Wednesday, November 30, 2005


One of the many surprises about motherhood came in a surprising form. The peanut. I hadn't given it much thought before I had kids, but shortly after Grace's first birthday, that changed drastically.

We were visiting my parents in Texas while Colin was away to Scotland. My dad was helping me during church on Sunday by standing in the back with Gracie who was 13 months old. She was tired and fussy from the traveling and the time difference so he gave her a peanut butter cookie to appease her. It didn't work and she just grew more agitated. So we quickly left after the service, went home, and I put her down for a nap. She kept crying for about twenty minutes, but I thought she just needed to let out some energy, so I left her. Finally, her grandma had all she could take of hearing this, so I went in to check on her. Thanks be to God for this. If I'd been home, I might have just left her for longer. I decided to change her diaper in the dark, thinking she might be uncomfortable although only slightly wet, but didn't want to wake her too much. When I took off her dirty diaper, I noticed hives all over her tummy, back, and private parts. Startled, I turned on the light, and it was then I noticed her nose, eyes, and even ears were swollen. I went immediately to my mother who is a nurse. She thought it might be an allergic reaction to the peanut butter cookie. We immediately rushed her to the ER and they quickly took her to a room to gave her shots of epinephrine, benadryl, and steroids.

As she dozed off from the medication and exhaustion, the doctor explained to me what had happened. This was what is known as an anaphylactic reaction to the peanuts. It causes her to swell with hives, drops the blood pressure, and can restrict breathing by swelling of the airway. He said that her reaction was a particularly bad one, especially since this was her first exposure, and the reactions will usually only get worse. I was given epinephrine shots to take with me where ever we go, and a little tool to stick down her throat to keep her airways open. I quickly realized this was not just a matter of an annoying allergic reaction resulting in itching and hives. This could easily cause her to die. Faced with the fragility of my precious daughter's life I quickly felt the weight from the responsibility that I was the one that had to protect her. As a small child, she didn't understand that she just couldn't pick something off the floor and eat it. She couldn't tell people not to give her anything that had peanuts in it. She couldn't meticulously scan the labels on her food to make sure there wasn't a trace of peanuts, or that it wasn't manufactured on equipment that processed peanuts. And faced with all this, I was afraid. The thought of losing my child in such a way, was more terrifying than the thought of losing my own life.

Now, children eating peanut butter sandwhiches couldn't play with Gracie because touching her could literally cause her death. She couldn't eat food from a bakery. If someone gave us food, I had to put them through an inquisition in order to make sure they didn't put anything questionable in the food, or make it on something which they had used to make a peanut food. Going to restaurants was an exercise in faith.

Moreover, we've learned that the problem is not limited just to what is eaten. She's had reactions when she sat on furniture where people had eaten peanuts the day before. One time, she accidentally sat in some peanut butter which caused her to scratch. When she then touched her face, she immediately began to swell and we had another trip to the ER. I know that even in this God is merciful. There are plenty of foods out there that don't contain peanuts and we live in such a time that food manufacturers are required to label any possible allergens in their products. As she's gotten older, it has become slightly easier because she can speak up and be on guard for herself. However, after reading this article, I realize that there really is no time when she will be at ease over this. And these types of stories only tempt me to live my life in fear. While I still pray everytime she eats something that God will keep her safe, I've also learned to rest in God's sovereignty and goodness. I realize that Gracie can be in a room full of peanuts and be safe if God wants that. She can also be in an entire house with only one teaspoon of peanut butter and have a reaction as we've seen. It is truly God that keeps her safe, and if it were to happen that her life should be taken, it would be God that does that as well. As her mother, I have realized the importance of protecting my child from danger. However I am a fallible being, and I can err. Thankfully, our Lord who is the Great Protector, never will. I find rest in God's love shown here:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the
ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head
are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31

God is the one who gave her this allergy. It has a purpose. I hope and pray it is only a tool for sanctification and that God will continue to protect her life from this threat. My peace lies in knowing that Gracie is more precious to God than she could ever be to this fallen mother. So, when we pray for her protection we do so knowing that not an atom in this universe is out of His control. Thank you, Lord, for your great love and your great power.


