Saturday, September 26, 2009

Firecracker

So ... I have an interesting thing that's been on my mind lately, and I'd like to share it with all of my faithful, ummm ... 13ish blog readers. :)

I think that somewhere along the way of coming back to Christ in 2004/2005, and getting married, and moving to Nebraska (a lot of Native Nebraskans are grumpy), and having children, and trying to fit in with a new family (in-laws), and trying to please employers/in-laws/family/friends/whatever ... I think that I lost myself somewhere along the way. And I've been missing myself.

I, by nature, am/was : passionate, energetic, late, outspoken, giggly, upbeat, optimistic, fair, a procrastinator, a night-owl, stubborn, playful, sometimes overly-trusting, an anti-morning person, bubbly, fiery, a bit defiant, opinionated, warm, sarcastic, flirtacious, focused, joyful, sympathetic but not always selfless, I can make friends anywhere - even a gas station, and I get embarrassed and blush easily for people (including myself) in silly situations - I frequently have to hide under covers and put my hands over my eyes when embarrassing things happen to people in MOVIES for crying out loud, and when I get excited I get REALLY excited and tend to jump around and squeal, ... I sometimes speak too quickly without thinking things through and then regret it later because I've hurt people without intending to ... and generally, I'm kind and thoughtful but sometimes have trouble actually making it to places/things on time to show people that I care about them. What most people who knew me in my childhood and high school years would say is that I've always been a happy and outgoing person ... an eternal optimist.

But somewhere along the way, I lost a lot of that spark. (Hah! Didn't seem to lose any of the negative stuff though!) But I really MISS that spark and spunk!! I don't know if it was having kids, or feeling like I needed to be less assertive (my siblings-in-law and mother-in-law, bless their hearts, are very non-agressive and have had to put up with my rather outspoken and opinionated self for the last 4.5 years), or just feeling like since I'm a grown-up and a mom now that I need to be somebody different, somebody "stiffer" and more responsible or something. I'm not really sure what it is ... but I've LOST myself somewhere, and I really miss me!!

As I'm getting back into contact with a lot of old high school friends, I'm realizing just how much of ME I've lost. They remind me of stories, and fun times, and my OLD personality ... how upbeat and silly and light hearted I used to be. Then I think of all the fun times my hubby and I used to have just going out and playing pool or card games or bowling or just sitting around telling stories and jokes -- and I wonder, where did that fun girl go??? I used to be able to smile in nearly any situation, could laugh at the silliest of things, could have fun doing the most mundane things.

I'm realizing that I've made myself into something I'm not ... that life isn't all about stress/money/paying bills/being responsible/being a grown-up ... fitting into the mold of a "calm adult" that I seem to have found myself in. Life is SHORT. You never know how many days you'll have ... we aren't promised tomorrow. I feel like I've been living a fraction of the joy and spark that I should be. And although I promise I'll still pay all our bills (haha) ... I think I've just decided that I need to go back to being ME, even if that "me" isn't your typical church-attending-fashion-savvy-grown-up-adult-parent that I seem to have mistakenly decided I have to be.

When I was a babysitter and nanny, nearly every parent that I babysat for told me that I was their kids' FAVORITE sitter ever. Why? I didn't let the kids get out of control and I made sure they followed all the rules ... I was their favorite because I took the time to be SILLY, and pretend ... to ENJOY the little things, and laugh at the things that don't make any sense ... I spent time getting on the floor and building forts and making up stories and thinking of ways to be more FUN and to help the kids learn, but in different and joyful ways. Nowadays, I'm too busy with facebook and bills and being a "grown up" and dressing to look good to other and trying to sound intelligent when I write things and stress and worries and cooking and cleaning and being a parent (read : "trying to find time to be an ADULT!") and I seem to force my kids to live in an adult world instead of living in the NOW and enjoying them being children ... I don't spend enough time living in the now WITH them and enjoying watching their eyes light up as I waddle across the room pretending to be a duck with them. ... *gasp!* ... I've gotten ... stuffy!

Yes, I'm training my children to be adults someday. But they aren't adults now, and they will have their whole lives to be adults (they're not allowed to start that part before age 15 though, hah!). They are precious, happy, joyous children ... who have no idea what divorce is (I pray they never know first-hand!) ... who don't know what suffering is ... who aren't tainted by materialism and the ugly sinfulness of this world ... who don't worry about tomorrow and who don't regret yesterday ... and they are looking to me to tell them what this world is like. If all I show them is stress ... and all I tell them is "NO, not right now, maybe later" and all I ask of them is to "sit still and behave" ... then what a boring and lifeless world they will think this is.

But it's not. This life is truly what you make of it. All of us have bad things happen, all of us have to "remake" ourselves at some point, all of us deal with tragedy, all of us deal with heartache, and all of us have unfortunate things happen to us. But if you focus on the good things in life, put your trust in Jesus, allow yourself to heal when bad things happen, and allow yourself to be warm and trusting (even though you might get hurt), and just look every day to find the joy in something, even something little ... then every day can hold a smile, and every cloud has a ray of sunshine just waiting to burst through the gray. It all depends on how you look at it. And for my children ... the way that they view life in the future has EVERYTHING to do with how I teach them to deal with things now, how I model "life" for them.

I need to find ME again ... the OLD me ... but I won't be not paying the bills, won't be neglecting (too badly) my housework, will still be going to church, won't become a total slacker ... that's not what I'm saying. I just want to show my kids that it's not normal or healthy to run around mis-trusting everyone, being closed-off, being "stuffy" ... God gave us things (and people) in this life to ENJOY!! So I want to take the time to play pretend, catch butterflies, roll in the grass, and have food fights ... because even though those are ridiculous and time-consuming and messy ... this is the only shot I've got at my kids' childhood. I don't want to miss it just because I was so selfishly consumed with finding "Mommy Time" and being annoyed with them.

The part of me I've locked away somewhere has just got to come back out. I'm going to start looking for her, in earnest. For three reasons :
1. To put more spice and spark back into my marriage. Flirtaciousness isn't something that needs to disappear when you're married - I seem to have lost mine completely - it just needs to be directed toward the only appropriate person. :)
2. To be the mom that learned how to be a mom by babysitting, and having fun! To give my kids an example of JOY and LIGHT-HEARTEDNESS and WARMTH and COMPASSION, so that they can grow up to be joyful creatures themselves.
3. To be who I AM again. To find that inner spark again. To find that driving passion and joyfulness that has always made me ME and enabled me to get up every morning and heal even after some pretty deep wounds. To find the joy and the smiles and the radiant (albeit, energetic/stubborn/outspoken/assertive/annoying) person that made me who I was ... the person who loved fiercely, the girl who was the favorite babysitter, the optimistic and giggly woman my husband initially fell in love with.

That's the spark that I want back. I've got to figure out how to dig that LIFE and JOY back out of myself again. Going "green" and finding a passion for being "crunchy" has really helped me to start the process of finding my real self again, but I'm not done yet.

So I just want you to know that I'm on a journey towards re-discovering my inner firecracker, ad I'll take all the help I can get from any of you reading this. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Crunchy Mama

Please enjoy these definitions from urban dictionary - I only picked out the ones I liked.

Crunchy Granola : a person who is into all that all natural crap and eats tofu and does yoga and hugs trees.

Granola : An adjective used to describe people who are environmentally aware (flower child, tree-hugger), open-minded, left-winged, socially aware and active, queer or queer-positive, anti-oppressive/discriminatory (racial, sexual, gender, class, age, etc.) with an organic and natural emphasis on living, who will usually refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons), as well as limit consumption of what he or she does consume, as granola people are usually concerned about wasting resources. Usually buy only fair-trade goods and refrain from buying from large corporations, as most exploit the environment as well as their workers, which goes against granola core values.

Granola Girl : Modern hippie woman minus the heroin and STD's. Socially aware and active with a penchant for hemp and sodium-free soap. May eat tofu for breakfast and sweeten food with agave syrup. Is determined to save the world.

Crunchy Mama : Mother who supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. One who questions established medical authority; tends to be vegetarian and/or prepare all-organic foods. See also crunchy and hippie.

Hee hee ... hope you were entertained by those!

I don't fit ALL of those descriptions, but certainly most of them. I'm not left-winged, and I don't eat much tofu, and so far I haven't done any yoga but Matt and I want to start up soon. :) Also I think agave syrup is disgusting, so I use honey instead (raw, locally produced honey, mind you).

I LOVE being crunchy. The more "all natural" I am, the better I feel about everything. We use all-natural plant based soaps, cleaners, detergents, and deodorants. (And as soon as our toothpaste tubes run out, the replacements will fit into the all-natural category too.) We eat mostly organic food, and if not organic, then at least as natural as things can get. I am still breastfeeding my 16 month old as often as she wants, I regularly "wear" her in my Sleepy Wrap instead of putting her in a stroller, I plan on homeschooling my children, and our family rarely goes to doctors. I *WISH* that I could homebirth, but alas, due to my abnormally small inner pelvis bones, I cannot birth children naturally and must have c-sections. *sigh* We definitely co-sleep with our babies for about the first year, and then they move into a room of their own, but Mommy is never far away. If our babies (or toddlers, or preschoolers!) get scared or sad or upset or hurt or worried or needy or whatever, even 8 times in the middle of the night, we are there to comfort them and make their world secure. We don't do the cry-it-out technique, because the way we see it ... we are the baby's only source of comfort/support/love/nurture/EVERYTHING. If we don't answer them when they need us, who else will? Trying to teach a tiny baby (or toddler) that you "must fend for yourself" is the most ridiculous, western, anti-nurturing thing I can think of. UGH!

