Mommy and Me

Mommy and Me
Sharing life with you is fullfilling

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Affirmation of the World, or Restoration for your Soul?

I've been aching to come and write here for awhile, but it is December now, and well time flies, especially when you are having fun!
Quick update; Fia's Birthday is Thursday, we had a party for her last weekend. She was so cute in her princess dress, and her little friends came dressed as princesses too! We even met a few new friends... all boys of course because it seems most of the people we know have boys!
Caeden's birthday is coming up, we will have a party for him next weekend. His party theme will be Paleontology, and Patrick and I are putting together a kit for him to dig with like a real dinosaur bone digger! He's going to love it!
Don't know when the last time I wrote was but Moo moo turned two as well... gosh he is getting so big! But he must like being the baby cause he keeps coming back for more mama loving, even when it seems he's getting to an age when he doesn't need as much mama... of course, they all come back to mama even Caeden being almost 7 wants to sit on my lap during school work time!

I actually wanted to write about something completely unrelated to my family today. It seems to me that sin and condemnation are running rampant in our world, and I've got an idea why. Who has all the answers? I want to know.

I have realized that a lot of people seem particularly condemned lately. They are easily offended by people's different opinions and need to be affirmed in their own beliefs in order to feel good about themselves, but it doesn't make them feel good about themselves. Take breastfeeding in public for instance. Breastfeeding has come a long way, those who do it in public are confident in what they do, and do it with a sort of pride now-a-days. When I had my first baby almost 7 years ago I didn't feel like any kind of pioneer, my mother had breastfed all of her children, my Aunt's and Cousins had breastfed their children, it was normal, and not at all strange to me, but I met several people who felt it was 'weird' or 'unnatural'. (This I have to say, while off subject, was absolutely astounding to me, that breastfeeding could be seen as 'unnatural'.) Anyway, since there are certain people who are uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public there are laws about it in some states, most of which are about the ability for a woman TO breastfeed and not the opposite, but still women are fighting for it. Women on social media are swarming pages with pictures of their bare skinned breast, feeding their child.
I even recently read an article about Christian women who should breastfeed in public baring their breasts and not being a 'prude' by covering up. The article while very interesting and insightful on the plan of God to nurture us close to his bosom, forgot a whole book in the bible that mentions repeatedly the sexual nature of the breast as well.
There are also women all over the world who are bearing their breasts just to make a statement and saying it isn't shameful... I don't agree with this idea, but that isn't my point. They want everyone to see it as normal, they want everyone to feel as they feel. The article about breastfeeding urged more women to bare their breasts in church to make it normal, and less shameful. I don't believe that breastfeeding in public is bad, I don't believe that breastfeeding uncovered is bad, but I do believe there is a modest way to go about it and a completely immodest way to do it, and would urge all women who breastfeed not to hide the fact that they do it, but rather to be discreet as the naked breast is a distraction to many people, and your personal comfort levels should be taken into consideration as well, but you shouldn't attempt to change people's own comfort level so that the breast can be more normalized.
There are other arenas where things are becoming more normalized, homosexuality, cross dressing, legal use of marijuana, the ability to buy alcohol in the grocery store (if you didn't know, it isn't legal to sell it in grocery stores in Oklahoma), so many things, little things too, celebrate your kids in mediocrity, don't let them learn about failure, instead they are all winners. Don't have too many kids, or the first few won't feel like they are important, or have enough stuff, or they will have to share their bedroom. My parents had 6 kids and somehow managed to buy into the idea that we each needed our own bedroom... I look back and think the times I had my own room were the loneliest, I really enjoyed sharing my bedroom. I even went as far as convincing my parents that we should have two exchange students because I wanted one in my room and it wasn't the biggest room in the house, my sister would have been the one to share rooms if we only hosted one.
Those who do something that is not a social norm press and strive and fight for it to become 'normal'... why? Christians and non-Christians alike are doing it, but more so those who are doing things that are deemed 'shameful' by older generations than those who follow the social norm.
I've been reading Romans this morning and I think I've come across the answer.

Romans 1:28-32 "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting, being filled with all unrighteousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."

Who are any of us? Any person on this planet would fit into one of these categories, don't think you are bad? Do you whisper about people behind their backs? Are you Proud? Were you disobedient to your parents? Do you ever envy other people? Then this describes you, don't eliminate yourself here... you fit, you are a sinner. And the bible says that if you do these things you deserve death. It also says that people who do these things will approve of others doing them. It used to be that people who drank alcohol would give minors a drink and laugh, I remember it, I remember how they tried to con young people into thinking it was cool to get drunk, they knew it wasn't, but the kids they let do it didn't have the wisdom yet to know what it was actually going to do to them... but that isn't all that is happening now.
Now even if a person is confident in their own gender they feel that it isn't right to force gender on a person, so they tell their toddler that they can be a boy or a girl, it doesn't matter. WHAT is wrong with people! I'm sorry but you are given a gender, from God.. he is the only one who can control it. This issue goes far below your skin, it goes to hormones, it goes to DNA, it goes to chromosomes. And while they are finding ways to change so many body parts they have no way of changing chromosomes that I am aware of. If they do I'd hope they were using it to cure disease not change genders.
Making what is wrong normal seems to be the only way to feel good about doing wrong... UNLESS there is a better way! No one wants what the bible predicts for those who are sinners, death is awful... Life however is beautiful. But are you really living your life if everything you do is for yourself? I'd argue that the answer is no.
God gave a perfect example of what we can do to really live... die. Not to save our own life, but to give life to others. I don't mean a death of a physical sense but rather a death of a spiritual sense... we as the bible says, die to ourselves. That means that we stop saying 'yes' to ourselves, and start saying 'yes' to helping others, start saying 'yes' to serving others, not forgiving their sins and letting them continue on in them. We have no power to forgive sins, only God does, and he says 'go and sin no more', which means that we as Christians might want to re-think some of our positions on things. Stop condemning, stop ignoring, but start doing something more like Christ. Eat with the 'sinners' like Christ did, he gave them an example to follow, and he told them not to continue in their sin anymore.
Stand up Christians, not for the right for a man to dress as a woman, or use a public restroom of his choice. Not for baring your naked breasts while breastfeeding (I'm not saying in any way that breastfeeding in public should be shunned I just don't think it is necessary to wage war on the subject), but stand up to say what sin is, and how we have a savior who has already overcome it for us, stand up and walk tall, don't hide your beliefs, don't be scared, be bold, and die to yourself, daily, the way Jesus asked us to, so that your brother, sister, friend, Aunt, Mother, Uncle, Cousin, Father, person you never met but see at work all the time, can know who Jesus really was, a bold man who knew what God designed him to be, and who knew and identified sin as sin, but also forgave sin by dying, literally dying on a cross to forgive it all. Stand up and help people out of sin, don't help them stay in it and normalize it for your children and their children, stand up and be bold.
The insecurity of those who want to normalize sin comes from Satan, and he wants you to be a part of it... Bullies bully because they hate themselves, not because they hate others. People who don't know how to love themselves (the way Jesus loved us) cause all sorts of problems, we really need to get our hands on some people and show them corrective love...
So many of my Christian friends on facebook will say "I don't do those things, but God says not to judge, so I can't say if they are wrong for doing them".... BULL You are not judging, God judged, he did it already! The judgement is done... if the bible says it is sin, it is sin! How we deal with it is a different story, but we absolutely can not stand for it to be 'normal'.

As I was growing up I would read through the bible and try my best to be a 'good girl' accepting God's grace where I screwed up, and then at school my friends would pick on me and say I was 'better then' them... I didn't understand what I was supposed to do with that, cut myself down and point out my own sin, or point to Jesus as the reason they saw me that way, and would usually end up doing both in some fashion. Now as an adult I feel somewhat smarter in this area, it is NEVER about me... so I feel like I shouldn't make it about me, but then sometimes it is about the example God has given through me. When difficult things happen, where does my trust fall? Who is watching when I lean on God to get me through a difficult time in my life? Where do I turn, what do I say, what are people deciding about Jesus when they see me?
The bible says we are made perfect through Jesus... I think I understand this more now than ever. It isn't that I don't sin, or that I am not capable of sin. It isn't that the sin I do commit is ok because I'm perfect in Christ. It is that my desire to sin has been taken away. Yes I fail, I'm not Jesus, Yes I stumble over things that maybe I shouldn't, but in the end, every day I am forgiven, everyday I desire Jesus is one day less I desire sin. I want that for everyone. Not just for my family, but for the people who are looking for the restoration of their souls, for affirmation that someone loves them, that he would do anything for them. That he accepts them just as they are, but because he does that they want to be more like him, and they stop their bad habits and stop seeking affirmation, and normalization of things that are inappropriate and/or wrong, or sinful and begin seeking God.
I want that everyone should have Jesus rather than the approval of the world for the things they do, and the way they feel.