We've been busy here lately. Last week was not only Thanksgiving but also the time of a fight - us versus two stomach bugs. Yep, that's right, we were double teamed, and let me tell you it wasn't pretty. My oldest had projectile vomiting while sitting on the toilet, not to mention the fact that all the others kept me washing two to three sets of sheets every day. But despite the sucker punches by our opponents we ended up the victors and are no worse for the wear. I also painted our bedroom twice, no make that four times. We didn't like the first color we chose even after two coats, so I painted it again. I also painted the hallway and finished off the boys room. Pictures will come soon, Aunt Amanda. Then, we've also had a friend of Colin's here working all day on my computer so I haven't been able to blog. Oh, yeah, we also celebrated Colin's birthday yesterday. Grandma and Grandpapa babysat for us and we went out to see Walk the Line - a really sad story about a man who destroyed his family for the sake of worldly lusts. It was made up all pretty by Hollywood to look like a true love story between him and his second wife. I didn't buy it.

Amidst the fun and frivolity of the past couple of weeks, I had some particular encouragement as a mom. I've been taking the kids out a lot to the stores lately. I used to hate taking them by myself while we lived in California, but my strength has returned the last few months and I'm getting braver :) After many frustrating attempts at shopping, I tried to take the bull by the horns so to speak and invoke a guidance as to what was expected of them. I told them the most important thing while at the store was to glorify God. That means obeying mom, being nice to each other, and not whining for what wasn't theirs. It's really worked for them, and it's helped me to keep perspective as well.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Give thanks for being able to give thanks!

We will sit down at a heavily-laden table (to my wife, all honor) and we will solemnly maintain that the God of heaven gave all this to us, and He did so because He wanted to bless us. This is simply outrageous. What kind of hubris would claim that the triune God who spoke countless galaxies into existence paid any attention whatever to how our turkey and potatoes got to our house? But this is not self-promotion. We do not claim that God gave us these things to celebrate with because we are somehow up there on His level. We have learned through Jesus that our God is the God who stoops. He became a man (this next Lord's Day is the first Sunday of Advent) and He partook of meals, just like we do. He celebrated annual feasts, just like we do. In partaking as He did, He sanctified all things, including the blessing of sitting down with family (along with honorary family members for the day) and eating the fullness that God supplies.
Thanks to God for His indescribable gift. It is the gift of Christ, given for sinful men, that enables us to give thanks as we ought for all the other gifts He gives us, down to the smallest holiday tangerines. We have already gone through several boxes.

A small thank you to Doug Wilson for this quote, and a huge thank you to God who teaches us through humble men and reminds us why we are truly thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Here's a link to a great squib post by R.C. Sproul, Jr. In it he points out that we'r thankful for God's provisions so that wives don't have to work. I thank God for this too. I also thank Him this year and the past six years for a husband who knows that God's way is the best way, and that he has enough fear and love for that God that he'll obey Him.

The day before...

It would really be too easy just to clean a house and cook for Thanksgiving without any other distractions wouldn't it?! A stomach bug is going around the little ones. That's alright though, because I have the cure. Twelve hours and a lot of momma loving. Noah cut his foot on some glass outside and although I think he'll heal just fine, you'd never know it from the blood curdling screams he was letting loose! Pumpkin bread will have to wait...And so will this blog.

In all things give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Turkey Treat

I thought this was really funny! And I'd like to give a shout out to all my friends at PETA - not! I'll be think of you Thursday while I chow down on my little friend here, and loving every minute of it!

How annoying!

I wrote a post today, but because I had started it and saved it a few days ago, it posted for that date. Now noone will even see it! If you want to, go to November 18,2005 and read.

Monday, November 21, 2005

A good excuse for a road trip!