I guess I've become a bit of a conspiracy theorist. Yes, the easiest and cheapest products to buy are ones that have been mass-produced and are laced with TONS of chemicals, pesticides, and Lord only knows what else. But what are they really doing to our environment?? You think that all those chemicals that get dumped into our public water are actually being completely filtered back out?? Think again! And unless your water bottle says "spring water, bottled at _____ mountain spring source" then it is actually nothing more than tap water, which has sometimes been filtered and sometimes not. If your water bottle says "purified" or "filtered" or "drinking water" on the front, then you can bet that it is actually nothing more than tap water!! Seriously, it comes from "municipal sources" - ie, tap water!! Some brands, like Sam's Choice brand, is typically not even filtered another time before being put into bottles and sold at 10x the price of tap water. So around here, we drink spring water, or artesian well water. (And sometimes, even wells, aquifers, and mountain springs have been contaminated (but usually much less so)!! We are killing ourselves!) Read more about water and the cancer-causing chemicals found in our water supply here. Another thought is pharmaceuticals in your water. Every time a girl on the birth control pill (or any person on ANY pharmaceutical, for that matter!) goes to the bathroom, those chemicals get into our water supply. There is currently NO regulation for the filtering out or testing for these chemicals. The problem is especially bad in highly populated areas, and has even been cited for one of the causes of precocious puberty! Read more about pharmaceuticals in your water, here, and what the ENN (Environmental News Network) is trying to do to raise awareness and get some laws passed to actually start monitoring/filtering out these harmful chemicals in our water.

In addition to all the crap in our water, I think that most of us, as Americans, CHOOSE to be ignorant about what's REALLY going on behind the scenes in our country. We just want to assume that meat comes from a grocery store (instead of an animal being abused/injected/treated cruelly/slaughtered) and that all food is nutritious (when practically everything on our menu is tainted with corn, high fructose corn syrup, pesticides, chemicals, and genetically-engineered products) and that Western Medicine and doctors in general have all the answers (when in fact it's illegal for them to say that something natural like garlic can heal your infection faster and better than an antibiotic - I mean, God forbid that you actually take something that's natural and cheap {and isn't sold by a pharmaceutical company} and that boosts your immune system instead of tanking it, like antibiotics do) and that pharmaceutical companies and FDA really ARE out for our best interest (when I'm pretty sure that MONEY is the biggest reason behind a lot of our country's medical decisions!) ... There are a few really great things out there that can open your eyes to what's really going on in our food system -SuperSize Me, Food Inc, and 4 Year old Hamburger - so you should check those out if you can. Yeah, so, I can really get on a soapbox about this whole set of issues here, but we'll save that for another post.

About 3 weeks ago, I decided to go vegetarian. Although I guess I'm actually a "pescetarian" because I still eat fish. I still eat/drink dairy products, but only go with the organic, free-range, grass-fed type. More on this in my next post. I feel healthier, more energetic, and just cleaner.

I am thoroughly enjoying that some of the styles of the 60's and 70's are coming back in right now. Mmmmmm! I love the browns and greens and earthy colors, the headwraps, the flowy dresses and shirts ... right up my alley. I have several flowy dresses and skirts right now (and I LOVE them, which is so weird because I used to hate dresses!) that I just can't get enough of. I am hoping to go to thrift stores and/or garage sales and find a bunch more on clearance somehow. What would be even better is if I can finally learn to sew. I have a sewing machine around here somewhere (a Christmas gift from my wonderful mother) and I desperately want to learn how to use it. Then I can just buy bolts of cute organic cloth, and make our own clothes! WOO HOO!

I used my Sleepy Wrap at church Wednesday night, and everyone was like, "That's so cool!" because they hadn't seen one before. Yes, my child is 16 months old, and I still do the "babywearing" thing!! Maezie hadn't gotten a nap today, and was in desperate need of one, so I knew she wouldn't tolerate being in the nursery very well. So I strapped on the Wrap, put in her in, walked around and patted her back for about 5 minutes, and she was OUT! Slept through most of church.

Ahh ... I love being as chemical-free as I can, as organic as I can, and as all-natural as I can. It's a liberating and empowering feeling. ... Yep, that's me. Crunchy Mama. :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Storm

First, let me apologize for shirking my blogging responsibilities lately. Whoops.

Second, the kids are doing well and are growing like weeds. Maezie is starting to use phrases when she talks, and Kyleigh is telling stories and creating "plays" with her Little People toys.

Third, let me just say that when it rains, it pours, and it's been raining cats and dogs at our house lately. First, Matt's job is killing us. Financially, emotionally, and every other -ally you can think of. So we've been looking for a new one. Keep getting put off, asked to wait. (We trust You, Lord.) Got several jobs looking at Matt, hopefully we'll score an interview with Wal-Mart next week.

So we're all confused - do we stay in Farmington? Do we move to Cortez to save money so Matt doesn't have to commute 75 miles each way every day? (And yes, we realize that he could get a hotel room there, but he wants to see his girls as often as he can, so he makes the drive.)

Tuesday morning, Kyleigh took a bottle of Lysol Disinfectant Spray and "cleaned" the tv. It got up inside the inner components of the tv and now it doesn't work anymore, and the part of the screen that does work flashes "not available" because it thinks that the channel-down button is being pressed constantly. Fabulous. Matt even took it apart and cleaned and dried it, but it still doesn't work. We'll try again in a few days, I guess.

Matt's drive to Cortez every day has killed two of our cars. One day on his way to work, our gas-friendly car, the little Honda Civic, blew a timing belt and got internal engine damage. Would have cost easily two times or more what the car is worth to fix it. So we scrapped it. Then he was using the "winter car", our old Chevy Blazer 4x4. One night on the way home from work, it somehow blew a piston and messed up the radiator while it was at it. In order for that car to run again, we'll need a whole new engine, new radiator, and also new ball joints and new tires (uneven tread wear, almost-bald tires -- two things I didn't notice until the broken-down car was parked in front of our house) so that car will be getting scrapped too.

So, we are down to one vehicle - our dear Dodge minivan. ... And, yes, you guessed it ... Tonight, on Matt's way home from work at 1:45am, a deer ran out in front of him. He tried to swerve, but was unable to miss it completely, and so the right front part of our car clipped the deer. We are sad about the car, but more sad about the deer. :( Anyhow, part of the car hood is actually MISSING, and the light is busted out. It will need a new hood, bumper, light, and right front quarter panel. In addition, the radiator got some damage, so Matt drove the 30 miles home with the windows down and the heat on full blast (to pull heat away from the engine and into the car) to try and keep the engine from heating up as much as possible. The car made it home, leaking radiator fluid like crazy, and probably wouldn't have made it much farther than our house, honestly. Praise God, Matt wasn't hurt at all!! But we are sorry, Lord, that our car killed one of Your creatures.

The BAD things about this : There's always the off-chance that the insurance company will total the car. In which case, we'd be in big trouble. This was our last car, and now we don't have any way to get to and from work/church/groceries/doctors/etc.

The GOOD things about this : Now Matt gets to spend some extra time at home. He can't go to work, obviously, so he'll get some extra time here with the family. :) Our insurance will pick up the tab for this one, minus a $250 deductible from us.

I am pretty sure that I should be more upset than I am. But I feel strangely peaceful about the whole thing. I feel like we're caught up in some nasty storm, but we know Who is in control, ultimately. It's a hard thing to lose your tv, only car, and not get a job, all in the same day. (We were expecting a "here's a job offer" call from Wal-Mart, and instead got a "you're in the pool of applicants and we'll set up an interview and call you on Monday" call.)

But ... we have a loving family. And Matt still has a job. And we have two beautiful, healthy children. And I just went grocery shopping, so other than needing to walk up to the local grocery store about 8 blocks away for milk, we're set for awhile. And we are happy. We don't have a lot of extras, we don't have a lot of money, and we don't have a lot of nice clothes/furniture/cars/insert-materialistic-object-here ... we're not earthly rich ... but we are RICH, my friends, I tell you we are RICH!! We have our faith, and no one can take that away from us. We have eachother, a strong marriage, delightful (albeit frustrating sometimes!) children, and a blessed home.

So, we might struggle for awhile. And normally, I would probably be in panic-mode right now. But I'm at peace. And I'm praising God that Matt didn't get hurt today in the deer accident, and that Kyleigh didn't electrocute herself messing with the TV, and that we are ALIVE and WELL and happy. But even in the midst of this storm and struggle -- still, we will follow!!

