November 29, 2007

Never say Never

Well, remember how I said that if you say you'll never do something, you most assuredly will? It has happened to me again.

I said I would never drive a minivan- look at what I'm driving now.
We traded in our 2003 Tahoe (that we bought used in 2005) for a used 2007 Chevorlet Uplander. We were thinking of other ways to cut some costs, and we started looking around at some vehicles that are easier on gas. A friend of ours works at the nearby Chevorlet house, and showed us this van on Saturday. We prayed that if we were supposed to get it, that things would work out like we wanted, and if not, we would keep looking .

We went back up there on Tuesday and got it for exactly what we wanted, and ended up with a newer car and a smaller monthly payment, plus better gas mileage. " A blessing! A blessing from the Lord! God be praised!' (sorry, little random quote from Monty Python there)

One big plus with this vehicle is that it comes with a built in DVD player, the doors open with the touch of a button, the seats are part leather, part cloth (no sizzling or freezing skin upon sitting down) and, we can separate the kids so they aren't in one row up against each other. (this means less fighting)

I still kind of miss my Tahoe, it was great, but this is better for us and I am very thankful. And yes, ours is white too. Oh, and now I can actually park under our car port- whoo hoo!

November 28, 2007

Bean problems

The title of this post makes me laugh, ha,ha.

Ok, really, in my quest to be more frugal and save money while still feeding my family nourishing foods, I have been focusing on the legumes. I'm a pretty good cook, but when it comes to beans, things just don't work out.

First I couldn't get the right texture or flavor. After many attempts I have finally gotten that part down. But now we, or my husband and I, have other problems. No matter what I do, the after effects of the bean eating is very unpleasant.

I have:
soaked overnight, drain off the water and rinse, then cook slowly on the stovetop

soaked 24 hrs in water and an acid medium, drained and rinsed, then cooked slowly

sprouted lentils, but we don't have problems with them.

done the quick-soak method- boil 5 minutes, cover and let sit an hour, then cook till soft

added baking soda while cooking the beans

I've taken probiotics with the bean meal

The only thing we haven't done is taken beano with the bean meal.

We don't seem to have a problem with canned beans, but I've heard pressure cooking isn't all that healthy for you. Who knows?

So, if anyone has any other tips, PLEASE let me know :) Our bellies and our wallet will thank you :)

Speaking of frugality- this year I caved in and bought a fake Christmas tree. Yes, I vowed that I would never use an artificial tree, but I've come to the understanding that you never say never, because it will surely come to pass.

Anyways, it was the easiest route for us this year, and so today I went to Wal-Mart and bought the $30 prelit 6.5ft tree. Wow that thing is rinky dinky- BUT, when lit up it looks pretty good. It isn't very full and the branches don't come down low enough, but by the time we get it decorated and all, it will be fine. I'll try to get some before and after pictures so you can see what I mean.

Well, it's bed time...

November 27, 2007

How to Use up Leftovers

Wow did I get creative this year with using up the leftovers. I was thinking over everything I had 'recycled' last night and started laughing.

Friday night, after our dinner, I picked off all the large bits of turkey meat and put the carcass in a pot and covered with water. Then I simmered it all evening, turned it off for the night, then simmered it all day Saturday. I strained it and put in the fridge.

Yesterday morning I made my husband three turkey sandwiches on leftover rolls, and I also had a turkey sandwich. For breakfast yesterday I took the leftover mashed potatoes, added an egg, some flour and a bit more salt, then dropped dollops of the mix into a hot buttered skillet. We had this with turkey ham and raisin toast- so much turkey!

For dinner I sauteed carrots, onion, garlic, celery and carrots, added the turkey stock and the leftover turkey and some seasonings, and that was dinner.

For breakfast this morning, I crumbled up all the leftover rolls, layered half in the bottom of a 9x13 pan, then layered chopped granny smith apples, the leftover Jamaican cranberry sauce, a little extra cinnamon and brown sugar, then the rest of the bread. I mixed 3 eggs and 1.5 c of half and half and a drop of vanilla extract together, then poured over the bread. (I had to add some milk too to cover the bread) Then I baked it covered with foil for about 30 minutes, then uncovered it and baked it about 15 more minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup.

Now, I have leftover stuffing, but I have no idea how to use that up. I probably need to chunk it now :)

November 26, 2007

After holiday sicknesses

It comes as no surprise that one of my children has a fever today. After being with so many different people in different places for several days, being cooped up because of the rain, and eating too many sweets, little Lexer (our nickname for Alexa) is ill.

She's been laying on the couch all day, very lethargic with a 104 temp. I have given motrin twice, but I've tried giving her a bath, getting her to drink vitamin C and some other herbal teas (no luck, she won't drink). She did eat a good breakfast this morning, so I guess that's carrying her through.

I did something I never dreamed I'd do- I put egg whites on her feet. Yes you read that right. I went to my favorite health info place and several people said raw egg whites on the feet broke their child's fever. Well, I will try it again tonight before bed, but it didn't do much this afternoon. I may also try a vinegar-epsom salt bath- 1 c vinegar and 1/2 c epsom salts are supposed to bring the fever down. We'll see.

Hopefully I can get some homemade turkey stock with lots of garlic in her tonight.

I also made some sage tea out of some leftover fresh sage leaves- supposedly this helps the 'faucet nose'. I've given this to Leiah twice today and it seems better. I'll keep going with it. Yea for herbs!

An Honest picture of Me

Well, I've been having a sort of discussion with another blogger, Stephanie.

Anyways, her latest post got me to thinking that I may be misleading you all regarding myself. I know none of you have ever met me and probably never will, but still, I'm all about being real with people- I don't lie or live a lie.

First off, I love Jesus- I always have, for as long as I can remember I've desired to live for and serve Him. He gave me wisdom and maturity at an early age and my desire for His Word and witness to others grew. Never once has it crossed my mind to go in another path, or follow someone/something else. Never was there a desire to rebel and do bad things.

I have always been 'left out' because of this. No other girls my age were like this. I did have friends in school, but none with a deep conviction- I was a floater from one group of people to another- I guess I was everyone's friend. I related better with adults, though I loved children.

I played with dolls and barbies until I was... ahem... 13? I loved dirt and animals and bugs, but loved all things feminine too. In highschool, once I switched to a Christian school, I was excellent in volleyball, so-so in basketball, and I did track. I cannot run well, but I could sure hurl that discus and shot-put. I am big. I am 5'9 and over 200lbs- always have been.

I started learning about health and nutrition about 6 months after I married. It's become a passion, though I've not always stayed on track with it. I am a firm believe in taking charge of your own destiny, and relying on doctors and over the counter medications is not being in control. My goal is preventavive- be healthy and prepared, not wait till your sick to do something about. We're still working on this area.