I love aquariums! This one looks just amazing, and would be really educational, don't ya think?! Any reason to go on a vacation, will work for me :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005


My husband took the kids to the zoo today so that I could get some painting done. I think they all had a great time, but I got so overwhelmed by paint fumes that I started literally gagging. And no, the answer to your next question, is I'm not pregnant. My sister and my mom both asked me that when I told them what happened. But the test I took today was negative. Hey, here's a pop quiz for ya- How do you know you're quiverfull? You buy pregnancy tests in bulk, and always carry one in your purse, just in case! Seriously, it's become a mini-ministry for the community. I've had three friends recently find out they were pregnant by one of tests that I just happened to have with me. :)

Anyway, I'll post pictures of the boys room as soon as it's finished. We're doing a firetruck/cars theme. We drive by a fire house on the way home and the boys scream EVERY TIME they see the truck, and they let me know if the door to the garage is closed so they can't see it. I think they'll like their room. :)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Where are the instructions?

Talking with my sister-in-law the other day, we began discussing some of the requirements that mothers will place on themselves in order to qualify to be "good mom." It's something that has been on my mind every now and again since I got married, but more frequently as of late. It seems that there are moms out there who, from the beginning, will say I want to do these things as a mom, then they go out and do them. For example, sewing, baking, setting the table for dinner everynight, cleaning their house on a schedule, making homemade cards with the kids for Dad's birthday, etc, etc. It's like they think, "Okay, these are the things a mom does." I for one, did not really know what a mom/homemaker was supposed to do. I often will read blogs of other moms and feel the frustration as they espouse their strongly held beliefs. I would really love to just video a mom that I admire going throughout her days. Then I could know what I shoud be doing.

But rather than look to another sinner for my answers of a perfect mom, maybe what I should be doing is take a tip from a popular Christian phrase, "What would Jesus do?" Or rather, what has Jesus done? Well, He's said to love others like I want to be loved, and to lay down my life for others. So what does that mean for me in regards to my family? Well it means putting my needs after theirs on a daily basis. Okay, now what does that look like practically? Well, it might mean getting up early to cook breakfast, when I'd rather sleep in. It might mean teaching my children how to clean and work and learn when they'd rather just watch tv all day.

But, getting these little things will only come if I get the big things right. To love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength is the big thing. The kicker is that without His grace I will never get that. It is a gift from Him to even allow me to try to love Him. So, if I seek Him, I thank Him for allowing me to do so. And I ask for the ability to try to do better, and to be pleasing in His sight. And when I fall, I thank Him for the sacrifice He gave for me so that I can rest despite my failings. And then, amazingly I recognize that while I am forgiven for these faults, they should bring about a righteous anger from a perfect God. But He as my Father, is patient, and kind, and consistent to discipline. He doesn't forsake me in my pit where I pitifully cling to a sin which leaves me cold, hungry, and despairing. He teaches me, He guides, me, and in the midst of it all, He gives me moments of joy and respite where He reminds me that not only does He tolerate me in patience, but He delights over me. Rejoices over me. Has compassion on me as a mother might for her own child. And there I find my answer.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

You might not know it by looking at my house right now, but I love an orderly home without a lot of clutter. However, achieving that isn't exactly my forte. My idea of house cleaning usually focuses around the once a week Saturday rush. The day to day keeping is where I lack the skill. As I try to figure this out, I've realized also that while I've wanted to teach my children our theology, that it starts here, where the rubber meets the road, or more accurately where the spaghetti hits the floor. One of my frustrations is the cleaning up after meals. I don't know how it happens, but inevitably half of the food on our children's plates ends up beneath their feet. I sweep and vaccuum sometimes three or four times a day. (Cry! Sob! Look generally pathetic and sad!)

Today, as a lesson in a biblical work ethic, I got my children to work on washing the floor, and let me tell you it looked great! I was thrilled at their hard work and they were just thrilled to get to squirt the wood cleaner bottle. I decided to reward their hard work with a special treat - blackberry jam bars!

