Friday, December 28, 2012

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House


Hubby bought me a DVD collection of Cary Grant films for Christmas.  The best part was the set contained one of my favorites, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, and it had other Cary Grant movies I've never seen.  One of them was Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

I was busy attempting post-Christmas clean up around the house when hubby popped the movie in after a long morning of snow removal.  He started laughing soon after the movie started and asked me to come in and watch it with him.  Soon enough I was laughing right along with him.

"Honey, it's like watching us," I exclaimed!

The beginning of the movie shows Mr. and Mrs. Blandings in their cramped NYC apartment and how they go about their morning routine from sharing oddly organized drawer and closet space to a complete lack of privacy in the bathroom to shimmying around people and furniture just trying to move about.  We recognized the same thing with us and our little cottage and laughed right along, embracing each other in the familiarity of it all.  It certainly is cozy, snug, and yes, cramped.  Would we have it any other way?  Yes!  Preferably something a little bigger!  But, we fondly endure what we have and the creativity it takes to live here.  Small living has its perks.  One of them being ample opportunities for impromptu embraces.  We can't help but run into each other!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Getting A Head Start


In anticipation of the Christmas Haul that the kiddos are going to receive, I've started organizing early.  I purchased a bunch of plastic totes and labeled them to store the toys  I know they are going to get.  Hubby and I went easy this year and didn't get them very many gifts, but who knows what they may receive from relatives.  Last year, we could barely fit their haul from the inlaws in the back of hubby's truck!

Thankfully, I unloaded a LOT of stuff this past year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Peace on Earth and in the Home


With the usual theme of the season coupled with the horrible tragedy in Newton, CT, I can't help but think about a haven of peace being so desperately needed for people.  The famous song, "Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let it Begin with Me" by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson runs through my head.  Let it begin with me.

Let it begin in the home.

I am brain storming how I can make my home a haven the best I can.  What ways can I create a peaceful environment, a safe environment?  How can I give my children freedom from unneeded stress and fears?

How have you created a haven for your family in your home?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!


For weeks I was planning to do a big ol' birthday celebration for myself.  The day came and I changed my mind.  Into my yoga pants I went after a long soak in the tub.  I then took advantage of a napping baby to tackle my basement.  Happily I went throwing away years of accumulated junk, reorganizing and sweeping.  It actually felt good to haul so much out of there!

In the middle of my basement project, a friend and her sons stopped by to sing me "Happy Birthday" and present me with a gift.  What a blessed treat!  My oldest presented me with a lovely homemade necklace that I've been proudly wearing all day.  The baby loves it, too.  Something to play with while breast feeding!

After a popcorn, fruit, cheese, and trail mix luncheon while watching "Beauty and the Beast," my toddler and baby went down for their naps and I returned to my basement clean out.  Did I mention how good it feels to get rid of so much accumulated junk!?

Tonight, we're having a (nitrate-free) ham dinner and after the kiddos get tucked in, prayed over and kissed goodnight, I plan on curling up on the sofa a big mug of tea (so improper, I know), my Better Homes and Gardens magazine that arrived in the mail today, and "Sense and Sensibility" playing on my DVD player.

No cake.  The idea of cake turns my stomach for some reason.  Instead, I whipped up some homemade dairy-free rice pudding and I've been eating that like it's a pint of Ben and Jerry's.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Here at Home


Christmas is in full swing at Taigh Beag.  The children indulge in those old holiday tv specials nearly daily.  Rudolph and The Heat Miser and Frosty tickle their fancy.  It is a nice diversion from many weeks of strange illnesses and mysteries.

It started with my daughter having digestive upsets and quitting using the potty.  She is now on a strict dairy-free diet until just after Christmas to see if she improves.  If she does not improve, she may be tested for Celiac since it runs in the family.  I am so proud of her.  She's only had two small meltdowns about not being able to have dairy.  Otherwise, she takes the initiative to ask if it contains dairy and readily accepts the dietary changes.

Then, the baby developed croup and pneumonia at the same time!  He remained happy-go-lucky, sleeping well, eating well, never a fever.  He had a little cold with a chesty cough, but nothing alarming at all.  I've been through colds with babies many times before and this one seemed quite mild.  That is until the cough started getting worse and suddenly turned "barky."  I quickly made arrangements for babysitting and headed to the ER.  I fully expected a diagnosis of croup and thought they'd admit him.  Instead, they found not only croup, but basal pneumonia.  He was treated with a steriod and a breathing treatment and sent home.  Several phone calls to the doctor occurred, and I kept him quarantined for 3 weeks.  He was a remarkable patient.  He slept and ate well and giggled and played, though the improvement was marginal.  He had his 6 month appointment anyway, so I took him then and the doctor discovered that he still had the pneumonia, has an ear infection AND stopped growing.  The doctor and I stared at each other and then at my baby.  We're both mystified because he looks and acts so stinkin' happy and healthy!  You'd NEVER guess that anything was wrong with him other than a chesty cough and his small size.  He's hitting all his milestone on time or early.  We seem to have killed the pneumonia, but the ear infection is being stubborn.  I am hoping he has finally hit a growth spurt because he eats 6 times at night, is breast fed on demand throughout the day, and is supplemented with a doctor approved diet of solids 3x a day!  We had some testing done and are awaiting the results.

During that time, my toddler started growing his 2 year molars and as such has those nasty poos to go along with it.

Despite it all, we are a merry bunch....a constantly smiling, giggling baby certainly helps!  Our advent calendar is part of our morning routine now.  Our tree is up and decorated with ornaments both meaningful and hand made.  Presents are bought and wrapped.  Mistletoe has yielded plenty of kisses and cuddles.  We've driven around to look at Christmas lights.  My oldest and I plunk out Christmas songs on our clunky spinet.  And we await Christmas Day with great anticipation.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Her Own Little Corner

She likes to be alone sometimes.  She likes to go into her own little world and play quietly without distraction.  She likes little dens and nooks, corners and crevices; just a little place to make her own.  Unfortunately, in our little cottage such a place is hard to find.  With only two bedrooms, she has to share with 3 brothers!  Her area of the playroom gets overrun with toy tools, trains, farm toys and brothers.  I had to shoo brothers away just so she could swing peacefully in my laundry area!

I am hoping as I clean, purge and reorganize the rest of the basement that I will be able to carve out a little place just for her.  I have so many ideas from the practically free to elaborately pricey.  Someday, I pray she will be able to have her own room.  She's going to need one soon, that's for sure!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

All Moms Need a Break Sometimes


This picture made me feel better.  Moms the entire world over need breaks sometimes.  We give so much and often so little is put back into us.

I've come to realize that I am the kind of person who truly does need more down time than others.  I am not the kind of woman who can cheerfully give give give give and give some more, falling into bed exhausted and content.  I'm an introvert and I'm easily over stimulated and I'm still recovering from having my 4th baby, 7th pregnancy in 7 years.  My hormones are still trying to shuffle themselves back into proper order.  Add to that the outside stimuli and circumstances I cannot control and "mommy needs some time to herself" comes more quickly than it used to.

I felt badly about this.  How was I able to do so much and be so cheerful before?  My house stayed clean.  I kept up the yard and garden.  I could experiment in the kitchen.  Little things didn't drive me bonkers.  I could find the time to go for walks.  I always managed to shower and do my hair and make-up.  Now, I feel like the days just fly by in one big blur of insanity.  Chores are rarely completed - often half-completed.  I had to sleep on the couch last night because the bed was piled in laundry I didn't find time to get folded yesterday.  It seems the more I need to get something taken care of, the more suddenly falls into my lap!

When I seek counsel or assistance, I get met with knowing smiles and, "welcome to motherhood" from well-meaning women.  If this is true that I'm in a season of "hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride," then I've decided to stop apologizing to myself and buying into the lie that I'm not good enough and I'm going to take those breaks.  I may need more breaks than other women, and for that I won't apologize.

