Saturday, March 31, 2007

Lack of Posting

Things have been busy! For those of you that don't know me well, I don't like for things to be busy. I like to be home with my kids during the week without much running around. Most people call it the daily duldrums or the daily grind, but I like it that way!

Our real estate agent came over on Wednesday night, so I had cleaned and de-cluttered the entire house. That was alot of work! She thought the house looked so much better than when we bought it, so that was encouraging. We have replaced the ceiling fans, light fixtures, taken down wallpaper, painted rooms, cabinets and did a neat, simple trick with spray paint. We (by we, I mean Jeromy) spray painted the handles to the bathroom cabinets silver, they were an ugly gold color, and spray painted the rusty old gold pendant lights in the back bathroom. They look great and we saved money. The cheapest pendant lights , those are the kind that hang down from the ceiling, we could find were $25 a piece. She also thought we should list it for way more than we were thinking, so that was even better! She is going to give a virtual tour to the agents in her office (30+ of them), and then the house will officially go on the market April 19. By then we need to clean up the property, weed wack the river front, weed the flower beds in the front, and have a massive garage sale.

Oh, and my in-laws are in town for the next week, so things are busy!! Their visit will be good because we will have to take a break and have some fun too. I will try to take lots of pictures of all the fun, but bear with me as it may take a while to get back into posting very often.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

~Tozer- Thoughts on the Cross~

The cross would not be a cross to us if it destroyed in us only the unreal and the artificial. It is when it goes on to slay the best in us that its cruel sharpness is felt.
-Born After Midnight

We must do something about the cross, and one of two things only we can do- flee it or die upon it.
-The Root of the Righteous

Every advance that we make for God and for His cause must be made at our inconvenience. If it does not inconvenience us at all, there is no cross in it! If we have been able to reduce spirituality to a smooth pattern and it costs us nothing-no disturbance, no bother and no element of scarifice in it-we are not getting anywhere with God.
-I Talk Back to the Devil

One of the reasons we exhibit very little spiritual power is because we are unwilling to accept and experience the fellowship of the Savior's sufferings, which means acceptance of His cross
-I Talk Back to the Devil

The pain of the cross means that we are in the way.
-That Incredible Christian

I have not read, in their entirety, all of these quoted works by Tozer, but I have read, and am currently re-reading, The Pursuit of God, A 31-Day Experience by A.W. Tozer compiled by Edythe Draper. It is the complete text of his classic, The Pursuit of God, divided into 31 daily readings with added quotations from his other numerous works (40+) and from additional contemporary and classic authors as well. It is so rich with insight and passion for Christ and is truly a wonderful devotional. If you are looking for a new companion to your time in the Word, you will love this book!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

House Selling

I love those shows on HGTV that have an expert come in and tell people what they can do to make their homes more desirable to prospective buyers. What is always so frusterating is the fact that they make their house look SO much better than it did before for SOMEONE else. If they would have done these improvements earlier, they could have enjoyed living somewhere nicer. I always have had the feeling that I wanted to enjoy the nicer home instead of just fixing it up before selling it. Well, we are in the process of fixing up some things (for someone else) because we are going to talk to our real estate agent about putting it on the market in a month or so.

So far Jeromy has painted the front bathroom and cupboards, changed the light fixture in there and repainted the bottom of the shower that was rusty and gross. It looks so much better and I can't believe we (by that I mean he) didn't do it sooner! Granted we have only been here for a year, but still! Today he replaced the two very outdated ceiling fans in our living room/dining room, one of which had lights that didn't work. Now he is in his shop painting the drawer and cabinet fronts to the back bathroom cabinets that we started before we moved in but never finished. He is also spray painting all of our bathroom hardware silver instead of the gold they are now.

Our house will look so nice for those next owners to enjoy! There is just something so fundamentally wrong with that!

