Friday, August 29, 2008

Getting Ready for Winter

The weather is beginning to change here, cooler nights, shorter days & leaves changing colors.....a sure sign of autumn. Before we know it will be winter. Which will bring with it snow and cold winds. Time to think about how we will keep warm :)
We heat our home with a wood burning furnace and need lots of wood to do it. The Lord blessed us with lots of wood. My husband helped clear trees off of property that was getting ready for a build.
The wood will need severals months to dry out to be used for fire wood. We our a little behind on getting it split & dryed for the winter. So my husband borrowed a log splitter to get busy splitting : ) We will be working on that this weekend. Splitting and stacking the wood in our wood shed and some in our basement where it can dry. This evening we worked on it some. Below is a picutre of my son being taught how to operate the log splitter. We are thankful to have all of this fire wood. We will be heating our house this winter for FREE!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What Translation of the Bible is the Right One?

Are you ever confused by what Bible translation you should be reading? Do you get discouraged when others say " only read KJV" but you are unfamiliar with the language of that time and reading it can sometimes be confusing.

I personally like to read several translations. I love the poetic beauty of the KJV but I like being able to read translations such as the NLT or NIV because it is written in a modern way of speaking.... that is easier for me to understand, without having to first untie my tongue : )

Below is a link to a great audio sermon. It is the 5th sermon in a 5 part series on the English translation of the Bible. I've only listened to the last so far. Please try to listen if you ever struggle with what Bible version you should read or if you are of the opinion "KJV Only"............may you be blessed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cup of Tea

Someone shared this with me today. It gave me a good chuckle. Probably because I could picture my 2 yr old daughter doing this & I cold imagine my husband overlooking such a "minor detail" ....that as a mom , I wouldn't : )


One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from an accident. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favourite toys.

Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.

My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.

Then she says, (as only a mother would know... :)' Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?'

Not Much To Say

For awhile it seemed I had much to talk about...something everyday. Lately, I guess I just don't have much to say : ) Not that I am doing nothing...... I am getting ready for the school year but not much to write about just yet.

I have plans to either have my son build a big book shelf ( for his homeschooling) or have my husband add some shelves to a hallway closet, where we can house all of our homeschooling books & supplies. My son is really wanting to build something, so a bookshelf would be great because it's really needed.

Well that's it for today. I'm trying to organize our office area...it's out of control with papers , etc.

I'll post when I can , until then......blessings to you!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our Home School Year

I still have books to order for our coming school year, which we will start after Labor day, Lord willing. We decided to try out My Father's World unit study & here it is. I ordered this way back in May/June
This is My Father's World basic package for "Exploring Countries and Cultures"
I will be using this mainly with my 2nd grader, 4th grader, and 7th grader, although my 9th grader will be participating some. There is always something new to learn and even though he will be starting the 9th grade I'm sure there is something he will glean from this study.
This is the rest of what we will be doing...it does not include reading lists. I usually just let my children read books that they are interested in ,with my approval of course. My Father's World has an extensive reading list as well.
9th ~
Applications of Grammar Book 3
Streams of Civilization Vol. 1 (history)
All Through The Ages ~ Literature Guide to History
Saxon Algebra 1
Apologia Physical Science CD Rom version
God's World News (magazine subscription)
7th ~
Applications of Grammar , Book 1
Sequential Spelling
Saxon math 7/6
God's World News
All Through the Ages
4th
Intermediate Language Lessons
Sequential Spelling
Abeka Math
God's World News
All Through the Ages
2nd
Spelling By Sound and Structure (phonics review)
Abeka Math
Rod & Staff 2nd grade English
All Through the Ages
****All Through the Ages****
This is a great resource. You pick a time period & under each time period there is an extensive list of great books to read by grade levels.
2 1/2 yr old
I will be getting her some puzzles, crayons, paper, etc & keeping them in a small RubberMaid container (on top of the fridge) for school time only : )
I think that's about it...I don't think I forgot anything : )

