Monday, March 29, 2010

Goodies I got today!!!

Ended up having to reschedule my appointment with the midwife today. She was up all night with a birth and said she "wants to make an appointment with her bed". I don't blame her. So, I go see her Thursday AM.
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So... this morning with my newly allotted "free time", I decided to snag my girlfriend, Rebekah M., and head out to the local(ish) scratch-n-dent store. Here are the bargain finds I brought home:
-(8) 46oz (100% juice) Juicy Juice bottles
-(2) 10pks (100% juice) Minute Maid juice boxes
-3 lb (local) honey
-natural granola
-Safflower oil
-pretzels
-(4) pkg candy (for kiddos)
-Worchestershire sauce
-steak Sauce
-TOTAL: $28.30
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Picnic with the kids!
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Pick-up time for our first organic produce order was from 1-3pm today. We swung over there on our way back into town. Here's what I purchased:
-(6) avocados
-5oz bag of spinach
-(6) mangoes
-3lb Fuji apples
-(2) bunches broccoli
-5lb russet potatoes
-2lb carrots
-TOTAL: $29.38
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Not used to purchasing produce for (2) weeks so we'll see how this order goes. We went a bit conservative (plus we have veggies left over from our last grocery store trip). We knew that purchasing organic was going to bump up our grocery bill a tad. But we're countering that by not eating out and making things as much from scratch as possible. It's an investment to health.

The lady that is heading up this co-op has 8 children between the ages of 11 and 7mo. and they live on a small farm. Our children had a HAY DAY and made some new friends.

Fun day!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Diluting


I was asked just today, actually, about how much juice and milk we go through in any given week. The ladies I was with made the natural assumption that we must go through a ton because of our family size. They were shocked to discover that we only go through about 2 gallons of milk/1 large jug of juice a week. That's including both consumption and baking.

How do we do it?

We dilute.

I've always cut juice almost in half with water ever since we started having children. We didn't have a whole lot of money when we first got married and starting having babies so I scrimped wherever I could. After a while, it became habit. Our kids don't know the difference because it's all they've ever known.

It's only been recently that I've started diluting our milk. I got the idea from New Life on a Homestead. At our Aldi store, the price for 2% (our usual) is identical to the price of whole/vitamin D milk (approx. $2.09/gallon). So I simply started purchasing vitamin D milk and diluting it (almost in half) for both consumption and baking purposes. NO ONE'S noticed the difference!

Eating Real (next project)


On our quest to "Eating Real", we are looking into preparing LARGE batches of Cream of Mushroom Soup and freezing them in can-sized packages (10.5 oz) for recipes and cooking. We go through this stuff like crazy!!! But after looking at the ingredients list on a typical can, we've decided to just make our own from scratch.

One thing I've noticed about our Kroger store is that you can almost regularly get organic "I'm on my last leg" packages of mushrooms CHEAPER than the sale priced regular 'shrooms. There's nothing wrong with them other than the fact they need to used pronto or they'll spoil. Which is just fine for our purposes....

Homemade goodies & misc.