(For those of you that didn't know we were considering selling, well, we are! We want to start living debt free and this will be our ticket to that lifestyle! We will stay in this area and just rent for a while.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Girls That Love Shoes

Rachel has been going through a rough patch lately. She has been super fussy and temper-tantrum prone. She is usually really happy and easy going, so these rough patches are hard for all of us. She has still had sweet moments mixed in with the fussies, so I thought it would be good to write a positive post about her to make parenting her easier right now! She has been spending alot of time outside since our weather has been so nice lately. She even outlasts Bennett out there, if you can believe it. The other night, Bennett was helping Jeromy paint our bathroom, so I let Rachel go play outside with her little push bike. She was a happy little girl, and I had to take some pictures of her because she looked so cute.

Her other new obsession is shoes! She has been spending so much time putting on Bennett's shoes lately. His rubber boots are her favorite, and she gets so excited when she manages to get them on. She says, "Did it!" It is so fun to watch her concentrate so hard, and she is really patient.

Bennett's Elmo tennnis shoes.

Maybe it would help if I lie down.

Ouch, I dropped it on my head!

I still love you shoes!

We all had dinner with my mom and a family friend on Sunday night. The friend was telling us a story about when her daughter was around Rachel's age, she would insist on wearing what she wanted to wear and wouldn't let anyone pick her clothes out for her. I had made the comment that it was so nice how easy going Rachel is and that she is happy as long as it is a "pretty" (that's what she calls her dresses.) Well, the very next day Rachel insisted on wearing sandals (it was cold out) and I told her she had to wear her boots. She was really upset to say the least. Every day since then, she is really picky about what shoes she wears. Unbelievable! The purple sweater she is wearing in all the above pictures is also something that she has insisted on wearing for several days now. I just tried to take it off of her because it is warm in the house, and she wouldn't let me. I told her that it was too hot and she said, "No, warm." I guess it is about time for the little self-will to make its appearance. Bennett was pretty well worked into shape by her age, so she's just a little late I guess. Unfortunately, she can talk though, Bennett was too little and would just grunt or something. I never look forward to the talking. If only they would have all nice things to say. Parenthood......Gotta love it!

One last story....... Bennett was just trying to tell Rachel he was sorry for hitting her in the head with a plastic hanger. He gave her a hug and said, "I forgive you." (He gets confused with that one) A hug apparently wasn't good enough. She needed a kiss too. I just looked up to see him chasing a screaming Rachel through the living room, tackle her to the ground, and kiss her. Man, what an apology. We need to work on that one I think.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Midwife Appointment #2

Okay, I am perturbed with myself that I can't come up with a witty title for this blog entry, but alas, I cannot. This was my first visit to the midwife with the kids, who are normally well-behaved, but you never know what can happen. They did very well and enjoyed getting weighed on the scale, getting to help put the goopy stuff on the doppler, listening to the baby's heartbeat, and getting lollipops after the appointment. The midwife remembered our disagreement with my due date, and we were both anxious to see where she thought I was at now. Last visit, I thought I was 10.5 weeks and she thought I was 14-16 weeks along. This time I think I am 14.5 weeks and she said it felt like 17 weeks at the most, 18 weeks would be stretching it, so not the 18 to 20 weeks that she had expected. I usually feel the baby move on a regular basis around 20 weeks, so I think that is going to be the best way to tell gestation. She still wants me to have an ultrasound done to get a more definite due date to ease both of our minds. I told her that Jeromy wants to know the sex of the baby, and I only want to have 1 ultrasound, so it has to be after 18 weeks. She told me to call her when I feel the baby moving for sure (I might have felt the baby, but am not positive yet) and she will schedule the ultrasound. For all your that are hoping for twins, she said that I would still only measure 2 weeks bigger, so that is still a possibility. So.........I don't know anything more than I knew before. It was nice once again to hear that little heartbeat. When you can't feel the baby moving in there yet, it is hard to know how things are doing. That's all the exciting news for now. I wish I had more definite answers, but for now I have to wait.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Yesterday at church some of the women were talking about strange pregnancy stories. There is a woman locally, she sees the midwife that one of the ladies from my church sees, that is 37 weeks pregnant and just found out she was carrying twins. I just can't imagine the war going on inside my womb and thinking I just had a really active baby. I can't imagine 2 people kicking and pushing in there and not thinking something was different. That led to the story of someone else's friend who gave birth to twins when she didn't even know she was carrying multiples. She birthed one baby but her abdomen was still huge and she was still having contractions and out comes a second baby. She even had an ultrasound done but one of the babies was hiding behind the other. That led to a story that one of the women had read in the newspaper about a local woman who gave birth in the hospital parking lot. She was on her way to the ER because she was experiencing strange abdominal cramping. (DUH!) She didn't know she was pregnant. I just can't believe that! I guess she was overweight and just didn't notice the signs?! Anyone that has felt a baby try to poke an elbow out your stomache skin or crack a foot up into a rib would understand how CRAZY this is! How could you miss all the signs? My thought was that I hope they didn't let a baby go home with someone that didn't even notice she was pregnant. How could you trust that she would notice things like, oops, did I leave my baby somewhere, or how long has that baby been crying, or when did I feed it last? I just can't imagine. The last crazy story was of a woman who called her husband to meet her at the hospital, she had just given birth, and he never knew she was pregnant. I guess she too was a plump woman, and he just never noticed. "Boy honey, you sure do use the bathroom alot these days!" That is not so far fetched as the woman herself not knowing though.

