Saturday, November 5, 2011

Five Minute Fridays: Remember

So...I meant to do this yesterday, but co-op Fridays are super busy, so this is Five Minute Fridays on Saturday. lol! The Gypsy Mama hosts 5 minute Fridays...5 min of pure, unedited writing, each week, and I think I want to start joining in does not really mesh well for me to do this on my new site, With Eager Hands, so I am going to do it here. If you haven't already, please visit my new blog, With Eager Hands, and subscribe if you haven't already! :D


I remember it like a cool summer day. Odd that it's cool in the middle of summer, but beautiful to behold. It makes me want to wrap up in a blanket and walk along the beach, hair down, billowing gently as the wind works through it.

As I walk along I can feel the sand polishing away the dry, dead cells on my feet...the same way God is working the dry, dead parts of my soul out of me with each lesson; each embrace.

The waves crash, violent, on the rocky edge which is the shore, becoming smoother, and smaller with every impact. Work in me Lord, until I am so small that I can not be seen, but in all I do, only YOU shine through.

The sun radiates down on the beach. It gives the illusion of a warm day. Blades of grass glisten with dew still not dry from the night before because the sun's heat is just slow in doing it's work today.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Are you missing a message?

Isn't it funny sometimes how we can get in our own way, and completely miss a message the Father is trying to give us.

Recently, I revised my home management/homeschool schedule. On that schedule, I had this great plan that I was going to get up at 5:00 am, so I could run before my husband goes to work. I wanted to run along our pretty back roads, instead of around the perimeter of our property, which isn't much more exciting than running a track at the gym.

Do you see where this might be going?

All this week I've planned to get up at 5:00, all this week I've failed...until this morning. Last night I prayed God would get me up at 5:00 like I had planned so i could get my run in. I was actually super excited when I awoke to my alarm at 4:45 am (if you can believe that) because I had slept through it every other day this week. I took a few minutes to wake up, got up at 5:00 am, made a pot of coffee, and started getting dressed. I was SO excited to get back to running.

That is, I was excited until I walked out the door.

Somewhere, in all my excitement, this city-turned-country girl had forgotten that in the COUNTRY, at 5:00 am, you can't see your hand in front of your face. No, that's not figurative. You LITERALLY cannot see your hand in front of your face!

Not to be discouraged by the fact that I couldn't see where I was walking, and I had wasted a formidable amount of time trying to get my stop watch to work, I headed out, in the direction of the one streetlight within a mile or so radius. I decided I would nix my original plans, and just run around the adjacent block...surely that was still doable, and still so much better than looking like a fool running around my yard.

Nope. Wrong again.

I STILL couldn't see well, I came across some animal that I had to kick dirt at to scare away (I think it was a possum) and then once I rounded the next corner I saw a larger animal in the shadows. That was enough to make me high tail it home. I ran a WHOPPING .42 miles. Yikes. And I felt like I was going fast, but stopping for that animal must have killed my pace because my time was slow. I was too scared to run around the block again.

God did what I asked. He woke me up this morning, and got me out the door so that I could realize MY plan, was NOT His plan!, maybe I was sleeping through my alarm every morning when I never normally do that because God felt I needed more sleep. Gee, imagine that.

So now I will be re-working my schedule again, and praying about it first this time. I guess I also get to go back to looking like a fool and running around my property.

I'm ok with being a fool for Jesus though. Are you?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Story That Needs ToBe Told

"I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Philemon 6

My journey in singing started when I was very young. I was still in elementary school. I entered a "when I grow up" speech contest...and I WON! Well...I won the first round. I went to the semi-finals, and there, I placed 3rd. I was one of the youngest students in the competition, if not the youngest. What did I write about? Much to my family's surprise, I wrote about becoming a singer. My parents thought I wanted to be a vet, or a dancer, but definitely NOT a vocalist.

Partly due to my parents shock, partly due to teasing from peers, and mostly due to my self doubt, I didn't re-visit this dream for many, many years.

When I entered highschool, I got involved with the drama club. I L-O-V-E, love singing, acting, and dancing, so I was so excited to be involved. After performing in my first musical, Kismet, I was hooked.

I became a closet vocalist. I found that cheerleading helped me find, and develop my voice because it helped me learn to support it. I finally got the courage to sing in front of people a few times. I shook horribly the first time, but I vowed to keep making myself perform in front of others until I was comfortable with it.

Fast forward...I've done talents shows, and contests, and sang on a couple different church worship teams (which I LOVED) but nothing has really happened with my singing. As much as I would like to make a career out of it...I can't see that ever happening. I prayed for God to take the desire off my heart and out of my mind so that rather than be sad over it, I would never think of it again.

He said no.

I was confused. I didn't know why God would have me continue to do something that I couldn't be successful at. Too often I forget that I am incapable of seeing the big picture, and that I need to just put all my trust in my Father.

Our local festival, which is held annually, was on the horizon, and they always hold a singing competition. I was going to skip it this year. God kept bringing it back up. I finally said "Fine! I will do it. I have no idea what I will sing though." He said I would sing a Christian song to help spread the message of our savior Jesus Christ so that other's might be saved. Ok...but what song. "Here I am to worship" came to mind, but I dismissed it because it is SO popular. The next day Jason told me he thought I should sing the same thing. That was confirmation enough for me. So...I will be singing "Here I am to Worship"...A Cappella. I'm not even sure I know all the words. I've only been able to practice it a few times...but, as He reminds me often, because like a toddler I'm constantly forgetting...It's not about me!

So I will sing my heart out, and pray that I win even one more life for Jesus. If I advance in the competition...wonderful, my song for every round is a Christian choice, and I feel at peace because I truly am not competing for myself this time, which is a wonderful feeling. I pray that God will use me, and that I will bring glory to His name.

I really feel that God is telling me I will be using my singing for something. I am going to try my best to just ride the wave and see where it takes me. I know as long as it's all for His glory, it has to be good! I'll try to update with pictures, and how it goes. :) Thank you so much for stopping by and reading!

Image: Pixomar /

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cutting the Carbs of Idleness!

I'm guest posting today at Joyful Mothering! Go check out my post on what the "bread of idleness" is, and how you can cut it out of your spiritual diet!

Joyful Mothering

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In our homeschool this week… I think I have decided that we are going to use My Father's World as our curriculum. Now I just need to decide on an affordable, effective, spanish curriculum for the kids.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…This was finally a relaxing week, but we have lots of stuff coming up in the next few weeks!

My favorite thing this week was…when I told Coby to hurry up and get dressed or he could stay home with Brutus and he told me "but Mama, Brutus is not a great talker!"

Questions/thoughts I have…Holy wow...I hope I can begin to make sense of all these different choices before it comes time to choose a curriculum for next year!

Things I’m working on…a new blog!!! Curriculum planning for the Fall. Finalizing plans for this month. A crocheted dress, inter-change-a-bows for my store, and a doily for my mother-in-law.

I’m reading…Anne of Avonlea, Biblical Motherhood

I’m grateful for…my family, my children, and so many other blessings that I've received from God

I’m praying for…the fallen soldiers this week, a ticket to Relevant, provision in our finances, the health of members of my husbands family, and for a few different friends as well.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Eating smores at our backyard campout!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's almost THAT time again....are you ready?