5-Spice Casserole
Serves: 6
1 lb ground beef
3/4 C onions, chopped
1-1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp oregano
1/2 small bay leaf
(2) 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 C cooked brown rice (or 1 cup quick cooking rice)
stuffed green olives, sliced
4-6 oz shredded Cheddar cheese (or Velveeta)
Brown meat and onions. Drain. Stir in remaining ingredients, except olives and cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Spoon into shallow 1-1/2 qt. greased baking dish. Arrange a lattice of cheese over top. Bake at 350F until cheese melts. Garnish with olives.
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Peanut Butter Muffins
Makes: 1 dozen
2-1/4 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbls butter, softened
1/2 C brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 C peanut butter
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
3/4 C buttermilk
1 C chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line with papers and coat the papers with nonstick spray. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter; mix until well incorporated. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients; mix until moistened. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, mix until combined, then add the remaining dry ingredients and the remaining buttermilk. When batter is evenly mixed, stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake the muffins until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean: 23-25 minutes. Do not over-bake!!! Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 min. then remove them onto a cooling rack.
* Can prepare the night before and allow grains to soak in refrigerator. Allow at least 10 min to soften at room temperature before scooping into muffin tin.
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Fluffy White Frosting (like marshmallow cream)
Makes: enough for top of 9x13 cake
1/2 C white sugar
1/6 C water (which is 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg white and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7-10 min. Frost cake.
*If frosting top and sides of a 9x13 OR if making a layered cake, double this recipe.
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I know this has nothing to do with food, but I was thrilled nonetheless. My sister got me a new Boppy pillow for Baby F!!! After (4) children, by poor old Boppy bit the dust. I was desperately needing a new one. Thanks, Cyndi!!!
Gender neutral and retro. Love it!
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Update on Baby F:
Been really crampy and uncomfortable this whole entire weekend. LOTS of Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing painful or regular. I have an appointment with the midwife tomorrow morning so if there's any updates I'll let you know.

There are two ladies at the church that are seriously thinking I'll go in the next 10 days. LOL They said they can "tell by my eyes" or something. We'll see! ;-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Clothing Transfer

Today, I transferred all (4) kiddos' clothing over to summer stuff. Kept out jackets, sweaters, leggings, and tights- but pretty much all their winter stuff is stored away. I know it's early, but with the baby coming, I wanted to get this process out of the way.
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Many family members/friends have been asking what we need kid-wise, especially with birthday's coming up. So here's the list:

Arianna: (size 7)
*CLOTHES! Specifically dresses (1 piece or skirt sets)
*1 piece swimsuit
*(for cooler weather) leggings (white, cream, pink, jean) like:
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Benjamin: (size 6)
*swim trunks
*summer pj's
*short sleeve dress shirts (for church)
*khaki pants; preferably w/ adjustable waist
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Cassandra: (4T)
*she's ALL SET!!!
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Edmund: (2T)
*crib sheets (white/gender neutral)
*swim suit
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Baby F:
*Pack 'n Play

Friday, March 26, 2010

Eating Real (some more)

Read this on my sister's blog.

Apparently there is now a new chemical called Senomyx that mimics the flavor of salt, sugar, or MSG by activating or blocking receptors in the mouth responsible for taste. Companies such as Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, and Campbell's Soup are working to incorporate this chemical into their products. Their thought is that with this chemical, they can then reduce the salt and sugar amounts in their products by 1/3 to 1/2 while not harming the flavor.

While I understand their reasoning, I still find it a bit unnerving.

Stir Fry


I needed some bean sprouts for a recipe earlier this week and didn't know what in the world to do with the other 2/3 of a can. Couldn't stand the thought of throwing it out. So I concocted this recipe and the family gave it all a thumbs up!

Stir Fry
Serves: 6
Cook in large skillet:
1/2 lb sausage
Spoon out and set aside in a bowl lined with paper towel.
Saute the following in the sausage grease:
1/4 large onion, chopped
6 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 head cabbage, thinly sliced
seasoning packet from (1) Chicken Ramen Noodles pkg.
pepper to taste
While sauteing veggies, cook in another pot:
Ramen noodles
When veggies are tender crisp, add the cooked sausage, cooked noodles, and bean sprouts. Stir and heat through.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Free eBook: 40 Healthy Snack Recipes

Download your copy today.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Homeschooling Opportunity!


Got any creative little geniuses in your home that absolutely love LEGOs?

Homeschool mommies, you can sign your kid up for the 2010 Lego Smart Creativity Contest! Now through July 2010, LEGO is searching for 10,000 new contestants. A kit will be mailed to your student, free of charge. Let their creativity soar and maybe they just might win!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Official names picked out!!!