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Now that summer is winding down I find myself scurrying to get those summer projects done. Yesterday my older children and I spent the whole day painting my daughters' bedroom. In the evening I helped my husband hang the border. When we moved in this house 2 1/2 years ago we worked on the boys bedroom first ,because , to put it bluntly it was ugly & not at all masculine: ) The girls room was fine but not their own style, so it was time to get to work. Here's some pictures :





My girls picked out this border because they love horses! It was hard to match the paint to the border, but this is what the girls liked. It's bright, pretty, & PINK : )


The sky blue/green color on the top of the wall is supposed to be the sky. I still have to paint some clouds & stencil some bumble bees, dragonflies, & butterflies on it. That will be a weekend project, but the good thing is , the big project of painting & hanging the border is done. Nothing matches in the room now, but eventually I will get some matching quilts for the girls. In the middle of the two beds is my 2 yr old daughter's transition bed . We've tried periodically to get her to sleep in with her big sisters. We use these mats that fold up into chairs for her to sleep on. She loved sleeping in her newly decorated room last night : )

Is This Making You Hungry?


Doesn't this look good? It was! I have not found a good tasting gluten free pizza crust recipe since going gluten free, until I found this one on Ginger Lemon Girl's blog. I made it over the weekend and it was a big hit with my family. So if you are looking for a healthier alternative to frozen or take out pizza......you should try this quick & easy recipe, even if you don't eat gluten free.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting Close To That Time of Year

The homeschooling year is right around the corner for us. We will most likely start our year after Labor Day. Life will be getting busier again. I'm not really one that likes to follow a more rigid schedule but it looks like I may have to, with 5 children, who are becoming more & more active. This is what my week will look like, not counting our daily homeschooling & cooking & bumps in the road {emphasis added}

Mon. ~ So far this day seems to be clear of outside activities. I may make this the day I clean the kitchen, family room, half bath, and laundry room area of my home. Yeah! A day to stay home : )

Tues. ~ Guitar lessons for my son in the afternoon & Bible Study group at our home in the evening.

Wed. ~ Ballet classes in the afternoon & Bible classes at church in the evening.

Thurs. ~ Piano lessons in the morning. It seems like we were doing something else on Thurs. last year, except I don't remember what it was : ) I think it was a second ballet class, that we dropped.

Fri. ~ So far no outside activites. This day I will use to clean the rest of my house. I don't want to have to spend the weekend cleaning if I can help it. My youngest son might be signing up for a class & that maybe adding another activity to our day.

Sat. ~ Is usually a day to do something as a family or get projects done at home.

Sun. ~ We go to church in the morning & often have family visit on this day.

I don't really have a specific day to grocery shop. I will have to use one of the days that I don't have an outside activity, for that. I can use that day for our weekly library visits as well.

I'm really not very good at juggling a larger than normal family but I am trying to do the best I can without driving myself crazy : ) This might not seem like a very busy schedule to some of you, but it is to me. I'm NOT a good multi tasker : ) People ask me if I'm involved in a homeschool group.........I laugh.....when do I have the time? I wonder where blogging will fit in? I may just have to update once a week or less. So if you are wondering where I've gone you'll know : )

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Finished Blanket

Today 3 of my children & I made this fleece blanket that requires no sewing. It goes rather quickly when you have help. It took us an hour from start to finish. This is for a new little baby girl that was born last week , to a couple that is a part of our church family.