I am a pleaser personality. I don't like for people to be mad at me or dislike me. I tend to like to impress people with my abilities- whether I realize it or not, I do. I am working on this too. Being number 1 is not the end all, be all of life. We all need and enjoy praise, but we need to be secure in who we are in Christ most.

I love heavy rock music. I am currently listening to a band called Disciple and they are amazing- like a revival in a CD! My husband was in a rock band and our whole house would vibrate when they practiced. I also love Celtic and classical music and various other things too- however rock wins out above all.

I have a weird sense of humor. I love movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura, Young Frankenstein, you get the idea. On a more serious side my favorites are The Sin Eater, The Matrix and Lord of the Rings. We are quite silly around here though- the current favorite is Nacho Libre...for reals :)

I have read Created to Be His Helpmeet and Fascinating Womanhood. I am doing my best to be a loving submissive wife to my dear husband. AFter a few years of practice, the old feminist still tries to rear her ugly head up at times, and I have to 'beat her back into submission' with the Word of God. It can be a struggle too- the flesh wants what it wants- the spirit is willing though.

I have had three c-sections and a d&c. With my first child, I knew absolutely nothing about childbirth and would not even consider doing it completely natural. She ended up being a special case anyways and we had an emergency c-section. When I got pregnant three months after that, I still didn't know anything and had another surgery. Now I'm pretty much doomed to c-sections forever.

I tried breastfeeding my children. I pumped for a month for Miss Leiah, and had I known then what I know now, I would have kept it up. I tried with my other two, but the pain from surgery was too much along with the pain from nursing. All my kids are formula fed. I started cloth diapering with my older two were 21 months and 9 months old. I've been doing it off and on up till now. I have used birth control- pills in the beginning, the patch, none, the IUD, and now back to other methods. We wanted a big family, but with the special one and c-sections, we aren't sure about that anymore. We enjoy being married a lot, which is why we've had so many babies so fast :)

I wear dresses/skirts about 3-4 times a week now. Some days I just don't feel like it and wear black stretch pants and a bright blue fitted tee or blue jeans and a nice blouse. I wear flip flops year round. I have had very long hair and had it chopped several times. I've dyed it as well.

I used to LOVE reading for fun, but now I feel it's sort of a waste of time, so I focus more on reading things that will help me be a better wife, mother, homemaker etc.

I am a republican and very conservative in my political views- that's all I want to say about that.
I live in town, in a very small town, on a quiet street. I dream of living on a farm with a big old timey farmhouse, gardening, canning, caring for animals, making quilts etc. Maybe someday :)

We watch TV- yes I allow my children to watch TV more than others, but I don't care. At this point in my life, I have to have some help from somewhere. I am trying to get my children used to playing and learning more than watching TV, and honestly, they watch Baby Einstein, Wiggles, Barney, Little Bear and Richard Scarry. How's that for brainwashing?? This is an area we are working on. They are all so little and limited and there are several of them- Alexa is the only one really capable of helping me without making more work. I have massive amounts of laundry, dishes and food to work on each week. (trying to save money you know, makes more work for me) I am trying to teach my girls how to help me more and take responsibility and to obey, but things have been very crazy with guests and holidays- we're working on it.

I do sew, but I don't have a lot of time for it. I make what I can when it will save us money. Mostly I buy at resale shops or people just give things to us- thank you Lord. Wal-Mart comes in handy too. I like to entertain and be a host, but it sure is a lot of work, and I've done way more of it these past few months than I intended.
I love to travel and have been blessed to have visited New York City, Pennsylvania Amish country, Seattle, Jamaica, Mexico, Grand Caymen, England, Holland and Paris. Also upper Michigan- where my dh is from.

And now I'm taking too much time on this post. I'm not the pious little Christian homemaker that does everything perfect. I whine and complain sometimes. I get angry and yell at my girls sometimes. I make wrong decisions and worry too much or spend too much. I am real and make mistakes.

But I know where I'm going and Whom I serve- that is my goal. " Pressing on to win the prize..."

November 25, 2007

Taking a Deep Breath

Ahh, finally a breath!

Well, we've had a busy few days. A massive cold front came in Wednesday afternoon and literally blew my in-laws in, LOL. Thursday we went to my family's gathering at my mom's- kids played and ate to their heart's content. Friday morning began my own Thanksgiving preparations. Wow!

First my turkey wasn't cooking fast enough- not sure if it was my oven or what, but in the end it turned out wonderful. (sage butter on the skin is a must- way to go Tyler Florence) I had homemade rolls and stuffing to bake also, but had to wait for that turkey because my oven isn't big enough for everything. On top of that, my husband and father-in-law were in the kitchen replacing some pipes under the sink for a couple of hours, so I had work around them or stay out.

Our dinner was two hours late, but we had presents to open (early Christmas from grandparents) and the men put up Christmas lights on the house. All went well. Today dh's parents left to visit their youngest son for a few days and we're back to 'normal'- sort of :)

So, what's on my mind now?? Christmas of course :) However, we are downsizing majorly this time around. I want to create family traditions more and focus on the fun of getting ready for Christmas. I will be spending some time looking for fun crafts etc. for me and the girls to do. We plan to wait awhile to get our tree this year- those things get dried out by the time Christmas rolls around if we get one now.

Also, I'm working on being more frugal. We are trying to get a vehicle with better gas mileage right now, and I will be working one the grocery budget etc. Christmas on a dime?? We'll see...

November 22, 2007


November 21, 2007

Goings On

The preparations begin! So far I've baked a pumpkin pie and made the cranberry sauce, and I was hoping to get my refrigerator yeast roll dough going..we'll see.

First, because I have nothing else to ramble about, let me tell about our night. Our girls really didn't want to go to bed early- I would have let them stay up longer, but dh's parents are coming in today and we had things to do before their arrival. (meaning kiddies needed to be out of the way)

So about 10pm or so, Alexa woke up crying because her face hurt. Sunday she fell down some stairs and landed on her face- but, she didn't complain about this Monday or much yesterday. So, she cried and cried, Matt stayed with her till she fell asleep, then she woke up again and cried some more. Finally, he took her into the living room to figure out the problem. By then Leiah was awake and thought it was morning. I got her settled and went to talk to Alexa. Finally we put them both back to bed (because by that time Leiah got up again and was skulking in the hallway). We got them to sleep, walked out the door and Leiah got up and woke Alexa up!!!! GRRRRR!!! It was after midnight by now- needless to say Leiah got a swat and after that we didn't hear anything till 2am. More crying...Sarah started coughing all night. Everytime I would get to sleep, someone would wake me up. I slept about 4-5hrs because I woke up before 6am.

