29 January 2010

Please meet .....

Michael Jonathan Lues was born Friday morning 01:40 at home in the water.
He weighed a healthy 4.38Kg. Linnie and Michael is in PERFECT health - Praise the Lord!

28 January 2010

Pain is Your Friend!

I could be in labour!

My contractions became stronger over the night and this morning I had a show.  This was the pattern with all my previous labours. The contractions are still some time apart, but I observed something the Lord has done in me, over this past few weeks which is very encouraging! 

During the last few weeks, I became more and more afraid of labour every time I had an hour or two of strong contractions.  So much so, that I was so afraid of the pain, that I actually couldn’t think beyond the pain to holding my new baby!  Then, for a few days I didn’t have any contractions.  Then last night as the contractions become stronger I remembered something my first midwife told me years ago.  I actually didn’t remember it myself, Christo reminded me of her words when I was so afraid of the pain, a few weeks ago. But at that stage I was still too afraid to appreciate his words. Ingrid told us:  “Pain is your Friend.  Every painful contraction brings you nearer to holding your baby!”

Last night it hit me again, and I embraced her words.  I am now looking forward to every strong (painful) contraction.  I can actually visualize how every contraction is pushing my baby down, ready to be born!  

Isn’t the Lord amazing?  I’ve prayed for weeks that He would ease the pain and help me through it, since I was so afraid!  And God is faithful! He answers prayers!  I’m not afraid of the pain anymore!  I’ve made peace with the pain.  With every painful contraction I’m nearer to holding my baby!

Oh how am I looking forward to meet my baby!  
What will baby be...?
What will baby look like...?
What will baby smell like...?
How will baby feel in my arms...?

27 January 2010

Patience

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4

This last few days I’m full of hormones, depleted of energy; very emotional and without any strength, in my opinion, not quite the best place to exercise patience! Yet, if I read James 1 correctly this is exactly the way patience have its perfect work in me, accomplishing spiritual maturity!

Over the past few months I’ve read a few blogs of mothers who were pregnant and every single one of them reached the stage where they were afraid they’re going to be pregnant forever!  I’ve promised myself this time I will not allow myself to have feelings of impatience!  But here I am, and I think I’m going to be pregnant forever with this baby! Looking out for any sign of labour! 

My babies normally came between 39 and 40 weeks.  Daniel my last baby was born at 39 weeks exactly.  As I had strong contractions since December and it was my 8th baby, and I’m more active taking care of all the little ones, I thought this baby would be born at 39 weeks too.  I even had a few hours of strong contractions over the weekend! So much so, that on Sunday-night, Heidi-Mari and I put out everything baby and I would need, in the first hour after birth, on the traditional trolley, next to my bed!  


A blue and a pink baby towel, a blue and a pink short sleeve body-vest, a blue and a pink baby grow, a blue and a pink pair of socks, a blue and a pink face cloth, newborn disposable nappies, a blue and a pink receiving blanket, a blue and a pink emobroided cloth nappy.
Olive oil and round disk cotton wool to clean baby’s bum, our home made bum cream, Wecesin Grace & Weeping Wound Powder to dry out the umbilical stump, Chamomilla powders for baby, a clean pair of pajamas and disposable panties for me, maternity pads without plastic lining (which increase the possibility for infection), cotton breast pads (disposable breast pads have plastic lining too, which can cause irritated nipples and increase the possibility of fungus growing on the nipples) 
Traumeel S drops for the after birth pain, black plastic bags to cover the mattress and for everything that needed to be disposed of, clean linen for the bed and fresh towels for me.

Here, Christo posted remedies during labour. 

Heidi-Mari and I also took care of our toes and feet on Saturday morning and gave each other a pedicure!  After that we also took care of our finger nails. I went for a half leg wax on Tuesday and Christo took me for a movie the evening!  

Our school routine is well established and the house is clean, the older children know exactly what to do with the little ones whenever I go into labour, day or night and they know what food to prepare - breakfast, lunch or supper.  

What else can I do?


Trust the Lord for His timing and let patience have its perfect work in me! 

Eish, that is the hard part!