Today, I'm claiming a prize I won at a local salon!  Tomorrow, chiropractor.  And I am honestly considering a hotel stay in the near future, even if it is just me and the baby!  It's probably cheaper than therapy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Frost on the Pumpkin and Short Sleeves

Photo from HERE.

Two days ago the frost was on the pumpkins.  Today, we can wear t-shirts.  It is quite common this time of year to turn the furnace on in the morning and throw open the windows in the afternoon.  The house could use some airing out, so I shall take advantage of this Indian Summer day and do just that.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Fireplace


Ah, my cozy fireplace!
I love it so much I've been sleeping on the sofa in the wee hours of the morning after baby's early morning feeding.

It does a good job of keeping our house warm during these cool Autumn days.  I'm so glad the furnace isn't kicking on and burning oil!

And before anyone gets concerned, the unit stays cool to the touch, so the baby gym close by isn't a concern.  Plus, that is just where it lives.  When baby plays and gets  more mobile, I will of course move it away from the heater even though the heater is kid-touch-safe.

Now, that I've achieved the impossible dreams of a piano for the cottage and a fireplace, I'm looking into a dishwasher!  Thanks to the Tiny House Movement, small dishwashers are easily available and seem to have better reviews.

Monday, October 08, 2012

It Arrives Tomorrow!


Lifesmart 1000

Two things I wanted for my cottage, but never thought I'd be able to get were a piano and a fireplace.  Last year, I got the piano - an old, beater of a spinet I bought on craigslist for $50.  This year, I am getting my fireplace!  I just had to wait for technology.

I've had my eye on electric fireplaces for a few years now, but I couldn't justify the non-necessity and expense of them.  This year, though, we had a need for a heater for the school room.  I heard nothing but good about infrared heat.  Lo and behold, I see that they make infrared fireplaces that heat just as well as the less asthetic boxed heaters and cost around the same.  I found the Lifesmart on Walmart.com, and read the reviews...good reviews.  Even better, I found the same unit on Overstock.com for cheaper than Walmart and free shipping to my house!!

It comes with casters so I can move it about the house where needed.  It heats up to 1000 square feet, which is perfect for my little cottage.  And tomorrow it arrives!  Pics to come soon!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Character Study: Compassion


Today's Character Study:  COMPASSION

Definition: Feelings of sorrow and sympathy for someone who is hurting, and wanting to help them.

Bible Verse:  But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, Luke 10:33

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Confidence and Opinions


I am not usually a confident and openly opinionated woman, but once in a while I have a day when I feel very self confident and strong enough to voice an opinion.  Of course, I try to be respectful and not too open.  But there's something I've noticed:

People who are normally or naturally confident and opinionated get a free pass.  People expect it of them and don't usually question or challenge their confidence or opinions.  However, when I express confidence or opinions, I feel as if people want to silence me....put me back in the place they are used to me being in.

Then again, maybe normally confident and opinionated people do get questioned or challenged, but can handle that.  Maybe because I'm not normally confident and vocally opinionated, I have a hard time handling the challenge.

I'm naturally quite introverted.  I'm also the typical middle child diplomat and peace-maker.  I hate challenge and confrontation, but I also hate being or feeling silenced, ignored.  And it is hard because even though I'm introverted, my mind is in constant motion, filled with multiple thoughts at once, thoughts I'd like to express!

When a situation arises, I often have to talk it out, talk it through in order to process it, but again I am silenced....sometimes by my own lack of confidence, sometimes because people are used to me being the quiet diplomat and never making waves.  It is uncomfortable to suddenly have to deal intimately with me as I hash through something.

Thankfully, I have a friend/mentor I can go to.  She is very good at listening, responding only when needed, and ministering to me.  She always directs me to Christ.  I can be very open and honest with her.  There's really very little that crosses her TMI threshold.  Plus, she is fully confidential.  I know everything I say to her is secure.  On top of that, hubby is comfortable with her being  my go-to woman and encourages me to talk with her.

Yeah, this blog post really doesn't have a point and doesn't really go anywhere except to get this off my chest.  Perhaps you, dear reader, feel the same way?  How do you deal with it?

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Character Study: Cautiousness


Today's Character Study:  CAUTIOUSNESS

Definition: Being Careful

Bible Verse:  After these things Jesus walked in Galilee:  for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.  John 7:1

Monday, October 01, 2012

Cloth Diapering Mamas ~ Check it out!!


If you are a cloth diapering mama, then please head on over to Lamb Babies and check out this Christian, Stay-at-home mama's shop.  (And for full disclosure, she is my awesome sister!)  And here's her etsy shop.

Your Insecurities Can Hurt Your Marriage, BUT....


You insecurities can hurt your marriage, but God can heal you of them!

We women live in such a hard world for us.  Our men are visually-driven, as God made them, and we know that.....so does every other woman in the world and the entertainment industry.  So, to draw their attention and make LOTS of money, women are exploited either forcefully, or willingly to show the world the world what they've got.

And here the wives of the world are....called by God to be modest, often giving birth which alters our bodies from the world-accepted "barely legal" look to a more womanly form, and wondering if we haven't "got it" good enough for our husbands anymore.  Thankfully, my husband is not a porn addict, nor do his eyes wander.  But even so, I've always been plagued by insecurities about my appearance.  I am by no means the world's idea of "gorgeous" and have been told a few times that I'm ugly.  Top it off with the constant assault of beautiful, nude or semi-nude women all over the place and a wife can find herself questioning her appearance, sexuality and worth.  Or maybe it is fears about the future, money, communication, children...whatever!

And it can hurt your marriage.  Your insecurities can hold you back from your husband, from your marriage.  They can hold you back from God which also hurts your marriage.

But, you can be healed.

Go to God with your insecurities.  Rest at His feet and let Him remind you who you are to Him!  It needs to be pounded into our heads, ladies, that our value, worth and beauty are in HIM....not the world, not our husbands....in HIM!

I am beautiful!  No, I'm not "gorgeous" and most often am described as "cute" and occasionally "pretty," but I am beautiful.  So are you.  And I really don't think it is fair to say there are more beautiful women than you out there because that's like comparing Freddie Mercury's voice to Pavarotti's.  You may prefer one over the other, but they both are exceptional singers in their own right!  So you, lady, are an exceptional beauty in your own right!

I have worth and value!  Even if your husband is selfish enough to put his own desires over your own and you don't feel valued by him at all, GOD values you.  You have worth in HIM because HE died for you.  He created you, chose you, died for you.  As hard as a crappy marriage or crappy time in a marriage is, please don't let the enemy make you doubt your worth.  Even if your husband makes you feel like you have no worth by his words, actions or inactions, you have worth.  Hold your head up high, walk in the Light of the Lord and KNOW...I mean really, intimately KNOW that you have worth and value in the Lord Jesus Christ!

You are loved.  Beloved.  You are the bride of Christ and He loves you more than your husband ever could!

God is in control and He will take the reigns when we give them to Him.

So, get lost in His love for you, especially in those times of insecurities and hurt.  Know that you have a purpose and reason in the Lord for why you are here.  Know that He loves you and wants to heal you and your marriage.  Know that you can trust Him with your marriage!  Give it all to Him and He will raise you up.

Be confident in Him that He can restore your marriage in so many ways, broken by your insecurities whether caused by your own imagination, the world's lies, or your husband's indiscretions.  Christ Jesus is greater than all of these.





Thursday, September 27, 2012

5 Dollars, 5 Minutes: Upcycled Sweater


I saw this sweater skirt in the Junior's department at my local Target.  I loved it, wanted it, but couldn't justify the price, especially when I knew I could do this:


I bought this unflattering-on-me sweater at Goodwill for $5.00.

