May 31, 2009

May 29, 2009

Some baby news

Yesterday I went for my doctor appointment. I got my rhogham shot and did the gestational diabetes test, yippee. We also did another ultrasound and I was able to see the baby's face really well- very cute :) It is definitely another little girl and she likes to stay in a breech position. That explains why my bladder gets a workout, it's her own personal trampoline :) She is measuring around 2lbs 9 oz at 28 weeks, so that makes me feel good. We had growth issues with the first one, so it's always reassuring to know baby is growing well. I have finally gained a few pounds, which I'm trying to be ok with :) We also scheduled a cesarean for August 11th, however it could change if we need it to. I start going to the doctor every two weeks now...

So, I finally got some input from my husband, and we have narrowed down some names. We both like Samantha, which my dad and grandfather's name was Samuel. I think Abigail is cute for a middle name, Samantha Abigail.

I really like Callista Faith. Callista means 'most beautiful' and for a cute nickname we could call her Callie.

Matt likes the name Christiana, kind of a mouthful, but his mom found an ancestor of theirs with that name from the 1700s, and he thinks that's neat :) Christiana Faith is pretty.

So, maybe we'll decide soon. Men are hard to pin down on stuff like this! I've been up since before 5am. Not by choice, just woke up, then I get hungry, then baby starts moving a lot...might as well get up huh? Hmm, I hear children already and it's not even 6:30 yet. Guess it's time to get moving :)

May 27, 2009

Staying at Home

I don't normally watch reality shows or any weekly show (except LOST). I rarely sit and watch TV except sometimes at night. (DVR is great!) However, last Friday there was a 'Jon and Kate plus 8' marathon starting from the very first show. I remember watching that first show a few years back, when the sextuplets were 1.5 years old. For anyone not familiar with the family, they had a set of twins and then a few years later had a set of sextuplets.

Anyways, so I watched a few episodes and had noticed the tabloids about the alleged affair between the husband and a lady friend. After watching approximately 6 of the shows total, I honestly thought it was just a complete hoax and that all was well. They get frustrated yes, but it was obvious they were a team and did love each other.

I was very saddened to find out it was not. This couple is basically divorced, less than 1 year after they renewed their vows on TV and pledged they would be together forever. Wow it just makes me ill. Now, according to Kate, she just cannot figure out what is going on with Jon, who says he did not cheat but is obviously having a hard time with life in general. She is very angry and doesn't get what happened.

Well, let me tell ya, I figured it out. For one, it is very obvious that she is controlling by nature, a type A personality and go getter. Jon is easy going and laid back and not a leader type. They get stressed at each other, very understandably, since no one can really imagine what it must be like to take care of 8 kids that young. (who are 5 years old now) However, she is very harsh and critical with him lots of times in public, which is just DEVASTATING to a man. She claims she doesn't notice other people around etc. Whatever. I can hardly bear to watch it when she is so tactless and rude to her own husband.

Jon is sick of the show. He is tired of being in the public eye and having his photos taken and being tracked everywhere he goes. The man is DONE. Yet, for whatever reason, they keep going. Truthfully, I lost interest once the kids got past potty training- the baby stage was more entertaining to me.

Here's the other thing. Kate wrote a book. She is on a tour promoting this book for a good chunk of time and also has some speaking engagements to encourage moms. Her husband quit his job and stays home with the kids with help from a babysitter. Hmmm... something wrong with this picture. I think many of us understand the innate need in a man to provide for their families, to be respected, to be the leader even if they aren't naturally gifted at leading. Men were not designed to be mommies, and they will not function as well being a stay at home dad long term.

What happened to the lovey dovey couple pledging endless love to each other, who now won't even look at each other in the face?

I think I know. Kate bought the lie. She got sucked into the idea that she could have it all- family and career and successful marriage. It seems sort of obvious that nothing Jon does is good enough in her eyes as well. She probably got tired of the day in and day out of caring and cleaning and feeding and cooking etc. and when offered this 'job', she and Jon thought it would be a great opportunity for her to 'get out once in awhile'. But then, it took over their life. The show itself has run its course- children are 5, time to cut it loose. You can tell such a difference in her countenance and demeanor over the years, from the first show to the most current. She goes from a soft, motherly look and focused on the babies to very harsh, power driven, scary hair with a mission.

Poor things. I pray God brings someone to Kate to show her a true picture of God's design for marriage and family, before it's too late. I pray that they can forgive each other and have renewed love in their hearts for each other. It's obvious what needs to happen- Jon goes back to work, stop taping the show, stop the book tour, relearn how to see her husband and accept him as he is. Show compassion, gentleness and love. She can't do it by herself, which I think they are Christians, although I doubt the seriousness of their faith at this point. She has the power to change the situation and I believe that ultimately, the breakdown in their relationship is her fault. Of course I don't know them, but I know enough. I'm a meanie I know, but that's my objective opinion.

So all that to say, sometimes the deceiver tries to pull one on me too. He tries to make me think that the grass is greener on the other side; life would be better or easier if this or that; I'm not important or valuable or interesting; my brain isn't getting used, I'm not special, my husband wants someone else etc.

All lies, from the father of lies. When that stuff hits, I try to think back when generally all women stayed home. Could you say that they didn't have a purpose? That their lives weren't productive or useful? No way. How I wish I could have a group of those ladies over and just pick their brains for a day! I'm sure I'd hear some great stories.

Do you take joy in being a homemaker? Many times I don't. I get caught up in what I didn't get done or how quickly something I cleaned gets dirtied etc. I get tired of being inside of the same walls everyday with no other adults. But, the alternative is not appealing either. I am glad I have the choice to be at home. I just cannot imagine trying to get all my children out the door to daycare and go to work all day, then come home and do all the house duties, without being pregnant! How much more so when you are?? Kudos to those who must work.

I can honestly say that there is nothing I would rather 'be'. I have no desire to go back to college or have a career. I do take joy in many things that I do each day- I enjoy having a clean, orderly home, plenty of food and the knowledge that I am doing my best to care for our family. We aren't perfect, but I am happy with what I can accomplish at this point in my life.

Anyways, just curious, I am contemplating buying a memory stick for my camera so I can take longer videos. Would anyone be interested in watching a video of me doing something homemaker-y?? Suggestions? (cooking, home tour...) I've really enjoyed Candy's and DeNiece's videos- it really makes me feel like I'm right there. (of course I know Candy personally which makes a difference)

May 26, 2009


If you look at my ticker up there you can see I'm in the third trimester now. Wow! I still have a hard time believing I'm actually pregnant again. I just really didn't think it would happen again because we were too scared to plan it. God helped us out I suppose.

So I now have less than 12 weeks before we have a family of 6. This Thursday I have to do the lovely 1 hour glucose test for gestational diabetes- yack! Plus I have to get a RhoGham shot since I have O negative blood and dh has positive. We are also going to do a very detailed sonogram, which is good, because since the last one I've had a very hard time convincing people it's not a boy. Sheesh. Then, it's back to the doc every two weeks now!

I have a new set of names. I abandoned the criteria of it has to end in an 'a' and it has to start with a different letter than my girls' names. It just got boring. Here are some new ones I like:

Callista- Callie

I still like Makayla and Brylee too...kind of a neat name would be Christina Evangeline- it means
"follower of Christ" "Messenger of Good News". And 'Brylee Faith' would mean 'courageous faith'...

Anyways, in other news (ha,ha) we have changed our minds about the house we picked. Sure we could probably afford it, but we feel it's best to live below our means so we can continue to get rid of debts. Plus, that house was well off the beaten path and when in the world is my husband going to be able to keep up 5 acres of land?? There was another home, manufactured but very nice, sort of in the country but next to other houses that we really liked. We're going to take a second look tonight. Plus it's only a mile from the school and town and our church.

It's time for me to buckle down and figure out what I need to be doing to prepare for moving again. Regardless of when we move, there are things I can work on now, though I dread it. I'm in the middle of sewing some dresses and the regular upkeep of the home etc. but I'm going to have to work in sorting and packing. I hate to strip the house of anything decorative because we still have to live here, but I'm just gonna have to do it.

One more thing, I have another recipe to share, but I forgot to take pictures before we ate it. I tried something called 'blender batter waffles' in which you grind up whole grains with buttermilk in the blender, allow to sit overnight, then add the rest of the ingredients and reblend. There's no flour in it and it's a way to use whole grains without a mill. They turned out really well. I used 1 cup of oats and 1/2 cup of millet. They come out light and crispy and we topped them with berries and syrup. If you click on the link to the left called 'Sue Gregg' she has the recipe on her site with picture directions. She has a cookbook with lots of other blender batter recipes too...I might invest in that one.

