December 30, 2008

Things are better

So far today has been much better! I think the Lord healed me and I also started taking some vitamin B6, which I read would help with morning sickness. My husband bought me some ginger capsules and real gingerale just in case though. I have a very caring and sweet husband.

My oldest daughter is still out of school, so this week has been very relaxed. I don't get up till around 7am, and my husband has been either starting breakfast or making all of it before work. We lounge around and I work on things gradually- put laundry in the washer, do the dishes, sweep, straighten the house etc.

Today I hope to finish the laundry and if all is well, run to the store. We need some staples and the girls got some Christmas money, so I want them to get books for their new LeapPads. Anyways, hopefully after this week I'll be better able to get up early and get back into routine. My sleep has been off the last couple of weeks, but it's getting better thank the Lord.

Right now my routine is: get up and eat
clean up kitchen and start washer
rest for awhile 30-45 minutes
Get dressed and clean up bedrooms
work on the day's work
make meals and eat every two hours
Tidy up the house a few times each day

My husband and I cleaned the house pretty good over the weekend and I vacuumed yesterday, so I shall be happy with that.

I finally told my parents. It went ok, but I don't feel perfectly at peace about it. I'm just continuing to pray that they will be fine with it.

December 29, 2008

A brand new day!

(this is the third time I've tried to write this)

Wow, we are finally finished with all the Christmas rushing around. It's good to be back to normal 'boring' daily life. Except it really isn't boring because there's lots of new things to play with for the kiddies.

Yesterday was a bad pregnant day. I had a bit of morning sickness I think. I have a theory about morning sickness, I think it's really your body wanting food. Usually I get to feeling really bad for awhile before I get the hungry feeling, then when I eat till I'm full I'm so much better for awhile. Anyways, today before I got up I ate some crackers and that helped a lot. It gave me time to shower and get breakfast cooked and then I was hungry enough to eat it :) I am allowing myself to drink the rest of the coke we have to help me out, but after that I plan to keep peppermint tea and real gingerale on hand. Right now is such an important development time for baby that I don't want to keep drinking cokes- a bad habit to start up.


My house has been in an upheaval since we got sick. We've tried rescuing it a few times, but we've been so busy...so, the main goal for today was putting all the presents up and get rid of sacks/gift boxes, the laundry, and begin taking down Christmas decor. I've done most everything now, except folding the laundry- I hate that part.

As much as I love Christmas, after a few weeks, it's time for it to go. Only this time I have to pack things away really well, because we will most likely be moved across the country by next Christmas. (the girls received the whole set of Beatrix Potter videos and are watching them now-so cute!)

I still have not told my parents about my pregnancy. Every time I think about it they're so happy and I don't want to do it! I am planning to do it this week, since I'm over half way through the first trimester I figure I better!

Things I plan on posting about in the near future:

our organization plan for moving and keeping from accruing massive amounts of stuff again before we make the big move.

nutrition- both for pregnancy and the whole family

simple and nutritious meals/menus

our decisions regarding the future birth and what we plan to do/how etc.

more on faith and words

intensive child training :)

my increasing knowledge of herbs and natural healing

Plus all the random bits of things I include on here.


Well, after I rest a bit I will get my rear in gear again and get everyone dressed (yeah, we're still in nightgowns) and start folding laundry, then do lunch, then we may go out and visit my cousin from Holland for awhile. Have a good Monday!

December 28, 2008

Nothing much

Hmmm, sounds like the whole country is sick! Maybe this is a conspiracy theory, but I believe 'someone' is either experimenting on us citizens, or there is some kind of germ warfare going on. Sure sounds like it to me.

When I was little, adults never got the stomach virus, only kids. Now, even the elderly pick it up. So either these things have gotten stronger, or everyone's immune systems are very weak or both. Even though the nasty part didn't last long, I only threw up once and dh had diarrhea, the after effects are terrible. I still feel so wiped out. I haven't cooked since Wednesday night, haven't felt like it, we finally cleaned the house last night at 9pm- with the special Lysol for flu and chlorox wipes too. I wiped everything down that might have been touched a lot. I've been drinking a fair amount of coke too- I guess it makes you feel better because it makes you burp, I don't know.

I had been full of energy until this- now I don't know if the pregnancy hormones are hitting me or what, but last night I felt very sick again at a party because of cigarette smoke. Only when I'm pregnant does that affect me so much- had to LEAVE! Makes me angry...but at least I was able to eat the spicy hot sauce yesterday :) No stomach for coffee yet either...

The bug that is going around here is fast- it hits very quickly and is over within 12 hours, then it takes a couple of days to get totally normal again, where food smells good :) I was continually speaking God's Word even while sick and dh listened to the Bible all day when he was sick; I'm still not sure why we got sick because we were all praying for no sickness through Christmas. We hadn't been very consistent with our supplements and healthy eating or staying in the Word of God either. We were just too busy, hmmm....


Today is the last day of running around. First church, then we drive to brother-in-laws for Christmas with them. Tomorrow dh goes back to work and I go back to being home with the children. I will be spending the next few weeks packing and sorting and decluttering and moving. Unless God opens the Michigan door really fast, we are moving back to the other house in town that we moved from in the summer...long story.... I'm glad to go back to a bigger house with fenced in back yard, but I will miss my tub and pretty eating area. But we will have a lot more money to work with and pay off lots of debts- woo hoo!

I have lots of things on my mind to post about soon--when things slow down a bit :) I plan to post some pictures of the girls' Christmas :) They really enjoyed it this year and we picked out the perfect presents for each of them.

Time to go shower and get ready for the day. Have a blessed Sunday.

December 26, 2008

On the mend

Well, everyone is better today. I have spurts of energy and I run through the house trying to rescue it from the shambles it was in yesterday, then I hit a low spell and have to sit for awhile.