23 January 2010

Our Home School Journey

Everything is ready for baby to arrive, now we only have to wait for baby to decide when he/she thinks it to be a good time to enter the world.  Thus I figured it best to keep myself busy with homeschooling.



This year CJ (now 15years old) will do two extra ‘subjects’ alongside his Maths-U-See, LLATL, Excellence in Spelling, Clever and Science



He will do Robotics and programming with Mindstorms and an internet based equine course from Monty Roberts (the horse expert).
He also works three afternoons a week and every Saturday at Camelot, the horse riding school, giving riding lessons to young riders as needed. He will also start training a 4year old horse, that he will use for jumping events.  By the end of last year Silverball’s health was deteriorating and they decided it is best for this 20year old horse to resign from competitive jumping events, before they push him too far.  This was a sad, but good decision. The Lord has already provided miraculously in this aspect (a posting on its own for later!).  
CJ is my right hand in the vegetable garden, building the raised beds (we’re planning for 20 raised beds), looking after my compost heap and taking care of the irrigation system. 

For Heidi-Mari (now 12 years old), we decided to do a baking course alongside her Maths-U-See, LLATL, Clever, Exploring Creation with Astronomy and Exploring Creation with Botany. 



She will also start with Excellence in Spelling and learn some more advanced computer skills through her Craft blog
Young Explorer Botany comes in especially handy with our Vegetable Garden.  It is Heidi-Mari’s responsibility to water the pumpkin bed, lemon tree, fig tree and our seedlings, every morning.  Heidi-Mari also keeps track of when to sow what seeds to keep our vegetable garden at optimum production.   
For Heidi-Mari’s baking course we will use a book “Baking” by James Peterson. 



The reason why I’ve chosen this book is because it is written and organized with the aim to understand the principles and techniques at play in a given classic recipe. Then to apply what have learnt to baking projects that aren’t even included in the book.  Our aim is to do 4 modules over the four quarters of the year.  
Firstly, Basic Cakes, with their recipes for frostings, fillings and glazes, followed by an array of instructions for assembling cakes, which results in a delicious and beautifully decorated cake and also serves as an example of techniques that can be used successfully with myriad other recipes. 
The second quarter will be pies, tarts and pastries. The third quarter, cookies with their methods and techniques and lastly Custards, souffles, fruit curds and mousses.  During this baking course we will replace wheat flour with spelt flour and sugar and corn syrup with palm sugar (Jaggery) or xylitol. This will be a challenge on its own, but will give us some healthier recipes and teach Heidi-Mari how to prepare healthy snacks which is part of our life style.

As for Josua (now 9years), Christo will also teach him basic robotics and programming through Mindstorms. He will also do his Maths-U-See, Clever, Exploring Creation with Astronomy and Exploring Creation with Botany.  



He is very interested in natural medicine and already helps Christo out in the Health Shop.
He will also start English Phonics through Adventures in Phonics by Christian Liberty Press. Since English is our second language I’ve experienced it the best to teach them the basic phonic rules.  Josua actually taught himself to read english by reading the Tintin series and this will only teach him spelling rules and a better pronunciation.

Danika (now 6years) is this year officially part of the older ones, having a scheduled time for school in the morning. 



She is sooooo excited!  We’re doing Maths-U-See and Gr1 Clever.  She will still make lapbooks with Andrew and David.

For Danika, Andrew (now 4years) and David’s (now 3years) first lapbook of the year, I’ve decided on a Garden Lapbook.  



On Lapbook Lessons I’ve found a very interesting lapbook on gardening and thought it is an excellent tool to involve them in something we are already spending lots of time on and is part of our life style - our organic vegetable garden. 

So this is what we plan for the year.  I’m not a mom that allows the home school schedule to rule my live, but it is good to have some planning.  Especially when the little ones take up time with ‘little’ demands, the older ones can get quite frustrated if they don’t know what are expected of them.  When they know what we planned for the year, they can work on their own and do more to keep it interesting and excited.