I sat down with my morning cup of coffee, and started browsing around online...when I should have been doing my bible study. Even so, it was worth while, because, I found a bunch of FREE resources! As I am gearing up for NOT back to school, and trying to figure out what curriculum we are going to use still and look into different things for lesson planning and such, I was really excited to find these resources. Especially as a first year homeschooler. Who DOESN'T love free, useful, stuff! So here's the link, it's on the free page, in The Old School House Store. I'm getting them on my iPad, so I can read them in iBooks! :) If you click around on that site, you can find a link to a free digital copy of the Summer 2011 magazine too! Or just stop by my facebook and follow the link. Happy Reading! Enjoy, and let me know if you decide to get anything!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week… I have been super duper busy playing wedding planner for a dear friend of mine's wedding.

In our homeschool this week… I am preparing a camping curriculum to start with the kids next week as something both fun for the kids this summer and informative for when we take our camping trip at the end of the summer.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… Sometimes, it's just not going to happen, and that's ok.

I am inspired by… ">My "mom's of many" friends. My friends that have 4 or more kids, and still manage to do so much...when I'm doubting whether I'll be able to do something or not, I always tell myself, if "so and so" can do it, so can I.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… A wedding on the 23rd for one of my good friends. :)

My favorite thing this week was…Dancing with my baby boy at the wedding. He missed me and I made sure I got some one on one time in with him. He is so stinkin cute!
What’s working/not working for us… What's not working, is doing nothing...I need to get my butt in gear!

Questions/thoughts I have… Am I insane for trying to do half the things I do?

Things I’m working on… A sun dress for a friend. A doily for my mother in law. A new recycled nursing dress pattern!

I’m reading… Anne of Avonlea...and I should start The Tempest and True Grit soon! lol!

I’m cooking… Yummy cupcakes from scratch again...I made chocolate with chocolate peanut butter icing, and lemon with strawberry filling, and cream cheese frosting! I also made these AWESOME appetizers called BLT bites...I'll post the recipe soon!

I’m grateful for… The talents God has blessed me with so that I can bless others.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Coby lost his first tooth this week! I can hardly believe he's so big!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Minute Meal Mondays

So this will be the last week of MMM. If you enjoyed it, and/or if you would like to see it again, please let me know! I am gearing up to start a new series "Super Summer Sides." I only like alliteration a little bit. More to come on that later! Today's recipe is more of a cooking technique than a recipe. I'd like to introduce you to the wonderful world of...(insert dah duh dah dah! here) Broiling!

Most ovens have a broiler. In fact, I've never seen an oven that didn't. Yours is most likely on the top of the inside of your oven if you have an electric stove, or in the bottom if you have gas. Now, I understand you may be apprehensive. You may be thinking..."but the broiler always burns stuff." Fear not, my fair readers! I am hear to reveal the secrets that will make the broiler your best friend!

Start with your favorite meat...I did chicken breasts, and they were AMAZING! Tender, juicy, full of flavor, and from freezer to done in about 20 min, maybe less. To shorten prep time, you can put your meat in the fridge to defrost 2 days before. If you are a bird brain like me (how long can I claim it's pregnancy brain?) you can use your microwave to defrost. If you have time to use a 20-30 min. marinade on your meat, or let it marinade overnight, GREAT...but it's not necessary to still have great meat. Other cuts of meat that work well are pork chops, fish filets, and steaks.

Trick #1: Use a meat mallet/ meat tenderizer to pound out meat to about a 1/2 inch thickness. You want it thick enough that it doesn't get dried out, but thin enough that it cooks evenly and quickly. (Yes, even do this to chicken breasts. It makes them DIVINE!

Trick #2: Use a glaze or a marinade. If you use something thick, water some of it down a little and pour a little in your pain around the meat.

Trick #3: Use a pastry brush to paint the marinade on both sides, then after cooking one side and flipping, re-paint the new side that is up before returning to the oven.

Trick #4: Pre-heat your broiler while doing your prep work.

Trick #5: Use a foil-lined cookie sheet for easy clean up!

Another great thing about broiling is that it tastes similar to grilling, is easier (or just as easy) as pan frying, but you need no added fat, and you don't have to stand over a hot stove to do it! You can pop your meat in the broiler, do a simple side dish while it's cooking, or use the time to work on clearing one of your "clutter catcher" area's ala Joyful Mothering's Homemaker's Challenge this week!

Here's the recipe that I used for marinade for my chicken breasts that I made in the broiler last night...I forgot to snap a picture, insert face palm here, but they had a beautiful bit of crustiness without being dried out or over crisp.

1 min. marinade
1/4 cup of soy sauce (we use a low sodium variety)
1/4 cup of orange juice (fresh or from concentrate is fine.)
1/8 cup of lime juice (fresh squeezed, *real lime*, or from concentrate is fine.)
approx. 2 cloves minced garlic (I used pre-minced refridgerated garlic, but you could use 2 fresh cloves pressed or minced.)
appox. 1 tsp black pepper...fresh ground is even better, but you will probably need less.
1/8 cup olive, or grapeseed oil

Turn on your broiler. Whisk ingredients together and let sit while you pound the meat out with your mallet...don't worry if the oil seperates out a bit. When your meat has reached the desired thickness place it on the foil lined baking sheet. Paint a good layer of marinade on the side of the meat that is facing up, stirring as you go if necessary, pour a little marinade between your meat on the pan, flip your meat, and paint the other side. Place in broiler, set timer according to table below. When the timer sounds, check that the side of the meat that is facing up is fully cooked (the bottom will still be raw) flip the meat, and, stirring as you go, paint with another generous helping of marinade...not making puddles on it, but just making sure it's enough to keep the meat from browning too quickly before it's cooked through. Return meat to oven, set timer for additional time. When timer sounds, temp meat with a meat thermometer (if you don't have one, get one! Digital is my favorite, and you can pick one up for $6-9 at your local grocer usually. It is seriously a cooks best friend! You can tell if you meat is cooked through, without accidentally overcooking it for fear of under cooking it!) Refer to the table 2 below for the temperature guidelines for meat "doneness." Eat and enjoy your quick, easy, delicious meal!

Table 1: Meat Broiling Temperatures
Type of Meat Broil Time
Beef approx. 5 min. each side, for medium-well
Pork approx. 4 min. each side
Chicken approx. 8 min. each side (I did six on the first, and 8 after flipping.)
Fish (Tilapia, Cod, etc.) approx. 3-4 min. each side

When in doubt, err on the side of cooking too short of time, rather than too long, then your meat thermometer and the table below as a guidline for determining doneness.

Table 2: Meat Temperature Guidelines
Type of Meat Temperature and doneness level
Beef 120-125 Rare
Beef 130-135 Medium Rare
Beef 140-145 Medium
Beef 150-155 Medium Well
Beef 160+ Well done (the higher the temp, the drier, and more brown it will be.)
As a disclaimer, ground beef should be cooked to a temp of at least 160 degrees, and until no longer pink.
Pork 160+ (You should not eat undercooked pork.)
Chicken 165+ (You should not eat undercooked chicken.)
Fish 140+ Cook until it flakes easily, but do NOT over cook or it will become tough and rubbery.
Tuna, Swordfish or Marlin 125+ Again, do not overcook.

I hope you found this information useful, and interesting. If you make something using one of my recipes, I'd love to hear about it! What's your favorite quick cooking method?

Image: Carlos Porto /

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Homemaker's Challenge

Hot Spot 1: Kitchen Counter

This weeks Homemakers Challenge is to work for 5 min. twice a day on your "catch all" spot. Well, I have several catch all spots, so I decided to focus on 2 in my kitchen. The challenge is for a week, and ends next Thursday. If you want to join up, click on the post title, or the "Homemakers Challenge" Button on the side bar. :) I'll post my before pictures today and then *hopefully* update once at the beginning of the week, and once on Thursday with the final results.