Talk about a memorable Christmas- yack! The children had fun and today we did Christmas and birthday with Matt's parents. Today is my middle daughter's birthday, Alexa, and dh's dad's birthday. Alexa is five and Leiah, the oldest is 5 until next Saturday. My inlaw's gave me an electric ice cream maker that doesn't need ice to make! Yay, now I can make healthy desserts easily :)

Tomorrow I have Christmas with my family and a party to go to in the evening. Surely we'll be fine then...we are about to eat real food- chicken and potatoes- getting tired of soup and coke and jello. We never did get to have the Swedish smorgasbord :( Maybe next week for New Years.

December 25, 2008

A very un-Merry Christmas

Well, guess what my husband and me and my inlaws got for Christmas? Stomach flu.

At least, we think that's what it was, but it could also have been food poisoning- we're not sure. Poor Dh got sick yesterday with fever, chills and diarrhea and upset stomach. He laid in bed all day. Then last evening my stomach started bothering me and I got the chills/fever and laid awake all night with a stomach ache. Finally around 4am I threw up, one time. I called my sister for some phenergan (they just got over the same thing) and brought me some. By 10am I was doing a lot better, but then we found out dh's parents had been sick all night long too!

I am rather bummed out because I had high hopes for Christmas and was very excited about it. Now we didn't get to enjoy hardly any of it. The girls, however, are having a great time with their loot :) Dh got me an electric knife for cutting the loaves of bread- I'm a little scared of it :) I got him an MP3 player and he's been downloading some free sermons from online.

I'm starting to get hungry, but I think I'll just stay with jello and chicken broth for now.

Bah humbug!

December 22, 2008

Plans changed

Well, that weekend did not go as planned. Not in the least.

In the middle of the night Friday, Leiah woke up vomiting, but it wasn't her dinner, it was...snot. She has a very strong gag reflex and has a hard time coughing effectively. She has had chest congestion off and on for a month now, and it finally got bad. She had a fever of 104 and was very upset. So Matt and I prayed over her for about an hour, she threw up three more times, we gave her fever medicine and medicine for her tummy. We all went back to sleep around 5am.

Well, by 8am she was acting fine. So we went about our day like zombies working on stuff- see, we didn't go to the family gathering two hours away, so we worked on the house and stuff. Late that afternoon, after her nap, Leiah just kind of laid on the couch. After awhile I heard her whining, and she threw up again, more mucus and her fever was back. So, we decided to go to the ER (direct care). The closest one was closed of course so we had to go far away. By the time we got there she was acting better! But, it turns out she had bronchitis, which can be caused by either germs or irritants like dust and smoke. So we get the prescription, head to Chick-fil-A for dinner at 8:30, then go get the meds, then drive home, then get the kids to bed by 10:30. Stupidly dh and I decide to lay in bed and watch Kung Fu Panda till midnight.

So, Sunday morning Leiah is MUCH better, but I go ahead and take her to my mom's instead of church. We have a lovely church service, then after lunch dh and I go shopping.
Oh. My.Goodness. It was CRAZY!! We went to a store called Ross, and it looked like a tornado had blown through there!
We did happen on some good deals though, but we ended up not getting home till 8pm.

So, today we've been cleaning up a storm, getting ready for company. I've cleaned things like moving everything off the counters and cleaning behind it, washing walls and cupboards, bleaching stains, windows etc. I even cleaned the fan blades...wow. Dh will be steam cleaning carpets in a bit; I still have to clean out the dreaded refrigerator...

Does anyone know how the refrigerator gets so nasty? I put leftovers in there and they never come out! Then when I know something has gone bad, I procrastinate cleaning it out until I have to throw the whole container away...bad I know, but smells really get to me, especially now.

I have been eating loads of spicy food! Oh, I love it, it's soooo good. Everyday for breakfast I've been eating eggs with hot sauce- that's it, no toast or oatmeal. Coffee still tastes good, but i haven't had much of a sweet tooth, which is good. I want spicy hot food all the time! I even ate some cayenne pepper sauce by itself!

Alright, time to try the hairspray on the couches to remove ink. We'll see; if I remember I'll take some pictures.


*****Edited to Add: I was so desperate for something else to put the cayenne pepper sauce on that I just put it on saltines and ate that for lunch...after I ate the last piece of homemade pizza doused in the sauce too. Now, if I needed any other sign that something was going on, that would be it. How crazy!

December 19, 2008

The Rush is on!!!

*****Deep Breath*****


It has started. The Christmas rushing around, at least for me.

Today: Go to Leiah's school Christmas party- done
Emergency quick clean- done
make pizza dough-
shop for ingredients for dessert for tomorrow's family function-
go visit a relative in from Europe-
Fold some laundry-
make dessert for tomorrow
work on homemade gifts

Tomorrow- pick up all presents that were shipped to local walmart
clean out van
drive to a town two hours away for Christmas on my dad's side of the family


Sunday- we're doing a family singing special for the first time
go to mom's for lunch
dh and I go shopping
work on homemade gifts

Monday- CLEAN- steam clean carpets, get ink pen off the furniture (HOW???), wash windows and walls, wipe down behind appliances and stuff, scrub the fridge, clean up outside...wrap presents, laundry, dust, polish wood...

Tuesday: Bake, bake, BAKE!!! Cut out cookies, sand tarts, Swedish yeast buns, fudge, coffee cake...then, go shopping that night for the rest of the food needed and rent movies. In-laws arrive this morning too.

Wednesday: Deliver baked goods to neighbors, finish wrapping any presents, cook for smorgasbord, assemble all toys!!! Prep for the next day's breakfast.

Thursday morning- we have a southern version of Eggs Benedict- english muffin, fried egg, ham and gravy on top- fresh oranges, coffee cake, coffee and juice: The rest of the day is leftovers :)

Friday- head up to a town two hours away for Christmas with brother-in-law and celebrate Alexa and her Grandpa's birthdays.

Saturday- Christmas with my immediate family and brunch- that night is a suprise anniversary party for my aunt and uncle.