So, this is not a good set up for a pleasant day. However, for once the girls actually slept longer- till 8am no less. (Except for Sarah) Anyways, long story short, we've had a great day so far- the grace and mercy of a loving God! We made a pumpkin pie together- I let them have dough scraps and tiny cookie cutters and we made 'cookies' with them- just brush with egg and sprinkle sugar on top and bake them. The house is nice and tidy- we cleaned up the front and backyards- and dinner is in the crockpot. All we do now is wait for them to arrive in the next couple of hours.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving History 4

There is a lot of information in the next several, several pages, so I will condense. One thing I forgot is Bradford didn't really highlight on their Thanksgiving Feast, but I can pinpoint when it happened. I will do my best at paraphrasing.

"All this while the Indians came skulking about them, and would sometimes sometimes show themselves aloof of, but when any approached near them, they would run away. And once they stole away their tools where they had been at work, and were gone to dinner. But about the 16 of March a certain Indian came boldly amongst them, and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand but marveled at it. At length they understood by discourse with him, that he was not of these parts, but belonged to the eastern parts, where some English ships came to fish with whom he was acquainted, and could name many of them by their names, amongst whom he had got his language. He became profitable unto them; as also of the people here, of their names, number, and strength; of their situation and distance from this place, and who was chief amongst them. His name was Samasetl he told them also of another Indian whose name was Squanto, a native of this place, who had been in England and could speak better English than himself. Being, after sometime of entertainment and gifts, dismissed awhile after he came again and ive more with him, and they brought again all the tools that were stolen away before. and made way for the coming of their great Sachem, called Massasoyet; who, about four or five days after, came with the chief of his friends and other attendance, with the aforesaid Squanto. With whom, after friendly entertainment and gifts given him, they made peace with him (which has now continued this 24 years)...

Next the Indians and Pilgrims made a 'peace' agreement to abide by, basically not to hurt each other, and what to do if someone did hurt the other.

"...The spring now approaching it pleased God the mortality began to cease amongst them, and the sick and lame recovered apace, which put as it were new life into them though they had born their sad affliction with much patience and contentedness...Afterwards they began to plant their corn, in which the service Squanto stood them in great stead, showing them both the mnner howt to set it and after how to dress and tend it. Also he told them except they got fish nd set with it (in these old grounds) it would come to nothing, and he showed them that in the middle of April they should have store enough come up the brook by which they began to build., and taught them how to take it, and where to get their provisions necessary for them; all which they found true by trial and experience."

"They began now to gather in the small harvest they had and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength, and had all things in good plenty; for as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass, and other fish of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was not want. And now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they first came (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides water fowl, there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison etc. Besides they ahd about a peck a meal a week to a person or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. "

So, I am thinking that after the harvest of corn, and the plentiful wild turkeys, this is where the harvest feast occurred, or Thanksgiving. What happened next was more ships with more people began to come in, and the people came with no provisions, thus they were very hungry that winter. After awhile, their commune idea fell apart- no one was prospering because they couldn't reap the fruit of their own labors, so they finally put a stop to that- for each man

Well, this will be all of the Thanksgiving history. There is much, much more written about the colony, which is rather boring :) Hope this helps shed some light on why we even celebrate what some people call ' Turkey Day'!

Blessed Schedule

Last week was so chaotic, I didn't see how I was going to manage with all of my children at home with me. A long time ago I purchased Candy's e-book for making a home management binder, and she has lots of detail on making a master schedule.

I have never really been a scheduled person- I'm very 'fly by the seat of my pants'-ish. However this will not work for our current situation. So Friday I moved all the toys with pieces, like puzzles, blocks, crayons, potato head etc. to the kitchen in the large cupboards that just had random items in there. Saturday I put together a master schedule, cleaning plan and menu plan that would hopefully be something I could stick to.

Well, so far things have gone so well! I am dumbfounded. I've always had a hard time keeping the kids occupied, but by moving all those toys to the kitchen and including them in my work, things have been going very well. The kids have just sailed along happily, with no mention of watching TV. We don't have it constantly on anymore- just a few short videos here and there.

I will give a basic rundown of what we're doing:

6am- I get up and will alternate Bible study and exercise on different days of the week
6:45- I get dressed, make bed and tidy room, start laundry
7am-make breakfast and dh's lunch
Get Leiah and Alexa, get them dressed and tidy room
Then I get Sarah and change her diaper
7:30 breakfast and read a Psalm
clean up- Leiah wipes the table, Alexa brings dishes to sink
8:00 Get Sarah dressed, brush everyone's hair and teeth, check laundry
Start crockpot if necessary, set meat to thaw etc.
8:30 Begin 'school'- today we did puzzles, coloring, play-do, a number worksheet and the speech video
9:00 I had planned to break and do some cleaning, but they were really into play-doh, I did some cleaning
9:30 Kid's help with chores (we did dusting, wiping appliances/surfaces, clean screens and mirrors)
10:00 snack time, I continue with cleaning
a little more school
Sarah in playpen while I finish mirrors, Alexa in playroom, Leiah with me
Fold and put away laundry
11:00 make lunch- we ate tuna sandwiches, pretzels and oranges
11:30 eat lunch, then clean up
'free time'
12pm read out loud time- I tried to read Little House in the Big Woods- they weren't cooperating
Sarah takes a nap
12:30 continue with reading or a short video
1pm naptime for the other two, I will work on sewing, meal prep, whatever, or resting myself!
3pm naps over for older two- snack, then work on craft or more worksheets
3:30 Sarah up, snack
outside play or' PE' if possible
4pm- finish up any chores/laundry
kids at table with activity
4:30 work on dinner/cleaning up kitchen
Kids can watch a video or free play
5pm tidy the house
5:30 kids eat if fussy, if not we can play a game or read
6pm dinner
6:30 clean up-kids help
7pm family time
7:30 baths and bedtime routines
8pm bedtime for kids
free time for me and dh
9:00 tidy up and do any prep for the next day's meals
9:30 get ready for bed- bath/shower etc.
10pm bedtime

These are the goals anyways. I had scheduled outside time mid-morning too, but it didn't work out today- I'll just stay flexible.

And here's the broccoli salad recipe- it really is good!

"Favorite Broccoli Salad"

1 bunch broccoli florets
1 head cauliflower florets (I omitted this)
8 bacon strips cooked and crumbled
1/3 c chopped onion ( I used red onion)
1 c chopped seeded tomatoes
2 hard cooked eggs (I omitted this too)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 c sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar

In a large salad bowl, combine broccoli, cauliflower, bacon, onion, tomatoes and eggs; set aside. In another bowl mix the mayo, sugar and vinegar and mix till smooth. Just before serving pour dressing over salad and toss.