Something amazing struck me this morning.  Little Daniel (18th months on the 1st of February) is just surprising us more and more each day with everything he is learning and the way he is communicating with us.  As I was busy getting ready for the day, he was busy too. As he got his water bottle to drink some water and communicating to CJ that he wants a piece of bread (the routine for the morning after daddy gets his espresso) he bumped his head against the table.  He came to me explaining in his baby-like way that he bumped his head and told me that he had a dirty nappy.  Just then it struck me how nobody put him in a chair for hours per day to teach him words, how to talk, how to communicate and testing him on his understanding!  He is just in a loving, secure, home situation and he absorbs everything like a sponge what happens around him - and here are 8 people that are more than willing to teach and show him every day life.  




Children learn through every day life - real life!  

Unlike the unnatural ‘school’ environment that we grow up in and are programmed to think what learning is - where politicians, evolutionists, the media, and many more decide what our children will learn and think. 

What a privilege to home school my children!  

Years ago, when we just started our Home School Journey I read that, children's minds aren't clean slates on which we can write just anything we want to, filling their heads with lot of information. No, God already programmed each child's mind with certain information as part of their talents, gifts and calling in life.  We as parents are responsible to spark our children's mind to discover this information and allow them to walk in the calling for their lives, as God intends it to be. 

May you seek God in 2010 to just do that with your children!

I wish you all a blessed home school year!

20 January 2010

Blog Anniversary Winners!

Congratulations to my Blog Anniversary Winners!

I want to thank you for entering my Blog Anniversary Give Away!  

It was interesting to hear that two of the ladies was mostly encouraged by the blog posting: Freedom Mothering!  Society had brainwashed women to get out of mothering, while getting into mothering is the answer to be a satisfied, happy, joyful woman and mother.  

Mothering makes us Holy! (1 Tim. 2:15)
“Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness, with self-control.”

That is mainly the reason why we see so many women, forty and bitter - they have their pity parties and complain about all their time and talents they waste on their homes and families, while they could “invest‘ outside their homes and have a glamorous life!  They have it so wrong.  Inside our homes, with our children at our feet, seeking to please our husbands, is where we have a glamorous life!

Prov. 31:27-31
“She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Her children praise her, because she sacrificed her life for them. Her husband praise her too, since her devotion to him and his family and household made him known in the gates (verse 23).  This woman fears the Lord.  She seeks His will, through His Word, not looking at society or even the church, how to spend her time and talents and therefore she will be known in the gates.  She is raising Champions that will change the world for God. She knows that she has the most significant career in the nation. Everyone knows that a devoted Mother who raised champions for God is an amazing Woman!

I’m excited to share more related postings in 2010!  I’m already working on a posting - Flourishing Mother!

To get back to our winners:

CJ and Heidi-Mari helped me this morning, randomly select the winners.
The winners are comment entries #1; #3 and #5 - Nella, Corli and Chrisna who entered by e-mail.
And the prizes you won:  

Nella:





Corli:
















and Chrisna:















Congratulations to you all!!

Will you please contact me with your postal addresses, ASAP, so we can try to send out your DVD’s before baby makes his/her arrival.

16 January 2010

Why a Water Birth and Assembling the Birth Pool.

The births of my first two children were traumatic experiences!  I still have to write their birth stories, but for now you can believe me, I never ever want to experience it again.  Both were in hospital, an over-exposed, public place, with many distractions and stresses, due to electronic fetal monitoring devices, results in less effective labour. Now in retrospect,  it isn’t difficult to understand why I needed the assistance of oxytocin drugs to stimulate (in CJ’s case) and induce me (in Heidi-Mari’s case) in labour, and an epidural to block the pain and an instrument assisted birth (CJ).  Praise the Lord that in my foolishness He protected me with CJ and Heidi-Mari from caesarean sections!

Giving birth is a very basic involuntary primitive instinct, controlled by the hypothalamus (the most primitive part of the brain) rather than controlled by the mind.  A successful, natural birth is all about the highly sensitive balance of hormones and it was only after I’ve understood this sensitive balance between birth hormones, that I could help my body functioning optimally to bring on labour and have a ‘relaxed‘ birth. 