Well, time to get crackin. I need to do some cleaning, laundry, menu planning and sewing...busy weekend, busy week, as usual :)

May 25, 2009

Iced Punkin' Cookies

These were just fabulous if I do say so myself, and I even altered the ingredients. The 'cookies' are more like cake in texture, however the dough retains its shape, so it isn't going to spread out on the cookie sheet. I used a 2T sized ice cream scoop to portion mine out.

Pumpkin Cookies

2.5 cups flour- I used 1 cup unbleached all purpose and 1.5 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1.5 cups sugar (I used 1/2 cup brown and 1/2 cup white)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup pumpkin, canned
1 large egg
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease baking sheets.

Combine all the dry ingredients and spices in a medium bowl. Cream together the butter and sugar until well blended and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. (this didn't really smooth out for me) Gradually beat in flour mixture, then drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool.

Now, the recipe calls for powdered sugar glaze, but I kicked it up a bit with buttercream. I didn't have a recipe, I just threw it together.

Vanilla Buttercream
1 stick of softened butter
Approx. 1 cup of powdered sugar
1 t vanilla or more depending on preference
2-3 T milk

Just beat the butter until creamy, add sugar in small bits, like 1/4 cup at a time. Add extract and watch for the texture to be just right. I started with 1/2 cup sugar, but it wasn't enough so I added more, then it was dry, so I added some milk etc. Then I tasted it and when it was sweet, but not pure sugar, I stopped beating it. Spread on cooked cookies. Dee-lish!

I make an 'unhealthy' dessert about once a week or less, but this is partly whole grain and I reduced the sugar some, so it wasn't too awful. Not to mention I used real food ingredients instead of mixes. These were great with a glass of milk or coffee.

May 22, 2009

Let's talk potato salad

I really need to get some pictures of things up here. I'm just being lazy about it. For one, I must show off the most amazing pumpkin cookies I made- wow! They're like little cakes with their tops loaded with buttercream frosting. Next I need to show off the ultra girly dresses I am sewing for the kids- they are super excited about them too.

And last I wanted to talk about potato salad. Yes, potatoes.

Apparently, potato salad comes in various forms, and everyone seems to feel it needs to be done their way or the way their mamas made it. Now down here in the South, or at least in my part of it, potato salad is not chunky. It's like mashed potatoes almost.

My mom makes the best and it consists of: russet potatoes, cooked and smashed, mayo, mustard, sweet pickle relish, chopped onion and celery, chopped boiled eggs and the top MUST be dusted with paprika. I add a bit of apple cider vinegar and dried dill to mine.

Now my husband grew up on 'Yankee' potato salad. My mother-in-law has a specific art to it. First, you boil the potatoes whole in their skins till tender. Then you peel and dice them, leaving them in cubes. She uses mayo, diced celery and cucumber, boiled eggs and I'm not sure what else. It's been awhile since she made it around me.

One time she made hers and I made mine at the same meal. They were both tasty, but guess which one got eaten first....mine :) Hers looked prettier though.

Either way, I love potato salad and should make it more often. Just lazy at times. But today I made BIG bowl of it for tonight and tomorrow's dinner. My family loves it as well...I'll be sure to snap a picture before we dive into it...maybe...

So, how do you make your tater salad?

Are Women Born this way?

Go here to see the video.

May 21, 2009

Suzy Homemaker twists off

Interesting title huh?

Today was what I call a 'Suzy Homemaker Day', as in, I got a lot of typical housewife things done with the right attitude. I did a little bit of everything- some laundry, some ironing, some cleaning, some decluttering/organizing, some baking and some sewing. I even swept the outside patio and allowed the girls some water slide time. This morning I got up early enough to bake the pre-soaked baked oatmeal in time for Leiah to eat it before school, major accomplishment.

I organized my sewing stuff.

I sorted out more toys and located baby stuff I had forgotten about.

I ironed fabric and cut out a dress.

I then sewed half the dress.

I baked some pumpkin cake/cookies and even made buttercream icing to top it.

I tidied up and did the dishes etc. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Then, Suzy lost her patience. Children doing things that should make perfect sense to not do, houses that do not stay picked up, fighting children, she yells a little too much...then she wonders how much longer can she do this? I feel quite large right now- I'm trying to squeeze into a regular shirt right now because I can't seem to find any maternity t-shirts around here. My pubic bone hurts really bad and sometimes I can't walk too good. I'm just plain slow. My brain seems to have left the building or is shrouded in a fog. It's been over 6 months now of being pregnant and I'm kind of longing for my old self.

I have had the constant feeling of just 'hanging in space' somewhere because I know I'm moving. I've felt this way since we moved back to this house, simply because I knew it was just temporary. I have almost no pictures on the walls, no curtains in the living or bedroom, boxes of stuff stacked around and some bare rooms.

Everyday seems like such a battle. There are days that I wish so much my oldest was normal NOW! I know she is going to be, but I have to patiently stand on the Word of God, which can take time. Lately my middle daughter has really been pushing me with her attitudes and just doing things she's not supposed to. Then there's the whole school thing and needing to move fast and looking at houses and wondering what the bank will say etc...

My grandfather that I never knew used to say the phrase 'twist off' for losing it, or freaking out. So that's why I used it. Mom's patience is wearing t-h-i-n...I have a very low tolerance for lots of loud noises, not listening, not obeying, doing things very slowly...I am trying to not react before I lose my temper, but today has been difficult.

My poor husband has had a hard day as well and I'm sure will be worn out when he gets home too. So, I must vent here. But take heart, I know it's only a brief season. I'm almost out of the really hard 'in the trenches' stage, because some of my children are school aged, two are potty trained and can talk pretty well, they just get into it a lot. I break up a lot of fights during the day. They are usually about sharing.

Anyways, I'm just in a place of great pressure, and I know it won't be like this forever. As long as I stand strong in faith and persevere, God will come through and we will grow even stronger. Then we'll look back and see how He worked. Like stones of remembrance of God's power.

Well, time to feed the fam.

May 20, 2009

Ramble ramble

Thanks for all the well wishes on the house. I am slightly nervous about it, because it's higher priced than some others, but we can make a lower offer and see what happens. Oh, and to a commenter, of course we're going to have chickens! Maybe a cow, hadn't thought about goats though. We actually thought about getting a herd of cats to keep the field mice population down, lol. We lived way out in a pasture when we first got married, and we were always catching mice.

I am excited about the prospect of finally being 'home'. If we get this house though, I will need more furniture. We only have a small table in the kitchen, which we have outgrown, and the house has two dining areas. I would love a dining set with a hutch, but then I would need dishes to display, LOL. My children need big beds as well- been keeping my eye out for a good deal on bunk beds but so far haven't found anything great yet. My husband and I need some bedroom furniture as well, but God provides I know, so I'll just look forward to that.

It's really bugging me about the baby names. Why is it so hard to find the right one? Now I'm thinking of letting go of the names that end in 'A'. The only one my husband and I both like is Kayla. I think Kayla May is cute.

Some new ones I like:





Kathryn-always liked that one

I don't think I would name a child this, but Christabel means 'beautiful Christ follower'- neat huh?

Sorry all my posts are on the fluffy side lately. I've been really tired lately (out of vitamins) and just preoccupied with all the house stuff. For me I really like to be prepared. I am about to be in the third trimester and that doesn't afford a whole lot of time.

In 10-11 weeks, we need to be moved, have all baby items, have a name picked out, have everything ready for the school girls etc. Seeing as how it may be another two weeks before we can even make an offer on the house, and sometimes it takes 30 days or more to close...we're talking July to do the actual moving. And I want things set up- not living out of boxes. That means I'll be between 8-9 months of pregnancy, going to the doctor every week. And at the very least it will be 95+ degrees outside. My oldest has about two weeks of school left, so I'm trying to get some sewing completed during this time. When I have all three again, I don't know how I'll coordinate that exactly.

So, I should be packing now huh? At the least I should be collecting boxes...again. Any tips for more organized moving? You'd think I would be a pro at it by now, but it's always haphazard with us. Well, I'm rambling now. I need to eat breakfast and start the day.

Edited to add: Here is the dress I made. My pictures aren't the greatest, but it's blue with little white polka dots. I gathered the neckline to give it more interest since it's rather plain. I cut it out and sewed it in less than two hours.