Girl: Francesca Rose (we'll call her Rose)

Boy: Franklin Paul (we'll call him Paul)

:-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Eating Real

In our efforts to eat more REAL foods, RD and I are purchasing for each other the KitchenAid ice cream attachment for our birthday presents come June. (Our bdays are only 9 days apart.)

With this baby, you can whip up 2 qt. of ice cream or frozen custard in like 15-20 minutes! (Well, minus prep time.) We're already scouring the internet for yummy recipes. If you have any fool-proof ice cream/frozen custard recipes you'd like to share, we are all ears!

We usually purchase Schwan's ice cream. But after looking at the ingredients list we realized there is a LOT of fake stuff in there!!!

And like I said earlier, we'd rather eat rich and real than to eat the alternative.

Going Organic!


RD and I placed our first order to B & B Organics last night!!! There's a local co-op starting up and we're joining up! Can't wait for our shipment to come it!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More food! :-)

Sicky-Time Soup
Serves: 10
1 lb. pork sausage
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
Combine the above ingredients. Cook until sausage is no longer pink. Drain grease.
Add the following:
approx. 6-8 cups water
1 carrot sliced
handful: frozen peas and corn
1/4 head shredded cabbage
spices: basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic salt (I just estimated)
salt & pepper to taste
Bring to a boil, then simmer until carrots and cabbage are tender.
Then add:
1-1/2 cups cooked macaroni noodles
Serve!

Mock Pie Filling Dessert
Serves: 6
2 pears (with skin), chopped
2 apples (with skin), chopped
splash of lime juice
2 Tbl. lemon juice
2 Tbl. demerara (or honey)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Would be amazing with mini marshmallows and walnut pieces! Maybe then I could entitle this dish as a Mel-dorf Salad. LOL

Julie & Julia

Last night, RD and I watched the movie Julie & Julia. It was SO good! If any of you even have the slightest interest in cooking, you'd truly appreciate this movie.

Plot Summary:
Julia Child and Julie Powell - both of whom wrote memoirs - find their lives intertwined. Though separated by time and space, both women are at loose ends... until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible. Written by Columbia Pictures.

In 1949, Julia Child is in Paris, the wife of a diplomat, wondering how to spend her days. She tries hat making, bridge, and then cooking lessons at Cordon Bleu. There she discovers her passion. In 2002, Julie Powell, about to turn 30 and underemployed with an unpublished novel, decides to cook her way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a year and to blog about it. We go back and forth between these stories of two women learning to cook and finding success. Sympathetic, loving husbands support them both, and friendships, too, add zest.
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It was truly inspiring! I just sat there in awe and wonder as I watched Julia Child (ok, Meryl Streep) walking the market streets of France, daily purchasing fresh meat and produce for her kitchen and culinary treats. How cool would that be?!!!

At the end of the movie, the credits revealed that Julia Child and her husband, Paul, lived to their 90's! Considering the richness of their diet, that seems profound to me. But then it struck me... ALL of the food they ate was homemade. It was pure. It was from scratch. It was whole/fresh foods. That, and they probably didn't overindulge either. Typically, Foodies like them don't gorge themselves on food, but rather take just enough to fully enjoy the flavor of their foods.

RD and I are pretty good about eating whole & fresh. But we like convenience, too. And soda. Ugh. (I admit it!) But it comes with a price.

Watching Julie and Julia inspired both RD and I to eat more real foods. It's far better to eat rich but "real" than to eat the alternative...

Homemade Szechwan Sauce

Usually, we purchase this brand from the store for our stir-fry's:
But the opened bottle I found in the fridge today smelled funny... and expired in '07!!! Ewwwwww! Needless to say I threw it out.

Found an incredible recipe at AllRecipes.com- it is SO good! Not exactly like Kame's, but pretty close! And not nearly as hot! The kids could actually eat this. They loved it, in fact!