We thank Thee, O Lord, for Thy rich blessings. Even when all is crumbling around us, You are the Light that anchors, the Peace that renews, and the Love that strengthens. We Praise You, O Most High God.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Future

Sometimes if you pay too close attention to what's going on in the news, with politics, in the medical/military/religious
whatever ... you can become frightened by what you see. As this world trends toward worse and worse things, in whatever arena, it's easy to be fearful of what lies ahead. I won't go into details about all that's invoking fear in me currently, but if you know me well enough, you'll already know. :)

I was thinking that there was no way that I would ever get sleep tonight, worrying about the possibly scary scenarios that might play out for holistic-health Jesus-lovers like me and my husband, and our precious daughters. I'm a worrier by nature, and when I've heard some alarming news report, I tend to get over-anxious (my poor husband can attest).

So tonight as I prayed, I prayed specifically for peace. And an extra measure of protection for my family. And that no matter what, God would keep us together and keep us strong.

While I was still praying, Maezie woke up in a PANIC. She's just getting to the age where she's starting to have bad dreams, I guess. Kyleigh started this around this age too. She cried her scared-sleepy cry and I ran in to get her. I snuggled her up in my arms with her blanket and her favorite bear, and sat in my recliner and rocked her and sang to her. She calmed down quite a bit, but not entirely. As I rocked some more, she fussily asked "muh? muh?" which is Maezie-language for milk (as in, Mommy's milk - yes, I'm still nursing her). I OF COURSE obliged her. From the first swallow, her entire body relaxed, her eyes closed, the creases in her brow smoothed, and she was at PEACE. She nursed for maybe about five minutes, and then drifted off to a peaceful, worry-free, safe ... sleep.

The relief in my own mind was just as instantaneous. God uses some pretty powerful personal moments sometimes, doesn't He?

No matter what happens, God is God - He is Jehovah, He is MIGHTY, He is the strong tower. Come what may, I will always be His precious child. He will carry me and snuggle me. And as long as I continue to ask, "muh? muh?" (read : continue to pray, continue to read His Word, continue to seek Him, continue to ground myself in His Truth) ... there is no storm that He can't calm, no problem too big for Him to fix, and no furrowed brow that He can't smooth out. But I need to seek His peace, and find it - probably everyday. Like a mother and her nursing babe, there is NOTHING so sweet to that baby as it's Mommy's milk and snuggles. No bottle, no toy, no other person - NOTHING - compares with the comfort of mother and her milk.

I think we need to approach God in much the same emotional manner. There is nothing that can soothe like He can. We can't seek our peace and comfort in materialistic things, in music, in our jobs, in anything other than Him. And if we hold fast to Him, and ask Him to fill us - I firmly believe that no matter what life may throw at us, and no matter what the media is reporting, and no matter what may or may not actually come to pass - He will always be there to fill us with His Peace.

Proverbs 18:10
The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.

Isaiah 66:13
As one whom his mother comforts,
So I will comfort you.

2 Corinthians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation.

Romans 8:15
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Matthew 7:7-11
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Philippians 4:4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:17-21 (I used NIV for this one because I like its translation best, but used NKJV for all the previous ones.)
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Just saw a girl driving by in a hummer. she was 16!!!! yikes! for one shes spoiled and for two a young kid in a car that big is begging for trouble!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I have decided that the bump-it hair fad is the most ridiculous thing in the last several years. we will look back and cringe someday

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Take kyleigh and maezie! how exciting! wish we had more cash and we would do so much fun stuff while we are here!
So we are in albuquerque and i am realizing how much i miss being in a bigger city! i have already seen about ten places i want to eat and so many places to

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Okra is still a vegetable even if its fried, right?

Slacker!!!!

I feel like such a slacker for not updating my blog more often. Oh well.

So I've discovered that as long as I take my daily vitamins/supplements, I do really well and stay on task and get things done and am generally a good wife/mother. If I don't take them, I'm struggling to pay attention and be patient and keep my house clean. Hmmm....

Still waiting for the job situation to get cleared up. *sigh* Pray about that, folks.

I'm beginning to hope that we get to move to the Denver area. It would be SO awesome to live close to my sister-in-law, two brothers-in-law, and three nephews!!! Don't want to live there permanently, as we want to eventually end up somewhere in between Denver and Abilene (like southeastern Colorado or north Texas or northeast New Mexico).

Maezie is cutting FOUR molars at the same time right now. Poor thing!!!

I've been trying to not use the aluminum-containing deodorants and use natural ones instead. I'm having a hard time finding one that ... works WELL. But really, the aluminum ones weren't working particularly well for me either. The women's kinds hardly work at ALL, so I was usually having to buy a men's brand. *sigh* Matt never says that he can smell me, but I can smell me. I have an unusually strong sense of smell though, sort of hound-dog-ish, so I can smell things others usually can't. I think this is a totally unfair problem to have, just FYI - a super strong nose and a stronger than normal odor. I'm using a natural brand right now, and it seems to work fine as long as I remember to reapply every 4-5 hours, which gets annoying. Ideas, anyone? I suppose it's embarrassing to admit all this. Oh well.

I'm feeling very sad for my mom, whose faithful canine companion of 10 years had to be put down on Thursday, due to severe health and pain issues. It was definitely the best thing to do for the dog, but my mom is sad. :( Wish I could be there to love on her.

Speaking of dogs, I really need to re-home my black lab. She's 7, spayed, friendly, good with kids and cats, and healthy. Anyone know of anyone??

Guess that's enough for now. Oh, and yeah, the earlier computer jibberish post came from my cell phone. Occasionally when I send an update via my cell phone, it comes out as jibberish like that. Thought it was because I was using the qwerty keypad, so I switched to using the numeric keypad and it worked just fine. Then this last time I used the numeric keypad again, and it messed up. Who knows?!?!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Eating at chilis as a special treat for our anniversary. happy fourth anniversary honey.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Camera, Hebrew, Duggars, the Texas job and other random unrelated updates

The job in Texas didn't pan out, so we're still looking. And bummed.

In lighter news - My camera is finally back! Woo hoo! I have REALLY missed it and am so glad it's home! The repair was covered under warranty, so that was nice.

I'd REALLY like to learn Hebrew and be able to translate the original Hebrew manuscripts myself. Then there wouldn't be this "which version of the Bible do YOU read?" crap, and I could know exactly what the interpretation was supposed to be, based on the context, Hebrew language, and time it was written. *sigh*

So I like the "18 Kids and Counting" show, ok? I know it's silly, but I really do like that show. I like that they are wholesome and God-fearing. It's amazing to see how well they get along and how peaceful they all are. You don't see them get really stressed out or yell and scream at their kids ... I mean I know they have rough times too, and I know their family isn't perfect, but they just all seem so JOYFUL. The Duggars are a family that I enjoy watching. I'm beginning to look at their way of life and wonder if they aren't on to something. Their children don't watch much TV and only have strictly monitored access to the internet. They dress very modestly, and all the girls wear dresses. All the women have long hair. All the men tuck their shirts in and have short hair. They spend a lot of time with their children. They homeschool, teach, work, and play together. Everyone in the family has chores. The older siblings learn responsibility and family orientation and help take care of the younger ones - which I think simultaneously teaches them compassion and caring while they dote on their brothers and sisters. They seek out Scripture as an answer for just about everything, and they are incredibly financially wise.

I'd also like to point out that by "today's standards" the Duggar kids are VERY deprived. They don't have iPods, don't watch Hannah Montana, don't listen to secular music, don't go to see secular movies, and they don't all have their own computers and cell phones either. But in the same token, the Duggar kids are compassionate, well-behaved, don't smart off to their parents, and aren't self-centered. Concidence?? I think not.

So I got to thinking, what if they are doing things RIGHT and I'm missing the boat here somewhere?? So I started scouring the internet to find out more about their beliefs. They are Independent Southern Baptist and are part of the Quiverfull Movement, and get a lot of their beliefs from IBLP and Bill Gothard - although they are not rigid Gothardites (which is a good thing). They believe in having as many children as the Lord gives them, which is following the "Quiverfull" Movement.
QM quotes the verse from Psalms 127:3-5
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

So I got to looking around wondering if I'm not doing the right thing by not wearing dresses all the time and by cutting my hair. I mean, if the Scripture specifically says to do things a certain way, I'd like to do them that way. But Scripture can also get misinterpreted. I found an AWESOME site that deals with just that. The long hair, the dresses, etc. 1 Timothy 2:9 says "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array" ... And there's the verse from Deuteronomy 22:5 where it talks about women not weaing "that which pertaineth to a man" as it is an abomination to God. I read these things and I am intrigued. I want to know that the ORIGINAL Hebrew meant on these things. To know that you have to take into account the era and the fashion and things that were going on at that time.