It is summer & she won't be needing it for awhile but here in the Northen United States, it gets down right cold, especially when the lake affect snow hits us from the Great Lakes. A warm fleece blanket is a must : )
This is the front of the blanket....isn't so cute & bright & cheery

This is the back side of the blanket. The pinks & black cordinate well with the front.
I used a yard and half of each fabric to make it. It's nice because a baby won't grow out of it quickly, since it's larger than most baby blankets. My daughter is 2 1/2 & still drags her blanket around , especially for cuddle time on the couch.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

What I've Been Doing

Yesterday we spent a few hours at the park, taking pictures of my oldest son for a yearly school picture. I finally got some great shots. I went to Walmart last night & printed out the rest of the pictures & bought a few more frames. I hung up all 5 picutures, that I took of my children, on our family room wall. They look so nice & I'm really happy with how they turned out & I saved some money too. They look just as nice if not nicer than something that would have been professionally done, at least I think so : )

While I was at Walmart I picked out some fleece fabric to make a no sew blanket for a friend that had her second baby this week. I was so excited for her, hearing about the arrival of her baby. Her first child was in a breech postion & just wouldn't pudge. So a c-section was needed. With her second baby, thankfully the baby turned into the head down position, although her doctor was giving her to her due date to go into labor or it would be a repeat c-section. It is not safe to induce a labor after a c-section, so that was not an option for her. I was overjoyed to hear she gave birth on her due date after a rather short labor. God had answered their prayers in the way they had hoped. It was definately His doing....I know very few women that have their babies on their due dates ; )

Well when I get the blanket done I will post a picture....it's the cutest fabric : )

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Slowing Down

I guess my blogging is slowing down....I don't really have much to write about. My mind has been preoccupied with some thoughts/worries, that I've been slowly giving to the Lord. I've also been making more of an effort to study/read God's word these past few days. I know that reading it doesn't take away my problems or worries but it makes my burdens a little lighter knowing I can go to the Lord & be comforted through His word & talking with Him through prayer.

Lately I have been so overwhelmed by the difficulties I see so many going through. Not only do I feel compassion for them but it also causes me to worry for my own family & their well being. These worries & people, I know I just need to give to the Lord in prayer, as soon as they come to my mind.

If your interested here is a 2008 Bible Reading Plan, to print off & keep handy in your Bible. It's what I've been using for personal Bible time. I've been doing my daily readings in the evening, when I go to bed. Although, I think I'm going to split it up & do half of it in the morning before I get out of bed & the other half in the evening when I get into bed. I have to do it this way. It seems it's just never quiet enough to do it any other time : )

Here is a verse that I'm going to work on quoting during the day when I feel tempted to yell at or have an unpleasant tone/words with my kids. I think I will have them work on it as well.....they can use pretty unpleasant words with each other as well.

Proverbs 16:24 ~ Pleasant words are a honeycomb
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Well I'm gonna go and bake some cookies.

Have a Spirit led day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Home Birth Post

I'm not trying to beat this subject into the ground. It's actually kind of funny.... I rarely even talk about home birth to anyone. Since I put up my first post on home birth a few days ago I've come across different sources on the Internet that speak of it in a negative light.

First let me say I'm not a die hard homebirther ( one that's cramming it down every one's throat or expecting that everyone should be doing it or there is just something wrong with them.) Both of my homebirths went well & were a blessing to me. I chose to homebirth because I feel that was God's plan/will for me. I don't necessarily believe that it will always be in His plans for me for every birth. I will seek His will about it if I ever conceive another child. Certainly there can be risks in birth whether it be in the hospital or home, but there are precautions that can be taken, as well. My last hospital birth, there were complications, that were brought on by interventions that were not needed.

I have been blessed by good home birth experiences/outcomes, but I wouldn't say that's my motivation/reasoning to birthing at home......to have a "good birth experience". My reasoning is to try to avoid complications. When I gave birth in the hospital it was so hard to just let things happen without interference. It was difficult to relax & not be distracted & I certainly was not encouraged to do things naturally. I found labor much easier to work with and tolerable when I could just relax & be left alone in my own home....not having to think about constantly timing contractions , making sure they were close enough together to leave for the hospital, or worrying about leaving to soon or to late to get there or thinking about where the kids were gonna go, etc. At home.......I could just let it happen. Most of the time when you let nature takes its course in birth..... the least likely complications will occur . Certainly there are times intervention is needed when natural labor is not going as it should or there are other health complications in mother & baby.

