April 29, 2008

Rock and roll explained

I am frustrated at the moment. See, I did it again. I decided to host a Mother's Day afternoon tea party at my home. As usual, time has snuck up on me again and I now realize I do not have enough time to special order quality loose tea and accessories in order for it to arrive before the 10th of May. Plus, I want to make some tea cozies, the cute little covers that go on the teapots to keep the tea hot. I cannot find a free pattern online in the style I want and I don't have any idea how to free hand one. Why is it that something that seems so far in the future can sneak up on you so quickly? Deep breath. It will be ok- what I build up in my mind does not have to be the reality :)

Ok now on to what I planned to write. I was thinking about all the posts I did on rock and roll. It must seem strange for someone committed to home and family to enjoy or rather, crave rock. (ha,ha) I guess I should explain a bit more.

I am a paradox. I realized today that I always have been. As a child I LOVED playing with dolls tea sets, Barbies 'playing house' and dressing up. Loved it. However I also really loved digging in dirt, catching bugs and frogs and playing sports. I could easily flip back and forth between tomboy and girlie girl. I've never really fit into any particular group or mold. Maybe this is why I can't seem to get a good schedule for our family.

So, some days we wear feminine dresses and make cookies, some days I wear jean capri pants and a t-shirt and get down and dirty in the garden or cleaning, some days I wear a frilly shirt and jeans and flip flops etc. I can't ever seem to lock myself into one thing. If I decided we are dresses only, then I'll think 'what about when I go to a concert' or ' if we go fishing again what would I wear?' Wearing a dress doesn't fit in my mind. So,we do both.

Maybe I sound wishy washy, but that's not it. Here are the things that stay constant in my life:

I am always committed to Jesus and living for Him.

I am always committed to doing my best in everything I do.

It is my desire to give my best to my family.

I am always open to witnessing to someone else about the Lord.

I am always 'watching and praying' and waiting for our Lord's return.

Our meals and bedtimes/naps are at the same time each day. (mostly)

We have a rhythm we follow daily, it's just not always the same sequence of events.

That is my heart anyways. Some days I work like mad cleaning house etc, some days there's lots of stern talking and tears with the littles, some days there's lots of playing and broken crayons on the floor, some days there's crying and feeling inadequate to my girls. Am I a split personality?LOL just kidding.

Today I've been pondering what I would like as a master schedule for our family. I was asking myself questions like, 'what is most important to accomplish? What do I want my children to do each day and learn? What memories do I want to create? Who do I want to be to them and my husband?' It became more about things like that than just trying to cross off the many tasks we performed each day. We do benefit from routine and the children need to be kept busy, so I'm still working on it.

Anyways, back to being a paradox. I love being a homemaker and sewing dresses and having tea parties. I look forward to teaching my girls how to cook and bake, learn to do needlework like embroidery and knitting, my house is decorated with lace and doilies and teacups and Victorian artwork. But deep deep down, I'm a rocker. Gimme the jeans and crazy hair and subwoofer amps. Just today, while driving back from speech therapy, I wasn't feeling too good, time to remedy that. Turn on the rock and headbang a little, fixed me right up :)

April 28, 2008

Well, life is somewhat back to normal now. We had a busy weekend, and unfortunately Friday night dh and I got sick with allergy/sinus problems. It had been building all last week, but instead of nipping it with garlic and vitamin C etc., I just kept hoping it would go away. So, yesterday was the worst day and I finally caved and took over the counter allergy meds. Oh well, I'm much better now even though I sound like a frog.

I will be helping my sister out the next several weeks by watching at least one of her children a few times a week, so I don't know how the posting on the blog will go. I have several things in my mind. My husband will be going to a worship workshop tonight and tomorrow night so maybe I'll have some time in the evening to actually write something of interest :)

April 25, 2008

The aftermath

This is what I was doing last night. This is the band that opened for Skillet. I wasn't sure about them at first, but their heart is totally to preach Jesus, and they did. I didn't think we were supposed to take our cameras in, so I didn't get anything live, but it was GREAT! I stood pretty much the whole time with a very full bladder and didn't even notice. My voice is hoarse from all the hollering! Oh it was awesome!! Flashing lights and fire and everything :)


Now dh and I are off the drop the kiddies with brother and sister -in-law while we get a night to ourselves!! Woo hoo!

April 24, 2008

Rock and Roll

Today I get to go to a concert. A rock concert.

A lot of Christians have the idea that anything that looks or seems worldly is wrong. I used to think that anything with a 'hard' sound was of the devil. Then my youth pastor played Jesus Freak by DC Talk to us and my paradigm shifted. I realized that it was possible to preach Christ through all music, and come to find out, I really liked it.

