Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Clayton's Story

For a time, I had another blog called Perspective. It was really because I was losing mine...I needed it for that time. I only did 5 posts on that blog, but it served its purpose. I'm now deleting that blog. So, I wanted to add these 5 posts to this blog so they are not lost forever. :) Here is one of them.

This actually happens to be the cousin of a friend of mine from college. Saw this on her blog. Man, it's so true. We get so very distracted. Watch and learn from this young man.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

We Are SO VERY Uninformed - UPDATED!!



For those of you who have already read this, but haven't given your thoughts, please do so. There is quite the discussion going on in the comments section, so check it out. We'd love to know what you think too! Please share!!

Long, but very important. Read it and then read at the end about this picture.

Remember this post about birth control? And this one, stating "Why Don't We Know This?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?" (multiple question marks and exclamation points added here...not on original post) :)

Uggghhhhh, I get so frustrated with dishonesty. And I do consider blatant omission of the truth dishonesty.

I have told you all our stance on vaccinations. And to be completely, 100% honest, this new information may not change the actions we take in regards to vaccinations. But, it does indeed change our decision-making process and thoughts concerning vaccinations.

When presented with the questions of vaccination before, we always thought of whether or not they were safe...and whether or not, after we'd prayed about it and got God's direction on it, they were safe for our children.

A friend of mine recently mentioned something to me about vaccinations and how some are made with aborted fetuses. I had honestly, never before in my life, heard that. If I have ever been present when that accusation was made, I don't remember it at all. Therefore, I have to come to the conclusion that this is not something most people even know about.

Prepare to be informed. Look away if you want to continue to be ignorant. But, remember...ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is just ignorance. And ignorance (concerning anything) often times (strike that...MOST TIMES) leads to people being hurt and bad things happening. Sometimes ignorance is justified in that information just isn't available. But, here it is...available.

GET INFORMED!!

More than 80 abortions were performed in the creation of the most widely used rubella vaccines.
Tissue from aborted fetuses also contributed to development of vaccines routinely used in immunizations
for measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, polio, hepatitis A & B and other diseases. Some vaccines
based on nonhuman sources are widely available, but they have either been withdrawn from the market, or families aren’t told they have an alternative.

(Quote from a Samaritan Ministries Newsletter)

Here's the deal: From what I've read, a brief synopsis (from what I understand) is that 3 different fetuses were used back in the 60s and 70s to make the vaccines that we now use today. Unfortunately (as if that isn't already unfortunate enough), many more aborted fetuses were tried but not usable. Therefore, way more than just 3 aborted fetuses were 'used.'

So, with that information, not only do people have the safety questions associated with vaccinations to consider, now they have ethical/moral/spiritual issues to wrestle with.

Let me tell you that I am 100% against abortion. 100%.

Recently someone presented a real-life scenario to me. A nine-year old here in Brazil was raped/abused by someone (I believe it was her stepfather, but I can't recollect with certainty). She was given an abortion because the experts said that her little body just wouldn't be able to sustain a pregnancy/birth, but the Catholic church came down on (renounced) all the people who had anything to do with it. Some, even Pro-Life Christians, say they would've done the same in giving the child an abortion.

Where do I stand in that scenario? I tend to just believe in a God of miracles to put it bluntly. I am completely and totally compassionate towards the people involved. I so very much feel for them and wish it weren't so. But, instead of inducing shame and fear, why not give her hope and love? That little girl's situation was not a surprise to God. He knew when she was in her mother's womb that that would happen to her. Of course, then you can get into 'if He knew her and loved her so much, why did He allow it to happen...He could've protected her, He could've stopped it.' True, but He didn't. And that is as hard for me as it is for anyone else, but no matter what, we have to trust in His love...no matter what.

He knew that would happen, it wasn't a surprise and shock to him that this 9 year old had a baby growing inside of her. I, for one, think He could've handled it. He could've caused her little body to be able to carry and birth a child...for either her family to raise or for some childless couple to be blessed with. He could've allowed a miscarriage to happen. God, surprisingly, had many "options" even in our finite ways of thinking.

Many say that my reaction to this would be different if it was my 9 year old. Possibly. Our emotions many times get in the way of our values, what we know to be right and what we hold dear when we are not in a crisis situation. I can only hope that I will hold true to my values even when faced with an unimaginable circumstance. But, that hasn't been tested to that extent, so you can't 'hold me to it.'

What if I was in danger...what if I were said to be 100% sure to die if I didn't have an abortion? Again, my belief system (God system) says no...no abortion. What about rape...again no.

