Category Archives: Tips, Tricks, or Treats

Kid Comics


An oldie but a goodie.

Kids really do say the darnedest things.  At least they do in this house.  Since I’m always being admonished to write them down, I figure I might as well start sharing the laughs with you.  Hope you enjoy these little snippets of some silly Spencers:

1. “Does Pastor Kevin live at church?” – Lucy

2. 3 little girls’ ear piercing shrieks: “DADDY’S HOME!!!”  (Silence) Kate: “Oh, never mind, it’s just the mail people.”

3. ” Lord, thank you that we keep finding money.” – Kate

4.”Lord, help people to believe in you. (And not in a way that’s like, oh sure, just add him to the pot)” -Maggie

5. Lucy:  “Mom, do you ever dream that Lucy Talitha is wearing a beautiful dress with sandwiches and chocolate milk?”
Me: “No.  Do you?”  Lucy (dreamily): “Yeah.”

6. “Haha!  My bottom keeps burping!” -Lucy

Nursery in a Closet

DSC_0388I know Alice doesn’t exactly need this, but it makes me feel better that the 7th child isn’t getting the shaft.  I’ve spent the last 2 days, but $0.00, creating a little nursery area out of part of my closet.

DSC_0377I made the mobile out of rope, card stock, a strand of old Christmas beads that I broke apart, and a wire rim from a broken lampshade.  The sign is construction paper, sharpie, black foam, and same beads with white nails through the holes.  The verse on it is from Phil 2:3, “… in humility, count others more significant than yourselves.”  That’s for me in the middle of the night to remember my place:  One served by Christ who can now serve helpless babies and not be mad about missing sleep.  It’s a real fight.

DSC_0379The clock was the cheap target brand that has been sitting in my basement for a while.  Again with the Christmas beads, I added some detail with hot glue.  A few aluminum roofing nails into a scrap piece of wood for some hooks, and the bins were just holding junk in the basement, so I’m going to use them for outgrown clothes, and next size up clothes.

I’m satisfied.  (Although after 2 days, the rest of my house is another story. And not a picture worthy one. 🙂

Elephants Might Not Forget, But Pregnant Women Do“…research has shown that pregnant women actually do just as well in cognitive tests as women who aren’t pregnant… Interestingly, in a different study, pregnant women rated themselves as having performed worse than they would have before pregnancy, even though they tested just as well as a group that wasn’t pregnant. So if you think you’re flakier than usual while you’re pregnant, it may just be your perception.” – from an article on

I suppose I might be able to get a decent score on the ACT (MIGHT); but I don’t know how else to define paying at the drive-thru window then driving away without stopping to pick up the food, other than “flakier than usual.”   Or how about the 10 times a day that I walk into a room for a purpose, then spin around wondering why I just huffed and puffed up the stairs.  I find kitchen utensils in the bathroom (that one may be the kids) and open diet coke cans in closets.  Research might not be able to explain why I can’t remember what I was going to write about today, but I’ll claim pregnancy brain anyway 🙂

Dutch Men Experience Labor Contractions

Two things I knew nothing about until my adulthood:  Having babies and Dutch people.  I am now well acquainted with both.  Which may be why I think this little video is so absolutely hilarious (especially after about the 4.5 min mark):

Getting Excited To Meet The New Girl

emandtwinsBy number 7, you’d think I could care for newborns in my sleep.  (Come to think of it,  that would be a pretty sweet skill.)  But the tiny phase  is short and my memory even shorter so that I need a refresher every time around.  It usually starts with some sort of midnight panic at the thought that I am responsible for keeping yet another person alive and a  helpless one at that.   Chris reminds me of my own helpless dependency on the One who created both me and the baby He’s blessed us with.   We pray.  Then I go through a little mental dry-run of my plan based on what has worked and failed in the past, and fall asleep to have weird pregnancy dreams about being a 6-foot tall volleyball player with a flat tummy that can jump really high.

There are about as many methods to caring for babies as there are mothers to care for them.  These tips are just a few that I’ve found helpful:

1. I’m in charge of the routine.  I’m all about flexible schedules for my babies.  When every sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound  is brand new to a person, routine is very comforting.  That said, I don’t really worry myself about it for the first few weeks.  I nurse on demand and basically practice reactionary parenting for a very short amount of time.  This little allowance has helped me to calm way down in those first few postpartumjack weeks.

2. “Self-regard is not always the same as selfishness.”  Wise word from my pastor’s wife that I’ve held on to over the years.  This topic could be it’s own post sometime.  For now, suffice it to say that the world’s push for moms’ me-time is not the same as recognizing your created status and resting when it is appropriate.  I came across a great blog post from a mom of 9: Postpartum Rest and Recovery Tips (from a mom who learned the hard way).   I plan to rest this time around.