*Note: Once I made this in advance with the dressing on it and it still tasted good- not sure why you're supposed to do it separately.

November 17, 2007

I want to put more of the Thanksgiving history up, but it's getting late.

I don't know if anyone is really that moved by the writings I've put on this blog, but I want people to know what the Pilgrims sacrificed and went through to start this country. They had such a vision from the Lord, and laid their lives on the line to see it happen. How many people would be willing to do that today, especially if they knew that someday their toil and hardwork wouldn't be allowed to be read in the public schools? I can assure you they were most thankful that first Thanksgiving, and while most of us have never been in those circumstances, I can imagine how grateful they were.

I hate that America just glosses over Thanksgiving going right into Christmas. It always feels wrong to me when a place is decorated for Christmas in early November. I absolutely love Christmas and getting ready for it, but we have the whole month of December- let's teach our children the value of giving thanks.

We are so wonderfully blessed to be Americans and I want everyone to understand that. So, sorry if the orginal writings of William Bradford are boring- but it's important and valuable to know.

November 15, 2007

Thanksgiving History Part 3

" I shall a little return back and begin with a combination made by them before they came ashore. being the first foundation of their government in this place; occasioned partly by the discontented and mutinous speeches that some of the strangers amongst them had let fall from them in the ship- that when they came ashore they would use their own liberty; for none had power to command them...The form was as follows: (The Mayflower Compact)

" 'In the name of God, amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord, Kind James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, Frances, and Ireland king, defender of the faith etc. having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of he Christian faith, and honor of our king and country , a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape cod the 11 of November, in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty fourth. Anno:Dom 1620' "

Afterwards they elected officers and formed the government for the colony once they were ashore.

"In these hard and difficult beginnings they found some discontents and murmurings arise amongst some, and mutinous speeches and carriages in other; but they wee soon quelled and overcome by the wisdom, patience, and just and equal carriage of things by the governor and better part, which clave faithfully together in the main. But that which was most sad and lamentable was, that in two or three months time half of their company died, especially in January and February, being the depth of winter, and wanting houses and other comforts; being infected with scurvy and other diseases, which this long voyage and their inaccomodate condition had brought upon them; so as there died sometimes two or three of a day, in the foresaid time; that of 100 and odd persons, scarce 50 remained. And of these in the time of most distress, there was but six or seven sound persons, who, to their great commendations be it spoken, spared no pains, night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard of their own health, fetched them wooed, made them fires, dressed them meat, and made their breads, washed their loathsome clothes, clothed and unclothed them, in a word, did all the homely and necessary offices for them which dainty and queasy stomaches cannot endure to hear named; and all this willingly and cheerfully, without any grudging in the least, showing herein their true love unto their friends and brethren.

What I've been up to

Lots! I've been online a lot getting information about homeschooling with special needs. It's interesting that the family members that were previously opposed to homeschooling her are now all for it :)

However, I need more than ever to organize and simplify- working on that.

I've also been sewing! Flannel nightgowns and robes for all the girls:

I have Alexa's done on the left- the patchwork pattern is the robe (still needs the ribbon tie) and the yellow is the gown, which till needs a button. Leiah's is the mint green gown which still needs the white flower buttons in the middle of the bodice and the lace trim at the hem, and the material behind it will be the robe. Sarah's will be the pink with the flower trim- no robe for her. Here are some more close ups:

Also, I am planning to get more of the Thanksgiving History up soon especially since it's getting closer to the big day.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I finally decided the menu plan. I've never cooked a turkey before, so I plan to get a smaller one. Hopefully I will still have plenty of leftovers to freeze and make stock.
So here it is:

Sundholm Thanksgiving Menu 2007 (yes that's our last name, think Swedish)

Turkey- duh!
Sausage apple stuffing (Southerners usually use corbread, I'm using regular bread)
Broccoli Bacon salad(de-lish, will try to post the recipe)
Mashed potatoes
Jamaican Cranberry sauce
Pecan Shortbread bars (we have millions of pecans in our yard!)
Pumpkin Pie (because I love it)

Jamaican Cranberry Sauce

*Note: nothing is measured exactly here, you know me :)

2 bags fresh cranberries
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 inch fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
juice of two oranges
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 t allspice

Combine all ingredients in larger saucepan. Add enough water to cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until berries 'pop' and the sauce thickens. Let cool and refrigerate, or serve warm. It's wonderful with turkey and ham. You may want to adjust the spices and sugar- I usually tweak it with more, but I start with those amounts to be safe. Easy!

November 13, 2007

Quick Post

Leiah ended up being sick today- I had to take her to the doctor, again. She has a sinus infection- this is crazy. The child has never had anything like this. She has been so miserable, and doesn't understand how to cough the phlegm up, so she chokes and gags and throws up. Of course they prescribed more anti-biotics, a very powerful one, but I don't know what else to do. Anytime I've had a sinus infection, that was the only thing that nipped it.

On a good note, I happened on a great website with lots of info on natural healing and cheap, healthy eating. You should visit :)


Thanks to everyone's kinds words of encouragement and your prayers. I have been very grieved in my spirit today with everything going on. Life seems so hard sometimes, almost more than I can bear. I am so thankful that I have Jesus and my family to help me!

November 12, 2007

Thank God He is my Rock

Friday, Leiah (my oldest) came home from school limping. The aid told me that someone tripped her (accidentally I hope) and she was crying a lot, but they didn't know where she was hurt. I was bit upset.

So, I checked her over she looked fine, she wasn't crying or really complaining about anything hurting. Saturday she was limping still, but not as bad. Sunday morning while my husband was changing her into her church clothes, he was looking at her ankle again. He was in their room a long time, and when he came out he had a serious look on his face. He laid her on the floor and made her very straight and we realized for the first time that her left leg is 1/2 inch longer than her right.

I noticed that she always put her full weight on one leg, and the other was always slightly bent, but I just thought that was her thing. Nope. Matt rigged up her shoe with a thicker sole and she did walk much better. Rather than take her to a regular doctor, we are taking her to a chiropractor today to get an x-ray. Children with trisomy 9 tend to have problems with joints dislocating, and it could be that her hip is out of place. (I would think she would be in a lot of pain though) I'm afraid a medical doctor would want to break the leg and then work on it.

