Little bits of Noah

I know people who haven't lost a baby think that after some time has passed, you just sort of start to "forget" about your baby that has died, that they just aren't involved in your every day life.

SO far from the truth!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Noah is just as much a part of our every day life as my other kiddos. We still parent him, just in a different way from the others. You ask any other baby loss mom (BLM) and they will tell you the same thing. I think those who haven't lost a child or even a spouse have no idea the impact grief has on your life forever.

Just to give you a glimpse of what I mean, let me share with you some of the recent ways Noah has been a part of our every day happenings.

We were shopping earlier this week, and we ended up in the baby department to look at something for Olivia. Out of the blue, Susan asked "Mom, what size clothes would Noah be in right now?"

Caught me a little off guard yet at the same time, I was happy she asked. I told her since he probably would be tiny like the rest of them, that even though he is 21 months old (already! *sigh*) he would most likely be wearing 12 months size. And as I answered her, I headed over to the infant boys rack and picked out an adorable boys outfit and held it up. At this point, the other kids had heard the conversation and came over and were "awwwing" over the outfit and in sad tones said it's just so hard to believe.

Yes, yes it is. We have an obvious void in our family that will never ever go away. Noah's presence is always right there, no matter what we are doing.

Just the other day, I stopped at a yard sale. I was browsing around and ended up finding a cute dress for Olivia.
It's hard to tell in this pic but the dress is light lavender and white tiny checkers. Has a matching diaper cover too.

 As I continued to look around, my eyes were instantly drawn to a children's book called "Rainy Day Games, Fun with the Animals of Noah's Ark".

I paged through the book briefly and in just a few pages in I knew I was buying this book for Noah....for the other kids. See, we still buy things on occasion that remind us of Noah. Things that match the nursery. Things that keep his memory alive. Things that include him as part of the family, which he still is even though he lives somewhere else.  We will be able to read this book to Olivia and feel like we are including Noah.

I continue to appreciate the many of you who also remember Noah along with us, from trinkets you give us with Noah's name on it, to 6 of any item (flowers, valentines, etc) to include all of our kids, to just saying his name in conversation or writing his name in a card, etc. You have no idea how much that means to all of us!

 I just read another blog post along those lines. It's been 4 years since their daughter died yet people continue to still remember her, what a blessing!

"Our friends and family tell us how hard the first year will be, but often never realize how hard it is to face the second year. It is often socially unacceptable to talk about how the second year is a killer because this is when you realize that EVERY year for the rest of your life will be like this."

The above quote is taken from here. I wanted to share this as this post may be a reference to many of my fellow BLM's. (as well as possible info for those supporting a BLM). She gives a creative prompt for helping to be honest about where you are in your grief journey right now and an artist way to express it. I have to say it saddens me the taboo there is surrounding talking about your child that has died and the grief that is a part of your life. I know I myself have experienced this and truly hope to help change this. 

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." 
(Rm 5:3-4) 

Regrowing Celery

Like many people lately, I too have hit Pinterest in search of some new ideas for recipes, crafts and of course my garden. I started my garden a month ago since we've had such warmer than normal temps.  We expanded it yet again this year and added a second row of strawberries (plus all the other million things I put in). The last few years I've been blessed to be able to sell some of our produce to a local restaurant and grocery store plus providing plenty for our family and extras to give away.

One new thing I read about on Pinterest was regrowing celery. Basically you cut off the bottom few inches off your store bought celery, and if you aren't ready to plant it, just place the bottom of it in a dish of water. I figured why not give it a try, after all, I'd just be throwing it away anyway.

So each time I had some celery in my fridge, I cut the bottoms off and placed them in water until I had time to plant them. The following pictures show you just what happened to my celery. I took them outside to snap pics right before I planted them.

This is what the celery looked like freshly trimmed.

 This is what it looked like about 4 days after being cut & placed in the water.

 This is what the celery looked like 2 wks after being placed in water. If you look at the center, you can see fresh new stalks growing.

After I planted these, I have continued to add more celery bottoms to my garden & they all are doing well. What a simple, inexpensive way to "repurpose" your store bought celery!

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Deluxe chocolate marshmallow bars

Today was our last day of co-op for the school year (yes, we are about done schooling! Only a few more days to log, woohoo!! Bring on summer break!)  Anyway, I like to be the fun teacher who does something to celebrate the last day of class. So for my A&P class I made a treat which also doubled as the same treat I brought for my cooking class recipe exchange. And here is that recipe and picture I took to share with you all!

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1-1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal
-In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

  • Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in nuts if desired. Spread in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallows; bake 2-3 minutes longer. Remove to a wire rack. Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows evenly over top. Cool completely.
  • For topping, combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until blended. Remove from the heat; stir in cereal. Spread over bars immediately. Chill.

"Couples who genuinely love each other will experience times of closeness, apathy, irritation, and crankiness. That’s just the way emotions operate. But the source of constancy of their love is a commitment of the will.” 
- by Dr. James Dobson, from his book – Solid Answers

Ultimate Blog Party

I love participating in blog parties/blog hops as it's a great way to discover some neat blogs I might not have found on my own. I've also been able to connect with some neat women this way as well.