Hot Spot 2: Kitchen Island

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…I didn't accomplish many of the things that I wanted to, but I did get my house somewhat back in order.

In our homeschool this week…we still haven't gotten into a more regular schedule...but there is lots of planning and researching going on right now on my part. :)

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…Having a plan/schedule...ANY plan, is better than nothing because it helps your day to flow.

I am inspired by…Music. It lifts me up and helps me open my heart to God, and motivate me on my sluggish days.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…This week we have a beach day today, a wedding tomorrow, and another church to visit on Sunday. We had a lovely time at my cousin's over the fourth of July holiday. I wish we lived closer so we could get together for cards more often!

My favorite thing this week was…Jaxon saying "Love You" without me saying it first. Jaxon pointing to the computer where ESPN was pulled up with a yankee's article and he said "baseball" clear as day andI didn't even know he knew that word! Jaxon wanting to help with Lily every time I ask one of the older kids. Coby volunteering to help with everything lately. Watching Caitlyn play with her babies and barbies. Lily interacting more and smiling like crazy! Finding a source of Lilies for my garden!

What’s working/not working for us…What's not working for us is ditching our schedule...although the break has been nice...I'm hoping we'll get a little more serious next week...I want to do lots of projects and fun stuff though...I don't want to hit the schedule hard until Mid-August so the kids get a good break and really have a fun, enjoyable summer.

Questions/thoughts I have…I'm curious to see if God will provide for us to register for our triathlon.

Things I’m working on…knitting, sewing, organizing our closet

I’m reading…Anne of Green Gables...still...less than 100 pages left!

I’m cooking…Navy bean soup for dinner tonight, hopefully some banana muffins...and maybe cupcakes or scones just because they're yummy!

I’m grateful for…My kids, my husband, our health, our home, our puppy (who's not a puppy at all)

I’m praying for…provision, salvation for loved ones, patience, and wisdom.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Artist - Hillsong United

"verse 1:
would you believe me if i said...
that we are the ones who can make the change
in the world today...
would you believe me if i said...
that all of your dreams in your heart
can come true... today...
would you believe me if i said...
that life could be all that you want it to be... today...

and if i had wings i would fly
'cause all that i need, You are
and if the world caved in around me
to You i'd still hold on
cause You're all that i believe
and the one that created me
JESUS.. because of You.. i'm free

verse 2:
would you believe me if i said...
that God can make miracles happen today
would you believe me if i said...
that you dont need to wait for the answers before..
you step out in faith..
would you believe me if i said
that nothing is ever IMPOSSIBLE.. for God..

just live your life.. with God inside
you wont regret one moment of it
and give all that you can for God... for God

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hello Mornings...Action Plan

So part of "maximizing your mornings" is having a plan for doing's mine...for now at least. :)

*Action Steps
1. What time will you wake up? 5:45 am
2. What time do you need to go to bed to make sure you still get
enough sleep? No later than 11.
3. Collect all the items you need for your morning time:
- Bible
- Highlighter
- Computer
- Coffee Cup
- Phone
- Ear buds
- Sports wristwatch with stopwatch
- Workout clothes
- Hair Tie
- Socks
- Tennis Shoes
- Worship Music
- Journal
- Water bottle
4. Set my phone alarm.
5. My cousin and the twitter #hellomornings group, as well as my blog readers will be my accountability partners.

Quiet time schedule
1. Old worship practice CD...and christian music playlist that is on my phone...I am going to add my favorite worship CD to it as well.
2. Currently using "Biblical Motherhood" as my study as I try to finally complete it.
3. Print a prayer calendar. I printed the one from the resources.
4. Be quiet and listen.

Goal: Compete in Triathlon on 7/17 and finish, and preferably not finish last.
Run 5 miles without stopping by the end of the summer.
Lose 10 lbs. (I will set a new goal once I reach this.)
*Action Steps:
1. List all the ways you could possibly exercise.
- Run outside around the property perimeter
- Run outside on a route I've mapped out when Jason is home.
- Ride my bike on a route I've mapped out in our neighborhood.
- Swimming at the Rec
- Open water swimming at the beach
- Stationary bike at the rec
- Running the track at the reck
- PS3 Active2
- Workout video or show from my collection or Netflix
- biking or rollerblading or running on the trail at Rowden Park

2. Specifically Plan Your Workout - Pick the video you want to work
out with. Decide how long you will ride the stationary bike. If you’re
running in your neighborhood, pick your route.
What: Running or biking
Where: around my neighborhood or my property
When: In the morning before the kids get up, and then again after hubby get's home from work.

3. Create Your Habit - What is the 1 thing you’ll try to do
EVERYDAY? Mine is my 5 minute workout. Yours could be walking
around your block or 50 jumping jacks. Anything that will help you
to develop the fitness habit. Remember to keep it simple.

Habit Workout: Running Ladders in my backyard for 5 min. or 5 sets of V-ups...starting with 3 reps each.

Join in with me...go get your copy of the e-book...get in better shape, be more productive, experience Joy you can only get from God, and blog about your "Action Plan." Then come back here and leave a comment letting me know you did so I can check out your plans too! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hello Mornings!

Inspired to action started a series called "Hello Mornings" and now Michelle oveer at "So I married a Menonite..." is hosting the current series I think which goes from 5/15/11 to 8/15/11...well, you know me...I'm a "make up my mind and jump off the bridge" kind of gal, and now that I've decided I want to start trying to get up early again, and get back into my routine, I read the e-book and I'm starting today...because if I wait until August to make the commitment, it won't happen. I've already been getting up early sometimes, and I have been doing so for a few years now, so really it's a matter of getting organized, and being intentional about it.

I can do this!

So, of course my next question to join me? I'd love some accountability, and for others to know the joy and accomplishment of rising early, spending time with the Lord and being productive.

I can do this.

Some favorite quotes from the FREE e-book by Kat that you can find by clicking the "Inspired to Action: Hello Mornings" button in the right side bar... "Inertia is a law of physics that states, “An object in motion
tends to stay in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest.”
Get in motion. There’s nothing like starting the day with your kids
knowing that you’ve already exercised, prayed, and planned. And it
makes you want to continue being focused and intentional."

Lord, I pray to practice the law of Inertia so that I may remain in motion for you!

So I've realized I really like exclamation points. It reminds me of the Beth Moore study "Living Beyond Yourself," when she said that she is just so excited about things that she severely overuses exclamation points. I am the same way. I'm not yelling, promise...I'm just giddy with excitement!


Another quote from the e-book I thought was great..."Success is most often a by-product of faithfulness." What an awesome notion.

So go! Get you FREE e-book, be inspired, join me, maximize your mornings, grow and cultivate your relationship with the Lord, get into an awesome new habit, have fun, and join me so we have some accountability along the way!

Photo Credit: dan/freedigitalphoto'

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Something new to do. I've been trying to blog more, and this is another avenue for accomplishing that goal in a quick and easy way. :)

In my life this week… Things are crazy as always. Hubby and I are still preparing for our triathlon, but our training has been pushed to the back burner for a few too many days now...we are hitting the gym again tonight though, and with about 3.5 weeks left to go, we need to! I got some flowers, mostly wild, free from craigslist yesterday, which was a huge blessing because I wanted to improve the look of our flower beds and just make the house more pleasant, but it wasn't really in our budget to spend money on flowers. I have innumerable projects that need to be completed, or started and completed, or followed up on right now, so that's a little hectic too, and my house, yet again, needs some attention in the area of cleaning. It's not that I expect to not have to clean, it would just be nice if it was just maintenance work rather than hard labor every time!