That whole conversation was brought about because I see the midwife tomorrow, and I think that I am looking much more pregnant than my normal 14 weeks. I am sure I am over-analyzing things now because I can't really remember how I look at any given stage in the pregnancy. It is weird how fast you forget. We'll see and I will let you all know.

Friday, March 16, 2007

ARGHHH!! Food Allergies!!

I am so frusterated by food allergies. Why do my children and I have them, and how can I get rid of them? There are so many theories and philosophies on the subject, and truly I just think no one really knows. One of the more frusterating things about my own food allergies is that I didn't think I had any (aside from the allergy to dairy that I have always had.) I didn't think I had any OTHER food allergies. Rachel started getting eczema around 3 months of age, and I knew enough to know that a food allergy was most likely the culprit. I already don't eat dairy, so I decided to go off wheat and sure enough, within 3 days, eczema gone! Bennett has had physical symptoms as well, but I was never sure what his trigger foods were.

When we moved to WA, we went to see the local naturopath doctor who sent us for blood testing to determine what exactly our allergies are. Granted, these tests are not 100% effective, but I figured they would give us some good information to go on. I was shocked when the results came back that I was allergic to gluten and eggs. I never had any symptoms after eating them, how could this be? The other thing was that the test rated how allergic a person is to different foods, non-reactive, moderate, or severe. I tested off the charts, past severe, reactive to gluten and eggs. (I also showed up moderately reactive to garlic and pineapple. Weird, I know.) Bennett tested moderately allergic to gluten which meant he should be able to eat gluten once every 4 days.

I have read that food allergies can get better if you stay off your trigger foods and allow time for your body to heal. With that goal, I was willing to give gluten-free a try for a year and then be retested to see if anything changed. During this trial period, instead of feeling better and like my body was healing, I seemed to be getting other problems (like IBS, I'll spare the details!) I didn't think I had before. Could it be that I have other food allergies that didn't show up? Am I eating more corn, for instance, since I can't have wheat? This is SO frusterating! Bennett used to have bumps on his legs that went away after he went off wheat, but he seems to have IBS as well. Rachel has been symptom free since I went off wheat and isn't fed any now that she eats real food. She seems to be doing the best out of all of us.

Enter pregnancy and morning sickness and the inability to eat much of anything but only wanting wheat foods. I fell off the GF bandwagon pretty hard and didn't feel like I was having any sypmtoms (In fact, my IBS seemed better). Within the first week of eating wheat, I started to notice I was getting headaches I wasn't getting before. I realized I needed to pay attention to when I was getting them and sure enough, it was after I ate wheat. Not only that, but the headaches have started getting worse with each wheat-eating episode. I had a sandwich yesterday and had a migraine that afternoon, and I don't get those normally! Jeromy doesn't believe that the wheat is giving me a headache, but I can't imagine I am crazy enough to be giving them to myself. I don't WANT to be allergic to wheat.

