Heart Reflections Live

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pregnancy Update

Well I'm about 14 or 15 weeks along now, and while I'm only about a third of the way along, I look about two thirds along- I'm going to be enormous!!

We've just started a two week holiday break from homeschool, which I badly need; as I've fallen behind with housework, not just with schooling, but the extreme tiredness and "Morning" sickness that comes with carrying twins at 40. I'm usually not too bad in the mornings, though I've had some days when I've had to homeschool with a bucket handy- BLECH!. Once school is over though I'm often exhausted. Some days I've accomplished little more after school than doing the laundry, washing the dishes and cooking dinner. So I'll be playing catch up in the mornings now instead of teaching school.

Four year old Zara is such a blessing though. On one very sick day recently, she gave up most of her homeschool lunch hour to help me of her own accord to get the clothes off the line, hang more up, and later on she wiped the dishes for me!! Other days she has vaccuumed for me and done a sterling job!

I've also been blessed with the services of a top doctor at our local hospital. We go through the public system, and trust the Lord to get us the best doctor to suit our situations. When we went for my initial appointment with a midwife to review my birth history (including the extensive surgery I had on my uterus), the midwife went white, immediately went to talk to one of the top doctors of the department, and came back and said that one remembered me from previous and volunteered to personally look after me for the duration of the pregnancy! I have my first appointment on the 10th July. I'll also be offerred several more ultrasounds to check progress as I go.

I was hoping to put up a photo of the twins ultrasound, but I think it still must be in hubby's phone! Never mind, another day!

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 7:29 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Simpler Days, Simpler Ways- Childhood in the 70's

It's funny how a particular taste or sight can carry you back to the days of your childhood in your mind's eye. This has been happening a fair bit to me lately. I don't know if this is common once you hit 40, or if it's just a "Mum thing", but the sight of my daughter's 1970's retro dress in the ironing pile, and the ham and tomato toastie I had for lunch the other day, inspired me to write a nostalgic post.

I had a happy golden uncomplicated childhood and greatly desire that our children enjoy the same, despite the wickedness of the world in which we live.

I was born in 1967, when our potties were enamel, not plastic, and my mother washed my terry towelling nappy (diaper US) squares in a cylindrical shaped electric washing machine, with a hand-wringer on top. Of course the washing was hung out on our Aussie Hills Hoist line.

Home Decor involved a lot of orange, olive green, mission brown and loud prints in green or brown for curtains, wallpaper or lino.

We had no television set when I first came along. When we did get one it was black and white, and I don't believe we bought a colour set until the early 80's. We certainly watched more TV than what we allow our children to watch today. While they enjoy mainly Christian DVD's or classic family movies, we enjoyed at various times in the 1970s: Family Affair, Sigmund the Sea Monster, Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Australia's Adventure Island, Romper Room, and Humphrey B Bear; The Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, The New Mickey Mouse Club (The one with Lisa Welchel), Happy Days, and on the weekends, Young Talent Time and The Wonderful World of Disney. TV shows today lack the innocence and charm of those 35 years ago.

My brother and I went to the local public school. We each carried one of the old Globite school ports (Port was a term unique to Queensland- translate suitcase!) Those were the days when school science teachers actually APOLOGIZED for having to teach evolution. They said it was only a theory they had to teach at school, and you didn't have to believe it, if you didn't want to.

(Incidentally, I met Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis in the early 1980s, when he visited our highschool, and was greatly impacted by his ministry. We have alot of his material and our children are growing up with a solid belief in CREATION, and have tools to back up their beliefs. We have no monkey's uncles in our family tree!!) Our state school had a weekly Bible lesson and we had to stand and sing "God Save the Queen" every morning at assembly.

Our family doctor was a Christian, and allowed the Seventh Day Adventists to have copies of the 1964 editions of "Uncle Arthurs Bedtime Stories" complete with order forms in the waiting room. I adored looking at those books and used as much pester power as I could to persuade Mum and Dad to buy a set. They did, and I have very fond memories of my Dad reading to me every night at the table. My husband and I now own 8 volumes of the same editions, and our children love them too. I much preferred the fashions in the books, than what was available in the shops to buy back then! These books were truly instrumental in stirring a desire in me to know Christ from an early age.