Then....NOTHING!

December 18, 2008

Let the Cat out of the bag....

Yall should have seen my face when I checked my comments just now- 25?! Thanks so much everyone. I'll tell ya, I AM SHOCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How did this happen? I know, I know...but, how did this happen?????? My monthly friend has been coming later and later every month so I didn't think much of it. But little things had been putting red flags up:

Very tired at bedtime

sensitive to smells

sore um, bosoms

NOT moody- no PMS

weird stomach feelings

Friday night I was reading the Quiverfull digest and reading about the Duggers; I've been wanting to have another, but felt like everything was against us- I am overweight, I have several children, one is special needs, I've had all c-sections and 'high risk' pregnancies before; my husband works a lot and I have to do mostly everything myself; my parents are very against us having more...

Saturday morning I woke up early, and thought if I am, I would rather find out today than tomorrow before church, so I went and took the test. I was fully expecting it to be negative- I was shaking when I saw two lines. I came back and laid down and my husband asked if I was alright- I said no. Then I told him and he almost started laughing. We prayed about it and we're fine- just nervous about our family and close friends' reactions. How do you tell parents something like this? Especially when they may be very negative about it? I am so close to them, so this is why it's so difficult.

*****Note, if a certain sister-in-law is reading this, please keep it secret till after Christmas- we want to tell the inlaws in person. Thank you!************


So now what?? How am I going to do this????? I'm going to be even more outnumbered than ever!!! The main goal in the next few months is to get everyone potty trained, eat as well as possible, and exercise somehow. Oh yeah, and move. Again. Back to the old house unless we get the call for a job in Michigan, which is likely. Things aren't working too well here anymore...

Overall I am good- tired in the evenings yes, but otherwise I'm fine. Praise the Lord because that's what we've been praying/confessing. Only 35 more weeks to go....

December 17, 2008

Shopping trip that wasn't

I tried to shop today...with two of my girls. Didn't go so well...at ALL! I finally gave up and went to my mom's to hang out for awhile. I feel better now.

I'm in the middle of making chili for dinner and trying to figure out what I should do next...relax, or try to work on some presents....hmmmm....


I guess I must be fairly boring lately because I've noticed a lot less traffic here in the last few weeks. I can't believe no one has seen my secret that I've hidden on the blog yet. You have to look hard for it, but it's there.

December 16, 2008

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree





How lovely are your branches.





O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree





How lovely are your branches.

Not only in the summertime

But ev'n in winter is thy prime
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

How lovely are your branches.

(Did you notice the tree topper there- yes, the branches naturally formed a cross! I thought my dh did that on purpose, but he didn't.)

Some pictures of our decked out halls :)

My husband took the limbs he cut off the bottom of the tree and made this wreath! Pretty neat huh? He is so handy....

The Charlie Brown tree, now in a corner behind the furniture. It holds all the sentimental collected ornaments from over the years.

My 'centerpiece'- it is a ceramic house that I put a tealight candle in the bottom and all the windows light up. Love it! Got it as a gift at our church Christmas party.

The Nativity 'shelf'.


Where we eat.

The little tree in the corner by the table. Alexa was cutting paper for fun.
Well, that's not all of it, but I think there's enough pictures on this post for now.

December 15, 2008

Elf Yourself

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Traditions


Only 11 days left till Christmas! Wow, hardly seems possible. We found an exceptional bargain on an 8ft Christmas tree at the farm on Saturday- $25. It's beautifully decorated and smells soooo good. I am going to take pictures later when I get the rest of the ornaments made. The homemade ornaments turned out very well and my husband really got into it :)

I was going to share some Christmas traditions that we as a family have started doing. My husband is half Swedish; his father is full blood and his great grandfather came to America from Finland, but is originally from Sweden. Thus the reason our last name is Sundholm.

This is so cool to me, because I have no idea where my family came from- the records were burned in the courthouses of Tennessee during the Civil War, so we don't know how to trace it back. Being the kind of person I am, I feel it's important to incorporate the past into the present. Although we're an American family, I think it's important for us to remember where we came from too.

So, in Sweden, the tradition is to have a large feast called smorgasbord on Christmas Eve. Last year I started that tradition in our little family on a much scaled down level :) This year, my husband's parents will be here for Christmas, so this gives us even more cause to celebrate the Swedish heritage. One thing I did is with our real tree, I used all of my imported decorations from Sweden, little straw snowflakes, gnomes, hearts and horses trimmed with red ribbons. The rest of the ornaments are red, white and gold or brown.

Traditional smorgasbord has lots of things I can't find here- pickled herring, lingonberries, special cheeses etc. So I will do what I can with what I have. I happen to have a nice cookbook that has recipes in it contributed from Swedish families, so they are 'real' ones. Swedes mostly eat rye bread, so that is on the list. Here is what I am planning to make.

Breads- homemade rye bread- this has molasses in it and is quite tasty and very dark in color. I may also make some sweeter bread in Christmas shapes called saffron buns.

Cheese- usually mild ones like Havarti with caraway or muenster, but I will include some sharp cheddar because we like it so much.

Summer sausage from the store.

Pickles- homemade ones, plus maybe some pickled onions and beets

Swedish meatballs- this are very yummy and have allspice and nutmeg in them, which gives it a unique flavor. I almost never have enough gravy, so last year I put some cream of mushroom soup in and it worked great.

Christmas ham- still undecided if I will do this, depends on prices :) To be served with coarse mustard

Janssons' Temptation- a potato gratin dish or small boiled red potatoes served with onion butter

Homemade cranberry sauce, instead of lingonberries

some other vegetable, like green peas or something for color

Rice pudding- generally you hide a whole almond in it and whoever finds it will be married next, but that doesn't really apply to any of us :) Plus I don't want the kids to choke on an almond.

