July 30, 2008

Crazy Day

I was out the door before 7:30am with children in tow. I dropped the younger two off at a friends' and drove Leiah to have a kidney ultrasound done. There's nothing wrong, just something we needed to have checked according to the geneticist. That only took 15 minutes. Then I went to the store and bought paint and supplies, came back to the house and my mom and I started painting Leiah's bedroom- yellow. Well, we primed it first. We had to stop around 2:30 because I couldn't tell what was still wet and what needed another coat of paint. Then I went to pick up the girls, who were very tired from no naps, and ran by the grocery store.

Grocery store at 4pm with grumpy kids...I bribed them a little and bought them a drink to keep them busy :) They did ok until the very end- Sarah is really into throwing fits when she doesn't get her way.That's nice, especially in front of the whole store.

Now I'm home, put the food away, the girls are confined to couches for awhile and I'm putting my feet up before time to cook dinner. I was in town all day yesterday too shopping with my mom and stuff. Busy! I am tired, especially since I've been getting up so early, but I'm doing fine overall.

Oh, and Alexa and Leiah had fever and body aches yesterday and early this morning, but thank the Lord it was very very mild and He healed them. Hopefully we can rest tomorrow!

July 29, 2008

The answer

For those of you who have been reading my blog awhile, you know that I post about my struggles with balancing everything, especially in regards to my children. I am continually seeking the Lord on this and I finally got a clear answer so to say.

As a woman submitted to Christ and seeking to fulfill His purposes I must do as scripture says.

"...the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

When I married my husband, God's will for me was to be a wife. When I had children, God's will for me was to be a mother. These are the most important and are obviously a worthy calling. I buy into lies at times though, thinking I'm not really doing much of anything or am not important in His kingdom.

However, this morning I read this:

"Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matt 11:11

Whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist. Pretty neat huh?

So, this is what the Holy Spirit is saying to me:

My priorities are:

1. God

2. Husband

3. Children

4. Home

5. everything else

Therefore, if I order my day in this sequence, the most important things will be attended to first. I wake up at 5:15 and spend that time with Jesus- reading the Word and praying. Then I take care of my husband- make his lunch and breakfast and help him gather all his stuff for work, and throughout the day I am praying for him. Next is the children. My goal is to focus on them in the early/mid-mornings, learning how to work around the house, go outside while it's cool, working on something they want etc. Then, the time that is left, I use to tend to the home. The afternoons during nap time is my time :)

I also take time in the evenings for my husband as well, so it's not like I just drop him after the morning :) Anyways, just thought I would share what I've learned and hopefully it will help someone else.

July 28, 2008

What do you do with biscuit dough scraps?

Make cinnamon sugar 'doll' biscuits :) It's kind of hard to tell but they are tiny heart and flower shapes.

I still don't like my blog look yet- a little too sugary pink :( I'll work on it some more later.

Oh, and if anyone is interested, there's a small snippet of me in this video at my niece's birthday party. In the far left- aqua shirt and white skirt.

Sorry for all the craziness on the blog. All I wanted to do was change the background a bit, but it's been real complicated for someone like me who hasn't done html code in forever. I'm trying to fix my title but it is giving me fits! I can't get the title on the lefthand sidebar to go away and make one for the top. I want to do it myself instead of calling dh to fix it :)

July 26, 2008

We're Free

July 25, 2008

Living to Serve

A servant's heart is something so precious. If you've ever been around someone who just couldn't do enough for you- you were in awe of how much they were giving and serving you and somewhat humbled. The Holy Spirit started doing major heart work when I was a teenager, and as I drew closer to Him I became more like Him. I loved giving and serving.

My mother has a servant's heart and is so giving of herself. I always make sure to tell her thanks for helping me with the girls or for cooking Sunday lunch. I know how much work goes into it now that I am a cook :)

There are a lot of times though that I feel like a servant in my own home and am none too happy about it. It's much nicer and easier to serve someone who is appreciative and notices what you're doing. Children do not normally realize this. They have no idea how much work it took for mommy to mop that floor before they tracked in sand or how hard I worked to prepare a nice meal that they don't like. It's much harder to lovingly pick up my husband's shoes and tools lying around the house when he never notices or seems to care.

But, I am trying harder to go to Him before I get upset about 'poor me'. More than likely I am just tired and need a break. Deep down I do love caring for my family; I enjoy laundering my husband's work clothes and wish I had more time to starch and iron them. I enjoy making my girls' rooms tidy and fixing good meals. I enjoy keeping an organized and clean home, however, it's not easy because I generally get interrupted a lot.

Lately I've taken more opportunity to give and serve those around me. When I bake bread I take a loaf to the neighbors or invite the young newly married and extremely poor couple for dinner, or make extra kefir for a friend who is ill. Amazing how food seems to be an important factor in serving. I so enjoy blessing others and giving to them. This has to be from the Lord. When I did the Passover feasts for our church, it took lots of planning, research and lots of work. But in the end it was well worth it knowing how much it blessed everyone. It almost felt wrong to get praise for myself, because it is He who works in me :) I may be about to collapse from exhaustion, but I can keep going when I serve Him.

It's good to serve in our homes and families, but it's important to think outside of ourselves too. I mean, I'm not talking about being involved in some church thing, but just making a phone call to someone who is sick or going through a hard time, or making a meal etc. is such a blessing to the person and yourself.

My brain is so very scattered. We are having company this evening and I'm attempting to make veggie burgers from lentils, pinto beans and rice. (they don't eat meat) I also have a cake to bake yet and a floor to mop :) I hope what I said makes sense :) Have a good weekend friends!

July 24, 2008

Drawing a blank

I'm sorry I just don't really have a whole lot to say right now. I guess I'm sort of blogged out. There's a lot happening in our lives at present.