God designed our bodies so amazingly!  
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.”
Ps 139:14

If we would only listen to our bodies and allow our bodies to function the natural way, God’s way.  One of the biggest drawbacks of unnatural (evolution based) medicine, specifically in labour, is that it works against the natural workings of the body. This is the reason it’s called allo-pathic medicine - meaning against the natural body.

This is also part of the reason why I, ever since those first births, now choose water birth.



The Birth hormones are Prolactin - the ‘mothering hormone’; Endorphins - natural morphine-like chemicals that bring pain relief in labour; as well as Oxytocin - the main birth hormone.

It is very interesting to know it is the baby that decides when it is time for his/her birth! As I’m currently getting closer to my due date, my body is automatically increasing the secretion of oxytocin, the main birth hormone, preparing my uterus for contractions (I’ve already experienced this numerous times over the past few weeks!) by triggering the release of estrogen, while prostaglandin softens and ripens the cervix. 
But it is ONLY when the baby’s lungs are fully matured and ready to breathe, that they produce a hormone that reaches the mother’s bloodstream and sends a message to her brain that it’s time for labour to start.   This message has the physical result of more oxytocin, released in pulses into the mother’s bloodstream - each pulse resulting in a contraction. 

Emotionally, the effect of high levels of oxytocin during labour, is to make the mother draw deeply into herself, as she concentrates her energies on the overwhelming sensations she is experiencing.  During this stage it is extremely important to protect the laboring woman from disturbances such as bright lights, talking and asking questions or giving her a feeling of being ‘observed’.  When the mother is disturbed, feels anxious or becomes afraid, her body is likely to produce adrenaline, the ‘fight of flight hormone’.  During labour adrenaline counteracts the release of oxytocin and can therefore slow or even inhibit labour.  We should aim to keep the level of adrenaline as low as possible during labour, by giving the mother a protective, intimate place of birth.  Woman in labour have a need to withdraw and cut themselves off from the world of ordinary events, and one can tell that a labour is going well when this is observed. 

In a modern hospital setting and sometimes even at a home birth, adrenaline is likely to be released in response to too much noise and activity, emotional stress, unsympathetic surroundings and in more extreme cases fear and distress.  In this situation, the halting or slowing of contractions may lead to the need for a arsenal of medical interventions to deliver the baby.  

Towards the end of labour, there is a sudden shift in the mother’s hormonal balance as the birth approaches.  A kind of ‘hormonal storm’!  I’ve experienced it every time just after full dilation of the cervix. It may also happen just before or at the time of full dilation.  The high oxytocin levels produce long, intense contractions with only brief intervals between them.  At this point a high level or rush of adrenaline is released, which now, paradoxically, has the dramatic effect of stimulating contractions instead of slowing them down, as would have happened earlier.  As a result of this, you might notice a new restlessness in the mother in contrast to the relative passivity of late labour. In my case I experienced my body going in a spasm.  Christo then normally supports me from outside the pool, allowing me to float in the water. The rush of adrenaline, combined with the mechanical pressure from the baby’s descending head on the pudendal nerves deep inside the pelvis, has the effect of stimulating the rapid birth of the baby.  

But a rapid birth, due to adrenaline rush, doesn’t occur in all labours.  In particular, when there is too much well-meaning ‘support’ for the mother, the necessary primal anxiety is suppressed.  In this case the mother need to consciously make the efforts to ‘push’ the baby down the birth canal.  Christo and my midwife help to make the birth as easy as possible for me and baby by minimizing disturbances to help along a spontaneous birth.

And this is the main reason why I prefer a home birth.  I need to feel secure during labour, spontaneous and uninhibited, dominated by my involuntary primitive instincts, rather than controlled by my mind, afraid of what people might think.

Since I’m a very private person, the birth pool gives me a sense of privacy.  I feel enclosed in my private space, protected by the gentle barrier of the water and secure from unwanted contact and more in control of my body.

The warm water helps me cope better with the pain during labour.  The water has a relaxing effect on my heavily pregnant body.  The buoyancy of the water supports my weight, enabling my body to relax.  The warmth of the water also has a relaxing effect on the muscle fibers, helping to dispel tension throughout my body.