Christmas cookies, other sweets and coffee

Homemade eggnog and spiced wine


I also have a deep fried whole turkey in my freezer, so we may have that instead of ham since it's just sitting there :) The only problem is I don't have a big table to hold it all, so we'll use the island in the kitchen.

I will probably make the bread and freeze it and possibly do the same with the meatballs. Everything else is either storebought or fairly simple to assemble on Christmas Eve. Then I will prepare a nice breakfast on Christmas morning, and that evening will be nachos :)

Next week I will be baking up a storm!!! Lots of cookies and candy to make and I am making chocolate covered cherries this week as gifts.

Lots of work I know, but someday my girls will be able to assist me and they will have lovely memories of our Christmas Eve tradition.

December 12, 2008

Cute hair bows

Go here to see the cutest hairbows I've ever seen!!! Certainly worth $10 to me!

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

Hopefully, I have a big shopping day ahead. I'm going to the 'city' to get whatever we need for Christmas and I'm hitting it all! I'm going to the jeweler's the get my wedding rings fixed (remember I had to cut them off because I couldn't get them off), which is my present from my mom. I'm going to the toy store (Miss Alexa badly wants a Barbie bike, and walmart is out of stock) I need to visit Walmart as well to get some of those cute furry crocs for my children and some other items. I plan to go to a resale shop and the soap supply store. And possibly the health food store...will two little kids make it through this? Probably not, but my mom is coming and they can sit in the car and watch a movie if need be.

I am such a Christmas nut. I always have been, but the last few years, Christmas hasn't been as fun or magical because for one I'm an adult, and two, being the one to coordinate parties, presents, meals, baking etc. is kind of stressful.

I put my fake Christmas tree up last week. After several days, I've decided it just isn't right. I grew up with only real trees that we hunted and cut down at tree farms. The scent and action of picking and cutting the tree is very nostalgic for me. Since the last few months have been full of topsy turvy events and emotions, I have decided that I MUST have a real tree. Not only that, I MUST make homemade ornaments for it. Yesterday I surfed the internet awhile to find ideas and then after Leiah got home from school we headed to walmart to get supplies. I tell you I was a silly kid in the store. I got my own kids all excited over Christmas ribbon and pom poms!

Then I happened on the Christmas throw blankets for $3- had to have those!! Oh and then I saw the spray on snow in a can...I read the clean up directions and then bought it. Why not?

I am planning to make a few different types of ornaments, very simple ones, and I hope to take pictures for you. Last night we had a work party at Cracker Barrel. If you have access to a Cracker Barrel restaurant, go there NOW! They have all their beautiful Christmas things on sale at 40% and they told me it will just keeping getting cheaper. Most of the ornaments are $1.99 to $3.99. I got many pretty thing- some snowflakes that are made of tiny pinecones, a old timey stove with Christmas baking on it (it was a tree ornament), some porcelain cardinal birds, a country Santa... I will be back if it's just going to get cheaper.

So the plan is that tonight we will work on ornaments and move our other tree. Tomorrow morning we will go cut a tree and bring it home. Then finish working on ornaments and decorate tomorrow afternoon/evening. (dinner will be crockpot of course!) After the girls hit the sack I will wrap some presents.

I'm all in this Christmas season! Next I have to make all the gifts I am planning to and have a holiday baking session...fun, fun, fun!!!

December 10, 2008

Groceries

Well, it's actually winter feeling. It is cloudy and windy and cold- under 40 degrees, which is major considering yesterday it was almost 70. Anyways, I got called very early this morning to watch my niece this afternoon, so I had to hustle with my girls to the grocery store because we were out of food! I thought I would post what I got for fun.

I spent $99.13 at Brookshires and this is what I got:

One 5lb bag unbleached flour
2 gallons distilled water
One 5lb bag of whole wheat flour
1 jug of juice (for drinking)
6 cans of canned tomato products
2 cans mandarin oranges
1 can pineapple chunks
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 boxes macaroni and cheese
1 can organic coffee
CoffeeMate creamer (I caved on this one because I've not been buying it for a long time)
Craisins
1 gallon whole milk
paper plates
frozen broccoli
frozen green beans
frozen peas
1 package of gallon size baggies
whole wheat spaghetti
macaroni elbows
1 pack of corn dogs
1 bag of mini marshmallows
2lbs ground beef
2 18 count eggs
1 pack of bacon
2 cans tuna
1 small sour cream
8oz block of cheddar cheese
1 package of processed cheese
1 box powdered milk (for hot chocolate mix and bath products)
1 box strawberry jello
1 can refried beans
1 large package tortillas
1 loaf of bread
1 bag brown rice
1 bag pinto beans
2 heads of garlic
1 head leaf lettuce
1 green bell pepper
celery
green bananas (I have some ripe ones already)
golden delicious apples
1 bag russet potatoes

3 packages of markers and crayons
drawing paper


I may need more butter and milk later, but that's what I got for now. You may have noticed that I have more processed food on my list than I used to. With everything being so busy lately, I've just decided that sometimes we need some convenience with food, especially with kids. I do still make kefir and homemade bread; I soak our grains, beans and flour; I use good quality fats like virgin coconut oil and butter; I mostly use natural sweeteners and I have a new kombucha brew going. While I love cooking, there are other things that I have to devote time to and just need an easy plan for meals. I try to balance everything and make sure we are getting good nutrition; we may eat corndogs and french fries for lunch, but breakfast would have been something good like soaked oatmeal with raw honey and kefir and dinner would include a fresh salad and green veggies with good fats. ( breakfast was a less sweet rice pudding and kefir, dinner is cheesy beef and rice, green beans and salad) Anyways, I feel fine about it, so that's what we're doing :)

Time to clean up this house- it's a wreck- and make hot chocolate mix to go with the gingerbread I baked this morning :)

December 9, 2008

Homemade Gifts

Well, we found the keys, but dh forgot to put them back on yet. I did cool down, but yesterday was a strong willed child day let me tell you.

