Archive for the ‘Mama Knucker Hatch’ Category

Hard wired deep in my soul, I have a fresh desire to begin each year with nothing on my plate. I want the clutter in every room to be sucked up in some imaginary vortex. Everything must have clean lines and surfaces. The fridge. The desk. The floor. The school schedule. The blog. The devotional. I want to simplify every iota.

I have become a machine. Nesting. Aiming high for my Tabula Rosa. Oiled by sheer will. Inspired by literally the presence of nothing. After looking under every bed and through every closet, I still can’t seem to find where I misplaced that magic vortex button. However, I find myself taking rest in the smallest of victories. A clean desktop on a computer. The holy trinity of hamper, washer, and dryer found empty. One step closer to the almost unobtainable goal of printing out five years of digital pictures. And reworking the blog at a feverish pitch during a 2AM attack of pregnancy insomnia.

I’m taking a deep breath in until it almost hurts and tickles all at once. Before exhaling and beginning the fresh blessing of a new year; before welcoming 10 more tiny toes over the threshold of life.


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What you don’t know about me is that I am a pretty paper and fabric FREAK. I don’t scrap, and I hardly ever find time to sew, but in the second half of my life, I know this is where I will be spending all of my time. While I don’t have time to do things now, I do have a habit of hoarding. I have rolls of beautiful fabric and stacks of gorgeous papers in my closet begging for attention. Every one of them seeming to say, “You paid for me. Use me. I’ve been in a dark closet for 5 years. Please pick me up.”

So with that background in mind, you might be able to understand how I had to be a part of this next Knucker Hatch Advent activity. You can do this activity with paper or fabric, and the results are quite cute. (From left to right, the work of: The Queen’s Grace, Mama Knucker Hatch, The Princess of Wails, and Sir Bugga-Lot).


A special thanks to The Small Object for the original idea in fabric w/ a very useful template and to Bella Dia for the inspiration to try paper. The only modifications we made were to stick small wads of tissue inbetween each cone for lift. By the way, both aforementioned blogs are wonderful places to sit with a cup of coffee and dream about rescuing my hoards and hoards of lovelies.

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House A-Rest

Well GEE WHIZ. I feel like Rip Van Winkle who settled down to take a rest for awhile, next thing I know, I’m waking up 60 days later! It honestly feels even longer than two months away from the computer. I obviously didn’t blog, I didn’t read any blogs, and I was slower than snail mail getting back to my e-mails. Truth be known, I had no choice but to put myself under House A-Rest, go nose to the grind stone and spend almost every waking moment on something or someone else.  The first third of 2008 has proved to be one of my most difficult seasons.  But, finger to the wind, I believe I am turning the corner! Praise GOD!  Sometimes I felt like I was raising five children with the last and worst one being MYSELF!

About a month ago, I confessed to Tom Builder that I thought I might be dealing with my first true experience with depression. Ever since December really. The question was, would anyone in my position with the current issues our family was facing on so many fronts have felt exactly the same way.  When he asked me what my symptoms were, he smiled and chuckled…we shared all of the same symptoms. We were both depressed. Somehow, knowing we both shared the same dark foxhole helped me to pick up my bootstraps and do something about it.

As Spring has approached, my soul and spirit have lifted. Lo and behold the county started allowing a burn day here and there, and so with all of my available time, I burned bonfire after bonfire of endless piles of junk and wood on the farm. (You know you are a Homeschooling Georgia Redneck when you call off school for a Burn Day.)  Almost every single pile has been torched. It was a tremendous amount of work, that I did much of myself as Mr. Incredible was either traveling or on conference calls. But what a fantastic feeling! There is something very therapeutic about disassembling giant mounds of limbs, logs, cabinets, you name it, and burning it to nothingness.

I have so much to share with you all about my insights and our new experiences during this time of silence. We’ve been focused, but we’ve also shared wonderful times with our family and friends. Now off to download about 200 photos and movies from the last two months of my life so I can share those sweet moments with you!

