Truly this…

My girls were asked to model their Aunt Katy’s “kids cowls.”  So of course we curled our hair and had fun with a mini photo shoot.  What do you think?   Advertisements

There is something about these beautifully cool fall mornings.  This morning I woke up, and the skies were gray and cool from the rain last night.  I decided to come downstairs and secretly enjoy a very quiet cup of coffee and snuggle up on our couch with the cool morning breeze blowing on me.  Something that makes me want to write.  My cup steams aimlessly next to me and I grab its warm base and cup my hands around it.  It is comforting.  Quiet.  Peaceful.  Something about starting the day feeling refreshed before the kids wake up.  As the caffeine slowly makes its way through my blood stream, I feel just that.  Refreshed.  Ready for the day to begin.  Ready to hear those little feet, one by one, pitter patter down the stairs.  I remember when August and I were newly married and only Grace was with us.  We would fantasize about hearing those little pitter patters come running down the hall, laughter and giggles echoing from their rooms.  “How wonderful we thought that would be.”  To not just be just us, but to have a full house hearing those wonderful sounds of delight.  Now that is our reality and I sometimes forget how much I longed for these days.  Now, eight years later those days have come.  I find myself sometimes overwhelmed by all the pitter patters, thumping and bumping, teasing and laughing and giggling. “SHHHH!!” I’ll shoot up the stairs.  “Not so loud please!”  I now laugh to myself.  Oh how fickle and contradictory we humans can be!  Wish for something the next, then find ourselves grumping about it the next.  What if we realized, what if I realized, that these are the very moments we need to be thankful for.  Instead of griping and grumping and wishing for a quiet moment instead, I relished the clatter of noises?  Even now I hear Tobias squeaking in his crib.  Time to wrap things up and go pick him up, greeting him with a sippy of  milk.  So I suppose I leave with this thought.  Lets be less contradictory.  Lets learn to remember how much we longed for certain things, and now that we have them, to wistfully and thankfully relish these “noisy” moments.

IMG_3985.JPG

Welp, there goes a year!

Hey!  Remember me?  The momma and blog you used to enjoy reading little quirky family posts from? Yes has a year really gone by?  Seriously, the last post was from November 22 2015.  It’s is now September 16, 2016.  I don’t think I can possibly write and fill you in on all that has happened in the past year, except that the pumpkin cheesecake recipe in my last post, a YEAR ago, was a flop!  What was supposed to be a quick and easy and turn-out-yummy-cheesecake did not turn out yummy at all!  So scratch that one from your recipe logs and I’ll try again sometime soon…maybe.  The truth is that I have been busy and happy and content, really just living life and not really feeling the need to write about it.  We had a great summer, full of swimming at G.G’s and also Oma’s on various occasions.  The kids had slumber parties with GG every week!  What a blessing that was to me and to them!  The joy I would see on their faces when they realized it was Thursday and after naps, that their dear sweet beautiful GG was coming to pick them up was priceless.  And for me, a day of cleaning (or not cleaning, lets be honest), the quiet and some pretty sweet, precious one on one time with my number four littlest boy was something I am eternally grateful for.  So because I know you’re reading this momma, thank you.  You have truly blessed me this past summer.  Past?

Next week we usher in the first week of Fall.  Whaat?!  I really just can’t believe it.  Somehow time really marches on and I am blinking and each year my children get a year older.  It boggles my mind that my oldest darling girl is now 8.  In 3rd grade.  Reading chapter books, dividing and multiplying far better than I ever did at her age.  Anya too has come a long way.  We had a little difficulty in Kindergarten last  year.  Reading did not come easy.  A few more months of maturing and a little time off we have started anew and she is doing wonderfully!  Saying special sounds and recognizing them in stories (thanks dr. seuss and green eggs and ham) (sAY I do so like green eggs and ham!)  It appears we are over that hurtle.  This being my 4th year now of homeschooling (again…whaat?!) I am finding to not stress over those hurtles as frustrating as they can be.  I enjoy it.  I enjoy sitting with them discussing the things God has created and finding that each subject really does open a window to see more of who He is.  We love attending our co-op.  Such a sweet gathering of friends and fellow believers all with a common goal in mind, to raise up our children in the way they should go, so that when they are old, they will not depart from it.  We begin our mornings with prayer, allegiance to our flag, and then on to our individual classes where we learn the foundations to life.  Already I have been greatly helped by this community.  Sweet friends and mentors who have come alongside of me to encourage me and help me along this path of homeschooling.  Wouldn’t trade it for the world and it is so totally worth it!