Anyways, I was going to post this yesterday too, but some other things happened. Such as, my oldest, Leiah, busted her teeth Sunday morning. Her two front teeth were a little loose, but they are way messed up now. So I had to talk to some pediatric dentists and we are praying that the teeth will reset and not need to be pulled. For now we are giving tylenol for swelling and keeping her on soft foods. Poor thing!

Yesterday I did some research on gift making. Yeah I know, I probably should have done that way before now, but oh well. I found some fun ideas!

One thing are called gifts in a jar. If you're not familiar with that term, basically it's food items you layer in a glass mason jar, then decorate. For instance, for one person I will layer all different kinds of beans and seasonings, then include a recipe for bean soup. I'll also make a cornbread mix and set them in a basket with some wooden spoons or something.
For another persons, a pancake mix, a coffee drink mix and maybe a whisk would be cute 'breakfast' themed basket.
I would list some links, but it's really easy to just google 'gifts in a jar' and lots of websites come up and most are good.

Another idea I had was homemade bath products. I used to make soap from lye and melt and pour soup when I first married. I still have some dried herbs and essential oils, so I could just buy a brick of melt and pour soap for $10 and a mold and maybe some nice oil like sweet almond or apricot kernel and make some soap.

But, did you know that you can make lots of things with just ingredients from the grocery store?
You can make bath bombs with baking soda and epsom salt, bath salts with rock salt and some oil. Here is one of the recipes:

Lavender Bath Salts

------------------------

1 c. rock salt or sea salt

(You can find sea salt at your

local grocery store)

1/2 c. Epsom salt

2 T. baking soda

10 drops lavender oil

colorant

Blend all except baking soda. Blend soda after other ingredients are mixed. You can also add 1/2 tsp. of glycerin at this point to make the salts sparkle. Use 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. Per bath.


Can't get much simpler than that! One of the sites I found was here, and the other here. There are lots more, but these are the only ones I bookmarked for some reason. You can put these in glass mason jars too, or old clear shampoo bottles etc. Add some ribbon and maybe a silk flower. For the soaps I have dried rose petals and lavender flowers and I have lavender, peppermint and tangerine essential oils. I might could get an orange oil and a rose one to add to it. I also really like rosemary an mint together- may try that. Essential oils range from $3-5 at our health food store and last a long time.

I saw another idea and CANNOT find the website! But it was simmering potpourri packaged in glass jars. You would put sliced lemons, oranges, cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries etc. in a glass jar, cover with distilled water, and then it could be simmered on the stove top and refrigerated for later use. It was really pretty, and very inexpensive :) The picture was really pretty- but I can't find it :(

December 8, 2008

I AM SO MAD right now. My 4 year old and 2 year old PULLED the keys off the computer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, pulled them off. My husband is going to flip and I am so angry because I can only find two- there is one more somewhere.

December 5, 2008

What to do when the world is falling down

Or at least, when it seems to be. These past two day have been straight from you know where. I'm not kidding. Here is a brief overview:

Wednesday- I went shopping and the girls were misbehaving a lot; I am in the pms week and that afternoon, all the neighbors kept dropping by or calling and needing stuff and I was trying to put up my Christmas decorations etc. My husband's job has gone bonkers- they've rearranged everyone and put him in a position of a lot more responsibility without asking him, without giving him more money, and with no one directly above him that can back him up. Stress much? I got wind that one of the neighbors was planning a drinking/drug party in the barn across from us. My husband and I were planning to wait up and watch and then call the police; we never heard or saw anything so we didn't call. Then we find out that some unexpected bills came up and we just barely have enough money to scrape by- and I mean barely as in pennies.

Thursday: Early in the morning I get a call that there was a party last night. So, I call the dad and tell him what was going on and he comes and finds his son, in the barn with beer all over the place, girls and I know there was drugs but they hid that of course. So I'm just a ball of nerves the whole morning- getting phone calls, watching to see what's going to happen etc. I mean really, when I moved here I didn't expect I'd be helping to bust druggies. It was highly stressful and really really bad. Then my husband has a horrible day at work, has to work more when he gets home (like 2-3 hours) and we were both just a ball of mush.

My words on the screen simply do not convey what happened.

So, after I got the girls in bed I headed out the door to return some library videos that were a day late. (yea, $6 late fee for that one) Then I as I drove to walmart I started praying. I realized that satan is just trying to see what we're going to do. Are we going to forsake the Lord and His word to us in this? Are we going to practice what we preach about faith and words? You can't fight thoughts with thoughts, so I turned off the music and spoke authoritatively. "Alright, I know what you're doing (directed to satan). And I'm telling you that you will not win because I know God has not forsaken me. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; He does not forsake His beloved and I am His beloved. My God supplies all of my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I have no lack because all of the promises of God are yes and amen to those who diligently seek Him. I have the peace of God which surpasses all understanding and guards my heart in Christ Jesus."

Then when I parked the car and I started crying and praying for my dear husband, for strength and peace and clarity of the mind. He was so stressed out when I left, but I had to get out for a bit because of all the craziness that had happened, I felt like I was going to pop, and he was working anyways. Then I said, "Lord, You used me today to answer someone else's prayer- let others be open to being used by You to be an answer to my prayer." I then prayed that He would stretch our gas, help me shop wisely and that I knew all things were possible for Him if we believe.
So I go inside and get the items I need for the Christmas party. I tried to be careful with what I got and price it so it was under $30. I mosied around the craft section for a bit and then went to the checkout. It rang up to $31.94- I had exactly $30. I told her that I would have to use my debit card for the $1.94 and she was sort of arguing with me about it. I was about to say just take off a few items when the guy behind me plopped down two dollars. I didn't realize what had happened- I just looked at him weird and said thanks and then walked out the door. The tears just started falling as I was walking. Once I got in the car I really let it out then.