I cut it across the underbust, inserted some on-hand elastic, turned over the edge, straight stitched it and 5 minutes later:

Voila!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Coconut Cookies

(The recipe makes more than this, but we've already eaten a bunch by the time I just grabbed the jar and snapped a picture!)

1/4 cup organic unrefined sugar (I used Florida Crystals)
Approx. 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup organic almond butter
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup organic buckwheat flour
1/3 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Enough coconut flour to make a good cookie dough...I think approx. 1/4 - 1/3 cup

Cream almond butter, butter and sugars together.  Blend in egg well.  Mix together with buckwheat flour, powder, soda and salt.  Stir in shredded coconut, then blend in coconut flour until you have a good cookie dough.  You should be able to form balls without the dough being too sticky or too dry.  Form into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 5-10 minutes.

Keep in mind that I'm guessing a little on the measurements because I don't always measure.  I kind of just eyeball it a lot.  I'm also guessing on baking time because I go by smell (my oven doesn't have a timer, or even an oven light or door window!) and my oven is small, so it tends to bake things a little more quickly than average sized ovens.

I'll try to post a picture in the near future.

I'm fairly ignorant on what is truly, I mean TRULY gluten-free, so if any of the ingredients aren't truly gluten-free, then please let me know.  If you need it casein or dairy-free, you could try substituting the butter for coconut oil, but I haven't tried it, so I don't know how they'd turn out.

PS....this recipe is copyrighted by me.  Do not copy without permission.  Feel free to pin it or link to it on facebook, but please don't steal it and submit it as your own recipe.  Thanks!

Character Study: Boldness


Today's Character Study:  BOLDNESS

Definition:  Exhibiting courage and bravery

Bible Verse:  So be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.  For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.  He will neither fail you nor abandon you.  Deuteronomy 31:6

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Luke 12:48


This morning I was feeling very selfish.  I was complaining to God about all that is on my plate and how I just want a break, something for me me me, a chance to run away.  While yes, we do need to have our batteries recharged at times, this verse popped into my head.  I'm quite sure it was the whisper of the Holy Spirit:

Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.... Luke 12:48

I realized anew the importance and significance my role here on earth for the Kingdom of Heaven is.  I have been given much, and much is required of me.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I felt honored that the Lord has entrusted me with so much!  The more the Lord blesses us with, the more He expects of us.

There is also peace in the knowledge that when we truly do need respite, the Lord will grant it to us.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Character Study: Benevolence



Today's character study is:  BENEVOLENCE

Definition: Desire to do good to others

Bible verse:  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.  Galatians 6:10

Remember All the Good Little Things


I have a confession to make.  My husband doesn't buy me flowers and I would love him to.  I admit that my bottom lip sticks out a little every time I read a facebook status update from a friend who's husband surprised her with a bouquet at home or at work, in person or sent in.  It is something I would like.  It would warm the cockles of my heart to know that my beloved went out of his way and comfort zone and MO to actually go out and get me a "just because" bouquet.  But, I don't really expect or require it of him because its not his way.

So, as those facebook status updates appear on my computer screen, I have a choice.  I can either let the bottom lip stick out, start to quiver and grow into some whiny bitterness about "if he truly loved me...." blah blah blah.  Or I can remember all those good little things he does for me besides:

He did bring me flowers once.  I had just had a devastating miscarriage and he had to return to work.  While at work in the woods, he found the most beautiful, fragrant wild roses!  He picked a couple for me and brought them home for me.  I cherished those roses more than I think even he realizes.

He loves to buy me vintage clothing and satin night gowns.

He knows I love to take sermon notes and journal, so he buys me nice journals to write in rather than school notebooks.

He got me a MOM mug that says, "There's a reason your name is "wow" upside down!"

He compliments me and praises me to other people.  Just about everyone I meet tells me how many great things he says about me.  I had one woman even say, "I wish my husband had such nice things to say about me!"

He protects my modesty and the sacredness of our marriage by not showing off pictures of me (headshots or church clothes pictures, yes, but not anything he thinks might cause a worldly coworker to think of me in a way he shouldn't).  Nor does he talk about or brag about our intimate life with coworkers.

He bought me "push presents" for every baby I've given him,

He made sure I had a garden this year even though he knew I wouldn't be able to take care of it!  LOL!  He was away a lot so he couldn't take care of it either, but he knew how important it was for me to have a garden.

He builds things for my whims, like the stone wall at our property line and the fenced in area for the ducks.

Would I trade any of that for commercialized flowers that don't even smell nice?  No!

The moral of the story is before your dwell on the one thing you don't have, remember all the glorious things you do have!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Peaches!


They don't just grow in Georgia!

I picked these lovely, perfectly ripened beauties from my very own tree yesterday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Character Study: Availability


Today's Character Study: AVAILABILITY

Definition:  Present and ready for use

Bible Verse:  And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send and who will go for us?"  Then I said, "Here am I!  Send me!"  Isaiah 6:8

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blackmore's Night

Thanks to my Pandora's "Loreena McKennitt" station, I am now a fan of Blackmore's Night.  Every song played I have loved.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Character Study: Alertness

Throughout the homeschool year, I will be teaching my children different character studies.



Today's Character Study is: ALERTNESS

Definition: Paying close and careful attention

Bible verse:  Be on guard, keep awake, for you do not know when the time will come.  Mark 13:33 ESV

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Vintage Kitchen Redo

I decided it was high time to redo my kitchen.  The above picture is the before picture.  When we moved in, I painted it green, hoping we'd be able to change out the original 1950's countertops and cabinets.  Well, all these years later, and I still have the countertops and cabinets.  I decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  Besides, my love affair with vintage has really grown and I decided to take a fun little plunge and go all pin-up girl pretty with my kitchen.

First, I painted the walls blue to match the blue swirl in the countertops.  Then, I bought new white switchplate covers and drew cherries on them!

Then, I took the existing clock, which matched the green in earth tones and gave it a complete retro makeover:

I'm not done yet.  I still have the white trim to do, more cherry red "pops of color" throughout, and perhaps even repainting the enamel metal cabinets.  The white has faded to dullness over the years.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Master Bedroom Redo Idea

Last year, hubby and I moved out of the larger bedroom in our two bedroom house and into the small one so the children could have more space.  Our current bedroom is only 7' x 9'.  While we don't mind our cozy little nook, I would like to redo the room.  It still has the paint scheme from when it was the nursery for our first born along with torn up remnants of the John Deere tractor wallpaper boarder.  That's not exactly conducive to a romantic atmosphere.

Ideas haven't really been melding together very well, but there is a repeating theme of an exotic middle eastern flavor.  Then, this evening, it struck me.....Song of Solomon!  The bedroom can be themed around the verse above, which you can get as a vinyl wall decal.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Poetic Justice


Hubby has a friend who unwinds after long days of work by writing songs and singing them on youtube.  He's been hammering out nearly a song a day and they're good!  It inspired me to tackle poetry again as a way to unwind and let go of some "mommy angst."

I wrote my first poem yesterday.  It tackles the feelings of worthlessness that haunt me, but I am not comfortable sharing it publicly.  The release of writing it out on paper and not having it bottled in me really helped and it was nice to dust off that creative corner of my brain.

For a little bit of fun, though, here is a silly little poem I wrote in high school:


Ode To A Dummy


I love a little man
Made of the best tree.
This funny little man
Named Charlie McCarthy.
This Irish little man
with lightening for his wit.
This wooden little man
Cracks jokes 'til our sides split.
I love this little man
From his monicle to top hat,
This funny little man
With the voice of a pussy-cat.
This perfect little man
Erases my sad frown
Whenever this little man
Blurt out, "Well, mow me down!"
This handsome little man
My love is ever true.
God bless this little man.
Oh yeah, and Edgar Bergan too.