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Yesterday, when speaking with a dear friend at church, she noted that I must have been busy, as she could see that I hadn’t added anything new to the blog for weeks.  A true enough statement.

Our family is going through a deep time of testing right now. Quite honestly, I feel like the unopened soda can my new two year old has found and insists upon shaking. The pressure inside of me has altered my contents. Part of the testing, also involves not opening the can.  The contents of the can, should not be revealed or shared with another. The can should only be put back on the shelf, until a later time to be opened. Or maybe never. Have you ever gone through a season like that?

 It. Is. Tough.

I think I’ve isolated myself on purpose. Just to stay focused. To make it to the end of the test. I wish I could say that I have endured the test with grace and dignity at all times. I haven’t. A few pin holes in my soda can have released pressure in ways that make me sick to my stomach. I’ve screamed at the kids to “Shut Up!” more than once. Even Faith has been the brunt of those two horrible words.  I have used those two words, in the car, on my way to church. I have had tantrums with the Lord and outloud to myself. I have been selfish. I’ve pouted so hard my head hurts, and had pity parties that blow the lid off of piety.


Overall, I’ve held up through this storm, but I want to be like the reeds who bend with humble grace when the wind blows and not the prideful pine tree who hits the ground hard when the strong winds and driving rain uproot her frame from the mud…exposed shallow roots and all.  This season has proven to me, I need deeper roots.

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The other morning…as I attempted to do my early morning chores and quiet time before the children arose… I was foiled by a bad dream. The Queen’s Grace had run into the kitchen with tears and sobs. The dream regarded toys and game pieces at a friend’s house coming to life, and some odd thing about how one of the toys could make two fingers turn into one.  Wish my bad dreams went something like that.

All of this is mentioned simply to set the stage for why we had a talk around the dinner table about bad dreams that night.  Trying to turn something bad into something positive, I lightened the conversation up with how I have flown in my dreams. Many times in fact. In my dreams, I know exactly how to do it, and how my muscles feel as I push against the air.  Mr. Incredible shared that he knew how to fly in his dreams too. According to Mr. Incredible it involves a lot of concentration and is more along the lines of something Neo would do in the Matrix. Until that moment, it had never occurred to me that people might fly different than me in their dreams.

 So, feeling very comfortable with my mode of flying, I piped in.

“You know how I fly?  I FLAP.”

To my surprise, everyone burst out laughing.
You’re laughing too, aren’t you. 

As Tom Builder tried to recover (now feeling very svelt with his mode of flying), my own children shouted,

“You flap???  Like a BIRD? Like you have feathers???”

“Well. Yeah. But I don’t have feathers. It feels like I’m swimming freestyle in the water, but instead I’m flapping in the air.”  More laughter ensued.  Apparently, I’m a third world flier.


Tom Builder, perhaps feeling a little sorry for my weakness, decided to ask if I had ever tried flying after learning how to do it in my dreams.

Well, NO.  DUh-UH.

Upon which he then confessed that he had.  Picturing a little boy trying to jump off a roof, I asked how old he was when he tried. It was my turn to laugh.  He was in his twenties.

That’s an entrepreneur for you. I love that man.

So now, I ask my fabulous Knucker Hatch readers:

Have you ever flown in your dreams?
Care to admit if you flap or Neo?

(Whispering now)

Have you ever tried it?

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Yesterday, I hit a wall. Quite simply, I just felt like crud. My allergies were bad, while hot flashes, and a scratchy throat added to the uncomfortableness of my rotunda-ness. I had to prepare for leading my Women’s Bible Study over the next two hours, despite my exhaustion and overwhelming desire to lay down. All of the voices inside my head were having a lovely pity party. The voices are familiar, and I know my weaknesses reveal themselves at about this week in my pregnancy. Knowing that it is not uncommon to hit that emotional and physical wall helps, but it doesn’t remove the cruddy consuming feeling.