Guess what? Those are very, very rare reasons people have an abortion in the first place. These are the statistics I found (articles online) concerning these extreme reasons for abortion:

Actual percentage of U.S. abortions in "hard cases" are estimated as follows: in cases of rape or incest, 0.3%; in cases of risk to maternal health or life, 1%; and in cases of fetal abnormality, 0.5%. About 98% of abortions in the United States are elective, including socio-economic reasons or for birth control. This includes about 25% for primarily economic reasons.

So yes...I am definitely, absolutely, without fail against abortion!!

How could it be, then, that I might possibly accept vaccines made from the result of this abominable act?

Let me be very clear...Joel and I haven't even begun talking through this. He hasn't even really heard the information. We haven't prayed at all about this stuff. So, a decision about anything has not been even almost reached. Just want to be clear.

Why am I already writing all of this then? Honestly, I wanted to get it out there. I want you all to know what I didn't know just a few days ago. Will it change your ways? Maybe not. But, we need to have all the information in order to make informed decisions.

So, just in my own brainstorming about this situation, why would we be willing to still use these vaccines (just in case you are curious)?

Were these abortions done with the intent of making a vaccine? What I mean is, did these women abort these infected babies to make a vaccine? Again, let me clarify my thought processes...Were these babies going to be aborted anyway, even without the prospect of a vaccine? If so, in that case, would that be a case of someone just turning a horrible act into something beneficial at least...saving millions of lives in the end?

I know that that train of thought doesn't always work. Can any amount of good justify using the result of abortion? Some say no, no matter the extent of the good or the minimal 'amount' of initial harm (number of fetuses used). Can we justify using already aborted fetuses for good? To play devil's advocate in our decision-making process: What if the fetuses were aborted yesterday and the vaccine was being made today...would I go take it tomorrow? Maybe...maybe not. If not, do the years passed and the common use of it make it O.K.? Maybe...maybe not. If we wouldn't use a fetus-made vaccine manufactured today, why would we use one made in the 60s? If we think that one made today would promote abortion, why doesn't one made in the 60s do the same thing in our minds? We need to all pray, don't we? But, back to the question, can we justify using already aborted fetuses for good?

In the stem cell research area, back in 2001 Bush chose not to permit taxpayer funding for research on embryonic stem cell lines not currently in existence in order to keep embryos from being created and destroyed. I liked this. Why? 1. It was putting to good use something that was horrible and disgusting that already existed (the results of abortion), but 2. Did not 'promote' the possibility of anyone considering an abortion (at the time or in the future) getting dilusional about their abortion being used for the great good in the long run.

So, basically I kind of view it that way. But, really now I'm questioning whether or not I think it's a good thing to use already aborted fetuses for stem cell research...esp. now after it's proven to be ineffective (at least we got the proof in these years since we've been doing it...and of course watching other countries do it). Read this and this to see what I'm talking about. Hmm...maybe God is saying that using already aborted fetuses isn't O.K. ?????? Unfortunately, in the stem cell research area, thank you Mr. Obama...looks like even using aborted fetuses of today is a possibility now. If that's not O.K. with me, why would I use a vaccine made today with an aborted fetus (see how I'm obviously undecided and contradictory even in my own head?)?

Are aborted fetuses still being used to make vaccines? If they are, send me resources that state that without doubt...I've researched over the last couple of days, but compared to some of you I'm sure, my research is still pretty limited of course.

But, thankfully now I'm at least informed about what we are talking about when we say vaccines. What else do we not know...and why? Would I ever have known to research this if my friend hadn't informed me? What about the birth control pill (and shot and patch and ring and IUDs)...we would've never known that those caused abortions had someone not informed us.

We have got to stick together on these things. If you know something, tell me. We all have to make our own decisions about these things, but first and foremost, WE HAVE TO KNOW!! This informaton is readily available (in code sometimes, but still it's available), but only when spread amongst us are we even aware we need to seek it out.

To look at more concerning vaccinations, here are a couple of sites...but there are many more (google is your friend :) ):
http://www.vaccinationnews.com/dailynews/October2002/VaccinesFromAborted4.htm
http://www.geocities.com/titus2birthing/VacProLife.html

Also, this one from a Catholic site is interesting.

Alright, off to pray and talk with Joel. If you didn't have this information before, I suggest you do the same. God can certainly direct our thoughts and steps in this matter.

