Wednesday, July 29, 2015

They’re Thankful for That??

As part of our homeschool journey, I’ve decided to teach the children how to sew as I also go along and learn. At least for them I can do the basic stuff that I don’t need much know-how to teach. I’m still hoping to get lessons for myself but that’s not today’s topic.

Two weeks ago or so, we started learning how to sew a straight line on the sewing machine, and how to do the same by hand. When the machine started moving, poor little lass got a huge fright and thought it was too much for her to handle, even on the lowest setting. Kinda like me learning to drive and feeling like I was zooming at 30km/hr! Her brother was calmer but also stiff and nervous. Too cute.

Later after baby girl had gone back to sleep, we did the hand sewing part. It was tough-on me! Just a small thing like making a knot and sewing a simple running stitch across a small piece of cloth. Trying to teach both of them skills that seem so easy to me but are scary and difficult to them, while trying to find words to articulate it, just seemed so daunting. It required much patience and internal heavy breathing. 

But man, when they were done and so excited and saying, “Thank you for teaching us how to sew!” it was worth it. They really enjoyed it and wanted to keep practicing. Today as I was teaching my daughter the next step to making an invisible hem (by hand) she told me she’d even practiced making knots with string. I had no clue sewing mattered that much to her.

They both enjoyed it and felt we grew closer over it. As hard as it was for me to find ways to make it simpler, to repeat the same instruction in different ways and keep encouraging them when they wanted to give up, I wouldn’t have it any other way. These simple things that make our children feel proud and grateful are the things that will draw them closer to us. (And help them hem their own clothes one day! Winking smile)

And who doesn’t like a spot of bonding with your precious children?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cooking with Quinoa

Quinoa is one of those foods I’d have never used if I had remained a meat-eater. I only came across it in my search for sources protein. As if legumes aren’t enough! But quinoa is a safe food for me so there’s that! Quinoa has loads of protein, just one more source for when people assume that as a vegan you don’t get enough! This pack was from Clicks.

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I usually cook it as I would rice and use it as a substitute for it on some days. But yesterday was done differently.

Once again for the newly vegan…

Cook lentils with baby marrow, spring onion (Can be normal onion but my husband gets hives when he eats onion), seasoning and generally how you normally would make lentil stew, and add cooked quinoa to it. Then once that’s cooked, cut the top off peppers, hollow them out and stuff them with the lentil mix. Bake at 180 C for about 30-45 minutes depending on your oven. For sides I made pumpkin and sweet potato as well as green beans seasoned with herbs. Hope that helps one little soul Winking smile

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Lesson from the Past

A new sweet reader has been stalking reading through my blog and mentioned a post I wrote in 2009 stating that I did not believe, unless a miracle happened, that we would ever buy a home.

I remember the angst of those years. Not much money so even what we rented was ‘just’ enough but not large. But it was still more than what many of our friends had. I hated living in flats with noisy neighbours, being able to hear their every footstep, above us conversation day and night. I disliked wondering if the owner would sell the house, not being able dig up the garden to plant what we wanted. But at the same time, we were fine. We didn’t moan that our finances would only allow a small house in the township far away from husband’s work. We just lived and dreamed. And hoped for freedom from hearing our neighbours’ arguments! So when a parent said we should hurry up and buy “because all other couples in their 30’s have their own houses now” we weren’t interested nor pushed even more. In fact, that comment was made when we were discussing going away to Tanzania. “But if you keep going in and out the country and not settling, you’re never going to buy a house.”

Two years after I said it would take a miracle to buy..we did. I’ve often spoken about the answers that God has given. Many “yeses” but some “no’s” when it comes to my health. This week was tough on my back, especially before I made up a routine for our two babies. and I prayed in the shower begging for my spine to be healed. But of course, it wasn’t. He’s already taught me that He allows me to live in pain so that I never forget I live by grace-His loving grace. The young lady who brought up this past post helped remind me that He has given us many “yeses” too. And as we plan for our little farm or smallholding that we hope to buy in 2018-2019, I pray that too will meet with a Yes. Then we will finally not be able to see into our neighbour’s garden and back door from our windows. We won’t hear their loud parties and conversations. And I pray for extra bonuses too-like a borehole! Watering here has been to expensive. Simmer is going to see a change in what can be grown.

Anyway, this post isn’t about concrete plans, it’s about our God. He acted when we never expected Him to. Just as I know He has in your past. And He will do it again for His faithful children. You  trusted Him then when you didn’t know the future, and you can trust Him again today. He cares.

Friday, July 24, 2015

We’ve Turned the Corner!

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(Ignore the cut head, realised my headcoveirng wasn’t on after showering so tried to eliminate myself as much as possible.)

I’m so happy. When I met our visitor on Sunday, she’d take one look at me and cry. Her dad would sing to her and she’d calm down. She cried till she slept when we drove home. We got home, and she was out of it, poor confused soul. Next day, same thing. But at least no crying when looking at me! She was still solemn though.

