Heart Reflections Live

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dreaming of Toys for our Precious Little Boys...

Nesting urges are in full swing at our home in the hills, and though physical strength is still lacking, I've started sorting and washing baby clothes, and my head is ticking away with ideas for the playroom/homeschool room.

While we've never intended to buy a lot of new stuff for blessings 3 and 4, mainly because we want our children to learn to share freely, my research on the dangers of certain plastics (PVC in toys being another one) has turned my mind to consider shopping for some wooden boys toys. (with no lead paint that is!)

I've always been very much a traditionalist when it comes to children's toys, preferring to stay away from the electronic and media-driven commercialism for children.(Eg. things to do with TV shows and movies etc). It's the same with their clothing, while we don't make much fuss over an occasional Pooh Bear or Thomas the Tank Engine motif, for the most part I prefer to stick with generic patterns or plain clothes.

We'll probably keep a few plastic items like our plain Duplo and construction toys, farm animals etc. Both our girls enjoy playing with these, and they are toys either gender can enjoy. I've already packed the really girly dress-up stuff into a special toybox just for the girls, making sure that anything left in our dress-up-hat -box is either boyish or gender neutral. I'm also sorting slowly through every toybox- like medical kits etc- removing any chokable size items until the little ones to come are older. This is something I've always strived to do before the babies come.

I can't wait till our playroom is all organised. The homeschool end is pretty much done and fuctional and very soon hubby and some of our friends will be carpeting the other end, with the blessing of free carpet and underlay we recently received.

So what do I envisige our little boys playing with...wooden trains, planes and cars, construction toys,spinning tops, boats, the bible character toys my hubby got off EBAY- NO Spiderman, Hulk or PS3's for our little men! I see them playing ball in the backyard, playing noble Princes with their Princess Sisters and gardening with Daddy in the backyard. Simple good clean fun coupled with learning to look after their Mama and Sisters, and learning the value of hard work.

And as we've done with our other children, reading Bible Stories and Beatrix Potter and Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories to them from birth, to foster hearts that love Jesus and produce life-long learners.

I can't wait to meet our little boys (Dec 2 is my C-section date), to be back in the land of lullabies and Teddy Bears- OK, yes AND sleepless nights- don't interrupt my reverie. We are indeed both looking forward to parenthood again...

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 8:25 pm 2 comments

Friday, September 26, 2008

Do You Have Toxic Plastics in Your Kitchen?

For quite a while now, with media interest on and off focusing on some of the dangers of plastic bottles and food storage containers, especially in conjunction with microwave usage, we've been op-shopping and garage-saling for items like these vintage pyrex containers, glassware and ceramic items- basically the type of stuff Grandma used- minus the dreaded aluminium saucepans of course.

Just a week ago, my hubby heard a report that it has now been confirmed that using plastic in the microwave can cause chemicals to leach into food, and in particular, any hard clear plastic containers that have a triangle with a number 7 in it, are not to be trusted at all. Any drink, hot or cold, left for over 30 minutes in one of these, may contain chemicals.

With 2 new babies on the way, I decided to hit our Tupperware cupboard for a very careful inspection. To be fair to Tupperware, the majority of their products are just fine. I would trust most of their merchandise old or new over any cheap imports any day. However, some of their stuff was labelled with the dreaded number 7! I'm no longer using their Clearmates fridge containers, or- shock horror- their Rock n' serve blue and yellow microwave sets. (We've been using these microwave ones for nearly 8 years of marriage!).

We are still using Tupperware products for food storage (especially for small amounts of leftovers), but I now refuse to microwave in any plastic container. It's not that hard to transfer food leftovers to a china plate or bowl before reheating. We still use our microwave. I've never been one to cook in it, but find it very handy for heating leftovers, or defrosting frozen bread if I'm caught short. Tupperware has some other newer products made of hard plastic too, like their Stackcooker, microwave jug, and plastic dinner ware. I haven't seen any research on these yet. If you know of any independant tests, let me know- it's important to get the word out.

In my cupboard clean out I also found some cheapo plastics from a $2 shop, and some washed takeout Chinese containers I was frugally hoarding. These and anything else I find to be no longer safe, are destined for the Homeschool corner, Sunday School Craft and other storage.

Did you know baby bottles are number 7? As a Mum who usually can't nurse, we are hunting down glass babies bottles for our coming blessings. I know a lot of folk fear breakages, but hey ? What did people use before plastics ?

In my vintage shopping jaunts, I've also found some old enamelware- pudding basins with lids- great for leftovers too. I remember my Grandfathers would take enamelware camping with them, as they are pretty much indestructible.

As for children's melamine ware, I haven't found any negative articles as yet- just don't microwave it- we plan on continuing to use the pieces our daughters had, for our sons. We also have some vintage Tupperware cereal bowls that will do for this purpose. If anyone wants an unbreakable alternative, I believe you can get Stainless Steel dinnerware as well.

Speaking of Stainless Steel, we are gradually replacing all our Teflon frying pans with stainless. Some of ours was scuffed and small particles can infiltrate your food. When I smelt an odd smell coming from one I was cooking in the other day, out it went!

Just a bit more info I found surfing the net- if you buy one of the new Pyrex sets with the plastic lids, don't let the lids touch your food- they're number 7 too!

So why is this vintage Christian Mama suddenly on a rampage against toxic plastics/saucepans in the kitchen ? It comes down to STEWARDSHIP. We are responsible for the health of our famlies, and if information such as this comes to light, who am I not to heed it. I feel there are many things in this modern world that we hang on to for the sake of convenience, but many Mamas raised many more children many moons ago without them. So what is the cost of convenience and ignorance ?

