Archive for mothering

Dark as Night

I’ve been trying this new thing for the past few weeks. It’s crazy and really unbelievable that I would attempt this sort of thing. I am a woman who values sleep and does not care very much for the morning. I was also a little girl, teenager, young lady, etc. who had strong opinions regarding the high priority of resting until the last possible moment. For some reason, my children (well, my sons) do not share this love for lazy mornings in bed. Over the past several years, I have been awakened quite regularly at a very early hour by a small boy (or two). Just this past month, I decided to stop fighting this awakening and actually get up and enjoy some morning reflection and prayer time. So, I’m getting up when it still dark as night, because it really is still night, as far as I’m concerned, and enjoying a little quiet time reading the Bible, praying, journaling, and occasionally reminding my boys that it’s still night time, which means quiet time. And honestly, it is going great.

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Homemade Deodorant

After trying a few different homemade versions of deodorant, I’ve settled on this recipe:

1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1 T. baking soda
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 T. bentonite clay
6 drops tea tree essential oil

Warm the coconut oil slightly and then mix in dry ingredients until smooth and evenly distributed, then add tea tree oil and mix some more. Store in a baby food jar and apply about a pea size amount with fingers…
It works for me and I like the way it smells.

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Change Has Come

You won’t be surprised to hear that change can be good or bad. Well, I was ready and even excited for a change in my life. The shock of my new hair was really, well, shocking. My children were not fans of my new boy haircut and I wasn’t really sure how I liked seeing so much of my face – with the signs of aging that have somehow appeared just recently, because they weren’t there the last time I looked. That small change took some getting used to and now my kids actually like my hair and recognize me when I come to pick them up.

I usually love the new year and the promise of a fresh start. I feel the same about each new day. I often encourage myself by reminding my kids as I tuck them into bed that we get to start over fresh tomorrow. This new year has brought a few changes that are taking some getting used to, just like my hair. One of those changes, is actually not a change at all, but a return to our normal schedule. Unfortunately, some of us enjoyed our vacation a little too much… Another change is just temporary, but requires adjustments to be made, as Brian is traveling abroad and we all miss the head of the family.

While change has come, I know that more change will come. I am content with how things are and don’t really want any more change, but life is full of surprises – good or bad.

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Merry Christmas from The Yees

We are full of excitement and joy as well as germs and screams as we look forward to Christmas. One of the most exciting parts of this season happens as we light the advent candles and read the true story of God who sent his Son to rescue us from all the bad stuff in this world and to make things right. We sing a song and restrain the boys so they don’t put anything else in the flame and start a fire. As we celebrate Jesus‘ birth and coming to earth, we know great peace even amid the craziness of our home.

Life in the Yee household is predictably unpredictable. Our days are full of laughter and tears as we live life together and learn to function in the world at large as well as in our home. Over the summer, we had a great time traveling around Michigan with our extended families and camping a few times too. Brian has been traveling with work a bit this fall as well. He still plays in the church band and plays cards with some friends most weeks. Shannon starting teaching English as a Second Language again and also co-leading in the children’s program for Bible Study Fellowship this fall. She spends her free time helping at school and feeding the troops. Three-year-old Thaddeus has adjusted well to being the only kid at home during the days and likes to go to his school (BSF or ESL). He spends his time doing exactly what his siblings do or what they tell him not to do. TJ has recently realized that beds are ok and most nights he doesn’t sleep on the floor anymore. Josiah turned six in September and also started going to school full day. He loves Kindergarten now, especially recess and playing with his friends. He enjoys building and learning and knows more about volcanoes than you do. Eila started second grade at a new school this fall as we learned that she really is a pretty smart kid despite the fact that she struggles to remember where her dirty clothes go when she takes them off. She spends all her free time doing gymnastics and ensuring that her brothers know what to do. She tries to squeeze in playtime with friends more and more. Each of the kids will be making their acting debut in the Christmas play at church very soon.

We are glad to have you as a part of our lives and hope that you will celebrate with us the great of gifts we have in Jesus Christ!

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Life with School

I imagined that when I had more than one child in school, things would slow down. I would be able to get so much done around the house and provide great meals for our family. I figured that with only one kid, we would be able to have fun and get our work done and also have time for naps or relaxing each day. I don’t know what I was thinking!

As I write this, I’ve just realized that I only have 5 hours of time between the dropping off and picking up times instead of the 8 that I imagined I had. This might explain some of why I’m not as productive and fun as I thought I’d be. In reality, after playing with Josiah until he has to leave for school, Thad and I usually get the grocery shopping done, have one fun outing (like the zoo or park), help out a school (go to a playdate for TJ) and make a few meals each week. Each afternoon, he naps while I work on Bible study or ESL lesson plans or connect with people or maybe do a bit of a house project. Then I wake him up to go get Eila and we go, go, go until bedtime. Each evening is different, but they are all the same too: eating, playing, working, talking, laughing, crying, cleaning, reading, sleeping.

Fall is here and I don’t want to miss it, but it is tricky taking time to enjoy and experience life as we live it. If you have any tips, please share!

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Getting Healthy

That’s what we’ve been doing for a very long while and apparently recently it takes up all my time and energy. That, along with all the other stuff related to living life to the fullest! (Hence, the lack of activity here.)