Anyways, that's what I'm about to do- I dread it a lot- she totally freaks out when people touch her :(

***Edited to add: I went to the chiropractor and he said that her hip was rotated, meaning I guess that it's out of line. He said she needed a pediatric orthopedic specialist. He was quite angry that her pediatrician had not noticed this before, as am I. He (the chiropractor) even said this should have been identified at day one of her life. The whole time I have been the one to suggest things to the pediatrician, voicing concerns, pointing out problems etc. He is very laid back and easy going and I like him- he is a good Christian man, but, he has overlooked a lot of things. I am very upset that he didn't do more for Leiah as a baby.

This is so frustrating. Since her birth we've been to the pediatric heart specialist, the pediatric eye doctor, a developmental specialist, a pediatric neurosurgeon, a geneticist, and now we need the pediatric orthopedic, AND, we'll eventually need to get an ultrasound of her kidneys. I am thankful that she is doing so well, but this makes us realize even more that she needs some very intensive help.

We've decided to take her out of the public school and do something better. I request prayers for wisdom and guidance because I feel like I am in the dark. For 5 years now, we've been trying to put the pieces together ourselves, and now it all comes together and the 'if onlies' start. If only we had known before we could have...

But at least we do know now. I just need a lot of help because this is scary. Thanks.

November 11, 2007

Busy People's Bread

I have been experimenting with bread recipes for awhile now, trying to find one that either doesn't use a lot of yeast and the flour has been pre-soaked or is sourdough without being so strong. We generally eat storebought bread when I don't have a lot of time in the kitchen.

I was given a book for my birthday (my 20th) called Laurel's Kitchen: Bread Book or something- can't remember. Anyways, the whole book is filled recipes, how to's and all sorts of great things to know about baking 100% whole grain breads. I've tried several recipes but the bread was too strong for our liking.

I was talking to my grandmother not too long ago and she was remembering how her mom made bread and how great it was. She made a 'sponge' that 'started' the dough overnight. My brain instantly flashed to a section in my book about sponges. So I looked at it and thought I could tweak it to do what I wanted. I tried it awhile back and was totally amazed at how well the bread turned out-probably my best ever, besides the challah :)

I tried it again Friday and it is GREAT! I love everything about it and the best part is I forgot about the dough and left it sitting way longer than I meant and it still turned out great. So here is my recipe, however things aren't exact- I go by feel, not measurements.

Busy People's Bread

For the sponge:

1 teaspoon yeast
3/4 c warm water
3 T honey (I used brown sugar this time)
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour

For the bread dough- add to the sponge after rising:

1 cup warm water
2+ cups all purpose flour
1 T salt (I use Celtic sea salt)
2 T butter

First, dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Then add the honey, buttermilk, and 2 cups flour. Mix together, then add the rest of the flour until you get a smooth elastic dough. You will end up just kneading it all together after the first few cups of flour. Butter bowl and top of dough, set aside in a cool place with a damp towel covering it. Let rise at least 6hrs, 8-12 would be best.

*Note: I had intended for this stage to occur in 6-8hrs, however, things happened, I forgot and left it 18 hrs. A thick crust had formed on top of the dough and it had deflated, plus is smelled very alcoholic. I kneaded it a bit, proceeded with the rest of the recipe and it was great.

Punch dough down and add the warm water. (If you have a mixer with a dough hook happy you, if not, squish it with your hands till sort of mixed) Add in salt and flour- you may only need 1 cup, but I needed at least 2 cups to get a good elastic dough. Then knead in butter- you do this by putting small bits on your fingers and kneading it in with the dough. Or you could melt it and pour it all in at once before adding the flour.

Once smooth and elastic, cut dough in half and form into loaves. Put dough in greased loaf pans and let rise 1-1.5hrs. Put in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to and hour. Turn out of pans to cool, slice and eat it.

This bread has a mild flavor, good with anything. It has a semi-crunchy crust but not too much, and the texture is even and slightly chewy, like al dente pasta, not squishy. My daughter who is not a bread eater at 2 pieces in one sitting- crust and all!!

I plan to try it either all or mostly whole wheat next time. I had also intended to add wheat gluten but I forgot. More tweaking in the future.


I don't really have time to go into it, but there are a lot of confused people over my post about the kombucha scoby. If you go this website it has a lot of information about it.

Also, here is a picture of what it looks like as it's brewing. ( scroll down to the first post at the bottom- the big pickle jar with a coffee filter on top) We don't eat the mushroom thing, that is just what turns the tea into the kombucha drink- then we drink it.

November 9, 2007


The past few weeks I've had a lot of thoughts rolling around in my brain. I just felt that something wasn't right, either in the way that I was thinking or in some things that I have read, but I couldn't really pin point what it was. I just read this article

Everything just fell into place. That's it! I guess as I've been wondering what to do regarding my oldest daughter's schooling, about my younger children's training, our diet, what we wear etc. etc. I've just had no peace. Only stress and worry and turmoil and always feeling like I am coming up short in some area of my life.

Just the other day I started thinking about how all these things are good- dressing modestly and femininely, homeschooling, training our children well in obedience, making our own food, living frugally etc.- but, sometimes we do make these things into idols. I know I did without even realizing what was going on.

Ultimately, all that matters is that we are raising our children to know God and make Him known. That's the crux of it, right? If we are doing that, then does it really, really matter if one mom works part- time, feeds her kids cheese wiz, sends them to public school, wears blue jeans?? Those issues are things that the Holy Spirit must lead and guide people into, when they are ready to receive. Of course we are to be in the world and not of the world, and don't want to look or act 'worldly'. But frankly, and I don't want this to sound bad at all, I am getting rather weary of hearing about how bad it is in the public schools and that women being at home is the only right path. Maybe that is the truth, but the reality is many women do work either because they have to, or have no understanding of the Biblical teaching about women being the keepers of the home.

So what is so important about the home? Aren't we supposed to go out and preach the Gospel? What about people who have home businesses, homeschool and home church? Their lives are centered around each other all the time, being at home all the time. To me that's not my ideal, but to others it may be what God is wanting them to do.

What I'm getting at, is that somewhere along the way I acquired a self righteous attitude, thinking that I was better or holier because I stayed at home, sewed our clothing, wore dresses, made all our food from scratch, had long hair etc. The worst part is I didn't even realize that I was getting to that point. I was judging other women, even those closest to me, based on those 'requirements'. How dumb is that? It's like I was trying to fit in to a club or something.

Before anyone is extremely disappointed and upset with me, let me clarify. I have been in an area of spiritual pride. I fully support women being at home, homeschooling, celebrating feminine and modest dress and good home cooking. These are practically lost in the world today and I am so thankful that I get to be a part of it. I just had a revelation and am loving the freedom it has brought to my heart. I can still be a loving submissive wife though I wear blue jeans, a t-shirt and serve frozen pizza. It's the heart that matters most.