We set to work, and if you think they were excited about that squirt bottle, you should have seen them with a pastry cutter. Well, we ate our lunch while the jam bars cooled and then set out to reap our reward of deliciousness. It was devoured, or so I thought. The kids cleared their plates from the table, then went out to play in the backyard, when I turn to look at the table, and lo and behold-- half of the jam bars under the table! When will I learn?
I realize though, that while I can and have gotten angry at such annoyances that there is a greater reason for my little crumb problem than meets the eye. As Carmon has already so eloquently said, only the God who loves me enough to send His own son to die for me knows what I need in order to be sanctified today. Maybe it was a lesson in looking to Him when I'm too focused on things of this world, or maybe it's too learn to be slow to anger with my children as He is slow to anger with me. Whatever the reason, the Lord who loves me enough to give me four "special treats" so far, is not letting me stay untaught and clueless in the keeping of my house or my soul. I'm learning to trust Him in these times of aggravation that He knows why my kids can't get all the food from their plates to their mouths. Believe it or not, even this is for my good. And for that I'm so thankful.

G-G-Gotta see this!

Here's G-G-Grace G-G-Gunn with letter "G" g-g-goggles. G-G-Great, eh?!


Sometimes I wonder why I even bother having my own blog. I learn so much on other ladies' blogs, I'd usually rather just link to theirs while saying, "Ditto!" Time to learn from the wiser, if not necessarily the older :).

May you all know the heigth, depth, length, and breadth of God's love today.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Scottish Gathering Pictures

The March of the Gunn Clan!

Part of the parading pipers and drummers. The wind, the music, the smell of haggis - ahh, memories!

Handomse Scottish men - notice the flag flying in the background.

Noah and his friend Daniel Johnston. Could there be any more jokes about poop?!

Kids doing an improptu dance around a cow pie. Who needs tv, eh?!

Weekend Update

We had a very exciting weekend filled with lots of firsts. We drove down to Austin, and stayed with my sister Friday night. Colin and I got the chance to leave the kids with her and the cousins and go out on our own for a date. It was our first date alone in months. We went to downtown Austin to the infamous 6th street and saw a comedy show headlining our friend John Ramsey. He starred in his brother's film last year called, "Washington's Cross." It won the audience choice at Vision Forum's film festival. We'd never been to a comedy club before, and except for a few crude lines, the other comedians were pretty funny. John Ramsey on the other hand was fantastic! His jokes were clean, smart, and funny. He did several jokes on history and the bible that were so intelligent, I wished I had a rewind button just to catch the whole thing. He'd won the Funniest Person in Austin award this year, and it's obvious why. We hope he can go far with his routine.

The second new thing we did was to go to the Scottish Games Festival in Salado. It was really interesting and Colin got to talk to some Scottish folk, eat some haggis and scotch pies, drink some Irn Bru, and watch a pipes parade. It was really exciting. We met up with our friend Neil Johnston and his two children. Neil plays a mean bag pipe and wore his kilt in honor of the event too. His kids played great with ours. Gracie and Elissa(6) are best buddies, and Noah and Daniel(4) made a million jokes about the cow patties(the festivities were in the middle of a live field so to speak) and all other kinds of poop. We also ran into some people we knew through Vision Forum - the Fisher twins who made "The Art of Play", Josh Goforth and his brother Caleb, and Josh Wheeler. Anyway, a great time was to be had by all. We all came home exhausted. The kids were in bed by 6:30 that night, and Colin went to bed at 8! I was the strong one who stayed up until the wee hours of 10p.m. But we're all recovered and so grateful to our Lord for blessing us with these fun adventures and times of fellowship. Now on to the next one!

Friday, November 11, 2005

There's food on the brain

A lot of bloggers have been talking about grocery budgets for large families. As managers of our homes we are all striving to be better stewards of the provisions of God. Crystal has several links to others' websites. And KimC let us all know why the government thinks we should all stop at 1.3 children - they're too expensive to feed of course! Recently, a friend of mine and I were talking about saving money on groceries and I was shocked to learn that she feeds her family of five for 30-40 dollars a week! Thoroughly inspired, I decided to find ways to cut costs too. First I decided to potty train my two and a half year old( see yesterday's post), and then I decided to try out a new ministry I'd heard about. It's called Angel Food Ministries and it is basically like a co-op. You can buy a box of groceries for 25$ that will feed a family of four and is worth 60-80$ . They have a different menu each month and it is available at churches across the nation. I just dropped of our money last weekend and will pick up our box of food on the 19th. I'll keep you posted on whether or not this was a worthy endeavor.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

He tee-tee's for cake!