Tuesday there was improvement in her demeanour. We got a few smiles, something her father was very happy about. The fact that she wasn’t smiling had really been worrying him. He kept asking if she’d smiled and laughed yet. When I could send him a photo of her laughing, his heart sang! Since then she’s decided I’m her greatest ally and only wants me when she’s feeling sleepy or catches a glimpse of me when the others are holding her.

But the greatest thing and the one that makes me rejoice, is her eating. She’d had to abruptly come off the breast while at home the last two days there. She wasn’t willing to drink what they gave her (adult soya milk) so had sips of water. Sunday she gulped down what we gave her (soya formula) from pure hunger but after that it was war. She didn’t like it so only drank every 7 hours and even then, it was under duress. Do you know how awful it is forcing a baby to drink? Listening to her crying, pushing the bottle away, moving her head away but you see the dry nappies, worry about dehydration ( she’d stopped even drinking water) and know she just has to drink? So I kept having to do it when she was unwilling. By Thursday morning she was only refusing once before drinking at drinking more often.

Last night as I was holding her and holding the bottle in the other hand, she actually tried to chase it with her mouth. Even bending over to get it. This was huge! It had been 3 hours since she drank and she wanted to drink of her own volition!! Woohoo!! Then this morning at 5 (Yes, she seems to sleep better than our one who I was aiming to train to sleep through the night before our visitor came) she again just willingly and eagerly opened her tiny mouth (with two little teeth already) and drank and finished. Man, my heart still jumps when I think about it.

I tried to avoid falling in love with her. But I couldn’t. I’m going to miss her when she goes home, but we still have probably a month or a bit more (or less if things change) to love her and cuddle her and give her a routine that brings her peace and quiet.

And it showed me how I’m ready to adopt again. It’s hard. Very hard dealing with two instead of one. But with my older two being such good little helpers and still being able to do most school lessons-we’ve dropped sewing for now-it’s doable. Very doable if you neglect certain chores and know that the wellbeing of your children is more important than a spotless house for now and God understands you’re doing your best for His children. And it has showed me that I don’t need a 60-90 day old baby. Yes, the older they are, the more adjustment and grieving needed, but we can do it. For that, I am grateful.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Having our unexpected visitor here has been the most tiring, and hardest adventure.

But it has really made me look even more forward to the day we bring our future son home.

The children love having two babies in the home and the joy on our baby's face when she sees our visitor is precious! She babbles at her, smiles, can't stop staring and tries to grab her.

The sweetest moments are having two of them making a "joyful NOISE unto the Lord" when we're singing hymns. They'll be silent while we discuss a passage but as soon as the song starts, our visitor's face lights up, our baby flaps her arms like she's trying to fly and they make their attempts at singing. Too cute!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What's Wrong with Women?

This is an issue that REALLY bugs me. Really does. As Christians, we are told by Paul to "work out your OWN salvation with fear and trembling." Christ told us to remove the beam from our own eyes before removing the mote from another.

But when it comes to the issue of submission - that flies out the window. You get questions asking about when you can assert yourself. You get comments about how men ought to behave... How men should be nice... It's not about how people treat us. The Bible is clear in so many passages that as wives, we ought to submit where principle is not being sacrificed. Obviously our relationship with God comes first.

Maybe these ladies with problems submitting know only the wrong type of male, that's why they are quick to rise up against this counsel. That's still no excuse. Jesus submitted to death in order to save us. If our salvation is guaranteed by our submission too, let's allow Him to work in us. Maybe they've been brainwashed by the school of feminism. Well now it's time to learn in the school of humility. Where great men learnt.

In this case, it IS about us, not others. It's about the way we address our men. What we want them to do. Why we want them to act a certain way and whether God is acting through us as we interact. Yes, the Bible is clear that men should love like Christ does. But even if they don't, we still have the other cheek to turn. Doesn't mean stay in a home where your health or life are threatened. It means allowing the head to be the head God ordained. It means being sure from the very start that he IS the one God set apart for you. If he is, half the battle of submission is won already.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Emergency Foster Placement

That's what it feels like anyway!

We're taking care of a friend's baby. A baby we'd not yet met. Baby who's been breastfed and has a topsy-turvy night time (lack of ) routine. New method of drinking, new drink, new people and no old faces. No wonder she cried a lot till 3am. No idea how long we will have her with us. Praying we will get her into Lathitha routine soon so we can all rest.

I feel sorry for the little one. Each time she looked at me when I went to fetch her, she'd start crying. No, it's not because of my glasses, her dad wears them too! Praying her mom heals and recovers so they can reunite soon if it's God's will.

And now I get a taste of foster care of young babies. I've always admired them but to do this tiring routine over and we over is hard work and harder on the emotions when you have to say goodbye. I don't even want to think of that.