I am very very picky about what I listen to. I will only listen to groups who make it clear that Jesus is in their lives and sing about Him. Yes, rock carries the stigma of bad kids drinking, doing drugs and living an overall ungodly lifestyle. But music is such a powerful media the speak through. Remember, Satan was the angel over music in heaven before he revolted against the Lord. Music is his avenue to send out his messages too. Typically rock music artists are singing about fleshly desires and living for oneself, or worse, for the devil.

But, if we want to reach these people, you have to make the Gospel approachable, personal to them. Music is music, the words and spirit behind it is what makes it good or bad. If I am with other, maybe weaker, Christians and was listening to secular rock music, this could cause them to stumble. I'm not saying that everyone has to like it, but I personally think Jesus would be in the middle of the mosh pit if we could see Him. LOL! The Lord inhabits the praises of His people. He didn't say He would inhabit our praises if we just used a piano and acoustic guitar.

"...indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying:

"For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever,"

that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud,

so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God." 2 Chronicles 5:12-13

The music I have listed on the left is so moving to me. When I feel bad, it lifts me up, somehow the music gets my frustrations and powerful feelings exercised and out. I am not kidding, I LOVE it the heavier it sounds. I don't listen to anything else unless it's praise and worship. My children have been raised in it and love it. I feel the power of God and electricity of the Holy Spirit in it.

So, tonight I will be pushing myself to the front of the stage with my husband and my best friend, and we will praise the Lord with all of our might :)

For anyone interested, we're going to see this band.

April 23, 2008

New things in our life


My new hairdo. I'm not sure about going straight. It's out of my comfort zone, but everyone else seems to like it straight.





This picture is weird. And I hate how you can see my less than beautiful figure :(


Today was hot- hot enough for water play.


Just can't leave the sprinkler put...gotta pick it up.

Silly randomness...

The garden is growing! These cucumbers have quadrupled in size in like two weeks!

Our lettuce! Ready for our first salad.



This is the broccoli. Strange huh?


The salad from the garden with fresh strawberries and almonds, a yummy salad dressing I whipped up, and homemade apple pie. These went great with our large pot of minestrone soup and homemade bread.

April 22, 2008

Our fun weekend


(weird looking huh?)



The grocery company my husband works for owns a large park and lake area. Apparently we can go anytime we want and it is very nice. Some other people he works with were having a cookout and invited everyone to go. My husband used to be an avid fisherman and hunter, but since I came into the picture he had dropped all of that. LOL, his decision mind you.

So he got all excited and bought little fishing rods and life jackets, relocated his tackle box and dug up worms so the girls could fish. Within 10 minutes of getting the bait into the water, Alexa had caught a fish! She caught two more and Leiah caught one. We ate them Sunday night :) Very tiny fillets but perty good.



The weather was perfect and we all had lots of fun. Unfortunately everyone brought loads of junk food, so my kids had a hay day with that! Oh well.


We have a special week coming. Thursday night dh and a friend and I are going to a Skillet concert (several of their songs are on my playlist on the left) and we are so excited. That last concert I went to was hubby's during our first year of marriage. Friday my brother-in-law and his wife offered to watch our girls overnight so dh and I can have a little getaway for our anniversary. They also have two girls, so we'll be sure to pray for them :) They did it last year and all went well.

I do have some topics on my mind to blog about when the time affords it. So stay tuned of course :)

April 21, 2008

7 Years Ago Today...


The two become one...our pastor likes to use colored water rather than candles because the two waters can never be separated again, like in marriage.

Cutting our cake. I bought the flowers for the cake and the lady who made the cake arranged them on it. Beautiful huh?

My other pictures wouldn't copy for some reason. By the way, I had to take pictures of my wedding pictures because my scanner is broken and somehow we never got these on the computer.

Incidentally, our wedding was a frugal one. I saw how nuts it was when my sister got married two years before and how much money was spent, so I opted for an easier more simpler route. I think including everything it was less than $2500. My grandmother made my wedding dress and the bridesmaids' dresses, we even had a mini strings orchestra playing, we bought and made all the decorations and the little country church only cost us $100. Our pastor didn't even charge us but we made him a gift basket. My mom made the groom's cake- a chocolate peanut guitar shaped one!

I would love to write out our courtship story, but I don't have time now. Maybe later if it works out. After seven years we are more in love and live like we're on our honeymoon still :) Yes we have those rough moments too, but we are wiser about how to deal with them.

April 18, 2008

What's going on

Someone asked for more pictures of me and the girls. I took some yesterday and got mixed results:)

Anyways, to Sarah that asked about my cleanse, I have been doing GREAT with the cleanse! Yesterday I had only gotten about 5 hours of sleep and I didn't feel sleepy or tired at all until around 7pm. How cool is that? Anyways, I haven't been able to get all the doses in one day yet, but it's fine. I can just continue the cleanse an extra day.

The girls' table activity on Wednesday. They LOVE playdough, however I do not like the clean up :) Somehow they get tiny little pieces of it all over the floor!

Sarah has learned to say 'Cheese'.