I was reading the Above Rubies website recently and came across the idea of culturing food (ie. saurkraut, kim chee, yogurt, kefir, beets, etc.). The process of culturing food creates the good bacteria (probiotics vs. antibiotics) that can in time heal a problematic digestive system when the good guys outnumber the bad guys. I like saurkraut well enough, so I will probably give it a try. My only question is.... How much saurkraut does one person have to eat? I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


My kids love to "help." The amount of water outside of the sink during dishwashing is the main reason that I try to talk the kids out of "helping" me wash them. I struggle with this as I know that encouraging them to help is so important but getting frusterated with them is not. Bennett has had his chores that he is in charge of since he could walk. He unloads the dryer, puts away his clothes, helps put away his clean dishes, keeps his room clean, fills water cups for himself and Rachel, and the new addition is clearing the table after dinner. It is so amazing what he is capable of. I started teaching him to wash the floor with a rag, but he wasn't very close to being able to do it himself, so we'll hold off on that one.

Rachel likes to do everything Bennett does, so we have modified chores for her as well. She picks up her own toys, pushes the wet laundry into the dryer (I put it on the door for her), throws away the dirty napkins and trash from the table after meals. It may seem like we have a forced labor camp going on here, but the great thing is that the kids WANT to do these things. They like to be with me and doing the things I am doing. They also like to feel productive and proud of the good jobs they are doing that help the family. I want my kids to feel like an important, integral part of our family. It isn't because I am lazy and want someone else to do my chores, I want them to value our family as a unit and see that we all rely on one another to keep it functioning well. I think parents often lose the hearts of their children because the children simply don't feel needed, so they drift to their peer group for somewhere to belong.

What does this have to do with homeschooling you are wondering? I consider myself a homeschooling mom. Me teaching and my children learning is what fills our entire day. From reciting the alphabet to reading the Bible to learning a new chore, we are home and we are learning. To coin a phrase that I have heard before, we are homelearning. Life is integrated with learning and that is my biggest "homeschooling" philosophy. Learning isn't something that has to be separated from life. It is life, or at least it should be. People ask Bennett all the time if he has started school yet, and he says, "Yes, I homeschool!" I smile and people usually just walk away at that point, but it is the truth. We are homeschooling!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Nice Day

Here in Eastern Washington, we have started to have a few nice days sprinkled into the normal cold days and the ever possible snow flurry. The kids have been spending hours outside playing and having so much fun. Bennett has been waking up asking to go play outside. When I ask Rachel if she wants to go play outside, she tells me, "No, cold." She is conditioned to think it is ALWAYS cold outside. Poor thing!

This is what they were playing before I "released" them outside. Bennett spread out a big blanket and said they were playing "picnic." It was pretty cute. (Notice Rachel's face. Everytime I pull out the camera and she sees it, this is the face she makes!)

Lunch outside at their table.

These are my tulips starting to come up. See the green leaves coming up in the bark. I am so excited.

These are more tulips I am assuming. A wonderful woman from church brought me a bunch of bulbs last year, tulips and gladiolas, and I tried to keep the different bulbs separate. I had something that I think were lavander crocuses come up in the fall, so I am not really sure what is going on in this little space. I had a bigger plant growing there until I saw the crocuses and had to move the plant somewhere else. One of our resident bunny rabbits has since eaten the plant I am afraid.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Brotherly Love

This is what brotherly love looks like..................

Although, sometimes brotherly love turns into a headlock.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Aebleskiver Christ: A call to conscious conduct

Last week we worked our way through the Westminster Shorter Catechism (WSC) question #31 which reads:

Question: What is effective calling?

Answer: Effective calling is the work of God's Spirit, Who convinces us that we are sinful and miserable, Who enlightens our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and Who renews our wills. This is how He persuades and makes us able to receive Jesus Christ, Who is freely offered in the gospel.

So what does this have to do with Aebleskivers you might ask? Some of you might be wondering what an Aebleskiver is. An Aebleskiver is a Danish treat much like a filled donut which is made in a special pan.

