Musings from the Threshold

Category Archives: Linkage


I have, over the years that I’ve been reading blogs, entered a multitude of giveaways. I’ve pouted inwardly more than I’d like to admit over not ever winning one.

Well, for reasons beyond my ken, my losing streak has been broken, and broken soundly.

I’m not wanting to brag about winning, but I am wanting to brag on these wonderful people who have hosted and given. Please check out their blogs and products!

On October 24, I won a cloth diaper giveaway hosted by Tsh at When Tsh sent me an email asking me which of the four sets would be my preference, I chose SustainableBabyish after much deliberation because the set that they were giving away had an option for either a regular/short wool cover or some wool longies (be still, my heart!). As it turned out, I was able to have my first choice of companies, and heard from the folks at SB within a few days. Unfortunately, at the time, the page for the starter kit being given away did not note the additional charge for the longies (a charge that makes total sense, just one that I couldn’t fit in our budget at the time). After some emailing back and forth, the kind folks at SB offered me the option of a pair of “seconds” longies if I would prefer them over a short wool cover. I was all over that. And, incidentally, the product page for the starter kit in question now reflects the price difference, for which I’m relieved for future customers.
So, on November 17, I received my package. And oh my. These diapers. They are the softest ever. Every time I come to one of them in the diaper rotation, I get all excited because they are just so soft and cushy. I wish I had clothes that soft! I just think they’re wonderful. And the pair of longies? I sure can’t find any flaws in them. A little lanolin sample would have been a lovely touch since their covers are not pre-lanolized. I finally bought some lanolin and it is in transit. So looking forward to getting this pair of longies in use!
Honestly, my experience with this company’s representative was less than stellar. But I think it was an individual thing, not a company-wide issue. And oh the diapers! They make the negatives fade in my mind. I would (obviously, from my gushing) highly recommend them. Thanks for the fabulous gift, SustainableBabyish! And many thanks to Tsh for organizing/hosting such a generous giveaway.

Then in November, I was surprised by a second giveaway notification – this time from The Grocery Shrink. She was giving away not one but three of her ebooks. I’d looked longingly at her books before and been so impressed that she helps you shrink your grocery budget while eating real whole foods. She also was including a hands-pampering set from Mary Kay – fun bonus.
We had some miscommunication, and then there was my horrid memory and holiday busy-ness. I totally forgot about downloading the books. And I didn’t receive her email about the hands set. I finally emailed her tonight to thank her and apologize for not doing so earlier. I’m going to download the books as soon as the Man isn’t playing on online game in which he might die if I clog up the satelite connection. 🙂 I’m sure that you’ll be hearing about them, because I plan to make use of her ideas.

On December 7, I won this giveaway at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom. It was for a copy of the cookbook Go Dairy Free by Alisa Marie Fleming and (bonus!) a potato ricer. I’d been thrilled about getting a digital copy of the book, but was delighted when Heidi informed me it was a hardcopy.
I haven’t had a lot of time to examine the cookbook, but it is definitely more than just recipes. It looks like a wealth of information on this world that sometimes still feels new to me. Alisa’s blog, Alisa Cooks, has been a tremendous help and encouragement as I’ve learned the ropes of eating without dairy, and I’m thankful to have this hard copy resource as well.
I’d never used a potato ricer before, but I have been glad to have it. Perfect timing with Andrew beginning to try some veggies. Besides making mashed potatoes with it for the fam, I’ve run sweet potatoes and carrots through it for Andrew (freezing them in half cup portions for easy use). Works like a dream.
Oh, and the dairy free fudge recipe Heidi links to in the giveaway post? Fabulous. Totally made my Christmas season, as far as treats go. And my family said they thought it was just as good as “their” fudge.
Thank you, Heidi, for the gifts, and thank you, Alisa, for letting your readers know about the giveaway!

Also on December 7, oddly enough, I went visiting some new blogs after posting my Sweet Shot Tuesday picture. I like to visit some of the other bloggers who have posted pics and give enouragement, so I picked a few that I liked from the thumbnail linkies and went to comment. I loved the hands picture at the end of this post at sandwichINK – it reminds me of my dear grandparents. I dashed off a note to Kaye letting her know I appreciated her pics and post, and thought no more of it. Totally missed the giveaway business.
The next week, I received an email about having won a giveaway. I had to follow the link to Kaye’s blog to figure out how that had happened. What a fun and wonderful surpriseto have $15 to my credit at Amazon! Thanks, Kaye!

So that’s my giveaway roundup. Please visit these fine folks and, if they have products that would be a help to you, consider purchasing from them.

Linkage ~ from early July

I guess I never got around to posting this one…

I’m not able to embed it, but a trip to see the video for Andrew Peterson’s “Dancing in the Mine Fields” would be well worth your time. It’s terrific.

Part 2 of Ann Voskamp’s series on Rest. An appetizer: These are right and necessary, pauses. Who can make a song without rests? There will be more song in the morning, fresh mercies, and God will let us again undertake the unfinished work of the Kingdom and this is good. The winds lilts and lifts the branches of the spruce trees. I think about tomorrow. It’s work and refrain and the dust. Rest is never how a body relaxes, but how a mind lies down into Jesus. No matter how the hands fly, there is always rest when our interior gazes on Jesus. He is our rest.