I loved the music of Elvis Presley growing up, and was devestated in 1977 when we lost both Elvis and Bing Crosby in the same year.

Trips to our nearest big city- Brisbane-were very special treats. We dressed in our very best clothes to go( always a dress unless it was very cold!), but with comfortable shoes for all the walking we would do. We were also told to wear our very best underwear - in case we were in an accident!! (Does anyone else remember this adage?) My mother, in the early 1960's had worked at the Brisbane GPO, so when she took us, we got to go to all the lovely old places she remembered. I loved the old Brisbane Arcade- still there-and the Coles building with its old wooden elevators and cafeteria up the top, which hadn't changed much since the sixties. Sadly that building became a victim of progress. I remember the first time Mum took me to the rest rooms under Brisbane City Hall at King George Square. At the time the decor hadn't changed since the 60s and I was shocked that you had to PAY to use the toilets!That's where the Aussie expression- "To Spend a Penny" comes from.

There was a favourite little French style cafe near King George Square called Little Boys, owned by an elderly couple, that we often liked to visit for toasted ham and tomato sandwhiches. We were sad when they closed.

So many Brisbane Icons are no longer part of the skyline- I loved looking across to the art-deco styled Cloudland Ballroom, and now even the old hospital where I went as a child is gone. Another favourite place was the old Brisbane Museum, which used to be in the old heritage listed building opposite the hospital- seeing the stuffed lions up close would thrill me!! While some would say the seventies were seedy, we were happy and sheltered from all that.

I remember reading Jack and Jill comics from England, lots of Enid Blyton, Snoopy and Peanuts, and of course Paddington Bear.

At school we played ball games, hula hoops, string games, crocheted, played Jacks, skipped and played games with elastics around our ankles.

And of course I remember the Holly Hobbie craze, with her sweet innocent image on everything from sheets, pencilcases, lunch boxes and flasks- how different from the awful Bratz image today! We collected stamps, stickers,erasers and picture rulers.

I also remember listening to Christian singer Evie Tornquist on RECORD not CD and seeing her bright happy face on TV adds, sharing her love of Jesus with the world.

Those were the days when Arnotts Biscuits, Vegemite and Victa Mowers were still Australian owned!

I hope you've enjoyed my nostalgic walk through the 70s in South East Queensland. What can you remember most from the decade that you lived your childhood through?


posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 3:07 pm 1 comments

Monday, June 16, 2008

Advice Wanted- on Twins and Homeschooling...

I'd like to throw open a couple of questions on living with twins and homeschooling...

1. Any advice from Mum's of twins will be greatly appreciated... Eg. How do you juggle feeding time? Do twins tend to sleep and wake at the same time? Many other questions are brewing in my mind, so any great tips would be wonderful.

2. I've never homeschooled with one new baby in the home, let alone 2, how do you work a homeschool day around babies? I'm greatful hubby will be around to help though. Have any of you seasoned homeschool Mum's experienced twins before, or newborns in general?

I'm still getting used to juggling homeschool for a 6 and 4 year old, I love it, but feel a bit overwhelmed...



posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:00 pm 2 comments

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Double Blessing!!!!!

What life-altering news we received today! I had my very first ultra-sound for my current pregnancy today, fully expecting that because of my size, our baby would be coming in November instead of December. My earlier blood test indictated higher levels than normal, and the doctor said that usually meant an earlier due date. She was wrong.

The lady working the ultrasound, said "You're due around the 27th December, the reason you're so big is because there's 2 in there!"

I started laughing almost in disbelief. WE ARE HAVING TWINS!!!!!!- Probably a bit earlier, as I'll need a ceaserean.