Szechwan Sauce
Serves: 6
8 Tbl water
4 Tbl ketchup
2 Tbl soy sauce (or teriyaki)
4 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp honey
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt to taste
Combine ingredients. Set aside until meat and veggies are prepared. Add to stir fry; stir until thickened. (Would be stellar if left to set in fridge overnight, or at least a couple hours.)



Serve over brown rice. YUM!

Garlic is still awesome!

Ok, so all this week the kids and I have been battling the sinus/chest cold yuckies. And guess who got it the worst? You betcha... mommy. With EVERY pregnancy, I've had the "luxury" of experiencing a random but harsh head cold. (Why would baby #5 be any different?)

The do's and don'ts of what a pregnant woman is allowed to take medicinally is mind-boggling and seemingly impossible to keep up with. I try to go the natural route. And by far, garlic is still (and probably always will be) my #1 medicine. It is seriously amazing!!! Our entire family uses it whenever illness strikes- and illnesses depart MUCH faster.

Most the time, medicine is designed to alleviate symptoms. Which, believe me, is great! But what we should be striving for is ridding ourselves of what's causing the illness... bacteria and/or viruses. That's where garlic comes in because it is anti-bacterial and anti-viral in it's chemical make-up. Rather than eliminating symptoms, it's eliminating the illness.

Plus, it's 100% all natural and I need not worry about how it's going to affect the baby!
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So... how do we use it?

1) For adults:
We take one clove of fresh garlic, press it into a spoon, take it straight up, and down it with a good amount of water. Immediately chasing/swallowing it with water makes it much more palatable and tolerable. (We originally tried just chewing a clove and then swallowing- but it was near impossible to get it down it burned so bad. Take it with water- it's over and done with within seconds!) We do this once in the AM and once in the PM.

2) For kids:
We make little bite size pieces of garlic toast, using fresh pressed garlic. One whole clove is too much. Approximately 1/2 clove (maybe even 1/3) is plenty! Cut off a bite sized piece of bread, butter it, add just a tiny bit of salt, add the garlic and give it to them to eat. As long as we have water readily accessible, they're pretty compliant. Once again, give it to them in once in the AM and once in the PM.

3) Bottoms of feet:
For particularly nasty chest colds, we put garlic oil on our feet before bed (with a pair of socks!).

4) Ear infections:
For a quick how-to on using garlic for ear infections, go here.
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We always have a jar of garlic oil in the refrigerator. Whenever we need to use it, we simply spoon out a bit into a bowl (the oil coagulates) and within a minute or two it's melted and ready to use.

We also make sure and have bulbs of garlic readily available as well... which isn't hard, considering I married an Italian! :-)

Friday, March 19, 2010

EASY crockpot lasagna!

Lasagna is one of my all-time favorite dishes, but I neglect to make it because it seems like SUCH a process! Well, today I just decided to try and crockpot it and see if it worked. We found a keeper recipe! Thought I'd share!!!

Spray the crockpot with Pam first. Then add a bit of water to the bottom. Layer with 2 strips of lasagna noodles (broken to fit).

Here's what's in my red sauce:
1 lb cooked/drained ground beef; 1-1/2 jars of spaghetti sauce; oregano; basil; garlic powder; onion powder; salt & pepper; 2 garlic cloves (sliced); red pepper flakes; cottage cheese. (Sorry- I didn't measure- just kinda estimated.)

Layer it within the crockpot:
noodles-->red sauce-->Mozzerella & Paremesan Cheese

Cook on LOW for approximately 4 hours and VOILA!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Update on Jethro Dole

I had recently asked for prayer for the Dole family. PLEASE keep praying for this family. On top of Jethro's heart condition, yesterday, they experienced a house fire. Looks as though it is a total loss. Unknown cause. Thankfully, all the other 8 children were with family when it occurred. Here's their story on KXLY.com news.