Friday, October 2, 2015

39 weeks

I received an email from babycenter today, it congratulated me on being 39 weeks pregnant. 
I didn't opt to stop receiving these because I have a client who is due the same week as I would have been and it is a nice reminder of where she is in the wait... but it is also sad and most weeks I just delete the email and move on. Today it hit pretty close to home as I realized how flat belly is and how there will be no baby born into our family in the coming weeks.
I am so glad for the grace of God in my life to show me all the things I have to be joyful about today, even when the anticipation and joy of a new baby isn't one of them.
Thank you Jesus for the children I have!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Revelation (to me) on Abortion

I have always been pro-life, but my husband and I have been researching a bit lately to find out more about this situation our country has found it's self in, and the facts astound me. 1.21 million children are aborted legally in the U.S. every year! Wowzers... that is a lot of innocent children being murdered. According to there are 125,000 every day in the world.
I have been praying about how I can help things, my husband has been praying about it, we are both on fire for the lives of these children, I can't explain exactly how we feel, but there is a sickening in my stomach to think of all the babies who would have been here and now are not because in the first place people can not control their sex lives, and in the second decide to cover that up by murdering their unborn children. For those who believe that it is not murder because there is no child, I urge you to look at the pictures of aborted babies and see if you don't see a child there.
It also sickens me to think that people call the unborn a parasite. I believe that conception happens at the same moment as fertilization, so in that belief I also think that for the first 5-7 days of a child's life they cannot be compared to a parasite at that time. They are not using anything from their mother at all, besides that a parasite never infects its mother (at least not that I have found), and a parasite must have a host for it's entire life span, a child on the other hand starts off as an egg and sperm connected in a free space not connected to any other thing and then moves to a place where it's mother can nourish it for approximately 9 months, and in only the first 3 months it has all of its body parts that it will have at birth, the rest of the time spent inside of it's mother it is only growing bigger, no longer making its own lungs and heart, but actually using them and growing them... just as a toddler would be doing, only inside it's mother because it is too fragile to enter the world before that 9 month time period is up, which is why most premature babies are kept in the hospital until approximately their due date.
Today I opened my bible to read and found that somehow my book mark had been moved, I don't know how, I don't even know of anyone being in my room to have moved it but it was moved, and instead of reading where I would have been reading I decided to see if God had some divine inspiration for me in this newly book marked place... besides I hadn't really gotten too far where I was reading before anyway. I now fully believe that however the book mark had been moved, God intended for me to read this new passage today, it shocked me how much I received from my reading today.
When I opened this morning my book mark was marking the beginning of 2 Kings, I read and the story was interesting so I continued to read into chapter 2. As I read Elijah was taken up to heaven and 'his spirit' rested on Elisha, and I believe that spirit was actually the Holy Spirit though I don't know. After Elijah is taken up Elisha begins to perform miracles in the name of the LORD. One of which is I believe in Jericho where a spring had brackish water and Elisha pours some salt from a new bowl into the water and it is cleansed and in 2 Kings 2:21 it says this: "Then he went to the spring of water and threw the salt into it, and said "Thus says the Lord, I have made this water wholesome; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it." (NRSV)
side note: I don't particularly care for the NRSV but when I came across the word miscarriage it peaked my interest so I went to some commentaries and other versions of the bible and found a bit about it, of course never expecting to learn about abortion from the bible that day, but just interested because I have had two miscarriages myself and the subject is very close to my heart.
The word miscarriage can be translated as barrenness or abortion here as well.
Barrenness to me implies there was no life to begin with, that the mother or would be mother has never had an egg fertilized to become pregnant, but it also means she might have lost a baby or two, or more. Abortion can be used to reference the body not supporting a baby or a mother deciding to kill her unborn child, neither end with a healthy baby. And miscarriage leaves the mother without much responsibility (though some can say her lifestyle choices might affect this as well) but usually she will experience a lot of grief even if not at fault for the loss of her child. All three mean the land was lacking children (in reference to the verses I had been reading).
Elisha threw salt into the water from a new bowl so that death would not happen as a result of drinking this brackish water anymore.
Jesus is the living water, whoever drinks of Him rather than the world's substitute is given ever-lasting life.
We Christians are the salt of the earth, when we devote ourselves to God we can turn the world's substitute for something good into living water and truth.
I also think that because the salt was put into a new bowl that means something too. We have to be set apart. Not just any old bowl will do, it is a new bowl, a new purpose, a new pathway, not just to sit among the other members of the salt and season things as needed, but to get excited about a cause and dive into the world and change it to a world for Jesus.
And what happened? Death and miscarriage and abortion were abolished because of the activity of salt in water. We can do nothing without Jesus, he preformed the miracle, not Elisha, not the salt, not the new bowl, Jesus. But HE also called us to participate and if we do not, then the world will remain brackish and continue to murder the children who have only just received the spark of life, but have not yet seen the light of day, or the moon at night.
What can we do? This is my list of things you can do, but I'm still figuring out how I can go about them, pray earnestly that God can show you what you can do, and I'm sure he will.
1. Adopt a child that would have been aborted.
2. Help women in need who are pregnant and feel they have no options (i.e. feed the hungry, give clothing to the naked, care for the widow, which in our culture also can be the 'unsupported')
3. Donate clothing, diapers, bottles, formula, and other baby essentials to local pregnancy centers.
4. Donate your time to pregnancy centers, they actually work with volunteers not paid employees most of the time.
5. Speak out about abortion, if you start talking about this unspoken topic and start doing your part to help the people in need then two things will happen, (a.) they will hear your voice and maybe start talking themselves, and (b.) you will prove that the stigma of Christians who care about birth but not life will go away. We have to show them we care about the baby and it's mother before and long after that child is born as well as when she/he is in the mother's womb. All talk and no action isn't going to help, you absolutely must have both. Live the life you claim to believe in! Be a walking minister of Jesus Christ.
I almost typed here that I was stepping down from my soap box, but then I decided no, I'm not.. not ever... I will help these babies, I will be their voices! I will cry out to the world that they are killing babies, and I will reach out and help the mothers who are in need.
If you are a mother considering abortion as an option, please reach out to me. You can find me on facebook. If there is anything I can do for you I will do it no questions asked, provided it is within my means, and if it is not I will do my best to figure out how I can still help you perhaps through outside resources.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Am I becoming crunchy?

I love home grown foods, I love flowers, and essential oils are becoming pretty exciting to me, I'm a professional doula, I try to cut out most of the high fructose corn syrup in our diets, and I attempt to eat healthy, and give my children healthy options. I feel good with my feet on the grass, I wear my babies until they get too heavy, I birth naturally, I just love a lot about the way that God created earth and feel like getting back to the way things were before preservatives and other things started tampering with out foods.
But am I crunchy? Is that still the term? I think it is.
I don't get on the websites with all the women who claim they are. I don't like being nagged (not that they all do) by others on how best to be healthy... I don't seek out all the organic foods when shopping... but I do have a healthy dose of reality when it comes to the foods that go into our mouths

When I was growing up I had terrible belly cramps and was borderline constipated almost all the time. No one knew why that was. I remember it from as young as about 5 years old. I also remember having terrible pains in my legs (growing pains they say). The pain in my belly always came at dinner time. I would be fine and then I'd sit down for dinner and just as we finished eating, or even a few minutes later than that I'd get terrible cramping in my belly that made me want to cry. My mom would tell me to go to the bathroom, I would go, and I'd just cry. I honestly don't know if I knew what I was supposed to do in the bathroom, or if I just knew that sitting on the toilet wouldn't help me, but I'd spend the time crying about how badly my belly hurt. I thought I was supposed to hide my tears, so I didn't cry in front of anyone about my belly pain.
My mom on the other hand didn't know or realize how severe it was, and thought I was just trying to get out of doing my chores (helping my sister to wash dishes by rinsing and drying them). It would have been a good idea I suppose if it were true, but I wasn't trying to get out of doing my job, I was in pain.
Fast forward to middle school, I had been home schooled for 4th, 5th and 6th grade and then returned to public school in 7th grade, my diet changed from regular meals cooked by my mother and water whenever I wanted it, to school lunches with chocolate milk and a sip or two of water between classes if I had the time to stop by a drinking fountain. I found that the belly aches were coming back again. I remember having them occasionally before this point, but it was when I entered the 7th grade that they got really bad again.
What was different? MILK! I had belly aches regularly when in kindergarten through 2nd grade, but then stopped having them most of the time once I was in 3rd grade through 6th grade. What was different in 3rd grade? Only the kind of milk I was drinking.