We've been busy potty training my two and a half year old this week. He is my extra-ordinarily strong willed one and the training hasn't been going well. I won't even go into how many bed linens I washed on Tuesday. Anyway, in order to spend money on things other than diapers this month, I decided not to give up this time. So, this morning I told darling son that if he went to the potty instead of tee-teeing in his pants, that he would get a special treat. Next thing you know, he's got his pants off and is going potty! Ten seconds later he's running back into the kitchen asking for, "Special Treat!" I comply and happily give him a big bite of chocolate cake. The good news is, he stayed dry all day long. Thebad news is, my three and five year old were trying all day long to tee-tee for cake!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

You'd think it was Spring!

Carmon is organizing her blog roll. I'm organizing my clothes boxes. What's gotten into us?

Well, I know what's gotten into me at least - I'm going bonkers trying to find clothes for six people and about three seasons (Texas weather ya know!) in all these tupperware boxes. After almost a year of living out of storage, all of our clothes boxes are mixed up and messed up. I'm having to organize ALL of our clothes all over again! There's four boxes just for girls age 0-12 months! So I ask myself, what's the Christian's response to such a dillema? Be thankful for clothes to organize, recognizing my own weakness while praising God for His strength, and praying for patience and strength - I think. It's either that or scream, throw the clothes, and cry. While that sounds like a lot of fun, I know that this isn't what would please God most, and in the end I'd have to clean up the mess I'd make anyway. God promises that obeying Him is the only way to true peace and happiness, and even though this task ahead of me seems like a huge mountain to climb, I believe what He tells me is truth. And so I pick up my first outfit, and plod forth.

Quote of the Day

"Dad, you're the captain and we're your mateys!" by Gracie while playing pirate ship.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Biblical Marriage Wins!

Praise God that Prop. 2 passed in Texas. Since Colin can't vote, being an alien and all :) , I voted at our new state of the art polling center. The line was long, and the sentiment was, this was something very important everyone needed to make the extra effort for. I'm so thankful for this blessing of God and pray that Christians will continue to fight for a truly Christian nation in which our laws are based on God's morality and not our own.

Keep fighting!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Okay, Okay, so I need help! Anyone with suggestions on a new name for my blog would be much appreciated. I'm second guessing myself here, as usual.



Friday, November 04, 2005

What's in a name?

Well, as you can see, I renamed the blog. The old one was, well, lame, and I wanted a name that is clearer to the purpose. I started this blog because I realized that after years of toddler babble, I was getting out of practice in the art of communication. It came to a head when I realized that the thoughts in my head during moments of quiet were nonsensical rhyming songs, such as,
"Gracie is so cute and sweet,
I love her from her head to feet."

Not that there isn't a place for nonsensical songs, but I recognized that I was having trouble forming complete thoughts let alone sentences. Hence, a blog came to be.

I'm not delusional about my blog, although I am aspirational. I know that it probably isn't of much use to anyone other than myself and maybe a relative or two who want to keep up on the goings-on of myself and my clan. I do hope it will be of use as a tool of spiritual and mental growth for myself, and then hopefully others will be able to learn from my trials and errors.

So, that's it in a nutshell. May I be logical, rhetorical, and grammatically correct. May you and I be inspired, convicted, and maybe amused - but not necessarily in that order.

Hard Core Homeschooler

Today I met for a play date with a couple of ladies from our church. We all homeschool, except one who just sent her oldest to a local classical christian school. So, they asked me whether or not I'd ever send my kids off to school. The answer is that it would be my absolute last resort. I taught middle school English at a private Christian school for two years before I got married. I saw some really great homeschooled children come into a very secular society of young kids. Most of these kids professed Christianity but were living very much like non-believers. They dressed like a Brittany Spears or Kevin Federline wannabe, and their influence over each other was to become more and more concerned with their appearances and the opposite sex rather than becoming more God focused.

