Mercy being adorable on a blanket that was knitted for me when I was her age.
Dresses my mom helped me make this week. I love this corduroy fabric that I got for a great deal at the fabric store - I never find great deals so that is really exciting for me :)
I needn't fear any bad guys with these two around! They are always practicing with their light sabers and Noah's getting really good at twirling his around as if he's been trained by a real Jedi. On the right is Annakin and on the left is Obi Wan Kenobi.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Mercy being adorable on a blanket that was knitted for me when I was her age.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 6:55 PM
Sunday, December 10, 2006
The boys were really rowdy this evening so I tried to calm them by teaching them a sit still game of thumb wrestling:
Mama - See you go like this...One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war.
Noah - Haha, mom. That's good. Umm, how about we just punch each other?...smile...
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 10:29 PM
Friday, December 08, 2006
This is waaayy late but I thought it was good to keep for posterity's sake.
Last week we had our first real cold front come through and we got snow! Okay, it was ice, but the kids didn't know the difference and, let's face it, any cold weather here is really great.
The table is covered in ice!
The slide is iced too?! What will we slide on?
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 3:29 PM
Mercy will be three months on Monday. Yesterday she started arching her back showing the beginnings of wanting to roll over. She's getting so big! I thought it was about time for some pictures. Here's Mercy with her brothers. She's warming up to the exersaucer but still needs watching closely because her head wobbles about and her arms easily get stuck in front of her leaving her face down sucking the toys instead of playing with them.
Here's a closeup.She was giving me this great dimpled grin, but everytime the camera flashed, she'd get scared and, well, what you see is what I got :) Still not bad, but not what I was going for.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 3:18 PM
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
With a title like that, do I really need to explain? :) I got this recipe from my neighbor back in California, and it is without a doubt the best pumpkin bread I've ever had. Whenever I give it away as a present, I am always asked for the recipe, and believe me it's NOT because I'm just such a great cook. Just ask my family! This is a great seasonal dish, but I love it so much I make it year round.
2 cups pumpkin puree
3.5 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3.5 cups flour (I use whole wheat and it works great)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. each - cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
Mix together the first four ingredientsin a bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, soda, salt, powder, and spices. Then mix together the wet and dry mixtures. Grease and sugar two loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 6:59 PM
Monday, November 27, 2006
Kelly requested the instructions for the tshirt dresses I made. This really is a simple design and if I can make it work, anybody can! Trust me!
shirt of your choice
1 yard of fabric (for child's dress)
fusible hem tape (optional: I don't use this. I just hem the dress but some people find the fusible hem tape to be easier)
Steps: Determine the waistline on the dress, and cut off the shirt 1/2-inch below that point. Sew a stay stich around the shirt bottom (making sure not to stretch the material). This will keep you shirt from stretching out when you are sewing the skirt on. Measure from the waistline to the middle of the wearer's knee (or however long your want the dress to be) to determine the length of the skirt. The width should be twice the width of shirt bottom. Cut 2 pieces of fabric using the length and width measurements. Sew skirt pieces together on sides (wrong side together). Fold the hem over fusible hem tape and iron it in place (or just sew a regular hem). For the gathered waistband, sew 2 running stitches around the side of the waist of the skirt. Pull the threads to gather the waistband until its circumference matches that of the shirt. Sew the right sides of the skirt and the shirt together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. I sew over this again for additional strength.
HT: to Heather from MOMYS. These are actually her instructions. I'm not near creative enough to figure this out on my own ;)
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:19 PM
What kind of woman can endure radiation therapy everyday and still keep a smile on her face? What kind of woman can still find the joy when she suffers constant nausea, a painful sore throat, the loss of her hair, not to mention the difficulties associated with finding out you have a brain and spinal tumor? I know I'm not that strong, that's for sure. Please continue to pray for my dear friend, Karen whose faith during this time is inspiring to say the least.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 8:54 PM
Saturday, November 25, 2006
I had the coolest day yesterday! First of all, Colin and I were planning for a normal day of getting chores done when we got a phone call from some of our friends back in California saying they were in the area. You might remember Pastor Dave Bush from Colin's movie Shaky Town. He and his wife Jennifer and their five kids met with us in Hillsboro at a Starbucks while all our kids played in the outdoor patio there. Now if that wasn't random enough for ya, I'm sitting there looking through photos and chatting with Jen and having a great time, when I see a lady pass by that looks really familiar. On a whim I excuse myself and run up to her and say, "Excuse me, I'm EmilyG aren't you KimC?" To which she of all things replies, "Yes, I am. Oh, aren't you the DuchessofFife?" I couldn't believe it! I ran into Life in a Shoe in Hillsboro, and she actually knew who I was! It was such fun. She and her husband and eight kids were so sweet and stayed talking with us for a while. So, in some random Starbucks along the highway, I had coffee with two celebrities! Then we rush from there to our dear friends' 25th wedding celebration/ball - yes there was Victorian dancing there! - and I run into a soon-to-be-celebrity DanaF from Colin's next movie Monstrous Regiment. We get to talking and she starts telling me about a new friend of hers and I immediately say, "You mean TW?! She's been one of my best friends for ten years!" Well after all those wonderful coincidences I was exhausted but so thankful to God for giving me such wonderful gifts this Thanksgiving weekend. I wound up being so encouraged and happy from all the great fellowship. What a generous, loving, and merciful Father to bless me so!