Just before 3rd grade my family moved next door to my dairy farming grandparents and started getting some of our milk from them. The milk we got from them was pretty much straight out of the cow, my grandmother would remove the cream from the top and put it in the refrigerator and we'd drink it anytime we wanted. I wasn't a big fan of the taste of milk to be honest and usually only had it at school or with pancakes (which we ate a lot of). But this milk was whole milk, un-tampered. And then when I was home schooled I spent more time with my grandparents and eating their farm fresh foods and drinking the whole milk they had available when I felt like having a glass. I didn't get belly aches as often, though I still would occasionally.

In 7th grade I had little time to spend with my grand parents and didn't drink the milk they had, nor did I drink much water either, I was mostly dehydrated the rest of my school days. I of course had no idea at the time. And I would drink chocolate milk at lunch time. And then in the class immediately following lunch I would have such terrible belly cramps that I would have to curl myself into a ball, or even to my own horror lay across a chair to put pressure on my stomach. I spoke to my teacher about these awful belly pains and he agree'd that I could sit in the back of the class so that no one would notice me wiggling in pain, or acting weirdly by laying across my chair.

I told my mom about the pains and she took me seriously this time, knowing I wasn't trying to get out of anything this time. Someone suggested I might have a milk sensitivity, it seemed weird that I might, but mom was willing to give it a try. I cut out milk from my diet and the pains substantially went away, but not entirely. I now didn't have to lay across my chair in science, so at least that was good, but I did feel the need to sit with my legs drawn to my stomach at least a few times a week at different times of day. I realize now that I was compounding a problem I had with milk by not replacing my milk with water... and drinking far more of it than I had previously.

Now fast forward to me in my 30's with three children.

My first son seemed to have difficulty getting a regular consistency to his bowel movements when he was a toddler but eventually out grew it and was fine, my daughter on the other hand regularly struggled with constipation, which since I am familiar with I helped her to move past this by cutting out milks in her diet and giving her a formula that was for sensitive tummies when she was still small enough to need formula (breast feeding sadly didn't work out with her), and her problem cleared up rather well. My youngest though has the same trouble as my oldest, very loose stools, but then they started getting worse, and smelling like acid or vomit. I spoke to the pediatrician about it and they suggested that it 'could' be a bacterial problem, or that it was just 'his normal'. I don't think anyone should have so much acid running through their system and it be called 'normal'. I started him on a pro-biotic, it helped a little. His poops stopped smelling as badly and started getting a little bit more firm. But then the progress stopped and even slightly reverted. I spoke to the doctor again, they didn't have anything new to say.

Then I spoke to my chiropractor and a lady at the health food store where I buy the pro-biotics. The lady at the health food store suggested trying a glutten free diet for 3 months. I asked the chiropractor about it and he reluctantly (at first) said maybe it would be a good idea to try it and see if it helps.

Here is my understanding of glutten in people who are sensitive to it. Basically it irritates the bowels, they don't absorb it or other things the way they should and try to eliminate it as quickly as possible... quite potentially causing acidic diarrhea. This is a simplistic and not well researched method of explaining the way my son may possible be dealing with glutten in his diet.

So I've been working for about a month to get rid of all the glutten in our house. I'm not completely done with this process, but we are about 90% glutten free in our diets, and I try very hard to be sure that at least my youngest doesn't get it when he is eating.

What is the trickiest thing about changing your diet? Changing your habits! We hurriedly got ready for church yesterday and I was longingly thinking of breakfast and the thought occrured to me that there is doughnuts at church. The children ate breakfast, my husband might have gotten a bowl of cereal I'm not sure, but I do know I didn't get a bite before getting to the church. We ran right over to the doughnuts. After taking the last bite of my delicious fried plain doughnut, I suddenly realized that I was eating a food full of glutten... FAIL. Not only was I eating it, but sitting on my lap was my son who I am most adamant about not having glutten more than three quarters of the way through his own sticky glazed doughnut, and my daughter who I'm moderately concerned about having glutten (for eczema) more than half way through her chocolate frosting covered doughnut, and my oldest son just about to take one of the last bites of his glazed doughnut... FAIL! I look up at my husband as he has already finished his delicious treat and say "we are the dumbest parents on the planet." The realization hits him and he laughs "yup, we are."

And for lunch we go to steak n shake, where we carefully order things that though not really listed on the menu the way we ordered them are glutten free. My husband orders loaded fries and a bowl of chili.. a heart attack on a plate he calls it. But it comes with crackers, and he deftly takes a few from the package and pops them in his mouth and then hands a few to our son who is crying out for them.... I notice just as he pops the few crackers daddy gave him into his mouth and chews them down. UGH.... It is a habit... not an accident per-say, it is just what you do when your toddler is crying in a restaurant, give them crackers...

So no. I'm not crunchy, but yes I'm going to do all that I can to help my children when they run into problems with their poor bodies. I struggled with belly pain far too long to let my kids struggle with these things.

So currently we are a light on the milk, glutten free (attempting) peanut free (daughter has an allergy), no high fructose corn syrup, fresh or frozen fruits and veggies kind of family.... and it is HARD!!! But I'm hoping it is absolutely worth it, an even if it is not I feel like it is worth it to try.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why I don't wear skirts every day.