3. The new person is part of a whole family.  There are times when different members of the family need more attention.  Being brand new is one of those times, but even then we make try to make decisions with everyone in mind.   When optimizing a baby’s schedule, we take into account someone’s violin lessons, another person’s co-op,  date nights, an early morning meeting, and bottle feeding.   We are all serving each other, even the new guy has a part to play.

4. Plan ahead.  So far I’ve pre-cooked and frozen meat for 14 dinners.  Yes, it was a bit of extra work on a Saturday, but the pay-off will be worth it.  I’ve avoided committing to any events several weeks on either side of my due date.  Currently I’m working on some activity packets for the little people to pull out when everyone is desperate for a change up.  And I’m changing chores around to work better with our lowered standards.  I don’t do the same things every time, instead I try to think about what preparations will help most in the current climate.

magandbethany5. Enjoy this time!  Ugh. I hate to think back about all the time I wasted with my first kids worrying, fretting, angry, and selfish.  But the Lord is faithful to forgive and change our hearts.  Babies are amazing!  Marvel at their little tiny hands and feet, at their first smiles, at their coos and cries.  Be amazed at how fast they grow and change and learn.  Be perplexed at how food comes out of the ground, into your body, is made into food perfect for them, they get fat, and you get skinny.  Think about it! It’s crazy!    Give praise to the Lord for his wondrously bizarre works to the children of man.

A Blog About My Blog


I’m on an organizing push around my house.  Call it nesting if you like, but I’ve always liked things to have homes.  Are there really people out there who don’t?  I know not all of us are always organized or sometimes we are too overwhelmed to get there; but really who doesn’t like the finished product?  So along with closets, toys, schedules, and meals, I thought I’d add a little organization to my blog.  It’s still a “get to” not a “have to”; but without some planning in my life, I’d never” get to” do anything but the things that I “have to,” (which actually through sanctification are becoming the things that I “get to” do.  Oh dear. )

I’m thinking something like:

Monday: Tips, Tricks, or Treats

Wednesday: Encouragements, Meditations, or Thought Ramblings

Friday: Assorted Content- Q and A (feel free to send me your questions!),  Guest Posts,  General Silliness, Anything Else that Sounds Fun to Pass On

As with all of my organizing attempts, I’m sure this will be tweaked and there will always be that one thing that doesn’t fit neatly in the box with the other like items, but it’s a start.  I love to write, to organize my thoughts, and I’m especially blessed whenever along the way, I can be used as a stepping stone to see the Savior.  Thanks for reading!

Babies Come Out One Way or Another

Warning: This post will probably be of little interest to some maybe even gross (I’ve lost my ability to assess that category from a normal perspective).  But some of you may find it helpful and it’s on my mind, so take it or leave it.

I’m actually considering (gulp) going without an epidural, on purpose this time.  Last time the anesthesiologist was delayed; and by the time she arrived I couldn’t hold still long enough for her to stick a needle in my spine.  She only needed “3 minutes,” that’s when Chris looked at my face and the 3 sterile kits I’d already knocked on the floor, and asserted for me that it was not going to happen.  To make matters worse, Jack turned out to be sunny-side-up, which increased the length and intensity of my labor significantly.  I really thought I was going to die.  The nurse was nice enough to lie and told me that everyone says that.

After it was all over, and I was still alive, the little twist I didn’t anticipate was that I only took a few Motrin afterward and felt back to normal very quickly.  My blood pressure didn’t plummet and I ate a cheeseburger while I was still in the delivery room.  I’ve been induced, had a spontaneous preemie, a c-section, a vbac, and gone completely without drugs (though unanticipated).  In my limited, yet diverse experiences, I have to say the recovery was by far the best with the drug free labor.  All this history to explain why I’ve been peeking around on the web to learn if there really are any helpful tips to coping with the curse besides the blessed gift of the epidural.

While I have run across a few helpful tidbits, I’m mostly impressed by the passionate defensiveness of Mommy’s right to her birth plan.  To be honest, it gives me the giggles.  I picture women pulling up to the hospital drive-thru with their order, “I’ll take a 2 hour latent phase with a Popsicle, an epidural while contractions are slightly painful but 5 minutes apart, I’d like some soothing music just before it’s time to push, oh and no tearing because I’ve been massaging for 5 weeks, and last I’d like to keep my placenta for the scrapbook.”

Obviously I’m exaggerating (and amusing myself).  I really don’t have a problem with planning ahead and imagining an ideal.  The problem I see, from personal experience, is that unprioritized ideals can quickly become idols.  And idols will rob you of joy and purpose.  Unlike McDonald’s, if you’re order doesn’t come out how you wanted, you can’t take it back.  The joy of having the baby is not primarily to have a wonderful birthing experience.  It is the privilege of raising another human being to glorify God and enjoy him forever.  As surely as that baby will come out, that baby will depend on you for life, authority, love, and learning until death parts you.  It seems to me that planning for the greater task at hand would be a better use of our time and energy and in the end a far more fruitful endeavor.