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
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.
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.
"...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.
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.
Run and greet him RIGHT now. Open your bible.
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We made Peppermint truffle brownies... they were amazing. Almost too rich, even for me...pregnant girl with a obvious mouth-ful of sweet TEETH.
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