My other pics are blurry, but here they are.

No makeup and wild hair today, er, curly hair. Now if I could just find some more lightweight fabric that doesn't cost a lot...

May 19, 2009

Found a house

We looked at some houses last night. There aren't a whole lot to choose from that are in our estimated price range and what we want, but there are a few. The first one was a manufactured home on 4 acres. The house was built in 2000 and there were fenced off areas where the people had cows and chickens etc.

Well, this house has 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, but it has taken a beating. Apparently the people have anywhere from 5-7 kids, several of them big boys, and they have worked that house over. The acreage is a big deal for this area, so they are pricing it right at $100,000. Um, no, sorry.

The second place was another manufactured home on 5 acres, built in 2002. It has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is very, very nice. It looks brand new, has the biggest bathtub I have ever seen, has a separate office, the biggest master closet I have ever seen, both a dining room and eat-in kitchen and two living areas! Not to mention a large fenced in area around the house, plus the rest of the land. My husband's jaw dropped when he saw a HUGE hot tub in the back, but we don't know if it goes with the house or not. That's his dream :) This house is over the $100,000 mark, but rightly so.

We've decided to make an offer on this one after we get our finances in order and speak with a bank. I would like to post the listing so all can see, but I'd rather wait until I have pictures of my own. There's a lot of information on the listing that I'd rather not disclose to the whole world :)

I made a whole dress for me yesterday! I unexpectedly came across a large piece of lightweight fabric in a pretty blue polka dot print. So I found my old maternity pattern that is A-line and very simple, cut it out, and sewed it up. The back is kind of large and poofy, but overall it works fine. I'll have to do a picture later. I have lots of sewing projects lined up in my head :) I want to make another dress or two for me, a church dress for each of the girls, at least 1-2 summer outfits for them, a baby quilt and layette, and start school clothes for next year. My daughters really enjoy wearing dresses, the frillier the better, so I want to make several multi-purpose jumpers for them to wear next year, plus whatever dresses I can whip up or find on sale.

The quilt I am planning will be like this one, just with different fabrics, but still pink and white. The important thing is cutting all the squares the SAME SIZE!!! I have some cute prints in mind to buy. Can't go wrong with pink and white for a baby girl.

Oh, and back to names. I was surprised that many picked Isabella. It's not my favorite but I don't hate it. I've always liked 'Eden' as well, but it doesn't have an 'a' at the end, which is what I wanted. Seems kind of wrong to break the trend. I also saw a new one, 'Julissa' a combo of Julie and Melissa. Kinda cute. I used to like 'Callista' too, but no one else did.

Well, keep 'voting' :)

May 18, 2009

Whirlwind Weekend

Sometimes the weekends are so packed with activities I'm glad to get back to the work week :) My children were so worn out-the sun was brightly shining in their room this morning and I still had to wake them up from a deep sleep! That is a rare thing around here.

Friday night we took the once in awhile trip to the store as a family to buy some birthday presents and just goofed around. We kept the kids up late running them around the house in hopes of tiring them out so that they might possibly sleep later than 6:30am the next day. Didn't work.

Saturday morning we went to look at some houses with a realtor, then to the park, then to a birthday party for my 85 year old grandmother :) The girls spent the majority of the day outside playing and filling their guts with chips, hamburgers, potato salad and super sweet birthday cake.

Sunday was church and boy was I dragging! After that we got ourselves suited up for a swimming birthday party for my nephew. However, as luck would have it, a cold front blew in and the high was only 75 degrees! Oh well, once you got in the water it wasn't too bad. The girls had a lot of fun and show promise in the swimming department. I am obviously going to need to purchase a maternity suit- mine barely came to my belly button. Then they loaded up on cheetos, cake and suckers. Sheesh.

When bedtime came around they went without a peep. Usually we have to discipline a few times every night for them getting up and playing, but not last night. I got up early this morning and even though I was wide awake then, guess I was still tired because after I made breakfast and got Leiah to school, I kept dozing off on the couch till 9am!

So, today I've been picking up the house, cleaning bathrooms and floors, working on laundry etc. Next I need to make some more kefir, do the dishes, fold some clothes, make dinner (because we're going to look at more houses tonight so I have to be prepared early) and work on my sewing projects. Maybe I'll get around to taking some pictures of the sewing. They are very simple and shouldn't take long to make.

Tomorrow I have the last meeting with the school, because we disagreed the last time. Not sure what will transpire- we will both stand by our decisions from the last one, so I don't see what there is to discuss. Other than that, I guess I should probably pack my house up again, but I don't really feel like it :)

So, a long post about nothing really. Kudos to you if you've read this far. Here are some possible names we have picked out for the baby. Feel free to vote on any you like:

First names and meanings

Kayla-Pure and Beloved
Makayla-Who is like God
Rebekah (my sister)-Bound
Johanna- God is gracious
Isabella, Bella for short-God is my Oath

Middle names:


I might add more later...

May 15, 2009

Some baking

Yesterday I decided I needed to make muffins...lots of them. I have been eyeing a recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet called Blackberry Sourdough muffins. They just sounded delicious and come to find out, they are! They are not a very sweet muffin, and I think they would be very good with some orange or lemon zest mixed in, but I liked them. The texture is dense and moist without being too heavy. If you want sweeter you could coat the berries in some sugar- I used half a bag of frozen mixed berries by the way.

Also I hadn't made homemade English muffins in awhile so I dug out my recipe and made some up-no whole wheat in these, but a nice treat. I don't cook mine on a griddle on the stovetop, I do them in the oven instead. And if you are wanting my recipe, let me know and I'll search for it again and type it up.

This is my birthday cake that dear husband made last week. Good job huh? I don't think he's ever baked a cake from scratch before- even the icing was homemade.

The past two nights I have not slept well- last night was because Miss Leiah got woke up and it's hard to get her back to sleep. I am looking forward to school being out and being able to sleep till 7am! I need it with the busy life that's coming soon :)

My agenda today: SEW! I cut out several outfits on Monday that need to be sewn, for the girls of course and out of scrap fabrics. I really want to sew them some new dress up dresses just for fun, but it seems I never have the get-up-and-go to get started. I have several other things to do and a busy weekend ahead too...Lord give me energy!

May 14, 2009

Reviving the Fire

Some of you may remember about this time last year my faith was on FIRE! I had gotten hold of some awesome teaching that just really made the reality of how faith works explode in me and my husband. We saw miracles happen a lot. We were on a mountaintop.

Then, in the fall of last year, things sort of dwindled. I don't know if it was because maybe we weren't continually feeding the fire like we should have, or if outside circumstances became too distracting or what. There were still amazing things happening and God was using us, but I would say that after Christmas, things seemed to really go downhill in that department.

I think we just allowed the thief to steal the Word through the cares of the world. I found out we were pregnant, some bad things were going on with our neighbors, we moved again, sicknesses etc. The sad part was I didn't really care at the time because I was so overwhelmed and didn't feel good. But I know what I'm supposed to do- do not let go and do not give up because it will come to pass when you stand. I've not wanted to seek God, though I know that's exactly what I need. I didn't even want to listen to some of my favorite ministers and teachings for encouragement. Pathetic.

What happened? Did the pressure just get turned up a lot and that's why we've crumbled a bit? Did we just try to coast on past experiences? Yeah, I think so, all of it. Well, I happened on to a minister named Jerry Savelle. The past two weeks he has been on the Believer's Voice of Victory broadcast teaching about his book called, get this,
"Called to Battle, Destined to Win."

Aha! Duh, I forgot that living in this world as a Christian is a battle, duh!! But, I also know that the battle is already won, it's just a matter of time before the unseen becomes manifested. Everything he has been saying is exactly what I needed to hear. For instance, he says that sometimes when we are standing in faith for something, say healing in the body, many times we will get to a point where it doesn't look like it's going to get better. The pressure will be even worse than before. What does this mean? It means that you are about to get the answer and because of that there is great tribulation on satan's part- the thing you are believing for is about to come to pass and he's mad because if you get this victory you will get stronger and be victorious next time. He loses ground and credibility in your life.

Oh, so that's why last week was from the pit of hell...I get it. The last couple of weeks I've been feeling like we're on the brink of something, like if we really press into God we'll see some amazing things, but if we don't we won't get the best of what He has for us. It's up to us to do what we ought.

Also, many times we're standing between the 'Amen' of our prayer about something and the victorious outcome and we're having a hard time. The pressure is on- the enemy will come and tell us we can't take anymore, God doesn't really care, this isn't going to work etc. What to do? Rekindle that fire.