Snot close up.
The new toy corner in the living room.


Me and Leiah.

A better picture of me :)

The children are growing in leaps and bounds. They amaze me at how smart they are. Child training is going pretty well now that we have most of it established. We are still working on attitudes and listening, which would go quicker if I could catch it quicker :)

Today I have my niece and nephew, so it's time for me to go. Happy Friday!

April 17, 2008

I guess I'm doing something right :)


video

April 16, 2008

So what's up with cleansing?

Spring is here in full swing. Many people still do spring cleaning. I've never actually done it but I probably should. However, springtime is also a good time to 'clean house' in your body. We've had a long winter of more heavy foods, being cooped up inside with less than fresh air, being exposed to germs and such and probably less physical activity.

I've only done a couple of cleanses in my life, and they weren't in the spring. But this year I want to really scrub myself out :) The first one I did when I just changed to more healthful eating, and the food I ate did the job. I didn't notice any side effects except going to the bathroom more :) The second one I did when I was struggling with IBS. I had battled it for 18 months and finally went to a gastroenterologist. I had worked for him in his office and felt confident he would help me. After talking with him, you know what he gave me? An anti-depressant. That's it. I was so upset and cried out to God to show me what to do. Right after that I went to the internet and did a search and pulled up Dr. Schulze. I ordered his Intestinal cleanse #2 and that was the beginning of healing. I was unable to stay with it because I found out I was pregnant with Sarah in the middle of it and didn't want to take any chances since I'd had a miscarriage a few months before. But even the little I did do helped a lot.



Come to find out, if you have a clogged intestinal tract, more than likely you will be sick. Backed up colons are the main cause for most every disease. Think about it, your brain is directly linked to your gut because of the nerves in there. If your intestines are covered in old hardened fecal matter, this will impair the brain :) No wonder there is so much depression and mental illness in this country.

Anyways, Dr. Schulze is THE MAN on colon cleansing, let me tell ya. He always makes his patients and customers do that first before anything else regardless of what they have. In most cases, the cleanse will eliminate (pun intended there) the symptoms they are having. Most Americans are constipated, which means the waste from your food is just sitting in your gut, with the toxins being reabsorbed back into your body making you ill. So he has two cleanses. The first goes in and helps those that are constipated be able to go and gets things moving. The second one, the one I did, goes in and literally scrubs the walls of your intestines, absorbing parasites, pathogens, old hardened fecal matter, and draws out every nasty thing in there. Yet, it is soothing and gentle those who have sensitive bowels.

Monday morning I found out my cousin had to go to the ER over the weekend for bad pain under her rib cage. She had no idea what it was and the pain finally got bad enough to scare her. So she had an x-ray done and they found that her entire colon was BLOCKED with fecal matter. She is so thin that the pain was under her rib cage next to her stomach. The part that hurt the most was bulging with its maximum capacity! Yet, she had normal bowel movements everyday. So, they made her drink the laxative solution they use for performing colonoscopies. This sent her into the most awful pain ever, plus diarrhea. The only way she could get any relief is to lay down- no laughing or coughing or moving. I don't know what the doctors would have done for this.

So, as soon as I talked to my mom, I said "Well, I have something that will work." So I called her and loaded up my crew and off we went. I had her take two of the Intestinal cleanse #1 and told her take more if she doesn't notice anything in an hour or so. I made her a large jug of mint tea for gas and also left her a catalogue of Dr. Schulze's products.

That night she called me. She had taken 8 capsules over the day. After she picked up her kids from school, she finally had to go. Later she went again. She had NO MORE PAIN!!! She said she felt 100 times better and was sold on his stuff. I told her after she was completely pain free to start the second cleanse and that would really get it all out. Now she is planning to clean out her entire body with his liver and kidney cleanses. I knew his stuff would work given a proper chance. Who knows what they would have done in the hospital if she couldn't get any relief??

So, there is my plug for Dr. Schulze. His stuff is expensive, but compared to going to a doctor and getting prescription meds it isn't near that much. And his stuff is the absolute best out there. He is all about helping people, not money. This morning I started the second bowel cleanse. About 20 minutes later I had to visit the potty, but no pain or diarrhea. Just normal stuff :) I feel totally fine. I am planning to go all out and do his liver/gallbladder cleanse and the kidney one. I want to get my body squeaky clean!

Anyways, if anyone is interested in checking the doctor out, I am adding a new link to the sidebar under 'Websites I like'.

April 15, 2008

My Tuesday, so far...

I should be taking a nap right now. My eyes are so tired and heavy.
Anyways, it has been a busy day. I had to leave earlier today because Leiah had an appointment with the Brain Gym specialist in addition to her regular speech therapy. So, I decided to get up at 5am this morning to get a good start on the day.