Look at what I made!

Ok, well I didn't make it, but I helped it along. I had several kombucha scobies in the refrigerator- just sitting there because we weren't drinking the kombucha we had and I didn't have time to mess with it. I was afraid they were dead, but thought I would give it a try. Well, after many days nothing was going on, so I put it in a warmer place, and just in case that didn't turn out, I tried an experiment.

I took the brew that was in the fridge that we were supposed to be drinking and just let it sit at room temperature for a few days. (3-5) A 'mushroom' started forming and I let it go until it was somewhat held together and 'pancake'-like. It looked kind of scary, but I gave it a shot and made up a small batch and put it in there. WOW! Look at the whopper it made! I just made another brew of kombucha and put the new scoby in there.

I am continually amazed at how this thing works. Give it the right stuff and it will keep reproducing itself. And might I add, the last brew I made was the best I've made yet. I used a pomegranate herbal tea bag with two regular black tea bags- tastes like fruit punch or something. The kids like it and we've all been drinking it- yea!

This is the one that formed from a batch of the kombucha drink. It's rather wimpy and unevenly formed.

This is the 'baby' that formed after the 'mother' above was sitting in a brew for a week.
This is how thick it got- you can see the difference much better in person. Oh well, I'm still proud of the experiment!

A side note- before I started making kombucha I thought this looked horrendous, but now it's just cool and it doesn't bother me at all to touch it. Weirdo I am!

Anyways, most of my family thinks I am a complete weirdo fermenting food and actually eating it. I happened on some interesting websites last night that sells cultures for making kombucha, kefir, sourdough bread and yogurt. I tried kefir a long time ago, and could never work up the courage to drink it! However, there are some other dairy cultures available that I may try. For more information you can go here:

I am very interested in trying some of these out. It's so hard to decide though!

November 8, 2007

History of Thanksgiving Part 2

To pick up where we left off the previous Thanksgiving post...

"But to return to the others where we left. The rest of the men that were in greatest danger were able to escape before the troop could surprise them; those only staying that bet might, to be assistant unto the women. But pitiful it was to see the heavy case of these poor women in this distress; what weeping and crying on every side, some for their husbands, that were carried away in the ship as is before related; others not knowing what should become of them, and the little ones; others again melted in tears, seeing their poor little ones hanging about them, crying for fear, and quaking with cold. Being thus apprehended, they were hurried from once place to another, and from one justice to another, till in the end they knew not what to do with them; for to imprison so many women and innocent children for no other cause but that they must go with their husbands, seemed to be unreasonable and all would cry out of them; and to send them home eagain was as difficult, for the alleged. as the truth was they had no home to go to. for they had either sold or otherwise disposed of their houses and livings. To be short, after they had been thus turmoiled a good while, and conveyed from one constable to another, they were glad to be rid of them in the end upon any terms; for all were wearied and tired with them. Though in the mean time they endured misery enough; and thus in the end necessity forced a way for them."

So it was that as news traveled about what had transpired, many had compassion on them, and helped them by getting them on a boat and sailing to Holland. In the end, they all eventually got to Holland, because of the help of other people. When they arrived, of course they were in a different culture completely, had a new language to learn and had to find a means for providing for their families, which was difficult in the beginning. They had problems with the church already established- there were some differences in doctrine, and so they eventually had to break away and form their own church. They all moved to the town of Leyden, and there established their church. However, it was much harder to make a living there, it being a smaller place than Amsteradam. They were known by the Dutch for their honesty, diligence and keeping their word, and were greatly valued in the country.

After 12 years of prosperity an uprising began to take place between the Dutch and the Spaniards, and life became much harder. A time of war was coming and religious freedom would be over. Many were killed and imprisoned, the children became older earlier because of the workload they carried to help their parents, many children left the faith completely because of the hardships, and they felt it was time to move on.
"Lastly, (and which was not least), a great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make some way thereunto, for the propagating and advancing of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea, though they should be but even as stepping stones unto oters for the performing of so great a work. These and some other like reason moved them to undertake this resolution of their removal; the which they afterward prosecuted with so great difficulties..."

They came together and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of coming to America. At the time Virginia was established as British colony, and they were seeking to go there. Their fear was that if they went there, then they would be required to worship as those in England, which is what they had fled from. Here were some of their other concerns:

" The place they had thoughts on was some of those vast and unpeopled countries of America, which are fruitful and fit for habitation being devoid of all civil inhabitants, where there are only savage and brutish men, which range up and down, little otherwise then the wild beast of the same...For there they should be liable to famine, and nakedness, and the lack in a manner, of all things. The change of air, diet and drinking of water would infect their bodies sore sicknesses, and grievous diseases. And alas those which should escape or overcome these difficulties, should yet be in continual danger of the savage people, who are cruel, barbarous and most treacherous, being most furious in their rage, and merciless where they overcome; not being content only to kill and take away life, but delight to torment men in the most bloody manner..."

Also there were the lack of funds and supplies needed for such a trip to deal with. As it turned out, they were granted the more northern part of America, which they named New England, and would have complete and total freedom of religion. Then they created a plan for when they arrived. Most people don't know this, but the Pilgrims attempted a from of socialism when they first landed in America. The agreement was that everyone age 16 years and up had a 'share' in the common provision.
" The persons transported and the adventurers shall continue their joint stock and partnership together the space of seven years, during which time, all profits and benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means of any person or persons, remain still in the common stock until the division."
We''ll learn how this turns out later.

So, they finally got everything worked out, got a boat and the provisions and supplies they needed and set out for America. The had good weather in the beginning, but then lots of storms and bad weather broke a beam and it was thought they wouldn't make it. However, the mariners were able to repair it and they finally landed ashore, which they called Cape Cod on the 11th of November.

" But here I cannot bust stay and make a pause, and stand half amused at this poor people's present condition; and so I think will the reader too, when he well considers the same. Being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation they had now now friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain or refresh their weatherbeaten bodies, no houses or much less towns to repair too, to seek for succor.It is recored in scripture as a mercy to the apostle and his shipwrecked company that the barbarians showed them no small kindness in refreshing them, but these savage barbarians, when they met with them were readier to fill their sides full o arrows then otherwise. And for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent., and subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search an unknown coast. Besides, what could they see but hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beast and wild men? And what multitudes there might of them they knew not. Neither could they, as it were, go upt to the top of Pisgah, to view from this wilderness a more goodly country to feed their hopes; for which way soever they urned their eyes they could have little solace or content in respect of any outward objects. For summer being done, all things stand upon them with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hue. If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a min bar and gulf to separate them from all the civil parts of the world...What could now sustain them but the spirit of God and His grace? May not and ought not the children of these fathers rihtly say: Our fatheres were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice, and looked on their adversity. Let them therefore praise the Lord, because He is good and His mercies endure forever. Yea, let them which have been redeemed of the Lord, show how He hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. When they wandered in the desert wilderness out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before the Lord His lovingkindness, and His wonderful works before the sons of men. "

Busy Day

I had to abort the raw food eating. I was just too sleepy and too foggy brained. I achieved my goal anyways and seem to have gotten rid of whatever was bothering me. This proves to me even more how healthy the Nourishing Traditions way of eating is the best way. As soon as I would something with protein or fat I would feel much better. So today I started my day with eggs and turkey ham.