It would be nice to have a middle ground in maternity care but it seems to not be there, at least not for me, in my area. Many women have the option of birthing centers. I think that's a wonderful option, because most of the time you know in that setting your wishes/desires will be honored. The problem for me is I don't have a birth center anywhere near me. ....only for the amish & they won't let me birth there I've already asked , before I sought out homebirth : )

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mondays & Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

Today is kind of a blah day. Probably because it's Monday. I always have a hard time getting motivated on Mondays, especially after this weekend, we had such a nice time. I've not done much of anything today, except spend to much time on the computer : )

This morning I looked in the freezer & cupboards to figure out what I was going to make for dinner tonight. Now that's sort of a fun challenge when your cupboards & freezer are bare : ) I did find 2 # of ground beef. I originally thought I would make homemade sloppy joes with some green beans from the garden as a side dish. When I went out to the garden to pick the beans ,much to my surprise, I discovered that I had several small heads of cabbage. It's surprise because most of this garden season, the plants looked wilted & dry and had tons of little holes in the leaves . I suppose all this rain we've had this past weekend brought them back to life. I'd totally given up on them....they didn't even exist to me. : )

So now my dinner plans changed.......I decided to make cabbage rolls instead. I followed a basic recipe I found online but used what I liked & what I had on hand. I sprinkled some Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning on the ground beef, added 2/3 cups brown rice and 4 eggs. I put a little of the meat mixture (my girls helped)into the cup of the cabbage leaf, rolled it up and put it into a butter baking dish. I then sprinkled some more of the Weber seasoning on top of the rolls, poured a jar of Ragu traditional sauce mixed with some water over top & put it in the oven @ 350. It smells wonderful as it baking right now. I think I might go make some cornbread/muffins to go with it.

Have a good evening

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Homebirth

I don't talk about my experience with homebirth on here very often. Mostly because I don't want to come across in a way that would discourage someone that might not have that option or that doesn't feel safe/comfortable with it. Sometimes I fear I may come across as prideful, this I want to avoid as well. I have ladies tell me that they are amazed I could have a baby at home without pain relief. In my experience the 2 homebirths I have had, have been easier than the 3 hospital births I have had. Two in which I had epidurals. I don't believe for a minute that if you have a homebirth it makes you more favored by God, smarter or more informed.....it's just a different choice that I believe God can & does use to strengthen one's faith & trust in Him. He may choose other avenues for you, but this is what he chose for me.

So I guess my point of bringing homebirth up on my blog now is to encourage & to say that it is only by God's grace & mercy that I have accomplished something that some people can't believe can be done. If you only knew me years ago, if you only knew my intermost thoughts, you would understand what a great work God has done in me. He has given me strength & courage to do things I would have never imagined that I could ever do........one being homebirth. So I will try to give you a brief look into my homebirths & how God brought me to the decision to homebirth.

Ten years ago yesterday I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Right after the birth I had some complications...one being hemorrhaging. The events of this birth left me weak & unhappy. Now,I know birth can't always be as we wish it to be & it's often not picture perfect, but I truly believe that the complications I had were due to unnecessary interventions that I approved of. It was a little ironic that when I started asking questions, so I could avoid a repeat experience like the one I had.....medical records seemed to not mention anything about what occurred. I WAS NOT looking to sue, I just wanted to try to avoid those complications for any future births, if possible.

When my daughter was 6 weeks old I began meeting several ladies who had homebirths. I was even invited to a meeting about birth choices. There I met my future midwife. She ended up giving me lots of info about homebirth, that I read over repeatedly. I showed it to my husband & prayerfully considered it for any future births. Much to my surprise my husband , who was not a Christian at the time approved of a homebirth. God is sovereign & in control even when you have an unsaved husband.