Well, so did the oldest two girls. They woke up on their own at 5! Um, I don't think so. Leiah never went back to sleep, but I still made them stay in their beds in a dark room. So I did my Bible/prayer time, made dh's lunch, put supper in the crockpot, made breakfast, did the dishes, started some laundry etc. Then I made our grocery list and menu because I am planning to get that done while out and about too.

So we all get ready and drive to my mom's. I drop the younger two off and take Leiah to her appointments. Then my mom brings the other two up to the therapy place because she has to take my grandmother to the doctor. I get them in the car and my husband shows up. We decided to go to Sonic for lunch because they have a playground and it was a nice day. Note- anything fried from Sonic, except french fries, has a rancid aftertaste. Must be from the oil-yack!
After all that I drive to the grocery store. They all need diaper changes/potty breaks so we do that first. Everyone is doing well. Then Sarah's shuts her fingers in the door and things didn't go so well. I got them all in the buggy (note- Texan's say buggy, not cart, funny) and start going down my list. Last week I didn't buy quite enough, so I made sure to buy extra pantry items so I would have plenty on hand to work with.

The girls did very well- I kept them busy with food samples and asking what they wanted etc. They had a few skirmishes, but considering they'd been up for so long they did well. I got a lot of food, most of it unprocessed and some organic plus some household items, for $125. Not great, but better than I thought it would be. After I got home it all hit- Sarah was grouchy! Leiah had fallen asleep, Alexa was bouncing off the walls and I had loads of groceries to get in the house. Well, while I was getting the food in, I lost Sarah. She ran off to the neighbor's house chasing our cat. Oh I was scared-I couldn't believe I lost her. Next time I will confine her before I start going in and out of the house.

They are all asleep now and I should be :) A year ago a trip like that would have equaled insanity to me. But sometimes you just have to do what you gotta do. I think it makes me stronger and builds character. I don't enjoy getting out with all the kids to shop all that much, but I did today. All in the attitude :)

Tomorrow I am starting the first of several 'spring cleanses'. Can you believe I'm actually excited about colon cleansing? LOL, I am excited about feeling better, having clearer thinking and clear skin and a better working body in general. I plan to elucidate my cleansing tomorrow, if anyone is interested :)

Oh, to 'Mama', I will try to get more on here about the kiddies-there sure is a lot to tell!

April 14, 2008

Learning to relax

Thanks to everyone for their ideas on my squiggly bedroom and advice on relaxing :) We tore the border down Saturday, but never got around to painting yet. You may have noticed that I didn't get to all the 'changes' I was making to my blog. Well, life got in the way :) I am finding that the computer is less appealing to me lately. I have been making myself put it off until nap time unless I really need a recipe or something, and it's hard to settle down to it.

One reason I asked about loosening up as a mom is that lately I've been working too hard. What I mean by that is while my husband and daughters are playing, I'm making the kitchen shine and straightening the house etc. I justify it in my mind that they need time with daddy, but I'm constantly cleaning up after everyone. It will never stop. There will always be some cleaning and laundry to do. It's so hard to let go of this mentality of perfection. Deep down I want to be the absolute best for my husband and children. Ten years from now they won't remember if mama did the dishes every night or if there were crumbs on the floor. So, I am trying. It took awhile to become the clean freak so it may take awhile to let things go a bit.

The hard part for me is really enjoying my children. Sounds bad doesn't it? What I mean is I don't always have a joyful heart towards my children about doing what they want. They are still small so teaching them how to do housework is time consuming, but we do work on it. I'm not the kind of person scrubbing the floors everyday or alphabetizing the canned goods, but I try to make the house neat at all times in every room and look taken care of. That's hard to maintain with three little ones bent on destruction and a large house.

So, I am learning. I'll get there, it will just take me awhile. I have a plan forming in my mind so we'll see how it works once I get it all together.

We have been having beautiful weather here. Our garden is growing and the free flowers are flourishing. My poor inlaws are still getting snow!!!! How terrible...

Anyways, I was wondering, is there anything I should post about? Sometimes I feel like I run out of interesting things to say and end up talking about myself all the time or the same things over and over. My brain has been rather foggy lately. Tomorrow I am starting a cleanse that will hopefully take care of that. Yep, it's spring cleaning time, for this body anyways. More on that later :)

April 11, 2008

Questions to my 'fans' :)

I have two questions.

One- how do I become a more relaxed mom? My personality is naturally easy going and laid back, not very organized and a procrastinator. The last couple of years however, I've morphed into a more 'get up and go' type person, which is good, but I find it hard to know when to stop going. It seems like if I get the momentum built up, it's hard for me to stop and relax. Like right now, I was up at 5:30 and have since been cooking,doing some cleaning, made phone calls, went to the store to pick up a few items, made a lunch to take to the park, made dinner and cleaned up and still have more I want to accomplish. Plus the general care of small children and tidying up the toy messes etc. Now I am sitting only because Leiah naps on the couch and I like to wait till she's asleep before I start moving around again. (I distract her and keep her awake)

Second question- I have a bedroom dilemma. One is the kids' room. They don't ever really play in there and I don't want all three girls in the same room yet because Sarah is still a bit young. (they all end up waking early, grrr, and in a separate room she sleeps an hour later than the older girls) So, Sarah's room is the 'play room' with a crib in it and a closet of clothes. Leiah and Alexa's room still has Sarah's toddler bed, their toddler beds, two dressers, a toybox, a plastic vanity table, and another dresser in the closet. Everything is pushed against the walls for open floor space, but they hardly ever play in there. Should I move all toys to the playroom and use the princess room for sleeping or leave it? I guess I need to take some new pictures so you can see.