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 7:24 AM
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Here is another article by Mr. Wait in regards to adoption of children. As always, it is eloquent and thorough. I've often wondered about adoption being compulsory since the thought of adopting children overwhelmed me in an already fruitful marriage. So, I particularly like this excerpt as a clarification on the subject:
...the concept of adoption is a Biblical idea but it is only explicitly
found in the New Testament. But the only sense that Scripture speaks explicitly
of adoption is the spiritual adoption of believers as the children of God. From
the doctrine of adoption we see that it is by free choice rather than
compulsion. So, perhaps we can say that we are free to adopt children who
otherwise would be outside of the covenant, but we are not required to do
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:17 AM
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Our good friend Erik Wait has posted a very thoughtful and eloquent article on his website covering the issue of children as blessings. Erik is a friend and was a fellow elder at our church back in California. He was also our neighbor in the duplex which we nicknamed Elder Row. His duplex was closer to the street than ours so he would trap all the Jehovah's Witness' in arguments before they had a chance to get to our door. They would be stumped in their defense of their faith after about two minutes talking with Elder Erik. After he moved in I never worried about being bugged by these persistent visitors :) Erik is very, very well educated in many theological issues as well as he is a savy wine enthusiast. Have a go-see on his site and look around a while.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 8:09 PM
Colin got back late last night from the film festival and was very encouraged if not completely exhausted. We both find being around so many wonderful families completely invigorating to our spirits. I stayed home this year so that I could tend to the little ones and especially our newest little one. I was hoping to attend and bring the kids and maybe my niece to help, but my mom ended up having surgery last week and all available hands are on deck with her trying to help her recuperate from an unusually difficult time of it right now. So, I will have to wait until next year. Colin had a great time talking with folks and getting to know many new faces. In fact he has so much fun he forgot to take photos of any of them :) So if you'd like to see the happenings of the event, go visit Doug Phillip's blog or The Rebelution gentlemen or maybe even Kim's Life in a Shoe. :)
In the mean time, how about a memory of film festivals past...
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 1:11 PM
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Okay, that's the last one for now. I'm trying to learn to sew. These are t-shirt dresses my mom helped me with. I think they'll fit better come next spring. Not bad for a first attempt at sewing ever!
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 10:12 AM
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 10:29 PM
Love the Vision Forum catalog? Wish you could buy everything in it? Here's a fabulous contest hosted by Kim at Life in a Shoe where you can win 700 bucks worth of merchandise from VF! Oh, boy, I hope I win!
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 10:03 PM
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Colin works harder than just about anyone I know. Here is the playscape that he sacrificed time, energy, and a healthy knee for. The kids love it and I love him for working so hard on something for the family.
Started taking shape...
And soon became taller than our house :)
With lots of sweat in 100 degree August, and a lot of suncreen.
The kids can now enjoy the fruit of Daddy's hard work.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:49 PM
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I have been very blessed this last week to have my sister visiting and practically doing all the cleaning and taking care of the kids. It's also helped to have her wonderful company through this sometimes difficult time of being house bound. The only bad thing is that I've been distracted so that I've neglected posting any pictures of our newest beautiful daughter. Here she is in her pink glory and also with first time big sister Molly who has been great in this adjustment.
P.S. Please don't forget to pray for Karen. The discovery of her tumor has helped me to be all the more grateful for the blessing of my daughter Mercy and is a reminder to us all not to take these moments for granted.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 8:29 PM
When I first moved out to California with Colin back in 2000, I was seven months pregnant with my first child, very lonely, and petrified of starting a new life so far away from friends and family. We got to our new church that first Sunday and a friendly lady about my age come up to me and greeted me with one of the warmest smiles I'd ever seen in my life. I immediately felt like we were good friends and like I was at home in this new church. In the five years that we lived there, those feelings were only confirmed and she has proven to be a lifelong friend who has never let me down once as a friend. Last Thursday, her six year old son found her unconscious and she was immediately rushed to a hospital. A tumor was discovered and after surgery on Saturday, it was found to be malignant. She will begin treatment soon as the surgeons were not able to remove the whole of the tumor. I ask for everyone's prayer for Karen, her husband, and their three young children who are the same ages as Grace, Noah, and Molly. They are headed for a struggle, so we ask God for much grace, mercy, healing, and strength to be added to them at this time. Karen is, by God's grace, one of the strongest women I know. God has taught me much about patience, graciousness, friendship, and being a good wife and mom through Karen and I pray that He will heal her so that many others can be blessed through her as I have been.