Over the last few years I have felt an incredible draw toward being more feminine, I have always looked like a girl, and loved things that were entirely girly, but never even thought to adhere to the 'skirts only' lifestyle that I am seeing become more and more common among christian women. When my husband and I conceived our third child I found that pregnancy in the summer of northern Michigan was difficult, not because of heat, though we had a little of that. The reason was actually based on our location and the population of the area. Due to the area being somewhat more rural it was incredibly difficult to find maternity clothing that fit me, really it was difficult to find maternity clothing in general. So I began buying the ever so popular maxi dresses. I loved them, but my husband pointed out to me on a few occasions that my skirts were see through and rather revealing. I have to say I wasn't so nice about the information... mostly because my choices were so incredibly limited in the area we lived. To buy clothing that was both modest and appropriate for my growing belly I would have had to travel at minimum an hour from my home to shop, and the options in that town were not guaranteed to satisfy. I did what I could by making sure to wear leggings under my skirts, this didn't protect from someone seeing my outline in the sunlight, but made me confident they couldn't tell the shape or color of my underwear, which was the best I could do at the time. I found maxi dresses to be very comfortable and continued wearing them after the birth of that baby. We also moved to another much more populated area where I could shop a lot more freely and I found that I just actually enjoyed the skirt so much more than pants, my movement was so much less restricted by a skirt than it was by pants in most cases. So I began to buy more skirts, stretchable soft skirts that I could wear comfortably while working and feel pretty in. My husband a Christian man who believes women should be women and men should be men began to tease me by suggesting I was trying to become Amish. I wasn't anywhere near that, but he did worry I was about to be one of 'those' women. At this same time I started making my own Jams and Jellies, canning corn and tomatoes, and started my first and so far only garden (I do hope to have another next year!). It wasn't surprising that he was worried that I was about to change completely on him. When we married I wore pants, hardly ever putting on a skirt, and loved the city life, not because of the worldly parties and closeness to stores or restaurants but because I was so much more near friends than I ever had been in the past. This is all still amazingly true of me, and I do love the city for these reasons still, but things have been changing in me, and I desire to have a garden and make my own food that I know doesn't contain chemicals that really are not good for consumption, and I really love the beauty of flowers and wide open spaces. I also home school our three children (admittedly the youngest is too young to be schooled, but he is involved). This arena of home grown, and skirts and home school all have something conservatively christian about them. But my faith in God (which is strong and unquestionable) isn't the reason I'm doing them, I'm doing them because they interest me and will benefit my family. I seriously considered going to the 'skirt wearing' side for a long time, I thought maybe even God was leading me that direction but made very little effort to actually do it, I was just riding it out and enjoying wearing skirts for awhile. Then we started attending this church in Oklahoma City. The people welcomed us, were super super friendly and nice and I just felt right at home with them. The worship experience was exactly that... an experience. People paced and danced in front of the stage, young men and sometimes not so young ones would run the perimeter of the sanctuary, people spoke in tongues (loudly) all over the sanctuary, clapping would deafen you, I'm not kidding it would! They spoke about the 'Holy Ghost' constantly. I've never liked calling the Holy Spirit a Ghost, I don't know why.. it is weird to me. They were eccentric. The atmosphere was buzzing every Sunday. At first I noticed only that the women had beautiful hair styles, and wore beautiful clothes, but didn't so much notice what kind of clothes. Then time started to reveal to me that the women didn't wear pants. There were a few in the back of the church with pants but it was pretty obvious who was a church member and who was not once I started realizing just how many wore skirts. I asked one girl about this and she said it was her personal conviction and that she didn't feel like everyone needed to wear skirts. I asked another girl about it and got the same message, and another, and another, and continually they all said they had 'chosen' to wear skirts because they felt that it honored God and they personally were convicted to wear skirts. At first I felt like that was great, that there was no judgement or condemnation with these women, that they could accept that some women felt convicted and others didn't. The topic became a rather heated one with my husband. He didn't want me to wear skirts all the time and said that not only did he feel like skirts were less modest in many cases but that he liked me wearing pants sometimes. We agree'd that I would not completely switch to wearing skirts, but that he would be more open to skirts sometimes. Then I started noticing the women's hair. No one wore short hair. Mine had always been long so I didn't think much of it until I started feeling like cutting it, not because I wanted short hair but because I'm in my 30's now and I feel like if there was ever a time to be adventurous with my hair now is that time... I don't want short hair as an old woman so if I ever wanted to see how it looks short now would be the time.. plus my husband had showed an interest in my hair being incredibly short when we were first married and I turned him down, so I wanted to honor him. He changed his mind about having my hair very short, but encouraged me to have a hair cut if I wanted one. I didn't end up with the super short locks I had anticipated going into the hair salon, but I did get a lot cut off, and the whole time I was worried about the backlash of the church we were attending.. would they think I was a rebel? it didn't affect my faith, but I was worried about what they would think. Then Sunday came and I had not done laundry and had one dress I could wear paired with a tank top because it was too low cut in the front for my own comfort. I felt confident that I was dressed modestly until we walked into the church, and I noticed that though it was upwards of 90 degrees outside all the women inside had nice sport jackets, or shawls, long sleeves, or other things to cover their shoulders and arms... how had I missed this all of the last 7+ months? I felt practically naked in my cleavage completely covered, skirt down to the floor tank top strapped bare shoulder'd dress... To be honest no one ever said a word, I didn't see their eyes judging me even once. There were other things though that let me know that I was a 'rebel' that I wasn't submissive to my husband or pastor, that I was stepping out of line. On Tuesday evenings the pastor and his wife came to our home to give us a bible lessen. It was indeed a bible lessen, but when we signed up for it they presented it as a 'bible study' that goes through the bible and answers 'our questions'. It wasn't what we thought it would be at all. They directed the questions, they determined how long it took to get through the bible, they didn't ask where our understanding of scripture was, and assumed that we knew very little or nothing from the beginning. The teaching style is one that I have been subjected to several times as a christian, it is confrontational and makes the student feel like they are either stupid or disrespected. I avoid that style of teaching as often as I am able, and if I am ever told that is the way I teach I swear I will try my hardest to change! While in these bible studies (in my own home) there were a few times I butted heads with the pastor and we once got into a rather heated discussion, in the end he said "I'm not upset, of course 'I'm not upset'", as if he was above that emotion and it was only me whose face was red and blood pressure skyrocketing. From that point on it was an underlying issue that I was not submissive. He asked once if I ironed my husbands shirts out of fear or love, and I replied 'I don't iron his shirts' and he looked at me confused and said "What DO you do?" and I gave him a list... "I cook, clean, take care of the children, teach them their school work, paint the house, do the laundry, mow the lawn, and a number of other things." he sort of laughed and then used the most manly tasks I had mentioned as an example "do you paint the house and mow the lawn out of love or fear for your husband?" I share all this about the church I attended because I was offended and began to wonder about the clothing issue, was I being 'unteachable'? I wanted to sing in the worship team, but I learned I wouldn't be able to serve in any area of the church unless I wore skirts all the time, and unless I attended this other class they offered at the church. I didn't mind wearing skirts on Sunday to adhere to their wishes and most of the time I was wearing skirts anyway so it shouldn't have been an issue except that my husband and I had already discussed this and had determined that I shouldn't wear skirts all the time, plus (TMI here) during my cycle I feel a lot more secure if I'm wearing pants, and I won't even entertain wearing a skirt then, I need the support of a pants waistline on my belly, and the security of pants for other reasons during that time as well. So pants just were not an option for me during those four days. I also began to think about the tasks that I do that would make wearing a skirt immodest. Climbing a ladder to get on the roof, which I had done several times this past spring and summer were number one on this list. Do women just never climb ladders in this church? Granted I have not had much need for it during the last month or two but I will again very soon as we begin again to paint the house. So the only logical answer to discovering who was right and who wrong about this skirt issue seemed to be an in depth bible study on the matter. I read about 7 commentaries on the matter, looked up many many blogs written by women who had made the change in their own wardrobe. I looked for bloggers who had like myself not chosen to wear skirts but didn't find any. Every resource I came to I jotted down the bible verses, I didn't even bother to note why they were important to that writer, I just copied the verse down and read another commentary or blog on the subject. When that part of my study was done and I had been filled with thoughts from other people I virtually stopped reading anything written on the internet and went to looking up and typing out each of the bible verses, determining if they had anything to do with the question at hand, and then moving on to the next verse, most times I would read the surrounding verses, occasionally the verse was just so clear that I didn't need to read more surrounding it, or I was familiar enough with the passage that I didn't need to, but usually I did anyway. A lot of people who choose skirts will quote Duet 22:5, so I started with that verse. Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. This brought out a few questions to ask myself. 1. Am I wearing anything that looks like men's clothing or is men's clothing? The answer, I suppose if you think pants are absolutely men's clothing you could say that, but cut, style, shape and color often determine whether something is men's or women's, and there are not many men in the world who wear or even can wear a pair of pants cut for a woman, so no, my clothes don't look like men's and they are not men's. 2. In the bible everyone wore the same type of garment, a robe and coat most often. The men and women alike wore the same garment, the only difference (as I found in several concordance commentaries) had to do with color, style, and adornments on the garment. 3. A few commentaries suggested that 'pertaineth' actually had to do with the warriors battle armor and tools, rather than his clothing. and that the word 'man' was actually talking about a warrior because the word used in this particular verse is different in Greek (or Hebrew I always get these mixed up) than the previous references to man in other verses in the same chapter, and it has to do with a warrior rather than just a man. I'm not speculating on this because other people disagree'd with it and because it isn't really that relevant to the rest of my study, but it was food for thought. Another commonly used verse for women who have chosen this lifestyle is 1 Peter 3:1-5 1 Peter 3:1-5 1Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. This brought up different things for me to think about. 1. Chaste means modest, am I modest? What does modest mean? I suggest to you that modest means that we dress in a way that doesn't insure that people look at us, or show things that draw the eye and make it hard to turn away. Cleavage should be covered, the bend test should be done. Can you bend over in that shirt without people seeing your bra? no? Put a tank top under it that will prevent that (not all tank tops will help). Can you bend over in your skirt without worrying if someone can see your underwear... if you are worried then it is too short, if you can see them it is too short. There are some skirts that can be completely modest when standing but not nearly so when bent, sitting, or kneeling... if it is one of these consider a different skirt or wear some leggings under it. These are my personal thoughts on modesty and I have many more... like how tight is that? Can you move freely in it? Can you breathe? Is it the right size for you? I examined my style preferences, I examined my clothing choices, and I determined that I was modest. My pants (thought I have one pair that I love but will not wear because they are too tight) are pants, but they are not immodest. My shirts are mostly all modest and the few that are not I have special tank tops to wear under them to make them modest. One of my most modest shirts while standing upright is my absolute most immodest one when caring for short children, this one I will never wear without a tank top under it. 3. When God said not to let our adornment be mearly outward I think he hit on it perfectly... it should be the hidden person of the heart that has the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.... This seems to be the catalyst under every verse I read. Where is your heart? Why do you dress the way you dress? Is it to show off your beauty? Is it to make people look at you? Or is it to be modest, humble and beautiful in that perfect way God designed for you? Honestly you could dress in the most ill fitting old fashioned clothing you can find and still have the heart of a wretch and not have done any good for yourself... Or you could dress in the most scandalous clothing available and just not realize what your are doing and have a heart of gold that honors God... now that being said if you are that person and you realize your clothing does this you may need to consider finding something more modest to wear once the realization hits so that you can keep that heart of gold and honor God... No matter what you wear it is your heart that either honors or displeases God, not your clothing. Verse after verse after verse proved this, and I have to say after this extensive study (contact me if you want my full notes on the study and bible verses) just proved over and over and over to me that God cares more about the intent behind what we do, and the heart of the person than he cares about the actions we take. Are our motives clean? Or are we drawing attention to ourselves by what we wear? Are we wearing skirts to be feminine, or to make a point about other people not being as holy as we are. Are we being modest? These are the things God seems to care more about. In the end the choice was simple for me.. I like dresses and wear them frequently, but every outfit I put on should entertain the Lord, not men. I'm going to wash and dress my heart before my body from now on.