As a teacher I also know that I was not as concerned with each child's academic progress as I should have been. This was due to the sheer volume of work that was laid upon me and the fact that I just could not keep up with the needs of fifty different people. I felt terrible for these parents who were paying so much money for top quality education for their children when I knew that the kids really needed more individual attention than I could possibly give them.

Now, there have been enough humbling moments as a parent that I have learned to never say never. I remember as a single person, wathcing other people's children and thinking, "If my child were whining like that, I would certainly spank them." Now, however, as much as I try to discipline in a biblical fashion, I've heard myself excusing behavior and saying things like, "Oh, he just really needs a nap," while inside dying of embarassment. So, I'm not foolish enough to think I know everything about everything, and there may be extenuating circumstances that I can't even imagine now where I would enroll my children in a school. However, I know what I've seen and experienced and I know what I want for my children. So, just like in other things, when things get hard I will try to look first for other solutions to obstacles rather than giving in to a compromise of my beliefs. I would rather pay a maid, than pay someone to teach my children for me. I would rather they graduate later, than have them graduate at a school. And contrary to what an old college roommate of mine suggested tonight, I will continue to homeschool even if I no longer "just love it, because that's all that matters."

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Like the naturally competitive person I am, when picking out a new vacuum cleaner recently, I started shopping for the best. To me, that was the $600 Dyson. However, when mentioning this to my husband, he reminded me that I married a Scot (i.e. tightwad). Usually I am in agreement with him on such matters, having about 70% Scottish blood running through me. This time however, was different. I coveted this. So I went to ebay looking for a cheap one. And I found one for about 400 bucks. Again, the answer was "No chance." So, I looked for the next best thing online and that was the Hoover Windtunnel. I found one on ebay for $100 including shipping. Usually retails for around 300. So I ordered it, and not surprisingly, my husband was right. First of all, I had it in my hands less than two days after ordering. Second of all, it has survived what no other vaccuum I've had could - sucking up all the sand from refinished hardwoods and a two pound bag of sugar that my little Dash drug all over the house - yes, that was a wonderful surprise this Monday morning. AND it still has amazing suction! I vaccuum about three times a day usually, and the thing is still pulling up tiles in my kitchen. NO, I don't think it matters they are just the stick on type. Unbeleivable, I think! So, I'm glad to say there are real and tangible blessings for submitting to my husband - only one is a great deal on a great vaccuum.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Como se dice "pictures"?

Here are some pictures from our trip to the film festival in San Antonio. I didn't get batteries for the camera until the last four hours of our trip - what can I say?! Here we are in front of the Alamo, outside in the gardens, with Carmon and her beautiful daughter, and at subway for lunch. I hate pics of myself, but I'm trying not to be too vain for the sake of curious readers :). cringe Here they are...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Super heroes

My two sons LOVE Batman and Superman. They have never actually seen these characters in a movie or on tv, but they've heard plenty from their cousin Mikey (9 years old). And they've gotten enough hand-me-downs from said cousin to at least recognize the characters when shopping for say, new shoes :) .

However, when talking about real heroes that are super I quickly point them towards their Dad and other men of God who are living their lives in accordance with God's word. No, these men cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound, nor do they have x-ray vision, but they are daily sacrificing in a million small ways that, in my opinion, is far more brave than any superhero you can imagine. By daring to raise large families and trying to bring every point of their lives into step with what God would want rather than what the world would dictate, they daily help to rid the world of evil. When I describe a real man to my sons, to show them how they should live, you can bet the guy ain't wearing tights, and he doesn't hide his true identity. He is strong and he is brave(Deut. 31:6), and he is bold (Rom 1:16). But his powers do not come from another planet or a really cool utility belt but rather from the blood of Christ (1Pet 4:11). My prayer is that my sons will be more like this Man every day.