In our homeschool this week… We had our summer break from about Memorial day until Monday the 27th...but we are picking up a light work load again for the summer. Coby has started reading, and I don't want him to lose that. Our first beach day with our Seeds of Faith homeschool group on Tuesday had the kids in an excited frenzy too. We have been doing lots of exciting "unschooling" nature learning in the interim of our summer break though. I still need to decide if I want to use a curriculum for Coby this Fall, or if I want to try to make my own...especially since he is already reading.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… we start with the topic/subject that the kids are the most resistant to wanting to work on, take frequent breaks, and talk about our short term schedule so they can see the end in sight, and focus more on the task at hand. We also love no, I'm not an affiliate or anything like it, we just like it. :)

I am inspired by...this week...Anne of Green Gables...she reminds me to look at the world in a way that appreciates all the amazing and wonderful things that God has blessed us with.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…We are spending the fourth with one of my dearest, best-est (yes I realize that's improper English!) friends, who also happens to be my cousin, and her husband and 5 children. We will be heading out on the 1st to stay at there house for the weekend. It's always interesting and fun with 9 kids in tow! lol!

My favorite thing this week was…Caitlyn telling me "Mama! You scared me out the crap!" when I dropped a jar of baby food. Also, when Coby told Jason and I at the store that we needed to get new eggs because ours were "old" because the shells are brown! (Hubby got brown eggs from a co-worker.)

What’s working/not working for us…we sometimes fluctuate between having a schedule and not, and not having a schedule, is not helping anyone. Also, boring workbooks are not working for getting Coby to practice his writing.

Questions/thoughts I have…Will God give us provision to be able to register for our triathlon...will Jason stop being finnicky about homeschooling and get back on the supportive side of the fence...will we ever get our dream farm...will things start coming together in this next month like they are expected to...

Things I’m working on… I need to embellish a shirt for a trade and finish a hair bow...finish some alterations, crochet a toddler dress, crochet a pair of mittens, make something for a charity auction, make hair bows and burp cloths to stock my shop, make Lily's burp cloth, finish my curtains, finish the kids fourth of July outfits, finish planning/planting the flower beds, mend hubby's jeans' pocket, mend my apron, crochet a baby bonnet and booties, knit a bag, crochet a doily for my mother-in-law, finish hanging pictures and contact my aunt about the custom crocheted wall hanging she wants.

I’m reading…Anne of Green Gables, the bible, and Biblical Motherhood.

I’m cooking…cupcakes and frosting from scratch, yummy healthier meals, and alfredo pizza for dinner tonight!

I’m grateful for…everything. My children...the fact that God provided us with this much needed house in a nice location that fits our budget...our health...our pets...our physical fitness...our stamina...our many gifts/talents.

I’m praying for…healing for Jason's maternal grandmother...provision for us for a new home with the acreage we are looking for...provision for our finances in general...provision for registering for the triathlon we'd like to do...the health of family members that are in poor health...

A photo, video, link, or quote to share… He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority." Acts 1:7

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Minute Meal Mondays

Hmmm, maybe I should change to title to "Minute Meal Moments" since I can't seem to do 2 Mondays in a row to save my life! lol! Today's recipe is quick, easy, light and fresh...perfect for summer. We all know we should eat fish, but if you're anything like me, you probably don't eat even close to enough...this is a great, tasty way to get more in. If you don't like tuna though, you could probably sub diced chicken breast and it would be good too.

1 can chunk light or chunk white tuna
1/2 a small zucchini
1/2 a small summer squash
1 small tomato
a small handful of baby carrots or one small carrot
1/2 cup of uncooked brown minute rice
1/2 a yellow, red, or orange pepper
a few table spoons of lemon juice or 1 whole lemon for juicing
dried or fresh basil
grapeseed or olive oil for sauteing

Start your rice, dice your veggies, swirl your pan once with grapeseed oil (approx 2 tablespoons.) Toss your veggies in all except for the tomatoes, and saute until tender...your rice should be done, so remove that from the heat and let it sit while you finish. Toss one can of drained tuna in with the veggies and your tomatoe, mix so that it's heated through, then add your lemon juice, stir to coat, then mix in your basil, if using fresh dice it thoroughly before adding. Fluff your brown rice, then place half your veggie mix on top...reserve the other half for another serving, or make double the brown rice to make enough for two, otherwise, put the rest in the fridge, it reheats well for lunch the next day, but make sure to make new rice. Reheating and eating left over rice can make you sick. Enjoy, and let me know if you try it and like it! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Minute Meal Mondays

Minute Meal Mondays are back! My internet was out of commission the week before last, so I missed posting, then I had house guests, so I missed last week, and today I had a fever that almost ruined the day, but I'm back and excited to share this weeks recipe with you!

*Tip!* To make meals times quicker and easier, pre-cook chicken, and ground beef so you always have some pre-cooked on hand, ready to go. :)

Tasty Taco Toss-up
Serves 4 adults
1/2 lb. to 1 lb. ground beef (ground turkey or venison would work well too.)
1 15 oz. can (approx. size, I can't remember the exact ounces!) or 1/2 a lb. of dried black beans, soaked over night
1 to 1 and a 1/2 cups fresh or frozen could use canned as well, but I don't use canned vegetables.
Taco seasoning
1/2 a red pepper ( or sub your favorite color)
1 ripe tomato, or you could use a can of diced tomatoes with jalepeno's, but I like fresh tomato could also add some diced jalepeno if you wanted just a little kick
1/2 cup grated colby jack cheese
2 cups uncooked brown rice, or 4-6 servings (I use minute brown rice and make the middle serving size.)
*optional 1 large can sliced black olives
*optional garnish sour cream

Start browning your ground beef in a large frying pan if it's not already cooked. If it's pre-cooked add it to your pan over low heat to warm it. Add your taco seasoning following the directions on the packet but add just a little extra water, about a 1/4 cup.

Start cooking your rice.

Dice up your veggies, and add them, along with the corn, black beans, and olives if you're using them, to your taco meat. Reduce heat. Simmer over low-medium heat until veggies are heated and cooked through, and water is reduced to a sauce consistency.

Your rice should be done now, remove it from the heat, and follow the directions on the box or bag.

Add the cheese to your meat and veggie mixture, stirring well to distribute it and help it melt, once cheese is melted, remove from heat.

Serve over the brown rice with shredded cheese and sour cream as a garnish if you can play with this to make it as saucy or dry as you wish by adding or subtracting some water when you mix the taco seasoning in. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 3!!!

So here we are on day 3 of Dirty Diaper Laundry blog's "Flats and Handwashing Challenge." Things are going pretty well here. I have decided that everything I use, I want to be something very affordable, so I am using recycled wool, fleece, or inexpensive pul covers. I will post pics of the 5 covers I'm using for each baby hopefully tomorrow!

So, I never did get my plunger, so I have been handwashing 10-14 flats at a time in my bathroom sink. I'm using homemade, super economical laundry detergent, and I'm not doing anything fancy...I'm trying to be practical. If there is no poop, I use my bare hands...let's be realistic...1. urine is sterile, 2. I'm sure as mothers we've touched much worse. lol! So I let the water run through the diapers to rinse them as it warms up, then plug the sink, add the soap, and super hot water and let them soak for about 5 min. Then I add a little cool water, squish them around, scrub out any stains (if there is poop I wear gloves) and pick them up and down in water a few times...then I squeeze the water through each one individually a few times, then I drain the water, fill the sink with cold water, squish them around, and dunk them some more, then squeeze each individually again, them I hand wring each one, and either hang outside to dry, or lay on stuff in my bathroom! lol! I was running low on diapers though, and it's been raining all day, so I came up with the idea of ironing them to finish drying them, and after checking to make sure that wasn't cheating, I am happy to report that it's not, and it worked like a charm! I've done about 4 "loads" of diapers now...with two in diapers, and the fact that I'm using cheapy gerber flats, except for 3 pretty flats I bought for the baby, so I have to use at least 2 on my 18 month old, and I only have 27 diapers, that means we go through them pretty quickly!