When my daughter was 20 months old I discovered I was pregnant with my 4th child. It wasn't the easiest pregnancy & I began to have my doubts about a homebirth , after negative comments from friends & family. But when I sought God, He encouraged me through His Word & gave me this verse " So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised." Hebrews 10 :35 ~ 36. So I continued on with the decision to have a homebirth. I'm so glad I did because it was a very wonderful birth. I wasn't convinced I was in labor until about an hour and half before my son was born. I was able to labor in the privacy of my own home, just my husband & kids present, although the kids had gone to bed by the time labor had picked up. When the midwife arrived I was completely dilated & my 9# son was born 15 min. after her arrival.

My 5th birth, my second homebirth was a bit different because she was a surprise breech, things were happening so fast, but God was in control. You can read about her birth here in the Spring Issue of Seasons at Home magazine. I certainly would not want to repeat another breech birth, if I can help it. I don't know what my choice would be if it were to happen again. I would consider a hospital birth, as I know there can be risks/complications involved in a breech birth,(especially with footling), although my daughter had none. I most definately would handle things differently, possibly even requesting an ultrasound the very last week of pregnancy, because I believe that's when she turned. I never had any of my babies do that, so I disregarded what I was feeling physically.


A Note to Readers/Visitors to My Blog

According to my live traffic feeder, I have people reading from all over, not too many leave comments though : ) Please feel free to leave a comment, it gives me a chance to see who's reading & come visit your blog as well. Although I don't have the time to read everyone's blog......... I do like to return the favor & have the opportunity to read & comment on whoever's reading mine.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Gone Fishing



Our 5 on the fishing pier.


The kids have just settled into bed after having two fun filled days. It was such a nice weekend ...I feel so blessed. Our weekend of fun started around 6:00 Friday evening when we arrived at our local county fair. We rode rides, ate fair food, drank fresh squeezed lemonade & spent quite a bit of time in the horse barns . My kids got a chance to pet and sit on a beautiful Pinto horse named Warrior. My girls really would love a horse, but for now we will just have to admire them at the fair, and pray about the possibility of getting one sometime in the future.

We were having so much fun at the fair, we didn't leave until the fair closed at midnight! I just wish we would have been able to go earlier in the day & stay til midnight, so we would have had a chance to see all the exhibits & animals.



First thing this morning my daughter opened her birthday gifts. Watching her open her gifts was pure bliss. From birth she has had such a gentle & sensitive spirit. When she opened her first gift....the sterling silver horse necklace , her face just lit up & both my husband and I thought she was going to cry....she was overjoyed : ) So my sweet little baby girl who was born with a head full of black hair is now 10!

After she opened her gifts we mostly lounged around the house...doing some light chores & laundry. Around 4pm we decided to head out to Walmart to get a fishing license & some picnic food. We went to one of our favorite parks, that's hidden away back in the woods. It has some nice lakes to fish in. It is a private & secluded park that also has a great bike trail along side of it. We enjoyed a picnic dinner near the water & some fishing. The only one that caught a fish was my 2 year old dd (actually me, although she was trying to fish helping me hold onto the rod). I don't think she quite understood the concept of fishing because when I told her she caught a fish & I started to reel it in, she started to panic. Once she saw the little sun fish....she started to protest....." I don't want fish!, I don't fish!, I don't want fish!" It was a little bit sad but a little bit cute/funny to see her reaction. She eventually calmed down when we made a big deal about her catching a fish . I think it especially helped when her big brother gave her a high five : 0 )

We left the park around 8:00 pm , just before the storms arrived. When we got home we had cake and ice cream & just spent the rest of the evening relaxing. What a nice time we had!