So on to another year.  Strange, so strange to already be thinking of fall and holidays and cooking and baking.  Warm fuzzy socks over leggings and pull over shawls.  Cowls and scarves, gloves and mittens.  Rain boots and backpacks.  In a way I am ready for this busyness.  Ready again for the routine.  Ready to go through all of this together.  I think that is the sweetest thing about each new season.  Is that I realize, I am surrounded by people who love me…little people I’ve created…God has given me. My own family.  So amidst all the “sometimes” struggles I am tempted to focus on and be negative, I still know deep down…way down…I wouldn’t trade my life for anything else!

So perhaps a few shots from this year will suffice.   Enjoy and welcome back to me..and you!  Ps.  Somewhere in this time Tobias grew into a sweet talking, babbling, cantankerous little toddler!

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Pumpkin Cheese Cake Recipe

Hello readers,

It has been a really.  Long.  Time…since I’ve posted anything.  Homeschooling has been in full swing and with co-op visits, lessons, lesson planning, cooking, cleaning (or the lack of it) all while still being a momma to 4 littles, I hardly have any time to sit down and think, much less write.  Thanksgiving is just a few days away.  I am often tempted to stress about it.  All the meal planning, cooking, prepping, cleaning (there’s that word again!) often sends me into a full swing panic attack.  Not this time.  I’m taking a deep breath and just letting things happen as they might, perfect house or NOT.  Life isn’t about being perfect.  We don’t have to be.  Because a marvelous Someone did it for us.  So in being thankful this week for my very obvious imperfections here’s a little yummy something to maybe brighten your kitchen up.  Or your tummy.  A really simple no fuss no muss cheese cake recipe for fall.  Yum.

Cheesecake crust recipe:

  • To make the crust: Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg and 1/2 cup butter or margarine. Spread to the edges of the pan. Prick all over with a fork, then bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Allow to cool.

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe:

  • 16 oz softened cream cheese
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of canned pumpkin
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • Beat cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and spices in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add eggs; beat just until blended.
  • Pour into crust.
  • Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours. Top with whipped cream just before serving.
Enjoy!  🙂

 

 

a really big scare

Two days ago I was enjoying my cup of coffee on our front patio watching the sun rise.  The chickens were aimlessly searching for bugs in the morning light and the rooster was keeping tabs on his hens.  He seemed peaceful enough.  I then went inside to start my morning routine.  I can’t do anything until I’ve had my cup of steaming hot robust coffee.  The oatmeal is started, I’m placing Tobias in his swing to ready him for his morning meal.  Leo has me put his shoes on for him and he runs outside to play.  Nothing abnormal.  He does this a lot while I’m cooking.  There is a window in the kitchen where I can peek out and check on him.  I begin to feed Toby.  One spoon, then another and another.  I hear crying behind me.  Then screaming, then more panicked crying.  I wheel around and see our big roo jumping up on my little boy bringing his feet up to spur and scratch.  Without shoes and still in my pajamas I race out the door and with no broom in hand or anything for defense against the big guy I kick him off my son.  I kick him again into the bush by the dogwood tree.  He panics and runs away.  I turn around to assess the situation.  Leo has tears streaming down his sweet face.  Blood is dripping, pouring down his right arm.  I help him inside with a slight limp.   The rooster managed to strike my foot during the attack. I don’t even care about me right now.

Leo has a puncture mark.  It’s about a cm wide and based on the amount of swelling and blood gushing I can tell it’s deep.  My thought is to immediately wash it out.  I carry him up the the bathroom and place him in the tub, turn on warm water and hold his sweet arm under the stream of water, letting it gush into the wound and pour out.  While Leo is holding his arm under the water, I ready the hydrogen peroxide.  I dab a cotton ball in to the peroxide and begin wetting the puncture wound.  Saturating the cotton ball as much as I can, I repeat this process many times.  In hindsight I should have poured the peroxide straight onto the area.  Deeming it as much disinfected as I can I then add some tea tree oil to the mix.  Pressing on the wound with the cotton ball I then rub my healing salve (a blend of calendula flower, lavender, and tea tree oil…held together by beeswax and coconut oil and olive oil all of which are strongly antibacterial) all over it and then place the band aid on to suppress the bleeding.  The bleeding is actually a really good thing.  It’s evidence that the blood flow is really pushing out impurities.  I try to remind myself this as I gaze at the amount of blood still seeping in to the band aid.  Damn rooster.

I dry Leo off.  Cradle him in my arms for a moment then proceed to dress him in clean clothes once again.  He has stopped crying and is comforted when I tell him I am going to march back outside and put the rooster in jail. (his isolated pen in our coop).  Leo runs off to play a little shaken but more or less back to his normal chipper and playful self.   Thank you God for equipping me for every good work and providing me the necessary fast acting healing ingredients to address this issue immediately.  This is a serious wound.

I open the front door.  Where is that damn rooster?  I walk to the back yard and his pecking at bugs under the drooping sunflowers and calling the hens to himself.  I have my broom in hand and he sees me coming.  I hear him usher his warning call to the hens.  Driving the hens aside I then chase him, broom in air, into the coop.  I don’t actually hit him but he is squawking like I have.  I’m thankful that he puts himself into his pen.  It’s like he knows why I’m putting him in there.  With food and water provided I lock the pen and exit.