My heart just grieves over their situation...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Miscellany

Week 10 workout stats:
Calories Burned: 240.6
Time: 52:12

Week 11 workout stats:
Calories Burned: 331.8
Time: 74:38
Total weigh gain: 30 lbs.

At first, I sort of freaked out about the 30 lbs, but I'm watching what/how much I eat, I'm exercising, and I feel good. I feel strong. So, I'm not going to worry about it. :-p

Here's the latest belly pic: just shy of 35 weeks!
Saw the midwife Monday morning and things are looking great! Still measuring a bit further along than I am, but she said that's probably because the baby's head hasn't dropped into my pelvic bones yet. When that happens, I should measure right on target. So... looks like April 22 is still a GO! SO exciting!!!

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Mudballs. Yum.
Very similar to no-bake cookies, but a tad healthier and whole lot faster. The kids gobbled these right up.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Family Trees

A very interesting and thought-provoking article: Family Trees

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Heads up

Anonymous responses to my entries will not be published. Please be sure and have a valid Google account or open ID through which you can be contacted. If you have something truly beneficial to share with my readers, then please don't hide behind fake ID's. Those sort of comments will more than likely be rejected. Accountability, folks! Thanks.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Speaking about praying for children...

Would you please be praying for the Dole Family?

I met Tracy through several momma blogging connections. She has been a spiritual inspiration to me as an "older" Christian wife & mom (of 9!)

Her newborn boy, Jethro, (12 days old today) was born with a congenital heart defect. He had his first of three open heart surgeries this past Monday. Praise God, he is looking good and will soon hopefully be able to start nursing.

If you're on Facebook, you can also follow along on Jethro Storms Dole.

I know this family would covet your prayers!!!

Tomato Staking


Day 3

I think the kids are adjusting quicker than I am! Through this process, I am realizing full force that I have embraced some just terrible mothering habits... like raising my voice/yelling... even though I'm not even mad. :-/ BAD habit. So basically, I've come to realize that my children have been trained to only respond and obey when mom's voice has reached a certain decibel and heightened tone. *sigh* BUT, I'm catching myself, which is all part of the learning process.

Spankings have gone down dramatically. Basically, the only thing that warrants a spank is outright defiance and disobedience. Everything else falls under the category of training and teaching. Now, if a child gets overwhelmed during a training series or is visibly shutting down, I will have them stand face to the wall until they calm down. Then we try again until they are obeying quickly and fully and happily. As soon as they are obeying, I have them reenact the situation a couple times in order to solidify the teaching. To them, it's almost like a game!

Snags:

1) dinner table etiquette. EVERYone wants to talk... which is fine. But they all want to do it at the same time. Which is chaos. Especially when RD and I are trying to converse and end up having to shout just to be heard over the children. So, we've enacted one simple rule: raise your hand and wait to be called on to talk. It has helped SOOOOO much! But, it's hard for everyone to remember that rule because we're so used to just talking whenever we feel like it.

2) having Cassandra and Edmund by my side 100% of the time. They are soooo used to wandering about that as soon as I turn my head, they're off. Not in a "mom's not looking so let's disobey" sort of way, but just habit. Seems like I'm constantly having to wrangle them in. But Edmund's learning so well how to sit, stay, and come. He LOVES sitting on the counter "helping" me. He LOVES sitting on my lap during school. Cassandra's my "chair kid" because she's always up on a chair next to while I work in the kitchen. They both LOVE being by my side helping. It's just an adjustment to be doing it all the time.

3) as mentioned above, I have a yelling problem. Working on it!

4) Benjamin needs to "turn on his ears". Realized through all this that his problem isn't so much an obedience issue, it's a hearing issue. If he hears you clearly, he's almost always quick to obey. But if I say, "Benjamin, go make your bed.", all he hears is "Benjamin... bed..." He's never really sure what to do. So I've been trying to look him in the eye when I tell him to do things and then have him repeat back to me his instructions. It's helped A LOT!