I also experience a huge sense of relief when I enter the birthing pool.   The birthing pool is designed to hold sufficient water to provide buoyancy to support me comfortably and effortlessly in whatever position I choose, providing a feeling of weightlessness.  Since I’m free from the effort of supporting my body’s weight, the buoyancy also helps me to conserve energy so that I’m less likely to become exhausted.  The support of the water allows total relaxation between contractions, which are blissful and restorative.

While in labour I want to move my body spontaneously into the most comfortable and beneficial position at any given time.  In water, mobility is much easier to achieve and involves much less effort.  I am free to find the positions that alleviate pain, whether lying, floating or kneeling leaning forwards.

These are only some of the many reasons why I choose a water birth.

This weekend Christo and the boys assembled the birth pool. I periodically have heavy contractions, so Christo thought it safe to assemble the pool just incase the contractions become the ‘real thing’ and he doesn’t want to be caught off guard and cause extra stress on me.




CJ and Josua helped Christo fit the 4 fibre glass panels together to form the structure of the birth pool.



The pool doesn’t have a glass fibre bottom, only a piece of foam rubber inside.



They also checked the warm water urn and it’s placement.  Boiling water from the urn is necessary to regulate the pool temperature, after it had been filled with warm water out of the geyser. This size pool needs two fillings of a normal household geyser. 

I normally get into the pool when dilated 6-7 cm and then it takes about 2 hours before I’m fully dilated and ready to give birth.  The temperature of the pool needs to be exactly the same as body temperature for baby to be born safely.  Thus the need for boiling water to heat up the pool, incase the temperature had dropped under 37 degrees C, during the second stage of labour.



Oops!  They forgot to put down the plastic, to protect the carpet from spilled water, underneath the pool.



Building me a comfortable ‘chair’ inside the pool.  I’m a very strong believer in immediately after giving birth, finding a comfortable position in the pool to put my baby on my breast.  Baby’s first contact with the breast or first sucking, minutes after birth, stimulates more oxytocin secretion, as do all the interactions that happen between me and my baby at this time - me falling deeply in love with my baby!  This results in massive contractions that ensure the delivery of the placenta, the retraction of the uterus and the sealing of the blood vessels at the placental site.  Thus being in a comfortable position, having my baby at my breast, adoring his/her small fingers and toes, is part of the natural way to prevent hemorrhage and ensure the safety of my baby and myself.  We never allow the injection of vitamin K to prevent hemorrhage.  God put everything in place for a healthy body to ensure it’s safety and I don’t want to interfere unless otherwise advised by Christo or my midwife. 



‘Testing... testing...’  Don’t let the smile mislead you.  This is normally a very traumatic moment for me - getting into the pool to test the comfortability of my ‘chair’.  This is the moment when I’m confronted with the reality. There is now NO turning back. In here, I will go through the biggest trauma, as well as the biggest joy, of my life - giving birth and holding the baby I’ve carried for nine months under my heart!





Christo and the boys put the plastic cover inside the pool structure.  Only now the pool is ready to be filled with water.



Inside the pool, you will see another piece of blue plastic. This is special bubble plastic that will keep the temperature of the water, while I’m not ready to get into the pool yet.  If you get into the birth pool to soon, in may case before 6cm dilated, the soothing effect of the warm water can cause contractions to stop. 



The birth pool ready to be used.  The pool will be filled with the hose from our bathroom, as soon as I’m sure I’m in real labour. 

One of the biggest benefits of a water birth is the gentle welcome effect on my baby.  A water birth results in a gentle and sensitive entry into the world and thus a calmer, less stressed, more settled and content baby.  

I have no words to describe what it is like when my baby is born from the water of the womb through warm water into the world, and then gently lifted up and put into my arms. Every time I brought my newborn to my heart, tears of joy ran down my face.  All this, in a matter of a few seconds, seems to happen in slow motion.  These were the most moving moments in my life and I’m in so much anticipation to experience it again.