Visit www.welovekaren.blogspot.com to get more up to date and accurate information or go to www.homeschoolblogger.com/preschoolersandpeace where her friend Kendra has posted some great college pics of Karen.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 2:24 PM
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Both mother and child doing well! A girl - 9lbs 3oz. - name still being debated! Thanks for all your prayers!
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 1:12 PM
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Thank you all for your kind and thoughtful notes, phone calls, and prayers. Colin is feeling much better and was able to walk on crutches after the first two days. He went in to the doctor's this morning and the preliminary check looks good. He'll go see a radiologist and orthopedist later just to make sure there are no ligament tears or misplaced bones :( But we think everything is alright now. He'll have to wear a splint for awhile and has limited mobility because of it, but at least it's nothing more serious. The hardest part for me has been the taking care of all things by myself, but this goes to Colin's credit that I was so used to his constant help with the kids and the house that it is so hard to do without him :) As for baby, no signs of an appearance yet. I did have a doctor appointment today but I ended up waiting to be seen for an hour and eventually had to leave without being seen at all so that I could get back home to watch the kids before Colin's meeting started. I'll try and get back over there in the next couple of days, but really I'm hoping to go into labor on my own so that's not a problem. My mom's hoping for the baby to come on Thursday which is her birthday, and the thought appeals to me too if for no other reason than one less date to remember :)
Once again, thank you for your love and support everyone! I hope my next communique is baby news.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 6:37 PM
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Today is my due date. This morning Colin fell off the playscape he is building for the kids and dislocated his knee. He's in a lot of pain and laid up on the couch. Now that Colin's out of commission I'm not sure how I can handle taking care of all the kids, a wounded hubby, the house, and baby preparations.Please pray for us as things are a bit stressed right now.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 11:28 AM
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:46 AM
Friday, July 28, 2006
The kids were playing outside today in the waterhose and were surprised by this little guy trying to join in their fun. Poor thing, I bet he didn't plan on this kind of party! He probably just thought God was finally sending him some rain. Well, the kids had a blast even if he didn't.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 12:38 PM
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Last night, I decided I was not going to wake up to the dirty refrigerator again- can you say, "nesting?" So after all the other kids were put to bed, Gracie and I got to work cleaning it out. At first I employed her help just for practice, but in the end she was an actual help to me! We got the whole thing done in under half an hour. The whole thing was a pleasure to me, but more so than seeing the sparkling white interior, was the joy of working with my daughter. I must admit, I heard this day would one day come, but I never actually believed it would! Thanks to the Lord for His faithfulness in His promises, for this encouragement, and for giving us both the ability to accomplish such a task - that's no small thing for me at almost nine months prego!
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 2:15 PM
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
This weekend was full of special occurrences.
1. First we had a guest preacher at church on Sunday. When he got up to preach I got excited because he had a British accent and I thought how fun for Colin to have someone from the mother land to talk to. Afterwards, Colin did get a chance to talk with him. Turns out he hails from Houston of all places and got his accent from diction lessons! Well, I thought it was a little too weird to have a British, reformed, Woody Allen impersonator preaching at our church. Too many distincitves and it just gets plain creepy. :)
2. We drove down to Redeemer OPC in Pflugerville Sunday evening to hear the great 81 year old G.I. Williamson preach. He was sharp as a tack and his preaching was fantastic!
3. On the way home we HAD to stop for some gas (part of the problem with spontaneous road trips on Sunday). Anyway, the gas station was in front of a field, and while we sat there we saw skydivers swarming the skies right in front of us. Turns out that field is where the Skydivers Temple land. They were swooping in and out - we were so excited to be treated to an unexpected show!
4. This is out of order chronologically, but sobeit! Anyway, last week Colin bought me a laptop that my sister had found and picked up for us. It was a great deal and it has been so nice to be able to be mobile while on the computer. It also helps because I can sit on something soft and cushy so my pelvic bones don't hurt so bad.