Here are some Links




posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 6:12 pm 1 comments

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Hospital Stay, 2 Blood Transfusions and a Slightly More Energized Mama...

What an eventful week it has been, and the last thing I anticipated was ending up in hospital at 26 weeks pregnant...

I'd been having a lot of trouble getting around for the last couple of months, but never having carried twins before, I thought this was normal. I survived homeschooling through the "throw-up" season, and was really looking forward to a great second trimester where I could get my neglected house in order and indulge all my nesting urges, but it never happened. I had a couple of good weeks last school holidays where I went on a cleaning frenzy, but then I caught a simple headcold and it totally floored me. I started getting breathless a LOT, and kept feeling like my legs were giving out. I nearly collapsed in our local Christian bookstore over a month ago, and hubby had to find me a chair fast. This soon became a daily occurrence. I would homeschool sitting down, and then really struggle to do simple meals, wash up and keep up with the laundry during the rest of the day.

My obstetrition said that breathlessness was common, and being 40, I was probably having a greater struggle. He assured me I'd be due for blood tests soon and we'd discount other factors.
Anyway, while making the breakfasts at the start of the week, I developed a terrible pain in my lower abdomen, behind my major scar. I had to lie down and hubby finished the breakfasts. In about 20 minutes it stopped and the babies were kicking well, so I forgot about it. The day before I went to hospital, we were shopping in a huge craft warehouse, and of course I was on the lookout for seats along the way, as I hopped on the last one I had a minor faint, but felt OK after a while and sat and waited for my hubby as he bought something for our Church. An older lady walked past me and stopped and said, "Are you all right?" I assured her I was- just a bit out of breath as I was carrying twins. She said,"I'm a mid-wife. If you get any pain or bleeding make sure you get straight to the hospital. Are you right to get home?" I said I was with my family, and that my husband was driving me home and all was well.

I believe this was a preparation warning from the Lord, as the next day as we finished homeschool, the pain came back, and waned and intensified in waves for about 6 hours. Hubby was at a meeting but we kept in touch by mobile phone, and since I wasn't bleeding, and was managing to keep myself comfortable and that the pains didn't feel like contractions, we agreed we would go down to the hospital to get it checked when he returned.

By the time we got to the hospital, the mysterious pain had gone. They confirmed that I wasn't in labour, nor was I in danger of rupturing via my scar, but blood tests confirmed I was severly anaemic. My haemaglobin levels had dropped from 120 at the start of my pregnancy, to a mere 75. The babies were doing fine, I was not bleeding internally, and although they could find no logical reason for the drop (I had similar strange blood readings during my first pregnancy), they said they'd keep me under observation, and I ended up having 2 blood transfusions. The morning after my release from hospital, I woke feeling FANTASTIC!

I'm still a bit breathless, but that's mainly due to the Queensland heat that's been creeping in with our glorious Spring days. I hope to have a bit more energy now to carry these precious babies through till the end of November.


posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 8:16 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My Miracle Man!!

My miracle man hubby turned 44 this month! How blessed we are to have such a man as head of our home! In our situation, every birthday, anniversary and Christmas becomes a milestone, as we are so blessed to have him in our lives...

You see, my beloved has 3 major heart defects (tricuspet artresia, pulmonary stenosis, and transposition of the great vessels). Max has never had surgery for any of these, and any one of these conditions can cause death before the age of 16. We are so aware of God's Soverignty over our lives, His calling on Max, and the exhortation to number our days.

People often ask us how we cope with this uncertainty "hanging over" our heads, but I believe that God has given us a special Grace in that department, and we've learnt to trust in Him , not our circumstances. We have just about clocked up 6 months without me having to call the ambulance in the middle of the night, which is great as we had a bit of a bad run earlier in the year, what with wasp stings and various other unknown factors. Sometimes I think God allows an attack, just so Max can witness to a certain doctor or nurse on duty, or pray for someone in the next bed without the peace and hope we have.

So, what happens when Max has an attack? His heart goes into AF (Aterial Fibulation), which coupled with his defects, leaves us in a life and death situation. He needs oxygen very quickly, as soon as the ambos arrive. They often put at least one canula in him too, and phone Emergency to let them know Max is on his way again. They immediately stabilize him with amiodorone at the hospital and once his heart rate has calmed a bit, they cardio-invert him to put him back into normal rhythm. Then he's fighting to get outa there and to get on livin' life!

I'll never forget the time he had a turn early one Sunday morning. I rang our Youth Pastor to be on standby to preach, picked up Max from hospital after his cardioinversion, he put his white shirt on, dots and patches showing through, rocked up to Church and he got up just in time to preach!!

People sometimes ask us why God doesn't just heal Max- I don't know, maybe we have a better testimony the way things stand now. God often uses me to share spontaneously with people in hospitals while we're waiting about our faith in Christ in our situation.

The most important thing I learnt when this first happened nearly 6 years ago, and yes back then I thought I was going to lose him on our oldest daughter's first birthday, was that no matter what happened, Satan would never triumph and that God would get the glory!! That brought us joy in the midst of possible pain and adversity, and it taught me to have no fear for the future. If I feared I would have missed out on nearly 8 years of marriage, 2 beautiful daughters, and the little twin boys who are coming late November.

I just want to encourage you to trust God for your future, live to glorify Him, and to treasure the little moments of the life He has granted you.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 8:54 pm 1 comments