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Daughter's Birthday Cake

Here's my Betty Crocker Bake n Fill Pans.
I made a Brownie Peanut Butter cake for my daughter's 10th birthday tomorrow. I 've not had good results making my own gluten free brownies or cake, so I buy this brownie mix for $2.98 a box at Super Walmart. It tastes just like regular brownies & this is actually cheap for a boxed gluten free mix. I've seen them anywhere from $4.00 on up to $6.00 a box.
I mixed two boxes & poured it into the dome pan as well as the regular cake pan. After it baked I let it cool for an hour in the pan, before I carefully removed it. I then filled the cavity of the dome shaped cake with a peanut butter filling which consists of ~ 8 oz cream cheese, 1 cup peanut butter, & 1/2 cup powdered sugar. I then layed the flat cake on the dome shaped cake to cover the peanut butter filled cavity. Here's the end results


Doesn't it look cute with the foal on the top? I found it for a few dollars at Tractor Supply. I just ran it through the dishwasher first. The frosting I made for this cake was a recipe from my original 1950's Betty Crocker cookbook. There's no reason to ever buy the canned frosting again when this is so easy to make & so good! Here's the recipe:

Glossy Chocolate Icing:

Melt:
4 TB shortening & 4 squares unsweetened chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave.

Beat in:

2 2/3 cups sifted powdered sugar. (My sifter doesn't work all that great...it just gets clogged up with the sugar. I just used a metal strainer with very small holes. I pour the sugar in the strainer and gently shake the sugar into a bowl)
1/4 tsp salt
6 TB milk
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Beat with electric mixer until smooth and glossy and thick enough to spread.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Resisting the Temptation to Sin

My husband and I have Bible study with another couple once a week. I'm excited about the study we are currently working on. It is about the temptation to sin. I thought I would try to briefly go over what we have learned about resisting the temptation to sin . I guess I never really thought about the many ways God has given us , to escape the temptation to sin.

1. The Holy Spirit ~ If we are born again believers in Christ we have the Holy Spirit as our helper. " But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." Galations 5 :16 ~ Daily seek God's will for your life & let the Holy Spirit guide you.

2. Scripture ~ Jesus used Scripture to fight off Satan's temptations (Matthew 4).....we can do the same. Memorizing & quoting/praying Scripture that pertain to areas of sin that you struggle with is a great place to start. I certainly have areas I need to work on. I need to work on scripture memorization as well.

3. Prayer ~ When Jesus teaches us about prayer in Matthew 6: 5-15, He specifically says " And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil." We can ask Him to help us to resist sin.

4. A proper fear of God ~ Proverbs 16:6 "By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil." A proper fear of God would look like this.... reverance for Him, fear of offending Him, and a fear of the consequences of your sin.

5. Run from Sin ~ Genisis 39:12 " She caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me!" And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside." If you struggle with a certain sin & you can help it , don't put yourself in a position that would tempt you to commit that sin. Run from it.

6. A Christian Friend ~ Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 " Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up." A Christian friend can pray for you and check on how you are doing spiritually & encourage.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Professional Photos at Home & Homemaker's Magazine

I'm not very good about keeping up with getting my children's pictures taken. I have friends that faithfully have their childrens' pictures taken professionally at ages 3 mo. , 6 mo., 9 mo., 12 mo., 18 mo, 2 yrs & then every year after on their birthdays . I know you can get some good deals at Walmart & such but we often don't have the extra money to get pictures taken. Not to mention I always get easily sucked into buying more than just the package deal.....& I regret it later. So what I decided to do this year instead of saying I'm going to get my kids pictures taken on their birthday (which I never end up doing) .......I'm just going to take them myself at home.

Over the weekend I started this project & got two beautiful pictures of my oldest daughters. I took my memory card to Walmart yesterday & had each photo enlarged to an 8x10....it only cost $5.00 total. I put them in black frames that I already had at home & they are now hanging on my living room wall. I worked on taking pictures of my boys over the weekend as well, but haven't gotten the perfect shot just yet. I'm going to work on taking more pictures of the boys today as well as my 2 yr old dd.

I'm following a few basic rules/suggestions, which really help to get a great photo.
1. I take the pictures outside
2. I use the wonderful summer scenery as the background. I'll have them sit on the grass or stand in front of a tree or flowers.
3. I use props from nature...a flower behind the ear or held in their hand. That's how my girls' pictures were taken. I had then place a black eyed susan behind their ear.
4. I take the pictures in the evening...a few hours before sunset. That time and early morning are the best times to take pictures because the lighting isn't as harsh. Overcast days are also supposed to be good. I found that the evening is nice because it gives the photo a nice soft & romantic look/feel.
5. I never have them face the sun nor do I have the sun behind them when I take the picture.