Also, my bedroom needs help. Save me from the squiggles!!! (please refer to the left hand sidebar and click on 'My Home'. When you get to our bedroom pictures click on them- you will see a border and above it some kind of weird paint effect)

I don't know what color to paint the room! I can't paint the furniture either. (not that I want to really) I want our bedroom to be romantic, but still homey and comfortable for other family members to be in. I can't seem to find what I want in a picture yet. I've looked at hgtv.com and Better Homes and Gardens websites.

April 9, 2008

Cute cloth diaper pic and grocery miracles


Sarah loves to play at the sink, and since she had covered her hands in washable marker, I figured soapy water would be a good diversion. I took her dress off and she looked so cute with her pink diaper, pink crocs, piggy tails and pink pacifier. (called a 'pow pow' here)


She is growing like a weed! She already weighs more than her 4 year old sister and can wear her clothes.


Last night I went to the grocery store, yay, after a long day out and about with children, I wasn't thrilled :) Many people have been writing about being more frugal and cutting costs in the food area. I was trying to do that too. But, lately, my husband and I have been learning more and more about the provision of the Lord and how He so desires to give us abundant life. I believe it is important to be wise in how you spend your money, but I also believe it is even more important to be led by the Spirit in all matters. Lately He has been telling me that He will provided what we need, even if it seems it will cost us more.

For example, food. It is better to put your money in quality foods than vitamins and supplements. Those certainly have their place, especially in a limited diet, but eating it straight from the source is best. (like eating fresh salmon in place of fish oil) So, I went to Brookshires, the grocery store chain my husband works for which is quite a bit pricier on organic items and such, and asked the Lord to guide me. I was hoping for less than $100.

I bought things that I don't normally buy because of cost. I bought more organic items this time. I even bought some cleaning items that I usually buy at walmart because of price. I even bought natural cleaning products, which are usually sky high.

As the checker scanned my groceries I just knew it was going to add up to $150 or something. But I knew that we would be provided for because I was listening and obeying. My total ended up being $93 and some change. The only thing I forgot was disposable diapers, which is usually around $5. I was so excited! Thank you Jesus! How wonderful to serve a God that cares so much about the details of our lives. What uncomprehensible love.

Some of the things I bought that are generally more costly:

fresh pineapple and strawberries
all natural nitrite free deli meat
cheese made from cows' milk with no growth hormones/antibiotics
organic half and half
the good eggs
organic whole grain pasta
organic raisins
6lbs of cabbage (on sale though)

Anyways, I thought it was pretty cool. So what meal have I been making lately? Here's the menu:

Monday: oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, sandwiches and macaroni salad, Mexican food at restaurant.

Tuesday: eggs and toast, fruit recipe next post down, lunch at Chuck E. Cheese (!!!not my idea), turkey sausage and bean soup, sourdough biscuits and butter

Wednesday: turkey sausage gravy, rest of biscuits, scrambled eggs; lunch was turkey and cheese sandwiches, strawberries and pickles, I ate the rest of the macaroni salad and kefir, we baked oatmeal raisin cookies( healthy and yummy, more about that later); lemon herb roasted chicken, sweet taters sauteed in coconut oil, corn on the cob and iced tea; after dinner herb tea party with cookies :)

Thursday: brown rice 'pudding' for breakfast and fruit; lunch-not sure yet; fresh pea soup (new recipe from Nourishing Traditions-I'm cooking chicken stock now), curried chicken salad with 'Rainbow Rice salad' (also from book)

Friday: kefir pancakes and turkey ham; leftovers for lunch; hamburgers with homemade buns, raw veggies and dip, dessert night, probably brownies

Saturday: planning an egg casserole and scones, lunch is free for all; dinner is homemade macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli and salad

Sunday: leftovers from breakfast on Sat. or cereal, lunch at mom's, leftovers or ramen noodles (we eat a big lunch at Granna's)

See, I cook normal food :)

April 8, 2008

Dee-licious!