Year End Goals

A few years ago my husband and I talked about setting goals, long term, short term and in the middle ones... we wrote them down on a not so fancy piece of scrap paper and posted them on the side of the fridge. I don't remember what they all were, but I do remember that some of them have changed and others we have gotten more serious about. Changes include my husband finishing his degree. He was at the time actually pursuing it, but then changed his major and now isn't doing it at all, but researching his options to be sure of what he actually wants to pursue. The serious goal that we set for ourselves is to own our home. We didn't put a specific time frame on that one, but hoped to be actual home owners in the next 10 years. This goal was set in the spring/summer of 2013, and now it is summer/fall of 2015. I'm excited to say that we are not only on track to pay off our mortgage by December 2017, but we are probably going to make the goal even faster than that, if of course everything goes well. We have been fortunate in our family to have Patrick as our head of household. In the beginning of our marriage I really didn't understand his need to store up money in the bank, and he didn't understand my need to pay everything off as quickly as possible so as never to have debt. Now that we are eight years into our marriage we've both leveled out a bit. I know that he needs X amount of money in his bank account to feel secure and confident in his ability to care for his family, and as long as that amount is there he lets me pay off our loans as fast as I like, which is an excellent place to be. I honestly never thought about how quickly we could manage to pay off our mortgage, that is such a huge bill that I just figured it would eventually get payed off, but not for many years. I payed extra where I was able, but not on any kind of schedule for the first year, and then we attempted to pay extra here and there for awhile, but the bank didn't like our method so they switched it on me and it got a little more difficult to pay any extra for a few years, but we set our payment schedule so that by the end of the year we'd be a month ahead and I still applied a little here and there toward it. We had a renter living in the house for 5 years, and he was only required to pay what our mortgage cost us under the agreement that he would take care of the house maintenance while we lived out of state, so we were not making any kind of profit off from the arrangement. Since 2014 we have been in a spot financially where we have been able to pay a little more than normal on the house, and have decided to put all of our tax returns toward paying off this debt, and this year we have been able to save money in other areas (having moved back into our home) and apply our savings toward the principle of the loan, and it is a very exciting thing to get our statements monthly and tally up the number of payments we 'jumped over' with our little extras. I feel like God has blessed us so much, and I'm excited to see what else he has in store for us. We are hoping to pay off this home, and either sell it or rent it out again (this time for profit) and buy a home more fitted to our family and the other goals that we have. Goals like planting a garden that will sustain our family for at least a large part of the year. Goals like having a yard large enough and secure enough to let the kids play outside more often. Having a driveway long enough that they can ride their bikes on it without having to turn around after 5 ft of peddling. Having enough space in the living room to host a gathering of church members and friends for special events, and finding a home that is ours forever. I have always been sad that when my parents lost our home because of a bad loan and work situations involving my dad's company, they also lost all the memories their grandchildren could have made in that home. They lost the ability for their children to walk in their old bedrooms and remember where their furniture was, and how the room used to be painted, because not too many strangers will let you wander their home. I want my children to have those opportunities. I want them to have a place to come home to when they have grown up. I want to preserve those things for them. Don't get me wrong, one of their bedrooms is going to probably turn into a craft room, and another a guest room, but they will always be welcome home, and always have a place in it to stay the night or visit for a week, their children will always be welcome with their grandma and grandpa.. so long as I somehow, one day, am able to own my home and stay in it. I long for that stability so much... For this year, the goals I hope to meet are small. I hope to see the birth of a dear friend's baby in December. I hope to celebrate my dear little 'moo moo's 2nd birthday with friends surrounding us. I hope to have a great party for Sapphira and Caeden, and I hope to enjoy more of our home school journey instead of just trying to get through it alive. Life is a journey, not a destination though, and no matter what my goals are for tomorrow, it is how I pursue them today that matters.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

No need to prepare

The last few days I have had pregnancy on my mind. As a precaution I decided to test this morning. The thing is, I didn't believe for one second that the little test window would have two lines in it. I knew intuitively that I wasn't pregnant, but I wanted to have proof, you could suggest waiting for the inevitable show of my period, but that takes a few days...and I had no patience this morning. As I sat down to do the business of testing my heart suddenly traveled back in time, I had sat in this same place when I tested positive for my oldest son, in this same place when I tested for my dear Saera who only a few weeks later left me while sitting in this same place. I placed the test on the bathroom scale to wait for it's answer and I realized that although I didn't think I was pregnant, I wanted desperately to be pregnant. I've been searching for an answer for why God gave me a baby and then so soon took it away. I know God gave me Saera, he told me I was going to be pregnant before I even got pregnant. He told me to trust him, and I did, I still do... then a little while before finding out I was pregnant I woke up just knowing that I was pregnant for a girl. I laughed at myself because I didn't even have proof of being pregnant yet and just knew I was carrying a little girl. My daughter's sister, a little girl she could share her bedroom with, and play with, and dress up with, someone she could get excited with as a teenager, the way only girls can. I wanted so badly to see this relationship, it was one of the first things on my mind when I had the thought of being pregnant for a girl. Then unexpectedly my baby was gone. A little bubble on a piece of toilet paper, frail and clear. She was gone. Now I am waiting in the bathroom to find out if there is another baby in my womb and hoping that there is, even though I know there is not. The test gets darker and darker, the time passes and finally the time is up, if there were going to be two lines they would have both shown up by now... there is only one. Unexpectedly I begin to cry, not little sad tears, big crocodile tears. I'm not crying for a baby that never was, I'm cying because Saera should be kicking in my womb right now. She should be nearly here. I should be less than four weeks away from saying hello to her. I should have gotten Moo moo out of the crib and into his own big boy bed in preparation for the coming baby. I should be crocheting little booties and sewing little clothes. I should be preparing for birth, my birth. I should be round and swollen and beautifully pregnant, but I'm not. I am in fact the skinniest that I've been in the last year. I should be feeling Saera's head and patting her butt the way I did when I was pregnant for my three living children. But the reality is that I'm not. I'm not pregnant with Saera, I'm not pregnant at all. Somehow the idea of being pregnant right now would make Saera's disappearance more manageable right now. I could say "God needed this new baby in the world to do something amazing that only it could" or something along those lines to make myself feel better, but the truth is that God gave me Saera and then decided to take her back home long before I could decipher a finger or toe, before her heart was even fully formed, before I had a chance to feel her move or see her on an ultrasound, before the world could even know she existed. I don't understand, but I don't blame God for this loss. I don't understand, but I still love God deeply. I know he has a plan for my future, a plan to bless me. I can't understand everything, it isn't for me to know everything. All I know is that I have three children on this earth, and likely won't have any more, and that I love them deeply, and will soldier on through my hurts, frustrations and struggles and teach them about the goodness of God, while silently mourning the fact that I can not do the same for either Jaemi or Saera. They are my precious babies too. I can't stop loving them, I can't forget they were there, inside me, and I can't forget that they didn't get to feel a hug from me, or be cradled by my arms, but they are hugged and cradled by God, and who is better than a mother cradling her child? The creator of that child must be! Jaemi, and Saera, Mommy loves you, and I miss you daily. I may never have gotten to prepare for your births, I may never have felt your movements in my belly, but I have loved you deeply every moment since you came to be. I can't wait to see you in heaven one day, and for the first time every hold you in my arms. Love Mommy.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Meeting kindred spirits

