Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Super Mario Party and Blue Jay Park






Martin went to a birthday party for his friend Jackson a couple weeks ago. It was a Super Mario party! He was SUPER excited to dress up like Super Mario. At the birthday party, he got the really awesome hat and mustache!! While he was at the party, I took my other 3 kiddos to Blue Jay Park. Rosalie fell asleep on the way to the park, so I sent my two middlers over to the play area, while I stood in between the van and the play area. It was quite awkward for me, because I couldn't completely keep track of Aaron and Jonathan where I was standing, but I didn't want to wake Rosalie. Thankfully, I ran into Joanne and Matthew Page - and they came to my rescue! Joanne sat by my van, listening for Rosalie, so that I could stay with Aaron and Jonathan on the playground. What a relief that was! Joanne brought Rosalie to me once she woke up. We had a fun afternoon at the park, and a great time catching up with old friends!
(Aaron wanted a mustache like Martin's - so I made him a mustache when we got home!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Was this supposed to help?

Martin really is a huge help to me with Rosalie. When I am busy doing all my chores around the house, Martin keeps an eye on Rosalie for me. I was busy this particular day with laundry, and Rosalie kept trying to climb the stairs. Martin got so frustrated with her that he picked her up and brought her into the kitchen where I was doing the laundry. I wasn't really paying attention to what was going on. . . and when I turned away from the laundry to check on Rosalie . . . there she was . . . right where Martin put her. . . sitting on the "oh, so safe for a baby to sit" grain pail. I don't think that Martin actually thought through the implications of sitting her in that particular place. But Rosalie, was tickled to death about it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Keep them rear facing as long as possible!!!

I have always wondered what being 1 year old and/or 20 pounds had to do with whether or not a baby should sit forward facing in the car. Is it that they just needed a random number so they could write a law? Is it that something magical happens in the developing muscles of a baby right when they turn a year old or 20 pounds?

The real truth of the matter is that a baby of 12 months is not ready to be turned around in the car. The muscles of a 12 month old baby are still not developed enough to handle a crash while sitting in a forward facing position. 12 months and 20 pounds really just is a random number and I hope that this blog post will encourage my readers to do a little more research about the topic before turning your 12 month old 20 pounder.

We turned Martin around in his car seat immediately at 1 year old and 20 pounds. I didn't give it a second thought because that is just what you do, right?

Wrong. OH SO WRONG! At some point before Aaron was born, I started reading about this particular topic. The more I read, the more convinced I became that the longer I can sit them rear facing the better. So, Aaron sat rear facing until he was 18 months old. I did the same for Jonathan. I actually thought we were doing really good by keeping them rear facing until 18 months - but it's even better to keep them rear facing until they get to 30-35 pounds (at the point in which your particular convertible states it should be turned to forward facing) I went ahead and bought a convertible car seat for Rosalie, so we plan on keeping Rosalie rear facing until she outgrows the convertible. Listed below are a few articles to read about rear facing safety. If you have the time, please read them and consider keeping your infant rear facing!! Even if you have already turned your baby around - it's not too late to turn her back to rear facing! It's worth doing your own research on the topic! Your child's safety could depend on it!





Friday, March 26, 2010

My climber

video

She is TROUBLE, I tell you.

But we'll keep her anyway!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hunt for the tooth and some philosophy too ...

Warning: Controversial material contained in this post. . . do not continue reading if easily offended. Post is not intended to offend, but merely to invoke thoughtful consideration of traditions and possible implications.