Friday, June 15, 2012

2 Years Old

Happy 2nd Birthday to my sweet little man.
He was our surprise baby, thanks to mommy reading the ovulation chart a week off!
I'm so glad I did!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So Far On My Summer Reading List

I actually have a summer reading list this year!  I haven't sat down and read books in a long time, except children's books.  Having a nursing baby affords me some time to just curl up while he's eating and easily read off of the Kindle on my smart phone!  It's easier than holding a book, which I haven't quite mastered while nursing.

Here's what I have so far:


Grade Leads Me Home by Marlene C. Miller is a true story about a woman who was a cheerleader and head majorette, but became Amish after she gave her life over to Christ.

Married Mom, Solo Parent by Carla Anne Coroy is a great book helping women who find themselves married, but parenting alone.  Thankfully, my husband is an involved father, but his job does take him away from home frequently, hence why I got this book.


Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin is a book I'm eager to read.  I did wind up buying it in actual book form since I could get it cheaper than the kindle edition.  This book is about a dog that was used as bait in a fighting dog ring.  My own dog was used as bait in a fighting dog ring.  Thankfully, my dog wasn't nearly as damaged as Oogy.  She had some scars around her eyes, some bite marks around her hips and the last few inches of her tail was kinked a little and had no sensation for a while.  She's regained feeling in her tail tip.  We found out when I accidentally stepped on it with shoes on.  Boy, did she get lots of coddling after I did that!
That's all I've got so far.  Any recommendations? 

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Whirlwind and Lot

Life has been a whirlwind of baby care, child care and rearranging the house to accommodate our new little one.  I'm still not satisfied with the arrangement, but am working on it as much as I can without sacrificing time with my new baby and my older children.  It'll fall into place, I'm sure.

Thanks to hubby, my garden is in.  Thanks to crummy weather and critters, half the garden is destroyed.  I hope to replant what I can.  What I can't, oh well.  I'm happy to have ANY garden this year.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Week Post Partum

I have to say that this has been the BEST post partum week I've ever had!  What an amazing testimony of God's grace!

First of all, hubby took the week off of work and it has been a tremendous blessing to have him here loving on his family and treating me like a queen.  He worked hard with small children by his side and got my garden prepared for planting!  I thought for sure I'd have to skip out on a garden this year, yet as I type, little plants are dancing in the breeze.  As an added blessing, in perfect timing, our neighbor had to lime the field next door.  He saw our garden tilled and sent over a dump load of manure!

Personally, I feel great!  I feel AMAZING!  I have so much energy and focus!  I cannot believe the night and day difference from how I felt during, and even before the pregnancy!  I'm healing very well and very quickly.  There are a few "kinks" in my system, such as my left hip keeps acting up on me.  Thankfully, though, the baby blues have gone and so has the scream-out-loud pain of breast feeding.

My baby boy is doing well.  He's still battling some jaundice, but he's not lethargic.  He's eating well, sleeping well, and responding very well to people.  Today, he actually following Daddy with his eyes!  I could have fallen over in disbelief!  I also love how by merely talking to him, or picking him up, he stops crying and just snuggles into me.

The children are doing better than I expected with baby brother.  My 3rd is a little extra needy, so we make sure to give him plenty of love and figured out how to snuggle while mommy nurses the baby.

We're being blessed beyond measure by our church family, family and friends.  While I was in recovery, I invited anyone who wanted to come see the baby to come.....and then I sat there.....alone.  Hubby had a mandatory class 2 hours away from where I gave birth, so he was gone all day.  I made him go anyway.  I wanted him to get it done and out of the way rather than having it hanging over our heads to get it done another time.  So, there I sat watching other moms leaving with their babies, balloons, flowers, and gift bags.  I admit, I actually started crying my eyes out because no one sent me flowers.  No cards.  Towards the evening time, my sister and her family came to visit and so did one of our babysitters.  I felt silly feeling so sad about something as superficial as flowers, and felt really silly when the nursery nurse came in a caught me in tears.  But through it all, I prayed and God told me to wait; that we'd be blessed later.  I also thought up a ministry of providing a card or flowers to women who give birth alone.  I felt so sad, but I knew that having a baby Friday night puts a damper things for other people.  Saturday was full of weddings, baby showers, and so many other obligations that kept most of my friends and family away.  So, I prayed for those celebrating those momentous occasions.  And I figured that as sad as I felt despite knowing how truly loved I am, there are women who do not have that loving support behind them and may sit in their recovery room with nothing on their window sill.  It broke my heart, so I hope, some day, to be able to send flowers or a card or SOMETHING to women in that situation.

The blessings are pouring in now, just as God promised.  Cards, gifts, gift cards or cash, help around the house, and MEALS.  Delicious meals with enough leftovers to last us even longer!!  And I'm not talking about mac and cheese or casseroles here.  I'm talking full on meat and potatoes type meals!

And I got those flowers.  A big potted bouquet of cheerful yellow mums!!  I thought I wouldn't have any flowers to plant this year, either!!

To top it off, hubby completely surprised me by getting me a beautiful set of bracelets in fresh water pearls.  I LOVE fresh water pearls, and each bracelet is a different color!  There are 10 of them!!  I was elated!

God is SO GOOD!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birth Story


A little after 6 am on Friday, May 18, 2012, I was dosing in bed when I felt the tell-tale gush.  I looked at the clock, and realized that hubby wasn't all the way to work yet and said, "You've got to be kidding me!"  All the same, I was excited.....and a little apprehensive. Would it all work out with hubby's long commute?  Would the baby be ok being my 2nd earliest baby?

The excitement won out while I called my husband and told him to turn around the come home.  I called my parents to arrange for my father to take me to the Woman's Center where I was to give birth.  I called the Center and they said to come right in.  I texted friends and my sister, took a shower, got all my stuff together, and once my father arrived, we went on down to the Center.

Contractions hadn't started yet, and deep down I knew I should have stayed home until they did, but with the baby being a bit early, and my having a very faster labor with my daughter, it was recommended that I come in right away.  I proved that my instincts were right.  I should have stayed home until contractions began.

At the Center, I was prepped and given the same ol' "suspected water breakage" speech.  I KNEW my water was broken.  No doubt.  My L&D nurse knew I knew.  You don't have 3 previous natural labors with PPROM and NOT know a thing or two!  LOL!  Now, my L&D nurse was THE BEST L&D nurse I ever had.  It felt like I had a midwife, instead.  She was very supportive, fun to talk to, attentive and a great advocate.  I wasn't there for but a couple hours and my OB came in suggesting I take Pitocin and have the baby out now so I could have lunch.  I declined, she supported.

So, there I was walking, dancing, squatting, bouncing on the ball, swaying, laughing, joking, praying, talking for hour after hour after hour with NO pain.  I did NOT take any pain meds.  I did NOT have an epidural.  So, why wasn't I having any pain?

The nurse checked me now and again upon my request and sure enough, I was SLOWLY progressing.  I am SO glad I had her check me so frequently because my OB checked me 3 times during the course of my labor.  The first time, his check agreed with the nurse's check.  By the time he checked me again, he had already pushed pitocin twice.  The second time he checked me, the nurse had just checked me an hour before and I had progressed another cm and another 10% more effaced.  I could fell the OB didn't even go all the way in.  I could feel he didn't bother spreading his fingers to check the cervix dilation.  He pulled them out, whipped off the glove and said, "no change, exactly the same."  The "you'd better take pitocin now" attitude made the air in the room feel heavy.  My nurse and I exchanged similar glances.  I trusted her.  She mouthed to me, "I will talk to you later."

After the OB left, she came in and said, "I'm checking you now."  She checked and sure enough, I was progressed.  I no longer trusted my OB.  He out and out lied to me just to get me to take pitocin and "have it done with."  I don't even know if I'll go back for my 6 week post partum check up.  I know that I'm going to be looking for a new GYN.  I cannot believe he lied to me.

