, so I think I like it flying by better. I am afraid that these last 7-8 weeks are going to creep along at a snail's pace. I don't think there is any way to ever make the last few weeks go by fast. It is God's way of getting us to go through labor. Motivation!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oh The Fun You Can Have

You can tell that between the severe heat and a whole week of the flu, we have been spending WAY too much time inside. Bennett has been having fun lately dressing up Rachel for various battles and games they are playing. This is how I found her the other day.

I am not sure what she is supposed to be, but she thought it was pretty funny.

Silly face.

Our little Rachel's dual personality. She is wearing her apron while playing at her play kitchen, but is packing heat while doing it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stomache Flu Is Worse Than Death

Unfortunately I was not immune to the ever occuring stomache flu in the Markwort house this time around. Jeromy fell Friday, Rachel Monday, Bennett Tuesday, and I on Wednesday. I think it was of the 24 hour variety, so I am feeling weak but better. I have said all along that I didn't want to gain more than 25-35 pounds this pregnancy, but the flu isn't what I had in mind to accomplish that goal. Third trimester stomache flu is enough to bring on labor I am sure, but for now, baby is still safe inside although probably traumatized by what she heard and felt in there. Two sleepless nights in a row will take a while to recover from, but I did sleep well last night which is a total blessing! Thank you for your prayers. I am sure banking on the fact that having the stomache flu three times while pregnant should ensure that I don't get it again for the next decade at least! I will post again when anything more exciting than laundry happens around here. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wow, What A Night!

There are a few moments in mommyhood that elicit pure terror, and I experienced one of those last night. I will preface this by saying that Jeromy came down with the stomache flu on Friday night and Rachel on Tuesday night, but I thought that Bennett and I would be safe because we have already had it twice this year, and they haven't had it at all. I was wrong. Bennett showed up at our bedroom door at 1 am letting me know that he had thrown up in his bed. Bummer, I thought. I got up and in the midst of asking him a few questions he got sick again, but it looked like blood. Panic! I yelled, "Jeromeeeeeee!" which caused him to shoot out of bed to see what was wrong. Jeromy assured me that the color was due to the bedtime snack of blueberries that Bennett had eaten a few hours earlier. Okay, I'll buy that, but my heart was racing a mile a minute by that time. I can't believe how frozen I became in that moment. I didn't usher Bennett right into the bathroom when he got sick, so the next half hour was spent by my wonderful husband scrubbing our very light color carpet to get out the bluberry stains. I went downstairs to survey the damage and unfortunately the bed was pretty clean, but a trail had been left from the bed to our bedroom. Our house reaks of vinegar this morning, but at least the stains are mostly out. We definitely need to invest in a carpet cleaner of our own.

Bennett finally stopped throwing up every 15-30 minutes at 7:30 this morning, so we are all really tired. Thankfully we will all take a good nap today. My poor little Bennett. He doesn't ever just get sick a couple of times and then it's over. He always is a stomache lining sort of guy. That will make for a sad future I think. I have to admit that through all of this I had a hard time not thinking about myself and how much I don't want to get sick. Twice is enough for anyone while pregnant, so I am praying, praying, praying, I am spared. My hands are raw from all the washing. We'll see, I guess. Now I just have to make it until naptime. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blueberries and Dinosaurs

A friend of mine has a grandma that lives about 45 minutes west of us that grows organic blueberries. They offer U-pick blueberries for $1/pound. We couldn't resist the lure of fresh, organic (CHEAP) blueberries, so off we went to Zillah with hats and sunscreen in hand. It has been hot here, mind you. I mean 100+ degrees hot. We left here at 7:45 am, a little later than I had wanted, and started picking at about 9 am. There were quite a few people there when we started picking, but they finished very quickly thereafter. We were the lone pickers as the sun started scorching. We finished a little after 11 am (picking blueberries takes longer than I had anticipated!) We had two hot, tired little ones and two hot, tired mamas (my mom came with us as Jeromy came down with the stomache flu Friday night.) All in all, we picked 32.75 pounds of delicious blueberries. That is ALOT of blueberries. I have 4 gallon-size freezer bags in the second freezer, a gallon- size bag of dehydrated ones (that didn't work as well as the cherries. It was quite a mess,) my mom took several pounds home, and we have 2 gallon bags in the fridge to eat. Let me just say that at 31 weeks pregnant, that was too much work for me. I couldn't walk by the end of the evening. Hobbling around was all I could muster. I think I am ready to start taking it easy. I hereby claim that I am going to start reading more and am going to finish knitting the baby blanket I started while pregnant with Rachel. We'll see how the taking it easy goes. I am not so good at it.