It's so easy to take a nice picture at home if you have a digital camera because you can take as many as you want and just erase what you don't like.

On another note my summer issue of Seasons at Home magazine arrived yesterday. I just love this magazine. It is such a motivation and inspiration to me, to learn more about & truly embrace homemaking.

There was an article about making a hope chest along with instructions & photos. I showed my husband who is a carpenter by trade & he too thought it would be a great Christmas gift to make our 3 daughters each one. We thought we could follow this basic design & add our own flair. My oldest son enjoys wood burning, so if he is willing he could burn some pretty designs into it. I can color the designs in with the special paint used for wood burning projects & then seal it with some polyurethane. I can't wait...I want to start right now!


This is really a nice magazine & I would recommend it to anyone.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Going Gluten Free

The first year after I gave birth to my 3rd child I began to feel physically bad. Her birth was difficult, due to some unnecessary medical interventions during the labor & delivery. I hemorrhaged after the birth & was very anemic due to the blood loss. I can remember having some strange things happens for several months afterward. I would get this weird numb sensation that would go around my abdomen like a belt. It did eventually go way after a few months. When she was around 5 months old I started having a lot of sinus problems. Then came the painful digestive disturbances . Although I eventually began to improve I never was 100%. I went through another pregnancy & new symptoms appeared. I think they worsened after the pregnancy. I lost a lot of weight.....it could have been due to not eating much because it seemed every time I ate I would have digestive problems. I was often very fatigued as well. I would get severely short of breath too, this seemed to be hormonally induced , it did go away after I became pregnant with my 5th child. I had many tests....2 colonoscopies, thyroid tests, parathyroid tests, bone density tests (that showed I had osteopenia in my late 20's) but everything else came back normal.

I did see a medical doctor who had started a practice using alternative treatments & tests (functional medicine). She did help me some but her supplements were so expensive, as well as the testing. She found I had an H. Pylori infection that we did treat the conventional way with medication. My b12 levels were low so I had several injections. I began to feel better but not 100%.

I did have my family doctor do the blood test to check for Celiac disease but it came back normal. Around this time I started going to a food co-op which was run by a lady who had Celiac disease. She had been initially diagnosed with microscopic colitis. She also was tested for Celiac disease...her results came back normal. She started to research her illness and came upon the site of a Dr. Kenneth Fine. He offers unconventional testing (stool tests) to check for Celiac because blood tests are not always accurate. She took the test & it was positive for Celiac. She improved dramatically on GF diet but eventually had to follow a stricter diet because the GF diet was no longer helping her.

I decided to take this test, I figured what did I have to lose, at the most I would be out the $100 it cost for the test......that's a lot less than the hundreds of dollars I wasted at the doctor's office. I was told it would take several weeks to get the results back. I remember one evening shortly after sending this test back to the lab , feeling overwhelmed & so frustrated . I was so tired of feeling bad & not knowing what was wrong with me. I prayed that the Lord would give me answers & show me what was wrong with me. The very next day I got an email from Dr. Kenneth Fine's office & my results were POSITIVE! My body was reacting to gluten. I took this as an answer to my prayer.

I have to say though even though God answered me I sometimes doubt I have problems with gluten. I guess because the conventional/ normal way of testing came back normal. I hate this doubting because it causes me to cheat on my GF diet. I don't always feel bad when I eat gluten but there are times I do & I try to make myself believe it wasn't really the gluten but some other food. I've considered having other food allergy tests but it's not in our budget right now . Maybe eventually. I left out many details of how I tried changing my diet for the better, etc. So for those who can relate or are interested this is the shortened, tear free, uncomplicated version of my journey to going gluten free.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Family Friendly T.V.