P.S. The picture at the top of the page was taken from http://www.kayleighannefreeman.blogspot.com/ (yes, that is an actual picture of her Daddy's hand holding her hand...with his wedding ring as her bracelet). She was born last June 23rd (I remember it because it is my Granddaddy's birthday...and Mark's :) ). She was born 3 months early and weighed 1 pound 1 ounce. She has fought and was winning, but in the last few days something very tragic happened. Please be praying for her and her family. They need major miracles and comfort and peace. Go to her site, watch her little video...what a testimony of why abortion is wrong.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grady Pulls His Tooth


Remember this post from March 17th? Remember the last bit about how Grady (age 5 as of January) had a loose tooth (discovered the day before on March 16th). I never updated on that. Well, on March 18th, he got rid of that tooth (just 2 days after discovering it was loose). I'll just let him tell you about it. Growing up, I tell you.

It's Mine, All Mine


O.K., so there is this free give-away going on over at Vintage Grace. It's the place where you are not supposed to go and you are not supposed to enter this give-away since I want to win it myself...see how that works? On second thought, go ahead and go over there and look at all the fabulous things she has...so stinkin' creative (the opposite of moi) and such fun ideas (that I only look at and say 'aww' about...never would I actually attempt these things). But listen, do not enter this give-away. I mean it. Don't make me come through this computer! And just so you know, this is what I'm going to win. Fun huh?

I'll be back with more kid updates soon...I promise.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Catch-Up

I feel like I'm always playing catch-up with the blog lately. So...here we go...some catch-up.

Things continue to go well here in Anapolis, Goias - Brazil. Joel is loving what he is doing at the flight school. I am loving homeschooling the kiddos and being a wifey-poo. We LOVE where we live. The weather is perfect, we love living here on the seminary campus, we love our house, blah blah blah. :) It seems like things have finally settled down a bit for us. For how long, we don't know, but for now, whew. It is a nice feeling.

I still haven't gone back to Portuguese classes, but talk to my teacher regularly and am doing a lot more studying on my own. It's actually been really good and I'm being able to figure out alot about this language that I wasn't understanding when going to classes. So, that's what's going on in that area in this season, at this time. How long will the scenario stay the same? Not sure. But, it's just perfect for us right now.

As I type this, Grady and Hadley are playing at the park. They are growing up. They go by themselves now sometimes (no climbing on the monkey bars or in trees allowed when I'm not there though). I can see the park up the hill from my kitchen window, so it works (and they also pop back at the house often).

Eissa just woke up and is asking for a 'nyack' (snack). :) Cass is still sleeping. Today is a holiday (Remove Teeth day...ha ha ha, for all you Portuguese speakers) here in Brazil, so Joel has been home...and no school for the kids today. But, Joel is taking a nap too...he's been sick. You might be praying for him if you will. He hardly ever gets sick, but he's got lots of yucky congestion, a throbbing headache, and a sore throat (Cass had it last week, poor girl).

I have more detailed kiddo updates too of course, but will do those a post at a time. Until then, here are some fun pics from the past couple of weeks (warning: kid hineys to follow...).

Some fun finger painting action.
Cass LOVES to take a bath...so much so that she can't wait for us to take her clothes off. ;)
Eissa Rose.
These siblings...
...really love each other!
Easter weekend Joel made us a little picnic table out of a crate (again, those things have really come in handy, right?). All the neighbor kids were over playing.
I made coconut flan.
Finished picnic table project.
They love to eat outside.
Joel put some shoes on Cass the other day. She is still not walking. She's so extremely cautious...it's so funny. But, she is dang cute in a pair of Old Navy tennis. And, surprise...she didn't throw a little fit about it either (she usually screams and kicks whenever we come at her with a pair of shoes).
Eissa...yes, she's still dressing herself. :) And she's still cracking us up non-stop around here.
Heading out to church last night. Loved her denim dress with the cute red bow.
Daddy put a little 'perch' in the tree. Cass was trying it out. ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Never Judge a Book...

Is this not one of the most inspirational things you've ever seen? I can't embed it, but please go here (link below) to see it. I have some thoughts on it that might just be post worthy (I think)...but, after you watch. Then click back over here and tell me what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luRmM1J1sfg&feature=related

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Diamonds and Water

We just got done watching the movie Blood Diamond. We've been wanting to watch it for a long time now, but always before when we went to the local video store, it was either out (only one copy after all) or we just weren't in the mood for a 'heavy' film. Wow. So glad we got around to watching it.