For me, I can go back and listen to the teachings that first opened my eyes about this whole faith thing. I can sing praises to the Lord for what He has done, for God inhabits the praises of His people. For us, we finally needed to ask for outside support from our church family. Their is so much strength in the body, both in prayer and just support for each other. We got a special word from God to keep standing on the Word and He would hasten to perform it. So there, that settles it.

"Standing on the promises of Christ my king...standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior..." Yes, I do know some hymns, or parts of them :)

I highly encourage anyone to go over to the left hand sidebar and click on 'Kenneth Copeland Ministries' and watch this weeks and the week before broadcasts. They're only about 20 minutes long each and you can download them to MP3 players or realplayer and watch them at your convenience all for free! You will be encouraged and empowered. Everyone needs that!

May 13, 2009

A funny

I happened to think of some phrases I say on a daily basis, that would sound really foreign to many ears. I have to watch myself when typing here, because you may not get it. Here are some Texas-isms or whatever you want to call it that I generally say daily.

Yall- you all, everyone, everybody

Tear it up or tore it up- several meanings. It can pertain to food, "Mmm, I could tear some watermelon UP right now!" or "She tore out to the store." (going somewhere in hurry) "Hmmm, I better not eat that, I don't want to tear my stomach up." (don't want digestive problems)

Wore down or Wearing me down- really tired, exhausted, mentally stressed..."These kids are wearing me down." (emphasis on do-o-w-w-n) "Man, I am wore down from shopping."

Be back directly- I'll be back soon- "I'm going to town, be back directly."

I reckon- I agree

"Lit a shuck." or "Lit out"- went somewhere fast- "He lit a shuck to the outhouse." or "When she saw the coyote she lit out." Related to 'high-tailing it", as in, he high tailed it to the house.

Fixin' to- about to, going to..."I'm fixin-a cook dinner."

I can't think of anything else now...if I do I'll add to the list.

More on Food

The cookies turned out well. I just experimented on my own with a regular cookie recipe and things turned out. This is what I did:

I combined 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour and 1.5 cups rolled oats with about 3T buttermilk and enough water to make it into a slightly wet dough. Then I covered it and let it sit for 24 hours.

The next day, I creamed 2 sticks of butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar. (that was all I had- no natural sugar) Then I added about 1/4 cup honey, vanilla extract and 2 eggs. After those were blended up good I added 1t baking soda and 1/2t salt, then the flour/oat mixture.

This turned out to be rather wet, so I added about 1/2 cup unbleached flour, the chocolate chips and some chopped pecans. After it was done I chilled it for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 F, butter a sheet pan, and drop 1T dough for each cookie. Bake approx. 12+ minutes. I put them on the bottom rack for a few minutes as well to crisp them up a bit. The texture is slightly cakey, but they taste good. I like the slightly sour taste and it is plenty sweet.

This recipe would work well with almost anything you wanted to add- other nuts, dried fruit, other kinds of 'chips' like butterscotch, jam thumbprints, peanut butter although I'd use less butter if I added peanut butter.... Cookies seem to be rather forgiving.

Today is shopping day. I revamped our menus yesterday to be similar to this one for summer. I liked how she did it and this is what I did.

Sunday is always leftovers or something fast like canned tomato soup or eggs.
Monday- soup and sandwiches
Tuesday-fish, generally a casserole or patties, however this recipe looks good
Wednesday- Italian
Friday- 'fun' or homemade 'junk food' like pizza and brownies
Saturday- grill

I had to finish out our menu for the week according to what I already bought, but the new one will start next week. Just to give you an idea of how you can cooking 'traditionally' yet normally, today we're eating chili cheese dogs and chips. I will make the chili with ground turkey (we just like it) and plan to buy some good quality potato chips like Cape Cod brand that aren't cooked in hydrogenated vegetable oils. The hot dogs and buns will be regular ones from the store as I can't make it to the health food store today.

Thursday- chili-mac and salad (same chili, add beans and macaroni)
Friday- roasted veggie sandwiches and oven fries, apple crisp
Saturday- Southwest grilled chicken salads
Sunday- you know
Monday- garden veggie chowder, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
Tuesday- fish cakes, baked potatoes, salad
Wednesday- baked ziti, salad, garlic bread
Thursday-fajitas and sides
Friday-sloppy joe and oven fries
Saturday-bbq chicken, potato salad, corn on cob

Anyways, for some reason menu planning has been really hard for me lately. My brain just completely goes blank, yet I know I have to plan it out or I'll be really stuck. I need to try to double some recipes so I can freeze them for the future, so I'm trying to work that in plus just simplifying and utilizing the grill if possible. Then, it has to be healthy and pleasing to all, as well as meet my own nutritional requirements!

So, hopefully this helps anyone out there needing some ideas. Breakfasts and lunches are generally the same and not too interesting.

Oh, and yes I know I keep promising to take pictures of my home management system and still haven't. I was sooo tired yesterday and I needed to watch my sister's kids for awhile so she could go to the doctor, so, it got put off again with 6 children here :) I'll get it someday!

May 12, 2009

How we eat

I got to thinking that there may be a group of people that read this blog that have no idea what I'm talking about in regard to my food preparation practices. Just after my 3 year old was born, I bought a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. This is a huge, Bible-like book and is written based on the research of Dr. Weston A. Price. You can read more about him here.

Now it seems to be all over- so many of the blogs and websites I read have lots of information about this way of eating. One of the best places to go and learn more about it is in the left sidebar under 'Websites I like'- The Nourishing Gourmet.

Nourishing Traditions seems daunting and confusing, but it is really up to the individual how to implement it. The basic premise of this book is eating in the way that our ancestors did, the traditional way. When looking back over history, you find that there had to be a way to preserve food without refrigeration. Many of these practices have been lost through, er, progress.

People used to ferment everything- vegetables, dairy, beverages and meats, and even bread. (sourdough) What we find is that this fermentation method actually makes the nutrients in the food much more digestible and available to the body for use. Plus they are loaded with the friendly immune boosting bacteria we have in our guts.

Also, there weren't refined flours, sugars or oils. In fact, people used to eat a lot of saturated fat. Only until the early part of the 20th century did heart disease become so rampant. This is when vegetable shortening came on the scene. Traditional fats from animals are actually good for you. People drank milk straight from the animal, no pasteurization or homogenizing. Most of the produce was organic. People made soup from the bones of animals and water. Bone broth is loaded with minerals and anti-oxidants.

Another less well known practice was to soak whole grains in an acid medium to neutralize something called phytates. Apparently these phytates in grains, when eaten, bind to the minerals and vitamins in the grain, and you can't absorb them. It just goes out with the waste. So when you read the label of something whole grain and it tells you how much of what vitamin is in there, you aren't actually going to get that in your body. Unless grains are prepared properly, they just won't break down. Same thing goes with legumes and nuts- gotta soak them to release the goodies. To me this is the hardest thing to do, because you have to think ahead.

So, how do we do this?

Well, back when I was consistenly living by these principles this is what I did. I made whole wheat sourdough bread- three loaves at once. I loved it, but the kids weren't overjoyed. I made sure to always soak our beans or sprout them, and soak our oatmeal for breakfast. We ate real butter, virgin coconut oil, the fat with our meats, some olive oil and whole raw milk. I made kefir, a cultured milk drink, yogurt, and kombucha, another cultured drink made from tea. I made fermented saurkraut and cucumbers. I made all the salad dressings homemade and we used natural sweeteners.

Things I did not do: buy organic, too expensive; I used whole wheat pasta from store; I used regular cheese and meat from the grocery store- no money for raw cheese and pastured meats; I used some unbleached flour for a few things and allowed things like graham crackers; sometimes I bought all natural peanut butter, but I bought regular too; I drank organic coffee and used real cream and white sugar to sweeten it, children drank juice from frozen concentrate.

So, it isn't all or nothing. Right now, I am doing most of the above things. I've been buying raw milk, raw honey, good eggs, soaking our grains, working on the sourdough, make the cultured drinks etc. I can now buy more organic because more is available and it's not much more expensive and we have a garden going now. But, I have a lot of processed stuff in my cupboards because it's easier for the morning rush of making lunches etc. But, it will go soon.

For instance, today my children ate the best quality oatmeal I can get, that had been soaked in water and buttermilk for almost 24hrs. This gives it a slightly sour taste, but is good to me. I topped it with raw honey, cinnamon and a slab of butter. Raw milk to drink.