For instance, today we drove two hours away to Dallas for Leiah's heart appointment. It's only a check up, but it still takes the whole day and they do EKG and ultrasounds and stuff. Oh she did sooooo wonderful! Brain Gym has totally made the difference. She cried a little at first, but overall she did great. So great that we took her out to eat and to the toy store. Guess what she picked out for her toy? A purse and a set of hair accessories- curling iron, brushes, straightening iron, hair dryer etc. A true little girl, huh?

I have to figure out something for dinner since I didn't plan it out and then we have praise music practice at church tonight. I have lots that I do want to blog about, I just never seem to remember to take pictures or have time to get into it.

Hopefully soon I'll more interesting things to say.

July 23, 2008

There's only One of ME

LogoThere is
person with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

July 22, 2008

Simplifying and stuff

I need some help.

In a couple of weeks I'm going to start keeping my sister's little girl who is 15 months old. I will have 4 little girls for at least 3 weeks, then once Leiah goes to school I'll have three again. She is good and easily entertained, but it's still a bit difficult to go places and organize the day when I've kept her in the past.

I need some easy meal ideas (all meals), either for the crockpot or something that is simple to put together. I am so drawing a blank on that right now. Also as far as cleaning and stuff goes, I know I will have to simplify, but I'll just have to wait and see how our days go.

The main thing is what do I do with the children all day? It will be August and terrifyingly hot, so the park is out. (hot metal slide on bare skin- I think not) No pool at all except the kiddie one. TV works for only so long and I want to avoid major messes. Maybe I could find some big boxes somewhere and let them draw on them as well as play in them. My days will be centered pretty much around them, so I need a long list of activity ideas for back up plans :)

Also, for those of you whose children go to public school, how do organize things? Before, I had to get up very early, make lunches and breakfast, get Leiah up and dressed, eat breakfast and the bus picked her up. After she got home she was hungry and tired and there just wasn't a lot of time to be with her because I needed to work on dinner etc., and she needed her bed early. I don't know if a bus will get her or if I will be taking her yet, that will really make things complicated. Just curious if anyone had any wonderful tips on that :)

I've been sewing up some dresses for Leiah for school and plan to post pictures when I get them all done. I am also going to fix her bedroom up pretty since she is a big girl now and in her own room. I didn't plan for it to happen that way yet, but it did and that's how it will stay for a long time. (I was moving furniture around and that's they way it ended up) So I have to get all of that done before I start babysitting. BUSY!

We are also about to start another garden for fall and we're building a chicken coop for chickens! I am planning to plant a lot more so I can freeze and can stuff and we'll be getting around 10 chickens for the eggs. Are we crazy or what? We're excited though, not excited about being in the awful heat while working in the garden but oh well. You'd think I would be used to it since I've lived here all my life, but I'm not. When you walk outside it's as if you've walked into a hairdryer. And forget having straight hair- I should take another picture of my very curly short hair, why fight it?

Anyways, this is a hodge podge post, but I've been out all day and just got home so that's what you get this time :)

July 21, 2008

To Lori (not Michigan Lori)- what was your blog again? I can't find a link to it...lost track of when you posted it. Yes you can link to me and I was just thinking of posting the same thing you were.

How I'm doing so far

I started my cleanse yesterday, which wasn't easy considering we had a birthday party to go to. What I did was take my superfood tablets (from Dr. Schulze) and drink his detox tea that I ordered. I ate toast for breakfast.

At midday I took more superfood and that's all I did. Before bed I took his Intestinal Formula 1 to make sure my bowels were moving good before I started flushing my liver. I didn't eat healthy yesterday but I tried to eat small portions.

This morning I made the orange juice drink that I mentioned in a previous post. It wasn't too bad really, with a straw and some ice cubes. After I drank all I could of that I ate some baked oatmeal with yogurt (a cup total) and took the superfood tablets. Now I'm drinking the detox tea. For lunch I'm going to drink the potassium broth that I wrote about and may add some brown rice to it or something or eat a salad.

Oh, for someone who asked, yes I do drink kombucha. I totally forgot it was cleansing to the liver- duh! However, I just started making it again and haven't been making enough. (we've been drinking it too fast) This last week I've felt tired and achy and had headaches and just really didn't feel good. So, it was time to do something. This plan seems complicated, but it's not that big of a deal. I have to consume all that broth I made in the next day or two before it goes bad though!

To Carrie- about modest dress, well, I am currently not dresses only. I did a study on the subject and personally came to the conclusion that the state of my heart was most important. However, lately I've been wanting to do dresses only or mostly, just because I want to. My husband has never really had a preference and allowed me to do whatever I thought I should. He likes it when I wear dresses at home, but it doesn't matter to him so long as I'm not exposing myself in public :)

If anyone has more questions/comment I'll try to answer them or point you in the right direction. I wanted to put more info up about the liver cleanse but I still can't find my little book!

July 19, 2008

More about the liver

I can't find my booklet about the liver and why it needs cleaning, so I will just copy and paste the info from Dr. Schulze's site- he won't care, he wants us to spread the word!

How his products work to cleanse the liver:

"What if you could add 10 years to your life by just doing a simple cleanse a few days a year? Your body is really no different than your car; it needs routine maintenance. Your body, like any machine, uses fuel to run, and as it runs it creates waste products. To have your body run its best, it is important to use the absolute best fuels and to periodically cleanse your internal parts.

The herbs in these formulae are famous for their ability to stimulate, cleanse and protect the liver and gallbladder and rid the body of parasites. Milk Thistle contains many phytochemicals that strengthen the structure of the liver cells’ skin or membrane, which prevents the penetration of known liver toxins. Ingesting Milk Thistle is like putting a protective coating around your current liver cells, while also speeding up repair of damaged cells and building new strong cells. Oregon Grape Root, Artichoke Leaf, Gentian Root, Wormwood Leaf and Dandelion Root are some of the most bitter plants on the planet, and all these bitter herbs stimulate and flush out your liver. Black Walnut Hull, Wormwood and Garlic are strong anti-parasitical plants.

Remember, in this clinic for over 20 years, Dr. Schulze made every patient do his LIVER 5-Day Detox. Liver and gallbladder flushing is mandatory, not optional.