The moral of this story is it was scary.  I was shaking with anger.  This stupid bird really harmed my son.  How dare him.  Yet I know he was just reacting like a rooster should.  Leo has now learned a very important lesson of being vigilant and watching out for the rooster while he plays.

Last night I was really scarred.  The wound was bright red about an inch around the puncture mark in all directions. It looked like a massive bee sting.  Like a golf ball was under his skin.  His arm was hot to touch.  I had been cleaning the wound several times/ day up until that point but I realized I needed to really up my game.  Leo is tucked in to bed. No fever which is a good sign.  I accidentally bump his arm and he starts crying again.  I’m so sorry!  I run downstairs and grab my umckas.  Our little endearing term for some really potent tinctures.  Olive leaf, ecchinachea, garlic oil, vitamin C.  I mix the C and garlic in some yogurt and spoon feed it in to his mouth.  I drop 40 drops each of the olive leaf and ecchinachea into a small glass of water and have him drink it.  It’s yucky, but he is brave and drinks it down.  Good boy.  I clean one more time before bed with colloidal silver, rub my salve all over it with an extra drop of tea tree oil and hold my hand over it and pray.  I prayed diligently all last night as I was up a lot worrying about my son.  I am on the look out for signs of Tetanus at this point.  Not something you want to forget about.  I also have him drink 3 TBLSP of the colloidal silver.  Having done all I can do I tuck him into bed and try to relax downstairs.  Doesn’t really happen.  I’m too wound up in fear.   It really takes prayer and God’s comfort to bring me back to  a state of peace where I can drift off to sleep.  Drift off to sleep I do.

This morning the swelling is significantly decreased and the redness that was so bright last night is all but gone!!  Not giving any ounce of leeway to infection I repeat all my umckas and antibacterials again after he has soaked his arm in epsom salt.  I will continue to do this for seven days and watch the wound.

It is amazing the healing properties of herbs.  With diligence and the right blend of potency in your pantry you can really accomplish much.  I encourage you all to look into alternative remedies for dangerous scenarios…and keep them just in case you might need them.  Be diligent.  Be faithful.  Be aggressive with your treatment.  Be angry at it until you see a difference.

The night is always the scariest to me anytime our children are sick or battling against something.  You fear your sleeping child will worsen in the night while you are sleeping and you won’t waken to help.  My only comfort is this:  that God is watching over even when I am not or can’t.  Thank you God.  

I will continue my anti bacterial regimen on the wound until I see it back to normal.

A Plan In The Making

aplaninthemaking

I was sorta tempted to re-post this article on Facebook.  But thought better of it because it seems people are all but too easily offended, so I’m posting it here.  This article brought a thought to my mind.  There are dangers in labeling pregnancies “planned or unplanned.”  We Christians want to judge and condemn planned parenthood…but think for a second…we Christians are following along in its trails.  We Christians fall for the lie that we must have all our ducks in a row before having a baby.  We Christians feel that we must be financially stable before having a baby.  We Christians feel having too many children (especially of the unplanned sort) is dangerous because we might just not have the ability to invest of each of their lives.  But WHY condemn an ugly agency who promotes this way of thinking at its core when we are doing exactly what they want us to be doing?  As Christians we should be setting the example, not following the worlds.  By doing so we are showing the world that even Christians can’t trust in the outcome of an “unplanned” baby.  That it’s dangerous…will ruin your life financially…that all your dreams will die…that you’ll have no more time to yourself or your passions.  We are showing those unwed mothers to be that yes, they must choose between themselves and their babies because that’s exactly what they see even the church doing.  Albeit Christians aren’t openly aborting…but the example we are showing gives no support to those women in need.  Shouldn’t we be living our lives in Godly example for the world to pick apart and they find themselves wanting what we have?  To lay down our lives as Christ did, to give of ourselves for a future generation, to not glorify the stores in our barns and be consumed with wanting more, but to trust that we when enjoy the fruits of our marriage and a baby happens, it is such a blessing…financially, to your dreams, to your passions, to your life..yes it will be changed…yes that precious little life will demand much of you and your time and you will have to fight your flesh to invest in him…but I think you will find all that you touch to turn to gold.  Because your heart will be screaming with and wrapped up in such fulfillment!  Treasure not tangible…something God INTENDED to be a blessing…not a dreaded “planned” moment.  I’m not promising financial security, I’m not promising you will always enjoy it.  I’m promising you that you will grow.  That God will stretch you far more than you ever thought capable.  That your love for the Savior will deepen as you begin to understand all that He did and gave up for you.  The unwed and desperate women who find themselves pregnant will have an example that yes, they will be ok…that all the women of the church should surround them with their life’s examples.  That we didn’t plan anything and yes we are OK…we are more than surviving and carrying on…we are BLESSED!  Oh how much I want that to be what the world sees.  That these “unplanned” little ones are the greatest BLESSING!!    So get rid of that notion to “plan” because it’s hurting the world.  I challenge you to fearfully and fearlessly trust in God.  My four children later and we have had tight finances and had to cut back..even had to squeeze into a tiny little one bedroom carriage house at one point.  God wasn’t promising us mansions.  I’ve even complained a lot and have battled against jealousy!  But we were ALWAYS provided for.  Each baby blessing has brought us financial gain and not because August was putting his career first but because God was blatantly blessing us!!  My feelings of inferiority disappear when I realize I never thought I was capable to raise so many little beating eternal hearts…but with each one I found God gave me the ability to invest in them.  If we live in our own measly boundries we set for ourselves we are limiting ourselves from boundless mercy, peace, love and hope.  We are so sinful, prideful and arrogant to think that we know what is best.  But should we be living in humility and grace?  That yes it might hurt and be oh so challenging…but oh how much of a blessing it is when you realize that God is stretching you..growing you…and you find yourself surprisingly FULL instead of limited in regards to giving each little one what he or she needs!?  Oh my goodness yes!!  Life shouldn’t be about our plans, but should reflect God’s plan for the world, that He is working in each of us, for us, with us, that children are apart of His plan.