What was He trying to say? If He cares enough to provide a dollar for me at walmart, then surely, surely He is working things out for Matt's job and our move. I just can't see it yet, I have to look at the unseen, which is faith in action. So, we keeping going. It's ok to cry a little, but you gotta remain strong and do what you're supposed to regardless of what you feel.


***Edited to add: this afternoon a very dear person gave me two $100 bills. We serve a good God.

December 2, 2008

Plans for December


The December whirlwind!

Sunday night I made up a monthly plan outlining what needed to happen so I don't get lost in it. I had the brilliant idea to not go to a local restaurant for our annual Christmas party, so then the whole thing fell to me. We are having it in our church fellowship hall and I'm in charge of it. You know me, I must do it BIG! Plus everyone has kind of been sourpusses about the whole thing, so, I am going to blow everyone away with this party. I bought LOADS of snowflakes to hang, icicle lights, a tree, etc. etc.

Next week we have a work Christmas Party.

The next week Leiah will be out of school and a family gathering

The next week we have company for Christmas and lots of family gatherings.

In the midst of all of this there is the shopping, the sewing, the decorating, the baking and cooking, visiting Santa Clause etc. But, I love it. I finally have license to play Christmas music all I want and deck the halls. I think maybe tomorrow night I will decorate the house and surprise the girls the next morning. I'll wait to decorate the tree till they can though.

So, in light of all of these things, I purposed to get up early 3 mornings each week if not more, to maximize the time. It has helped.

Yesterday I got most of the week's cleaning done, some baking and laundry. Today I finished the laundry, deep cleaned the oven, sorted out the girls' clothes yet again, shopped for groceries and am about to start snipping snowflakes. Sunday I also planned out what I wanted to bake, the special meals, when to send out Christmas cards etc. I can change it if need be, but at least I have a plan.

I was tireder this morning, but tomorrow I will sleep a little later, then go early again Thursday or Friday. It sure helps to have some extra quiet hours to work.

Happy Christmas planning!

December 1, 2008

Tour of my Palace

I decided to copy Candy and do a tour of my palace. I probably should have waited because I'm about to take all the fall stuff down and do Christmas, but it was all clean and shiny so I went ahead and took pictures today. I'll do a few after I decorate. We've already done the outside lights :)

Here is the living room- it is sort of divided into two areas, the sitting area, and the play area for the girls. I squished the desks over for something else last weekend, but they will be getting moved anyways when we put our tree up.

Living/sitting area:

our TV is on the far left there- another view:

Here is the other side- the kid side I guess. The lighting is weird for some reason.

My kitchen, which is on the other side of the bar with the little TV on it.


The eating area, which I love!

Ok, turning to the right, my laundry closet. Then the pantry.



If you want pantry details, leave a comment and I will go through it for you.

Going back toward the living room, here is our bedroom and bathroom. I didn't get a great picture of the bedroom because I was sorting laundry on the floor :) I may re do this picture though, the bedroom is much prettier than this- we have actual furniture and art on the walls from another view.


Head back through the living area to the girls' rooms. The left is Leiah's room, our 5 year old who goes to public school in the special ed program. Yes, her quilt is finished and on the bed!



Next on the right is the bathroom- nothing to shout about it, but the shower is nice and big.

And the next room is Alexa and Sarah's room, ages 4 and 2. I just rearranged it and I really like it a lot. I moved all the toys to the bedrooms which makes the living area a bit neater. A lot of it is stashed in their closet, organized of course :)

There is a toy box on the left but I couldn't get in the picture.

Anyways, that's it. Sometimes it feels small, but for the most part it's a great size for our family. As long as I keep it decluttered. Life has been so busy the last couple of weeks I just now really got it cleaned good and got rid of some junk.

November 30, 2008

Sweet Potato Recipe

If you know me, many of my recipes are just throwing a few things together that sound good. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. However, the other day I wanted to make a sweet potato dish without the work of peeling, chopping, boiling and mashing the potatoes with other ingredients, then baking it!

So, I took three medium-large sweet potatoes, peeling and chopped them. I put them in a square casserole dish, added a can of pineapple chunks. (yes a fresh one would be much better, but I didn't have one). Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees. Take them out and test for tenderness- if still on the hard side put the potatoes back in the oven another 10-15 minutes. Next I made a topping- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/3 cup of brown sugar or rapadura and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon(evaporated cane juice) and mixed them all together. When the potatoes were tender I sprinkled with the topping and cooked uncovered 10 minutes, or until coconut was browned.

YUMMY- not too sweet. I don't really care for sweet potatoes, but this was good.

November 26, 2008

Wishing I could multiply myself....

So much to do and so little time! My husband is set on having our garage sale this Saturday, even though I will be gone both Thursday and Friday before. (two different Thanksgiving gatherings) So, not only do I have the normal Thanksgiving prep, but I also have to get everything ready now for the sale. My house is dirty- the chairs and table have a layer of grime, the windows and TV/computer screens are sooooo smudged up, the bathrooms need cleaning, the floor needs to be swept and scrubbed and there is a large pile of clothes needing to be folded. Oh! I just remembered the cloth diapers I washed yesterday- they're still in the washer! Hope they aren't sour, then I'll have to start over again.

I did finally vacuum the living room- it was awful! My husband keeps telling me not to worry about it, but it's hard. So far I've made the cranberry sauce, the pumpkin cheesecake and a loaf of quick bread (to use up leftovers). Now I need to figure out what to do with some more leftovers before they go bad, make dough for the challah bread, figure out dinner and start setting up my junk and pricing it. The kitchen is pretty messy right now and I'm not in the mood to clean it. However, we are all dressed, the beds are made, the bedrooms and bathrooms are tidy and the living room is very tidy. So, all is not a total loss :) Plus, I found lots of things I've been looking for after I went through our stuff last night, duh!

Alright, must go and do something. I don't know what yet, but something...

Parts 3 and 4


" 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.





Part 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
himself.

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'!