Here are a few pictures from Days 1 and 2!!
origami fold with a pad folded flat as a doubler for naptime!

I've been doing the reverse jelly roll along the legs that was mentioned in the vlog on Dirty Diaper Laundry's blog without even knowing it was the same thing that she was doing too! I love the trim fit it gives around my kiddo's thighs! See!

A "load" of flats getting their final rinse!

pre-folded flat angel folded

pretty girl!

kite fold

kite fold again

Origami fold with a gerber can tell these are much smaller and thinner.

This is just triangle folded with a gerber flat as a doubler.

And my cutey boy in his night time flat...three flats together, triangle folded with two flats pad folded as doublers and then I covered it with recycled wool pants...I put a little olive oil on his bum, and used a scrap piece of fleece as a stay dry liner and his butt looked great when he woke up,and he was nice and dry, and his pants were dry to the touch! I couldn't believe it!

I have to say, I am really enjoying these flats, and I think I would like them even more if I had better quality flats. I am excited to have my washing machine back, not because it's that difficult, or that gross, but honestly, because I am super busy and it takes me about 20 min. to wash diapers and 15 to hang them EVERY load, and with the number of diapers i have, I'm doing about 2-3 loads a day...that's a LOT of extra time out of my day when I homeschool and have 4 kids. However, it is still manageable, and I would choose this over disposables still, even if I was working (which I'm not now, but I worked full time until my oldest was 14 months old.) Can't wait to update more tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge

This week I'm doing the "Flat's and Handwashing Challenge" over at Dirty Diaper Laundry blog. So someone decided to come up with a challenge to test out an idea that I've been saying for over a year cloth diapers to needy families that can't afford diapers, or who need to save money on diapers...the problem, apparently a lot of these needy families don't have access to a washer and dryer even, or at least not one that they can wash diapers her solution...give them flats and have them hand wash them...but is that really feasible? That's what we're aiming to find out!

I've pledged to use only flat diapers for 1 week, from May 23rd-May 30th. I can only wash them by handwashing, or using a non-electric washing a camp style washer. You can also only use 5 covers per child, for the whole week. I forgot to buy my plunger, so I'm handwashing in my bathroom sink for right now...luckily my 18 month old hasn't pooped yet! lol! I should be getting my plunger in a few short hours, so we should be good to go then.

Why am I doing this? 1. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good challenge! 2. I've wanted to try flats for awhile and figured this was just the push I needed! 3. They are super economical so I could up my stash for cheap! 4. I want to raise awareness about cloth diapers. 5. I want to raise awareness about families being in need of diapers. and 6. I wanted to show that maybe there are another option for families in need other than donating disposables, or (yuck!) them rinsing the disposable of solid waste and re-using it. Part of my business is making cloth diapers, but I love to try to help mama's in need to and hope to eventually donate cloth for families in need on a regular basis.

I've taken a few pictures already, but I haven't had a chance to upload them yet, but I plan to post some pictures through out the week of my babies in differently folded flats. As well as update on how it's going.

How it's going on day 2...not bad...I didn't have the time or funds to order nicer, more expensive flats before the challenge, so I bought bleached gerber birdseye flats from my local Meijer, prepped them with the boil method, and have been using those...and they are rather thin, so I am having to change them pretty often. It's fun doing something different. They are surprisingly easy to use, even if you don't fold them a certain way, you can kind of fudge your way through it and still make them work! lol! They wash up very easy and they dry SUPER fast, which is awesome...and I actually prefer line drying them because they dry faster than drying them in the dryer (I did with a dozen that I prepped before the challenge started) but you really need them to be flat when you use them, so I ended up ironing them because they were so wrinkly! lol! I'm even starting to make friends with diaper pins a little! I will say though that it's a little more work since I have to change more frequently and head out to the line multiple times per day to hang, dry, and take down diapers. Well, my 7 week old is fussing so off I go!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Minute Meal Mondays

This is a new series I am going to start, and try to do for the next 4 weeks. The goal is to post a new recipe for a quick, easy, AFFORDABLE, meal, that is not only tasty, but also nutritious, that you can get made up quickly for those Manic Mondays!

Rapid Rotini Casserole

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size. ;)
Ingredients needed
1 14-16 oz. jar of tomato sauce, or the equivalent of your own homemade sauce
1/2 cup sweet potato or carrot puree (or both, or neither...I used a jar of sweet potato baby food!) This is just for added nutrition, you don't taste it at all!
1 lb of whole grain rotini pasta (penne, rigatoni, or mostacolli all would work as well.)
1 lb ground beef, browned (I had this pre-cooked and in a baggie in my freezer.) You could leave this out all together as well, change the amount or sub ground venison, ground turkey, or even pork sausage and it would still turn out well
Any extra veggies you want to add...I didn't add any because we didn't have any on hand that my kids and hubby like...peppers, onions, squash, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, or celery would all be good additions if your family likes them! :)
1 cup of water
1 large bowl filled with very hot water from the tap
spaghetti seasonings of choice...I used garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano...fresh would be good too!
4 oz or about 1/2 a bag of shredded mozzerella cheese (more or less to your taste, or can be completely omitted, or you could sprinkle with paremesean.) I used an 8 oz. block and sliced it because my shredded was in the dishwasher, but I would have only used 1/2 if I would have shredded it.
9x12 baking pan...I used glass

Ok, that took a long time to read, I promise it's super fast to make though! Pre-heat your oven to 400. Put your pasta in the bowl of hot water. Mix your meat, seasonings, puree, sauce, any veggies you want to use and 1 cup of water together in the 9x12 baking dish. Now, drain your pasta and add the pasta to the casserole dish as well...don't worry if you don't get quite all the water out. Mix the pasta into the sauce, top with grated cheese, cover with foil and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Check to make sure veggies and pasta are tender by poking with a fork. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of the baking time if you want the cheese to brown, allow to cool for approx. 5 min after taking it out of the oven, then serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My First Freebies!

Holy Cow! This must be a new record for me! Two new blog posts in a day! lol! While doing school work today I came up with a few printables for Coby to work on to practice reading skills, so I thought I would share them for free! The first idea is not mine at is just my version of color by number sight words that I saw over at 1+1+1=1 and she got the idea from another blog. I made my own because 1+1+1=1 didn't offer the words I wanted, and I didn't like the font that was used on The Moffat Girls blog.