Is there such a thing as family friendly TV? If there is , I haven't seen it. It seems anytime we sit down as a family & watch a tv show on one of the major networks something is said or shown that makes me squirm in my seat & I wonder if my kids caught it.....& sometimes it's just a commercial : ( So lately what we've been trying to do is borrow DVDs of older TV shows from the library. Right now we are on the 3rd season of " Daniel Boone" & we've started watching "The Waltons" too. I have to say I'm more into The Waltons. I remember watching it as a kid & I just love it!

There must be other older TV shows that are entertaining & family friendly. So tell me what have you watched with your family....what can you recommend? Leave a comment here or post something on your blog. I would love to know.

A Great Parenting Book!

I have recommended to others the book " The Power of a Praying Parent". I thought I would give an explanation to why I like it so much. First off, I was given this book by a dear older lady that I used to go to church with. She loves her children & grandchildren dearly & she prays for them so faithfully. I didn't sit down & read the book when she gave it to me....really just skimmed through it. It got packed away when we moved , so I really hadn't read much of it.

About 2 years ago my son had begun hanging around and spending alot of time with a another boy & his family. They were a homeschooling family & the mother professed to be a Christian. It wasn't long into the frienship I realized that there was something not right, something about this family that bothered me in a big way. However, I pushed those feelings aside, thinking I was just being over protective of my child. You have not let them grow up at some time, right?

This friend wasn't a bad kid , it just seemed my son's friendship with him/his family was doing something negative in my son's heart. My son's behavior changed. He was distant from us, his family. He didn't interact with his siblings the way he used to. He seemed a million miles away & was not himself at all. I felt like we were losing him. This friendship was affecting our whole family in a negative way.

During this time I stumbled upon this book "The Power of a Praying Parent" that had been packed away. I felt very compelled to read it , as I was feeling desperate about the situation with my son. I opened to the table of contents & skimmed through the chapter titles. I came upon Chapter 8, titled " Attracting Godly Friends & Role Models". I immediately turned to that chapter. I got to the second sentence of that chapter & I felt like I was reading about our situation. Here is what the author had to say about her children, " Occasionally they've made friends that, as a parent, I had reservations about. Not because I didn't like them; actually, in every instance, I liked them very much. What I didn't like was they type of influence they were on my child, and what the combination of that child and mine produced. The way I always handled this situation was to pray. I prayed for that child to be changed or else be taken out of my child's life. In every case that prayer was answered. In several instances, the passage of time revealed the accuracy of my apprehension. She goes on to say " Parents often have gut-level feelings about their children's friends. When that happens, ask God for Holy Spirit inspired discernment and pray accordingly."


So this is what I did. I prayed that the Lord would change this other child/his family or take them out of my child's life. I prayed for discernment about this gut-level feeling I had. Within a few days of that prayer.....God answered in a big way. Without going into alot of detail, let me just say, God provided a very clear path out of this friendship. There was no doubt in my mind that this was not a friendship God wanted for my child. So He gave us a gracious way out. It was only a few days after this decision was made, to end this friendship, that the accuracy of my apprehension was revealed!

Prayer is so important because we can't be the parents God wants us to be without His help. It is easy as parents to get confused about what to do and not what to do. There are so many outside forces pulling us in every direction & they are often well disguised as something good. Really you can't even go to the doctor's office without seeing piles of parenting magazines that claim to have all the answers. The majority go against what God says is good.

You can't go wrong by prayer!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Birthday Gifts

My daughter's 10th birthday is next week & I thought I would share with you pictures of the gifts we bought her
This I thought was so pretty...a card kit to make 8 glittery bird cards. She love's making cards and she loves watching birds....so this is a perfect fit for her.
She asked for some art supplies because she enjoys drawing. I thought watercolor pencils and water color paper were a little different & would allow her to be more creative.


She absolutely loves horses....I found this pretty necklace.


She asked for these horses. Breyer makes many collectable play horse items.