Snacks were some cheese we bought in Wisconsin and some juice.

Lunch was homemade cheese sauce with tuna mixed in on top of whole wheat pasta and canned mandarin oranges. I baked some cookies this morning that I had soaked the dough yesterday. (experiment)

Later for snacks, since we're running low on some things, will be animal crackers etc. I will eat raw almonds and dried mixed berries and some more milk.

Dinner is creamy chicken soup (I have a large pot of chicken stock cooling) and unsoaked biscuits. (forgot)

I timed myself and it only took me about 5-10 minutes to get my grains soaking yesterday. Last night as soon as dinner was done I just plopped my chicken carcass into a stock pot, added half an onion and covered with water. I brought to a simmer, and covered it, and let it go on low all night.

It took about 15 minutes to make lunch- boiled the pasta, drained it, made the sauce in same pot, toss together. It's just about getting used to thinking ahead really.

We also take cod liver oil, kelp and probiotic pills as well.

So, that's how we do it. I could probably be much more stringent with the diet, but why? I feel comfortable with what I'm doing- it's a good compromise. Someday we'll have our own chickens and maybe a milk cow. Someday we'll grow large gardens I can freeze and can. But right now this is it.

And I don't flip out if the kids have to eat cereal in a hurry or get some candy. We do the best we can. God is our source and our sustenance overall.


I hit the 100,000 mark! I meant to catch it right when I hit it, but I didn't. I've had this blog for almost two years and in that time I've gotten over 100,000 hits. Amazing that I'm so interesting :)

I got everything done on my list yesterday plus some extra. Today I plan to take some pictures and post them later. I have to get woke up first- some friends dropped by late last night and I didn't want to get up this morning! But I just drank my coffee, so hopefully it will hit soon so I can get going.

Back later...

May 11, 2009

Monday again

I think from now on I will try to use Monday as a weekly plan post, just because I'm sure you are all so interested in my weekly duties :)

I had a great weekend- birthday and Mother's Day rolled into one- the weather was on the hot side, but we still spent 3 hours at the zoo, sweating it out. Thankfully snow cones were only 92 cents :) I was begging for one along with my kids :)

So, what's my plan for this week. For one, to make it better than last week! Gee wiz, life hit hard last week. Everyday there was some new attack.

"We are pressed but not crushed, persecuted not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. I am blessed beyond the curse for His promises endure and His joy is my strength." Romans? It's also a praise song.

Yesterday we voiced our issues to the church, and they all gathered around us, anointed us with oil and prayed. So now we have our whole church body standing with us on everything that is going on. We've been house hunting a lot, and have one to look at this week. It's a manufactured home that sits on 4 acres of pretty land, and apparently has 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. All for under $100,000 in a prime location. We'll see.

If possible, I will take pictures of my new home management system. I like to call it my 'Brain in a Box'. You can see where I got the idea for it here. My goals this week are to maintain the house- it's in fairly good shape or will be after today, work on some sewing projects and work on cleaning up our diet a bit. Let me tell ya, big health nut that I am, we have fallen off the wagon big HUGE time. What's even more amazing is that I didn't care! One day, Friday I think, I let my children eat- sugary cereal (with raw milk), boxed macaroni and cheese, red Kool-aid, Doritos, chocolate animal crackers, then I made soaked pinto beans and macaroni and cheese (with white flour pasta) for dinner. I had made coffee ice cream from raw milk and cream, but it didn't make in time for that night.

So, I did some brainstorming on healthy kid foods. It doesn't take that much time to make your own chicken nuggets and french fries if you plan ahead a little and utilize your oven. I can make homemade popsicles, pudding, soaked whole grain cookies etc. It's just keeping it in your mind! Maybe I'll start posting what I make for kids and how it rated with them. Just remind me!

I am proud of myself this morning though- I made myself eat a good breakfast for my baby. I fried a quality egg in coconut oil, ate some soaked oatmeal with raw honey, a slab of butter and cinnamon, and about 4 oz raw milk. I also had some organic coffee. I made just enough to fill me without getting too full. Most of the time I am not in the mood to eat early in the morning.

For lunch I plan to make tuna fish sandwiches and try to get myself to eat a salad too. Dinner is roasted chicken and vegetables and salad. So, I should get enough protein and fat. I have raw almonds, cheese and yogurt to snack on too, plus the milk. I am supposed to drink a quart of milk a day!! I'm not even close to that yet. But I want this baby to grow good- mine are always so tiny at birth- they don't usually make it to 7lbs. I am hoping to get one over 7lbs this time.

I also take cod liver oil, kelp, good vitamins and a probiotic.

Alright, my to do list for today is:

do my morning routine, or finish it, which is- get dressed, make beds and tidy room, swipe the bathroom sinks and toilets, unload dishwasher and clean up kitchen (after breakfast), vitamins, start laundry

fold some clothes I washed over the weekend

I need to vacuum the front room

Mop the kitchen

wipe down appliances in kitchen

pay some bills

start a new kefir batch

get some flour and oats soaking for tomorrow

And hopefully, if time I need to cut out a new pattern I bought for baby, isn't it CUTE!!!

I will definitely make the diaper shirts and dresses and will probably make the long sleeved gown for winter.

Well, that's long winded enough. One question, this baby doesn't move a whole lot. The last two day she hasn't been very active. Some days she is, but it bothers me that the movements are so irregular. Anyone else have not-very-active babies in utero??

May 9, 2009

Quick Post

Good day everyone. I woke up this morning to my husband and children bringing me flowers, cards and breakfast. Hubby sacrificed his sleep in day to bake me a cake too :) Hard to believe another year has gone by and now I'm 27. I know to a lot that is young, which I know, but that's three years away from 30, which used to seem so old to me!!!

I just wanted to clarify something, which I meant to do a few days ago and forgot. A lady named Sylvie left a comment kind of rebuking another person for their comment on my school choices. I guess it was implied that I would be offended. Well, I wasnt'. I completely understand that others would think, well, if that is going on that the public school than obviously get her out and homeschool her! I thought that to myself many times while sitting in those ridiculous meetings.

The fact is that deep down I do want to homeschool. It's just that with the present circumstances, it's not in the best interest of everyone. You gotta live in my shoes for a few days to get it. Here is the scenario:

My children are Leiah, age 6.5; Alexa age 5.5; Sarah is 3 and I'm 6 months pregnant with the 4th baby girl. I am due August 17th, which, would be very odd if she got here then since I've had c-sections. Likely it will be a week before that. My children are very, uh, spirited. They fight a lot and play rough like boys. They like to run and shout and tear stuff up and destroy, however, they are learning to calm down and help when it tell them too. Still, it's a daily battle :)

Ok, so, if I have a c-section there is a longer recovery time. I go home three days after surgery and am still on lots of pain pills/ gas meds etc. I will have my husband home that week. The next week, my mom may come over for a few days, but I still can't drive, vacuum, lift any of the other kids or something like a heavy laundry basket. I will have to take the baby to the pediatrician at some point so he can check her out. In the midst of all of this, I will be trying to learn how to breastfeed- it hasn't worked out the other three times.

So, traditionally school starts the last week of August here. I know that I wouldn't have to do it that way, and school would basically be the alphabet, learning to read, numbers, shapes etc. For Leiah that will mean extra practice on tracing and saying the letters, extra motor skill practice, toileting and getting dressed etc. Then I will also have to take her twice a week to the city for therapy- speech and physical and occupational, plus any new brain gym sessions we do. I have insurance and therapy was $45 per 15 minutes, it may be more now.

Not to mention, that I will have to wake up at night with baby, handle the laundry, house cleaning, shopping and cooking healthy meals, preparing/grading school work, make sure I get enough nutrients etc...

Second scenario: I have baby, I have helpers for two weeks, then the older two start public school. Either they will go by bus or daddy will take them and I will pick them up. I will then have a newborn and a three year old at home. I will be responsible for keeping up with the girls' schedules etc. making their lunches, keeping their stuff together, helping with any homework, but still, a lot different than before. When baby is sleeping I can rest, play with Sarah and do the work that needs doing. I would still have to get up early with the other girls, but more than likely I'll be up anyways for feeding. If I were having the baby now instead of then, it might be more feasible to homeschool, I don't know.

So, that's my decision. Add in that now we are moving to get to a better school district, and that throws another iron in the fire :) It may not always be this way, but, for now this is the best for the whole family. I know I would get stressed out, which would affect everyone- you know, 'If Mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy.'?

Alrighty, gotta go. Have a good weekend!!