So, onward we trudged along.  I was 7 cm and 80% effaced and still not a single contraction pain.  My L&D nurse tried everything to help it progress a bit more quickly naturally.  She talked to me about my children and had me show her pictures.  She explained to me why labor was slow to progress:

When I arrived, baby's head was tilted in the pelvic area and not putting full pressure on the cervix to tell the body to open and up and get him out.  Baby was also tilted far to the right of the womb.  So, first we got him straightened out with exercises.  Then, we worked to get his head straightened, rather than cocked.  Lastly, we had to get his head off of the pubic bone and into the canal.

My OB came in at 5pm, the end of his shift and once again pushed pitocin.  He'd stay and deliver the baby if I took pitocin.  I declined and he gave me this pathetic little, "well, I guess you don't want me to deliver your baby."  Um, yeah.  After you lied to me, I'd rather not.  I was afraid he'd cut me or do some other invasive procedure.  Plus, I knew the OB who was going to catch my baby.  He delivered my daughter and I really liked him.  He was very hands off and let mama do it.  I should have switched to his practice when after my daughter was born.

I was 8 cm dilated, fully effaced and just starting stronger contractions.  I could talk through them, though.  At this point, I considered pitocin, but I really REALLY did not want it.  I KNEW what had to be done and that I could do it, if the nurse and I could only figure out the trick to get him off my pubic bone.

The nurse could see how weary I was of such a slow, and sometimes even stalled labor.  She gently suggested pitocin, but in a sympathetic way, not a pushy way.  I declined farther, so she suggested I rock up on the balls of my feet.  It was about 6:30 pm now.  12 1/2 hours since my water broke.  Her shift ended at 7pm and I really wanted her there.  I started the balls of my feet rocking and it worked.  I felt baby's head slide off my pubic bone and into the birth canal.  The contractions hit like a ton of beautiful bricks!  I moaned and breathed, banged the tray table and shouted, "YES!"  The nurse came running in, overjoyed at my progress, called the on-call OB, got the room ready, and after a few more of those contractions, I declared that I was ready to push.

I got myself in bed.  I actually LIKE giving birth in the reclined position.  The contractions started to slow and weaken, but my legs had given out on me.  The OB came in and I said I wanted to push.  The first push didn't amount to too much because the contraction was weak and I huffed through it without really getting a good grip.  So, we waited for the 2nd.  It took FOREVER to come.  The nurse offered to have me stand again and then get me back in bed for delivery.  I declined because 1. my legs were too tired and 2. I knew that once this baby started out, he wasn't going to stop.  Finally, I felt the contraction began.  I said, "Here we go!"  The contraction wasn't very strong, so I knew I had to do most of the pushing.  I was determined.  I took a deep breath, held it for a second and then PUSHED!!  The OB had to get his gloves on, so they told me to stop pushing.  Too late.  My body was now doing it for me.  There was no stopping.  So, out my baby came into the hands of my L&D nurse!!  So, after that, she really did feel like my midwife!

My baby boy was small, purple-pink, and covered in butter.  He had a full head of wavy, dark brown hair and looked like me.  He also had a good scream!  Healthy!  He was born at 6:47 pm.

Oh my goodness!  I just realized that I didn't mention hubby!  He was AMAZING!  So patient, so attentive, so encouraging, and GREAT back rubs!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Waiting......

Lots of pain and pressure, but hardly any contractions!

I'm waiting for labor to kick in and in the meantime, I'm just sitting around doing nothing because I can't concentrate on anything BUT going into labor!  I was always able to just get on with life with my other pending labors, but this time I can't seem to think straight or doing much of anything productive.  Then again, I've been pretty much like this this entire pregnancy!  Very unfocused.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All Ready To Go!

I was sitting on the exam table in my OB's office today when she walked in, hand me lay down and started measuring my belly.  She said that I looked like I had dropped and she wanted to do an internal exam to check my progress.  After I was prepped, she did the exam and I nearly started laughing out loud as her eyes got wider and wider.  "You are 4 cm dilated and your cervix is really, really soft.  How far do you live from here?"  I told her it was about 20 minutes.  She replied, "As soon as your contractions are regular and painful or your water breaks, come to the hospital.  I will see you in a week if you're still pregnant by then."

So, here we go!  It's happening!.  I'm just sitting around the house waiting for labor to start!  So far today I've had a little cramping, some strange pressure/pushy-ness, and Braxton-Hicks belly tightening.  I pray my water breaks first as it always has with my babies.  That's an easy, sure way to tell if you're in labor.  I'd hate to be in false labor, or very early labor and go to the hospital and be pressured into interventions to "speed things up a little."  It means a lot to me to be able to just let my body do what it needs to without artificial rupture of the membranes, pitocin, or what have you.

Funny, though.  As much as I did not really enjoy being pregnant, it is bittersweet to look in the mirror and realize I will never see myself all big-bellied again.  I'll never feel the kicks and rolly-polies of a baby inside of me.  I'll never have exciting ultrasounds again.  I'll never stare at the growth chart in the OB office in eager anticipation of my little one within growing.

Whether you have 1 child or 20, the child-bearing years come to an end at some point.  For some women, it is a great relief.  For others it is a great sadness.  For still more, it is bittersweet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

$200 Amazon.com Gift Card Giveaway!

Mama Chocolate is hosting a giveaway of a $200 Amazon.com gift card generously offered by OverHead Doors!  

Still pregnant!

I think I will actually make it to term this pregnancy, though I am hoping to go into labor Saturday evening.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Bye Bye Holly Hobbie

I am selling my collection of vintage Holly Hobbie items.  If you are interested, please e-mail me at seamstresslady at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Made it to 35 weeks!

The baby is still in me! Good for baby, not so good for a mommy who's so ready to see her new little man and resume function as a normal human being. At this point, I think I will make it to 37 weeks. I have been having feet, ankles and hand swelling. I can feel my hips loosening. I feel like my very low abdomen is stretching. Baby has dropped more and sometimes I have that "sitting on his head" feeling. I am sleeping a bit better. I have more overall energy and I am nesting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Preggy update

Strong but irregular contractions last night. Today, I feel very weak and very tired. I wonder how much longer I can go on like this. The days are dragging. But, I remember that I made it through weeks upon weeks of horrible morning sickness and that is well in my past. Time keeps marching on. I do look forward to next Monday. I won't be so restricted and can start doing things to promote a positive labor and delivery.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Easy Days and "Preggy" Days

It's funny how one day I can feel really well and get a lot done.  And then there are days like today where I've already spent most of it in bed trying to nap and it is only 1 pm.  I'm cold today, too, craving cookies and cake, and feeling like a cold bug is coming on.

In less than a week, I will be at our original projected goal of 35 weeks!  I think I'll go longer (*sigh*) since things don't seem to be progressing at all at this point.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Funny Things I'm Starting To Say

Call it hormones.  Call it discomfort, but I've discovered that I'm starting to say some odd things like:

1. Get this baby out of me!
2. I don't want to do this anymore!
3. Stop trying to punch my sides out, baby!
4. URGH! (usually the sound I utter whenever I have to get up)
5. I can't wait to stop peeing so often!
6. Can't I just be put in a coma until I go into labor?
7. Wahhhhhhh....I can't get comfortable in any position!
8. (singing) "We're having a heat wave....." (in regards to my never-ending, rarely satiated heart-burn)
9. I just want to be human again!!!
10. I miss my little waistline!
11.  I hate my maternity clothes!
12. Nothing covers my belly anymore!

Friday, April 27, 2012

1st Grade Curriculum Planning

Veteran Homeschoolers, please advise.  If you see anything redundant or wasteful in my list, please let me know!