I have been off from facebook for a long time, but recently got back on, I don't enjoy facebook at all, and am not exactly excited to be on it again, but my business really needed it. At least I hope it does! I am a doula, I think I've mentioned that once or twice. We are usually known for our ability to work with other doulas. It is an area that doulas pride themselves on, the ability to network and not feel competitive with other doulas. In that, I realized I really need to get to know other doulas, and it was unfortunate but I wasn't getting anywhere emailing them. So I turned to face book. I couldn't send anyone a message using my business page, but I could if I had a personal page again, so I signed back in, after about 2 and a half years of not having that thing dictate my life. I realize now that the problem isn't with having a profile, it is with people who read it, and the amount that I allow them to see into my life. I don't have to be validated by others if I don't post every thing I do in a day for everyone to see. I don't have to feel like a failure when I see the successes that other people have when I'm not posting either. One thing I wasn't prepared for was the flood of emails Facebook would send me after signing back in. I actually went through my friend list and just knocked a bunch of it out, you know the people who have not tried to contact me in the last 2.5 years.... they were gone. Granted I'm a push over and friended them again as soon as they asked me to... but I figured they missed me and wanted to know how I was... so I'd let them. The thing I have really loved about getting back on though is that I really have connected with a few women in the doula community! I only knew of one before, so I really only had one contact that I could refer people to if needed, but now I have about 10 women that I intend on getting to know on a deeper level and really know if I could pass business along to them. The BEST thing ever is that I've invited a few to a tea party at my home this month, and while I kinda thought they sounded excited to come to a tea party I was shocked to see that they wanted not only to come, but to PARTICIPATE... I mean with the dresses and hats and everything! I love the friends I have already, I couldn't ever even consider replacing those relationships, but I'm excited to get out and get to know more women who are like-minded! I'm a little girl at heart, and I'm so happy to have found a few women who are similar!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Things I love

This is the kind of afternoon I wish I could have every day!
This or attending a birth.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Our first week of school

This week has been exactly the challenge I thought it would be.  It is great that I know what to expect from my children,  I know that Caeden will show extreme excitement about something and then extreme aversion to following the instructions of the leader (a trait I pray he can work out before his adult life) and that his attention is usually not on his assignment though he is so smart he could have them finished in minutes if he could focus his pencil on the paper.
I know that Sapphira thinks it is funny to give the wrong answer even when she knows the right one, thus making it hard to know if she does or does not truly understand the subject matter.
I know that moo moo is totally jealous of anyone getting my attention and has to be treated as much like the other children as possible plus lots of cuddles and snacks and drinks when I am attempting to educate his brother and sister.
I know these things.... but I don't know how to change them or work with or around them.  I fear Caeden will go so slowly that he will grow even more bored with math and stay in 2nd grade level long into 3rd grade simply because after answering a question he forgets to write down the answer. That he will hate me for pushing him so hard to read and write and spell when they are such monumental educational foundations.
I don't know how to express to my daughter that giving the wrong answer to gain mommy's attention (because Caeden demands so much of it to get through a task) will not help her.
I don't know how to settle moo moo down and help him feel loved and not pushed out when keeping him on my lap is such a distraction for his siblings.
We made progress yesterday in all areas.  It took Caeden longer to do his spelling but considerably less time to write in his journal.  And he was on a roll with math so I know beyond a doubt he understands it, he just needs to write down the answers.  
Sapphira finally started showing me she does know her shapes and colors pulling out a blue crayon for the color of her bed in a drawing she was making and telling me her bed was blue, and later saying that my legs made a square the way I was sitting, and she was correct.
Micah's nap time has sorted it's self out after 3 days of him demanding not to sleep when I put him in his crib and didn't return for him until long after his brother fell asleep and he was threatening to wake him up. He now naps during the second part of our school day,  and he is awake when the other children lay down for their own naps.  This gives me no break but it allows me to focus on cuddling my moo moo without distraction and educating Caeden and Fia without his distraction.
The best part of this school year is that while I face these age and personality issues I am not faced with figuring out each day and it's activities week by week.  We have a very direct comprehensive school schedule that is both flexible and easy to follow so I can make my day flow amazingly well regardless of the challenges I come across.
As stressful as homeschooling your child can be (what no one told you that part?) It is also amazing to be responsible for their every achievement and discovery, to see their faces light up when they finally understand something.  And most of all to watch them grow in character and size at the same time.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Homemade vanilla yogurt!

I heard recently that you could make your own yogurt and nearly flipped my lid... what a profound idea!  It never even occurred to me that it was possible!

I am currently making my 3rd batch. Batch number one was sweetened with honey.. yummy but my husband was not completely in love with the flavor of honey in his yogurt.
Batch number 2 was sweetened with homemade vanilla extract and sugar.  It was delicious I must say, but not as sweet as the store bought and therefore my nearly two year old didn't devour it as fast, so batch number three I have added an extra bit of sugar to sweeten it more... I am excited to see how it tastes!

I promise to put instructions on this blog just as soon as I have perfected my process but in the mean time believe me when I say this is ridiculously easy to make, simple and healthy eating for the whole family!

Good morning!

Believe it or not it is 4 am and I am totally awake!  This is my new wake up time as we are starting school.  No my husband doesn't wake up for another 2 hours, my children may be up in 2.5-3 hours, but I am up now.
Why? Because I am excited to start the school year out right.  Over the summer my husband had several occasions at work that gave him extra time, and required him to wake up at 4 am,  I always get up to prepare him a breakfast and lunch and then do my bible study, and I found that on the days he woke up at 4am, I was much more prepared for the children when they woke up.  My day flowed so much smother and I got a lot more done as well as spent quality time with my family, all good things!
Today is Caeden's first day of 2nd grade, and Sapphira's first day of preschool.  I am seriously excited to be starting this year out!
Caeden was apprehensive about school last year and I worried he would struggle against me when we started again,  but he is excited too!  Sapphira loves school and is excited to do anything related to it as well.  We even bought Micah a set of large crayons and a notebook to color in, last year toward the end he was adamant that he had school work to do with us so he got to color and was happy to join us!
I am hoping to post more each day as we travel through the school year, but we shall see. .. I have so far, not been a reliable blogger. 
As we begin school we are going to be focusing on attentiveness and frontiersman.  Caeden is especially excited to learn about tracking animals and we will be going on a family nature hike this weekend, Caeden will have the opportunity to earn his meal by collecting animal "furs" (pictures of animals). 
Let's get started! Not a moment to lose!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Poison ivy

Instead of going to play group this morning I am in the pediatrician's office with my children.  To be completely honest I don't feel the need to be here. We have a case of poison ivy on our oldest son.  He actually looks as if his skin is healing now but he has had it for two or three weeks depending on exactly when I noticed the first tiny spots.
Patrick wants to be sure that is what we are dealing with,  so we are here. . Waiting. The appointment was scheduled for 30 minutes ago, but I guess a good doctor is unpredictable on their schedule,  it really speaks to the heart of the doctors when they take time to talk to you and get personal with your family, I value it a lot.
I do however wish to get on with my day....
Thank you Jesus that Patrick cares so much for his son to be sure about the rash we are dealing with,  and for doctors with passion for their patients.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

School is about to start again

Maybe not for the majority of Americans,  but in our house school starts on Monday!  I am so excited and nervous about this! I can't wait for cooler days this fall and all the fun activities we will be doing in school, but I'm also so far behind in my house work that adding school to my schedule seems daunting.
I am trying hard to lean on God today for the strength I need to accomplish what needs doing.
I read Jeremiah 12 today, it starts off with Jeremiah saying "you will be in the right,  oh lord, when I lay charges against you; but let me put my case to you." I feel like that is what I am saying to him right now... God I know your plans are better than mine, but I am going to whine about them anyway!
There is so much to be done, and I have lost the excitement I once had for all of these projects!  The front of my house is looking amazing but I still have more to do and lost the energy to do it.   The back yard is really starting to come together,  but I have lost the desire to continue. The kitchen is ready to be started but I have no energy to start that project. And now school is starting!  Agh... Lord give me strength!
Maybe one day when I have a working computer I will post the before and after pictures of all these projects!  They really are pretty amazing.

Monday, July 27, 2015

It's been a really long time.