Remember, my LIVER 5-Day Detox is not only safe and easy but also extremely effective. The reason I know this program works and is extremely effective is because I used it for over twenty years in my clinic with thousands of people. People who were up for liver transplants and gallbladder removals who didn’t need to have surgery because they cleaned their liver and gallbladder out with this five-day program."

Why you need it:

“Heart disease, cancer—most diseases—develop months, even years, after your liver failed to keep your blood clean.” — Dr. Schulze

The main cause of liver and gallbladder disease is an overworked liver that is overloaded with toxins and poisons from our food, water and air and also from taking drugs, drinkingalcohol and eating too much animal food. All of these cause the liver and gallbladder to be overloaded and subsequently congest, get constipated and you get sick. This is the cause of almost all Liver and Gall bladder disease and also the cause of many seemingly unrelated diseases, even cancer, and these are the things that you need to STOP.

The Liver and Gallbladder Flush Drink and Herbal Formulae stimulate the liver to produce more bile and get the bile moving through the gallbladder and ducts. This action unblocks and unconstipates the liver and gallbladder and even dissolves and removes gallstones. This is what will clean, detoxify and heal your liver and gallbladder and what you need to START.

Easily flush toxins and poisons out of your body today!

"I designed my LIVER 5-Day Detox to be done during the week—Monday through Friday—at work or during your regular weekly routine.

Look, nobody wants to do a cleanse or detox on the weekend, and usually if you are silly enough to plan it that way, the phone rings, friends or relatives call and the next thing you’ve blown it. Weekend fun, friends, parties—eating is a big part of all of this. During the week you are very busy at work. You can do this program at work and you will hardly even notice that you’ve done it; IT WILL FLY BY. You might even set an example for a few of your coworkers who would be nicer and less angry with their livers cleaned out, too.

Remember, my LIVER 5-Day Detox is not only safe and easy, but also extremely effective. The reason I know that this program works and is extremely effective is because I used it for over 20 years in my clinic with thousands of people. People who were up for liver transplants and gallbladder removals didn’t need to have surgery because they cleaned their liver and gallbladder out with this 5-day program."

"I don't care who you are, and I don't care how healthy you think you might be. I don't care if you live in Tahiti, eat only organic fruit, drink only distilled water and exercise eight hours a day. If you are a human being who eats, drinks and breathes, and if you live anywhere on this planet, your liver has been attacked and damaged and is maybe even sick. Your only defense is a strong offense; in other words, a strong and healthy liver. And the best way to maintain a strong and healthy liver is to cleanse it regularly." — Dr. Schulze"

My stuff arrived today but I can't start until tomorrow since my tea has to soak overnight and I need to take something the night before. Starting a cleansing program on a Sunday isn't ideal but if I don't I'll keep putting it off. I hope this answers some questions.

July 18, 2008

Gettin' healthier

I mentioned earlier that my husband and I are planning to do some things to get ourselves healthier. I am so very thankful that the Lord led me to Dr. Schulze. His stuff has helped us so much. Anyways, dh has been struggling with dizzness and tiredness again, and I told him he needs to do the gut cleaning that I did a few months back. I also have been wanting to do a liver cleanse because we have been hearing lately that there is a strong connection between the liver and hormones and losing weight.

Apparently pregnancy does a number on the liver and kidneys, and since the liver is also directly related to the gallbladder/stomach area I figured I should do that first. The liver is the filter of our body. All the blood dumps the waste it accumulates as well as old blood cells in the liver to be either remade into something useful, or if it is toxic, the white blood cells eat it. LOL. Sounds funny.

So, even if I'm eating well and am active, not losing weight could be a signal that my liver is congested or 'constipated' and isn't able to get rid of stuff it needs to. Also the liver stores glycogen, which converts to glucose, which is stored energy. (I am writing this from memory so I might off) Maybe there is a glitch in there somewhere.

I would have ordered Dr. Schulze's liver detox kit, but it was $78, and we were already ordering other stuff too. I did find a book of his that is specifically about detoxing the liver and he had recipes for other things I could do without buying the kit. I ordered his detox tea though and will be adding that in when we receive it.

So, first you do a flush, which is a special drink that helps to get the liver moving and flush out the nasties. I haven't done it yet because if for some reason I start feeling bad I don't want to be here by myself with kids. Here it is:

blend 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime
1 clove of garlic
1 inch fresh ginger root
distilled water
1 T olive oil

Blend for a minute and then drink twice a day I think.

Also you are supposed to drink potassium broth. I made this the other day and drank some a bit ago. It was quite tasty with a little salt.

25% potato peelings (clean ones)
25% carrots, chopped
25% chopped onions with skin
1 bunch chopped beets
hot peppers to taste
dark leafy greens

Put all ingredients in pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer 1-4 hours. Strain and drink. THis made a gallon of broth, which you are supposed to sip on throughout the cleanse. Mine was a bit hot- i put in 3 whole jalepenoes . It's also a purple pink color and the babysitter thought it was kooaid- oops!

So, I plan to do the flush drink tomorrow, and continue with the broth. When my detox tea comes in I'll add that. I should probably just eat raw fruits and veggies, but I'm not. I've eat about 50% raw food today so far. I'll do my best but I'm not going all out this time. Sounds fun huh? I want to feel much better- I feel good most of the time- but we all need a good cleaning once in awhile.
Thirdtimemomma- I haven't been able to access your blog. What's up?
Well, I've tried to explain myself several times but I'm obviously not doing a good job of it. Apparently what I believe is totally in the minority of Christians. My whole life I have grown up in churches and teaching that God doesn't make us suffer on purpose and I just can't understand why anyone would think that our great and loving God would make us suffer for His glory.

If we could but see with spiritual eyes and literally see that evil spirits at work around us and the angels around us maybe it would make more sense. I don't know- however I can't answer everyone's questions in the way they want me to, I can only say what I know in my heart to be the truth and use the Word of God to back it up. I know that whatever I say you will only say that I'm interpreting it to fit my own agenda.