The second printable I made is just a list of words in caps, and then lowercase letters as well. The idea is that you post the environmental print around your house so your early reader can start recognizing the words for objects they see every day. :)

Sight Words Group 1 Color by Number Flash Cards

Evironmental Print 1

Labeling Our Home "School"


While reading one of my favorite homeschool blogs today, 1+1+1=1, I was reminded of an idea I saw in Coby's preschool classroom that I wanted to implement at home, but had totally forgotten about! Labeling! I have been enjoying reading a lot about learning to read this morning. I am so excited! I will be printing out some sight words, and some color by number sight word cards, although I may make my own. I will try to get some pictures up once I get the labeling done, and report back about what the kids reactions to it are. Please share what activities you are doing to help your child learn to read and to make it fun! I love getting new ideas!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


So, I'm on a site called Ravelry and in one of the groups I'm in there, a friend of mine mentioned that she was going to be joining in on KCWC on one of the blogs she follows! What is KCWC...Kids Clothes Week Challenge! I decided to check it out since I always have visions of grandeur and hopeless illusions of what I plan/want/hope/wish I can get done for my kids as far as clothes go, and well, I usually don't get much of anything I think this would be a perfect way to start my kids spring/summer wardrobe, and maybe finish up the baby's diapers! So the name of the game is, you commit/challenge yourself to sew for your kids, for 1 hour each day, for seven days, and then surprise yourself at the end of the week with how much you were able to get done! :) I can't wait to get started! Now I just need to bust butt to get caught up around here on housework, and sewing so that I am caught up and ready to go on May 9th! :) Will you join in too? Follow the link in the title to go to Elsie Marley's blog and check out all the details!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Homebirth of LilyAnn Marie

I still haven't finished writing my second son's birth story, but his was my first birth with no pain relief...I can't say it was natural because my midwife forced pit augmentation on me after 2 hours of arguing...which is what led me to seek a home birth this time! I knew my body could do this, and I wanted to deliver in the water, which I can't do at any hospitals within an hour and a half radius. Little did I know my faith in my body and the serenity of being at home would result in an amazing, quick, easy and comfortable birth! :) My dream birth. :)

I had my first round of really good contractions on Sunday, March 27th. They started at night, and were about 5 min. apart, and pretty strong. I had a lot of pressure and could feel the baby moving down, but I decided to go to sleep, and they stopped. I had contractions that were somewhat consistent throughout the day on Monday, but they weren't getting any stronger. I was supposed to be going to my cousins baby shower on Saturday though, so I called my midwife to see if she would come and check me. I could tell some stuff was happening, and being my fourth, I didn't want to drive an hour away if I was dilated to a 3 or a 4 already!

My midwife stopped by after her last appointment, and checked me. I was dilated to 1, 40% effaced, and baby was at a 0 station. No wonder I was having so much pubic bone pain! None of my other babies were ever engaged beyond -3 before I was fully dilated! I continued to have contractions on and off for the next couple days, they were about 10 minutes apart, but not getting any stronger, and I just felt achy and tired in between. I think I told my husband on Tuesday and Wednesday that "I might be calling you home, this could be it." Of course then the end of the day would come, I was tired, so I went to sleep, and the contractions would stop. Thursday morning, I had contractions that were somewhat strong, and 10 min. apart, that woke me up just before my alarm. I again told hubby "I think this is it." Throughout the day the contractions got stronger, and slowly got closer together, but the difference was that I felt GREAT in between, so I really thought this was it. I was trying not to call my midwife too early though, knowing that I typically had longer labors. I worked around the house in between contractions, sweeping, vacuuming, doing dishes, doing school with the kids. I never called my husband because although my contractions were about 7 min. apart at 3:00pm, and they were strong, they were not painful, and they were still completely manageable.

My husband got home around 5:30, and by this time the contractions were just starting to get a little more intense. I still was unsure if I was really in labor, I didn't want to be disappointed again if I wasn't! I had started packing the kids bags just before my husband got home though, and when he arrived I told him I thought we should take the kids to his parents "just in case" and that we would pick them up later if it were not "the big event." I figured, if nothing else, I would be able to relax and get some rest if I weren't actually in labor. I was going to go with my husband since we live on a dirt road and I still felt like my contractions could be stronger, and I thought maybe all the bumping would move things along! I had two pretty intense contractions just before he was about to leave though, so I decided I would stay home and take a shower to relax. My labors were 19 hours, 12 hours, and 23 hours respectively with my last three children, and I figured since the contractions were slightly starting to feel like they could be real, I probably had a good amount of time still ahead of me before our baby would arrive if this even was real labor...I STILL wasn't sure!

I kissed my babies good bye and told them to behave for Grandma and Grandpa, and that Lily might be out of my belly when they got home, which they were very excited about! I kissed my hubby, and felt another contraction coming on so I went in the bedroom and bent over the bed. This helped relieve the pain on my pubic bone tremendously, and I couldn't even feel the contraction AT ALL (which was why I was still not sure if it was labor!) It was now 6:15pm. I decided I should call my midwife, Goldie, to put her on alert "just in case." She turned out to be over an hour away visiting with her daughter who was in town, and she had made plans to have dinner with her daughter as well. Goldie asked if I wanted her to send her back up midwife, Kathy, over so that I would have someone there with me, but because I normally have slow labors I told her not to worry about it yet, and that I would call her if anything changed. I was a little bummed, mainly because I wanted to be evaluated to see if I was really in labor, but also because it felt like my first two births where I didn't have my OB and I had to have one I had never met. I was supposed to meet Kathy at my next appointment, but obviously we didn't make it that far! I didn't let myself get stressed out about it though, I told myself it would be fine and to just roll with it, and stay relaxed. I also called my sister in law to let her know I thought this was it, and she teased me that I would end up having the baby on April Fools, which I didn't really want. I replied that I still had 6 hours left. She said "yeah, but we know how your labors go," to which we both had a good laugh. I wasn't worried about it though, I was just focused on trusting my body to do it's job and stay focused through the contractions. I had one rather intense contraction while I was on the phone with her, so I let her go so I could get in the shower.

I got undressed, and was about to start the shower to let it heat up, when I felt another, stronger contraction coming on. I bent over the bed, and blew softly out my mouth through it, remembering Ina May saying in Spiritual Midwifery that "a soft mouth equals a soft bottom." My main goal was just to stay calm, trust my body, and stay as relaxed as possible through the contractions so that they could do their job, quickly and efficiently. After that contraction, I knew I would need to bend over through the contractions, which I could not do in my stand up shower. This contraction was the first one that convinced me this was the real thing. I posted a quick update about my contractions being 4 min. apart,and not to call or text me unless I contacted them first so I could stay focused and not be overwhelmed by anxious friends and family and I texted my friend Nicole that I thought I was in labor if she wanted to head over, since she was the third part of my support team along with Goldie, and my husband Jason. Then I grabbed my phone, set it on the toilet, and decided to fill the tub and get in. I knew that if I got in the tub too early it could slow my labor down, but at this point, I was still alone, the contractions were getting more intense, and I was just focused on managing my contractions and staying calm, and comfortable while I was waiting for my support team to get there.

I started to fill the bathtub, then another contraction took me to my hands and knees on the bathmat. I was sure this was it now, and was happy I had the tub filling already! When the contraction was over, I climbed in the tub. The relief was immediate! I felt so much better and more relaxed! I could tell things were progressing, so I called Jason to see where he was at, and he had not left his parents yet. It felt like he had been gone forever, when in reality, it had not been that long. I told him things were progressing, and that if he was still going to go get food, he needed to get a move on. I decided to call my midwife and tell her to send Kathy so that I had someone there "just in case," because I could tell things were progressing, and even though I had no clue how dilated I was, I could feel the baby's head pretty low. Goldie said she would send Kathy over, I got off the phone with her as another contraction came on. I was still sitting up at this point, and this contraction was more intense, but still manageable. I decided to call my sister in law and tell her that I could feel the head, and that I didn't think it would be much longer. I got off the phone with her quickly as I started to have another contraction so she didn't have to hear me deal with it. My concentration broke because I had been on the phone with her, and I fought the contraction a little at first, so I ended up moaning in a low tone through that contraction. I was no longer comfortable sitting up in the reclined position I was in, so I tried going to my hands and knees which was very uncomfortable surprisingly, so then i tried laying on my right side so that I could hold on to the side of the tub and let my lower body just hang. This was very comfortable, and the position I ended up delivering in. I was starting to worry a little now, since I was still alone, and I could feel the babies head low in my pelvis. I called Jason to find out where he was, and was relieved to hear that he was less than 5 min. away.