5. I'm thirty-four weeks now. Baby's heart rate was in the 150's. Hmmm....
6. There's not much to say here , but I want to get to number seven because....
7. Monday was our seventh year anniversary!! My mom came over to babysit and even cleaned house as a surprise for me while we were gone. Colin and I had a nice time going out to eat then out to Barnes and Noble. It was so relaxing and we laughed a lot and got to talk a lot - how wonderful :)
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:21 AM
Monday, July 17, 2006
Okay, it's official...I'm entering into third trimester pregnancy induced psychosis. I am crying at anything, griping about everything, and comfortable in nothing. Please pray for my poor family who has to endure such a mom/wife. Today Colin made me cry for commenting that my legs looked like tree trunks due to the pitting edema. It's actually completely true, and doesn't really hurt my feelings because I know it will go away within a few days of giving birth, but I cried anyway because the swelling just makes me feel so uncomfortable. It's somewhere in the 100's outside today. Depending upon who you ask it got up to somewhere between 103 and 107. I don't think the a/c is working properly. Also, I don't think the refrigerator is properly cooling the water. It still feels just lukewarm to me. I cried twice at church on Sunday. Why do I do that? I hate it when I do that! Unfortunately, I'm learning that this is all a part of the joys of the last few months of pregnancy for me. Not everyone acts like this, I know it's true. I'm not trying to make excuses, just giving reasons. Really, just consider this your public service announcement. "We interrupt this regularly scheduled personality to fine tune the body of the next coming Gunn child. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please stand by..." (really loud annoying beep - actually that's the sound of me whining about the heat)
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:13 PM
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I thought I'd give an update on the pregnancy and the household happenings. Knox pottytrained himself completely a few weeks ago. We celebrated by going to see Cars at the the theater. It was fun but would've probably been more fun just to rent a movie at home - not to mention cheaper :) Gracie turned six this last week. We'll have a party tomorrow night with the family. I've got just over seven weeks to go in this pregnancy which is great, except that it's 100 degrees outside with no sign of letting up. Sigh... the thought of being pregnant during August makes me want to take a long nap. The upside is that the baby is kicking away, and I'm getting very excited to meet him/her. Did I mention that the heartrate was in the 170's this week? Me thinks it's a her :) but we shall see...
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 8:40 PM
Monday, June 19, 2006
One of the things I struggle with in life is finding joy in the everyday. God is showing me in many humbling ways that while I may say that the biblical way of living is the only path to true happiness, it is rare that I show that in the way I act. Particularly in regards to children. Sure I may say that God is true and that children are in fact blessings rather than curses, but so many times, my countenance, words, and attitude reflect a heart that doesn't really believe it. Here is an excerpt from an interesting article
In our society parents do a wonderful job of portraying the difficulties of
having children: the financial burdens, the time drain, the guilt, the
exhaustion. But we do a lousy job of getting across something else about
parenthood: It's fun! When you are experiencing parenthood from the inside,
there is an overwhelming pleasure in the funny, fascinating things your
do. When my daughter was 2, she put her arms around me as I was
goodnight and said to me, "Mommy, you're a wonderful husband."
That was better
than any of the movies I hadn't been to since she was born.
I don't know much about the author, but she, who has only one child, is showing that she has found joy in the blessings of children. Whereas I, who am expecting my fifth reward from God, hardly ever do. I realize that I can easily excuse away these sins in the world's eyes. After all, who wouldn't blame someone who's in pain or exhausted with pregnancy for being grumpy with their kids. But the truth is that this is a heart issue and it involves my willingness to believe, trust, and honor God in all circumstances. It is always one thing to say it in your head, it's another thing to believe it in your heart and practice it throughout your day. When I walk around the grocery store annoyed, when I sigh at having to clean up the spilled milk under the table, when I'd rather let the kids watch a video than interact with them, I'm showing that I don't really believe God.
I feel terrible when I realize this because not only does it mean I'm dishonoring God, but I'm also presenting a lie to the world. They see me saying that we believe children are a blessing but acting like they're not, and what do you think they'll believe? What an awful witness for the Lord I am. I really need to practice what I preach in the everyday, the nitty gritty, the mundane. Then and only then, will my life start reflecting God's truth instead of my sin and lies. May God forgive me and grant me the wisdom and the ability to find joy in the everday. And may you all find it too :)
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:07 PM
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I won! I won! I won! Okay, I LOVE competition and thanks to Moms4Psalms, I won her competition and a prize! I got my free Mary Kay eye makeup remover in the mail today and am very excited to try it out. Thanks again, Moms!
Another winner is a site my sister sent me today. It's a menu planner for mothers and even included grocery lists! Sounds like fun to me!
And then we can all be winners by staying out of debt :) Here's a neat new site for that.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 5:49 PM
Thursday, June 08, 2006
My sister finally called and asked when I was going to update my blog, so I guess I'd better! Bottom line is, it's hot. The last three days have seen temps at or above 100 degrees. Now as awful as that sounds, it really hasn't been too terrible. Thanks to our God for the mercies of air conditioning and swimming pools, we've managed to stay pretty comfortable. And there's a bonus in that, the kids are so worn out from the heat and all the swimming that they are sleeping like 12 1/2 hours every night! Now, if only I'd go to bed as soon as they do... Still I am getting like nine hours a night, which you'd think was more than enough. Somehow though I'm still exhausted.
I'm officially in my last trimester, yahoo! Only twelve plus weeks to go - why does that feel like much longer than the 28 weeks I've already been through? Anyway, my old friend SPD has reared its ugly head again and this time has spread down my thighs and in my groin muscles. Who knew that could happen?! So, I can't walk much more than just around the house and even that gets pretty uncomfortable fast. Dearest hubby is helping lots by taking over the grocery shopping, doing as much lifting of fat Molly as he can, buying me lots of chocolate :), and today he let me get the maid in! Truth is, he's been offering to get a maid for a while, but cheap and proud me wouldn't let him - I know, I know...