Oh yeah, dinosaurs. There is a town called Granger that has built all sorts of life-size dinosaurs around the town. Granger has a park that we called "Dinosaur Park", I am not sure of its real name, where the kids can play on the dinosaurs and climb all over them. After we picked blueberries, we stopped by the park because we were all the way out there and let Bennett play for a little while. It was close to lunch time, so he only played for a little while, we could believe he had the energy to play at all. We found a yummy Mexican restaurant and ate a ridiculous amount of food before calling it a day.

I forgot the camera, so I don't have any pictures to document this fun day, so my narration will have to do.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fun in the Sun

It has been sooooo HOT here this week. Over a 100 for several days with a couple more to go. Thankfully we have a shady backyard because the kids still want to go out and play. I bought them a little plastic pool, and Jeromy is much more fun than I am and put it underneath their slide. Bennett had fun sliding down into the pool for a while, but then wanted it moved. Rachel was too scared to go into the pool with Bennett sliding down into it, so she just ran around and watched. We have it in a different spot in the yard now, and Rachel spends as much time as Bennett does in it.

I have started potty training Rachel this week and it hasn't been going well to say the least. I don't know whether to persevere or to wait a few weeks and try again later. Does anyone have any good potty training advice for me?????

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Trusting God With Your Fertility- Part 2

I left off in Part 1 just having read, "Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions." That night I went home and told Jeromy about everything I had read and showed him the facts about how the Pill works. We made the decision that I would go off the Pill immediately. That was an easy decision for us, but the next question was a little harder, "So what do we use now?"

I researched Natural Family Planning online and decided to order their book. I am not one that is really in tune with her body or knows what is really going on in there. I have never been all that intersted, and the whole charting aspect of NFP didn't really appeal to me. It seemed like alot of work and stress to make SURE I didn't get pregnant. Of course they say that you can also use the method to get pregnant as well, but I didn't really know anyone that used it for that reason.

The same time as all of this was taking place, a co-worker was preparing a Bible study in Genesis and came to work with all sorts of crazy ideas about being fruitful and multiplying and filling the earth. The Bible study started taking on a new direction and was affecting the co-worker's ideas about fertility and allowing God room to be in control of the childbearing aspect of marriage. The Lord was beginning to speak to me as well with all the Scripture that was being discussed and wrestled with. I came home daily with these ideas to talk to Jeromy about. I am going to copy the Bible study below for you to read and post comments about if you want. In Part 3, I will discuss the thought process that God took Jeromy and I through to get us to the point of complete surrender and finally freedom with our family plan.


First Scriptural Principle (A basic truth or standard of personal conduct):

• God controls the womb!

1. Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”

2. David speaks clearly of God’s active involvement in creating life; Psalm 139:13, 16, “For you have formed my inward parts; you have woven me in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me.”

3. Genesis 29:31, “Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.”

4. When Rachel then complains to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die,” Jacob accurately responds, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” (Genesis 30: 1,2)

5. Ruth 4:13, “So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.”

6. Deuteronomy 32:30 tells us plainly, “It is I who put to death and give life.”

Scriptural Principle #2:

• God highly values fruitfulness.

1. Genesis 17:2, the Lord says to Abraham, “I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.”

2. Genesis 17:6, He goes on to say, “I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you.”

3. When God wanted to bless His people, He promised fruitfulness. He told the Israelites in Leviticus 16:9, “So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm my covenant with you.”

4. In Deuteronomy 7:13, 14, Moses promised the people, “And He will love you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb…You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle.”

5. Not only does God value fruitfulness…He commands it. In Genesis 1:28 the first command ever given to man was, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it.” God’s dealings with Adam are representative of His dealings with all of mankind!

6. Genesis 9: 7, 8 & 9, “And as for you, be fruitful and multiple; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.” Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying; “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you.”

• With your descendants (seed) includes all of the human race

• Nowhere is God’s covenant rescinded concerning fruitfulness in regards to children!

7. In our culture today, fruitfulness is viewed as a curse rather than a blessing, are we thinking Scripturally as we PLAN our families, or are we thinking as the world does?

Scriptural Principle #3:

• God says children are a blessing.

1. Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is His reward.”

2. Psalm 127:5 says, “How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”

3. Psalm 128:3,4 declares, “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, with your house, your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.”’