Anyways, no more posting for me today- I have some housecleaning and doctor appointments to do. I am thinking of doing some organizational posts next week- before and after- in preparation for our Thanksgiving guests. And of course William Bradford's account of the Pilgrims.

Ta Ta for now!

November 7, 2007

Updates and Stuff

Well, I caved :) But here is why- yesterday one of my 'side effects' or detox symptoms was excessive sleepiness and lethargy. I could not keep my eyes open! Even while driving- not a good thing. So I ate some chicken soup, which was mostly broth, and that didn't help much so I ate some nuts and horrors- a few chocolate chips-AHHH!! It helped me though. I felt like I was in a fog all day!

Today I went to MOPS and did eat some of the regular food since there wasn't any fruit I liked. (I don't do melons) But, this afternoon I will stick with my plan. I have a large pot of chicken stock going so I will have that to supplement the fruit and veggies. I've been doing better health wise, although I do have a mild headache at the moment. I may try to get on my exercise bike for a little while and see what that does for me :) Tomorrow I am going to have the IUD removed, and I pray that a lot of my health concerns go away with it :) Hopefully some extra pounds too...

What else is on my mind? Thanksgiving! I'm really excited about it this year because we're having it at my house with Matt's parents and brother's family, so it will be small and cozy. Usually we have it with my relatives and there's just so many people and so much food crammed into one house that it's not that fun. I have never cooked a turkey, so that should be interesting. I am planning to make sausage apple stuffing, with regular bread and not cornbread. (here in the south we all make 'dressing' which is made from cornbread) My husband is from the north and they prefer stuffing. I also make Jamaican cranberry sauce every year, which I love, and will post the recipe soon. My father-in-law loves pecans and since we have a huge pecan tree in our backyard I am planning to make a pecan cheesecake (pie is too sweet) and a pumpkin pie. I haven't figured out what else to make yet- I still have time to think it over :)

I am hoping to get the next installment of Thanksgiving history up sometime today...we'll see.

November 6, 2007

Health Challenge

I am joining Lori and some others for a 6 week Health Challenge. I listed six things I wanted to work on during this time in order to get healthier. Even though I know a lot about being healthy, that doesn't mean I always practice what I 'preach'. I needed to lessen the amount of sugar in my diet, up the water intake and fresh veggies/fruits.

The past week or so I've been feeling like I needed to go on a raw food 'fast'. Raw fruits and veggies clean out and rebuild the body, as well as provide the enzymes we need in our stomach and pancreas to digest our food. They are also the food the healthy bacterias (probiotics) need to live and colonize in our guts.

So, last night I went to the store and loaded up on the produce. As I was going to sleep I prayed that God would help me to not be craving all the things I wasn't going to eat and that my body wouldn't detox too badly. This morning I wasn't really hungry at all and wasn't craving my coffee. I made the girls an egg and toast, and I blended up berries, a banana and some apple juice in the blender for Matt and I.

I've been trying to eat something before I get really hungry so I won't 'cave' :) So far I've eaten the smoothie, an orange, a banana, a cookie crumb (haha) and a huge salad with a garlic dressing. Wow was it hot! Oh well, it's so good for me and I added extra to the dressing.

I am planning to just keep snacking on fruits and veggies this afternoon. I've also been drinking a lot of water and having to go to the bathroom a lot! My plan is to make something more substantial for dinner, but still vegetable based.

Our dinner plans:

Tuesday: Me, black bean, corn, avocado salad (with tomatoes and other veggies)
Kids- homemade mac and cheese with kosher beef hot dogs, baby carrots
Wednesday: Me- butternut squash soup, salad
Kids- tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
Thursday: Me- salad with cheese and hard boiled egg- although I will be in town, may eat out
Kids- tuna casserole, broccoli
Friday: baked potato, salad
Kids- BBQ meatballs, mashed potatoes, green beans
Saturday- we all eat egg casserole and fruit salad

Anyways, the plan is to eat this way through Saturday, but we'll see what happens. Then I will add in grains and more protein, but still try to keep things very simple. Hopefully I can re-train my taste buds to enjoy these things more.

Today I haven't done a lot. I've been sleepy and have just been doing the basics as far as house cleaning. Plus I cleaned like a maniac this weekend- so I'm taking a break and not feeling guilty at all.

November 5, 2007

The History"Of Plimoth Plantation"

I am going to re-post these Thanksgiving History posts I did last year. These are not simple reading, but if you can work through it it is very enlightening to see the heart behind all these people who came to America. Their desire was truly worshiping in freedom and in truth. Enjoy!

You may think I've misspelled a word on my title- this is the original spelling of Plymouth. Here is my attempt at sharing with the world the real history of our country. I am going to change it a little, and here is an example of why:

"And first of ye occasion and indusments ther unto; the which that I may truly unfould, I must begine at ye very roote and rise of ye same. The which I shall endevor to manefest in a plaine stile, with singuler regard unto ye simple trueth in all things, at least as near as my slender judgemente can attaine the same..."

"Ye" is actually pronounced "the", and as you may have noticed, the same word can be spelled differently. (Ye and the)

Ok, so we start at the very beginning, when they are in England and just beginning to learn the real Truth in the Word of God. I am going to stick very closely with what is written here because it's the most important. Let me know if I need to break it down more.