It's one of those movies that really inspires. There have been several movies like that...where I stay up all night after I watch them just thinking, writing, wondering what I can do. What movies were those you ask? Amistad, The Hurricane, The Mission, Hotel Rwanda to name a few. There aren't many really...those are the only ones I can think of at this moment...and may be really all there is. And now, Blood Diamond.

If you haven't seen it, do. It's so ironic though. I get all inspired and motivated to do something when I see movies like that. But, it also glaringly spits out the truth...I am selfish. I mean, I get all pissy when I don't have electricity for a couple of hours for crying out loud. Really. Just selfish. More selfish than I used to be. I remember a time when I was more selfless...before I got married and had children and moved to another country. As my 'rights' just get 'taken away' from me by sheer circumstance, am I gripping and grabbing at whatever rights I do have left? Electricity for one...running water, shelter, peaceful living, the ability to go shopping if need be, and even the ability to watch a rented movie on my cushy couch?

Those things are nice. Those things are not of the devil. But, the selfishness that grips and grabs at those things...that is of our biggest enemy, the devil. It's tricky sometimes to live in this world but not be of the world, isn't it? It's an interesting balancing act to live a 'normal' life...whatever that 'normal' is for you...and still not get caught up in what you think that 'normal' life should look like. God might have a very different idea of what your 'normal' life should look like...He usually does actually. Oh God, give us a Kingdom perspective!! PLEASE!!

I am not a journalist who goes to war-torn countries seeking truth. I am not a fisherman ripped from his family, doing everything he can to get them back. I am not a courageous, but jaded soldier, fighting bravely for all things, good and bad.

I am a mother of 4 little ones, a wife to one strong man of God, and someone who REALLY wants to do all the great things God has planned for her...really making a difference. Many of you feel the same way. We may not be in battle literally, with guns and grenades in hand, but we can all do something to truly help others. And I'm talking about helping others LIVE!!

Please...I beg you to go here and read this. This is one great solution for all of us 'normal' people. You can do this.

It is actually Easter morning as I type this, I just realized. Jesus gave His life so that we might live. Please...give just a little of yourselves today so that others, too, might live.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Water

For a time, I had another blog called Perspective. It was really because I was losing mine...I needed it for that time. I only did 5 posts on that blog, but it served its purpose. I'm now deleting that blog. So, I wanted to add these 5 posts to this blog so they are not lost forever. :) Here is one of them.

If you got here from my other blog, you realize that I was just inspired by the movie Blood Diamond. For whatever reason, God has used movies many times in my life to really move me...to action.

After a movie like that, I just cannot go to bed. My mind is racing, my heart wrenched for people...people who need. Thoughts of these people in Sierra Leone...thoughts about what we all could do for people just like them. Then, for some reason, I thought about the little video blurb I saw a few months ago. We've all seen it several times I'm sure. This one...



So simple, isn't it? Want less, give more. Less self, more for others. It led me to this video about the motivation, the story behind that first video...



Is it really all about Him? If it is, then we'll be all about others, in His name, then won't we? Obviously, this whole video idea was all geared toward Christmas. But, isn't everyday Christmas for most of us Americans? Don't we all just kind of go get whatever we want, directed by our little selfish 'whims.' It's not really, blatantly selfish, since that's what everyone does and that's the norm. And, I'm not condemning whatever we are doing wholly. But, what if...

What if we gave up our daily Starbuck's runs? What if we chose to only go out to eat once a week instead of once a day, or once a month instead of once a week? What if we, like this video suggests, decided to give meaningful/life-changing things for Christmas, Easter, birthdays, etc.? Does that mean never giving a material gift again? No...but as you can see...we all have something we can give up. And, what would that look like, say, at Christmas time, practically speaking? Well, here are some examples...



And, what would that look like daily, say for a village in Liberia, Africa...again, practically speaking of course...


Advent Conspiracy from Living Water International on Vimeo.


Repairing Wells, Rebuilding Lives from Living Water International on Vimeo.

That's what it would look like.

Go here. Roam their website. Wow. What if our youth groups joined forces and did something like this? What if our MOPS groups did? What if our families did? What if?

Go here. See the full story of their heart and vision for their organization...their purpose.

And just plain and simple...on this Resurrection Day, give life!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Nossa Casa

WE LOVE IT!! Here are some pictures...

Our big open living room/dining room/play area/ kitchen area. LOVE this open floor plan. Love, love, love it. Ahhh! That is the front door there.