June looks like it might be a pretty busy month with five family birthdays. I've also got to get busy planning Gracie's party. She's only been talking about it since January. You should have heard her after Noah's party back then, "How long until my birthday? Six months!! Oh, no that's going to be forever! Can I have a swimming party with my cousins? No, wait! I have an idea! Let's have a swimming PRINCESS party! Oh, that'll be so great!" I still have no idea where she gets her dramatic side from - probably her dad ;) Anyway, all those birthdays will be a great distraction from the much awaited birthday of this newest little one on or around September 2nd.
So, that's the highlights I guess. Hope to post more soon.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 8:13 PM
Sunday, May 14, 2006
There are so many amazing things about being a mother. First of all I never knew how amazingly strong your love for your child would be. Second of all, I never would have guessed the millions of ways that God shows forth His truth that children are blessings. I'm not just blessed because I have the children, I'm blessed in the way they make me view God and the world, the way they sanctify me constantly, and the way they make me think about things I wouldn't normally on my own.
For instance, tonight at dinner, Colin takes one of the kids off for a spanking and Gracie asks me, "What would happen if I took the spanking for ___? Would that be like what Jesus did for me?" I was so preoccupied with the interruption of the child getting disciplined that I was glossing over one of the main reasons we discipline in the first place. Without spankings we wouldn't know the significance of someone else's sacrifice for us. If said child had never known how awful it was to get spanked, what would they care if one of their brothers or sisters took over that spanking? And second of all, the selflessness and love of Jesus to do that for us is an act that was so generous and wonderful. Why would we be so grateful for someone to take our earthly punishment and so negligent to be grateful to our Christ who took our eternal punishment for us?
Part of the joy of this situation was also seeing one of my kids being blessed with a believing mind through faith. Affirmation of the covenant that He gave to us so long ago. Knowing that this is a gift from God above alone for this child that I love so dearly is such an amazing gift to me as well. This gift for this child that I would do just about anything to spare from pain or misery from God who willingly gave His Son into pain and misery so that my child and I could share in this gift.... it truly boggles the mind!
Another added blessing today came via my sons. There was some jealousy over a toy car today that was really upsetting one brother. The other brother came over on his own accord and freely and joyfully offerred up this car to his sad brother! It was so sweet to see him share and love his brother in such a way. Then later, Noah said out of the blue to his daddy, "Would you please read to me a story about Jesus? Read to us about God's love." A heart that loves God and longs to hear more about Him?! What better gift could a mother ask for on such a day?!
Soli Deo Gloria
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 8:59 PM
Yea!!! I just read this update on James McDonald's blog. Praise God for healing this mother on this Lord's day that some like to also call Mother's Day :)
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 8:53 PM
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I just saw this on one of the bulletin boards I frequent. Colin got to spend a day with this lovely family not to long ago when he interviewed Stacy for his upcoming movie. Please pray for this family!
Emergency Prayer Request May 6 Friends and Families, I am typing this note while sitting in an ER in southern Wisconsin. We have been on the road for three and a half weeks, speaking at New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Michigan, as well as ministering at churches along the way. But an emergency has come up. As background, my wife Stacy, mother of 10, has no feeling in her left foot. Over a month ago, she injured her foot, but did not notice it until it became infected. Our doctor in Houston cleared out the area and prescribed an antibiotic. We noticed the infection returning Thursday evening while at the INCH conference. Stacy's podiatrist called in a prescription of antibiotics Friday. At the Michigan conference Saturday, we met with a homeschooling mother who was also an ER doctor who doubled the antibiotics and told us to watch the infection. Today, while visiting with the Erber family, it looked worse than ever, which brought us here to the hospital. The doctor here believes Stacy's foot infection has entered into her bone. She has recommended we return to Houston as soon as possible. Stacy is now receiving a shot of antibiotics. We will then plan the fastest route to get her home. This condition is quite serious, but we are trusting in the Lord and His Sovereignty. We ask for your prayers. Feel free to forward this request to any who may be able to offer prayer. In His Service, James James M McDonald
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 11:33 AM
Monday, May 08, 2006
This last weekend was full of excitment. It started Friday when we had a tornado hit our humble little town. It didn't cause any damage to any of our family's houses and thankfully no one at all was injured. My mom's neighborhood got it pretty bad where tree after tree was uprooted - quite an amazing sight really! As my little family huddled in our shower underneath a mattress we found a good opportunity to share with the kids about God's power and His sovereignty when they asked, "Why did God make the tornado?"
Another bit of news is that my sister had her baby this weekend! As she described to me the whirlwind that was her labor and birth (which I unfortunately missed) I found myself dreading and fearing my own upcoming labor and not wanting to go through it at all. I am providentially faced with God's answer to my fears through the twister that my city went through. It is God who brings the storm, it is God who sees us through, and it is God who uses the storm for our good. If we go through life with all sunny days and no pain, we might never see how truly reliant upon Him we are for our needs and even our next breath. So I repent of my fears, and I thank Him for the storm and I ask Him for the grace and wisdom to remember these truths when I am in the next one.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 8:40 PM
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
I am so thankful to report that everyone made it home safely from their trek across the ocean! I don't think they had the best of times due to a bout with the flu, but they managed to squeeze in some laughs along the way. Colin says the kids did great on the plane and we're complimented on every leg about how well behaved they were :) They're all getting back into the routine except for the going to bed at 7 and waking up at 6am thing - I'll be glad when that goes back to normal again. Here's some pics from the sojourn.