May 8, 2009

Just some pictures

Here is my attempt at taking pictures of myself, 6 months pregnant. I don't look much different than before, except my hair as grown a lot.

My belly seems to have a point to it...weird. I have a mean expression on my face in this one. Just concentrating though...

I love this dress- got it in the ladies section of walmart. They had red, navy, black and a printed one. This is actually an XXL. I haven't looked here to see if there are more, I got this one in Michigan.

***Edited to add: I forgot to mention that tomorrow is my birthday. Do I look like I'm about to be 27? I look younger than that in these pictures....hmmm. I keep thinking I'm 24 or something.

This is a rare and cut sister picture- they never do this!!

Snow day in Michigan.

This almost midnight after a day of driving on our trip to Michigan. Look happy don't they?

May 7, 2009



It's a girl.

No I have no names, any suggestions welcome.
Hey everyone!

Just wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and kind words yesterday. I definitely felt them. The baby is fine- lots of movement and no bleeding or anything. I am sore on the lower parts of my belly and my legs since I couldn't break my fall well. I guess I need to remember that my uterus isn't like a water balloon that can pop, lol.

I am done being angry about the school situation. God reminded me that I wasn't acting like Jesus at all by rehashing it out and calling the people names :) Thank the Lord we have the option of moving and aren't stuck in a house we can't sell or something like that. I won't have to deal with those people for 10+ years.

You know it's funny, but I just realized something. I am constantly either looking to the future or reliving the past, but this situation has forced me to only be able to live in the present. All I know for sure is that I am going to have a baby in the future and we will move, but that's it. I just have to live in the now, which is a good lesson for me I suppose. If God told us what was coming, then where would our faith and trust in Him be? Or we might mess His plans up if we knew them.

Well, today is an important day. I go for another sonogram to see if it's a boy or a girl. Will we finally know? I've been praying the baby will turn good because I need to know if I need to come up with a girl name :) My pastor said that maybe when I fell I flipped the baby in a good position for the ultrasound. Ha,ha.

Anyhoo, yesterday I tried a different method of grocery shopping. I made out a two week menu and grocery list instead of one (my husband gets paid every week). It seems like every week I never buy enough food to last. So, I doubled my pantry list and even though I spent close to $200, it's really pretty good for two weeks. Next week I'll need to buy fresh produce and milk, but that should be it. I wanted to try doing a whole month's worth of pantry items, but I needed another person pushing another cart for that. I enjoy the feeling of having plenty of food in the cupboards. We are finally tolerating beans again, so I've been including them in our diet at least once a week. What I mean by that is we ate so many beans when on the tight budget we get sick of them, especially lentils!!!

Here are the meals:
Monday was tuna macaroni salad and corn on the cob
Tuesday was black beans and rice with cheese
Wednesday was spaghetti and salad
Thursday is meatloaf, roasted potatoes and carrots, maybe a sald
Friday is 'Yooper Mac-n-cheese', pinto beans, cucumber tomato salad and homemade ice cream
Saturday- my birthday, not sure yet
Sunday-leftovers or eggs
Monday- roasted chicken and veggies, mashed potatoes
Tuesday- chicken and biscuits, salad, some other veggie
Wednesday- chili mac, salad, corn
Thursday- minestrone, homemade bread, green salad
Friday- taco bake, brownies
Saturday- grilled hot dogs, oven fries, pickles, leftover brownies
Sunday- leftovers or eggs

I don't really plan out breakfasts and lunches, just because sometimes I feel like making it and other times not so much. Generally I cook various forms of eggs, soaked oatmeal, or maybe pancakes mixed with cereal or instant oatmeal. I try to balance it :) My husband likes to cook Saturday breakfast, which will always be some form of eggs and potatoes :) Lunches are either leftovers, sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, or occasionally I'll buy frozen corny dogs or fish sticks. I usually eat leftovers or a sandwich. Sometimes I make a midweek dessert too, so I like to keep certain things on hand like chocolate chips, frozen berries, butter and flour, oats, coconut and nuts in the freezer. I can make most anything with those if I have eggs and cream. (berry pie or cobbler, cookies, cake, pudding...)

Well, time to get moving and complete morning duties- I'm not even dressed yet! I need to drive up to the dairy to buy the good raw milk and cream that I need :) Let ya know what I find out later!!

May 6, 2009

Need some helpers

I would appreciate any and all prayers. I just fell, slipping on the concrete with my hands loaded down with grocery sacks and couldn't break my fall. I didn't go flat on my belly, but I did graze the side. I scraped my legs up, but other than being freaked out I'm ok.

I am feeling attacked in all areas of my life and it's hard to walk by faith. But I have to stand no matter what. God hasn't left me high and dry, but sometimes it's very hard to see that He is here with me in this. I was already feeling a little worried because the baby's movements have decreased a lot the last few days and I have had a previous miscarriage, so that was already in the back of my mind. However, I am standing firm in my prayers and know that my child shall live and be healthy according to the Word of God.

Still, prayers of peace and comfort are welcome. Thanks so much.

Another major life change, yet again...

Well...the meeting did not go in our favor yesterday.

I am just flabbergasted at this school. Normally, each school has their own special ed class. However, in my area, the schools are small and therefore not many special students would get much of what they need. So, they formed a Co-op for the whole county. At first this was fine, because the class was held in my town at the local school. Buses go all around the whole county to pick up the kids and bring them to the classrooms in one spot. However, a new facility was built, which they needed, but in another town. So now Leiah is there. It's only about 15 minutes away, but still, this building is completely separated from any school campuses.

Plus, I'm just gonna be honest here, the place is backwards. Basically, run by uneducated rednecked people. Just ignorant. Leiah's teacher is excellent, but she can only do what she is told, and the management is the problem. They system is very disorganized and there is a huge lack of communication, which is to be expected since there are so many school campuses involved in this co-op. Even so, the main problem is the principal of the primary school down the road.

After 4 meetings about this topic, I think I figured it out. For whatever reason, they don't want any child that has special needs in their school. We actually had a 20 minute talk about poop. Apparently no one on that campus is qualified to handle a child that has an accident and can't clean themselves up. Apparently, children are expected to survive in a hostile environment, since they told me how the other children would poke fun at Leiah because she is different. It seems common sense would tell me that if I had a special child in my class, I might need to keep an eye on her. Oh, and forget getting her an aid. He illegally told me that she could not have one at all, ever.

They are trying to convince me that kindergarten is so fast paced right now that there is no way she could keep up. From what they are telling me, I am quite worried about my 5 year old daughter. They don't take naps anymore, they have homework, they are cram packed with activities and it would all be over Leiah's head. I guess there aren't any children that don't have problems learning in their school, because they aren't equipped to deal with them.

So, instead of allowing my daughter to try out living in the real world in a controlled friendly, low level environment, they prefer to keep her in the special ed compartment another town away so that she won't feel bad about her self esteem. They want to keep her sheltered away from real people who will show her her limitations and keep the bar low so she won't feel bad about failing at something. There is no room for weak people in kindergarten.

HOW ABSURD!!!!!! How dare they say this!!!!! Who are they to say that other children cannot learn from Leiah? They rob themselves and others by casting off those who have special needs. They will never be able to see when these children excel beyond their abilities, because they refuse to expect more out of them. This is like Hitler- get rid of any that do not meet the superrace requirements. Children with special needs have so much to teach others; other children can teach Leiah much better than a therapist. I've seen it too many times.

If I were a teacher that was going to have Leiah in my class, I would automatically know that she would need to be at the front of the lines, need assistance with her lunch and with going potty. Why not involve the other children in being her helper for the day or week, making it a special privilege to help Leiah learn the skills she needs to learn???? Let her participate in the real world, and she'll adapt.

It is so, so hard to sit there and listen to everyone discussing my child's abilities, which don't even score on their specialized tests because she is at the level of a three year old, and basing their decision off of that only. They have locked her in to this special ed for life idea and do not care about what is best for her. They say they do, but it's all about power and money. I was in there for over an hour with my husband and my sister, who is a special ed director at the next town. We are all upset and amazed at this. I would just take her out and homeschool, but it's just not possible with a newborn coming at school starting time. She needs more.

So, we have to move. I have another meeting with them in 10 days, just to confirm that we are both standing firmly on our decisions, during which I will act like nothing is going to happen. Then after we buy our new house, I'll withdraw her from the school and enroll her in the other one. The place we need to move to is an expensive one, and we aren't sure yet how much we can afford. I am trusting the Lord, He will provide what we need.