November 25, 2008

Michigan update, and Thanksgiving History 2

For those wondering if we are still moving, yes we are. My husband got a call on Friday about a possible job with a grocery store chain up there. This is ideal because that's what he's already doing, and it would sort of ease the transition if he could do something similar. We are praying that it will work out because the guy didn't know for sure if there was a job open, he was just impressed with dh's resume.

We are 'preparing for rain' so to speak- we've told everyone now and have been sorting through things for a yard sale. I have started boxing things up yet, but after the sale we will. There have been lots of challenges here, mainly because it doesn't look like much is happening, but we have to look at what is unseen and rest assured in what God told us. There are days when the thought of it all is very scary and I cry about leaving, but for the most part I am excited and look forward to the changes coming. I wish we could move right into our own house from the start, but we really want to pay off all our debts. In fact (get ready for this) I may get a job. Since I would be living with my inlaws, they would stay with the girls. This is a good thing, because they have barely seen them at all since they were born, so make up for lost time. Plus, if we put all the money I would make onto our bills, in a year they would be gone. This is huge because we are greatly in debt. This is why we haven't left yet-we gotta pay the bills!



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. "

November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving History Part 1

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 allposters.com

November 22, 2008

What's up

I'm so sorry little blog, it's so neglected! Honestly, I've just been interested in other things the last few days. For instance, today I made a mini Thanksgiving Feast. I bought a 16lb turkey on sale the other day and went ahead and defrosted it. Since I'm really into stretching food lately I figured I would spend a little extra and eat off that turkey for a good while.

So, I baked the turkey, made a little pan of cornbread dressing (with sausage, apple, onion and celery) and made a sweet potato thing that I just made up. It turned out good- diced three large sweet taters, mixed with a can of pineapple chunks and some ginger and cinnamon, then cover and bake until potatoes are tender, then mixed crushed up pecans, shredded coconut and some brown sugar, sprinkled on top and cooked it on a higher heat to caramelize the topping. Oh, and I made a cranberry apple pie. It was fun and now we have lots of leftovers to eat!

My oldest daughter will be out the whole week for Thanksgiving break, so I get a little break from having get up so early practically running, but then I'll have all three all the time :) Gotta make a plan for the days.

In other news, my husband got a call Friday from one of the places he applied for in Michigan. The guy explained they weren't really looking for someone, but were interested in dh because of all his experience. So, we'll see...waiting to hear back.

Today I went to walmart (alone!) and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the Christmas section. It's coming! And while yes, it is rather commercial, I still love it. And I am very partial to Santa Clause. Lots of people try to make him evil, but I love the Coca Cola Santa and several other pictures I see. Santa is a good guy...not the reason for the season, but it's fun for the children. They grow up and learn reality soon enough, why not let them have some pretend?? I totally believed in him but I also knew that most important was Jesus. I understood...

I need to go- gotta get ready for church tomorrow.

November 20, 2008

War

Wow, this is the first time I've been online all day and it's 11:11 pm!

Today was a really hard day. The only explanation I can give is that I was under some major spiritual warfare. Just seemingly out of the blue I felt lost and like what I do isn't worthwhile and depressed and so on. I mean, it was a real attack from satan. The reason I know this is because I've been working extra hard to fill in all free time with Bible study, watching sermons online, prayer etc. And, when it finally lifted, there was a feeling of great relief. My children sensed my struggle and played on it by doing every terrible thing they could think of too.

But through it all, I still managed to do the basics as well as the week's baking and some school work with Alexa. I just spent a lot of time face down on my bed crying and praying as well. The enemy was trying to get me to look at other women, and how they were wives and mothers yet also had a career. They 'had it all'. And all I did each day was clean house, care for children and cook. And too, I just sometimes feel like I'm not the greatest mom either.

So my flesh was raring up, crying out that it wasn't fair that I gave up my desire to do mission work, my desire to go to Bible school etc. to stay home with babies. But in reality, I could have done all of those things, but God specifically told me that He wanted me to marry and have children. Then I say, Lord, I'm tired of always serving and giving and pouring myself out all the time. Will I get a break from it? This is what He says: (paraphrased)

"Whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it."
"Do not grow weary in well doing, for in a due season you shall reap a harvest..."
" The first shall be last and the last shall be first..."
"For we wrestle not against flesh, but against principalities and powers..."
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."

There is such great pressure on us today- it's because the time is at hand for Jesus to return for the bride- me! Pressure to do everything right, to look right, for the kids to act right, be the best wife, the best mother, the best homemaker, the healthiest, the most organized, the most frugal and so on. Really, the main thing is that we do our very best, as unto the Lord. It doesn't matter if it's perfect in the world's eyes.

I need to take my own advice :)

November 18, 2008

The Red Dresss

This is the dress I made for my middle child, Alexa. She wanted the exact red dress on the pattern cover. I tried my best and she liked it. I had cut it out like two months ago, so when I finally sewed it together, it just fit! Hopefully she won't grow out of it too quick.

It's so wrinkled because I just washed it from Sunday's wearing and let it air dry. Next on the list is two dress for Sarah for church. I'm not sure which pattern I will use yet, maybe this one with long puffed sleeves. It is so much fun to sew for the girls- they look adorable in the dresses and it's so easy to fit them. Wish I could say the same for myself :(

November 17, 2008

Cranky Day

Thanks for all the helpful hints on potty training and Christmas. Sarah just flips out when we have her sit on the potty, yet she continually takes off the diapers/pullups. She's too big for her cloth diapers or I would use those.

We decided to do our garage sale this weekend, so I might not be around much this week. I so dread it- so much work!! I mostly just want to get rid of the stuff, but we do hope to make enough money to help with Christmas. I just need to readjust my attitude about it and then it won't seem so overwhelming.

I need a major attitude adjustment today anyways. I just woke up tired and groggy, and today is my fasting day, which I just broke. I've been so irritable and foggy brained I just caved and ate some pasta for lunch...oh well...all is not lost I suppose.