Here is what I have planned so far:

1. PHONICS: -Phonics Pathways with Word Works, -Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, -Bob Books
2. GRAMMAR: -First English Grammar
3. SPELLING: -Spectrum Spelling Grade 1, -Modern Curriculum Press Spelling Workout
4. HAND WRITING: -Handwriting Without Tears, -Memoria Press Copywork Book 1 + 2, -Copywork for Little Boys
5. LANGUAGE ARTS: -Spectrum Language Arts Grade 1, -First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, -Writing With Ease
6. MATH: -Saxon Math 1 with K-3 Manipulatives
7. SCIENCE: -Backyard Science, -Answers in Genesis
8. HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES: -Community and Local History, -Reading Ancient History and Stories, -Civics
9. ART/MUSIC: -piano lessons, -Watch Me Draw, -Drawing is Basic
10. BIBLE/CHARACTER: -Reviewing Sunday School Lessons, -Character Lessons, -Proverbs

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Used Magazines

Today, I acted on impulse and bought the latest issue of Vogue magazine at the checkout line in the grocery store.  My reason?  Scarlett Johansson was on the cover and looking very vintage and lovely.  That's it.  I bought it for several lovely photographs done in vintage style....a waste of $4.00.  I probably could have found the photographs somewhere online.

I got to thinking how much better things were in my youth when the impulse to buy magazines wasn't there because the money wasn't burning a hole in my wallet.  I grew up in a near poverty level home, but if it wasn't for the daily comparison of my peers at public school, I probably wouldn't have really noticed.  Looking back, I'm glad I grew up in that lifestyle.

Instead of buying magazines, we were given used ones or my mother would paw through the free box at the local library.  I was introduced to Country Living and Victoria magazines as well as the Reiman Publications (Country, Reminisce, Taste of Home).  I still have many of the Country Livings and Victorias.  It was such a treat to put my feet up on a summer's afternoon and flip through the pages.  While my peers had their very own subscriptions to Seventeen, I was swept away into the filtered photographs in those late 80's early 90's issues of Victoria.

When I was an older teen and had a job of my own, I did subscribe to Victoria magazine.  Mom continued to find Country Living Magazines for free.

Really, though, beauty was found, disovered, gleaned in those days rather than bought on impulse and feeling wasted later.  I think I need to start turning back the clock on my thinking again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Goal: 4 more weeks

My OB is setting the goal for 4 more weeks of pregnancy for me!  I will refuse an induction unless it is necessary for the baby's health, but he thinks if I continue to take it easy and not stress out, I can make it to 37 weeks.  I'm glad for this news.  Now, to just make those 4 weeks fly by!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Children are Garbage Magnets!

My family is helping me out by taking care of my children until Friday so I can rest up and prepare for the arrival of the baby.  This afternoon I tackled the kids' room.  We live in a small cottage, so all 3 children share the same room.  Thus, it becomes cluttered and messy quickly.  I have come to the conclusion that children are garbage magnets!  All the little bits of paper, cheap toys, fuzzy-backed stickers, broken crayons, etc etc etc that they manage to hold on to amazes me.

Children are cute and cute children tend to get gifts and hand-outs no matter where they go.  It seems well-meaning and kindly people, whether family, friends, clerks or strangers see adorable children and feel compelled to give them some little treat that winds up in my house.  Of course, I teach my children to accept the little blessing graciously, and they usually do, and then they may keep it for a time.  If I see it forgotten under the bed, it gets tossed.

Unfortunately, it also means that I'm throwing away stuff into our landfills.  I hate doing it, but I can't keep it in my house, either.  Some are able to just say no thanks, which is great.  Perhaps as my children age a little, I can encourage them to graciously decline.  Perhaps as they grow older, they will be less likely to receive little gifts.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Baby or a Yo-Yo!!

Saturday morning, I woke up in such pain and discomfort, but no contractions.  I waddled around the house as little as possible and wondered how in the world I'd last the rest of this pregnancy like this.  Then, before lunchtime, I felt the baby shift and I felt so much better.  Sunday was better, too.  Today, good!  I checked myself out in the mirror and noticed that my belly has shifted UPWARD!

Yes, that's right.  It seems as if the baby has moved up out of the pelvis!  Other signs that this may have happened include frequent heartburn, pressure on the lungs, and less pressure on the cervix and bladder.  I no longer have to use the bathroom every 1/2 hour to an hour!

So, this little guy may just stay in a bit longer than originally expected!  Granted, I am SO READY to give birth.  Of course, it is too early and my little guy needs to stay in for at the very least 2 more weeks.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Guessing Game

It seems nearly every day now I experience false labor.  Of course, last time I went to the maternity center due to false labor, I got the paperwork to help me know the difference between false labor and true labor.  Ummm...my false labor is so convincing that it pretty much covers all the bases on that check list!  They usually say "call if nothing changes after an hour," but my false labor can last for HOURS and then suddenly subside.  I spend the whole time praying for the Lord to show me whether or not I'm in labor because I do NOT want to go back to the maternity center only to be sent home.  It's an inconvenience, an expense, and requires a lot of planning since I have 3 children who need childcare on top of finding someone to drive me.  It's not like hubby can just pop on home whenever.  He's making ends meet!

One thing for sure is that the false labor is coming more frequently and stronger each time.  Yesterday, I was actually bent over the kitchen counter breathing and moaning a little.  Just before hubby came home, it stopped, but I was incredibly tired and sore.  I've been up for hours now in the middle of the night because once again, pain.

It is truly getting close.  I feel like I've been in early labor all week.  My next OB appointment is Wednesday.  Of course, now it is the weekend and my only choices are maternity center or sit tight at home and wait it out.

Friday, April 20, 2012

More Signs of Pending Labor


I'm having more subtle signs of a labor that is soon to come.  Can anyone say boo to hormone-induced acne?! Yep, it is obvious I'm having a hormone change and my skin is showing it!

There's another sign in the bathroom department, but I'll spare you, LOL!

I should probably get packing a bag for the hospital.  It could be any day or weeks away.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wow! Ugh.

I feel like it is getting so close. I'm so glad my parents have been taking at least 2 of my kiddos every week. I have to spend the majority of my day with my feet up or in bed now. Just getting myself ready, one child ready, us fed, and taking care of the ducks has me spent. Add feeding and caring for two more children and I just want to curl up on the floor and cry it exhausts me and hurts so much. Thankfully, we'll be moving the ducks outside soon. That means my oldest will be able to take care of them. 2 1/2 more weeks, little man. That's all I'm asking!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Closer and Closer

The contractions are getting more frequent, even with resting.

I'm wanting to nest! It is driving me nuts that I have to rest so much and the house is in such disarray.

I'm tired a lot with little bursts of energy.

My belly is incredibly low.

I'm sick of my maternity wardrobe!

Backaches!

I'm aiming for 35 weeks.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bedrest is not working out

My helping hand resources are pretty much tapped out. They are either tired, sick, busy or working. Needless to say, that makes for an impossible bedrest. It is nearing noon and I only just put my feet up today. My belly and back are killing me, but thankfully no contractions.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Moderate Bed Rest

My OB has put me on moderate bed rest. If you've been on bed rest, please share what you did to occupy yourself and pass the time. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The End Is Near!


The end of my pregnancy may be near. I went in to the hospital last night to be checked for preterm labor. I had been cramping all week. I lost my mucus plug Sunday and last night the cramping and contractions got worse. I checked my cervix and it was noticeably thinner.

While the contractions stopped on their own at the hospital, the on call OB said that she could feel the baby's head, but he was still high enough. I am 50% effaced and 1 cm dilated.

This morning, I woke up early with really bad cramps. I took a shower and they abated, but I've been keeping my feet up most of today. The cramps and contractions have continued off and on throughout the day.