God is so amazing!! My Prince Charming didn't come along till I was into my 30's, and we always said we'd like 4 children. To cut a long story short, I didn't know when I conceived Talitha my first child, that my uterus was riddled with giant fibroids, neither did I know that they can make conception very difficult. Unfortunately, my fibroids were the rare kind that could grow along with the baby and also degenerate during pregnancy causing severe pain, and frequent hospitalization over 9 months for pain relief. Talitha ended up stuck in a breech surrounded by these lumps, and was ceasered at 38 weeks- she was perfect.

After much prayer, my hubby and I decided to take the risk of having them cut out a year later (I had 10) , so we could have more children without any complications. I fell pregnant immediately (another miracle), and had Zara less than a year later. Unfortunately, she didn't wait for the surgery date, and was born via a very rapid totally dry birth(mind you, the labour was easy!), leaving me with terrible birth injuries and about 50 stitches inside and out. I nearly died from massive blood loss, but the good news was that my uterus scars remained intact. Unfortunately, it meant that any future births would have to be ceasers. Many people thought I wouldn't try again, but I felt that God wasn't finished with our family, and while I didn't want to wait 4 years, I had to wait for the dizzy spells to stop, which were a result of the haemmorrage leaving me with very low blood pressure.

Eventually without medication, my blood pressure started to come up again, and it is now just below normal.

I am now 40 and expecting twins- another miracle- I've never been on IVF and my surgical history deems this close to an impossibility. My husband decided that this pregnancy would be my last, as our hospitals over here don't like to perform any more than 3 cuts. (Of course if God intervened and I fell pregnant again, then we would refuse a termination, and accept the risk of another cut.) I thought I would only be having 3 children- now God is granting us the 4 we desired.

I just want to encourage you, if you've had to take the surgical route, or if you've had problems with your uterus- don't underestimate God, who knows the desires of your heart, and can still work miracles today.

Glory to His Name!!!!!

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 7:38 pm 6 comments

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Frugal Recipes to Beat the Budget Blues- Part 1

I'm pretty amazed that I've actually done a cooking post at this point in my pregnancy. As anyone who's battled morning sickness can imagine, that the kitchen and I aren't exactly the best of friends at the moment. All those aromas that foodies love can have a decidedly negative effect on me these days!

Anyway, here in Australia, the economy, food and fuel prices are just about all we are hearing about at the moment, and while the Lord graciously provides for us on a very low income, frugality and good stewardship go hand in hand, and I like to share over a few posts, some very easy recipes to help beat the budget blues.

One of the easiest ways to cut costs on the weekly menu, is to incorporate at least one meatless meal per week. If you find that too boring, then consider trying these as a side dish to stretch your meal further.

Here's a very simple Italian Vegetarian Pasta dish our children love.

1. Boil as many small pasta shapes as you'll need for your family. I like tiny shells, but anything in the pantry will do.

2. Fry up some diced onion & chopped tomato with parsley and basil to taste.

3. Drain cooked pasta and add to frypan, until heated and mixed through nicely, and that's it!!!


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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 7:22 pm 0 comments

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Princess and the Kiss

"The Princess and the Kiss" by Jennie Bishop, is one of our daughters' favourite books, and one that I would personally like to recommend to other families.

It's a cleverly written child-friendly fairy-tale, complete with romantic, medieval-styled illustrations, that extols the virtues of purity, and of "Saving oneself" for marriage.

There are many wonderful lessons contained in this story, and it's fun to help your children discover them. My children and I would talk about the suitors that the Princess turned down, and we discovered that Prince Peacock, Prince Romance and Prince Treasurechest never mentioned God in all their dealings with her. I also liked how the man she finally married, politely approached the Princess through her parents.

If you want to bring your children (male or female) up with principles of godly courtship, as opposed to worldly serial dating, then this book is a wonderful tool. As with teaching modesty, it is never too early to impart teaching on these important issues eg. children accustomed to wearing board shorts over their bathers from early childhood, will generally follow through into their teens- try suggesting this to a teen who has never been taught these principles from childhood, you may have a battle on your hands!

Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

For Australian readers, I ordered this book through Koorong for $25.95- it may be a little more now. I believe Jennie Bishop has also written another book especially for boys- "The Squire and the Scroll"- it may be worth checking out too.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 7:29 pm 0 comments