This morning I made a super yummy breakfast that could serve as dessert, a snack or whatever you want. And yes, it is healthy :)

For 1-2 people, or a few children, you need:

1 medium-large navel orange
2-3 T whole milk yogurt
2-3 T creme fraiche or sour cream
1 t honey, preferably raw
1 t vanilla extract
sprinkle of cinnamon

Cut the peel off the orange- I cut of the stem ends, then turn to one of the now trimmed and flat sides, then use the knife to cut downwards and get all the peel off. You end up with a whole peeled orange. Cut into bite size chunks, place in bowl and drizzle with honey.

Take the yogurt and cream and blend together with the vanilla extract. Pour on top of oranges. Sprinkle on the cinnamon. Eat it up :)

I am thinking this would be good with any fruit. I plan to put fresh pineapple and berries on the grocery list this week. This is an enzyme rich breakfast with the raw fruit, if you have raw honey and cultured dairy. Fruit is excellent for breakfast- it digests easily and is quickly absorbed for energy. Usually it will digest within an hour if eaten alone.

I have been working harder to put only whole foods into my body. Drawing from what I know of eating healthy and how I lost weight before, eating raw fruit for breakfast makes sense. Yesterday I just ate half a pink grapefruit and kefir. Then later I ate some soaked oatmeal with honey and cream. I was full for a long time! And I'm just going with what I feel like eating. My body seems to be wanting healthier foods. I haven't drank my decaf coffee in several days now, and only drank about two ounces of tea this morning.

Yesterday I had to go to the direct care clinic because my ankle started hurting and swelling for no apparent reason. After two weeks of pain I figured I better get it checked out. Anyways, after an x-ray, they just think it's from an old injury flaring up and me not wearing supportive shoes. (yes,yes I know, flip flops aren't the best) BUT, the doctor told me that my weight was just too much for my ankle. How humbling is that? He told me that according to my height of 5'9, my weight should be around 150lbs!!!!!! That means I would have to lose 100lbs. I'm sorry, but just looking at me, I don't need to lose 100lbs. Even at my fittest in highschool, when I was all muscle, I weighed 190lbs. That's just how I am.

Anyways, it was a rather depressing ride home, wondering how in the world am I going to lose this weight? A typical doctor will tell me to cut carbs and eat low fat products. I know that low fat is a myth and good quality properly treated whole grains are good for us. Plus it's better for our food budget. I know that Nourishing Traditions is right; the Holy Spirit is guiding me and things just feel right in that area. Exercise has been hard- my workout tapes require some equipment I don't have yet and finding a good time of day to do it and be consistent is a challenge. I may need to find a good double stroller or triple stroller, lol, and workout that way.

Anyways, sorry to ramble. I have asked the Lord for help, and I believe that He will show me what to do. So, I'm not going to worry about it. I didn't gain all my weight because I sat around and pigged out- I had 4 pregnancies in three years and my body just held onto the extra weight for some reason. I actually lost weight in my last pregnancy!

Anyways, that's what I'm doing now. Hopefully my body will continue to crave healthy things :)

April 7, 2008

Encouragement

Forgive my lack of just being around- general busyness and some issues of my own have kept me away. I did well the beginning of the week last week, but things started going downhill Thursday. I don't know if it was hormones or what, but I'm better now :)

One thing that I wrestle with weekly and that I've noticed other moms are struggling with, is that we all somehow seem to think we aren't being good moms. My main problem is getting distracted with doing things in the house. I allow myself to think that if I don't keep things spic and span that someone will judge my worth as a person. I get to the point where I feel that 'I just can't stand to have grit on the floor, toys strewn around etc.'. I constantly have to step back and reevaluate what my purpose is in life. And I always come back to this: The house will always need cleaning, meals will always need fixing, and laundry will always be present. My little girls however, will not always be little, and I don't want to have regrets that I was chasing after something temporal and not the eternal souls under my roof. Even my own mom admitted she didn't think she was a good mom, and we thought she was the best mom in the world!

Something else I think most women forget is that we have an enemy. The word 'satan' actually means 'adversary'. He hates us and wants to destroy our lives and get rid of us. We are trying to obey the word of God and raise our children to be godly and strong in the faith, to be wives that are loving and submissive to our husbands and to make our homes the strong refuge they were meant to be. Of course he will make us feel like we're wrong, like we're not doing enough or whatever! He wants us to compare ourselves to other women and see our faults so clearly.

We forget that we've been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus, that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We have access to the Holy of Holies anytime day or night- we are now blameless and spotless because Jesus took our place and lives inside us.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1

I can't tell you how many times the thoughts have gone through my mind of 'things would be so much easier if I just had two children, or if Leiah weren't special, or when I just had one child etc.I could do so much more, I could have lost the weight already etc.' Then the ensuing guilt comes for even allowing myself to think something like that. But this is what I have now, this was God's plan, I need get in the now and not let myself desire the past. I may not be the person I am now if I only had one or two children, or if Leiah was more 'normal'.

Honestly, though there have been some hard times, I wouldn't go back or change anything like that. I would go back and make myself learn all about woman's calling and learn how to be a wife and homemaker before I got married, but again, can't change it. Thank the Lord I've learned what I know now. Who knows, maybe I wasn't ready for it then.