A couple of hours before Bible Study, I received a phone message from another leader stating that our study would be delayed a bit due to the church building being sprayed with insecticides. After an emergency order of pizza (I just couldn’t do the grocery shopping that day), I headed into church. Feeling a bit better on a full stomach, I waddled into the building, praying that the smell of pesticides wouldn’t knock me to the floor. A few deep breathes with my super sensitive prego nose, proved I was safe from sensory overload. I was surprised that I couldn’t detect any chemical smells. Rounding the corner to meet the girls, my eyes quickly fell on the stacks of bags and pink tissue paper, along with all of the Women’s Group surrounding an amazing spread of food. They all shouted a sweet, “Surprise!”. I had been completely duped with the insecticide set up.

When you’re on your fourth little one, you expect to have walked into the “Automatic Shower Exemption” zone. Especially when you were thrown a shower just less than two years ago, by the same group of ladies. I was completely surprised. After all of my preparation for the day, we never cracked open our books to review the week’s lesson. Instead, I opened blessing after blessing for my little Hope. Some of them, homemade and knitted with love, works still in progress.

While I left the church that evening still feeling sluggish and yucky, my heart was at a full swell. And I was also entirely humbled. The Lord led me to this particular group of ladies four years ago. They have had such an immeasurable impact on my life. Rather than bringing me into an inner circle of my peers, He led me to a group of beautiful women beyond their childbearing years, with decades of God and womanhood under their belt. I have been soaking up their wisdom and experiences ever since. What a privilege it has been to grow and glean from the cream of His crop.

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For those of you who don’t see me waddling around throughout the week, you may have wondered if my one week of silence meant the early arrival of Baby Hope. If that were true, it would have radically changed my position on global warming. True global warming might be the only thing that could successfully kick my cooker into microwave gear.

Most pregnant ladies have lovely convection ovens to bake their little buns. Some ladies, are lucky enough to have state of the art microwaves. I have been blessed with grandma’s indestructable stainless steel slow cooker forever stuck on the “Low” setting. {{sigh}} You can’t break me. You can’t rush me. I don’t even know how long the light would stay lit on my slow cooker without Pitocin.

The chickens and I are having a contest. We are both due to lay our egg in the same week. It’s me against twelve chickens. Cheep entertainment around here.

I have been tempted this go around to see how long I actually would go. Just to see, you know? But by about this week in the pregnancy with just three weeks left to go, the pelvis begins to shudder. I may have a uterus of steel, but the rest of me is not bionic woman material. Each evening this week has tested my tolerance of pain. Everything hurts. By 5:00 pm, whatever junk is strewn around the floor (and there is a lot of that) gets an automatic pass. All I can do is growl at it or kick it.

I whine that Mama is ready for Hope to come out now. When I see little babies nuzzled close to their mothers, I surprise myself with how much I long for those days again, holding another beautiful blessing. It is a comfort to know that I still have that deep seated desire to gather up my new little baby girl and love on her entirely. Fully. After three children, the excitement is still new and fresh.

But then I feel a sadness sweep over when I look at the little girl babbling in front of me who is still so much a baby herself. She has all of my heart right now, as she stands on the brink of so many milestones. How distracted I will be in a month. How much our “Mommy-Faith” world will change. Are we both really ready? Faith tries so hard to sit in my lap and fit. She’ll lay on my belly with her blanket molding herself around her tiny sister completely oblivious to Hope’s kicks of protest.

We can do this. I know we can. All of us. All six of us. Which brings me to the masterpiece I stumbled upon last week. Grace had left this picture on the counter. A picture of our family, plus another unidentified woman that I’ll assume is supposed to be Grandma or Nana. I love her drawings. Notice how she identified ME. I’m the bodacious one in the middle with all of the curves! So until less than three days pass before I find my way to a shower, this will have to do for an updated belly shot…

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