This year is totally flying by!  I have thought very often of writing in my blog but a tiny, ok massive project has kept me from having the time to do it. Even right now I should not be laying in bed writing this post, I should be changing a diaper and making my children breakfast,  but I wanted to tell the world (or whoever comes across this post as it isn't likely to be very many people) that I am actually writing a book.
God pressed it into my heart years ago and my fear of failing at it kept me from completing the task,  but I am 6 chapters in now and not turning back!
What else has kept me from updating? Getting contractors to replace our roof, scraping paint from the house and repainting it, trimming trees and hauling off the branches, mowing our yard, filling old ruts and holes with new compost, cooking, cleaning, creating home school curriculum,  shopping, taking care of three growing children,  and attempting to bless my husband daily.
This life I live is hard work!  And I am thankful every day to have the strength, love of family, and joy to complete the tasks!
How are you? Are you thankful to be able to work today?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sometimes life is not nice

I can't complain too much. .. but I am incredibly nauseous right now.  It doesn't matter that the reason has nothing to do with the miscarriage, or that nausea is not the only thing ailing me right now. 
If life were fair then people who have terrible morning sickness in pregnancy should not have any in the months following a miscarriage.
That is all.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The results are in

So it turns out the testing was limited to one test, and the results are in. Our family will remain mostly unchanged.  I however will be changed forever.
Last December just as my cycle was ending and a new month was beginning I lay in bed taking my temperature,  doing my best to be faithful to the promise I have made to my husband to give him all the information I could regarding my cycles and letting him and God choose what would happen.  I distinctly heard the voice of the Holy Spirit speak to me. "Trust me" he said. I almost laughed out loud.  I knew he meant that I was going to become pregnant again.  I felt that God should have been telling Patrick that, not me.
Sure enough my cycle was CRAZY and Patrick and I miscommunicated a few times leading us both to believe our family size was probably about to change.  I was excited and nervous,  Patrick didn't want more kids, but I knew he would warm up to it.
The day my period was due I took a test,  it was faint but positive.  A few hours later the line had disappeared but I knew what I saw. I had jokingly told Patrick that if I was pregnant I was going to have his best friend tell him. The idea had really grown on me, so I called our friends and let them decide how to give Patrick our wonderful news.
That night as we celebrated Art's 30th birthday he opened his presents and then gave a gift to Patrick saying he was sorry that he hadn't bought Patrick a Christmas present last month and that here was his late gift.
The box was big. Patrick opened it and out popped three balloons with the words "welcome baby" written on them, and four pictures of a positive pregnancy test. .. not mine since the line had disappeared. On each picture was written the words "congratulations on baby #4". Patrick was dumbfounded for a minute and then he came and hugged me. It was the best announcement ever!
I took another test the next morning and again saw a faint positive line that again disappeared a few hours later. I know a positive is a positive and all but I wanted that dang line to stay in place. So I bought another test, this time one with pink dye as those are supposed to be less faulty.  I couldn't wait to take it so I went to the bathroom and took it when Patrick was having a nap. I showed it to him and felt like a kid at easter searching for eggs, only instead of eggs I wanted a cheerful expression from my husband.
The line on the pink dye test stayed... it is still there now.
The following Friday I decided to tell my mom. She was surprisingly supportive.  I thought at least she would have picked on us for getting pregnant so quickly after saying we were done, and at most she would have only faked her excitement,  but she didn't,  she was fully supportive.  And happy even. I asked her what changed, a year earlier she and my sister individually gave me the birth control talk... she said I had matured a lot since then.  I don't necessarily agree but it was a compliment from my mother and I will take it.
On Monday morning at 4 am I woke up to bleeding.  Our baby was leaving us so shortly after arriving in our lives.  I bled for two days and spotted for about another 4 or 5, it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, and didn't last as long, wasn't even a typical period amount of blood, hope started building inside my heart.
I read everything I could find on the Internet,  someone said vanishing twin syndrome, I prayed but I felt empty. A week went by and I needed to know if my baby was still there so I scheduled a visit with a midwife who could test my blood and see what was going on. We expected two tests, one for a base line and one to see the changes in my hormone levels, I would only get one.
The morning of the test I was totally stressed out. I yelled at the kids and broke down crying more than once... I am ashamed of my behavior to be honest.  I also felt nauseous which I took to be a good sign.
After having my blood drawn I was feeling good about the possibility of still being pregnant.  I had read about breakthrough bleeding and that bleeding in pregnancy happens in a lot of cases (not any of mine but Jaemi's, but every pregnancy is different right) I even read it was more common in twin pregnancy and that usually both babies were fine. I hoped for twins. Hoped badly that this could all be explained by the presence of twins in my uterus.
Thursday at 10 I should have expected a call from the midwife.  She called at 8. She immediately explained that she was so sorry to tell me my baby was gone,  not going, gone.
Hcg levels are supposed to double every 3-4 days,  you can have up to a 10 any day without pregnancy,  mine was less than 2.
I had spent a whole 4 days building up hope in something that had already happened/disappeared,  something and someone I would never meet, and because I had hoped the news was doubly good, when it wasn't it felt doubly bad.
I called Patrick and he came home to be with me. I didn't necessarily feel like he should leave work, but I am so glad he did.
We named our baby Sara Lynn.  Sara was the name Patrick choose and Lynn because my mother's middle name is Lynn and she was far nicer to me than I had expected her to be. It is sort of becoming a tradition to name our lost babies after people who out of nowhere show kindness that wasn't expected or deserved when we are loosing a baby.  Jaemi Hale was a compilation of a family of people who cared for me while I lost him/her. Jamean Amy and Haley.
Sara is my lost princess. I woke up a few days before I got that positive pregnancy test thinking to myself, "this baby is a girl"... I didn't know I was pregnant then so I brushed it off until after the test, and then I knew like I knew with Fia... I was having a girl.
Now my girl is in heaven, with Jaemi,  and I don't even know why. I do however trust that God is in control. .. and one day my heart will mend a little and I will see my children in heaven one day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Over the course of the next few days I will be subject to a few tests that will very much decide the direction of our family.  Am I excited about this?  Yes and profoundly no.
I would love to divulge what is happening but would rather wait until I have at least some answers. So for now I am asking that if anyone is reading this, please pray. For me, for the outcome of the testing,  and for my family.
The amazing thing is that God has already given me so many answers. The first being that a few weeks ago, before this test was even on my radar the Holy Spirit spoke to me one morning, saying "trust me" and I of course said I would.
Then a few rough and questionable weeks passed and this testing has become the answer to some questions.  And this morning, the morning of the first test, I read the verse of the day on the you version app on my phone, it was psalm 27:14 "wait on the Lord, be of good courage, he shall strengthen thine heart, wait on the Lord"
I trust, and I will allow God to hold me up while I am in such an uncertain place.
Will you let God hold you up today?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My cleaning schedule

Bare with me if you have read this before, I promised to send this to a friend and then couldn't find it... oh yes that is what tags are for! Now I know.
Anyway this is how I start out the week with goals of what to accomplish.
Monday - Boys
Wash their laundry, get them to clean their room including vacuuming and washing the windows.
Tuesday- Towels
Wash towels and clean at least one of my bathrooms top to bottom.  This doesn't take long if you really think about it. So don't freak out.
Wednesday- We
(There is a method to my madness, it doesn't much matter how you set up your week so long as you can remember why each day is set aside for that task)
Wash the hubby's and my laundry
Clean my bedroom. .. probably the most ignored room in the house, I feel it is important to give it a day of attention. when mommy is cleaning her room the kids don't get to come in and I get a Break. They don't have to know if I take a 5 minute break to eat the chocolate hidden in my dresser
Thursday - catch up or get ahead
I don't have specific laundry to wash or a room to clean, this is my grace day... did the rest of the week not go so well?  Is this weekend going to be busy?  Use this day to accommodate the week you are having.
Friday- Fia
Wash Fia's laundry
Help her clean her room including vacuuming and washing the windows
Saturday - sheets
Wash the sheets
(Even the busiest weekend has time for washing a few dirty sheets, but I only do this on an as needed basis)

This list covers every room in the house except the ones you constantly see... so it is important to add a few daily tasks to the list. Things that need to be done at least once every day without fail (unless you want double work the next day)

My daily D's
Dishes (load the dish washer AND hand wash whatever doesn't fit or shouldn't go in it) don't skip any part of this.. it doesn't matter what time of day you do it but getting into the habit of doing it at a set time each day helps to get it done.
Dirty floors-
This is a quick pick up and either sweeping or vacuuming any room that needs it.  This is important don't overwhelm yourself. ..unless you have some medical reason for vacuuming every single day don't do it.  The point of this is to help you feel like you can stay on top of the mess, not to make your home the cleanest on the block.
Dirty counters (or tables or stands)
Clutter is not cool. Get rid of it.  You will not accomplish this on the first day so take it easy and do one space at a time. Start with the kitchen. Right after doing the dishes, it is natural to clean the counters and stove top so do a good job of it and take care of the mess. If your kitchen is like my mom's was when I was a kid you may want to tackle one counter top at a time. Each day get one clean and the next day clean the same one and one more and eventually you will have each clutter filled space taken care of and it is easy to keep up with them when you take care of it every day.
Now once you have done the daily d's you will have a pretty clean living space. If you have a relaxed weekend and got all your other chores done then use your Thursday to deep clean something.  But Don't do anything that takes longer than 15-30 minutes.  So if there is a big task break it up into smaller ones.
OK so now that I have taught you my system it is time for me to implement it...
I will be honest there has been some emotional life events that put my whole system on hold and that needs to change.... so I am starting off fresh too!
Good luck to you!