So, when those thoughts go through your mind that you are failing and not being a good mom, tell the devil he is a liar, that the Holy Spirit is your guide and smile. I am planning to take my own advice today :)

April 3, 2008

Homemade Ranch Dressing

My family loves Ranch dressing. I always buy it because I never remember to have the ingredients on hand to make it. I finally just made some yesterday and it was great.

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup of buttermilk

1/2 t salt- I put too much salt in mine, beware, you can always add salt later

1/2 t pepper

1 t dill weed

1 t garlic powder

1 t fresh or dried parsley (I used fresh)

sprinkle of Italian seasoning

sprinkle of paprika


Put all ingredients in glass jar. Put lid on tightly and shake. I ended up have to get a fork and stir it to work out the mayo lumps. You could also use onion powder or whatever herbs you like. This is just what I had on hand. Tasted just like the bottle stuff, but was fresh and I knew what was in it. I have enough dressing to last a month!

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Last week I made a recipe that called for ricotta cheese. I don't usually buy ricotta and many times if I am making lasagna I will just buy cottage cheese. But I got to thinking, I can probably find an easy to make some for much less money than $3.80 for a small container of it. Well, there is a way.

Today I made it and have yet to use it, but I think it will be success.

You need:

1 gallon of whole milk

1/3 cup of white vinegar

1/2 t salt

thermometer




1.Put milk in a pot on the stove and turn to medium-medium/low heat. Heat milk until it reaches approximately 185 degrees.

2. Turn off heat and add the salt and vinegar. Stir to distribute throughout milk. Let sit for 2 hours.

3. Line a colander with a thin tea towel or cheese cloth. Pour your separated curds and whey into the colander and let drain to desired 'dryness'.

4. Now you have ricotta cheese. Cool huh?

Note: I got tired of waiting for the cheese to drain so I started squeezing it out which is why my towel is such a mess. If you can find it cheese cloth is the way to go, but it's hard to find here.

Homemade Creme Fraiche

If anyone has watched Food Network a time or two, you've probably seen someone exclaiming about how wonderful creme fraiche is. (pronounced 'crem fresh') However it is very hard to find in the local markets, at least in my neck of the woods. So I googled it and thought I'd try making homemade. Guess how you make it?

Take two cups of heavy whipping cream. Place in a jar, like a glass canning jar. Add two tablespoons of buttermilk, stir. Let sit in a warm place 12-24hrs. When thickened refrigerate. That is it! It is very silky smooth and mildly sour. We used it as a replacement for sour cream yesterday.

Someone may be thinking, is it really worth it if I have to buy heavy cream and buttermilk just to make some sour cream? Well, you can make your own buttermilk too!

Candy at Keeping the Home has instructions for making homemade buttermilk here.

Now you can make a 'gourmet' item in your own kitchen and not pay however much money that stuff would cost in a specialty store.

updating

I am trying to update my blog a bit- I'm not too blog savvy and just really don't have time to re-learn html code and all that. You wouldn't believe how long it takes for me to figure out how to change my background, thus the reason it has stayed the same for a good while.

Lately I've been doing more kitchen 'experiments' and wanted to add a section of how to 'Make Your Own' on my blog. So, there will be lots of posts coming up as I create the section on my sidebar.

Just some pictures

Leiah and Alexa's new passion.

The cake I made for our family Easter gathering. It was a carrot cake with cream cheese icing and toasted coconut on top. I thought a brown bunny would be cute.


I am amazed the stroller is holding up.
Sarah helped herself to the 'crudite' while I was in the bathroom and Daddy was fixing the air conditioner.

Sarah's new passion. Crayons and paper are everywhere- I finally put them in a secret place and get it out for her at a good time.

Alexa's typical look- layered clothes with heels.
Some of our free flowers.


'Talking' to Grandpa on the phone-cute.

April 2, 2008

Workin' Wednesday

Whew! I need a break!

I've been going all morning and now I can finally take a moment to relax. Wednesday is usually the day I do wet cleaning chores, such as mopping, bathrooms etc. However, our pastor and his wife are coming later this evening so I wanted to make sure I vacuumed and stuff. I attempted to do an Emergency Quick Clean, but the 'quick' took me several hours. Yes it would have been quicker to wait till nap time to do it, but I wanted the afternoon to work on some sewing.