With every pregnancy I experienced roller coaster emotions during the last two weeks - emotions of fear and impatience.  Starting this pregnancy I promised myself to be patient and not to allow these emotions to spoil the last few days of my pregnancy.  But now I’ve realized it must be hormonal, I just can’t help it.  I’m ready to give birth, I want to hold my baby and it has nothing to do with impatience!

12 January 2010

First Blog Anniversary and a Give Away!

Today is my blog’s first anniversary!  I’ve started this blog on the 12th of January and had hours of joy writing revelations from God, remembering incidents in my past, telling about my family and reading your comments!


Thank you to each one that took the time to visit my blog and leave comments.


To celebrate the year, I’m giving away three DVD’s.  


To qualify for one of these three DVD give aways, I would like to know which posting during the past year meant the most to you, and why.  
You can leave a comment on my blog or you can send me an e-mail if you have a hard time submitting a comment (I know how difficult it can be to try and submit a comment on a blog) or if you want to stay anonymous.  Look at the side bar on the right for contact me - a new option I’ve added to my blog.
Leave your comment by next Tuesday the 19th of January, on this blog posting.  
If you prefer an e-mail please put “First Blog Anniversary” in the subject line and send your e-mail not later than Tuesday the 19th of January.
I will announce the winners on Wednesday the 20th of January.


The DVD’s I’m giving away:
Nancy Campbell’s The Family Meal Table




Nancy Campbell, from Above Rubies, sets forth a triumphant vision for families by focusing on the wonderful opportunities for family enrichment that occur around the family meal table. 
Nancy Campbell offers studied and challenging insight into why the family meal table carries profound Biblical significance for families. The loving manner in which she shares will encourage families as she offers highly practical advice for how to reclaim and optimize the family meal table.


Colin Campbell’s Raising a 21st Century Patriarch




Colin Campbell (Nancy Campbell’s husband) challenges men to return to Biblical patriarchy! All men will be challenged and inspired.


Understanding the Health Puzzle




Understanding the health puzzle is an interactive humor filled teaching on modern day health issues. Often you hear conflicting statements by health experts and doctors. How do you as a lay person view this, or how do you make sense of all the books and contradictory theories out there. Furthermore, how do you interact with your doctor and what do you accept as the truth. These and many more issues are addressed in this professionally produced set of 3 DVD’s with six teaching sessions and a total running time of 278 minutes. It’s produced by Christo Lues, who has been a consulting nutritionist for the last ten years.


Add to your comment if you have a preference for one of the three DVD’s.


I am looking forward to hear from you. Your comments will guide me through the next year on what topics is most relevant and encouraging to you!


Lots of love

09 January 2010

Baby You Are Most Wanted!


In December I read a posting on one of my favorite blogs, on how wanted this 3rd baby was, the first after a vasectomy reversal.  It really touched my heart!

This week everything we did was centered around the preparation for our little baby, who is due to arrive very soon! As I pondered on what we had accomplished during the week, I realized how wanted this Baby is!  Every one in this house of nine is playing, working and planning around the reality of a baby who will soon enter our lives!  Little Daniel (17months) would sit next to me, due to a lack of space on my lap, tap on my tummy and say: “Baby!”  Andrew (4 1/2 years) will tell me numerous times during the day how much he loves this baby.  Danika (6years) and David (3years) constantly asks me how many nights before baby is due.  Josua and CJ are looking out for me constantly, not allowing me to do any heavy duty work and ready to help. Heidi-Mari is always checking on me physically, reminding me to go and rest a little, bathing the little ones, finishing a meal or making my bed! Christo is currently driving us  everywhere we need to be and want to be, as I experience heavy contractions if I drive. He even does all the shopping for the house, in between a very busy schedule at work!

This baby is most wanted!  Every one is looking forward to his/her arrival in great anticipation.  Last weekend I realized that I still needed to do a lot before this baby could arrive.


On Monday morning CJ and I re-organized the main bedroom. Partly because the main bedroom will also serve as the delivery room.  We need to create space for the birth pool, but mainly because my nesting instinct is motivating me to spring clean every single space in the house!  We also needed to clean and re-organize my dressing room, as it is also my store room for sewing projects and clothes not currently being used.  Over the past few months, everything that had no specific place, was dropped in my dressing room.