Still, I never dreamed that this little country school would put up such a fuss about this. My daughter, a sweet and willing to please child, she is well behaved, happy almost all of the time, beautiful, and everyone wants her. They have rejected an opportunity to be touched by her life and robbed the other children of valuable lessons that could have been learned at an early age. Shame on them.

*****Edited to add: Some may be wondering why I've ruled out homeschool. Well, I have thought about it a lot and though I do I wish I could, I just don't see how. I have never formally homeschooled before, I generally have too high expectations of myself, I will have a new baby plus the other three. Maybe that doesn't seem like much either since it's just kindergarten, but Leiah needs therapy. That means I would have to load everyone up and drive an hour away twice a week for therapy times- and that's just speech! Not to mention the cost involved in private therapy- it is crazy expensive, $45 for 15 minutes. Leiah learns best from other children and is very emotional with me. What I mean is that if I work with her, she tends to get frustrated a lot faster than with a teacher or with kids. I guess it's the mom thing.

So, as much as it would be to the advantage of all to homeschool, it's not within my grasp at this point. I know myself and it would not be a good scenario unless we could hire a live-in housekeeper.

May 5, 2009

Don't be afraid

For anyone feeling worried about the new flu epidemic, I have some reassurance for you. First of all, no matter what they said, I wasn't worried about it because the job of the media is to create emotion/drama. Of course they're going to paint this awful picture- people panic and other people make money.

Here are some stats from my favorite 'doctor', Dr. Schulze, and amazing herbalist.

"Influenza virus infects both humans and animals. The two main animal viruses are the Bird Flu, which affects birds, and the Swine Flu (officially called SIV, or Swine Influenza Virus) that is a respiratory viral disease of pigs.

Occasionally humans get both of these viruses, but usually only a very few people get infected and usually these people have had direct contact with the sick animals. It is not normal, and very difficult, for these animal viruses to spread from human-to-human.

When they do, as it is suspected now, it can be dangerous. In the past when this happens, and an animal virus starts spreading from human-to-human (and does this easily), it usually also dies out quickly. But, on rare occasions, it can cause a pandemic, which is a widespread, worldwide epidemic, making millions sick and killing millions more. Notably, this happened in the 1890's with the Russian Flu, the most famous being the Spanish Flu of 1918 that killed about 100 million people on the planet (killing more people than the Black Death of Europe in the 1300's), and the Hong Kong Flu of 1957 that almost killed me.

This current Swine Influenza outbreak may actually not even be a Swine Flu virus at all. It is suspected that it may be caused by a new strain of Influenza type A, subtype H1N1, and also a blend of an avian (Bird Flu) and possibly a few strains of Swine Influenza Virus all mixed together in a dangerous and potentially lethal new viral cocktail. But, identifying viruses, especially rapidly, is not an exact science."

Should you be worried?

Not really, but you should always be prepared.

The Dr. Schulze "Swine Flu Scale":
I say on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being "who cares" and 10 being "it is time to get your food, guns and herbs in the basement and staple-gun 10-mil plastic over your house", we are currently at a Dr. Schulze Stage 3.

Medical doctors, scientists and even I all agree that we are overdue for a worldwide influenza pandemic of huge proportions. That said, in spite of the news hysteria, the reality is that very little is actually known so far, and very few people are getting sick, fewer hospitalized, and very few deaths, but it is certainly worth watching and being cautious.

It could turn into a worldwide pandemic killing millions and millions, but it probably won't.

I say this simply because I lived through the big Swine Flu Scare of 1976, when the American government's panic was so overblown, they said that we were going to have a killer Swine Flu epidemic / pandemic. They almost forced inoculations, Congress actually voted it in, and people lined up and rushed to get their Swine Flu Shot. Television and newspapers made millions, pharmaceutical companies made billions, and then... nothing happened. Well, actually something did happen.

There were very few cases of actual Swine Flu, but 25 times more people died from the inoculation than from the Swine Flu itself. So, I have seen flu panic, and medical flu treatment, kill.

Also, to put this in perspective, hundreds of Americans die every year from taking aspirin, and to date, 100 more people have died so far this year from bee stings in America than the Swine Flu, and 1 million will die from taking doctor prescribed prescription drugs, so we need to take a step back, take a deep breath, put this outbreak into perspective and observe. And we don't need the government, the CDC, the WHO, the news media and the office of Homeland Security turning this into a political pandemic."

Furthermore, there is a great article discussing the flu by Dr. Mercola. You can read it here.

But to be smart in general, because there are so many diseases going on, there are things you can do. We all know that vitamin C is important for boosting immunity. I like to buy the drink packets called EmergenC, which is 1000mg of vitamin C in each packet, empty into water or juice and it fizzes up. Easy for everyone to drink.

Also, being sure that your body is properly nourished with healthy fats, being hydrated, balancing protein and whole grains and reducing any processed foods or white sugar would CERTAINLY help :)

Echinacea, preferably taken in tincture form, is also very well known for boosting the immune system. I prefer Dr. Schulze's formula, because he packs as much herbs as you can possibly get into his vats and it's a high quality product. He recommends taking it for the first week of each month.

Garlic, duh. Garlic kills the bad super quick. Hot peppers boost circulation and kick things into gear, plus, if you can eat hot peppers, I doubt a virus could survive in your body for long :)

Now here is another thing that I just learned and was amazed at. Our thyroid glands filter all the blood in her our body every 17 minutes. As it passes through, the iodine in the gland is able to weaken any bad invaders to the point of them dying. However, if you are not taking in enough iodine, you thyroid is weak, can become sluggish resulting in a HOST of problems. I just had no idea how important the thyroid was to the body and how important iodine is to the gland.

I learned all of this here. Getting more iodine is easy. Make sure your salt has iodine in it, eat foods high in iodine, taking kelp tablets, or paint yourself with iodine tincture :) Yesterday I took some kelp, and it really did help when I was feeling low.

But most importantly, you need to know what God says about this.

"You shall not be afraid... of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction tha] lays waste at noonday. " Psalm 91:4

Pestilence- plague or disease

"A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; [But] it shall not come near you." Psalm 91:7

But you must take refuge in God, you must dwell in His secret place and abide in the shelter of the Almighty. You must say with you mouth that the Lord is your refuge and that you trust in Him. God is bigger than any swine flu, He can keep you from getting sick and He will, you just have to believe on His Word no matter what you see or feel.

May 4, 2009

Baby Thoughts

I think there are advantages to having plenty of space between babies. By that I mean more than two years lapse between your children's births.

Let me explain. The first two I approached the same way. I had a particular mind set of what needed to happen and what I was going to do. My daughter Leiah was only three months old when I conceived her sister Alexa. We had plenty of issues with Leiah, but overall she was a very easy scheduled baby. When Alexa came, she was a good baby too, just louder :) She ate a lot more and seemed more needy. But still, no colic or reflux or problems. I was adamant about her sleeping through the night at a young age, because Leiah did it. I just felt very strongly that she needed to be sleeping all night.

Well, after she began sleeping through night I thought we were good. But as she got older, 6-8 months or so, she went to sleep well, but generally around 4am she woke up and cried. I would check on her, give the pacifier etc. and just let her cry. Well, even after many weeks of this, she didn't cry it out, she just cried herself awake! Even at 10 months, I would finally get up, make her a bottle, and either feed her myself or give it to her in the bed. Looking back, all she wanted was mama to be close. I should have either rocked her to sleep, put her in my bed, or given her a small bottle to begin with. Big deal. But, hindsight is 20/20.

So, when I finally had Sarah, Alexa was 2. I had a new perspective and had lots of new information. I realized that babies aren't little for long, and that I wasn't going to be rigid with schedules. I did everything 'wrong' with Sarah- I fed her on schedule, but I rocked her to sleep, put her in bed with me, held her just because, fed her solids early, gave her bottles in her bed etc. Guess what? She was fine! It didn't bother me to get up at night with her. I enjoyed that baby so much. I swaddled her till she was 4 months, then started gradually putting her in her crib unswaddled. She cried some, but after awhile she was fine. She slept through then night totally by three months of age and was the happiest, easiest, most content baby. I loved every minute of it.

So now, I am really excited. I want this baby so bad! I want to hold it and squeeze it! I want to put diapers on him (I say him, but we're not sure yet), change his clothes, feed him etc. If I can get nursing going, baby will likely sleep with me, at least for awhile. Plus, I have learned a lot more since I had the last baby. After Sarah was born, I learned about Nourishing Traditions. There is a whole section about babies in there. I now know, that if breastfeeding doesn't work, I can MAKE my own amazing baby formula. I have access to raw milk, so I can get all the ingredients and make a fabulous baby formula three different ways. (one is cow's milk, one is goat milk, one is broth based) I also know that infant cereal isn't the best first food, and that cooked egg yolks mashed with salt is.