Then I came across this website, which delves into the Hebrew words and the meaning of the times, and it's wonderful!! http://www.actseighteen.com .... One of the best websites I've come across in a long time. Incredibly informative. Fabulous read. I believe they have a blog too, which I'll connect to my blog when I find it. ... And since you might not read it, I'll sum up. The "pertaineth to a man" is a Hebrew term that means "military gear" such as guns and armor, so it doesn't mean that women can only wear dresses. The long hair simply means "long hair" not "never cut hair" and it doesn't mean that you can't be godly without having long hair as a woman either. Take the time to read the articles on that site. Really, they're eye-opening, full of historical info, and just altogether an enlightening read.

So ... while I do think that being fruitful and multiplying is definitely a command from God, and that having a "quiver full" of children is a blessing to be desired, I also realize that because I have to have c-sections, it would be unwise for us to just have as many kids as we can. Too many repeat c-sections can kill a woman if the scar on the womb gets too weak and bursts during pregnancy (OUCH!). I think that people these days are FAR too concerned about "well I want to have a nice house later, and a nice savings, and a Lexus, and a boat and (fill in the blank) so I don't want to have too many kids ..." and it's all about ME ME ME ME ME. It should be about family, about relationships, about furthering the Kingdom. What good is your retirement money if all you use it for is yourself? None of your trips to Jamaica are inherently sinful by any means, but they also do absolutely NOTHING which will survive through the "refining fire" of Judgment Day. (1 Cor.3 :9-15) You cannot take your nice car, new computer, up-to-date technology or personal belongings with you when you die. BUT YOU CAN TAKE YOUR FAMILY. If you teach your loved ones to follow Christ, then when you all die, you aren't cut off forever, but will get to see eachother again. It stands to reason then, that RELATIONSHIPS are far more important than THINGS. And in today's society, we are teaching our kids (through iPods and the ever-increasing pursuit of STUFF) that being alone is good, that listening to your music instead of talking to your neighbor is normal, and that saving up money - or spending it - to get all new things all the time is perfectly ok! Not that getting new things is bad, but when it becomes more important to have the latest version of some new technology than it is to spend time with our children ... we are missing the point of LIFE.

Anyhow, I got totally off track there. So, no, I won't only be wearing dresses. BUT I think I am going to take a new perspective on shopping. If we are to dress MODESTLY, and not with "costly array" then we need to realize that women are shop-a-holics and apparently, have always been! Even back to Bible times! God knew that we would want to spend lots of money to look pretty and be fashionable and I really just feel like if you go overboard on it - you're not being modest, you're being sinful. How you look on the outside should never be SOOOO important that you spend all your time and money and thoughts on it. If you spend more money and especially TIME on clothes/makeup/accessories than you do on things pertaining to the Kingdom of God ... then one item obviously outweighs the other and the scales have tipped ... can anyone say, idolatry? I do believe that "fashion" is an idol that should be cast down. Not that you can't ever get new clothes, or that you can't get nice clothes! That's ridiculous. But when it becomes an OBSESSION, when you can't go out of the house unless you're dressed to the nines, when how you look on the outside is something you constantly fuss over ... then I feel that this is when it's NOT modest.

Wow, I really can ramble on for awhile, huh? *sigh* I guess I'm just coming to a spiritual and emotional and nutritional and family-oriented revolution right now. My heart and brain are teeming with possibilities for the future. I think on the whole, our family is headed toward a much more conservative and natural approach toward EVERYTHING, including how we dress and teach our daughters to dress. And I don't know, that might involve "courtship" instead of dating as our girls age - that's something we've yet to discuss.

The main thing is - I don't want to endanger my children's futures by not giving them enough boundaries and love and attention, and at the same time, I don't want to be so strict and overbearing that I push them into rebellion either. It's a fine line to walk. I pray that God gives us the strength to parent our children using HIS love and grace and discipline.

I'll probably post more on this later. :) I can't wait to see comments!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I am drinking my very last dr pepper for awhile. My friend jana and i are giving it up together starting tomorrow! YUM! i know i will miss you, DP!
Success! The silicone-laden diaper arrived. All are well and happy!

Silicone Silliness

Ok, so far so good. The silicone bra that Maezie ingested doesn't seem to be affecting her in any way, so far. No bad symptoms, no vomiting, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal distress .... But I bet I could give Larry the Cable Guy a run for his money as far as jokes about "edible underwear" go, huh??

I think we're going to be ok. I haven't had to change a poopy diaper yet, but I'll let y'all know when I do. I know you're just DYING to know.

I thought of some other things I have seen Maezie eat and thought I would list them for everyone's entertainment. Especially Shanna, who believes my child's eating antics are the makings of a sitcom. I bet my panic attacks everytime Maezie eats something she shouldn't would add some spice to the sitcom, for sure.

Cat food. Maezie eats cat food all the time. I ALWAYS have to clean up the cat food she has spilled and pull pieces of out her mouth. It totally grosses me out if the kitchen gate (we have a baby gate up blocking the kitchen at all times) gets left open and Maezie gets in there and I come up front from using the bathroom or something, to find her chowing down on the Iams with a guilty look on her face.

Diapers. Usually just the new, clean ones. But if one of us less-than-intelligent parents leaves a changed diaper balled up on the ground while changing the remainder of the child's clothes and it gets forgotten .... *shudder* ... Yes, imagine the worst. It happened once. It really honestly wasn't my fault that time, but Maezie has started to eat wet diapers on my watch.

Paper. Any kind of paper, including napkins and paper towels and kleenexes. She just sticks a wad in her mouth and bites it off like it's beef jerky or something. Gross.

I know I already mentioned sidewalk chalk. But seriously, this child LOVES sidewalk chalk. There have been a few times you could have made a video entitled "Maezie and the Technicolor Dream Poop" and posted it on youtube. Every time we go outside, I have to hide the chalk from her. Matt ran over a piece of chalk in the driveway, so it was just a smushed little pile of chalk. Maezie toddled right over there and LAID DOWN in the driveway to eat it. *sigh*

If this is genetic, she got it from Matt's side. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

But, seriously, praise God that she didn't get violently ill from eating my silicone sticky bra.





I think I might invest in a football helmet with mouthguard for her. Hopefully it will keep her mouth busy and she won't be able to eat any other weird things!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Maezie's Adventures in Eating

And by adventures, I don't mean the fun ones. At least, not fun for me!!! I remember Kyleigh putting everything in her mouth at this age, but she didn't EAT everything. Maezie EATS (like literally gums/chews and swallows) practically everything that she physically can!

The rest of this post is not going to be for the faint of heart ... errr, stomach ... so caution is advised if you want to read further!! :)

Some interesting things I've found in Maezie's diapers :
popcorn kernels
Kyleigh's stickers
sytrofoam packing peanuts
wads of paper
mardi gras beads (like 2 or 3 beads she had somehow detatched from a necklace)
a cat hairball (oh, trust me, I nearly threw up when I saw it)
a tuft of Ranger's (the dog) fur
and other various objects

But she LOVES to eat weird things. I am constantly on the watch for (and digging out of her mouth) : sidewalk chalk (her fave, I think), dirt, rocks, pebbles, sand and sticks.

But tonight topped them all. I walked into the den to find Maezie eating my silicone sticky bra. Please see this website : http://www.nu-bra.com/shop/nubra_self_adhesive-1-prd1.htm I have had one of these since our wedding in 2005. I guess Kyleigh got into the cabinet and pulled this out, and left it for Maezie to get! It's made of silicone and and I guess she probably ingested about 2-3 tablespoons of it before I found the mangled, bitten-up thing. *sigh*

Of course, I panicked. Immediately called the Poison Control Center and geeked out over the phone to the lady on the other end. She's not even phased. She says "silicone isn't very toxic
to the body, the biggest hazard is just choking. It's not toxic if ingested, she'll just poop it right out." Then she asks how the baby got silicone and I gave her the website and she's like "wow, she ATE that??" As we got off the phone she told me that I have now given her one of her strangest PCC calls and then promised me that someone would call in the morning to check up on Maezie.

FREAKOUT!!!!!! This kid eats EVERYTHING. *sigh* I'll blog tomorrow to let y'all know how it turns out.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

To GMO or not to GMO?

GMO = genetically modified organism

So ... here the last week or so, I've been fairly depressed. (I'm sure that part of the depression has something to do with my camera being broken. *sigh*) I've just been feeling BAD. No energy, lack of motivation, more irritable, etc. It's been really bad the last week or so.

Tonight, I'm feeling MUCH better and almost back to my normal self. I'm happier (even though I don't have my camera back and still miss it!) and have more energy. I even told my husband tonight, "Man, you know, I'm feeling SO much better!! I just feel nearly great again!!" I was just enjoying my near-normalcy again when a crazy thought struck me. Thursday, I bought more O Organics brand popcorn. Popcorn is my favorite snack. I seriously eat 1 or 2 O Organics brand bags per DAY, and have been doing so for months now. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the plain O Organics popcorn - it pops up so many kernels that they literally spill out of the burstingly full bag, it tastes great, and it only has sunflower oil and sea salt in addition to organic corn kernels. YUM!! But for the last week prior to buying more O Organics brand, I was using another brand - a non-organic brand. These days, if corn doesn't SPECIFICALLY say that it's organic, then it's been genetically modified in some way. So for the last week, I've not had ANY organic popcorn, I've only been eating GMO popcorn, because that's what we had around the house and I wanted to use it up.

