Spring Hath Sprung
For posterity's sake, I am trying to record the happenings of my life. These days just seem to be flying, and I don't want to forget what my days looked like. These are challenging times, but they are days of God's richest blessings, as well!
~ My Mom, Dad, and sister came to visit us for 3 days. Their visits are always such a blessing to me!
~ We learned about the Greek Olympics in our history studies. Here are the little ones having a race.
~ My eldest daughter, Lily, turned 6 years old! I hardly believe that it is possible!
~ I turned 28 years old! Whew! I sure am pushing 30. lol
~We started our first real garden. Praying that it will survive my black thumb. I have three sweet, little helpers.
~ I have been in the process of hand-selecting curriculum for my children, for the fall. I do believe that current home educators are abundantly blessed with a myriad of homeschooling choices. Teaching the Trivium is my absolute favorite resource to use as a guideline in selecting Christian, classical, homeschooling resources for my children. My favorite homeschooling catalogs are: Timberdoodle (Great reviews of each material) , Rainbow Resource Center (aka the Homeschooling Phone Book- it is as large as a phone book-absolutely incredible!), Queen Homeschool (a virtual Charlotte Mason style dream catalog) , and Home Science Tools (every science tool, kit, or book you could dream of!)
~ I have been spring cleaning. Trying to chase away dust bunnies and purging the junk.
~ This past weekend, my little ones were all terribly sick. I am thankful that my dear hubby made homemade chicken soup and went grocery shopping for us.
~ Hubby and I are researching alternative energy. My electric co-op stated that the cost of energy may go up 40% next year. We are trying to do everything we can to reduce our electric bill, which seems to be ever escalating.
~ The children and I relish our read aloud time. Currently, we are reading On the Banks of Plum Creek and Paddle to the Sea. They enjoy listening to the chapter books, while painting with their watercolors.
~ I am sending away for butterfly larvae, to use with the kit, we were given at Christmas time.
~ Our front porch railings were replaced, during March, by Hubby and his extended family. When we have nice weather, hubby and I are trying to finish priming and painting the railings and spindles. It has been rather rainy here, as of late, so our project has been sporadic.
~ Next Wednesday, I have been called up to jury duty. I have only served jury duty once before, and it was when Lily was 9-10 months old. It was very difficult for both of us, since she was still mainly nursing, and my husband had to take off from work and he held her outside the jury duty room door, so I could nurse her at any possible breaks. (Lily was not permitted to be in the jury duty waiting room, even though I was just sitting in there, waiting to be called into a courtroom.) I ended up getting mastitis, and it was quite unpleasant. I had jury duty for 3 days, last time. I was so thankful to be back with my baby, when it was all said and done. Different states have different laws regarding jury duty. I have several friends, in different counties/states who didn't have to serve jury duty since they had a young child or were homeschooling. But in my county, there are no exemptions for mothers of littles, excusing them from jury duty. I had been trying to cut down on Anastasia's nursing times, over the past few weeks, in anticipation of our separation during jury duty. But now, since Anastasia has been sick over the past week, nursing is the only thing that seems to calm her. She has definitely increased nursing. It is also challenging to find a sitter for my children, since they are always with me. My mother-in-law may be able to, but she is scheduled to have jury duty the day before me, so she may be serving jury duty, at the same time, as well. I sincerely hope that when I call the jury duty number, next Tuesday night, that they will say that I don't have to come in, and that they have enough jurors. (This has happened to my husband, before, so I am hopeful!) I appreciate your prayers that I won't have to go to jury duty, and that if I do, that it will be of a short duration. Thank you!
~ We are looking forward to celebrating the Resurrection of our Blessed Savior!
I would love to hear what you have been up to, in March, and what you are looking forward to, in the month of April! Blessings!
Monday, March 30, 2009
Spring Hath Sprung
Posted by Christine at 1:55 PM
Tait and Lauren Zimmerman , a godly young couple, were married last May. In June, the Zimmerman's were elated to find out that they were expecting a blessing. Five months later, Lauren went into premature labor. With the help of their medical team, it was decided that the baby should be born by c-section. Precious baby Tait entered the world at a mere 2 pounds, 9 ounces. Baby Tait required medical care for 3 months, and then was released from the hospital. He is thriving, now, and weighs 9 lb. 8 ounces. Our mighty Lord worked a powerful miracle through the hands of the doctors and nurses, who cared for Tait. Lauren and Tait Zimmerman are so delighted to be able to be with their precious baby boy. Unfortunately, such an extensive hospital stay resulted in a large amount of bills, for the Zimmerman family. They do not wish to receive any form of government welfare, and so they are trying to pay off their debts as soon as possible. If they pay the neonatology bill before June 3rd, it will be $51,644. If they do not pay it in full, by June 3rd, it will go back to the original price of $186,769. This is a beautiful chance to "Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ." -Galatians 6:2 Wouldn't it be a blessing to watch the Lord meet the needs of Tait and Lauren, through His Body? I encourage you to seek the Lord and obey what He lays upon your heart. For more information about Baby Tait, please visit here.