For anyone confused about what I am talking about regarding the enemy and all that, please go to the Labels section of the blog on the left hand side and click on Psalms 91. I did a four part teaching on it and maybe that will assist in clarifying what all I am talking about.

And yes, I did encourage dialogue on the subject, but I had no idea it was going to be like this. I was interested in what everyone's thoughts were on birth control, and that's pretty much it. Ultimately, it is my blog, my thoughts, so I can say what I think needs to be said. I shouldn't have to prove or defend myself. I am rather upset actually because of the way things have gone here and am done trying to explain things, ok? Done. Moving on.

July 17, 2008

I'm trying

To Michele-

"I feel no need to debate the quiverful issue but I do discuss & stand out in faith with I feel a Christian is misusing scripture for their own selfish desires."

What exactly are you trying to say here? I realize that more than likely you are not trying to say I'm being selfish, but what do you mean. It sounds to me like you think you know more than me are trying to set me straight on my misinterpretation of scripture.

"But listen when I tell you.....these are but things, nothing is more powerful than God himself. I do not doubt you are overwhelmed and have a lot on your plate. But you must ask yourself.....why does God not deliver me from this? We know your not being punished but your being ALLOWED to do through it. He is stretching you and you have to trust in HIM that He is the one who knows best for you. And I am not speaking in just terms of family size but in all things. Self desires are a slippery slope. Once we think we are entitled to do something we might question that might be out of favor from God, then we open ourselves up to that thought manifesting in our minds. Like I said, a slippery slope."

This is what I think. My daughter is delayed not because God made her that way. Satan tried to kill her in my womb. KILL HER! Because my husband and I had been praying all throughout the pregnancy and my church got behind me and prayed, her body did a 'self rescue' and instead of her dying in utero, she kept growing and was practically normal at birth. She wasn't perfect, but the diagnosis her doctor gave her is so rare she is a miracle- all the babies die!

God is not allowing me to go through something to stretch me. He has been training me and equipping me my whole life for this role. He must believe that I am able to handle it. However, my flesh gets stuck on how I feel, not what my spirit knows, and I fail at times. I don't believe for a minute His plan was for Leiah to be like this at all. His plan was for a perfectly made baby, but in this fallen world with a Destroyer on the prowl, things can happen. Yet, because we acknowledged Him and let our faith lead us, not our feelings, He has blessed us and she is doing well.

How is He glorified if we are sick, tired, poor, stressed and stretched beyond our limits? Because it forces us to draw closer to Him? We should be drawing closer to Him all the time- good and bad. It is Satan that is throwing this stuff on us. Jesus gave us the authority and tools to do what He did on the earth. It is up to us to fight. While He was on earth nothing bad happened to Him until He allowed it. Even the wind and sea obeyed His word.

And He said, "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19

Don't you see? It is the enemy that wants you to believe that you have to go through trials and tribulations to keep you down. He wants you to believe that 'if it's God's will, then I'll get better or stay sick and die, or I'll prosper or be poor etc.' He wants to keep our hands tied so he can continue to wreak havoc on humanity and terrorize the world. His time is short and he is angry and wants to take every soul that he can with him.

"We are all sinners, no one is perfect. But I do believe God wants us to make an EFFORT to be Christ like..."

So are you saying that I don't want to make an effort to be like Jesus? How long have you read this blog? I admit I am not always acting like Jesus would. But I sure am trying real hard. I am not a sinner anymore. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am a saint, not a sinner. That's over with- that person is dead and buried in the pool I live next to. (where I was baptized years ago) I am a new creation in Christ, I love Him with all my heart and endeavor daily to serve Him. I am human and flesh, I fail at times, I fall into the trap, but at least I realize it.

Dear Christians, please look into more about the authority that Jesus gave to you. You can calm the storms, you can lay hands on the sick, you an raise people from the dead because He is in you! You can be prosperous and happy and healthy and life can be wonderful. Just because Paul suffered a lot doesn't mean we have to. Jesus is our example and He never suffered until He gave Himself to be crucified. Don't limit yourself. He can do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think. The biggest dream you can dream for yourself- He's already dreamed it bigger.

Regarding birth control, my husband and I have been searching it out, and for us we have no conviction that choosing to limit our family size is wrong. This is the scripture that we are looking at the most:

"Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith?[fn6] Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin." Acts 14:19-23

My husband and I are fine with drinking alcohol. We do not feel it is wrong to drink occasionally. However, another Christian may feel strongly convicted not to drink at all. If I am in their company, me choosing to drink would be a problem. It would make me look like a hypocrite to them and hurt their faith. If God told my husband and I that He wanted us to stop preventing pregnancy, and we did anyways, then we would be sinning. We haven't gotten that message from Him. We have been actively seeking His plan for us for years on this, so I think if He wanted us to stop then He would have made it more clear by now.

Discussion over :)

Michele, I am not mad at you or anything, I just don't really understand what you're trying to say. You talk to me as though you seem to know more than I do about these things, and maybe you do, but you aren't me and haven't walked my path or know my heart. I get it- yes we need to let go of our plans and allow God to work in us, got it. But His plan isn't the same for everyone.

July 16, 2008

The Homesteader in Me

Regarding the last post- I have read and studied Job. Still, it wasn't God who brought bad things on him, it was Satan. Why He allowed it I am not entirely sure of- need to do more studying. I just know that His desire is for good- we mess up yes, we are tempted and sometimes take the bait yes, but, it is not His design for us to fall away and sin. He is there to help us when we do mess up, which I do daily, but I don't think He needs to teach us anything while resorting to the devices of Satan. Jesus Himself prayed in John 17 that we would be kept from all evil. All pretty much sums it up- anything that is hurting us in anyway.