5) the kids still go crazy silly when guests arrive. Doesn't even matter if they've seen the person a million times. Grandparents, close friends, the Schwan man... etc. THEY are the one's who greet and allow people in the house (which is MY place). They literally bombard visitors with the latest run down on their activities and accomplishments (which is terribly overwhelming for the visitor). Still working on this one. Tonight is our first "practice" session. We have some friends coming over for dinner. Going to make sure they are trained and ready before our guests arrive. And then during the week, perhaps we can practice by having "pretend" visitors and training sessions so they get the hang of it.

Giant Breakfast Cookies

*Good and hearty!!!*
Thank you, Heavenly Homemakers!

1 cup butter, melted
¾ cup honey
2 eggs
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups whole rolled oats
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips

Mix butter, honey, eggs, salt, cinnamon, soda, vanilla and buttermilk. Stir in flour and oats. Fold in raisins or chocolate chips. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Allow cookies to cool 3-4 minutes on cookie sheet before removing cookies to cool on a wire rack.

To soak the grain in these cookies before baking (in order to help them to digest better):

Melt and cool butter. In a glass bowl, stir together flour, oats, butter and cultured buttermilk. Add a bit more buttermilk than the 1/2 cup the recipe calls for if the grains are not all moistened. Cover and let the grains soak overnight. Stir in the remaining ingredients in the morning and bake as directed.

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The kids AND hubby loved these!!! They couldn't believe we were eating chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. SO yummy!!! (We soaked our grains. Much better for you!)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Miscellaneous

I'm a sucker for new shoes.

Don't get me wrong. Hand-me-downs are nice, especially for outdoor play. But there's just something about new shoes. I love it!

Here's my latest fun purchase. Got all of these for for the fam for $30!
New shoes + a good bargain. Does it get much better than that?! :-)
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My favorite sandwich in the world!

The Ultimate BLT

Now before you turn your nose up at the fact it's got an egg in it (served sunny side up), you have got to give it a whirl first! Same basic set up: bacon, lettuce, and tomato. But to boot, it's got a yolky egg, melted cheese, and mayo.
Talk about amazing!!!

Parenting



So, for the past several days, both my husband and I have been committed to praying for our family (both individually & together as a couple), especially in regard to our children. And both of us, through the work of the Holy Spirit, have been led to Tomato Stake. A LONG time ago, we'd come across this parenting website but had never fully looked into it, none what embraced it's ideas. Shoot, I've even had it on my "favorite websites" list for like ever. But we'd never seriously committed to it. Well, starting today, we are taking this process seriously. We're Tomato Staking!

At it's basic core, Tomato Staking is when parents commit to keeping their children with them 100% of the time until they learn to obey all the way, right away, and with a happy heart. When they can be trusted to obey fully, control themselves, and respect authority, then they can be allowed more freedoms and privileges.

It's about learning your children. It's catching behavior issues at the start and dealing with them immediately. It's training the heart to respond to people and situations in a godly manner. It's about monitoring the influences they come in contact with. It's about TRAINING in godliness and righteousness rather than running to discipline and punishment most/all the time (which has been a HUGE fault of RD and I's). It's about learning to ENJOY your children rather than seeing them as annoyances or hindrances to your day.

Tomato Staking: Day 1

So... how's our first day gone? Not bad. VERY busy, though.

I was planning on exercising today, but I seriously don't think I'll need to. I've been out of breath most the day getting up and down taking care of issues as they surface!

The most difficult part has been keeping Cassandra and Edmund with me 100% of the time. They've been soooo used to roaming the house as they've pleased (and getting into trouble) that it's been difficult for them to get used to being with me. Edmund knows how to "come" when called, but he's now having to learn to "stay". Arianna and Benjamin have been given a bit more breathing room. They don't need to be right at my side at all times, but I have required that they be with me in the same room working on projects, helping, cleaning, whatever. They just need to be in eye/ear shot to me.