So I've been eating non-organic popcorn since early last week (so about 8-10 days) and I started feeling really crappy last Friday. I had THREE allergy-related migraines over a period of four days last weekend, and missed church because of them. By Monday morning I was depressed, low on energy, and just generally felt crappy. (Monday afternoon is when I had my stick-impaled-in-my-toe-incident.) I've had no energy all week and have gotten like NO housework done. Constantly tired, depresed, and frustrated. I ate my last non-organic bag up on Wednesday, and started with organic popcorn on Thursday when I bought more. By Friday night, I was feeling much better. More energy and definitely more happy.

I seriously, seriously can't believe this. It's like a night and day difference in how I feel, physically and mentally. Most of the food we buy these days is organic, or if it's not organic, it's "all natural". We don't have genetically engineered ANYTHING if we can help it. So by eating a bag or two every day of the regular popcorn for 10 straight days, I was effectively LOADING my system with chemicals, pesticides, and genetically-modified CRAP that my body just wasn't used to anymore!! A couple of days without all that going in, and I'm already feeling better. I wonder how I'll feel in a week once all the toxins are out of my system!!

WOW - even though I already knew that organic is better, now I REALLY know. Instead of just reading about it, I'm living PROOF!! Food is much better the way God intended. I really do believe that!! How cool that I was a living science experiment!!

Here's some GMO Corn Info from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine:
http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

Friday, June 05, 2009

Broken Camera

*sigh*

So yesterday we went out to Durango to have some more family fun. We were headed to the upstairs portion of a Mexican restaurant for dinner, and Maezie was in the stroller. Matt picked up the front half of the stroller and I picked up the back half. We carried her up the stairs like a queen, I guess. But about halfway up, the camera fell out of the bag underneath the stroller and landed on its top on the stairs. It still turned on and everything seemed to be fine, no scratches to the lens or anything. But then I tried to snap a picture, and oh no ... it wouldn't auto-focus. So I put it in manual, and when I pressed the shutter button nothing happened. Aboslutely NOTHING. No snap, no picture, no more LIFE.

I took it to a local photo shop, but since it's still under warranty I have to send it to Nikon. I talked to a Nikon guy and got all the info and am going to send it off today. He said that it usually is about 7-10 business days turnaround for fixing it. And if whatever's wrong with it isn't under warranty, then I'll have to pay for it out of pocket. Which is FINE. I just want my camera back!

So today I'm very sad. I rely on that camera for a lot - it brings me quite a bit of joy!!

In addition to a broken camera, I also have fussy children. I had a migraine last night and it has left me with that migraine hangover feeling so I'm incredibly short-tempered and just generally feel like crap. Fussy children plus no patience = bad day for everybody.

Matt works all day and won't be home until around 8pm tonight, so it's just me to put up with my two rambunctious kids.

I miss my camera. *sad*

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today's Message at Church

Mmmm ... this was a good one. Not that they're not normally good, but this one struck a chord with me, so I decided to blog my notes and share with anyone who'll read it.

Joshua 22:5 - "But take careful heed to do the commandment and the laws which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

"careful" here means to be on your guard, to be on constant vigilance ... to guard yourself from SIN.

1. Guard yourself from sin by LIVING the Word of God.
Walk in HIS ways, keep HIS commandments. Knowing the Scriptures simply isn't good enough. You can have the entire Bible memorized, and still not be actually LIVING the Word of God. Jesus reserved His harshest judgment for the Pharisees, those who knew and could recite the Scriptures, and yet denied Him by their lifestyles. He called them hypocrites! God wants us to LIVE His Word in our everyday lives. ... James 1:22 - Be DOERS of the Word, not hearers only!! Even very vast Bible knowledge doesn't get you anywhere unless you live it!

2. Guard yourself from sin by LOVING God.
Matt. 22:36, Deut 6:5 - The greatest command is to LOVE God. ... God used the word "adultery" to describe what the Israelites did when they failed to love Him and be devoted to Him. You can't just go through the motions of being a Christian. You can't just follow a list of rules. Rules are easy to break, because our nature is to not like having to follow rules. But when you LOVE someone, you have no problem following the "rules". I stay pure and faithful to my husband. I don't do it because there is a rule that says I have to, I do it because I LOVE him and don't want to hurt him. It should be the same with God. We should do as Genesis 2:24 says, and "cleave" to Him, forsaking everything else. Love (not rules!) compels us to behave in a way that GUARDS our relationship. Love is real motivation!

3. Guard yourself from sin by SERVING God.
And "serving" doesn't mean like a person who is paid a wage, like a maid or butler. Serve here is to wholeheartedly give of yourself, putting yourself at the mercy of the one you serve. As in a slave's service to his master. Hebrews 11:23-26 - Moses could have chosen to enjoy all the fleeting pleasures of this world and could have just been the Pharoah's daughter's son. Instead he chose to be persecuted and be counted among the slaves. John 8:34 - Sin is fun, but don't become a slave to it!! Unleash yourself from sin and become a slave of Christ, give up the FLEETING pleasures of your sin that you get from this earth, and be devoted to Christ. Store up treasures in Heaven! You can avoid giving in to the temptations of fleeting earthly pleasures by looking forward to the REWARD in Heaven.
Psalm 16:11 - The pleasures God gives last FOREVER.

You must pursue God more than anything else in your life. Don't be an idolator.

1 Cor. 6:9-11 -
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

Times of trouble, pain, and hardship often push us closer to the Lord. So very often, the time that you most have to watch out for the snares of sin is in times of peace. Guard yourself against sin by LIVING the Word of God, by LOVING God, and by SERVING God.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Going Away for Awhile

My house is a wreck. Laundry, dishes, toys ... these things are piled everywhere. SO ... I'm boycotting my computer for awhile until it's all cleaned up. See you in a day or two!! :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

RAIN!










Here in Farmington, we don't get much rain. So when it comes, I try to take advantage of it. I let Kyleigh out to play in it with the umbrella. Then our neighbor, Samantha, came over to play too. The girls had a lot of fun splashing around in the puddles. I stood in the street and took pictures. Anytime a car came, we'd all yell "Here comes a car!" and race to the sidewalk to be safe. Once it passed the girls would go back to splashing in puddles. Pretty cute. I took a bazillion photos, but have narrowed it down to a few super cute ones.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Back to Bible Times

I'm excited for today's blog installment on parenting issues. Not sure it will spark NEARLY the controversy the last one did, but I sure liked having 9 comments on a single post. :)

So, the longer I'm a parent, the more my tastes and desires and goals are changing. If you had told me even just 6 years ago that today I would the stay-at-home-Mom of two girls, and was planning on homeschooling, not vaccinating, using natural remedies for illnesses, co-sleeping, having 4 kids, and dabbling in photography and organic vegetable gardening ... I would have LAUGHED IN YOUR FACE. So, let this be a lesson to the whole 5 of you who will read it -- never say never!

Here's what we're trying to do, as much as possible, and that is ... get back to the way things were when God CREATED us. I try to think how things must have been back then, how families worked, what they ate, how they slept, what they drank, what they would have done when they were sick ... and that is what we're trying to mold our family after.

For instance, they used herbs, plants, and such for dyes, flavors, and medicines. So - we have cut artificial food dyes, preservatives, and flavors out of our diets (as much as possible anyway). That means, specifically : no candy, no "boxes" of food like macaroni and cheese, and no snacky foods unless they're organic. We buy organic crackers, cookies, and popcorn so they have no artifical anything.

Back in Bible Times, they ate a lot of what they could gather themselves. Grains, nuts, berries, and fruits and veggies. We try to eat like that, as much as possible.

There weren't chemicals and pesticides back then, so about 75-90% of everything we eat is organic these days. No genetically modified, irradiated, nutritionally-lacking foods where all the good stuff has been bleached out and all the bad stuff has been added back in to make it taste good. We use evaporated cane sugar, not white sugar, and we use honey instead of syrup. We buy mostly all organic fruits and veggies, even when they're canned or frozen. Especially corn. ALL corn is GMO unless it says organic, folks!! Genetically modified corn is BAD BAD BAD for you, people!!! Just fyi.