I got up before 6:30, made the bed and got dressed, and donned my 'new' vintage full length and very worn apron I found at a resale shop yesterday. I wanted to make dh a hearty breakfast so he'd not get hungry soon after getting to work. (yesterday's homemade granola and yogurt didn't cut it) I heated two skillets, added a few lumps of coconut oil, peeled and sliced two potatoes and then layered them in one skillet and sprinkled some salt and pepper on top. Then I fried three eggs in the other pan. I toasted some homemade sourdough bread, spread it with butter and reheated yesterday's coffee. (dh doesn't mind it, but I had to make a new pot for myself later) I then scrambled some eggs for the kids and I. I thought I would try using buttermilk instead of regular milk or cream when scrambling the eggs. Well, don't use the cheaper more watered down buttermilk because all it did was completely change the texture of the eggs and produce tons of water!!! I was fighting mad too- wasting good eggs like that. I ate about 1/3 c of them with salsa on top and it was fine. The kids ate it with ketchup and no one noticed. Lesson learned- buy the good stuff always.

After all of that, I sat down with my fresh coffee and read my Bible while the older girls watched some cartoons. Then I made some more yogurt, did a bit of laundry, got the baby situated with milk and food, dressed the girls and got to work. Today I let them watch some 'new' videos I bought from the resale store and play while I cleaned. I wiped down surfaces and appliances, windexed the mirrors and screens, cleaned all sinks, toilets, counters, swept and spot mopped bathrooms, put baking soda all over the floors and vacuumed, doused some cotton balls with essential oils and hid them in the bedrooms and bathrooms, changed the bathroom trash etc. In between that I fixed hair, did Leiah's exercises, changed diapers etc.

I got the girls at the table with playdough while I made a meatloaf and fixed their lunch. Then I mixed up cookie dough- an experiment with healthy ingredients. Next on the list is clearing off the desk, finish mopping the kitchen, cutting out some fabric for a new blouse pattern and maybe a nightgown for Leiah, finish baking the cookies and make dinner later. If weather and energy level permits I will plant the flowers we got last weekend. It's also a bath night tonight, so, still lots to do. But, then I will be DONE! Tomorrow and Friday will be practically free, save a few touch ups here and there and will leave time to work on sewing etc.

Did I mention how my energy levels have been since on the coconut oil? Ha, ha, and shall I also mention that yesterday my monthly friend came to visit? Yeah, and I've been great! I've been making a large pitcher of red raspberry leaf tea when the 'time' is approaching and drinking it. BIG HELP! No cramping, no bloating, no aches of any kind, slight moodiness and it only visits for three days instead of seven! Praise the Lord!

April 1, 2008

I'm still around

I've just been doing other things instead of blogging :) Like, reading one of my library books.


I was very blessed by all the nice comments on my last post, as I was a little nervous about putting something up like that. Some people get all bent out of shape about discipline. Anyways, speaking of which, yesterday I had a different child. Miss Alexa was wonderful. I mean, there were a few tiny issues to deal with, but compared to last Monday, a night and day difference. And I wasn't perfectly consistent 100%. Now to crack down on the other two...

Also, we were totally blessed this weekend. A nursery close by is closing down and had loads of plants that they were giving away. We got the tiny pansies called violas and snapdragons-like 200 of them?? We also got some winter vegetables like broccoli and kale and some herbs. My husband got the flower beds ready to plant them and now it's been raining constantly... I guess it's true that 'April showers bring May flowers'.

Something unexpected also happened to me this past weekend. The Lord dropped a revolutionary plan on me for the kids in our area. I have always had a heart for youth and did a lot in youth ministry as a teen and after we were married. However, being absorbed in my family I didn't see that that was a possibility for me anymore. Yet my heart would still go out to the kids milling around in parking lots with nothing to do and maybe no one really cared where they were. I see kids hanging out wherever they can do who knows what. I want them to know that they matter, that there is a purpose for them, and that people do care about them.

Anyways, dh and I are meeting with the pastor this week to discuss it. If it works out then I will explain the details. I'm kinda anxious, because in my mind I'm not sure how to work it out without taking away from our family, but God has already placed strategic people that want to be a part of it as well. If this is His plan, it will all work out. I just need to let Him take care of it and not worry about details- easier said than done!

I had forgotten earlier to add this. A week or so ago I had ordered a gallon of virgin coconut oil. You've heard me talk about this stuff before. Anyways, my husband and I had taken a questionnaire about candida albicans overgrowth and we both tested positive, however his was much higher. So we ordered a special product for him and the oil for both of us. The oil is excellent at killing the candida. Anyways, I've been trying to get into my diet everyday, at least 2 tablespoons. I spread it on bread, cook eggs with it, use it in baking and once I drizzled it on top of grapefruit. I've also been rubbing it all over me! After a week I've noticed that my 'moods' are more stable, as in I don't need to take St. john's wort much at all to keep me from getting too stressed. Also, I don't get hungry or crave sugar. Sometimes I eat because it's been 5 hrs and I should probably eat something :) So if you are interested in knowing more about the coconut oil and candida go here.

I am also hoping it will help me to lose weight. I have come to the conclusion that losing weight isn't just about taking in less calories. It is possible that my thyroid might be messed up and that's why I can't see to lose. So, the oil is supposed to support thyroid function and boost metabolism. Go to that website and read more about it.