It's been a struggle and I don't know if it's working yet. Only time will tell. And it's certainly not hurting anything. :-) The Raising Godly Tomatoes lady says that the first week will be the toughest and will slowly become easier as the children learn and get used to staying, helping, and obeying.

What's also helped is that RD's mom is stepping alongside us and helping in this endeavor. She's been reading through the website and is thrilled at the idea. YEA! (For those of you that don't know this, RD and I are living in their basement saving up to purchase our first home.) Having grandparents upstairs that will be tomato staking as well and paralleling with our parenting is an absolute GODSEND and blessing!!!

So, we're sticking to it. If you get a chance to check out the site, it's seriously a worthwhile read. I will be keeping you posted on how things progress in our family.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Prayer


Lately I have been deeply burdened to pray for my children (my family, in general). One of my on-line momma blogging friends does a Fess Up Friday posting where she reveals some sort of shortcoming she has a mother. Oftentimes, blogs only reveal the beautiful and the pretty sides of life and the nitty gritty reality of failures don't get posted. Well, if I were to post a Fess Up Friday entry, it'd be that I neglect praying for my family, especially in regard to my children. Sounds crazy, almost un-Christian. But it's the truth. Nothing drastic or bad has happened in our family to cause such a stir within me. Just a swift and unrelenting nudge from the Holy Spirit. The past several days have been absolutely bathed in prayer... and it's been amazing to see God working! I fully acknowledge that life is never going to be peaches and cream all day every day. But with the Holy Spirit being allowed access to our family's inner workings, it's been an overwhelming joy to watch. My children are just a little bit softer toward one another. A little bit quicker to catch themselves in sin and repent. A little bit more helpful and sensitive to the needs of others. A LOT more quick to obey. And for me, I've been more patient and forgiving. I've been more tender to their needs and desires. I've been quicker to TRAIN rather than discipline and punish. Instead of running to RD or a close friend for advice, I've been running to the feet of God asking for guidance and wisdom. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but it's been HUGE for me. So much time has been spent (and possibly wasted) in common sense/carnal parenting when all along I could have been parenting spiritually/supernaturally.

I've talked to RD about this prayer hunger and he, too, has been sensing it. Together, we are now beginning to pray together with and for our family. What a PRAISE! May God be glorified!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Weigh in

Not as scary as I was thinking, but I'm still not totally thrilled. (Does anyone get "thrilled" with weight gain? *grin*)

Total weight gain: 27 lbs.
How pregnant: 32 weeks/5 days
*although, at my last appt I was measuring almost 2 weeks ahead.

I feel great, though! Exercise has definitely been a blessing! Usually by now I am terribly uncomfortable. Stairs leave me huffing and puffing. And overall I feel yucky and bloated. But not this time. Feeling pretty good. It'll be interesting to see how different labor and delivery will be this time around. I've never exercised the entire length of pregnancy before. Everyone I talk to that has said it's made a world of difference, especially in getting back to the swing of things post-partum.

Some things I have been trying to do:
-eat several small "meals" during the day
-IF I am going to have a bit of dessert, eat it with lunch
-have a protein shake in the evenings to prevent snacking
-keep a food intake diary
-drink plenty of water; avoid soda/high sugar drinks/coffee sweeteners
-exercise 5x/wk

Monday, March 01, 2010

Preggo exercise stats


Week 8:
Total Calories Burned: 235.9
Total Time Exercising: 52:25
*Didn't get as much time in as I'd of liked. But I did some.*
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Week 9:
Total Calories Burned: 366.9
Total Time Exercising: 76:30

Weigh-in's tomorrow!

*And yes, I have been neglecting my weigh-in's. Scared I'm gaining too fast. But we'll find out tomorrow for sure.*

Still feeling great! Exercising has most definitely helped with my energy levels and my overall sense of not feeling like a beached whale at this point in pregnancy. Still think my portion sizes are bit too big, but snacking in-between meals has helped.