On Monday afternoon we finished sorting out all the boxes of newborn clothes packed away from previous babies. Over the past few years we accumulated quite a lot of baby clothes so Heidi-Mari and Danika had a ball looking through everything. They had a hard time deciding what clothes are still soft and new enough for our newborn baby, while I was resting on the bed and and I even fell asleep at one stage.






On Tuesday we washed everything.  I didn’t know there were so many, until I saw the washing line.  Since we don’t know if baby is a boy or a girl we are prepared with blue, pink, white, yellow and green clothes, blankets and towels!  Many of the pink stuff, had been accumulated during the past 5 years, since we had no baby girls!






On Tuesday afternoon Christo took me and the girls to Tygervalley Centre to get some last minute stuff for baby.  The girls was looking forward to this afternoon for weeks!  Danika just wanted to buy everything pink she could lay her eyes on! CJ and Josua looked after the 3 boys and prepared dinner!


By Wednesday my nesting instinct was in overdrive and we spring cleaned the bedroom of the 4 boys!  Now, my boys, are REAL boys.  They don’t know how to keep a room tidy - especially David (3years) and Andrew (4 1/2 years) - most of their toys are underneath their pillows or under their beds! My big boys struggle to keep their bathroom clean and they find it most difficult to keep their horse riding equipment separate from their beds and closets.  So Heidi-Mari and I dug into their room, while Josua and Danika played with the little ones - preferably in another room or outside, since there is no way to clean a room and sort out junk when the owners of the junk are in the vicinity!  CJ went to the horse riding school to check on Silverball and arrived back just in time to move everything (beds and closets) back to where they belong! It is so nice to have a strong, young man in the house to move heavy stuff around and make it look like it is as light as a feather!


Over the festive season, Christo and Heidi-Mari took care of all our shopping, but I needed to go to a supermarket myself so Christo picked me up at 15h00.  CJ and Heidi-Mari prepared supper and Josua and Danika played with the little ones, under the supervision of CJ and Heidi-Mari!   I got a little more than the usual groceries, to make sure we would have enough during the first few weeks after baby’s birth!


Thursday morning we headed out to the vegetable garden.  CJ made me a 6th raised bed, filled it with compost and planted grass (taken from the space where the 6th raised bed, now stands) in a dead patch in the back yard!   Heidi-Mari and I planted the 5th raised bed with 2 trays of beans and 8 trays of lettuce!  I’m making sure we’re not running out of lettuce after baby is born!


In the afternoon, I was still not satisfied with deep cleaning the house and started on Daniel’s room, while Heidi-Mari and Danika cleaned their room.  Daniel’s room actually only needed to be dusted and vacuumed. The main work was sorting out toys!  It took me the whole afternoon, since Daniel didn’t want to leave me alone, and as soon as I put a toy in a certain bucket, he would take it out again.


Friday morning Heidi-Mari and I finished planting in the vegetable garden.  We planted four trays of carrots and three trays of tomatoes, in the 6th raised bed.





By now I was exhausted, but still needed to get the boys’ hair cut before baby was born.  So Christo picked us up in the afternoon and drove us to the hairdresser.  


I feel quite satisfied with what we accomplished during this week.  We still need to do a few things, but at least we are getting there. 


I have the tradition to croquet all baby’s receiving blankets.  While I’m croqueting I pray for baby’s safe birth, for the first few weeks of transition in a new routine in the house, for the new dynamics in the house - every member of the family automatically gets new responsibilities and have to adjust to their new position in the family hierarchy. I also pray that God would have a personal appearance to this child at the right time and that he/she would start a relationship with Jesus as his/her personal Savior.





This time Heidi-Mari could help me croquet.  




She does the first layer and I the final, second layer.   We’ve finished three pink and one blue receiving blanket.  








We still need to finish two blue ones and a green one! I love to dress my newborns in green!


This weekend I’m taking it easy. We had friends over for dinner and had a wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement. 



Tomorrow the men will assemble the birth pool and next week we will do the final finishing touches.  Will keep you posted.
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