When we were in California we used to watch PBS rather regularly and we liked a show called California Gold. The show was hosted by a guy named Huell Howser who would go throughout California showing different landmarks and sites and interview the people who lived there. Being from the central coast we always loved to see things in our backyard (Harmony, San Simeon, Morro Bay etc). One show we watched was on Solvang, CA, a cute Danish tourist town near Santa Barbara, which was about an hour south of us.

So now you may be asking what Aebleskivers might have to do with the WSC. I'm telling you, kids have the best memories. We were working through this question and Bennett was reciting the answer when he said " This is how He makes us Aebleskiver to receive Jesus Christ." Samantha and I instantly broke out in laughter knowing what he was referencing even though we saw this episode nearly 2.5 years and 4 moves ago! He has never even had an Aebleskiver (he likes his food, like his dad), but it was locked into his memory.

So if you think your children are not paying attention to what you watch on TV, how you do business or talk to your spouse you are quite frankly wrong.

Let's do a better job of filtering what we place before the eyes of our precious children and ourselves for that matter.

Psa. 101:3 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes

Friday, March 2, 2007

The (RED) campaign

I recently added a (RED) tag to our blog to show my support for the campaign, so I thought an explanation would be in order for those of you that have never heard of it. The following is the (RED) campaign manifesto:









The Sky is Falling?

A friend of ours (Thanks, Matt!) recently had this link on his blog, and it is an interesting commentary about global warming.

I listened to a radio show called Generations recently talking about the same subject. There were a few interesting things though that one would never hear from the mainstream media.

-Global temperature, with the current means of measurement, is reported to be 6/10 of a degree warmer. The error factor in that measurement is plus or minus 2 degrees. That is not even in the realm of measureability!
-Did you know that the Vikings used to farm Greenland?! That is that really big mass of land that nowadays is just ICE! Greenland used to be about 2 degrees Celsius warmer.
-The early arrival of migratory birds in the spring is supposed to mean that the north is getting warmer, but did you know that Anarctic penguins are arriving at their spring nesting grounds 9 days later than 50 years ago, and East Anarctica is getting colder?
-Sea ice is diminishing in the Arctic, but did you know that sea ice has grown 8% in the south ocean?

To listen to the audio of the broadcast click on What to do When the Sky is Falling.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The cooking dadda and Jonathan Edwards

That's right. I have been cooking at least dinner for the past 3 weeks. And yes we are still alive. Praise God. I have a much greater understanding of what women and especially working women go through and I feel for them. When I get home in the evening the last thing I want to do is cook and then even worse is having to clean up afterwards.

But you know, this has been a good time of character shaping. The Lord is working through some issues with me and I am learning more patience and understanding. I must admit my attitude was not the best the first week or so. It was hard for me to get over self and serve my family. I could justify by saying "isn't going to work all day long enough?" The answer is a resounding "no!" My calling is not to do enough, it is to do, PERIOD!

I am sure this is not going to be easy, and I would appreciate your prayers as the Lord makes this transition in me. It's all about routine. Once I was in the routine of coming home and playing with the kids and relaxing, that is what I expected to do. Correspondingly, I would not have the best attitude when asked to break from this routine. It is my prayer that I will be able to continue to serve my family as I should.

I was reminded today of Jonathan Edward's Resolutions. He wrote these to empower himself in the moment of decision. They are very inspirational and I would suggest you take a look. He thought out what his life was supposed to look like in advance so that when the moment of decision came he would act rather than react. I am going to work through his and write my own. Here is just a peek:

Jonathan Edwards on road rage (probably not what he was resolving, but think about. Problem solved):

15. Resolved, Never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.

To this end, I believe it is my role as head of this household to be the vision setter. Yikes! I am going to be working through and setting some longer range goals for our family. Please pray for us as we try to figure out what the Lord would have us do to further His kingdom. It is exciting not knowing where you will be in 3 years or 6 months! All I do know is I want to start setting goals and working toward them. I'll keep you posted.