Gracie and Noah on the first plane.Gracie on a canon in EdinburghNoah shooting a toy gun. Seriously, 90% of his pictures on the trip were of him in this pose. Should I tell him guns are illegal in Scotland?Grandma and Grandpa celebrating 60 year birthdays.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 5:52 PM
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Colin, Grace, and Noah have all been away to Scotland this last week. They left here Friday morning and got there Saturday morning. Unfortunately that's also the day that their Grandma and Grandpa got the flu. Mrs. Gunn took it especially hard and had to be taken to the hospital via ambulance. She's doing better and is expected home later today. Mr. Gunn is back to normal as well. The kids got it a couple of days ago and are starting to get back up and around again. I think Colin is starting to feel sick now. It's so sad really, I wanted them to miss me but not like this! As Gracie was lying in bed all day yesterday she told her Grandpa that she liked Texas better - awww! Who wouldn't under those conditions?! I really hope they can salvage some of their trip the next several days. I want them to love Scotland - after all this is an important place to her daddy and me. Things around here are good if not a little lonely. I try to stay out of the house and busy if I can and we're eating a lot of chocolate too :) The weather's been great with a cold front today that actually had the kids in long pants again! I didn't think that would happen again until November. Well, see ya next time - same blog time, same blog channel!
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 11:32 AM
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
There has been much activity around the blogs the last few months regarding R.C. Sproul and his defrocking. Much of it has been venomous and even gleefully so. For the most part, those who defend R.C. and the elders there have remained silent in an effort, I believe, to keep the heresay to a minimum. Here is one man who is standing for that other half. I think it is, at the least, enlightening to hear another side of the story.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:04 PM
First of all, I did not want to fail to mention what an enormous help my mother's helper has been to me. Mrs. Henley came over for a couple of hours today and was able to help me through a week's worth of chores in that time. We have an empty laundry basket :) and a clean refrigerator! During my morning sickness time, someone had spilled soy milk all over the fridge and I have just left it there for about two months now :( I am so excited just to open the door and see all it's shiny clean whiteness! Thank you God for sending Mrs. Henley and for her being so gracious to help out.
Secondly, I was with my sister-in-law shopping at Old Navy before Christmas when her purse went missing. She was very upset at losing her daughter's special bracelet not to mention some gift cards. Well, they call today and had apparently found it somewhere in the store. We may never know what really happened but what a praise to have her purse back!
Thirdly, here is an excellent posting followed by a lively comment section on the ever-present (at least on my blog) issue of quiverfulledness. I'm really trying not to harp, but I get so excited when someone says so eloquently what I have tried to but can't.
Lastly, despite appearances here at the Ceilidh, there is much exciting news around the Gunn household. We've had an ultrasound where everything looked healthy. Colin and my mom now know what sex the baby is, but I still do not-we'll see how long it lasts ;) We finally finished painting the den and will redo the floor in there and the kitchen once we finish painting the kitchen - but I don't think you should hold your breath or anything. The den actually looks great thanks to my other mother's helper -my mom. She has a gift in that area wher I am sorely lacking. Also, I've got my first rose bushes planted and have kept them alive for whole days now - again, no telling how long it will last. Gracie, Noah, and Colin are gearing up for their trip to Scotland next week - wish I was too. Knox's birthday is Friday, he'll turn three - his voyage into manhood begins :)
I'll try and post some new pics soon, of the den, the kids, and maybe, if I'm brave, one of me. Now, back to my happy quiver.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 10:52 AM
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Last night marks thebeginning of life for Knox without his pacifier! Yahoo! He has been my only paci baby so far, the others found their thumbs pretty quickly. Not ever having gone through this before, I didn't realize the hardship that would come from not getting rid of that little sucker sooner than later. In retrospect, one year would be the ideal time for taking away the pacifier, but I thought I'd make it "easier on myself" by waiting until two. Well, two years came around and we were in the middle of a transition time, being somewhat homeless and all, so we thought we'd wait until we were settled. Does anybody know when life actually gets "settled"? Because I'm still waiting. Nevetheless, I decided that three years was the absolute limit. His birthday is ten days away, but the pacifier died yesterday anyway. Of course he cried for it all evening long, and finally crashed at 11 last night- we had company so he was up later than usual. The good news, he slept all through the night without it AND is already asleep again tonight without too much fuss for it. He did however walk up to me today and said, "Mom, pacifier died," then fell to the ground in defeat. Good thing I didn't have another pacifier on hand, I might have caved ;)
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 7:26 PM
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Now, before that title causes any of you to start throwing things, let me 'splain...