Another thought on chemicals - did you know that the vast majority of chemicals in your tap water AREN'T filtered out before you drink it? Flouride, chlorine, and other things are in your water. Flouride is just bad for you, simple as that. Do your research folks - it should have never been put in our water system to be ingested. It should only be applied topically to your teeth. And chlorine, even the "small" amounts in your tap water, has been shown to KILL bacteria in your body - not the bad guys either, the FLORA - the GOOD bacteria! - that line your intestinal walls and are responsible for 80% of your body's immune system function. Yeah, seriously. And as if that wasn't bad enough, water treatment plants don't filter out HORMONES in water. Get ready to be grossed out! There's bazillions of women on birth control pills (none for me thanks, they make me CRAZY!). Very little of the hormones in the pill are actually absorbed by the body, and the rest is flushed out during urination. That's why the doses are so high in the pills, compared to something like the patch or the shot. Anywho, those hormones are saturating our water systems, and the water treatment plants do NOTHING to filter them out. So, get a nice big glass of estrogen next time you fill up your glass at the sink!! Here's just one piece of research about the study of fish living in streams near water-treatment plants (boy fish now have female parts and eggs!). http://www.garynull.com/Documents/erf/fish_sex_hormones.htm (This is also my own personal theory on why little girls are going through puberty so early these days - average age is NINE!! - and why the amount of people "coming out of the closet" has skyrocketed in the last decade or so, but that's just me.) So we drink spring water only. And just a tip, that "purified drinking water" you're paying for is really just tap water that has been through one extra filtration cycle. Aquafina, Dasani, etc. Only spring water or artesian well water actually come from sources that haven't been contaminated (as badly) by industrialization.

Meat sources back in Bible Times were mainly from FISH. So we try and eat a lot of that. It's insanely good for you, and both my girls like to eat it because they've been eating it since they were wee ickle ones. (Did I say that right, Niecey?) On top of that, animals weren't kept in pens where they tripped over eachother or had no room to run or stood around their whole lives in their own waste or were fed unnatural food sources (such as cows eating corn/grain instead of grass like God intended) ... so we try to only eat organic, free-range meats, like organic free-roaming grass-fed beef, and cage-free-hen eggs too. (I will make a confession here and say that we do have a bag of chicken nuggets in the freezer for use in emergencies. Sometimes it's quick and easy when there's nothing else in the house.) We drink organic milk only. We would drink raw milk if there were a herd-share program near our house. The closest one is about 1.5 hours away, and driving that far to get a gallon of milk once a week is just silly. So, bummer.

Things in a typical American home with kids that you won't find here :
hot dogs ... popsicles ... sugary cereal (ok there is a box of Cap'n Crunch, but it's Matt's and the rest of us don't eat it!) ... candy ... Spaghettio's ... white bread ... fruit snacks (like the Kellogg's brand and such) ... refined sugar ... Velveeta ... chips (unless they're organic) ... sugary fruit juices (we only use 100% juice ones) ... most other processed foods ... sodas/gatorade/CapriSun (BUT I will confess to having Dr Pepper in my house, for myself. It's my one vice, so back off, ok people?? Hee hee!)

Now of course, we're not perfect, and there are definitely times where we resort to quick easy fixes and fast food. There's times where we splurge on the sugary stuff or let Kyleigh enjoy a piece of candy that's loaded with sugar and artificial food dyes. But we TRY to be organic, raw, and natural whenever possible.

On to NON-food topics : We don't vaccinate our kids. We probably will get them a few vaccines, when they're older, say like 4 years old or so? Maybe even as early as 3. But we're still discussing it. We don't go to the doctor for every little thing. In fact, Maezie has only been to the doctor ONCE in her entire life. Kyleigh has only been twice since she turned a year old, and she's nearly three. (Three times if you count her trip to the ER when she had a nasty stomach virus and had to get IV fluids for dehydration.) We aren't scared of doctors and don't think they're bad, but doctors push drugs and surgery as the ONLY options for healthcare solutions. We FIRMLY believe that God made this world and He made the stuff in it to work WITH our bodies. So we use herbs, supplements, and natural cures whenever possible. Usually, to great success. There are certainly times where modern medicine intervention is needed, and we aren't going to be stupid when it comes to healthcare. :) We grow an organic vegetable garden. We compost. We use apple cider vinegar (both topically and ingested) to cure a vast array of illnesses. We are going to homeschool our kiddos. We aren't going to let our kids watch things like Hannah Montana and other teenagerish shows that promote promiscuity, parental stupidity, and rebellious defiance. (Kids have to deal with those emotions anyway, why let them watch shows that make it worse??) We are going to TRY TRY TRY to be open-minded with our kids when they are teenagers. Teens need a way to express themselves, a way to differentiate themselves from their parents. If Kyleigh tells us someday that she wants a purple mohawk, we're going to cry at the loss of her pretty golden curls, but try to oblige her. In my experience, squashing a child's expression puts them on the fast track to rebellion once they're out of your house. Now that's expression within reasonable limits, of course. Like wearing a thong bikini will NOT be an ok form of expression, and neither will pole-dancing, but odd hairdos, weird clothing (as long as it's modest), and art are great ways for a kid to express themselves without getting into trouble. ... But, as mentioned earlier, we do discipline our children. Families in Bible Times had GREAT RESPECT for elders, adults in general, and especially their fathers. We want our children to say "yes ma'am" and "no sir" and be polite and kind to strangers, and respectful to adults, especially us!! These are family values found in the Bible, and we want to emulate them. Teach our children to "honor their father and mother" as the Bible says. Try, I said, hee hee!

We co-sleep. In other words, our babies sleep in our bed with us, or at the very least, in a bassinet/playpen right next to our bed, for their first year, or thereabouts. I nurse our babies a long time. Nursed Ky to 17 months, planning on going for at least 18 with Maezie. We kiss and love and hug and massage our babies. I still get up twice at night when my nearly 13-month-old cries for me from her crib in her room, and nurse her overnight too. If Kyleigh cries at night, we still go into her room to console her. We think our kids should be dependent on us for comfort, love, security, and reassurance. Although there are times that we have resorted to the "cry it out" method, for the most part, we are comforters. Back in Bible Times, most families all shared one giant room to sleep in. They weren't all separated.

I "wear" our babies. I wish I had done this more with Kyleigh, but I didn't know about my precious SleepyWrap then. (http://www.sleepywrap.com) They don't go in the carseat carrier thing unless we're eating at a restaurant or something, and mostly, not even then. Maezie was in the Wrap while I cooked, cleaned, shopped, went to the bathroom, hiked -- you name it. Do the research, baby-wearing is good for your kids! I know back in Bible Times they had carriers kind of like the Native Americans had papoose sacks/backpacks/whatever they were.

There are some more things that we haven't started doing yet that I would LIKE to be doing. One of those is sewing. I'd like to be able to sew the girls some clothes and teach them how to sew. I'd also like to do some studying/schooling on herbs and homeopathy, and then grow an herb garden in our backyard and use that for healing and such. I suppose that means that someday I'll be the funny old lady who lives in a house covered with plants, who makes her own clothes, is a vegetarian (Matt and I have discussed becoming vegetarians!) and grows her own food and herbs. Hopefully I wouldn't smell like patchouli inscense though. :) But yeah, in some respects, I guess we're hippies!!!

In addition to everything above, there is one more thing - we are so selfish these days. So closed-off from everyone around us. We each have our own home, and sometimes go days or weeks without talking to our neighbors. Whole families used to live together back in Bible Times. If a family member got sick, there were others there to help with the cooking and cleaning and child-rearing. Matt and I keep wanting to win the lottery so we can buy a nice big plot of land and build all our family members and close friends a house on the land, with a big community center in the middle. We'd have a big kitchen and gym area, so that the families could play together, cook together, and eat together. There would always be help close by if it was needed, and there would always be kids around for our kids to play with. Since we haven't won the lottery yet, we're trying to open up to those around us, inviting friends and neighbors over as often as possible, and just generally enjoying fellowship. We try to cook meals for sick friends, offer to babysit when friends need help, and loan out our stuff if someone's in need. Naturally, we're just starting this and aren't always perfect at it. Society teaches us to say, "Mine, mine, mine!" and so it's hard to overcome that and try to think about how you can bless OTHERS with what you have, but we're TRYING. Hee hee, we're not succeeding all the time by any means. Hopefully by the time we're 80 we'll get it figured out. :)

We are Christians, saved by grace and not legalistic works, and we owe HIM everything. We believe that God's Way is BEST! This is why we are trying, as much as possible, to get back to the way things were when He made humans ... back to Bible Times.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Discipline

Our approach on disciplining our children is this : we do use time outs and spankings with Kyleigh, in addition to positive discipline. Proverbs 13:24 - "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." Kyleigh is a VERY strong-willed child. If we didn't use spankings or time-outs with her, she would never listen, never learn respect, never learn obedience. I'm rather inclined to think that Maezie won't be that hard. She's much more sensitive. While she certainly has her own ideas about things, she's much more easygoing and not nearly so strong-willed. Right now, all I have to do is just raise my voice sharply and say "No!" when she's touching something she shouldn't, and her little bottom lip comes out and she begins to cry. Even at this age, I could say "No!" to Kyleigh until I was blue in the face, and nothing would have happened. (Hah! And now, she just looks at me blankly and thoroughly ignores me unless she knows that something is coming to back up that "no!" - she's a smart cookie!!!)

I know that I personally have babysat for families that have children that have obviously not been disciplined. Both my husband and I think it's incredibly important to discipline our kids - BECAUSE we love them. The families I saw with disobedient kids were pretty disfunctional. The kids don't have respect for ANYONE. I don't think it's EVER ok for a child to hit their parent, or vice versa for that matter. (Unless for spankings of course - but spankings should eb done when the anger has cooled and should be done in a consistent manner.) The disobedient and thoroughly disresepctful children then turn into disrespectful teenagers, who think they are entitled to whatever they want and can treat anyone in whatever way they want. It might be easier as a parent to let your young child run all over you instead of putting your foot down and disciplining - but it makes the most difference to the CHILD later on in life.

