Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not better, just different

Allison at 4 months sporting her cloth
Within the last month I have had to give up cloth diapering my little boy due to his reaction to either the diapers or the pee against his skin. [not sure which, doesn't really matter at this point] My firstborn was born in a hospital, not a birthing center.  Both of these events have humbled me and caused me to look at the way I view my choices and others that make different choices.
If I'm totally honest with myself, pride is a big issue for me.  I had a major, "Re-new my salvation card" experience about 2 years ago that showed me how prideful I had become and how much humbling I really needed.  My sweet savior came and showed me His love, grace, and mercy in such a way as I have never been able to receive before.  [it was always there but my pride was too big for me to accept it] So with my pride out of the way I could be a "real" Christian, right? Sigh, how quickly we I forget.
As I was thinking over this last week about buying "trash" diapers for my little munchkin, I realized that I took pride in cloth diapering.  A little too much.  I looked down on others for their choices, obviously they weren't as informed, or cared about the environment, or "fill in the blank" as I was.  Yuck.  Do you hear all the pride in that statement?? It makes me want to throw up. It doesn't matter what other people choose to do, or how they do it, it's just that, their choice.  And it doesn't make them any less of a person, or a Christian, [or maybe more importantly it doesn't make me any better of a person or Christian] for the choices they/I make.  Pretty sure God isn't going to give me a gold star for using cloth diapers when I get to heaven. But that pride, that sure can steal one's eternal rewards.  
Having my first in a hospital is the same thing.  I was so excited to "break the mold" [a.k.a. do it better] and have my baby at a birth center and when that didn't happen I was somewhat devastated.  I feel a little differently about this issue for a few reasons that I won't go into here, not the ultimate point really, just my pride.  My sorrow over the loss of control [birth is great for that] was normal, but the pride I realized I had about the whole situation was again, disgusting. 
And so, as I pray for forgiveness and also ask forgiveness from any of you that I have offended by my "Holier than though" attitudes and words, I leave you with this.  An amazing song that brings me to my knees every time I hear it. Please listen to it, I promise where ever you are it will speak to you.

Hillsong- Grace Like an Avalanche


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Food- I've decided I like it quite a bit

So last night I decided to make THIS pie and it turned out wonderfully!! My mom loves Key Lime Pie and she used to order it at Pappadeaux when I worked there.  She and my dad would come up after the occasional Cher concert or whatever and she would order their Key Lime Pie and a cup of coffee.  Since she has had a rough few days (their dog was attacked by another dog and they didn't know if he was going to live or not, at this point he will live and his leg is healing but still don't know if he will keep the leg or not :(  ) So as I said it has been a rough few days so I made the pie and brought it over to share.  I'm always a little apprehensive about a new recipe that I haven't tried before sharing it, but alas The Pioneer Women did not disappoint!

Tonight I'm tackling something else I've never tried before, homemade pizza! Right down to the crust.  I'm pretty excited about it.  My dough is rising right now (enough time for me to go take a nap if I hurry) and I'll be following THIS little "method." I'm pretty sure it's going to turn out amazing, but if not cereal is always an option!

Lately I've found my self making Chicken Fried Chicken and Chicken Fried Steak at least once a week (one or the other, not both) even though it is something I never had growing up.  Hubby prefers the Chicken, but I myself like the steak.  I'm also determined this week to make THESE. And I'm pretty darn excited about them too.  I LOVE onions.  When I worked at Sonic we would occasionally have a Patty Melt on the menu.  I used to get a container of the sauteed onions, put some ketchup in a bowl and go to town! Kinda like an onion ring without the greasy batter, ya know?  Oh my mouth is watering right now! Anyway, I can't wait to find something for these babies to go with! (Is it weird I'm planning a meal around onion strings? Oh well, I'm ok with weird)

Geez my kids today! Naptime has been a workout for me.  If it isn't 1 that is awake and needing to be rocked back to sleep it's the other, and the oldest has been a bit of a challenge lately when it comes to getting to sleep. The workout comes from going up and down the stairs, my midwife will be happy!

Well I think my dough has risen, the kids are about to wake up and I still haven't had a nap, ah the life of a mom :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How far should you go?

This is a question I have been thinking a lot about lately in terms of preparing for a disaster.  I can't say that I've come to any sort of real conclusions, but I did find a good place to start the other day.

I've thought about a few different scenarios and depending on which one happens determines the course of action.  But one thing is for sure, times are changing and it's only a matter of calendar pages before life as we know it makes a drastic turn. (not to get all "dooms day" but all the signs point to yes in my opinion)