Sorry for the confusion about relating that to birth control. I guess I didn't clarify what I meant. Basically it was on my mind because in the past a lot of people will tell me God won't give me more than I can handle when arguing pro quiverful. Then we had teaching on that same phrase, so that's where it all came from. For us another baby would be a mixed up soup of emotions. I would be happy to have another baby and hopefully a boy, BUT, it's not great timing. When is it ever great timing though? Again, those of you who are trying to get me to reconsider, I have had three c-sections, they are costly, they are painful- I have special needs child that is far behind and I already do not have a lot of time to spend with her- I feel stretched already. Don't try to convince me because my husband and I are agreed. I just wanted to know what others thought about the subject. I don"t plan on debating over it

Ok, now on to what I wanted to post about. BUTTER!!! I made it. Cool huh?

Here is the cream I skimmed off of our raw milk.

I used my standing mixer. This is what it looks like after a few minutes of mixing at high speed.

I had a quart of cream and it took around 15 minutes to get it whip up into regular whipped cream, which is my next picture.

Then, it took forever to go into the butter stage. At least it seemed that way because I was standing there watching it the whole time :)
The volume of the cream reduced drastically and I noticed it was watery which is the buttermilk, so I stopped it and took the bowl into a brighter light. Aha- butter curds!!

I did my best, but I didn't get all the buttermilk squeezed out. I mostly pressed it out with my spoon, then put it in a tea towel and squeezed for along time.

Butter and buttermilk! I did not add salt to the butter and I tried to make it into a ball shape. oh well. It tastes like butter! Tomorrow I am going to buy more milk and get some frozen so I don't have to make the trip so often. Even though I skimmed the cream off the milk, the skim milk still tastes good. I can't believe I finally had raw cream to work with. Fun stuff.

July 15, 2008

Temptation and Escape

It's interesting that my pastor preached a message about the verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13,

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."

Before when I was talking about birth control I said that a lot of people have told me in the past that God wouldn't give me more than I could handle. Well, I think that they got that from this verse and have taken it out of context. See, what this verse is talking about is a specific situation, like if somehow I got caught up in something I couldn't control, a car accident maybe. Paul is saying that if I do find myself in a bad situation, God will always make a way for me to get out of it.

James 1:13 " Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:"

I am a firm believer that God does not send trials and tribulations to us to test us. Why on earth would He need to do that? Satan does a pretty good job of it don't you think? If Satan can make bad things happen to us, and God is good, then how could God send bad things to us? Didn't Jesus say, " And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." (Mark 3:25)

So, then, why would He need to put troubles on us to test us? It is living in this world that cause trials to come on us. He is the One who is making a way out for us. If someone was an alcoholic, and he came to Christ and was saved and put all of that behind him, you can bet money that the enemy will be tempting him to go back to drinking. What's he supposed to do? Fight it with the Word.

"For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Our way of escape is standing firm on the Word and I believe that He will protect us from all harm and evil so long as we acknowledge that He is our refuge and fortress. (Psalms 91 thank you) We can't crumble in despair when we see something scary- we have to stand firm.

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;..." Ephesians 6:13-17

We don't just stand idly by while the enemy has a hayday with us. We have tools and weapons to hurt him with. So, how does this apply to birth control again??

Other stuff

What would a day be like to have cooperative and joyful children? No whining or crying? I don't know :) I did plenty of whining and crying today too, so they aren't totally to blame.

Still, I must be doing something right because Alexa and Leiah get so excited about doing 'cleaning chores'. Basically they equate that with getting to use the spray bottle :) Unfortunately Leiah sprayed herself in the eyes :(

Anyways, you all are right, I probably am way too hard on myself. All I can see is what I'm not doing or where I am lacking. I let the cares of the world choke out the Word sometimes because I feel so busy and don't enjoy the process.

I started this post yesterday, but it never got finished. Anyways, I realize that my own attitude yesterday was grouchy and just plain ole stinky. Honestly, what do I have to complain about? I have a nice home, plenty of food, a nice car, time saving appliances, lots of extras, a loving husband and beautiful girls. Not to mention I know the Lord intimately- thank God! I am so so thankful I am not lost.

Anyways, somehow I have got to figure out how to be joyful and kind when I don't feel like it. My feelings control too much of how I act. I am being selfish. I'm going to have to learn to recognize when my flesh is kicking in and how to stop it.

I have lots to blog about soon- the upcoming plans my husband and I have to become less dependent on the store, how we are building up our health, clarification of that saying I hate- "God won't give you more than you can handle". That one- got new insight.

And I want to report that I truly am a southern girl- yesterday for dinner I made fried chicken (in the oven) with gravy, fried yellow squash, rice for the gravy (I know, no biscuits or mashed taters) and homegrown tomato-basil salad. That's not southern either, but the fresh tomatoes at every meal is. LOL.

July 14, 2008

50,000 Hits

I finally hit the mark! Wow, that's a lot of hits since I started this blog. In fact, I had the blog for a few months before I put the counter on it anyways. I've only been blogging for a year! I'm so glad to have 'met' everyone that visits. That's what makes blogging fun.

Today has been terrible. We had a busy weekend, much staying up late and getting up early, hard work and junk food and irritableness...this morning just didn't go well at all. I haven't been feeling well either, mostly due to lack of sleep and too much caffeine/sugar. My gut is a little troubled :)

Anyways, things are better now, we are all about to take naps, well, Leiah is already asleep on the couch. I will add more later as I can to make it more interesting :)

July 11, 2008

Raw Milk

The other day I revisited the website www.realmilk.com. It's related to the Weston A. Price foundation and helps locate farmers who sell raw milk straight from the source- real milk. I stopped buying from the goat farm because it was quite expensive-$10 per gallon, and somehow they got mad at me and took me off the list. Oops. So I checked the website to see if anything new in my area had popped up and saw one for cow's milk nearby. I called the guy and a gallon of raw Jersey cow milk with no antibiotics or growth hormones is $5. That's how much I pay for pasteurized homogonized organic milk at the grocery store. And, I get cream with it. Cool huh?

