December 30, 2008

Things are better

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 29, 2008

A brand new day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I plan on posting about in the near future:

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

nutrition- both for pregnancy and the whole family

simple and nutritious meals/menus

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

more on faith and words

intensive child training :)

my increasing knowledge of herbs and natural healing

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

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

December 28, 2008

Nothing much

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 26, 2008

On the mend

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

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

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

December 25, 2008

A very un-Merry Christmas

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

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

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

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

Bah humbug!

December 22, 2008

Plans changed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 19, 2008

The Rush is on!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


December 18, 2008

Let the Cat out of the bag....

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

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

Very tired at bedtime

sensitive to smells

sore um, bosoms

NOT moody- no PMS

weird stomach feelings

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

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

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

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

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

December 17, 2008

Shopping trip that wasn't

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

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

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

December 16, 2008

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

How lovely are your branches.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

How lovely are your branches.

Not only in the summertime

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

How lovely are your branches.

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

Some pictures of our decked out halls :)

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

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

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

The Nativity 'shelf'.

Where we eat.

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

December 15, 2008

Elf Yourself

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer sausage from the store.

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

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

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

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

Homemade cranberry sauce, instead of lingonberries

some other vegetable, like green peas or something for color

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

Christmas cookies, other sweets and coffee

Homemade eggnog and spiced wine

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

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

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

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

December 12, 2008

Cute hair bows

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

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 10, 2008


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

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

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

3 packages of markers and crayons
drawing paper

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

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

December 9, 2008

Homemade Gifts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lavender Bath Salts


1 c. rock salt or sea salt

(You can find sea salt at your

local grocery store)

1/2 c. Epsom salt

2 T. baking soda

10 drops lavender oil


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

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

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

December 8, 2008

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

December 5, 2008

What to do when the world is falling down

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 2, 2008

Plans for December

The December whirlwind!

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

Next week we have a work Christmas Party.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Christmas planning!

December 1, 2008

Tour of my Palace

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

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

Living/sitting area:

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

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

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

The eating area, which I love!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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