7 Quick Takes Friday - #6

When I have time, I sure do enjoy doing the "7 Quick Takes" posts, so I can share things on my mind, or in my life (like, check out my little rolling man over here to the right ---->). And I like hearing from you, so please, comment if you have the urge. :) Don't forget to pop over to Jen's blog if you're interested in reading others' "quick takes".
  1. First, I've been a cleaning/sorting fool this week. Maybe it has something to do with sleeping all night long for more than a week, but I've had a lot of energy for organizing, editing, and pitching unnecessary stuff from our home, and it's been nice. We took 8 or 10 bags of clothes to a home where needy Central Asians will be able to take what they can use, and I got rid of a lot of clutter in our home as well (extra dining room seat cushions, unnecessary toys, ballcaps, books, magazines, and a whole lot of trash). I sorted through some of the kids' clothes we have stashed away and kept only what we'll really potentially want to use again. Having moved five times in less than five years overseas, we had quite a bit of accumulation. It feels good to tackle some of it and pare it down.

  2. I realized this week that I really like decorating with words around the home. Here are a few examples:
    (made this one last year)
    (brought this one with us overseas)
    That last one is one I've just cut and pinned (definitely not complete... I'm thinking of adding two little feet to one side); it's from Proverbs. I hope to sew it together soon... ya know, "when I find the time". I've lived this way for several years and am once again aware of how much I love to have inspiring words, visible in our home.

  3. A few things converged this week and made me think more about nighttime sleep with an infant.

    It seems like it can be easy to look at parenting or nighttime sleep issues philosophically when you still have the option of "sleeping every time the baby sleeps", or being at home in your pajamas all day without anyone little looking up to you as their example or educator, or when your kids are maybe spaced every 3-4 years or more. But those who are homeschooling older kids, or those who have several little ones in a row often need to think a lot more practically and realistically, and it becomes much more necessary to do like the stewardess says, and "put your own oxygen mask on first, before helping the people around you". In those situations, it can be essential to thoughtfully evaluate and meet your own needs in order that you might better care for the people entrusted to your care.

    Or else you can end up burned out, spent, and utterly exhausted. (Amy wrote about this recently.) Motherhood on its own (with sleep!) is tiring enough, and at the same time has been one of God's best tools for sanctification in my own life. To take responsibility for loving and meeting the needs of our kids... to love them and serve them... but in order to "love others as we love ourselves", there's an underlying assumption that we "love ourselves"... we need to take care of the body God has given to each of us.

  4. Please hear that I am not quibbling about whether or not to meet a baby's needs, but rather, that we need to think more carefully about what constitutes a "need". For my part, I'm a firm believer in regular, nighttime rest for everyone in the family (I think this is a "need"... for all of our health and particularly for mom's sanity), and so we strive for it as soon as it can be had without crying-it-out.

    And if you're a young mom who has been made to feel that being intentional about pursuing nighttime sleep is somehow negative or impossible or wrong, I just want to encourage you that it is possible to do so gently, lovingly, and fruitfully, most of the time. And that there's nothing wrong with desiring that and working towards it. Hang in there and reach up for your oxygen mask.

  5. We went to Chili's for our 10-year anniversary a couple weeks ago. :)Yes, Chili's. You see, we live overseas. Never in a million years would we go to Chili's for our 10-year anniversary if we lived in the States, but when you live abroad, strange things happen to you. Our tastebuds were up in arms, and demanded some delicious tortilla chips, salsa, honey chipotle tenders, and more. So we gave into our tastebuds, even if it doesn't sound like a very glamorous date. :)My husband spoiled me rotten- I'll spare you all the details, but he really went above and beyond and surprised me several times over. I love him so much. And we really enjoyed the chips and salsa, pared with a chance to do our anniversary examination tradition.

  6. Crocheted a new hat for Moses. It looks pretty cute on him, wouldn't you say? :)

  7. And I made an apron for Maranatha... it matches mine, but has a different edging detail so we can easily tell them apart. She was quite excited.

  8. And I re-used some old jeans and a dress with missing buttons, and turned them into bibs and baby shoes:

  9. I guess I've felt a bit crafty lately.
So that's my 7 Quick Takes for the week. Comments or thoughts to share?


Jenny said...

The banner is so cute and your sewing skills are great. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on nighttime mothering. I have always co-slept which insured that all in the house got the rest they needed. A tired momma is no good to anyone. Have a blessed weekend. (I'm visiting from Jennifer's)

Tara said...