Possible scenarios-
  • Crazy inflation happens and food becomes more expensive than a car (or something like that) In this case, the ideal place to be in is to have lots of food stored up and hopefully useful things :) Like I said yesterday I like to bake bread using THIS new book I found.  It has 4 ingredients, you mix it for like 30 seconds, then store it in the fridge in a bucket for up to 2 weeks! So I have picked up a few extra of each ingredient over the last few weeks and put them away "just in case." I don't really have much more of a method, except that I have bought extra rice and cans of beans, we have some milk frozen that we rotate through our normal stock, and some extra meat frozen as well.  A few weeks ago I did stumble across THIS little blog/website and if I do get serious about storing up food this is what I'm going to do.  They have an e-book that gives you checklists and ideas and all sorts of good stuff.  But I'm not there yet.         
 (this scenario also includes a massive attack on our power grid and we have no electricity for an extended amount of time.  Although we don't have a generator, (if it were up to my husband this would be taken care of already) or much more than a little bit of wood in the back yard (but I'm sure we could find things to burn if need be!) the stored up food would come in handy, but not the frozen stuff, hmmm well anyway. And I would be able to bake the bread, but whatever.  I've only put a little thought into this remember?
  • Other way it could go down- something massive happens and we all have to flee our houses. (pick your disaster) Now if this is the case, again I don't have any long term solutions, but I did find a good manageable place to start.  One of the emails I told you about yesterday "Everyday Cheapskate" sent this the other day and my first thought was, "I can do that!" So go check it out, let me know what you think! In an Emergency, Ready, Set, Go!
It's a beautiful day out today, we are hoping to plant the rest of our garden by the weekend, I'll update with pictures when we do!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A few of my favorite things

My new favorite summer shoes that I might just wear everyday.  (please ignore the sock lines) (and I saved the picture rotated but for some reason blogger isn't cooperating today)
I got these shoes at Old Navy for $19.50 and they are soooo comfortable!! They have nice cushioning on the bottom and plenty of room for my toes.  I'm so excited about wearing these babies, if Texas would just decide it's going to be warm enough on a consistant basis I would!

I get "daily deal" emails from about 3 different places and while I usually delete them I have found a number of deals that I do like.  I've never had any problems with any of the deals I have purchased and Groupon even lets you just use your iPhone and not print out the deal.  Major plus!  Anyway, here they are.

Mamapedia -and this one donates a percentage (albeit very small, but still) to any local school you choose

We use Goat's milk soap at home for everything (now) My kiddos and husbands skin is pretty sensitive so Dove doesn't really work for us.  So I started just buying the bar soap but this last order I also bought some liquid soap and I love it! I have it at the kitchen sink.  It's a little expensive, but I think it's going to last me a few months so it's really not that bad.  And it's not anti-bacterial which is important to us. (Article on why)  Now I fully believe that you can pretty much find anything on the internet to back up whatever kind of claim you might come up with.  But this is something I have heard about for a few years now and since I don't like Antibiotics anyway (unless really necessary, then they are great!! :)  ) I subscribe to the idea.  I tried a local semi-local company but liked this kind better.  The Oatmeal and Honey is one of my favorites and Jason likes all the "fresh" scents.  Goat's Milk Soap

And last for today is another daily email with a very different purpose.  It's from a Debt-Proof Living website and she sends out daily emails about all sorts of random things.  This is where I got the info to bake my own bread.  THIS book is incredible and it is sooo easy. She sends out all sorts of good tips for anything you can think of.  How to make your own cleaners, meal planning, and my favorite is when she posts tips from readers.  I have gotten tons of cool ideas about everything around the house.  It's called Everyday Cheapskate and I think it's pretty great.  Here it is.

Ok well gotta go find some dinner!

We had a fun day at the zoo!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A New Beginning

I've been thinking a lot about this little neglected blog of mine lately. Wondering what I should do. And this morning I decided to head in a new direction. I'm not exactly sure what that looks like yet, but I thought today was as good a day as any to start moving there. So I am.

I love to read other people's blogs and get ideas from them. Whether it's informative and useful like homeschooling and health information, or food fun, or crafty fun, I love it all. And I really enjoy just reading about other people's lives too. So maybe my blog will just be about all the things I love :) and maybe it will just be about my life. But for now I thought I'd share a few things I've got going on right now.

First up is my garden. I remember when I was younger my mom had a small garden, I know she grew tomatoes, but other than that I don't remember much. I know she was constantly fighting bugs and I remember a dog we had ate her tulips one year, but that's about it. At some point last summer I remember telling Jason I wanted to do a garden this year. Mostly for fun, for me and for the kids. I think little kids watering a garden and getting to harvest the food is so much fun. I think it teaches them patience and diligence. Something that you don't find much of in today's society.

So, I'm happy to say that we are actually making it happen! I struggle so much with procrastination and having way more ideas than I can actually complete, so many of my thoughts stay right there, in my head, or on one of my many lists, and never make it any further. Anyway, here is the progression and what we have so far!

Here is Jason building our boxes. We used the square foot gardening method and mostly followed Emily's books that can be found here.

Here is the space cleared out
Jason and Alyssa moved the boxes and then lined them with a weed mat. We followed the instructions for the mixture of soil. Jason has his doubts :) but I think it will turn out grand!

Allison taking a donut break. Before I knew it she had eaten the one I gave her and started on a second!

Mixing the soil, Caleb supervising
Allison watering the cabbage, broccoli, and swiss chard

We also planed some onions, potatoes, and blueberries. This weekend we will be planting more, and then the following weekend the rest. We have lots of tomatoes and peppers, some strawberries, and even some cantaloupe. I can't wait to get it all planted and watch it grow!

I have all sorts of things I want to post about but I think I'll try not to blow my whole wad today. :) But I will leave you with one more thing. Allison is in Granbury visiting Jason's parents so while she is gone I want to make this for when she comes back. And I must admit I'm pretty excited about it too!
It's called glass block Jello and here is how you make it- Instructions

Well, it's off to do the dishes and laundry before my little man wakes up! Enjoy your day!

Some Grief Guidance

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