I also know now that babies don't need a lot to be happy. Before I felt like I had to have everything just right- had to have the coordinated nursery, needed all the special 'stuff'... I know now that babies need clothes, food, diapers and a carseat. I have not bought anything except a diaper bag for this child. Nothing. All I have is a crib, a cradle, the changing table, and the crib mattress. I have a bouncy seat somewhere at my sister's, a swing at church and 1 newborn gown. Everything else is gone.

I also know more about natural products and herbal remedies for things, and don't have to rush to the doctor for everything. I also know that well baby check ups aren't necessary except for shots. My Sarah hasn't had a vaccine since she was 8 months old and she is the most disease resistant. I think because we've delayed vaccines she has done well. We are getting her caught up this summer though, since we live close to the border and well, I'm not going to say anything more about that. I am going to pray about the right decision for this baby regarding vaccinations, because God knows what's coming and I don't :)

So, to summarize: Babies do not stay little, enjoy them.
Little babies don't need as much as you think
They do eventually sleep at night
You will be sleep deprived for awhile- big deal
Keep things natural :)

New Stuff I plan to try:
* newborn prefold diapers and covers
* baby products from Farmstead Organics
* Baby sling/wrap- haven't decided which kind yet
* Homemade baby formula, at some point
* glass baby bottles

I am thinking of not buying a crib set and just making a simple quilt for baby. Do I really need a bumper pad? I plan to make up some homemade breast pads, baby wipes and maybe some burp cloths. And, I am planning to fix a cute bedroom for baby, but not to the degree I always did before :)

This is the second time I've tried writing this post, and I can't get it to come out right. Oh well, if anyone wants more info about the baby formula etc. let me know.

A Tired Day

I've been putting off posting today. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and was very sleepy. I slept though, waking up twice, but I went back to sleep again. It's just been very hard to make it through only my routines today, much less the projects I have going.

Last week I had three very active full of energy days and three tireder ones. I'm not sure what the cause is of being one or the other, but it may be a result of my diet. I made a large chocolate cake Friday (didn't know it was going to be so large) that has white flour, white sugar etc. in it and have been grazing on it all weekend. We've been eating chips and less healthy stuff over the weekend too, so maybe that's it. Thankfully the cake is about gone :) I even invited my sister's family over to eat it and there was still some left!!

My handy husband fixed our old power cord for the laptop, so I can now post pictures and such when I get to it. I am rearranging the main living areas of the house, and I might post pics of it later. Anyways, I have several topics to post about. But the first is sort of a question to you all.

We have figured out a way to get our debts paid off and we may have some leftover money to work with. (not revealing too much info about the money) I have been wanting a grain mill for a looooonnggg time. I don't mind using a hand crank one, but it would be much easier to have an electric one. I would prefer it to not be really loud in case I need to do it during naps or something and I want it to have a variety of settings for coarse or fine grinds of grains.

Any suggestions? It's such an investment that I want to make a good choice. Once the initial investment is made buying the mill and grains, I know it would be much more economical, not to mention much healthier than buying pre-ground flours.

I also want to buy a freezer full of good meats. I'm going to look for local sources of beef and chicken, but if anyone knows of a good place online to buy, please pass on the info :) I plan to hit all the 'pick your own' places this summer and freeze or possibly can some. My mom has blueberries and strawberries, my aunt has blackberries, so I just need to find a peach orchard. I can just SMELL those ripe juicy peaches...makes me lick my lips :) I wish we could have planted a large garden to harvest this year, but with my husband working full time outside the home and me being in the last stages of pregnancy with three small children, harvesting didn't seem feasible this year :) We should have plenty to eat off of this summer though, so that's something.

There is a possibility we might move yet again. I have a meeting tomorrow with the school my children will be going to, and I'm not sure if they're going to do what I want about my oldest attending regular ed classes. If they don't agree, then I can either get a lawyer or move. My sister is the special ed DIRECTOR in the next town, so Leiah would get what she needed for sure. Not to mention that's the school I went to when little and I know most of the people. Anyways, it may be that we buy a piece of land and put a new manufactured home on it. Then we can have chickens and goats for eggs and milk. We might decide to move anyways so we can own our own place for once!

Everything depends on how that meeting goes tomorrow, how the money thing turns out, and how hard it would be to get a bank to loan us money. I want to get SETTLED!!! Be in a place where I can finally plant a rose bush for each child (or tree for the boy), plant a strawberry patch (since it takes years for it to get going good) really decorate like I want etc.

In the meantime, I gotta make the home I have into a haven, and have been working steadily at it. I am excusing myself from finish my project today though, I'm just too tired and unmotivated. I pray I can get the laundry folded and put away and dinner made :)

May 1, 2009

The Easy Yoke

Well, I still can't use our laptop. I bought a cord for it yesterday ($80!!!) and it wasn't the right one. So, no pictures or post about my 'Brain in a Box' yet.

In trying to decide what to share today, I think about all that has transpired in a week. Internally, there are lots of things going on right now. My life is at the brink of a big change, or not, or a really big change. It all just depends, which isn't a comfortable feeling. I deal with things that many others do not, such as my oldest child has some special needs that complicate things. I have to fight for her to get what she needs because she can't. Going up against a system is very frustrating at times. (I am referring to the public school) Plus, the fact that most of the time she can't tell me what she wants, feels, thinks, needs etc. Add in that her physical skills are limited, such as, at the age of 6 she isn't potty trained yet, she can't dress herself, she can't buckle her own seatbelt or step down out of the van by herself. (well, sometimes she can) But the worst part, is she knows everything in her mind, she just can't seem to get it to come out of her mouth. She doesn't want to do sign language either- she wants to say it, but it's very hard for her.

I have a meeting next week with the school about her attending regular kindergarten next year, and so far, all those meetings about it in the past have not gone well. If this one doesn't get what I want, then I will either have to get a lawyer or move again. Homeschool is not an option this year.
Yet I have a strong nesting instinct, which is why I'm working so hard to get rid of clutter and get organized before summer- before I get too big and tired and have all my children at home to care for.

However, many people have their own challenges in life, which is why this story should help. Right now, things don't look good in the world. If were an unbeliever, I am sure I would be full of fear. But, Christians know or should know what is going on. We don't have to be afraid because we are being allowed the privilege of watching Bible prophecy being fulfilled. We know the ending of the story and we're on the winning side. Therefore we shouldn't be worried about money and necessities, because if we trust in the Lord, He will direct our paths and be our provider.

A lady from church was really asking God what it means to trust Him fully. He showed her a little dream or vision, of herself in a river. She was thrashing around and struggling for her life, trying to save herself. The next picture was of her in a raft, laying back, relaxing while floating down the river. God told her that trusting Him was just resting in Him and allowing Him to work, not trying to do it yourself.
So the next picture went back to her struggling in the water again, and God said to her "Stand up!" And she did. The water was only up to her knees when she stood! The problem wasn't really a problem after all, because when she got her feet on something solid (the Word and Jesus) she could stand her ground.

Why do we let ourselves run wild with worry and trying to solve it ourselves? I don't know...for me it's the feeling of the unknown thatI don't like. I like to have a plan to work towards and not be in the dark. I like to be prepared, especially when expecting a baby. When I can't see what's ahead of me, I allow worry to creep in, which is actually sinning. It's like telling God He isn't big enough to handle it on His own.

God has really blessed me this week with a desire to be efficient and responsible for my home and family. He has blessed me with strength and energy to accomplish A LOT! I look forward to doing my laundry :) Big for me...many things I had been wanting to do but hadn't, I finally did. I finally made crockpot yogurt again, and it came out great. I actually prepared my grains/flours properly this week and decluttered many troublesome areas. I've been reading my Bible daily.

So, be encouraged to give things to the Lord and enjoy peace and calm. I will need to remind myself of that as well since I have a big to do list today.

So far, I've done my morning routine, gotten two loads of laundry washed and 1 folded, got my butter softening for baking.
Next I have to: take my vitamins
deep clean girls' room- it stinks!
wash one more load of clothes
bake up two loaves of banana bread and something for dessert
start chicken stock in crockpot
clean the refrigerator-bleck
go through toys again

And these are just the most important things :)