27 April 2009

First Place!

CJ just won First Place in another Cross-Country-Show-Jumping-Event!

Here, I wrote about CJ and Silverball and how God is so trustworthy to provide for my children, where I, humanly speaking, cannot. Well, the Lord provided even more. From the 1st of April a group of anonymous well doers at the riding school, decided to lease Silverball from his owner for CJ. Now CJ can almost call Silverball his own horse. He can take his siblings on regular rides on Silverball, go on out rides in the vineyards as much as he likes, and best of all, he can take Silverball to any event he wants to.

On Monday the 27th there was another Cross-Country-Show-Jumping-Event in Stellenbosch and it was during this event that he won his first, First place. According to Christo, it was so special to see my boy’s smile grow bigger and bigger as the other places were called out and he realized he is going to take the first place.

Unfortunately I couldn’t go along, since David developed a fever from the previous night and had a terrible cough. Since it is now winter and the morning air is cold, we didn’t think it was a good idea to take David out. So David, Daniel and I stayed home. We kept ourselves busy praying for CJ’s safety while cleaning the house.

Daddy took the most beautiful pictures.

I love Ps 37

16 A little that a righteous man has
Is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
But the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The Lord knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
25 I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.

I can only say: Amen!!

26 April 2009

Celebrating Victory over Death!

Celebrating Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, victory over death and His resurrection, was really special this year. I didn't plan anything until the Monday. Those of you, who know me in real life, will know I’m a very impulsive person and highly goal orientated. When I put my mind to something, everyone else must hold on and try to keep up with my pace. I believe that is a virtue, since that is exactly what I need to follow through with the life God has planned for me, but as you may know, every virtue can be a vice as well. I don't always take all the facts into consideration. My impulsive, persistent personality also makes it hard on my family. But, the Lord gave me my dear husband who is the complete opposite. He will think and think and think again before deciding to do something, but then it would be very well planned. Since he always takes all the facts into account, he is seldom wrong. Isn't it amazing how the Lord can weave together complete opposites and make great things happen because of that exact combination. Never in my life would I have been what I am, without my God given partner. But now I'm totally off the topic.

To come back to our Celebration weekend. On Monday morning I decided that we should make a mini lapbook with the little ones. There were so many websites and ideas, but I really wanted to focus on Jesus and the events of the last week that lead up to His crucifixion. Lapbooklessons had the mini lapbook I was looking for.

On Tuesday night we discussed Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and Judas’s plan to betray him. On Wednesday night we discussed the last Avon’s meal and Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.

On Thursday night we had a meal of soup and bread and Christo lead us in communion.

We also discussed His scourging, crown of thorns and crucifixion and watched “The Passion of Christ” with the older ones!
On Sunday morning we did a resurrection mini-book.

It was amazing to hear how the little ones; David, Andrew and Danika, remembered every detail of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

Here are the final lapbooks:

20 April 2009

The Vision

Last night I took this beautiful picture. Oh, how I love them - my little ones. Let’s face it, they are hard work, but oh, I love them and what would my life be without them? How empty and boring my life would have been if I had only my 3 older children and my 'youngest' was eight years old?

Years ago I only dreamed about these 3 angels of mine. I just knew they were supposed to be mine. I remember, while having only two children, the vision of a third little face next to the other two, exactly like the above picture.

And then, two or three years after Josua the Lord enlarged my vision - Praise the Lord! He gave me the vision to have all the little faces that He planned for me. In Matthew 18:10 we read: “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

And in Ps. 139:16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

The Lord knows them all; their faces are before Him, every day. Oh, I want to hold them all, love them, care for them, train them, I want to know them too!

This is the reason I'm labouring for my little children day AND night, the reason why I am eagerly preparing my house and my womb for another baby, which the Lord will send in His good time. I want to know all the little faces the Maker of the Universe intended for me, even before the foundation of the earth.

Can I share with you my biggest fear when reaching heaven in due time? I fear the moment when I shall see the little faces I had rejected the first 10 years of my marriage. Those I didn't receive because I had MY agenda and did my own planning. Even in this life I can’t stand the pain of imagining the little faces I didn’t know. How great will my mourning be in Heaven?

But I thank the Lord for His grace and His promise in Rev. 21 - "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”He will wipe away my tears of sorrow and pain, because I never knew them...

14 April 2009

Help! My Baby has a Fever!

About 6 weeks ago, as we went to bed, I discovered that little Daniel (7 months at that stage) had a fever! We do not use a thermometer, but I know the difference between hot because of a high room temperature and a fever. He had just cut his first tooth the week before and I immediately thought this must be the reason for his fever – another tooth perhaps.

We own a health shop and use only natural medicine (herbal and homeopathic medicine). We never use anti-pyretic medicine (medicine that lowers fever) or any other normal chemical children’s medicine. We also do not vaccinate (another story for another day). Thus we do not follow the usual route when a child develops a fever.

What do I do when my baby has a fever?