An article everyone should read – Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

Debt Free is Beautiful – I’m definitely checking out this smart lady’s stuff!

Some common sense from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada:

“Physicians should no longer automatically opt to perform a cesarean section in the case of a breech birth, according to new guidelines by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.

The new approach was prompted by a reassessment of earlier trials. It now appears that there is no difference in complication rates between vaginal and cesarean section deliveries in the case of breech births.” Read the rest of the article here


Here’s a terrific article on the risks of eating soy. Please read it!

And in case you haven’t heard, “according to Information the manufacturer of this vaccine presented to the FDA prior to approval, if a person has already been exposed to HPV 16 or 18 prior to injection Gardasil increases the risk of precancerous lesions, or worse, by 44.6%” Yes, that’s the vaccine that is touted to prevent cervical cancer and that has been mandated by law in several states. Read more here.

“All I need, I already have. It just requires me to be flexible enough to put away what I believe to be the simplest path, and be willing to lead with either leg.
All He asks is that I trust Him enough to jump.” Read more

“He wants us to say with the Psalmist, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14b He wants us to give back to Him what He has given to us. He isn’t asking us to be something we are not. He only wants us to be faithful with the things He has given us. He only wants all of us!” More on Comparing from my friend Angela

The Practice of Rest, Pt.1 from Ann Voskamp

How to make covered buttons from scratch

Misc. Good Stuff

An interesting article about the Khan Academy, a non profit organization founded and run by Salman Khan, who has a free online library of over 1,500 instructional videos on various topics, especially math. I haven’t watched any of the videos yet, but plan to check them out.

I just found Pink and Green Mama this weekend. This artist mom has some terrific projects that she’s done with her little ones. I need this kind of inspiration, so I’ve added her to my blog reader.

I’m looking forward to trying some of these 14 Ways to Enjoy Ripe Tomatoes once our tomatoes are ready.

And here’s a feel good song I’ve been loving lately.

Words of Blessing and Encouragement

The path that leads to joy is a hard road. It’s hard for us, and it was hard for Jesus. It cost him his life. It may cost us ours.
~~ John Piper, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

To complain against God is in effect to deny His holiness and to say that He is somehow not fair and just. It is less injury to Him to deny His being than to deny the purity of it; the one makes Him no God, the other a deformed, unlovely, and a detestable God…He that saith God is not holy and right speaks much worse than he that saith there is no God at all.
~~ Stephen Churnock, 17th century

What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good. What, then, my soul, is it best for thee to do? Learn first to be content with this divine order, and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good. Study next, to make the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset, sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth thy notes at all hours. Believe that the night is as useful as the day. The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise shine forth gloriously amid the darkness of grief. Continue thy service under all changes. If in the day thy watchword be labour, at night exchange it for watch. Every hour has its duty, do thou continue in thy calling as the Lord’s servant until he shall suddenly appear in his glory.
~~ Spurgeon

More tests for Andrew

Before I elaborate about the new testing we’re having done for Andrew, I thought I’d share a story about the day we received the call from Cardinal Glennon about Andrew’s elevated tyrosine levels. Jonathan and Mama had left the room to do other stuff, and Andrew and I were cuddling. As I kissed his soft downy head, I started to pray, “Lord, help him to be okay,” but my prayer was changed in the midst and became, “Lord, help us to love him the way You love him, no matter what.”

When we got back the results that Andrew’s tyrosine levels had come down and he was given the all clear as far as tyrosinemia was concerned, I was, of course, thankful. Yet I was not jump-up-and-down-woot-woot excitedly thankful. I think the Lord had brought me to a point where I was prepared to be thankful regardless of what He had in store for Andrew, so my thankfulness one of calm and peace, rather than of a huge breath of relief. I was strongly impressed that I should take from His loving hand with thankfulness, no matter what He chose to give.

So, on Saturday, our wonderful midwife came by to do a 3 week check on Andrew and I on her way home from a meeting of midwives in St. Louis. We did not know at the time, but her visit came at the request of B, who acted as her assistant throughout my pregnancy, birth, and post-partum period. B had been to see us last Monday and had some nagging concerns about Andrew, so she asked Mary to check on us.

After giving Andrew a thorough going-over, Mary expressed her concern to us about Andrew. When he was born, his reflexes were all strong, but they have diminished. Of particular note are his palmar grasp (hand grasp) and plantar grasp/babinski sign reflexes (toe curling and spreading). His overall tone is a bit lax as well. Mary encouraged us to see a pediatrician as soon as possible to have him evaluated.

I am thankful for the network of friends that led us to a pediatrician who seems to be a great fit for us. She shared our concerns about Andrew’s reflexes and tone. One possible cause is a metabolic issue, but since he is growing so splendidly (he weighed in at 6# 15oz today!), that doesn’t seem like a likely cause. Another cause could be Down’s syndrome. She recommended that we have a chromosonal analysis done, and after conferring with Jonathan, Andrew and I headed over to the hospital lab to have some blood drawn. We should have results in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, we are very much at peace. Andrew is a precious treasure and we love him dearly. We are thankful for the gift of having him in our family.
Thanks for your love and prayers!