That door there in the corner leads to our little office. We will soon (like in a week or so probably) sell those orange chairs (along with the orange sofa thingy in our room...you'll see it) and hope to put a piano there in that spot.
Our little office.
The other corner.
The kids' play area. I'm standing at the entrance to our kitchen to take this picture...right by the bar.
Our kitchen (picture taken standing in the play area).

Yes, there are dirty dishes there. There almost always is. ;) Just don't mind them.
That door straight ahead goes into our washroom/storage area.
Standing at that door (and our back door is to the left).



Standing at the washroom/storage area door looking back through the kitchen into the living room.
Standing at the bar...our table (or, our borrowed table...not really ours even though we've been using it for the past year and a half). The kids' bathroom is straight ahead, our room is on the right, and the kids' rooms are on the left.
Our room (do you like our curtain, i.e. crib mattress pad?).
You think I would've moved the notebook off my bed for the picture. Whatever.
The other side of the room and our closet...the one I despise. I'll blog about it in another post...it's a long, horrible story. But, still I'm thankful that we at least have one.
Our bathroom.

The kids' bathroom.
The kids' room...Grady, Hadley, and Eissa. The bunk beds are a bit shorter, so much better...we chopped them. We aren't even using the trundle right now...Eissa and Hadley both sleep in the bottom bunk...one on each end.
Grady's closet.
Girls' closet.
Cass's room. Eventually she will move in with the other kids, but right now they are waking up alot earlier than her in the mornings, so we prefer to keep her separated with that the case.

The other side of that room.

We've done a few things even since I took these pictures Friday afternoon...hung a few pictures, bought curtains and hung them, etc. That's the nature of the weekend. It gets done bit by bit on Saturdays and Sundays. We are too busy during the week to work on house stuff. But, yeah...we're loving it. Hopefully now you can get a better picture of our life and home here in Brazil.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Some Answers

(Pic: Joel returning home from a swim with the kiddos. We so love where we live...a community pool right behind our backyard, a park next to that, wide open spaces that the kids can explore, and of course being able to 'travel' by red wagon. :) )

So, I started to answer questions in the actual comment section of the last post, but do people really come back and look for answers to the questions they ask in the comment section? I do sometimes, if I remember. But, just thought this was easier anyway.

First, let me just tell you that it happens so naturally and easily for me to wean my babies. I know that isn't always the case with some of you. I think that one reason is because of the way we schedule...sleep, nurse, eat, play instead of nursing right before sleep. I do nurse right before bedtime, but only at the bedtime time (our bedtime is set at 8pm). I also never use nursing as comfort. I know that it is comforting, but what I mean is that when my baby falls down and hurts him/herself for example, I don't nurse the baby to comfort...I think that's another reason. My babies aren't used to being nursed for soothing or going to sleep. We soothe and comfort in other ways...and put to bed in other ways too. I know lots of you do the same (yay, Baby Wise...even if you don't agree with all that Baby Wise has to say, that scheduling is awesome in my opinion).

Around 3-4 months of age, my babies have all slept through the night (for the most part). Our nursing schedule looked something like this: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm. Obviously that wasn't set in stone, but it was always around those times, give or take an hour or two on either side. Not too long after this happens, the 10pm is able to be dropped. Around 6 months of age we start solids. After that, it doesn't take too terribly long until they drop the mid-morning feeding (10am) and the mid-afternoon feeding (4pm) and they are only taking 2 naps a day. So then they are just nursing right before mealtimes...the original 1pm feeding is pushed up to noon or so...they nurse and then eat lunch with the rest of the family. The original 7pm is pushed up to 5 or so and then they eat supper...you get it. Then I feed again at 8 when we put them to bed.

Anyway, all of that to say, that's how we get from 6 feedings down to 4. Now, I never produce an abundance of milk at all...even at the very first when I'm nursing every 2 hours. It just doesn't happen. I've never been engorged or anything like that (I know...lucky). So, I just have a perfect amount I guess because my babies (after I figured out what I was doing wrong with the first two anyway) have done just fine with the amount I have. Once I go down to 4 feedings (or once they reach about the 10 month age anyway) and since they are eating normal food anyway, they still love to nurse, but it's not at all necessary I guess as far as they are concerned. Some people stop nursing because they say that their babies are too distracted or not interested...usually around 9 months this happens. I remember this happenening a bit, when they just get old enough to be interested in what's going on around them. But, we always push through this, sometimes even doing things like going to another room or, if I'm here by myself, putting in a video or something so that the 3 older ones were still and quiet while I nursed. We just made it work.