Tomorrow, I see my regular OB. I wonder what he is going to say.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Update on the Purging Challenge

I rounded off last week's purging by cleaning the playroom. I only got rid of a small box full of stuff, but it did amount to over 25 things. I'm debating whether or not to be rid of the Mr. Potato Head stuff. The children rarely play with it (unless I mention getting rid of it). I also tackled the closet in the school room and I definitely got rid of a lot more than 25 things, mostly magazines. I have two shelves stacked two deep with magazines. I had many of the magazines in those cardboard magazine holders. My goal was to have all magazines in holders. I was thrilled when I was done sorting to have some holders empty! That is until I realized I have a stack of magazines in my bedroom! I may need to purge more.

Today, I tackled the children's room. That was an easy goal-maker.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Easter Baskets

Do you do Easter Baskets for your children?

What do you put in them?

I really don't have the space to store Easter baskets year after year, so my mom came up with the idea of getting each child a plastic bucket with shovel. The way my children play in that sand pile, any bucket only lasts a season anyway. I'm not keen on filling the buckets with candy. It is also disheartening to see that Easter is becoming another commercial Christmas. So, each child got a few use-up-able or practical toys inside their buckets.

Oldest: Legos, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, small puzzle, Skittles-filled egg.
Middle: Magnetic fold up playhouse (clearance at Target!), bubbles, sidewalk chalk, jump rope, chocolate bunnies
Youngest: Play-doh toy, toddler snacks, bubbles, Skittles-filled egg.

Most of these items were $1.00 or less!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Light Purge Today

I am not feeling well today, so I've only done a light purge. I pulled out a junk drawer and purged it of most of its contents. I was able to add a few things to the yard sale heap that has taken over an entire corner of my basement. The rest was either recycled or thrown away. In the basement, a simple purge yielded me two empty economy sized diaper boxes!

Yesterday, people came to pick up the tent we sold so now there is room in the shed! Unfortunately, rearranging the shed isn't going to happen through me at this time, so it'll have to wait. I'm really looking forward to the yard sale, not only getting rid of all that stuff, but making a little money off of it. I've been praying that it is a success.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Holly Hobbie Purge

I am feeling very pregnant today, so I've only done a little purging. I've definitely purged more than 25 things again, though. I have a box set aside for things I plan on posting online for sale, including my vintage Holly Hobbie collection and an original Cabbage Patch doll in very good condition. Anyone interested?


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today's Purge

Again, I made it well over 25 things today. Here's what I tackled:

Stuff laying around the floor of the basement

The refrigerator door

The filing cabinet

Recent junk mail

The bedroom closet (I remembered I had some nice blankets that haven't been used in years. They're going in the yard sale.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where Do I Find 25 Things to Purge Every Day?


People have been asking me where I find 25 things to purge every day. Yesterday I purged well over 100 things. This morning, I purged 52 things as seen in that pile in the picture above.

So, here are some places I'm purging and some ideas for you:

1. Children's clothing. I am given SO much that I am able to be selective. My 6 year old does NOT need 35 pairs of size 5 jeans.

2. Catalogs and Magazines.

3. Junk Mail.

4. Junk Drawers (yes, little things count, too.)

5. Paperwork

6. Medicine Cabinet.

7. Pantry

8. Garage/Shed

9. Books

10. Hobby supplies

11. Unfinished projects

12. Household cleaners

13. DVD's, CD's, Video Games

14. TOYS!!

15. Your refrigerator/freezer


Monday, March 26, 2012

Free Unloader!

Oh the stuff that I am letting go of! In just a few spare minutes, I filled to overflowing a large tote with stuff for a yard sale! Earlier today I emptied two boxes of papers and I continue to list certain things on the internet to sell. I still have to whittle down toys. I am not sure how that will fly. I am also conveniently avoiding my kitchen, though I know I have some sellable goodies stashed in there.

I keep imagining that we are selling our house and moving into an RV. We can only take so much and are only allowed a small storage space at my brother's house. Imagining that has me really reevaluating all the stuff we have.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Purge is Going Very Well!

I want to have a yard sale now!

I won't be able to for a while, though, but there's so much to get rid of!

I've even begun tackling my fabric stash and turning it into cash!

I tackled our storage shed, too. I've got some postings on craigslist.

I dove into my vintage clothing collection. I've got some things on ebay and other stuff lined up to be shown to the local antique store for considerations.

A friend of mine called me today so excited about my purging. Her enthusiasm really was contagious. She really encouraged me in this.

The children have become a bit protective of their toys, though.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Intense Spring Cleaning Goal

I have quite the goal set out before me. I've decided that every weekday this Spring (for as long as I am physically able) I will get rid of 25 things out of this house. This is going to be tough.

Monday, March 19, 2012

80 degrees in March?!

For some reason I cannot post pictures today.

I cannot get over this weather! It was up to 80 degrees today! March! We should be buried under at least 3 feet of snow. Instead, my children ran around outside in t-shirts and bare feet. We had our first cook-out of the year. Hubby did a ton of yard work. I had to change into a sleeveless maternity shirt to keep cool.

A part of me is thoroughly enjoying this. Another part of me wonders what sort of weather is to come.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

One Sick Mama

I can thank God it is nothing serious. I just have a triple whammy of seasonal allergies, sinus infection, and a little bacterial infection. However, all 3 together coupled with pregnancy, exhaustion, and antibiotics (which I sometimes react to) has left me one sick mama for the time being.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Possible Diagnosis of Exhaustion

I never guessed it, but the signs are there. After all, I sleep at night. Not always through the night, but I sleep. I nap. I sit around most of the day. But, apparently, I may be suffering from exhaustion.

No matter how much or little I sleep, there is little to no improvement. I'm constantly fatigued. Bone fatigued.

My muscles ache all over. They feel very weak, too. Getting up is a great effort. Moving is slow.
I feel short of breath and sometimes need to take a breath during a small sentence.

My digestion is extremely sluggish and if I eat something that's not as simple as applesauce or yogurt, I feel worse. A smoothie and a small infant-size bowl of oatmeal yesterday had me so stuffed, I was sick most of the night waiting for it to digest.

My blood pressure is normal. Baby is active and growing normally.

I feel like I need a lot of fluids, some oxygen, and I need to just sleep. I wish I could spend just one night in a hospital getting these things, but I was just told to "go home and rest." Hopefully, I will find improvement tomorrow.



Monday, March 12, 2012

My Patchwork Home


Is your home a patchwork home like mine?

A patchwork home is a house where nothing really matches. My rooms are painted different colors. I do not have one complete set of furniture. For example, in my living room my sofa came from Big Lots when we got married. My chair was in my grandma's bedroom. Hubby's chair came from a local furniture store as a birthday gift several years ago. The side table was my great grandmothers. The piano I got on craigslist for $50.00. The media cabinet is from the closet organizing section in Target. My desk was my mothers. There is also a footstool from a local antique's shop, a homemade rocking horse given to us by friends, a wicker hamper from Target, and an old stool from a vintage sewing machine cabinet set.

Things are a bit topsy-turvy, too. My children occupy the master bedroom while hubby and I squeeze into the 7' by 9' 2nd bedroom. The dining room serves as the library, too. The sun porch is our homeschool room.

Sometimes I admire the full suites and sets at the furniture stores. Sometimes I dream of coordinating rooms, being able to stylize to my heart's content rather than settling on what I can get my hands on. But like a patchwork quilt, my patchwork house has so many homey memories. How can I get rid of my grandmother's chair or hutch? That rocking horse was so sacrificially and lovingly given to us, I want to keep it for my future grandchildren should the Lord tarry.