As previously mentioned, over the past year Eila, my beloved 7 year-old daughter, has been complaining almost daily of stomach aches that she describes as constant, extremely painful and unbearable (with a very whiny voice). We took her to the doctor who said she has no obvious problem that he could fix, but it could be anxiety or she could out grow it or he could run lots of test or refer us to some specialists to try to figure it out more. So, on his recommendation, we tried to eliminate gluten, which didn’t really help and then dairy, which also didn’t make any difference. We prayed and waited and then did a few more tests with some specialists and eventually decided to change her diet to exclude wheat and corn. Now, we have been very proactive in trying to treat the cause of her complaints rather than just alleviating the symptoms and the main tool that we rely on is prayer. I believe fully that God made Eila and He is able to heal her. I also know that His ways are not my ways, which is why we have prayed for wisdom and guidance in addition to requests for complete health for her. We have also asked others to pray for her and we have seen great improvement in her health. There have been a few complaints, but 1-2/month compared to 5-6/day is great. The fact that she is not 100% better leads the doctors to believe that there are likely other issues too and so we are still pursuing complete health and healing for Eila, who would really like to eat in a restaurant again or have a piece of candy one day.

NB:If you think you eat a lot of wheat, check again and see how much corn you ingest… It is everywhere! And we haven’t bought things with HFCS for years, but we do like to eat out. 🙂

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The Odds Are Pretty Good

After my little guy hit his head on the corner of the coffee table and got a few stitches on his forehead, we resumed our normal routine of life including some gymnastics. I never imagined that it would happen that he could get hurt at gymnastics. We spend A LOT of time at the gym and with all the mats and pads around, we’ve only ever had minor injuries and even those have been very rare. Of course, just a few minutes after arriving at the gym, the kids were playing two of them bumped heads. Thaddeus was one of them and the loud scream and blood were good signs that this was not a simple little bonk on the head. He hit his head exactly on his stitches and bust them all out. I just kept saying “What are the chances?”

Well, after we got the big kids to Grandma’s house, Thad and I returned to urgent care, where this time there was a decent wait and he did great except for a few fretful outbursts of “NO! No more stitches. No stitches!” When we saw the doctor, she was kind and patient and said several times that odds are this will happen again and that we’ll be back in there getting stitches again in a few days… So, his head is not just glued with some steri-strips over top and we have made it a whole 24 hours without a return to urgent care!

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Clear Direction

Sometimes I need some help to figure out just what is the right thing to do. So, I will generally try to talk to some people who might be knowledgable and consequently helpful to me. Or, I might read books or search online for some expert advice.

This week, I needed some help decided the best course of action. In this case it was pretty urgent and I didn’t have time to read any books, but I did have some time to call and seek insight from my friends and my doctor. But, after all the input from others, I still didn’t know what to do. It was then that I FINALLY realized that the One who has all the answers in my friend and I could and should pray about this! It seems so obvious now and I am ashamed that it took me over an hour to realize that while I had prayed about the situation, I hadn’t asked for wisdom from God.

Now, I needed wisdom to know where to take Thaddeus, my little guy with a gash in his head from a collision with the corner of our coffee table. The small hole in his head was not life threatening in any way, but seemed deep enough and thick enough that he could possibly need stitches to fix it up nicely or just some steri-strips. So, I hemmed and hawed about whether I should take him to our doctor that night (the earliest I could get an appt) or go to urgent care in the afternoon (more immediately). Finally, when I prayed I asked God to just tell me clearly, so I could know for sure what the best thing was for Thaddy. I said, “I wish I would just clearly hear a voice telling me ‘Take him to urgent care!’ or ‘Take him to the doctor!'” Generally this is not a method I would recommend for prayer, but in my desperation, I simply cried out to my best friend and the One who knows and controls everything.

Well, I prayed as I drove to pick Eila up from school and after I told Eila what was going on (not even 5 minutes later), she said very loudly and forcefully: “Take him to urgent care!” I mentioned at this point that I had just prayed for God to tell me clearly if I should do that and she said, “I told you: Take him to urgent care!!” Then, Josiah joined in and I would have to be a complete fool not to recognize God speaking through my children and answering my prayer loud and clear. I may have been foolish to not ask God sooner, but I am no fool, so I dropped Eila at the gym and headed to urgent care. Amazingly, there was not one other person at urgent care. We had a great doctor with no wait and great care. She decided that he definitely should get stitches since his cut was still bleeding lightly and was very patient with a nervous little boy while she fixed him up. We left with a very happy boy who said “I don’t like stitches, but I like stickers!”

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Book Review: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Well, maybe book review is a bit ambitious of a title for this post. At any rate, I just finished a worthwhile reading of Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter and found it very interesting. It was not quite as preachy as I originally expected it to be. There is definitely a bias in her writing, but I guess I shouldn’t have completely judged the book by its title. This book was full of research, references and historical information about trends and toys where girls are concerned. I really appreciated that the author freely admits that the questions she poses and ponders are ones that we all sort of know the correct textbook answer to, but that answer cannot really play out in real life – ie. life as a mother is complicated. I found it a very quick and informative read, which also helped me to remind me and make me more aware of the impact of the media and peers on my daughter.

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On My Own

This weekend, a few of my sisters and I met up in Chicago for a bit of shopping and eating. We did a manage to squeeze in a little time to talk and walk as well, but that’s about it. And, it was a blast. Shopping with my little sisters is so much fun and really the only time that have time to scour the sale racks or the energy to try on all the possible fabulous finds. I also love eating good food especially with great people and we did more than a little of that…

Getting to and from the windy city, I took the train and highly recommend it to anyone traveling alone. I had oodles of time to read, study, take notes, think, plan, dream in relative peace and quiet as the train chugged along. The monetary cost was very comparable to driving, but the benefits for a weary woman were priceless. Plus, it was fun for the kids to have an excuse to go to the real train station.

Josiah had such a good time with Daddy, he has asked me to return to Chicago next weekend as well. I just might.

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