Jason arrived home, and came in to check on me. I had him get me my bathing suit top so that I wasn't completely indecent when the midwife arrived, and apologized because there were quite a few things I needed him to do because I had not got to them. Jason got right to work on the things I asked him to do; getting the birth towels and wash cloths out of the dryer, washing the sheets for the bed, and putting the sheets and shower curtains on our bed in case I needed to get out of the bath. As Jason bustled around, I was relaxed and calm, breathing through my contractions, which were starting to get more intense, and focusing on staying centered so they could do their work. I was still completely relaxed and comfortable between them though and able to rest. Jason had brought me the smoothie I requested, because I didn't feel like eating, but I knew I should have something to keep my strength up. I wasn't even very interested in drinking that, but took a couple sips because it looked really good. It was really good, and helped me to relax even more! I text Nicole to see where she was at, because I didn't know how much longer it would be, and contractions were getting more intense and I was a little lonely since Jason was running around, so I was wanting someone to keep me company. She replied that she wasn't far, and not to worry, because she brought chips, which I had a good laugh from because that was what I told her I wanted when she asked if I needed anything. :) Contractions were 2-3 minutes apart now.

Jason came in to check on me again, and let me know that all he had left to do was go rinse out the sink in the kids bathroom (a 3 and 5 year old make a pretty big mess when they brush their teeth! lol!) He also needed to use the bathroom, but was going to use the kids so that he wasn't urinating right by my head (the tub is close to the toliet in our master bath.) I said ok, but not to take too long because I could tell things were starting to get serious now. He started to walk out, and I called him back from the doorway so I could hold his hand through the contraction that was building. It was a pretty intense one, but I managed it pretty well, only making a few low moaning noises. When the wave was over, Jason asked how I was feeling, and I told him that the hospital and an epidural were not looking so bad right now (I had a hospital birth with epidural and pitocin for both of my first two births!) We both laughed and I told him, it was not that bad, but it was getting intense (this was the first contraction that I would say had a little pain) but that I did not regret it, and I could do it, unless I was going to have to deal with contractions like this for the next 12 hours or more! We both had another laugh again, and I told him to hurry because I could feel another contraction building, and I felt like I really wanted him there for support now...little did I know, I was in transition, maybe even complete already!

Jason left the room to go take care of the kids bathroom, and I felt the next contraction starting to build. Kathy and her daughter Hannah, who is an EMT and training to be a Midwife, and Nicole were still not there yet, but I was not worried, because I knew they would be any minute. This contraction was rather strong, and a little painful, but I was able to breath through it without making noise, just blowing air through my lips rather forcefully and at the peak, I felt my bag of waters break, and then my body started to push on it's own slightly. I tensed up slightly when I felt the sensation, and it stopped immediately, and the contraction ended. OK, I thought to myself, I know that I don't want to tense up, because that will make it more painful if I fight against my body. I knew my contractions were about 2 minutes apart now, so I figured the midwife had about 2 minutes to arrive and that the baby was going to start coming either way with the next contraction. I was a little bummed (silly I know!) because I had envisioned playing card, and laughing in between my contractions. Relaxing, hanging out, and being supported and encouraged by my midwife through out my labor. I knew that none of this would happen now, because the baby would be here very soon! I was very happy though that my labor had been so quick and easy, and really the perfect labor that I had hoped for! I called "Honey" loudly because Jason was still in the other room (only about 2 minutes had passed since he left!) [The next 5 minutes or so are a little hazy, so if I botch the details slightly, my apologies.] I felt, what would be a 4 minute long, contraction starting to build, and called him again, then closed my eyes, and retreated inside so that I could focus on what my body was doing. The contraction was intense, I felt pain from my pubic bone and tailbone spreading as the babies head was descending and my body was pushing all on it's own. I was able to manage the sensations by moaning lowly, loudly and deeply, and I only stopped to take a breath. I mentally prepared to feel the ring of fire, but it was not very noticeable in the soothing water. Jason called out that he had unlocked the door because my friend had arrived, and I was vaguely aware of her entering the room. Jason came in as well, took one look at me and said in a surprised tone, "Are you pushing?!?" I replied "not by choice, my body is," and then re-focused on the task at hand. My body continued to push and I let it do it's thing, as I instinctually reached down to feel my baby's head. Jason stepped over to the edge of the tub, and reached down to cradle the babies head as well, and prepare to help catch her. I was so proud of him for jumping right in, and I was not nervous at all. I knew my body would do what it was made to do, I'd done it before, and I had my handsome protector there to help me if I needed it. I was excited to know that my baby would be born into her parents loving arms! Jason asked me to move my hand, and I told him "don't ask me to move my hand." I didn't know why at the time, but I needed it there. It helped me feel connected, to know what was going on, and when later discussing it, Nicole, that has had a water birth as well, thought it might have been because my instincts could tell that I needed to do that to keep the baby from floating up, which would cause me to tear. All of this happened very quickly of course, in about 3 min. time, and now we were getting down to business. I felt a strong urge to push, so I did, and after one big push, only letting up to take another breath, our babies head emerged. The contraction subsided, as it had with my previous births, so I knew I had a second to breath before birthing the baby's shoulders. I took a few cleansing breaths, told Jason I was waiting for the next contraction, and I think I said hi, to my friend who had arrived, and told her the midwife was on her way. I felt the contraction building, and bore down to birth her shoulders. After one long push, the baby's shoulders were free, and the rest of her body emerged into the water. Her daddy caught her, and I reached down and lifted her under her arms, up onto my chest. Nicole and Jason grabbed a few towels, and her hat. We put her hat on her and draped the towel over her to keep her warm. Her eyes were open, and she was looking around and breathing well, but since she wasn't crying, I gently rubbed her with the towel, but I knew she was fine.