I know that milk is a vital source of nutrients when it is high quality. Since my children are still little and my two year old drinks a lot of milk, it's important to me to feed them the best I can find. Plus I make kefir, the creme fraiche and may try yogurt again. Today my aunt and I are going to trek up there. I got cracked up because when I talked to the man, he told me to go into the barn where the refrigerator was, get out however much milk I wanted and put my money in the box on the table. Talk about trust! I do have to write my name and how much milk I got in a little book too, but this is east Texas for ya.

So I'm interested to see how it tastes and how the kefir does in it and finally, I get to try making butter. I know homemade butter doesn't keep as long, but we eat it pretty fast. Anyways, you know me, I have to try my hand at making everything. The Little House wannabe mom :)

Have a good Friday- hopefully dh and I will get to go on a date tonight. We are going to have to do it cheaply, so we're trying to think of what we can do. We haven't been out alone together since our anniversary in April!

I managed to get most of my weekly work done, but I do want to mop the floors and finish up the laundry today, then run errands and such. Busy day ahead, as usual :)

Happy Friday everyone!

July 10, 2008

More discussing

I am really touched by everyone's encouraging thoughts and prayers for sure :) Thanks. I thought I would address a few comments for further discussion.

To Kelly- thanks for finally commenting :) You are amazing to have almost 6 children and a special needs one. Special children are just that- special- yet they come with their own different problems or issues I guess to deal with. Leiah is pretty much always happy and smiling, very compliant, although she is starting to buck up a bit but that's actually a good thing, showing that she is growing in her development normally. Blessings on your pregnancy.

To Lori (Michigan Momma)- You amaze me too, knowing what you go through and that you still desire many children. Homeschooling and pastor's wife and children's music person and 4 little ones. YES GIRLS ARE TOUGH!!!!!! I had no idea! I know I put it bluntly about the gutted fish comment, but I went through a process and really feel like I was robbed of something. With Leiah, there was no choice. She could not have survived a vaginal birth and I am thankful we did the surgery. That was the worst one. With Alexa though, the doctor really pushed me and scared me into it. I later learned more info and SO regret not seeking out a midwife and going that route. See now, more doctors and hospitals are paranoid and fear lawsuits so you can't even find a hospital or doctor that will 'allow' a trial of labor. That ain't right. With Sarah I had found a doctor that would allow me a trial of labor, and then at the last minute she said 'Oh, I will only let you go to 40 weeks before we have to intervene, and oh by the way, I am going out of town, so if you get another doctor he will do a c-section." Kinda put me in a hard place. I did change my OB doctors a few times as well.

I will say that the last birth went very well- the best experience by far- but, I was never able to nurse well and that really bothers me. My girls are healthy and were raised on formula, but I still wish I could have done the breastfeeding thing. I was just in so much pain from the incision and bleeding boobs that I couldn't deal with it. Plus with Leiah, she was so weak she couldn't latch on, so I pumped. With the other two I had other children to deal with and having never successfully breastfed before, I was stuck. What's a mama to do? That is why the hospital sends a can of formula home in the pretty little diaper bag- they know. LOL!

Sarah- we do what you do for the same reasons and because hormonal birth control really affects my body badly. I would feel quite bad knowing my eggs were being fertilized and basically aborted because there was nothing to attach to. That was what the Mirena IUD was doing, which I had for 18 months. The doctor actually told me- you are using birth control that is more effective than a tubal. Your uterus is like the Sahara Desert right now. Yeah, and why would I want it to be like that?? That's not healthy.

Lori- this is the main reason why we hesitate about something permanent. What if in a few years we decide to abandon all birth control to have more babies and can't? I am 26 and am already missing my babies because they are growing up. I miss cradling a newborn on my chest, their soft downy head next to my cheek and their sweet baby smell.

I am thinking a year from now we will more than likely start talking baby :) I will have the baby bug for sure by then and we should have everyone potty trained. But, you never know, we may get that 'closed door' feeling in the next year and not want another. The most important thing is that we desire to do the Lord's will, whatever it is. We don't make this choice for selfish reasons. Hey, I totally have faith that my uterus is whole and healthy as if it had never been cut before. God can do that and I believe He already has. Trouble is it's hard to convince a doctor or midwife that. :)

Anyways, that's all I have time for at the moment. Thanks again for the encouraging words and prayers. How wonderful to know that even though I've never met you, the body of Christ still comes together and supports fellow believers.

Oh, the waterpark went well. I wasn't sure little Sarah would make it- she's pretty insistent on that three hour afternoon nap. She laid on a beach chair for a little bit, then got back in the wave pool. We got slight sunburns even though we used SPF 50 sunscreen! A summer in Texas will cure you of liking summer. Lord thank you it's about half over! Isn't that sad?

Birth Control thoughts

There have been lots of great comments. Thanks everyone. We all seem to have had different experiences in this area. I talked with my husband about it last night. He feels like I do- we wish we could let go of control. But, the main thing for him is my health and making sure we can tend to Leiah. Sarah has already passed her up in speech and cognitive skills. Leiah is like a two year old in many ways- that's three YEARS behind in development.

He's(dh) just not convinced that the Bible says we should leave it to God. I personally think that some are called to it and some aren't. I feel sad for the way things have gone- I've never really birthed any of my children I was just gutted like a fish. All my birth experiences are bad because there's nothing positive about cesarean. Well, you see your baby fast. I can't think of any reason why a c-section is better than vaginal birth in non-emergency situations. I've never been in labor, so I can't compare pain, but major surgery is darn painful. It makes me want to hurl just thinking about it. I mean really, you lay there knowing you are cut wide open, yet you can't feel it. You can barely feel yourself breathe, which made me panic the first time, and afterwards you can hear the staple gun stapling yourself back together. It's freaky and I get nervous talking about it. Plus my incision sites reopened with the second and third birth. Nice.