So go ahead and read the article and I challenge you to take a moment and think about who should be setting the example in this world.  The world’s goals and aspirations?  Or God’s goals and aspirations for us?  What would the world see then?  Come on Church…come out of the shadows and in to the light.  Only then will the “planned parenthood” agencies be silenced.

“Children are a blessing
    and a gift from the Lord.”  Psalm 127:3

“You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body,”  Psalm 139:13

“Let the little children come to me, and stop keeping them away, because the kingdom of God belongs to people like these.  Mark 10:14

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danielle-campoamor/why-i-chose-to-keep-my-unplanned-child_b_7828946.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046

in the midst of pain

Yesterday my cousin suddenly lost her husband.  There are no words to how shocked, confused, and saddened….grieved we all are over this loss of a precious young life.  Young love, young life….just gone now.  The amount of hope and people now comforting and surrounding my sweet cousin and her family near and far is now ballooning with an amazing picture of how the body of Christ works and that even in the midst of our grief, somehow, quietly, so subtly God is still saying, “I love you.”  I think the hope that we hold on to, that every human being has despite how many times we’ve been hurt or laid low, speaks to something greater.  That we are all made for something greater than what is offered here on this earth.  That perhaps we were created for a greater love than we ourselves could ever find or seek on earth.  And yes, someday…that love…I so truly and deeply believe, is going to come for us.  That perfect Groom, coming to wash his Bride with his Word.  That is the hope we hold on to.

the gardener’s delight

Good morning and good Wednesday to you.  I thought I’d take a moment this morning to write.  Life is crazy right now with homeschool lessons, ballet classes, bible studies, with household duties to respond to constantly and oh yes, I’m also pregnant, tired, and hungry.  All the time.  I don’t have much time to write anymore or at least to relax.  Writing is relaxing for me.  If you count lesson planning then I’m still writing everyday, but this morning…this post is for me.  I wanted to share something really beautiful.  My mother’s zinnias and her roses.  Her garden is spectacular.  She’s invested so much time and energy and it’s really paid off.  Going to her house is like going to a botanical garden.  Lucky for me, when I visit, she often sends me home with the delights of her garden.  And I am so blessed by it.  Can you see why?

IMG_7164

The beautiful shades of pink look beautiful as a fall centerpiece.

IMG_7173

In the early evening, with the tapers lit, the effect is stunning.  Ahhhh….thank you Mommalove.  You know how to bring a smile to my face…and heart.

baby on the brain

IMG_7099aSo, I’ve spent the most of the afternoon making a gift for a cousin.  I cherish handmade gifts.  Mostly because they really get you to think about the person you are gifting it to.  Who they are as a person, what they like, something that might reflect their insides; their soul.  Any handmade gift I’ve been given will never be good-willed, or thrown away.  Inspired by images on Esty, and also just my own mind going crazy with ideas, I’ve put together a compilation of ideas and came up with this.  It’s a baby mobile.  Whimsical puffy felt clouds with drops of raindrop cutouts.  They hang from an ancient boxwood branch that grows in our front yard.  It’s probably around 100 years old or older.  It took me my children’s entire naptime and then some.  About 3 hours.  If you’d like step by step instructions feel free to message me.  But mostly, just do what you love and what inspires and I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy.  This is a gift for someone else…but I also plan on making one for myself…and baby Napotnik #4 who is on the way!!  Due March 20th 2015. 🙂