4. Do we truly believe what the Lord is saying? Are we acting as if we believe that children are always a blessing from the Lord? Is the Lord truly the Lord of our life in all ways?

Á cry in the wilderness” by Keith Green

• Let’s face it, children are a lot of trouble and a lot of work! They cry, they fight, they mess up the house, they interrupt our sleep, they need tons of assistance, they need patience, forgiveness, and love. Children force us to become more Christ-like if we are going to be successful in raising them up to follow Christ.

Scriptural Principle #4:

• Our bodies are not our own.

1. Romans 12:1 says, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

2. The Apostle Paul continually refers to himself as a “bond servant of Christ Jesus.” A bond servant is a believer who voluntarily takes the position of a slave to Christ and has no rights of his own. He does always and only the will of his Master. For His part, the Lord binds Himself to care for His servant.

The Heart of God portrayed in Scripture is one that embraces life, children, and fruitfulness rather than voluntary barrenness!

I believe we’ve been too cavalier about family planning and leaving God out of our decision making.

In John 10:27 Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

Proverbs 3:5, 6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Colossians 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

Monday, July 9, 2007

Cherries, Cherries, Cherries!

This is one of my favorite times of years for the very reason of............ CHERRIES! The house that we just sold had a cherry tree, and we were sad to move before we could harvest them. What is better than having your own cherry tree in your front yard? Friends that own a whole orchard! A family from church owns a cherry and apple orchard, and they blessed us on Saturday by inviting us over to glean the leftover cherries. We came home with a ridiculous amount of cherries! I put up 6 gallon size bags in the freezer and am working on my second dehydrator full of cherries right now. We have given some to my parents, two sets of friends, and Jeromy's work. We still have a ton leftover to enjoy fresh ourselves. We are in cherry heaven!

Mmmmm, cherries!

Two big shopping bags full of Bing cherries and one of Ranier cherries.

Two 5-gallon buckets full of Van cherries. One is half empty because they were dehydrating.

The dehydrating operation. Jeromy was very generous to help me load the dehydrator. I pitted the cherries, and he cut them in half and loaded them in.

Boy, this is alot of work, but totally worth it! My kitchen looked like it had been splatter painted when we were finshed. It was a sticky mess!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Heyburn State Park

We had a great time camping with Jeromy's parents for a few days. They camped in Yellowstone for 5 days before heading west to meet us at Chatcolet Lake in northern Idaho. The weather was wonderful and much cooler than the Tri-Cities (110 today!) and the kids had a blast at the lake. We borrowed a friend's kayak, and Jeromy's parents brought an inflatable one, so the kids as well as grownups spent the days paddling around. We enjoyed the usual campfires in the evenings, smores, and relaxing. We met a family that was camping next to us that had a 4 year old son as well, and he and Bennett played any time they were both at the campground. Jeromy, the other dad, and their oldest son also spent one night leading us in worship around the campfire with their guitars. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and fun to meet some other Christians. It is always so neat how sharing that bond makes a fast friendship.

Our camp. Yes, we have the world's largest tent! It is one of the two-room kind. It makes it hard to find somewhere to set it up sometimes. We had to use the driveway this time. Mark and Beverlee parked their trailer behind it.

Pop and Popgrandma.

The dirtiest boy ever! We were laughing at our little "Pigpen." When he ran around, he left a trail of dust behind him. Thankfully the campground had showers!

Pop and Popgrandma brought Rachel birthday gifts. She had so much fun with her hula hoop and was getting pretty good at it.

A cool marshy area near our campground. There were lilly pads and lotus blossoms and all sorts of wildlife.

Hiking around.

Chatcolet Lake.

It was hard to get Bennett out of the kayaks. He would have been happy to stay in all day.

Rachel was happiest playing along the shoreline and not going in too deep!

Bennett liked having on all of the flotation devices at once- water wings, life jacket, elmo floaty, goggles and anything else he could get his hands on. I think he thought that the more he had, the safer he would be. It was pretty funny. He got braver as he spent more time in the water. Last year he was comfortable floating around by himself with just a life jacket on, but it is going to take a little more work to get him back to that point again.

Rachel kicking back with her dad. She would get so relaxed floating around that she looked like she was going to fall asleep.

Naptime on the way home. Poor Bennett has a rough time sleeping in his new booster seat. There is nowhere to rest his head like in a carseat, so he has a hard time getting comfortable. At one point, I held a pillow under his head so that it stopped whiplashing forward. He must have a sore neck today.