*btw the days I listed have meaning to me so to explain I will tell you what it means and you can feel free to change yours up.
Monday is the first day in the week and my oldest son's name starts with the letter closest to the beginning of the alphabet (consequently "boys" also starts with a letter close to the beginning :)
Tuesday starts with T and so does towels.
Wednesday starts with we so it makes sense to wash we's laundry that day.
Thursday didn't get a good match to anything so it was my catch up and get ahead day
Friday,  Fia is my daughters nickname and they both start with F.
Saturday starts with s.. so does sheets
Sunday is God's day. And I feel that even a mom can attempt not to work on sunday.. I cook, but I do not wash dishes or clean, it makes a little more work on monday and a little prep work on Saturday but I get a day off so I think that is ok.
I do admit that Sunday night after the kids are in bed I lesson plan for the next week of school but this doesn't take long and I am hoping to find a better day to do it on soon, for now though this works.

Good luck and God bless you on your journey towards a clean and organized life.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Getting back on track

It is amazing how a series of tiny differences can add up to make your week a mess!
whatever that last holiday was (yes I should know but it isn't even 6 am yet and my brain hasn't turned on yet) we decided to take advantage of the amazingly warm weather and go to the zoo. Originally when I planned this and invited all our home school friends I had no idea it fell on the holiday and therefore had no idea that a lot of people wouldn't be working and kids wouldn't be in school. I just thought it was warm, sunny, and Monday in January and the zoo is free.... let's go.
I will start off by saying it was incredible!  I loved it, but man were my mommy skills challenged!  There were so many people at the zoo it was hard to move around! Especially when you had 13 kids to watch! Now I wasn't the only mama watching them all, we actually had 6 adults in our group. .. but wow!
And I won't even tell you about our adventures in the parking lot where the spaces were painted so long ago that not even a small car has enough room to open a door without hitting the next car over. A friend has had to leave her infant car seat (infant inside) on the ground back up her car to open the door and then put the seat inside! How scary is that? I would be FREAKING OUT!
Anyway zoo on monday, grocery shopping, babysitting a couple extra kids, and visiting a few friends on Tuesday,  and by Wednesday I was on adventure withdrawal.
Does anyone else get that? Am I alone on adventure withdrawal?  If I has a series of events that get me going or raise my adrenaline and then follow that with a day of absolutely mundane every day stuff... I get antsy and won't do a thing the way I am supposed to.  It happened immediately after Patrick and I were married, he thought I was going crazy or in a huge depression, which in a way I was... All that planning, preparing, celebrating and excitement that my biggest dream was coming true, then the honeymoon and touring the area, and then home and back to work. .. and doing laundry and dishes (for two now) I was down... I needed an adventure and quickly.
So the zoo and visits with friends is a much smaller deal than my wedding obviously,  and the feeling down stuff didn't last long, just all day Wednesday!  Which meant my dishes piled up, my floors got dirty, my laundry did not get washed, Caeden actually finished school when he was supposed to,  and though that was AWESOME,  it left me with nothing I HAD to do the rest if the day and I was bored out of my
No more today though.
So far today I have put in a load of laundry, gotten dressed, loaded the dish washer, done my bible study, and let the dog out.... and of course written this... and the kids are still asleep.   my last two goals are to clean off the table and to fold the load of towels I took from the dryer.
And it is only 6am.. why can't I be this proverbs 31 woman every day..?
Good morning!  Have a cup of tea and wake up at your pace... before your kids. From my experience your day goes much more smoothly.  Or at least starts out better.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Letters to Jesus

It is time once again (and long overdue) to share a letter to Jesus.  Every morning I try to wake up before the children and spend some time reading God's Word and reflecting on the day to come and where I need him most in my life at that time, the result is a journal of letters I write to God.  Some of them I think are helpful to others and I share them here.  Enjoy the read.
"Dear Lord Jesus, ruler of all,
When that woman was about to be stoned and you forgave her and the men who dropped their stones walked away, you were full of mercy, something not all Christians have been able to grasp.  But I am seeing now why it could be hard to understand.
Ephesians 5:10-13 says "Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.  Take no part in the unfruitful acts of darkness,  but instead expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible. "
This sounds like we should expose other people's sins, but I believe we are meant not to tell of their sin, but rather expose to them that the action is sin. Not to shame them as your word says: but by being the light of Christ we can tell them there is darkness, but we do not have to live in it.
Ephesians 5:14 "For everything that becomes visible is light.  Therefore it says "sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. "  "
Expose the sin simply by being the light that shines bright enough to give the sinner a way out of the sin.
I never paid much attention to the particular words of Ephesians 5:33 either until now either, and I see how they are incredibly needed.
"Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband. "
Love comes easily to most women,  we give it freely to our husband, our children, our families and friends. What is not natural is respect.  We love our husband deeply, but when he does something we don't like, or forgets to do what we ask him to do we resort to nagging, the evil eye, tattle telling to other women,  withholding our bodies, and clinging to the offense. None of this is the respectful character you have called us to.
And husbands should love their wives. .. but they respect more easily than love.
When Patrick and I were first married he came home from work wanting intimate details of my day. And I didn't have anything to offer the conversation. So I would ask him to take out the trash or help with dinner, he would walk away and watch TV.  All of this was incredibly frustrating.  I thought he was wanting to spend time with me or show me he cares but really he was showing me I was his equal (asking about my day and sharing his with me) and not showing me love (helping me with my work).
We all need to be careful to meet the needs of those we love.  "Men love your wives" and " women respect your husbands". How else could we do this but with you Lord Jesus?


This letter is my personal thought on the word of God as it pertains to my walk with Christ. I do not claim to know your life or how you should live it, I do hope my thoughts are helpful to you, but if anything I have said offends you I pray you can see that it wasn't meant to do that, but instead to encourage and bring you closer to the love of God.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Clean and homey

I feel bad it has been so long since I have updated this page but everything has been incredibly busy and incredibly wonderful!
I am not what we call a crunchy person. .. but I am learning so many things in the art of home keeping lately that it makes me excited to tell you all the wonderful things I am learning.
I hate cleaning bathrooms,  and hate scrubbing things even more... I mean come on who wants to spend the day with chemicals and strong odors and a sponge that seems to do no good? Not me.  But then thanksgiving came.
I hosted thanksgiving twice this year. Once for our friends and once for my cousin and her family, the closest and only blood relatives able to travel and spend the holiday with us.
Thanksgiving was awesome by the way.  But Friday evening I learned what is possibly the best cleaning secret on the planet.  Baking soda!  Yup. This amazing cooking substance also scours pans, counter tops, teapots,  and glass electric stove tops!
Just a small pile of this lovely stuff a wash cloth, and a tiny bit of water and a but of elbow grease.  And all that built up cooked on, stuff that even the amazing  Dawn dish soap doesn't lift, is magically done forever! Well until you cook it on again anyway.
So after that amazing discovery I had to use it on EVERYTHING! And use it I did! But my fascination did not stop there... There had to be other tricks no one ever told me...
Pintrest helped out by giving me a list of cleaners I could make on my own. I have only tried one but it was so simple and wonderful I fell in love!
1 tablespoon dawn dish soap
2 quarts of water
1\4th cup of vinegar. .. Mix well and store in a spray bottle. .. works great for so many things.  Pintrest said it was a glass cleaner and yes it works great on glass, windows mirrors you name it, but what else? Apparently carpets!
My daughter spilled my delicious mint flavored hot chocolate on my carpet.  I SUCK at carpet stains and totally freaked out. Normally I would make my husband clean up the mess so it wouldn't stain, but he wasn't home. The only option left was to try to clean it myself.. I grabbed a wash cloth and the first cleaner I could find which happened to be this mix, spray spray spray and like one of those fake commercials the color of the chocolate on my off white carpet completely disappeared,  and I mean completely.  I sapped gently with the wash cloth and it collected the chocolate color and my carpet was left amazingly clean! Now I will say it was not an old stain I don't know if it would work on a old stain but I can say I am SOLD on making my own cleaners!
That of course could not stop my excitement,  I quickly budgeted a few extra things into my grocery list and made my own laundry detergent!  And yes I am totally sold on that too!  I followed a Recipe that includes Borax, washing soda, baking soda,  and gain crystals with Fels Naptha Soap that I grated with my cheese grater... and u will be using this mix Forever!  Only thing I would change is the amount if time just 1 bottle instead of two, the smell is good but too strong.
The rest is history!  I am turning crunchy by accident!