Posted by Christine at 1:00 PM
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Healthy Lunch Ideas
Though I love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, on homemade bread, it is nice to have a little variety at lunchtime! The following are a few healthy, and affordable lunch choices, that we enjoy, on occasion:
Humus~ Store-bought humus is expensive, but can be made for less than a dollar, with dried garbanzo beans. Simply soak garbanzo (or other) beans , overnight. Simmer till cooked, the next day. Drain beans and put in food processor or a blender, along with a bit of water and olive oil. Puree till smooth and enjoy! Enjoy with crackers or toasted pita bread.
Sampler~ We use divided lunch trays from Walmart (.98 each) for a fun lunch sampler. Children love having a variety of lunch items. Choose from carrot sticks and dip, grapes, cheese slices, peanut butter on banana slices, applesauce, and yogurt to place in the various compartments. If you do not have the divided lunch trays, simply fill a variety of bowls and plates with snacks for them to sample. This can even be brought outside to enjoy, picnic-style.
Soup~ Make a large batch of soup, early in the morning (or the night before), in your crockpot, and enjoy it for lunch, as well as dinner.
What meals do you and your family enjoy for lunch? For more Kitchen tips, visit Tammy. Blessings!
Egg Salad~ Whip up a batch the night before, so this is an easy lunch choice.
Posted by Christine at 9:13 AM
The Duggar Family
The Duggar family is such an inspiration to me! They were very graceful, when they were interviewed on tv. It gladdens my heart that they can demonstrate the blessing of children and the beauty of a life yielded to the Lord. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 7:05 AM
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Find Support to Get Out of Debt
I have heard so many people have amazing success stories, who have enrolled in Financial Peace University. I would love to take these classes, but it simply isn't feasible for my husband and I to enroll, at this time. I truly believe that a huge reason why these classes are so successful is the high level of accountability. Also, it can be extremely encouraging to hear the testimony of other couples who have paid off thousands of dollars of debt, over the course of several months. For those who are not able to receive encouragement from Financial Peace University, I heartily encourage you to join the Living Like No One Else Forum. I love the sections of the forum showing how much debt you are paying off, each month. I have been so amazed by seeing several people on the forums who are paying several hundred to thousands of dollars extra towards the principal on their mortgage, each month. Another website which hosts regular, monthly financial check-ups is Thrifty Florida Mama's website. I hope that you can find encouragement on your journey to becoming debt-free and being fiscally fit. For more Frugal Fridays, please visit Life as Mom .
Posted by Christine at 8:21 PM
Sunday, March 15, 2009
It is easy to think that one day, when I have 40 acres and a cow, that I will garden. Surely, not much could come of the .29 acre which I currently have, right? Boy was I wrong! Seeing the amazing Dervaes family, who grow 6000 pounds of fruits and vegetables, annually, on their .20 acre property, has inspired me to just do something ! Surely, I won't have an abundant garden, but I need to do something, and to start somewhere. I do not need to excuse myself from starting a garden simply because my thumb is black, or because I have little children. Gardening is the ultimate science project. My children (especially my oldest two) are old enough to help me to work in the garden. If you want a little inspiration, please make sure that you view the following video about the Dervae's family. Their blog is extremely inspirational; the side bar contains so much information about their farm. They live a beautifully simple life. The Dervaes children were homeschooled, were homebirthed, and focus on following the old paths. Now, more than ever, I find myself day-dreaming about becoming more self-sufficient. I promise you that even the most reluctant will be inspired by this dynamic family.
“Growing food is one of the most dangerous occupations on this earth because you are in danger of becoming free. ” Jules Dervaes
Posted by Christine at 12:20 AM
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
It seems that much to my dismay, my thumb continues to be black. Despite my diligence in tending to my little seedlings, they have not fared well. I even sang to my little seedlings, though that may be the very reason that they withered. My husband and I are still going to work on having a garden, this year, we will just have to buy the plants. Hopefully, these plants will be hearty, so they can survive my black thumb. Thankfully, my first attempt at sprouting, has been successful. According to this guide to sprouting, wheat, sunflower, almonds,and lentils are some of the easiest things to sprout, for beginner's. I purchased a large jar at my local health food store, which came with a screened lid. I simply followed the directions on the jar, and within a few days, I had a decent amount of sprouts. I used about $.20 of lentils to produce the amount of sprouts which are in the first picture. Spouts are amazingly beneficial to your health, for a variety of reasons , but the basic reason is that they contain phytochemicals (plant compounds) which can make us disease-resistant. Sprouts often contain a concentrated dose of nutrients, far greater than what is contained in the mature vegetable. As with all new endeavors, I was a bit apprehensive about sprouting. But let me reassure you that it was easy. I simply followed the instructions on my sprouting jar, and I yielded a nice amount of sprouts.