For a start, I immediately give a Viburcol suppository (from Heel). This is a homeopathic product and you can insert one suppository every hour, with NO harmful effects. Viburcol will NOT take the fever away; it will only manage the fever within safe borders, but has the same efficacy as any paracetamol based product, without any of its side effects.

It took me some time to understand that you do not want to take the fever away. Fever is a symptom, like a red light on the dashboard of your car. Always find the reason for the symptom. When suppressing the body’s symptoms, you suppress the body’s way to heal itself the way God intended it to. God made our bodies fearfully and wonderfully, why do we treat it like it cannot heal itself?
The body reacts with a fever when there is an infection developing. A bacteria or virus cannot multiply at a temperature 2-3 degrees above the body’s normal temperature (37.5 deg Celsius). So by increasing the temperature – fever – the body inhibits the proliferation of the pathogens, while its own immune system is given the time to manufacture a unique anti-body to the invader. When we bring the temperature down with unnatural medicine, to ‘normal’ body temperature, the bacteria or virus thrives and the body’s own precise fighting mechanism is inhibited.

With Viburcol you only prevent the temperature from rising above forty one degrees, which could become dangerous.

We also gave Daniel Engystol tablets (from Heel). Engystol helps the body fight against a possible virus or bacteria by stimulating its immune system. This is also homeopathic medicine, with NO side effects. You can give baby 1 tablet every half an hour. I crushed the tablet between two teaspoons and put the powder little by little, with my finger, in his mouth.

Christo also mixed together some Traumeel S tablets, for body pains and inflammation, Chamomile powder, for its calming effect and Ferrum Phos ( a tissue salt) to help with the fever. He crushed these together in a pestle and mortar, into a fine powder, which I gave regularly.

After giving Daniel the Vibercol suppository and the powder mix, I laid down beside him for the rest of the night and let him be on the breast, as much as he wanted to. I believe in feeding on demand, so Christo and I are used to me breastfeeding sometimes through the whole night. My babies usually sleep in our room on a mattress on the floor, until I’m pregnant again (babies’ average between 8 – 12 months old). When I’m pregnant, I sleep very lightly and wake up with the slightest sound. We therefore move baby to his/her sibling’s room, so I can get some sleep.

The next morning Christo made sure I got in some herbs and vitamins and minerals that would reach Daniel through the breast milk. He gave me extra Vitamin C, Omega SLO, Olive Leaf extract, Berriola, Activ 8 and my Viridian multi vitamin, and made sure I remembered to drink ample water (around 4-6L of water with Coral Calcium sachets in) during the day.

Since we suspected it was teething that caused the fever, and we knew the gums could be painful and sore, we rubbed some Traumeel S ointment onto the gums. Traumeel S is a homeopathic product from Heel with no side effects for baby. Traumeel S is also excellent for any bruise; I always have Traumeel S in my handbag.

Daniel had this high fever for almost 48 hours. During this time I gave him a Viburcol suppository every 2-3 hours during the day and 2-3 during the night. I gave him the mixture Christo made, as often as I could. I made sure I drank more than my normal quota of supplements and double my usual volume of water to provide enough milk for his needs. We also managed to feed him a mixture of organic apples, pear and carrots three times a day (that we made freshly with our Oscar juicer).

Daniel’s brothers and sisters also prayed a lot for him. They could not bear it that their always friendly, smiling baby brother would try to smile and then start to cry…

By Thursday night Daniel’s fever dropped and he was back in his normal sleeping and feeding pattern. Praise the Lord for keeping His Hand on our baby.

Friday morning we discovered the actual reason for Daniel’s fever. He had Baby Measles. Baby Measles or Roseola is a very common viral infection. It usually begins with a sudden onset high fever. Some babies may also have a slightly sore throat or a runny nose and swollen glands in the neck.

Once the fever goes away a rash usually appears. The rash is usually composed of tiny flat pink patches or spots, although there may be some raised patches as well. The rash usually starts behind the ears, then spreads to the chest, back, and abdomen, and then spreads out to the arms and neck. It may or may not reach the legs and face. The rash, which is not itchy or uncomfortable, can last from a few hours to several days before fading.

I’m used to Baby Measles, some of our babies had it 3-4 times in their first two years, but there were also one or two of them that never got Baby Measles. I therefore didn’t panic at all. Daniel most probably will get it at least one more time, before his 2nd birthday.

In a next posting I would like to share with you my First Aid Kit for Babies. Maybe you would like to get some of these for your baby. Or you could include it in your next Baby shower gift.

09 April 2009

Daniel Started Crawling!

Daniel has started crawling! Without him knowing, he was in competition with Josua. Until now Josua has been the record holder for starting to crawl at 7 1/2 months. Needless to say, when it appeared that Daniel would possibly begin crawling at only 7 months , my highly competitive Josua feared his record was going to be shattered. But Daniel only started crawling at 7months and 3 weeks, so Josua is still the Crawling Champion of the Lues Babies!