I will probably always have a patchwork house. Even when the Lord finally blesses us with a move, (pray a farm!) and I have more living space to play with, I will most likely keep the patchwork, and add to it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Not Sitting Still

I guess there is a little bit of a rebellious streak in me. Or, am I just being realistic about my situation? I don't know. All I know is what the doctor told me and how everyone else around me keeps telling me to pretty much do nothing. And Momma don't like that! Funny, though, it got me out of my funk of pretty much sitting around doing nothing. I'm now doing some highly modified yoga, getting light housework done and feeling more human. Oh, I have to take it easy a lot. I can tell when I'm pushing my limits. Mornings are good. Afternoons are rough. I'm not doing anything crazy. I'm not doing anything that'll harm this pregnancy.

Thankfully, I am getting a lot of help. I appreciate that so much! But, unless the doctor tells me I'm on bedrest, I'm not going to be sitting still, feeling my muscles atrophy and my blood coagulate. Yes, I need to take it easy and not do certain things, but it isn't healthy for baby and I to be bedridden, either unless it is to keep a started preterm labor from finishing.


Monday, March 05, 2012

Not Preterm Labor, But....

Thankfully, the exit is still secured for my unborn baby! Preterm labor is not happening, but the contractions are. Therefore, the doctor has put me on limited mobility. I am not on bedrest, per se, but I cannot lift anything, including children. That includes them into their carseats, or into the tub, or into a crib..... No lugging groceries. No pushing my big ol' vacuum cleaner. I can do light housework. I can cook. I can wash dishes. I cannot load my outdoor furnace. I cannot carry laundry up and down the basement stairs.

This is going to be quite an adjustment for the next 9 to 12 weeks. Already my children are understandably NOT happy with the changes, especially my youngest.

Well, I have to go diffuse a fight between the kiddos.

Possible Preterm Labor

I have been experiencing BH contractions since about 17 weeks. I've also had many episodes of cramping and pressure. They never really concerned me too much as a change in position or a little heat would stop them. However, I realized that they are coming more frequently in bouts. Longer, stronger bouts. Yesterday, they were less than 5 minutes apart with the need to breathe through them. It lasted about an hour that way. Walking about slowly and drinking water was the only way to calm them. They calmed, so I did not head to the hospital, but the evening still held off and on contractions. I have decided to call my doctor when his office opens today. These are far too many contractions to be having even if labor is not progressing or occuring.

Has any of my readers dealt with this at 26 weeks?

Friday, March 02, 2012

A Must Watch Video



Why do so many kids have food allergies these days?
What's up with the genetically modified crops?
Why is organic food so expensive?

Robyn answers these questions in this must-watch video.
Watch and share....it must go viral.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What I Learned from My Hotel Room


This past weekend the entire family, plus a friend from church headed out for a mini-vaca. We stayed for two nights in a two bedroom suite with full kitchen in a favorite hotel. When we arrived home, I found that I missed that hotel suite. It was very relaxing there! I even told my mother on the phone that I wanted to go back to it! Why?

I decided that it was the lack of clutter and only having what we needed with us. I didn't have extra gadgets, appliances, clothes, toys, etc etc etc. Sure, we were on vacation, so that is different from every day life, but it really made me think about all the stuff we have. Do we really need it? Really? It felt really good to be able to sit down and put my feet up because I didn't have a mess to clean up, something to organize, or stuff to put away!

The dishwasher, extra bathroom, and maid service helped, too. ;b

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Lenten Purge


My denomination in general does not observe Lent. Every year, though, Lent feels like something I should make a point of. This year, things are a bit discombobulated, so I'm settling for using the Lenten season to purge my home of excess STUFF.

This past weekend, I went through my dressers and closet to purge and organize. I already feel better!

I plan on repeating the purge with my children's clothing and toys, my kitchen cupboards, paperwork, catalogs and magazines, and excess baby gear. If I have time, I will tackle my sewing supplies.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Growing

Itchy belly, Braxton-Hicks contractions, navel pain....yep, baby and belly are going through a growth spurt! Only 16 (technically) weeks left to go! I can hardly believe it!

I also found out today that my doctor has listed me as a high risk pregnancy. Now, I'm not sure what that means, as I don't really consider myself high risk. Someone stuck on bed rest with imminent preterm labor is high risk. Apparently, a placenta in a low location, 3 previous miscarriages, 3 previous preterm births, and some pretty nasty BH contractions qualifies me. I'm fairly confident things are ok and are going to be ok.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Introducing Beyond Granola

Upon the request of my lovely aunt, I started a blog for healthy living. If you are interested, check it out HERE.

Oh the Smell of Wood Fire

My outdoor wood boiler after I filled it this morning before the sun rose.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Like the Best Weekly Magazine!

Every Wednesday night when I can I set aside time to sit down, put my feet up, fire up my laptop and head on over to the Raising Homemakers Link Up. To me, it's like the best weekly women's magazine out there!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

When Your House Smells of Sick

Wednesday, my children and I came down with a nasty 24 hour stomach bug. As soon as we recovered, I set to cleaning and disinfecting the house before hubby came home. He walked in the door Friday evening and wrinkled his face. He said that he could tell we've been sick. The house smells of sick.

Now it is Sunday evening and hubby caught this illness. Once again, the house stinks of sick. If it wasn't 10 degrees outside, I'd sleep outside it's so stinky, or at least open the windows! How do you minimize or eliminate sick-smell odors in your house without resorting to dangerous chemicals and air fresheners.

As a side note, don't even mention Febreeze to me. It gives hubby and I pounding headaches.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Over night cloth diapering

All 3 of my kiddos wear some form of diapering at night. My 5 year old still has accidents. He is the heaviest sleeper I know!! Thankfully, he's starting to grow out of it, so I've replaced his disposable pull ups with Antsy Pants. The Antsy Pants didn't work before. Even with the nighttime doubler for heavy wetters, he'd soak right through it all. He also complained that they hurt him. Now that he's older and wakes upon wetting them, it's not so bad, other than being summoned from bed and having to help him change.

My 3 year old still wets at night, too. She's also a heavy wetter and I have yet to find a cloth solution for her, so she's in disposable pull ups.

My 1 year old is also in disposable diapers at night. He, too is a heavy wetter, and sometimes soaks through his sposies.

I have two problems with cloth diapering at night:

1. Not enough absorption for my heavy wetters.

2. They sleep for 12 hours. That's a long time to have urine-soaked fabric against their skin. My 1 year old gets red and irritated after 2-3 hours in a cloth diaper, let alone 12!

I would still like to figure out a way to cloth them at night. I'm thinking a liner of a mesh material....like a barrier between skin and the urine soaked cloth underneathe....would be the way go. Now, if I can just figure absorption.

Any ideas? Tricks of the trade?

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Stimulating

One thing I'm finding with homeschooling my children is that it is so refreshingly stimulating! I love putting my mind to work organizing their lessons and planning their curriculum. I love coming up with creative projects to do. I love taking time to research their questions.

Being so stimulated has also shown me just how mindless life can be for many. Mindless TV. Mindless Internet. Mindless Video Games. Mindless Movies. Mindless Magazines. Sure, we all need a little break from stimuli with a bit of mindlessness now and again, but mindlessness seems to have become the norm. Mindless day in and day out droning away.

Where's the pursuit of a new hobby? Where's the pursuit of learning something new?

That's what I love about homeschooling. It opens those doors, not only for my children, but myself!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Herbal Smoothie


Thanks to THIS RECIPE from Bulk Herb Store, I started making my own herbal smoothies at breakfast time. I am following the herbal blend portion, but not necessarily the smoothie portion of the recipe. Instead this is what I'm doing:

banana
frozen fruit
homemade yogurt
raw milk
organic unrefined coconut oil
acerola powder
herbal blend

Whirr away and enjoy!

Yum yum yum!

And filling!

The herbs in this smoothie are all considered safe to consume during pregnancy, though if you're concerned, please contact your appropriate health care provider.

The herbs are considered a great alternative to consuming synthetic vitamins.

The neat thing, too, is that I didn't have my major afternoon crash like I usually do! That's a HUGE plus for me!