November 14, 2008

Saved Sinner- I accidentally deleted your comment. Could you please send me the links again?? Sorry...

Thinking About Christmas

It has started...slowly but surely the world is becoming Christmasy. I love Christmas myself, but I like to wait until at least after Thanksgiving to decorate. You get tired of it after awhile...

So that leads me to think about what things we want to do this year, such as, do we want to get a real tree or use our fake Charlie Brown one? Are we going to put lights up outside, what goodies shall I bake, what presents will we buy/make?

I for one wish to simplify things a bit this year. I say that every year, but this time there just aren't a lot of funds to spend. Every year I watch my children pretty much destroy what they get for Christmas and get overwhelmed with it all, so I don't see the point in going all out on the presents. They just get torn up anyways, especially if they're cheap.

My husband and I are planning to save whatever bonus he will get for something important, like paying off debts and moving. That means I must buy a little at a time and make some things. Some ideas I've had so far:

I found a yummy looking recipe called Christmas Jam
You can make this and decorate with pretty fabric on top. You can google 'gifts in a jar' and find all kinds of recipes for cookies and drink mixes to give.

For the girls, I have seen some tiny little porcelain tea sets at the dollar store for $1 that I am planning to get. Also I can sew doll clothes, doll blankets, night gowns etc. We can get art supplies and go to second hand stores to look for dress up clothes. They do need clothes and shoes as well, so I will keep my eyes open for that too.

This year, instead of buying fru fru Christmas dresses, I will purchase some cotton Christmas print fabric and make them jumpers to wear with white or red turtlenecks. I only need about 1.5 yards of fabric for each child, which averages about $4-5 and I don't need buttons or zippers. However, if I find some cute Christmas buttons I may get some for embellishment.

I had also planned on making a gingerbread house with the girls. I need to research it a bit more though...I've made one before, but my grandmother made the actual cookie pieces and I just helped put it together and decorate. It was fun! (yeah, I was like 16 years old too)

So anyways, just thinking and thinking about it. I want it to be fun and full of memories, not a ball of stress and hassle. Here's a picture of last year's Christmas tree- the $30 one from Walmart.

November 12, 2008

Day of Messes-warning, partly a female post

Yesterday was like the Twilight Zone or something. I woke up late for starters and found that (sorry if the is too much info) I had 'leaked' onto my bed. (from the monthly visitor) I didn't have time to change the bed because I needed to get Leiah ready for school. So I make her lunch and get breakfast started and realize that she has leaked on her bed (pee) and Alexa (the middle one) has also peed Sarah's bed.

After I got Leiah to school and go to get the beds changed, I find that Sarah took off her diaper and then peed in Alexa's bed. So, I get everything changed and washed. As the day went on, I myself went through two more pairs of clothes because I was bleeding so heavily! During snack time, I made them all sit at the table because I'm tired of cleaning crumbs off of everything. I got a phone call, and somehow they still managed to make a huge mess on the floor I had just mopped!!! So, about 4:30 in the afternoon they wanted to go outside. It has been pouring down rain for two days so the world is soggy and puddles all over. So I let them go- within 5 minutes all of them have fallen in the water. Sarah is dragging a blanket that I just washed that she peed on that morning. So I go outside to get them and my neighbor comes over to talk. I look over and Sarah has taken her skirt and diaper off, in the soggy yard. So I run over to fix her and step into a mudhole- my whole foot is covered in mud. The neighbor is still trying to talk to me through all of this- so I wash it off in a puddle and see that Sarah has taken off her shoes and is running in the wet grass in socks only. Finally, I get everyone to the porch, strip them down, get changed and get dinner on the table!

My husband had a wild day at work too...anyone else? Full moon?? Weird...


So, here's my question- ( I will try to give it as much feeling as possible)- CAN ANYONE HELP ME POTTY TRAIN MY CHILDREN PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I stink at it- I can't even remember how we got Alexa trained. (just before she turned three) Sarah will be three in March and she seems to understand, but completely resists it. I haven't tried treats or anything yet. I have the toilet training in a day book, but I don't have a doll that potties...

Leiah you know is special and has a lack of communication at present. She goes potty at school but I don't know if she is actually going in the toilet. At home she doesn't indicate a need to go at all. Part of it is my fault because I get busy and forget. It's also hard for her to get up and down off the potty and pulling the clothes up and down can be a challenge for her too. She will be 6 in January, and I know she wants to be a big girl. I personally am getting real tired of changing poops- 2 or 3 a day. And we just can't afford all the pull ups/wipes and night time diapers. (those Goodnights things are expensive!)

So someone, please have mercy and help me. Come to my house and walk me through for the next few months. Ha, ha, just kidding...I wish...

Must get off- shopping day today.

November 11, 2008

My toothpaste

For several weeks now, my husband and I have abandoned regular toothpaste. I noticed that I had a build up of plaque on the insides of the bottom of my teeth. I don't really have money or time to go to a dentist to scrape it off, so I hit the internet.

I found out that common household ingredients can clean as well as heal your teeth better than anything else. So, I mixed up baking soda, salt and some drops of peppermint oil and started using that. I sometimes dip my toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide before I dip it in the baking soda mix and brush. It's slightly unpleasant, but not real bad. Anyways, my teeth are cleaner and some painful nerve sensitivities are now gone. I haven't checked the plaque situation lately, but I will keep doing this and see how it works.

I got all my information here.

Now, if I could just get the kids to go for it...

November 10, 2008

Cool site

I just wanted to share a great website I happened on a couple of weeks ago. This woman has endeavored to use her crockpot every day for a whole year. I am really inspired because the recipes are very healthy and I just have a hard time knowing what to put in the crockpot. It sure would help in the evenings when everything goes haywire while I'm trying to cook.

I made yogurt last week and it turned out very well. I just left it plain, but I may blend up so fruit in it next time. Here she is: Stephanie, at A Year of Crockpotting