How interesting that children from the same parents in the same circumstances can differ so much. We have a spectrum of ages at which our babies started crawling, from Josua at 7 1/2 months to Andrew only starting at 15 1/2 months and all the others in-between.

Therefore I'm no advocate of any baby book telling parents at what age children are supposed to do what. For that reason, I also don't go for sonars to 'measure my baby' when I'm pregnant, or rely on those same measurements to tell me when my baby is due, only to end up with an induction at 40 weeks and 3 days and 24 hours later with a caesarean. Children are all individuals, God made them like that. They are supposed to be totally different from anyone else on the planet, from the moment they are conceived, through childhood into adolescence.

So why do we want to measure and compare them even before birth? God made every human being with a purpose in life and how and when they develop is part of that purpose.

My Andrew boy, who only started crawling at 15 1/2 months, walked at 21 months. (Of all my children, he is also the one who needs the least amount of sleep.) Since birth he has slept the bare minimum. He also doesn’t look much like all the other children. His hair is different and his ears are bigger. When I look at him, I can almost 'see' God's unique calling on his life. It may sound strange, but his whole being represents God's purpose for his life.

If I had to listen to clinic sisters, paediatricians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists concerning my children's development and health, and not rely on and trust God to guide me in the upbringing of my children, they would almost certainly miss their calling in life. These 'medical professionals' are mostly trained to compare your child with the 'average', whatever that is! What is the ‘average’ in God’s kingdom? They are ready to tell you that your baby, toddler, pre-schooler or young child is not measuring up and needs this medication or that therapy to be 'normal' or to fit in.

I'm just thinking of the dozen of young boys that are put on Ritalin every week, because they think and reason differently from their peers.

For this reason we home school our children. A child’s mental development differs from child to child, and even more so in boys. Children don't develop mentally at a constant incremental pace. They will excel in a certain area and then maybe plateau for weeks or months, while they excel in another area. That is not exactly what schools take into account, is it?

Stop comparing your baby.
Stop worrying about when he is going to crawl, when he is going to sleep through the night, when he is going to walk or run, when he will be ready for potty training. Eventually he will do all these.
Stop comparing your pre-schooler with his peers.
Stop worrying about why he is not as clever as his nephew or his brother, when they were at that age.

Most of all, allow your child to be unique, as God intended him to be. Then he can fulfil God's unique purpose for his life, he can exalt God's name and God can receive all the Glory!

05 April 2009

Are You Dangerously Obedient?

I got my dear husband to write an article on his Health blog. Go check it out!

04 April 2009

The Joy of Older Children!

On the evening of our wedding anniversary CJ, Heidi-Mari and our babysitter (just for adult supervision) looked after the little ones while Christo and I went out for a romantic dinner at the Hildebrand restaurant at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. What a blessing to just enjoy my Beloved's company, while having excellent service and delicious food.

We left at 17h30 and when we arrived home at 21h00 this was what we found:

Sweet little Daniel fast asleep in front of the Ergo with his 'second mother' - Heidi-Mari. Daniel doesn't have a bottle (not one of my babies ever drank out of a bottle, only the breast and then a cup) and he is used to going to bed at night on my breast. But, no problem on this evening, when the breast was not available. Heidi-Mari can look after him just as well as I. She fed him fruit and water, out of a cup and when it was time to go to bed, she just put him in the ergo and he fell asleep.

Meanwhile CJ put David (2 years) and Andrew (3 ½ years) in bed, and not even one of them missed their mommy and daddy!

What a blessing to have a big family with responsible older brothers and sisters.

02 April 2009

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

This morning we baked some Apple and Cinnamon Muffins.

A friend's daughter was recently been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and they are coming to visit this afternoon. Christo is helping this courageous young mother to manage the blood sugar levels with only natural supplements and NO insulin, and I'm helping a little with the diet. Since she needs a healthy afternoon snack, which digests slowly, to prevent her blood sugar levels from rising to quickly, we decided on the Apple and Cinnamon Muffins. We baked it with Spelt flour (a Bible time grain), rice milk, xylitol (instead of sugar and definitely not an artificial sweetener) and fresh, organic apples. Heidi topped it with ground cinnamon, before putting it in the oven.
Like usual the little ones enjoyed the baking the most! It was the first time Daniel could join in eating out the empty mixing bowl.

The Recipe (makes 6 large muffins):

1 egg. beaten

40 g Xylitol

120 ml rice milk

50 g butter, melted

200 g refined spelt flour

7.5 ml baking powder

pinch of salt

2.5 ml ground cinnamon

2 small organic eating apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped

For the topping: Ground cinnamon

Cook's tip: Do not over mix the muffin mixture - it should be lumpy.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Mix the egg, xylitol, milk and melted butter in a large bowl. Sift in the spelt, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the chopped apple and mix roughly. Spoon the mixture into muffin tins. Sprinkle ground cinnamon over muffins. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until well risen and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


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