If you're my friend then you've had to have been blessed with an extra patient and gracious spirit :) (See that wasn't as bad as you thought). I am always saying things to people, then days later will realize how offensive it was, and forever after will cringe everytime I remember the conversation - say 20 to 30 times a day. Case in point: The other day I was sitting around with friends talking about how crazy I thought Michelle Duggar was for naming all 16 of her children with a "J" name. I was going on and on about how I would never be able to remember names and my children would grow up with an identity crisis for it all. I realize this doesn't sound too terrible until, like me, you realize that I was talking to a woman who had named all her children with "C" names. (Blush!) She of course had been given her extra measure of kindness from God and just sat there smiling and nodding.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 8:23 PM
Saturday, March 25, 2006
For our family, it has been fairly easy to see where we stand on this issue. But that is not the case with many today, even those preachers who are so visible in the churchand to whom we look for scriptural guidance. I find it interesting to note that many of the great theologians of the reformed persuasion had some very strong opinions indeed. Hat tip to Doug Phillips' blog.
P.S. I'd just like to note that I'm quite loopy today thanks to a horrible chest cold which is making me guzzle the cough syrup. Please excuse any typos, or spelling errors, or nonsensical sentences :)
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 3:56 PM
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Yea!! I finally hit 16 weeks and am starting to feel much more human again! I really like this stage of pregnancy because I don't feel nauseous anymore, nor tired, and I'm still small enough to be able to sleep on my tummy - gotta love that. There's another reason I think I'm feeling much better, but I'm always hesitant to give full credit to one thing in particular, except God of course :) I found some supplements called Supermom tablets that were advertised in the latest No Greater Joy newsletter. I've been taking them all week, and while I still do get tired during the day, I'm able to work much more and will only need to rest for a few minutes in the afternoon as opposed to twice a day for an hour at a time (blink, blink!) . While I think this might also be attributed to how far along I am in the pregnancy, I also think it has something to do with these supplements. After all, I'd started to feel that wonderful pain (SPD) that plagues me during my pregnancies and was even starting to waddle a bit with it- yes I know! Already! Well, these past few days, I haven't even noticed the pain. I praise God for this, and pray it continues throughout the pregnancy. I'll let y'all know whether these pills really help with the swelling and fluid retention since that's another thing I've always experienced even with my cold January baby. I've been anticipating a bad turn with it this time around since I'm due in September where the average temp. in Texas is around 100 degrees - yikes! But, only the Lord knows what will happen, so, I try not to worry about then. But, as always my prayer is Psalm 51
God be merciful to me
On Thy grace I rest my plea...
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 6:30 PM
Thursday, March 02, 2006
...yeah, I've got it. But at least it's better than what this kid has!
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 10:17 PM
Friday, February 24, 2006
I cannot even believe my appetite lately. One of the top subjects on the brain these past several weeks is food, which is a little odd considering most of it has made me nauseous to even talk about. It's a little embarrassing really. Tonight Colin had to talk me down from an Awesome Blossom from Chili's take-out. He flat out refused to even consider Quizno's, which isn't such a big deal really, but keep in mind all of this is going on while there's a party size lasagna in my oven. Oh, my. You'd think I was carrying septuplets with this attitude, but I have a new theory- it's another kid with the appetite of my #2 and #4 children and I'm just trying to keep up with it. These are the kids that are four and 18 mos, and both of them could kill me in an eating contest on any given day.
But, regardless, this whole thing reminds me of a verse we read last Sunday:
Philippians 3:19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach,
and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.
I have to admit, my mind is definitely on earthly things as of late. Especially with the fatigue making it extremely hard to get my work done or treat my family with love, patience, and kindness. I begin to get very focused on these things and how I'm failing at them instead of remembering that I'm not yet supposed to get it right yet - at least not completely anyway. Whether I like it or not, I'm going to fail, and fail often. Physical weaknesses, hormonal fluctuations, and what not only make sure that this will happen much more often. I must change my focus from the things which are temporary, onto those that are permanent - Christ's sacrifice which did away with these failures once and for all, and the eternal rest we will have one day in heaven. All of these trials will be a very distant memory soon. I'll try to remember the beginning part of that scripture as well, the part that gives me hope and not just the part that condemns:
Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already
perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus
has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have
apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and
reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for
the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 6:06 PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Went to my first doc. appt. today and got a great ultrasound of the newest munchkin. There is only one in there, much to Colin's disappointment, but he/she looks very healthy and is kicking around happily. I'm about 12.5 weeks and am starting to feel a little more human again.
Colin's about to start traveling some to do some movie interviews. He's got Phyllis Schlafly's next Monday up in St. Louis.
I've had an answer to prayer for a Mother's Helper! If you don't know what this is, it basically involves a young unmarried, an older lady whose kiddos have left the building, or maybe even a wife who doesn't as yet have any littles to keep up with. They will come and help out a mother of littles in the busyness of running a household. This could entail, holding a fussy baby so mama can mop the floor, or mopping the floor for the mom, folding laundry, baking, helping to cook dinner, etc, etc, etc.