My deep thought for the day : I don't think you can ever truly learn humility without being disciplined and learning to respect others first.

Kyleigh lately is getting more angry and not knowing how to act out. I really feel like we have hit the emotional part of the terrible 2's finally. I'm going to start working harder with her on calming down and "talking nice" and such. She's been flat-out refusing to do what we're telling her to lately. She's nearly 3. She's old enough to know right from wrong, and I'm noticing that we aren't discipling her ENOUGH as her tantrums are increasing both in frequency and size. We were just letting things go, ignoring bad behavior because we were still in that "she's really too young to know she's doing something wrong" phase - but that was just OUR minds, not HERS! Haha! She's incredibly intelligent and she's learned how to push our buttons, and that when one parent is upset with her or she's in trouble, she can run to the other parent for comfort. We've been realizing this lately, and are coming together more on what's going on. For instance, tonight Kyleigh climbed on our dresser in our bedroom and was playing with Matt's guitar. He asked her to get down. She just looked at him. Then he crossed the room so that he could physically MAKE her get down, and just before he got there, she jumped down and ran in here to me crying. "I need a hug Mommy!" I refused to give her one because she was in trouble. Matt and I have decided that when she's in trouble with one parent, that parent needs to be the one to discipline, hug, and explain what's going on and why we have rules and what rules have been broken. No getting comfort from the other parent. That undermines one parent's authority and sets the stage for the "good parent/bad parent" fiasco.

Here are some things I've seen kids around me (either than I've babysat or just watched grow up) do that I will NEVER let my children do. (And if my kids DO attempt these behaviors, you'd better believe they're going to be in BIG trouble!)
1. Blatanly roll their eyes at another adult (besides parents - HAH! I expect them to do that to me! I know I did it a lot to my parents - sorry Mom and Dad!)
2. Hit/kick a parent/caregiver
3. Say something incredibly rude as a guest in someone's home : "You have a really ugly house" or something like that. (Obviously, you can't expect verbal perfection out of super young kiddos, but out of older ones, I mean!)
4. Being rude and disrespectful to adults in general
5. Be defiantly disobedient, especially to adults besides parents

For instance, the 5 year old I babysat once. Me : "Cooper, please eat just ONE bite of your corn, and then you can get down from the table." Cooper : "No. I don't want to eat it, so I don't have to." Me : "I'm sorry Cooper, those are my rules. You need to eat just ONE bite of a vegetable for dinner. All you have to do is try it once. If you don't like it, you don't have to eat any more." Cooper : "NO!" And then he loaded his spoon with corn, and LAUNCHED the whole thing at my face. Then he threw himself on the floor in a tantrum, and when I went to pick him up from his tantrum, he punched me in the face repeatedly and kicked me in the stomach until I literally faced him away from me so he couldn't reach me anymore. I was SHOCKED!!! So I put him in time-out and called the parents. The Dad told me to just let him out of time-out, that his behavior is a reaction to all the stress he's been under lately, and not to punish him. .... Ummm, EXCUSE ME??!?! Yeah, those parents paid me $100 for 7.5 hours of babysitting, and I was never called back. Not that I'd ever willingly GO back either. I guarantee you though, without radical intervention, that boy is going to be a teenager that gets whatever he wants, when he wants it. The type that has no respect for teachers, policemen, or authority figures in general. The type that feels he can force teenage girls to give him what he wants, because he has always been his own authority. It might seem harmless enough at age 5. But what about when he's 15 and weighs 150 pounds and can literally break his mother's bones when he feels like punching her in the face?? Not so harmless then.

And just for your knowledge - when I was called to babysit Cooper and his sister at that time, their mom was in the hospital having baby #3. I was the only person crazy enough to accept their offer. I had never sat for them before, and I was the only person left on our church roster babysitter list. I don't know about any of YOU - but I would NEVER leave Ky and Maezie with a complete stranger (even one who went to my church and came highly recommended, as I was!) while I was in the hospital having another baby. ... So yeah, that just gives you an idea of how bad these kids were. His sister was only about 18 months old, not big enough to be really bad yet. But seriously folks, these kids are headed for destruction. Headed for hell, I honestly feel like. I mean - if you don't feel like you have to respect or honor your parents or any other authority figures in your life, why would you feel the need to respect or honor God?? There is a REASON that the Good Lord gave us the commandment to honor our father and mother - and it is because it starts us in a lifestyle that trains us to not only love and respect others, but also to love and honor our LORD!!!

I cringe when I see a 7 year old tell her mother what to do, or call her mother a name to her face or say something so rude to her mother that MY jaw drops - and then the child gets away with it. It makes me want to cry. As Americans in general, this whole "positive reinforcement only" thing we're into right now is going to leave our nation in a BAD place when this generation of kids grows up. Whew! Positive reinforcement is a GOOD thing, and has its place, for sure! I know that some kids respond very well to PR, and don't need as much of the corrective discipline. But not every kid is the same. And I'd much rather spank my kid now when she runs out into the street so that she learns her lesson and doesn't do it again - than have her get run over by a car while running out into the street again tomorrow.

We are not training our children to be children, we are training them to be ADULTS. You cannot be successful, repsonsible, well-adjusted, a good friend or well-loved as an adult unless you learn discpline, respect, and humility AS A CHILD.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Potty Trained in Two Weeks???

I'm amazed, shocked, astounded. Kyleigh has been waking me up in the middle of the night so that she can go in the potty. She's staying dry all day, even when we're on the road, out to lunch, shopping, etc. Pretty stinking amazing. She was really ready, I guess!

For now, she's still going in her little potty. And I bought an extra little potty that sits in the back of our car so that if we're out and about and she needs to go, we can either pull over, or leave the store and come out to the car. She's still WAY too petite to fit on an adult potty without using her hands for support. And that grosses me out. So, she has a pink potty in the car, and a blue singing potty in the house.

So Hooray Kyleigh!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

DRY all day

Kyleigh has really taken to potty training FAST. So far, in three days, she's had two total accidents. One of each "kind" if you know what I mean. But now she announces, "Mommy, I need to go pee pee!" and runs toward the potty, where I help her get her pull-up or panties down and she takes care of business. She had ZERO accidents today. I didn't even have to remind her to sit down and go, she automatically told me every time she needed to. She even stayed dry while we went to the park, and during naptime. I'm sure the naptime thing was a fluke, but I'm really amazed at how quickly she's picking this up, especially considering how she would scream like she'd been slapped every time she got near the potty only a month ago. I guess the saying "when they're ready, they'll potty train themselves" is super true! I'm so proud of my little girl! (And so is our diaper budget!)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Random Thoughts on this Early Sunday Morning

So I researched swallowing gum since it's Kyleigh's favorite treat. (Last night she sat on her little potty for about a half hour, waiting to pee in it, so that she could get a piece of gum. She knows what she wants, and is an intense little girl, like her mother, I guess.) And it's not true that it stays in your digestive system for seven years. It's an old wives' tale. You actually just pass it right out, no problem. All the components of gum EXCEPT for the gum base are totally digestible, but the gum base will just come out on the other end in a day or two. That's nice to know, considering Kyleigh has swallowed several small pieces now. I did learn a few interesting things about gum though :
*Sorbitol, and most other sweeteners, cause diarrhea.
*Cinnamon gum (my favorite, wouldn't you know it!) frequently causes irritation to the lining of your mouth, and can even cause sores or lesions.
*There is a very rare possibility of an intestinal blockage if you swallow large amounts of gum or swallow it with other "undigestibles" like coins, sunflower seed hulls, sticks, or rocks.
*It is illegal to chew gum (without a doctor's prescription for therapeutic reasons) in Singapore. Apparently they had whole streets and walls lined with gum nearly two decades ago, due to all their citizens not disposing of their chewed gum properly. They passed a law in 1992 that made chewing gum illegal. If you are caught chewing gum (even as a tourist while visiting the country) you will be thrown in jail and fined $5500 US Dollars. Yikes.

We're visiting a friend's church today. Crestview Baptist. I'm nervous (isn't that silly?) about it. I really hope that my kiddos do well in their nursery/pre-school area. It's a small church. I talked to Samantha about it. (My 9 year old neighbor girl that has been coming to Calvary Chapel with us for a year now.) I told her that I was visiting a friend's church "because they asked me to" (true, but not the whole truth, but that's ok. She's 9!) and asked if she wanted to come with me, or if she wanted me to call CC bus to come and pick her up and go there. She said, without hesistation, that she wanted to come with me. (That made me feel good.) Anyhow, so Crestview Baptist today. Sunday School at 9:30, worship at 10:45. I sure like churches that meet later. I'm NOT a morning person. Matt's good friend Brad is the worship leader there, and his wife Becky invited us. I'll be meeting her outside the building today and she'll be showing me around. Very small church, maybe about 100 members total. Things I KNOW I'm going to like about it : some old hymns, a baptismal area in the church, weekly communion, verse-by-verse Bible teaching and friends to sit with. Things I'm nervous about : my kids not liking it, Samantha not liking it, and possibly being judged by other members. (Sometimes that happens in smaller churches - I hope it doesn't happen in this one.)