" But that I may come more near my intention; when as by the travail and diligence of some godly and zealous preachers, and God's blessing on their labors, as in other places of the land, so in the North parts (of England), many became enlightened by the Word of God, and had their ignorance and sins discovered unto them, and began by His grace to reform their lives, and make conscience of their ways, the work of God was no sooner manifest in them, but presently they were both scoffed and scorned by the profane multitude, and the ministers urged with the yoke of subscription( as in comply with what the church is teaching), or else must be silenced; and the poor people were so vexed apparators (similar to social worker except within the church) and the courts, as truly their affliction was not small; which, notwithstanding, they bore many years with much patience, till they were occasioned (by the continuance and increase of these troubles, and other means which the Lord raised up in those days) to see further into things by the light of the Word of God... So many therefore of these professors (of the faith) as saw the evil of these things, in these parts, and whose hearts the Lord had touched with heavenly Zeal for His truth, they shook of this yoke of anti-Christian bondage, and as the Lord's free people, joined themselves (by a covenant of the Lord) into a church estate, in the fellowship of the Gospel, to walk in all His ways, make known of to be made known unto them, according to their best endeavors, whatsoever it should cost them, the Lord assisting them. And that it cost them something this ensuing history will declare...
'Of their departure into Holland and their troubles there about, with some of the many difficulties they found and met withal. '

Being thus constrained to leave their native soil and country, their lands and livings, and all their friends and familiar acquaintance, it was much, and thought marvelous by many. But to go into a country they knew not, where they must learn a new language, and get their livings theyknew not how, it being a dear(not sure what this means) place, and subject to the miseries of war, it was by many thought an adventure almost desperate, a case intolerable, and a misery worse than death...But these things did not dismay them (though they did sometimes trouble them) for their desires were set on the ways of God, and to enjoy His ordinances; but they rested on His providence, and knew whom they had believed. Yet this was not all, for though they could not stay, yet they couldn't go, because the ports and havens were shut against them, so as they were forced to seek secret means of conveyance, and to bribe and fee the mariners, and give extraordinary rates for their passages. And yet were they often times betrayed and both they and their goods intercepted and surprised, and thereby put to great trouble and charge..."

The next part describes some of what happened when they were trying to get out of England- they were betrayed, their goods taken from them, they were imprisoned for a month or more, and the ones that were released tried again the next spring. Long story short, they found a Dutchman that would take them to Holland, and they had the women and children go a day ahead to the meeting place, while the men traveled on foot. The men boarded another boat, but the way things fell out, the women and children got left behind because a company of horsemen with guns were coming after them. All the men were grieved and crying, but nothing could be done. They were then in an awful storm and" driven near the coast of Norway, the mariners themselves often despairing of life; and once with shrieks and cries gave over all, as if the ship had been foundered in the sea, and they sinking without recovery.But when man's hope and help had wholly failed, the Lord's power and mercy appeared in their recovery; for the ship rose again and the gave the mariners courage again to manage her. And if modesty would suffer me, I might declare with what fervent prayers they cried unto the Lord in this great distress..."

Well, I will stop for now- it's getting late for me :) To be continued...we'll find out what happened to the women and children left behind.

**picture from


I've been decluttering! It seems Monday is a decluttering day- I guess I get some rest on Sundays and feel like 'getting' after it' on Monday. After the party on Saturday, which almost everyone I invited actually came- my house was full- we had 12 kids 6 and under !!!!!!!- I realized we had too many toys that were accessible. So, I put most of the larger- all-in-one- piece toys in a medium size basket in the living room, along with the pillows and book caddy, and Sarah's playpen has a few toys. I moved the white toy box into Sarah's room with other toys we can rotate, and to keep them from getting into it I put their Little People doll house and barn on top with all the furniture/animals in a small basket. The hallway that I cleaned out houses the kitchen set, the dishes/food, the doll furniture and some balls.

I bought two containers to put all the blocks and dress up jewelry in, and put them up in a closet. Now I need to re-organize the games and table activities. (play-doh, potato head set, puzzles etc.) They will go into the hallway cabinets I showed in my Palace Post.

I have a box of random, broken toys to throw away and ended up with an empty lidded container, so I quickly went through their clothes and packed away out of season items and duplicates that we had too many of. I plan to condense it more, but our weather is so unpredictable I need to have things warm and cold weather available. Grrr!

So, I am still battling this sinus crud, as well as my children and husband. What is the deal? Did some evil scientist let out some type of lingering virus that mimics allergies or something?? My dh and I have decided to go on a raw food diet this week, supplemented with some homemade chicken stock, maybe some eggs, and kombucha. (I got a rather tasty batch out of my last brew)There will plenty of garlic going on too. Tonight I will run up to the store and get our 'supplies'. The Holy Spirit has been putting this on my heart, so I better listen.

I may start the Thanksgiving posts later today, if not, I will get to it this week for sure. Stay tuned!

November 3, 2007

Various news

Hello everyone. Today I am hosting a Pampered Chef party, something I wasn't interested in before, but since I've been to one it's a lot of fun. Kind of like a cooking show in your kitchen. Plus, I get free stuff depending on what other people buy.

Anyways, I am planning to write a series on Thanksgiving, or rather the history of America. I would be willing to bet money (if I did that sort of thing) that very, very few Americans know what I'm going to tell you. I was blessed to go to an awesome school that taught from the original old English of William Bradford's account of coming to America from England and all that happened. (William Bradford was the pastor and 'leader' of the group)

Of course I will put it in my own words because even though it is written in English and I can understand it well, I sat under teaching of it for months- things can be difficult to understand.

Well, children are awake. Time to get going- have a great weekend!

November 2, 2007


Yesterday I had a bad experience. I've had it happen before, but I wasn't alone with my children. I had a panic attack. I started having a pain in my stomach- not awful, but it wouldn't let up regardless of what I did. It would kind of come and go and it was making me anxious. Of course, I had extra children to care for, and one of them is very intense and well, rowdy and loud! A lot of things combined and I panicked.

It was so subtle and gradual I didn't realize that's what it was till my husband came home. He's experienced panic attacks quite a bit and recognized the symptoms. I thought it was mostly from stressing myself out with all the social things going on, worrying about Leiah and school, my children's lack of obedience etc.

Just a warning to everyone- don't let yourself get stressed to this point. It's ridiculous period.

Come to find out, there may be other reasons why I had this attack. For 18 months I've been using the Mirena IUD for contraception. I didn't seem to have any bad side effects, just the cramping and bleeding in the first few months, and now I don't get a period. My doctor sang its praises to me and it was reliable and I didn't have to remember to take pills or apply patches.

Well, I did some searching and found MANY women who have side effects so terrible, they had it removed very soon. One lady's doctor thought she might have had a stroke! And the common symptom that they all had- mood swings, depression and anxiety. When I look back, I started getting anxious about the kids getting sick around the time I had this thing put in. I haven't been able to lose weight, a common thing with estrogen dominance in the body.

Why didn't I see this coming? There have been a few times when the thought that maybe the IUD was the cause of a lot of problems entered my mind, but I didn't know how it could. I will calling my OB to get this thing removed pronto. On to natural methods and hopefully not a 5th pregnancy yet :(

Anyways, I am better now and have two days of work to do in one. Yippee!