It seems that most people with the quiverful conviction have not had cesarean births and/or do not have special children. Or the special child was born after several 'normal' children and wasn't the oldest. Makes a big difference. I was on the quiverful digest for years, still am, just haven't gotten any in a long time actually. I'm a wannabe in that area :) I have to be content with what I have and be thankful that I have strong healthy children. It could sure be a lot worse- I get reminded of that every time I go to the therapy place.

Anyways, we still aren't sure if dh will go for the vasectomy or if we will just continue with our current method, but even more carefully LOL. Don't wanna go through another week like last week. ( our current method uses a common item you find in the drugstore or grocery store- they come in 12 packs, ha,ha, for anyone who hasn't figured out what I'm talking about yet)

Well, gotta go.

July 9, 2008

What do you think?

Since I opened up the topic of fertility I thought I would make another post regarding everyone's views on the subject.

I had never before heard of letting God plan your family until after my second daughter was born. When I was engaged, it was just understood that you go to the OB/GYN for your exam and come out with the script for birth control pills. I was on those about 9 months and then we decided to start trying for a baby. She took 3-4 months. Well, since it took a bit to have her, we figured we 'had some time' before we had to get serious about birth control again.

Nope. When she was three months old we conceived our second child. Now, this is actually a good scenario since they were both girls and I already had everything etc. But, in our special case, I had a c-section with Leiah, never labored, and she had problems. Well, my doctor scared me into another repeat c-section with the second one. So now I was stuck- no doctor would ever let me birth naturally.

When Alexa was about 10 months old I saw she was getting older and my baby wouldn't be around any more. I wanted to get pregnant again and my husband was soooooo against it. I found out about being 'quiverfull' and jumped on that. He did not and we disagreed, me thinking I was more spiritual because I trusted the Lord. Dh didn't know what to think/do so he followed me grudgingly. I got pregnant like that day! He was unhappy and I was very unhealthy. (second baby wasn't a year old yet) We lost that baby- what a blow.

Slowly I started to realize the error of my ways in trying to be the leader in the home and was still on the fence about birth control. About 6-7 months later, even though we were preventing pregnancy, I conceived Sarah. I did better in that pregnancy because I had learned a lot about health and nutrition. Yea. By the time she was born I wanted birth control badly. Life was so hard. Leiah was needing more and more medical care and attention than I could give, Alexa was 2 and a terror and I had a newborn. I wanted to get sterilized then!

But now, I've grown up a lot, and learned how to work really hard and gotten my health back. My girls are older and a bit more of a help to me. We have a plan for Leiah and things are working better in that area. But, there's the big thing here. I've had three c-sections and a surgical procedure with the miscarriage. Never been in labor-ever. I also have O negative blood and have to get special shots during the pregnancy and after birth. I am already overweight and have lots of medical debt.

My options are: keep going to the OB and have c-sections and rack up more debt
Search high and low for an adventurous midwife who will take me on (didn't work the last two times I was pregnant)
Do it myself

Also, my parents are a GREAT help to me- so so so much, I am so thankful. But they see it as irresponsible to keep having babies in our situation. They know how frustrated and stressed we get; how stressful Matt's job is, our special daughter, my health, lack of money etc. etc.

So, there it is. I would LOVE to leave it in His hands. Honestly. It would make everything a lot easier. Nowhere in the Bible does it literally say 'God won't give you more than you can handle.' I HATE this saying. So many people have said that to me and it just ticked me off. They haven't walked in my shoes. My husband and I are healthy and blessed to be able to conceive easily. That truly is a blessing and I'm thankful. I like to be pregnant, after the morning sickness stage. I love feeling the baby kick and move and watch my belly grow and eat lots of milk and eggs :)

We just need to seek the Lord on this and I can't go against my husband. He is so not sold on leaving it up to the Lord, LOL. So, if anyone wants to comment, go for it. The subject is open.
I have noticed that my dishes don't 'feel' as clean with the homemade dishwasher detergent. I do not have a rinse aid and can't put vinegar in it to see if that would help. So I broke down and bought dishwasher gel last night. I did buy the 'natural' kind, can't remember what brand it is but it's only $2.97 at walmart. I also bought laundry detergent. I am glad to know how to make these things if needed, but if we can afford it I will buy it. I just used up the last of my homemade, so it lasted around 6 weeks or so- perty good huh?

My girls are bouncing off the walls because they are so excited about the waterpark. I haven't been to one since I was pregnant with Alexa. (4.5 years ago) I am excited because they have never been to one and they are finally old enough to really enjoy it. I will try to take some pictures, but my digital camera ain't waterproof, so...poor hubby has to work today :( I made him feel better by writing lots of encouraging and loving things on sticky notes and putting them all on his clothes in the closet, on his computer, in his bathroom area etc. He was surprised :)

See yall later!

July 8, 2008

Rye 'n' Injun

" In the pantry Mother was filling the six quart pan with boiled beans...Then ALmanzo saw her open the flour barrels. she flung in rye flour and cornmeal into the big yellow crock, and stirred in milk and eggs and things, and poured the big baking pan full of yellow gray rye'n'injun dough."

How interesting does that sound? It is from the book Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have wanted to test that one out for awhile, but could never find a good recipe. Since I checked out the Little House cookbook I found it has the recipe in it. I wanted to do it today but forgot I was out of eggs. Will try later. Here is the recipe for anyone interested.

For six ample servings:
Drippings for greasing
cornmeal, 1.5 cups
rye flour, 1.2 cups
baking soda 2 t
salt, 1t
2 eggs
1 cup cultured buttermilk
dark molasses, 3/4 cup

Arrange two racks in the oven. On the lower one place one of the baking pans and fill it with hot tap water. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Generously grease the other pan with drippings. (from bacon)
In the larger bowl mix well the cornmeal, rye flour, soda, and salt. In the smaller bowl beat the eggs; stir in the buttermilk, then the molasses. Pour liquid into dry ingredients and stir just until they are moistened. Do not beat. Pour batter into greased pan and smooth out. cover with a baking sheet. Place on the upper oven rack directly above the water. Bake for about 12 hours (it will be ready to eat after 4 hours but oldtimers seemed to feel the longer the better).