I am very happy to report that I am a proud owner of a Vita Mix. We bought one on sale, brand- new, off of Craigslist. We have used our Vita Mix, daily, since we purchased it. We are now consuming more fruits and vegetables, than ever before. It is a joy to see my little ones eating a daily, green smoothie!
Lately, I have been checking out a myriad of health books from the library. In the few snippets of time that I find between folding laundry, home-educating my blessings, and preparing meals, I have been gleaning from the many words of wisdom in these "eye-opening" books. One book that I have been reading is Kevin Trudeau's Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About . While I don't agree with everything that he says, I do think there are many jewels of wisdom in this book. He claims that arteriosclerosis is caused mainly by three things: 1. homogenized milk 2. hydrogenated oils 3. chlorinated water. He says that these three things scar one's arteries, over time. After reading that tidbit, I received a notice in the mail from my water utility company. They stated that the chlorine in the water would be quite strong during this month, as they were removing the ammonia from the water, during March. As I drew the water for my daughter's bath, I felt so sick from the smell of the chlorine in the tub! The chlorine levels smelled nearly as strong as a swimming pool! It scared me that we were putting these chemicals into our body. Since our skin is our largest organ, Kevin stated that it is even more dangerous to bathe or take a shower in chlorinated water, than to drink it. This really made me want to save up for a whole house filter. I am also interested in investing in a Berkey Light water filter, eventually. These are really nice because you can take it with you while you are traveling, too. I currently use a Brita water pitcher, which says that it takes out the odor and taste of chlorine, but that is about all. Shosanna says that leaving chlorinated water out, for several hours, before drinking it, also aids in removing some of the amount of chlorine in tap water. The author of The Square Foot Garden recommends leaving a watering can full of water outside, overnight, to allow the chlorine to be removed, before watering your plants. If you use a water filter, what type do you use, and how do you like it?
Blessings to you, dear friends!
Posted by Christine at 7:34 AM
Please Pray for Baby Asher
Please be in prayer, for precious baby Asher. He is undergoing surgery, today. Please visit his parent's blog for specific prayer requests. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 7:32 AM
Monday, March 02, 2009
I think I am in love
I had heard about the Vita Mix through Serene, in the Above Rubies magazine. She referred to it as a "blender on steroids", which intrigued me. (The Vita Mix has as much horsepower as a lawn mower, so I think "blender on steroids" is a good title for it!) Once I saw the steep price (near $400 or $500), I assumed that I could never afford this product, though it was a nice luxory. This weekend, my family and I observed a Vita Mix demonstration at Sam's Club. The demonstrator was a fit, 73 year old man, from Georgia. He started with the company 20 years ago, when he was a 53, and very unhealthy man. He said he was fat and lazy back then. Now he just calls himself lazy. ;) What impressed me so much about him, was his knowledge of health. He eats 60% of his food raw, mainly after it is juiced in the Vita Mix. He said that he has lost 50 pounds, and has kept it off by maintaining a healthy diet, with the aid of his Vita Mix. There was a poster near the front of the demonstration table, which depicted two lifestyles. The first showed the typical American diet, with health information listed beside it. The Average American diet increases one's cancer risk by 30%, results in lethargy, and a host of health problems. Eating more raw foods lowers the cancer rate, gives vitality, and is healing. The Vita Mix beaks down the fruits and vegetables so that the nutrients can quickly give you the energy that you need. The gentleman concocted two drinks, which I was able to sample. The first drink tasted like ice cream, except it was 100 times better than any store-bought ice cream that I have ever enjoyed. What shocked me most about the creamy confection is that it contained cabbage! Even my picky child was licking the inside of the cup. The other drink was all fruits, plus a little ice. The gentleman could put whole fruits in the blender, even the seeds, which are high in fiber. The smoothie was heavenly and not a pinch of sugar was added to it. I was rather impressed with the samples of these two drinks. I loved the product, but I still thought it was a bit steep for a blender. When I got home, I found that it is a juicer (without any leftover ingredients- you use everything with the Vita Mix-no waste!) , a grain mill, a dough kneader, a soup cooker (homemade in four minutes!), an applesauce maker (yay! no more high fructose corn syrup, as in most store-bought applesauces), a meat grinder, an ice cream maker, a peanut/almond butter maker, and so much more. To see 52 amazing feats that the Vita Mix can do, visit here. I am now sold on this item. It will take us a bit to allot money towards buying one, but I feel that is a worthy investment in the health of my family. These are all reasons why this delightful device is on my wish list. I believe that you can get the grain mill attachment and the entire Vita Mix 5200 set for around $380 at Sam's Club. Here are a few links regarding how the Vita Mix can help you in living a healthier life. Reading this was very encouraging to me! (Do you see how healthy and radiant that couple are, now, living on a raw diet?) Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 3:46 PM