I'm learning that sometimes it takes me talking to several people before I'm able to fully step back from a situation and eye it objectively. *sigh* That being said, it's much easier to find fault with someone else's actions than it is my own, until I have taken that step back and really LOOKED. So, I'm sheepishly before the throne of God today (*again* - pretty sure I'm here a lot, with the same, "Oh man, Lord, I'm sorry") to ask for forgiveness for improper behavior and not seeing my own not-exactly-right-but-not-wholly-wrong behavior in the first place. I still stand by my previous assertion that wrongdoing has taken place and needs to be rectified, but I can at least see that I didn't handle things totally properly either. *sigh* Wouldn't you know it?

Anyhow, happy Sunday folks. Hope you all have a blessed day.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training

So ... we are crash-course potty training. It's going pretty well so far!

We have been putting Kyleigh in "big girl panties", not pull-ups. She peed in the potty twice last night (with no accidents) and then twice today (no accidents!) but she's still in diapers overnight and when we're running errands and at naptime. But she's doing well!

Her new favorite treat is gum, so she gets a half of a piece of gum when she goes in the potty. She has swallowed two of those so far, but not the other two. Have to research on the effects of gum on the toddler digestive system, I guess.

Wish us luck! I hope we get to be diaper free (with Ky anyway) in a month or less!!! :)

Popcorn in the Afternoon



So Matt has a day off today. We're just mostly relaxing today. We ran errands and went out to lunch. Then came home and everyone took a nap except for me. Maezie was the first to wake up, so I popped a bag of popcorn and she's sitting on my lap while I type this. She's sitting on my lap facing me, and I keep putting handfuls of popcorn onto her lap. She takes a few bites and then gives me a bite. A few of my bites have been a little soggy, but that's ok. Just means they're sweeter, right??

Every now and then Maezie just has to throw her head into my chest and snuggle for a few seconds. She's such a cuddlebug! :)
***
(Matt took over the computer before I was done posting this, so it's been a few hours now since I wrote that first part. Maezie's not in my lap anymore. Haha!)

Anyhow, enjoy the popcorn pictures!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Pictures

This was probably one of my very favorite outfits of Kyleigh's that Maezie is wearing now!! And those are her "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch" shoes! I'm so glad to be using them again! I cried when I put them away after Ky outgrew them.
She cracks me up. :) I love her cow boots. She picked them out herself.
Maezie has learned the art of climbing. *sigh* It was only a matter of time, I guess. With Kyleigh as a big sister there was very little chance that Maezie would be a calm, mild-mannered non-climber. She can climb up on the hearth, as you see here, and also up into the recliner now. She can almost get on the couch by herself too. She's not even 1 yet!!!

Recent Pics

This is at the Animas River. Kyleigh LOVES water!
I sure am blessed to have a pretty toddler ....
And a pretty little girl too ... I can't believe she's nearly 3.
This picture is hilarious! She has food on her hand and smeared it all over her face!

Kyleigh LOVES to wear high heels. Which is funny, because she's such a tomboy. But she calls them "ballet shoes" and always wants me to wear a pair tooand we'll dance around together!! :)

Random Thoughs, Catching Up, and Moving On

So ... it is a BEAUTIFUL day outside today. 75!! Ahh! I am going to take the kids to the park. Wish Matt was here to enjoy it with me.

Speaking of Matt, he's been transferred to Cortez, Colorado. (Still working for Safeway.) It's a town about an hour and a half north of here. He's commuting every day. Except tonight he asked me to find him a hotel room in Cortez because he doesn't get off work until 8pm, and then works tomorrow morning at 7am. Coming home would be pointless tonight. Poor guy. We're hoping he gets to find a new job. If he can't find a new job by the end of May, then I guess we're moving to Colorado. He can't keep commuting like this. Sure makes his days long. I appreciate that he's willing to drive back and forth so that he can see his kids, when the easy thing to do would just be to get a hotel for the week and come home on his days off. He's such a good Daddy. And husband.

My current facebook status says this : "Laura Allison just loves her husband. You know that feeling you got when you were a kid and you had a hard day at school (or somewhere) and ran home, got into your comfy, familiar house, and had a nice snack, cup of juice, and a big hug from Mom waiting for you? Yeah. That feeling of "Ahh, everything is going to be JUST FINE and I am safe and LOVED." feeling? That's how I feel every time he walks in the door from work. :)" ... and that just about sums up how I'm feeling about him right now. He's so supportive of me, so wonderful. I just love him to pieces and am so glad that God gave him to me. He is truly my soulmate and my other half and I have no idea what I'd do without him!

Back on the subject of the park again, I wish my friend Jana lived close so that her and her son Jakob could come and go to the park with us.

So ... In light of some recent events, I guess my husband and I will be moving on, spiritually speaking. It's a really long story, but I just feel like maybe we'd be better off at a different church. I'm really, REALLY sad to say that too, because I really have loved our church and have some wonderful friends there. I'm hoping that us leaving won't rip those existing friendships apart, but I feel it's important that we worship at a place where we feel like our scripturally-based concerns can be voiced and listened to, and if need be, conduct that doesn't line up with Scripture can be modified, in love, not in judgment. We're praying about it to make sure we make the right decision, but for now - even though it's painful, that's probably what we're going to do.

I'll post some pictures later, I think. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Maezie figured out how to clap!!

It's super cute!! She's just walking around, clapping. She's 11 months, 3 weeks old.

She can also say "uh oh", "dada", and "hold you" (but it sounds like "hose-you") and she makes the baby sign for drink.

Kyleigh is talking in fully complete thoughts now. We're working on potty-training again.

Matt is looking for another job. If he doesn't find one, we have to move to Cortez, Colorado to continue working with Safeway, which puts us even farther away from my parents. BUT - we know that God's plan is ALWAYS best, so we have asked Him to shut every door but the one He wants us going through.

I'll update with some pictures later!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Kyleigh Lately

So Kyleigh is pretty hilarious. Her vocabulary and grammar are just taking off through the roof right now. Her biggest thing to blossom lately, though, is her imagination. She has such a huge one! She likes to pretend her animals are doing things and talking to eachother, and she likes to pretend that she sees things outside that aren't really there.

Her recent thing is pretending to be someone else. She's even more interactive when she's pretending than she is when she's herself. Crazy, huh? For the last three weeks or so, she's been Minnie Mouse, Matt is Goofy, and I'm Mickey Mouse. Maezie apparently didn't get a character. (Sorry Maez!) She even talks in a Minnie Mouse voice! Of course Matt does a great Goofy voice, and I attempt Mickey. I'm not sure my impression of Mickey is very good, but Kyleigh gets absolutely delighted when Matt and I use our character's voices and play along with her. Kyleigh would be bored at the dinner table, having not touched her broccoli, and I'd muster up my best Mickey voice and say, "Hey Minnie Mouse, can you eat a bite of broccoli?" And she'd get a huge grin on her face and say in her high-pitched squeaky Minnie voice, "Yes, Mickey!" Then to our astonishment, she'd willingly take a big bite of broccoli. I can't tell you how much food I've gotten down her throat lately this way. Any food! Her attention span is short, so unless she's just STARVING, she doesn't usually eat much before she gets bored and starts playing with her food. So this Minnie Mouse thing has been fabulous! It's also easier to get Minnie Mouse (instead of just plain Kyleigh) to pick up her toys, give hugs and be sweet to Maezie. Go figure!

Yesterday, Kyleigh threw us a curveball. "Hey Minnie Mouse, want to come give Mickey a hug?" I asked. "No, Mommy, I'm not Minnie Mouse." *shock!* WHAT??? This is the child who's been Minnie Mouse for three weeks! Oh no!! What's going on?? All this ran through my head and then she continued, "I'm Rooney Doodle." BAM! In one instant, my child has gone from being an over-sized, pink polka-dotted, incredibly polite female mouse to an incredibly polite blue man (albeit a gay one) with funny hair and a great voice. (This is Rooney Doodle from the DoodleBops, y'all. If you don't know who he is, visit : http://www.doodlebops.com )

Something to note : The show "The Doodlebops" comes on Disney channel in the mornings. But it hasn't been on since DECEMBER! So she hasn't seen them since then, but all of the sudden remembered them and wanted to BE them! I'm pretty amazed at her great memory.

So now, Kyleigh has decided she is Rooney Doodle, I'm DeeDee Doodle, and Matt is Moe Doodle. Maezie gets a character too this time, and she's Bus Driver Bob. Haha!! Tonight Kyleigh called me "Mommy Doodle" instead of Dee Dee, so maybe she's decided that I can't be Dee Dee Doodle after all. Who knows?

So, look for more upcoming adventures of the Allison, err ... Doodle family! :)