I had called my midwife at 6:15 to say that I thought it might be the real thing, but I still wasn't about 6:45 I was taken to my knees by the tub, and KNEW it was real, and our baby girl was born just an hour and 18 minutes later at 8:03! About 3 minutes after I delivered our precious baby girl, LilyAnn Marie, Kathy and Hannah came through the door, only to find out they were a little too late! They came in the bathroom door, saw me holding the baby in the bath tub and my husband said "you're a little late," with a chuckle. Kathy replied "that's ok, it looks like you did just fine, and that just means half my work is done!" Kathy came over and felt the cord, but it was still pulsing, so we chatted for a few minutes, and Kathy tried to call my midwife, Goldie, to tell her that, not only did she miss the birth, but Kathy hadn't even made it in time! I sipped on my smoothie and relaxed, and was really very comfortable still in the nice, warm water. Kathy asked me if I thought i had torn, and I told her, I was pretty positive I had not, I didn't feel any burning, stinging, or pain around my perineum, or at all down there. I caught up with Nicole a little and we were all just amazed at how quickly everything had happened! Kathy checked the cord again, and it had stopped pulsing, so she clamped it, and Jason cut it. I was starting to have after pains, that were more painful than any of the contractions I had, and I was asked if Kathy could take the baby to do her assessment, and get her wrapped up in a dry towel. I said that was fine, and she returned a few minutes later to check on me. I was pretty uncomfortable now, and I said so, so Kathy suggested I give a few pushes, if I wanted, to try to deliver the placenta. I did, and it only took a couple light pushes, and it was out, and OH the RELIEF! Nicole even said "That's nine months of relief right there" and man was she right! Kathy asked how I was feeling, and if I wanted to stay right in the tub and do my herbal bath now. I felt great, and agreed. I love a relaxing bath, so I was excited to relax, and cuddle with my new bundle in the tub! Kathy asked Jason to start boiling the herbal bath in the kitchen, which he did, and began to drain the tub. Nicole stood by, just a few feet from the tub, with the baby, and I finished up my smoothie, and we chatted and laughed, and had a nice time while the tub refilled. Jason came in with the herbal bath, which was added to the tub, and then Lily was handed back to me to enjoy her first bath. She stretched, and looked around, and just seemed to really enjoy it. After a little while, I nursed her for the first time, and then I handed her off to get dried off, dressed, and swaddled. Kathy helped me to wash and rinse my hair, because I was worried it might have "birth stuff" in it (turns out, only a little vernix) and then she helped me out of the tub...ugh, getting out kinda stunk! I felt decent, but I had sea legs from having been in the tub for about 3 hours now! I'll spare you the rest of the boring, after care details, and will just mention the last few highlights. My wonderful husband cooked me an amazing meal of scrambled eggs, bacon, and biscuits. My wonderful friend Nicole bagged up my placenta and put it in the freezer for me so that my wonderful hubby wouldn't have to! Then Kathy's scale almost didn't work, but Hannah was able to fix it, and we finally found out around 9:30 or 10:00, that our daughter weighed 8 lbs. 1 oz. and was 20.5 inches long, with a 14 inch head! My second largest baby! By this time baby and I had long been snuggled into my bed, where I also ate, I had taken some motrin, and was starting to feel sleepy. Nicole was a wonderful, amazing, friend and tidied up around our house, and I found myself feeling a little bad that we didn't get to have the "hanging out" phase of my labor that I had thought we would. Everyone excused themselves, and quietly let themselves out, and we retreated to bed, sent out a few more announcement texts, updated a few threads online, and laid down to go to sleep. I thought a little more, and was a little sad to realize that I didn't have any of the picture worthy support moments with my husband, during my labor, that I thought I would, and I didn't have my midwife or friend there encouraging me and keeping me company like I had expected. In the end though, it was fast, and easy and wonderful! It was somewhat surprising,and very memorable, and I wouldn't change it for the world! I hope that more and more women are able to experience an amazing, empowering, peaceful birth like I had, in the future! If they can do it at home, I think that is wonderful too...I was so relaxed and comfortable, and I felt great the next day because I was able to sleep soundly all night. I don't regret any of my births, and I am glad I had as many different experiences as I did, so that I can relate to other women, but if I had a choice to do them again, I think I would choose to have them all at home, in the water. There is nothing like it. :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Ugh. I have dealt with so many challenges lately. I'm fine with it for the most part. That's basically been the way my entire life has been, but I have to say, I reach the point where I am just mentally exhausted sometimes, and this is one of those times. Physical exhaustion, and hormones both from being pregnant don't help at all either though. I am just so tired of always having to fight for everything I want though. I just for once would like something to go my way, without me having to debate, and struggle.

Honestly, I don't even normally mind debating. I actually enjoy it. It gets old though when I have to do it all the time, for everything I believe in. I don't mind standing up for what I believe in, but it gets exhausting when I feel like I am being judged, and it's simply out of ignorance.

I just want to live my life with my husband and kids, and have all of us be happy and my kids be smart and successful..

It also hurts that a lot of the people that I'm close to, that are supposed to love me, don't believe in me at all. I find it interesting that people I haven't known for as long believe in me, and see the things I accomplish and think it's impressive, yet nothing I do is ever enough for my family.

I work my but off, I take care of our three kids, I try to keep the house clean, and it should be even better in the new house because it is set up much better, but, I still try, and I think I do pretty well. On top of that, I'm pregnant, I'm still working on customs, which for some reason are never considered a priority by anyone but me, and I'm trying to work on things for my kids and spend time with them so I can still be a good mom to them...but to some people, because I don't ditch my kids with a sitter for 12 hours a day, and go work a job I hate, only to come home, put my kids in bed, clean what I can, and crawl in bed, never doing anything I enjoy, then I must be miserable, because nothing but money could possibly make me or my family happy. I mean the idea that a family doesn't need every material possession under the sun, or all the latest fashions, or a brand new vehicle, or to eat out constantly, or all the newest video games, etc etc etc to be happy, is completely foreign to so many people that it makes me sad! I can't believe the number of people that would rather work 60 or 70 hours a week, and never see their kids just so that they can buy stuff they don't need, rather then work less, have less, but have everything by having more time with their kids.

Ok, I'll get off my soap box now. I needed to vent. I know God will provide for our family because He is awesome and wonderful, and He always does. I know that we know what we need to be happy, and that's all that really matters.

Monday, January 3, 2011

So glad He's back!

I am so joyous and energetic this morning, and I know it can only be because I broke down, and allowed God's grace to overcome me. I have not purposely been pushing the Holy Spirit out, but I know by my actions, of self doubt, lack of self love, and self persecution I was keeping Him at bay. There have been things lying under the surface, that kept getting added into, here and there, for at least the last 6 months now, and finally, on Sunday, I had a prayer of sorts. It's actually slightly strange, because I did it in my mind, even though I had intended to do it physically, and just didn't get to it. There is no doubt in my mind though that this is what has caused me to be filled with the Holy Spirit, energetic, productive, and joyful this morning. Here's what happened.

As I said there have been many things happening over the last 6 months or more...these things range from financial, to our basic needs, to family problems, general chaos, changes in our daily routine, and changes in our family dynamic. Each thing brought with it new and challenging goals, and as I got busier and busier, I have been going to church less and less. I also have not been able to attend small group because of my schedule, lack of funds, and fatigue. I also was forced to step away from some of the ministries in my church that I have a HUGE passion for, because it was simply too much at that time. I was very down on myself because of all this. I felt like a failure. Like I was letting God down. I felt like things that I had always believed, where being shaken, and I was second guessing my beliefs in other areas. Then, on top of that, I have been rather busy, between the kids, the pregnancy, the holidays, Coby starting school, our finances, and trying to find a place to live and plan a move, and I have just been exhausted. I have been pushing ahead, claiming God as my strength and doing the best I can, but I know that I was trying to do it on my own still because I was not allowing my self to be loved by God and to receive his grace for my short comings. On Sunday, after waking up late and running around trying to get ready for church, only to not be ready until 10 which would have made us about a 1/2 hour late, and deciding that I did not want to arrive that late, I decided that I needed to go pray. I put on some worship music, and closed my eyes. I pictured myself escaping to my bedroom for a short period of time, and falling face down on the floor and crying out to God for help. I told Him my worries, asked for forgiveness, forgave others, and confessed that only, ONLY, through His divine power would I be able to accomplish the things that I need to do. When I was done envisioning this, I fully intended to go, and pray in that same way, but I was needed by the kids, and the house, and the animals, but I really think it just shows that God knows our hearts. He knew that I had planned to go physically pray that, truly, and when I couldn't, still heard the prayer of my heart, and answered it. I am so thankful that we serve a loving and AWESOME GOD! :)

I pray that all of you can allow yourselves to be covered in God's grace, and filled with the Holy Spirit, so that you may know true joy, and be amazed at the things that He can accomplish through you. :)