Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's QUALITY not QUANTITY

'The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" Matthew 8:27



Last week was a great Homeschooling week. Not because of all the big, beautiful hours pouring into each girl over textbooks and math lessons. It was QUALITY, not quantity. 






Maybe only the Homeschooling Moms will understand that one. Each girl was some variation of sick...some more than others. And I was sick for many of the days. So we simply could not do it.







The Angel Gabriel
Mary, mother of Jesus (somehow caught doing what appears to be the John Travolta)
I read the story from the bible, of the Angel Gabriel appearing to Elizabeth, then to Mary. They acted it out.  I was also reading to them from the book 'Stories from the Stable' by Bob Hartman.
They are so smart, remembering their 'lines' and worshipfully acting out the story. Complete with all the emotions of the main 'characters'.
The role of Angel Gabriel, played by Carlisle, wearing fairy wings. And the role of both Elizabeth and Mary, played by Evelyn, wearing pants tied around her head.

The school we did do was rich and God increased my creativity between feeling awful, drinking my meals of Gatorade and laying on the sofa, or floor, or bed...anywhere. 


Meanwhile, while we were doing turbo school, Vivian decided to wear a hula skirt and color the dry erase board, herself, her clothes and some of the furniture in the school room.
They did such a good job in school this crazy week that I decided, the reward for good behavior and awesome work would be manicures and pedicures for all. 


Back in the day, I used to spoil myself with manicures. Now, it is beyond a treat. It doesn't at all fit in my life right now.


I overhear Evelyn talking it out with her sisters. 


'Manicures are for your fingers. 


Pet - icures are when you get to pick out a PET. You know, a cat or a dog.'


The care package that showed up at my door. Gatorades, soup, fruit, yummy throat drops. Megan, this love box was what saved me last week. Thank you my sweet friend. I love you.




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A cute british girl asked me recently, 'How many weeks gone are you?' I smiled. 
Weeks gone. 
I guess that's just the right way to say it. 
I'm 24 weeks. 


24 weeks gone.


(By the time I actually post this, 25 weeks. But who is counting?)




The 24th week makes me cry. It is always the HARDEST week for me. Harder than any of the other weeks, beyond compare.


Babycenter says the baby has gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts her at just over a pound. 


But my little 24 week baby that I met, in 2005, Grace Katherine Edwards was 1 lb 8 ounces. 

I can't help but think of Grace as I pass through this week. Week 24. I can't have a baby without passing through this week on this emotional and spiritual voyage to make each baby girl. It's become some sort of right of passage for me. Of course, I carry each baby girl for 9 months. And right in the middle of it all, I am pregnant and I know EXACTLY what the baby on the inside looks like if SHE were on the outside. I've met a 24 week baby. Only 7 short years, and 4 baby girls, ago. 


As she laid in my hand, her feet dangled down an inch or two past my wrist.Her nose was tiny. Her entire hands, the size of my pinky fingernail. 
She was perfect and yet flawed. And they laid her in my lap. They had wrapped her up so neatly. The nurses. We kept her that way, at first. Holding her and crying...that 24 week baby girl. Not living. Not breathing. Just laying there. But then, just as any parents want to, we wanted to really see her. And we were first time parents. Her hands, ears, fingers, legs, tummy. We wanted to see all parts. It was the first baby we'd ever had. So we were just as any new parents would be....dumb-founded that this had just emerged from my body. And so we had true delight and joy as we unwrapped the blanket from our little girl....from her little body and ooh'ed and aahh'ed over our little baby girl. Our first little baby girl.


Although. She'd take no breath. Move not a muscle. Blink no eyelashes. But those parts were all there. 


And so, for week 24, I see the baby I carry in my tummy, in my mind on the outside. And I cry. And I talk to God. I beg. And I pray that He will please let this baby girl stay put. On the inside of my tummy. And for the fourth time, God has so sweetly answered that prayer. And so I imagine this tummy baby, the way I know she looks, nestled snuggly. And I pray that she will live to be 39 or 40 weeks, be born and join our family. 




(At the Nutcracker with the only non-sick girl available)


"...much of the world would agree that being a housekeeper is acceptable as long as you are not caring for your own home; treating men with attentive devotion would also be alright as long as the man is the boss in the office and not your husband; caring for children would even be deemed heroic service for which presidential awards could be given as long as the children are someone else's and not your own..." (Dorothy Patterson)
















There are so many wonderful facets of Vivian's personality. Scratch that. Angel Baby's personality. We sometimes call her Vivian. Her name makes me so happy, even still. I could squeal about it. Girly, feminine. Old fashioned. One of my favorite things about her is that she is an easy going, go with the flow type of girl. Wonder why that appeals to me so much? Maybe it's that we have so many activities, friends to meet, picnics, dates to the gym, meeting up with Daddy, scooting here and there. . . and she gleefully goes along with us and all of our wild and crazy adventures.

God is teaching me in these days that HE is the one to whom I give glory. HE is to whom I do things for. There is a verse that says do everything as if working for the Lord.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,


If you are like me, you've heard it all before. Heard that verse many times. You may even have it memorized. But God's truths. His biblical truths are becoming fresh again. Maybe it's like a haircut. Same old hair, just new look of it.

'As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.' Mark 9:15


Run and greet him RIGHT now. Open your bible. 


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One of the girls Elective Homeschool Classes this week - Holiday Sweets Cooking.
They loved it. 
We made Peppermint truffle brownies... they were amazing. Almost too rich, even for me...pregnant girl with a obvious mouth-ful of sweet TEETH.

Blondie mixed her ingredients...on the floor. 



Waiting during the baking process....Carlisle got ahold of the camera and Evelyn really is the best subject.

 Worth the wait. 
Yummy, rich, delicious, messy. Maybe just maybe, my girls dream desert.

Peppermint Truffle Brownies
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with foil, leaving overhang “handles”. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine 6 ounces (half the bag if you’re using a typical 12-ounce size) of chocolate chips and butter in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Alternately, melt chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave at 50% power, stirring every minute until melted and smooth. Cool chocolate mixture until lukewarm, 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Stir in flour. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to cooling rack and let brownies cool completely.
Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add remaining 6 ounces chocolate to hot cream and let stand 5 minutes to soften, then whisk until melted and smooth. Pour chocolate ganache over cooled brownies (still in pan) and spread to cover completely. Let stand at cool room temperature until topping is set, about 4 hours. Sprinkle with crushed candies.
Using foil as aid, lift brownie sheet from pan. Fold down foil edges. Using large sharp knife, cut brownie sheet into 25 squares, wiping knife with hot moist cloth after each cut. (Don’t skip this or the brownies will be a mess to cut.) Arrange brownies on platter and serve.
I found the crushed mints get soggy if you put them on right away. I’d wait ’til the last minute to sprinkle them over the top of the ganache and lightly press them in. Also, this only makes a 9×9 pan, but you can get 36 bars out of it. Cut ‘em small…these puppies are rich.

1 comment:

MadHatter said...

I needed that quote you stuck in there so a big fat THANKS! I also needed to lose some water weight, so thanks for making me a pile of quivering, crying mush with the rest of it....I love the way that you spread your arms wide and let yourself be crucified everyday so we see more Jesus than Jennie. I'm still highly convinced that you are rocking this thing called life.