So with that said, if you are stopping by here from the UBP, welcome! Just some things about me:

-I'm a homeschooling mom of 6 kids, one of whom lives in Heaven
-I enjoy photography (when I get the chance that is!)
-I am open and honest especially when sharing about my journey of grief 
-I LOVE to cook and often post recipes and their pictures here
-I enjoy trying out new curriculum with my kids and doing reviews for companies
-I am an avid gardener and have a huge garden (that is well underway this year already!)
-It's my hope and prayer to help support other moms who find themselves on a similar journey of grief and loss, because it's only by God's grace and the support of dear friends that I am where I am since Noah died.

So feel free to look around, check out my Facebook page (where I have a neat album of pictures people send me of Noah's name), drop me a message here or an email (found on the right side) if you'd like to chat. And stay tuned for some neat changes coming up here as well as a full blog makeover from Fran at Small Bird Studios.

Thanks for stopping by!

Review of Time4Learning

It's amazing how fast 30 days past! Before I knew it, our trial of Time4Learning was over. The quick summary is that all my kids enjoyed it and seemed to learn some things from it. My short version is that it seemed very engaging and easy enough to use.

I started out on everyone's grade level (3,5,6 &6). You have the ability to go up or down a grade level in the subjects so after reviewing some of the curriculum I made adjustments as needed. It was very easy for the kids to log onto the program themselves. There were a lot of different activities to choose from. I admit I was used to other programs where you do things in sequential order. With Time4Learning, you can skip all over the place. I wasn't quite a fan of this as it gave the kids the ability to just pick and choose what they want rather than focus on one thing at a time.

The activities and lessons were very engaging and kept my kids attention. Some of the Language Arts lessons seem to draw out for a few simple words. But irregardless my kids enjoyed it and that's what matters. ;) I never had to prompt them to do their lessons on this program so that was a plus! I also like the fact that everything was student paced. I'm a big fan of letting the kids work at their own pace as they retain the info much better this way.

Because the trial was only 30 days, I couldn't really form an opinion if this would work as a sole curriculum or as a supplementary source. I'd suggest trying it out yourself and deciding based on your needs. I could definitely see this covering several subjects with minimal fill-ins from other sources.

With your subscription, you get-
-Lesson plans and teaching tools for parents
-Detailed reporting for easy record keeping
-Lessons correlated to state standards
-1,000+ student-paced multimedia activities

This was written entirely from my own opinion and not from Time4Learning. I was compensated for my review.

Update on Renee's family

Thank you to so many of you who have been keeping this family in your thoughts and prayers. Renee called me yesterday afternoon with an update.

They were pleasantly surprised that their baby came out a little BOY!!! (they had been told a girl but due to the condition, Dr's weren't 100%).

Weston Aidan made his grand appearance at 8:10am CST. He weighed 3lbs 2 oz and was 16" (he was 5wks early). The family got to experience eyes open, noises, his little fingers grasping theirs, etc. Weston went home to Jesus at 10:45am CST.

Blessed my heart how Renee told Weston about Noah waiting for him. I have no doubt Weston gave Noah a special "high 5" when he saw him yesterday. Ironically, Noah & Weston share the homegoing date of the "14th", yet another neat bond between Renee & I (one of many!)

We received a special sign from Noah yesterday, gave us chills but I have no doubt there was a reason. Maybe sometime I'll elaborate more on it.

Please continue to keep this dear family in your thoughts and prayers. Renee has the added difficulty of recovering from a c-section ontop of all the emotional things to face.

We look forward to meeting Renee's family in June and are thankful to have been blessed with this sweet family's friendship! Until then Renee, we continue to send you our virtual hugs & prayers!! <3

Asking for prayer

I know many of you have been such great prayer warriors for myself and other moms like myself so I wanted to ask for prayer for my friend Renee. Her and her family (husband and 2 kids ages 12 & 5) are facing a journey like what we've been on with Noah. Their precious daughter Celeste was diagnosed with Potter's Syndrome. They are due to meet her this Saturday, the 14th via c-section (8:30am EST).

Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers, that Renee's c/s will go smoothly and that she won't have any of the common side effects from a c/s so she can remain alert, pray that they can hear their daughters cry and be given the gift of time with Celeste as the Dr's said she won't have much time. I know first hand how Dr's can be wrong as we have a greater Physician who is ultimately in charge!

Also keep in prayer another mom I have been getting to know after she found my blog. Naomi and her family are grieving the death of their sweet baby girl Lily Hope who passed away this past Saturday. They have 5 other children similar ages as mine. She too had received a fatal prenatal diagnosis.

My heart aches for both of these families as I know all too well what they are feeling and there are just no words to describe it! Praying for you Renee & Naomi that God will hold your families close as you journey down the roads placed before you. {{{hugs}}}

Sufficient Grace Ministries Auction

I don't remember how I came across Sufficient Grace Ministries but I remember it was sometime after Noah died. I was thankful to have found a Christian ministry that supported baby loss moms and to whom I could really relate to. Their posts were encouraging and just what I needed (and still do!) They even sent me a baby book to record memories of Noah in. 

Which is why I wanted to share with you the auction they have going on for 2 days to help raise money so they can continue to support moms like myself. I won a few things last year and hope to win a few things again this year. Feel free to hop over here and check out all the neat things they have up for bid (150 items so far). There is a more detailed explanation over there on just how it all works. And if any of you are in the Ohio area, they have a few things like photoshoots and a airplane tour up for bid as well!