Those were fun to read! :) Happy Anniversary, btw! Looks like you had fun.
About the sleep thing, I agree. I do think that, even if it doesn't look like it "should", it's ok. Sometimes whatever works for you is really fine, even if it doesn't follow the "formula". All that to say that sometimes an exhausted momma drags a baby or young child into bed with her just to get a few extra zzzzz's and that's ok!

Moses is too adorable!
Such a disjointed comment, but I'm trying to get everyone ready for a Walmart trip at the same time. Sigh. Have I mentioned how much I despise Walmart? Especially at 38 weeks pregnant? :)

NotaSupermom said...

Wow, I's mo impressed with your craftiness!

Happy anniversary to you and your husband.

The Lindell Family said...

Love the little shoes! Did you have a pattern, and if so, could you share it?! :)

Great point on nighttime sleep. "Sleep when the baby sleeps" worked with my first baby. Three boys ages 3 and under? Not so much. When my youngest started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks, it was a glorious day of celebration in our house.

Ruth said...

Happy Anniversary! Really cute crafts!

Christy said...

Happy Anniversary! We celebrated our 10th this year too. :-) I could use a week of cleaning and organizing and tossing right now too - you've inspired me to get busy with that tomorrow!!
I love the cute baby shoes and the apron especially. And I just wanted to say how pretty you look in your picture!

Catherine R. said...

Oh yes, the transformative powers of enough sleep. My girl (2.5 months) started sleeping 10-11 hours at night with one feed that she doesn't even open her eyes for. I tell you, it really is like running on all cylinders. I have been more creative, and everything else good. I get some steep hormone spikes in the wrong direction but fortunately it is fairly short lived for the most part.

Happy anniversary you two crazy love birds! <3

Sarah @ Frugal Fun for Boys said...

Jess, I have been reading your blog for a long time now! Great stuff! I live in Texas with my 3 boys (7 and under). We are a homeschooling family, and are doing Sonlight for the first time this year. I love it so far! It's fun to read about other like-minded families, even across the globe!

Mama Hen said...

Wow, you have been busy! The bibs look great and your little man is so cute!

Dawn said...

Happy Anniversary! And...is it totally sad that I knew that was the molten chocolate cake from Chilis before I even read the caption or noticed the plate decor? :-P That happens to be my numero uno favorite dessert. Ever.


Candice said...

You have been busy! LOVE the baby shoes!

Deborah said...

I love the new hat--almost as much as I love the expression on Moses's face :) I also just want to say thank you for all of the encouraging posts about mothering an infant! As a first time mom, it's been overwhelming at times (I'm not sure how long it's been since I even updated our financial records, much less wrote on my own blog), but reading your blog has given me helpful ideas and above all, encouragement that things do get more manageable! I'm not sure yet but I think we're finally falling into something resembling a routine. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

i really like the bibs and could probably make some myself. do you have the pattern on here or a tutorial....??/

Sam said...

Congratulations on your anniversary! My husband and I celebrate 14 years in Jan. and also have 5 children under 8. What full and fun lives we live! I'm enjoying your blog. BTW-- we used babywise with all 5--love, love, love that book! Cheers! Sam in RI

Jess said...

Yes, I'm sorry! I meant to include the instructions I followed for all of the projects.

Here's the link for the denim baby shoes tutorial:

Here's the link for the bibs tutorial:

The bibs wer super easy-- I thought the shoes tutorial wasn't fully explained, so I had to do a little figuring, but it all came out OK. :)
Hope this helps!

musemater said...

Like your blog alot! You are a blessing with your wonderful sharing of your beautiful family. Thank you!

Liz said...

I love your sewing projects! Now you're making me wish I knew how!

And the baby stuff - I have a 7 week old and I'm benefiting from your thoughts- its amazing how much you forget!

Love your blog and I'd love to meet you some time when you're in the states. :>)

Jess said...

Where do you live? Depending on where you're at, that might be possible. I have several "online" friends that I hope to meet with during our next stint in the US.

Feel free to e-mail me... makinghome@pobox.com

Anonymous said...

The quick takes posts look like fun. I think your word decorations are cute and feet would be a nice touch on the "Ponder the path of your feet" item.

missy said...

I love your blog! It's great fun to read the writing of a woman who loves her life at home.
Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Those baby shoes are to absolutely die for! Do you have a pattern? I would love to try my hand at making some of those. I have 4 kiddos (13-19) and have been married 24 years. Homeschooling still! Oldest in college.
Ruthie from California