I feel very strongly that young mothers are a lost area of the church's ministry opportunities. So much of the outreach of the church to these women involves mother's day out or mother's night out, i.e. getting the women out of the home and away from the family. While this is a nice idea for women to occasionally get a break from her duties, it is in those duties precisely that women need help.
I used to think it was just me that was crying secretly over the sticky kitchen floor or the pile of unfolded laundry. After talking to many moms, I've realized that most if not all, are struggling with feelings of fatigue and being overwhelmed. So, the result is that many moms will stop having children in order to cope or to feel that they are successful in their roles as wife and mother. I don't think this is the best answer to the problem. After all, if God calls children a blessing, we should believe that is true even though our need for a nap or some relief makes us want to say it's not. What's the answer? God calls us to bear one another's burdens, and what better way to do that than to help promote the strength of the family. Children are a reward from God and raising them, while a physical and spiritual challenge, is the highest calling a woman can have. Raising up the next generation of Christians is an honor and privilege and a sacrifice that we do not for ourselves, but for God and the rest of the kingdom. What an amazing difference the church can make by ministering to moms in this way.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 6:31 PM
Monday, January 30, 2006
These past few weeks of nausea and fatigue have been trying. I've felt like a lousy mother and wife, and have struggled to keep my focus. Well, there's nothing like a real life horror story turned miracle to snap your focus back in place. Here's the link to an amazing video.
What the world spurns, and treats as trash is called a blessing, a gift, and a reward by God. Who's right? It's easy to doubt when you're in the throws of morning sickness or those last few uncomfortable weeks before birth. Or even when you're drowning in a sea of laundry or overwhelmed with fussy children during the arsenic hour. But we must remember these are temporary things and don't negate God's truth of what children are. We must change our thoughts and think of children as God thinks of them. Otherwise we are left to our own judgments. And thanks to Andrea Yates, Susan Smith, and now this woman we are warned where that leads us.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:28 AM
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Two minutes after I post, big princess gets it.
Last Wednesday, apparently little princess woke up in the middle of the night throwing up. Colin took care of her because he knew how tired I was. Guess that's everyone then.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 12:46 AM
Thirty minutes after I posted last, the big guy came down with it. Thirty minutes after that, big guy #2 got it. An hour later, the last man standing fell. My poor men, big and little. Please pray for us all.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 12:38 AM
Friday, January 13, 2006
Well, I made it through to Friday, and praise be to God, no one else got sick this week. My morning sickness has been around, an everpresent remnder of last weekends hullabaloo. I'm afraid someone might report me to CPS for the amount of fast food my kids ate this week. We got no schoolwork done, very little housework, and the bare minimum in laundry. But we're happy to be at Saturday and praise God for his mercy in this trying week. Oh, did I mention Colin has another surprise visit to SF next week? I'll be praying for lots more grace to get through next week as well. Blessings...
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 9:22 PM
Monday, January 09, 2006
I am soon to be the mother of five children, so I suppose it is only proper that I get the mother of all stomach bugs. Seriously, the sickest I've been in all my life, or what I can remember of it. The good news is that it only lasted about twenty-four hours. The bad news is, somewhere in the midst of all that, my morning sickness kicked in. Right now, I live on ginger ale and lollipops.
My kids in their tender young ages are having to learn a lot of hard life's lessons. For instance, even if we can't go to McDonalds everyday, they still have to be grateful for the food they're served. Or say, just because they cannot go and play, no live at the cousins house, they still must be content in the home God put them in. I know it's hard. I probably would've jumped at the chance to eat out or go stay with a fun relative when I was a kid. It's all a matter of perspective though. And from a three foot something vantage point, joy in the circumstances is a tough one to grab onto.
So, I'm trying to learn this lesson myself, albeit a little late, but my heighth and age offers some advantages that the kids don't have. I've been around enough to know, that the grass isn't always greener, and might even come with some grub algae which stunts growth in large patches, ahem. And, we should be grateful for the leftovers because at times they were hard to come by.
So, as I lost count for my trips to the bathroom after only about four hours this weekend, I realized that I must be grateful even in this time. God could have stricken me with an illness that was much less temporary and much more life ending. I could get this sick throughout the entire pregnancy as I know many have - thankfully my morning sickness is very predictable (at 6 weeks here, at 12 weeks gone). This virus could have struck at a time when my husband wasn't there or able to assume all of my duties (THANK YOU, THANK YOU!) . Or it could've stricken all of us at the same time instead of just me. Besides that, there are some actual good things, like losing three pounds in six hours - try that without surgery or child birth! Also, it was a little nice to be able to lie in bed literally all day and only worry about resting.
Though this time was hard, there were so many blessings in it still, and by God's grace I'm able to see His love and compassion through it. If any of those other things would've happened, I would have been completely deserving of them and even then I could not cry out against God. I'm thankful for the gentleness of God's lessons, and for patience in which He sustains and teaches me. I hope and pray for wisdom and grace to be able to teach my children the same.
Posted by Duchess of Fife at 4:42 PM