Today has been quite busy as well and tomorrow we are going to a waterpark- so it will be late if I post at all tomorrow. Summer time, summer time.

July 7, 2008

Roller coaster of emotions

I feel like I've really neglected my blog the last week. I'll tell you why. Remember how I posted about female things and that I was expecting my monthly friend? Well, it didn't come as expected. I was freaked out until this morning that we were having another baby.

My emotions cycled from terrified to ok to happy to terrified. For like 6 days this went on. We are trying to prevent pregnancy, but we know it's not 100% reliable. We are so uncertain as to what we should do- my parents want us to permanently cut our fertility off, but we don't know if we're ready for that. We want a little boy, so another baby is probably in the future, but it's just so complicated. My husband is almost 37 and I'm 26, so we're still young :)

So my thoughts and heart were all consumed with all of that and I couldn't really focus on much else. I'm a little disappointed, because I had just settled that I was pregnant and that the tests weren't picking up the hcG hormone yet. But, I am perfectly fine with not being pregnant :)

Well anyways, so that's what was going on. Today has been really busy and not going how I had planned so I must go for now.

July 5, 2008

Frugal Meals- for summer

The other night I hadn't really planned our dinner and it was getting late and very hot so I made tuna casserole salad, I guess it's called.

1lb elbow macaroni, preferably whole wheat
1-2 cans of tuna, not the jumbo size
2 stalks celery chopped
1/2 small onion chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1t dijon or yellow mustard
1 T vinegar
1 heaping T of pickle relish, I used sweet
salt and pepper

Cook the macaroni until soft, but still slightly chewy, al dente as they say. Drain the pasta and rinse cold water over it. In a large bowl mix the mayo, mustard, vinegar and pickle relish until combined well. Add salt and pepper and taste. Add more if needed. Open tuna and drain- I just used one can this time, but you can certainly add more depending on how tuna-y you want it. Mix everything together well, sprinkle the top with paprika and chill.

I served it was frozen sweet peas and carrots that I cooked in the microwave and buttered and a fruit salad. I had lots of fresh seasonal fruit so I chopped it up and made a dressing.

I drained one large can of pineapple chunks and one large can of mandarin oranges. I put the juice in a saucepan, added 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water. Whisk in 1 T flour and cook over medium heat till thickened. Be sure to watch the pot- mine overflowed and I had burnt sugar on my burners!!! It's hard to clean!

After it thickens a bit, remove from heat and let cool. Then pour over fruit and chill. I had chopped a peach and green apple in bite size chunks, sliced strawberries then added fresh blueberries and the chunks of pineapple. Very good.

July 3, 2008

Not much happening

I have been avoiding the computer today. I'm not sure why, I just wanted to focus on other things, one of which was to sew a shade I've been needing to do forever. I had to ditch that project, I will do curtains instead. I am terrible at straight lines/seams!

I have also been in a bit of emotional turmoil, more about that later, and I just couldn't settle down to the computer/blog. I read my Bible and drank tea instead :) My dear husband gets tomorrow off of work and we have lots to do so I may not be around this weekend. We've already spent this whole evening outside lighting firecrackers and getting eaten by mosquitoes. We did get to see some fireflies/lightening bugs- haven't seen those in a long time!

Anyways, tomorrow I am going to get up early and head to the store to grab a few things, then come home and make bread and help the girls make patriotic t-shirts to wear to our 'party' tomorrow night. We were invited to Sky Ranch, a Christian camp that is huge and my brother-in-law works for, and they have a big cookout, games for kids and a HUMONGOUS firework display over the lake. Our kids will probably freak out so we will get in the car and drive off a little ways so it won't be so loud, LOL. I am bringing a smore type of dessert and they provide the rest of the food.

Anyways, time to go for now.

July 2, 2008

great book

I got this book from the library yesterday.
I want to own it. I LOVE it! Of course I love all the Little House books, which I do own, but I love to cook and read about cooking. Historical cooking is my favorite. Plus, the author gives lots of background information about cooking during the time period that Laura Ingalls was a child and what a kitchen would have been like. The recipes are very simple and generally hardy. Except for the recipe for salt rising bread- that one looks complicated.

I plan on making the chicken pie, with bone in chicken and a fluffy top crust, the rye-n-injun bread and some others. I will post those recipes later as I have time. Been gone running errands today, again, and need to tend to some homemaker things :)

July 1, 2008

A Female Post,plus other stuff

Well, it's nearing that time of the month again.

Thankfully, I guess because of how I am eating, I hardly have any PMS anymore. I don't get cramps or headaches or bloating and the period only lasts 3-4 days instead of 7! This is great.

However, I get really tired. The last couple of days I've not been able to get myself awake hardly. I also get rather, testy. For no reason at all I seem to get angry or stressed or depressed. I know I know, hormones.

Still, I would like to avoid this altogether. One thing I haven't done in awhile, which does help, is drink red raspberry leaf tea just before and during the period. I keep forgetting. I'm sure if I would add some more herbs like red clover or nettle that would help me not be so tired. Anyways, how do you all deal with the unusual crankiness? Especially towards children/spouses.

Also, I am trying to figure something out. How does a parent help a child to be thankful and content? My youngest daughters aren't doing well with that. Today instead of speech in another town (we moved it to tomorrow) I took them to the library, the park and then the store to get some items and let them pick out their lunch. (fish sticks and french fries) The younger two were so demanding and ungrateful; whining and crying because I wouldn't let them do everything they wanted etc. I am trying to show a good attitude in the home, but they seem to have this idea that they deserve these nice things or that I owe it to them. Maybe that's not an accurate description but it's be best I could come up with.

How does one teach a thankful heart? I am thankful, but somehow it's not getting across. Is it a maturity thing? Every morning they are so irritating (amongst themselves) and bicker and do not get along!! How do I teach them to get along?! How do I teach them to enjoy each other?