With the older three, I've always been pregnant already by the time they were a year old, so I was 'ready,' I guess you could say, to wean. It was still a bit sad, but I was ready and they didn't seem to miss it at all. But, this time really it was all about circumstances. We were so very busy running here and there and everywhere in the United States that it just happened naturally that I just wasn't able to nurse sometimes during the day (either the lunch or supper feeding was almost always dropped each day). It was a completely easy transition and Cass could've cared less. When we got back here, we went down to the 2 feedings. Once I go down to just 2 feedings, I really am hardly making any milk it seems to me. I joked around with a friend the other day...I'm sure Cass was like "Is this really necessary?" :) Ha ha ha. Seriously...I could tell she just really didn't care either way. But, I'm always pretty determined to at least do it until they are a year old. So, that's what we do. But, I'm sure that makes it easier too...that by that time, I'm pretty 'dry.'

As far as 'Aunt Flo': I got a visit from her once between Grady and Hadley, once between Hadley and Eissa, and she never came between Eissa and Cass. But, strangely enough, after Cass she came very 'early' for me. Cass was only 3 months old when the uninvited guest arrived (I love that good ole Flo enables me to have children, but that's all I love about her). I know some women who breastfeed exclusively (and I mean exclusively...no bottle usage at all...we never used a bottle either) and get theirs back around 6 weeks (or earlier). Then I know some who never get theirs until after they stop breastfeeding...for a very long time. I had just stopped breastfeeding when I became pregnant with Hadley (Grady was 4 months old...you can read about that breastfeeding experience and get my take on having successful breastfeeding in general here, here, and here). I was still breastfeeding and Hadley was just shy of 11 months old when I got pregnant with Eissa. I was still breastfeeding Eissa and waiting for the auntie when I found out I was preggers with Cass...Eissa was 8 1/2 months. It's interesting...and different for everyone.

As far as the dress, Leah...I don't even own a full dress. I've always been a skirt girl. :)

And Rebecca (in the comments section last post), do I know you? I just know several Rebeccas but I didn't think any of them had had a 3 child, so just curious.

Also (total subject change here), coming soon...pictures of our house. Just took them today. Maybe the next post.

Now, this was on a friend's blog today, so I thought I'd snatch it from her and leave you with this today. This has been a fave of mine for a while. I heard it for the first time when our friend came down to visit about a year and a half ago and left her Ipod Shuffle with me...such a gift that was. Thanks Wendy!! Seriously love this song!! It gives me chills every time too, Shelly. Every time.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The End of an Era


What a bittersweet time it is for me right now. Sunday night I nursed my sweet baby girl for the last time. For those of you interested, we had dropped it down to 3 nursing times a day while we were in the U.S. Then when we got back here, we went to just mornings (when she woke up) and bedtime. For the past 2 weeks or so, we have only nursed at bedtime. Monday night (my first night to put her down without nursing), she didn't even bat an eye. No crying, no fussing...she went straight to sleep. It's been the same since.

Now, I've stopped nursing babies before. It's just that this time is a bit different. The other times I've weaned my babies, there has already been another wee one waiting in the wings (um, I mean my uterus). For the past full 6 years I've either been pregnant or nursing or doing both at the same time. My body has been a bit busy, wouldn't you say?

It has been such a joy and I'm really sad to see it go. But, I must look at the bright side (because there almost always is one). I have to remind myself of how much fun this time is going to be too...having my body all to myself (sort of...any mom can tell you that you never really have your body all to yourself, right?), not being constrained by nursing schedules, getting to consume anything I want and not worry about the effects of it on my milk, getting to not consume whatever I want (in order to lose weight) and not worry about not having enough milk, etc. All of those are 'selfish' things that I would gladly not have if another life were forming in me or I was still nursing. But then there are also the other things like how I'll be able to give more attention to my other children and to Joel (the time that was spent nursing) or be able to actually go and look at something when one of my children wants me to see it instead of saying that I need to finish nursing first. You get the idea. There are definitive positives.

Anyway, yes, it's a new time. Six full years! Now something different. What do I do with myself?!? :)

Definition of era - A period of time characterized by particular circumstances, events, or personages.

Circumstances/Events - pregnancy, birth, nursing
Personages - babies in utero and under 1 year of age

To clarify: I do plan on having another one of these little eras in the future, but we'll just leave that up to God's leading and doing.

A little blib about the beautiful little one year old: Cass is becoming such a chunk these days. When I weighed her in the states, she weighed around 13.5 pounds. I weighed her last night...17 pounds. Yeah, she's doing just fine!