My regular readers may not be surprised to find out that we don't do the tooth fairy. Rich and I decided long before having children that we would not participate in traditions of the tooth fairy, easter bunny, or santa claus because telling our children those things would be a lie. When we first had the conversation about these childhood tales - I'll admit - it threw me for a loop. I had never once given thought to the fact that those things were lies. I had to spend some time thinking about it in that context. Once I really throught it through, I could not come to any other conclusion - but that - it was indeed a lie. My old perspective on it was that it was just some kind of childhood fantasy. How could it possibly do any harm? But of course, the problem with that is that from the child's perspective, it isn't fantasy at all - it is reality. Children believe what you tell them. I do believe that it is most definitely fantasy and make believe for the parent telling the tale. What brought me completely over to my husband's way of thinking was the comparison between childhood tales and God. The stakes are way too high the way I see it. If I tell my children that someone they cannot see and won't ever see leave them toys or money - and then later they find out that I made all that up - what will they think about God? (the One they can't see) Will they think I made that up too? That is just not a risk I am willing to take.
So, instead of the tooth fairy, we do a treasure hunt. I set up a hunt for him by providing 6 or 7 clues. I give him the first clue, he has to hunt for all the rest of them until he finds his tooth and his last instruction. The last instruction sends him to trade his tooth for a dollar. My other two boys are very excited about the day they get to go on a treasure hunt for their teeth!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waffle Wednesday

We eat waffles every Wednesday. I have the kitchenaid pro-line waffle maker. It makes gorgeous belgian style waffles like the one pictured above.
I grind the grain on Tuesday night after dinner and soak the flour in filtered water and buttermilk. I add the rest of the ingredients the next morning.
The recipe:
1 cup Kamut flour
1 cup spelt flour
soaked overnight in 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1 1/4 cup filtered water
The next morning:
1 stick of melted butter
2 Tbsp evaporated cane juice or agave nectar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
5 tsp baking powder
Serve hot with either 100% maple syrup or agave nectar

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Baskets




Every year on the first day of Spring we give our children what we call "spring baskets". I grew up getting an Easter Basket each year and loving that tradition!! I wanted to do a similar tradition with our children, but didn't want it to become what Resurrection Sunday was all about. So, I started thinking about ways that I could make it work. Eggs, rabbits, chickens, and flowers. . . all of those things are all about the Spring. Those things have nothing at all to do with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, I decided that we would give them "Spring Baskets" each year as a fun first day of Spring activity. It has worked out really well for our family. I enjoy shopping for fun little toys to put in their baskets and I don't have to spend weeks trying to minimize the eggs and baskets in order to get them to focus on Jesus.

A couple of facts:
1. We hide the baskets and they search for them one by one in order of age from the youngest to the oldest. After each one finds their basket, we all watch as he looks through his basket. Then the next child gets to go on the search for his basket.
2. The children know that mommy and daddy give them their baskets.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Aaron rides

video

Aaron got a new bike in December and it's the perfect size for him. However, it is alot bigger than his last bike and he's been a little scared of it. He has finally gotten some confidence and has been riding it alot more!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bike gear for 4 children


4 Bicycles - 1 with training wheels and 1 without
A Little Tykes car for Jonathan
A Little Tykes push car for Rosalie
A Toy Story tricycle for Jonathan
2 Scooters
Craziness.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dan Huffman for US Congress

Dan Huffman is running for US Congress for the 13th District for the state of North Carolina. I am thrilled to report that Dan won the straw poll at the Wake County GOP convention last night.

We have known Dan and Cindy Huffman and their six children for several years now and are proud to support him as he compaigns for the GOP nomination. The election for the GOP nomination will be May 4, 2010.

I have placed a badge on the right side of my blog for more information on Dan Huffman. If you are a NC resident and live in the 13th district start planning to be at the polls on May 4th to vote for Dan!!''

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rolling


video
Rolling down the hill at the park. . .

. . .watching the boys roll down the hill.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shin guards for Rosalie


This girl never ceases to amaze me. She may not talk, but she totally gets what is going on around her. She grabbed Martin's shin guards and started putting them on her leg in the exact place they should go. Way to pay attention, little girl!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Look at how I got that off the refrigerator, Mommy!

This is the container of play felt clothes and clothes pins, and the object that Aaron was trying to obtain. When I came back downstairs from putting Rosalie down from her nap. . .

. . . my clever Aaron said, "look at how I got the clothes off the fridge, Mommy!"
He was so very proud of his ingenuity!

. . .and I am ever so thankful that he made it through that clever idea without a broken bone!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

These are my donuts

Jonathan grabbed my bag of walnuts out of the pantry and asked me if he could have some donuts. I had to hold back the laughter - 1.) because he called walnuts donuts. 2.) because the child has never had a donut before, has only heard of them.
video

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A very happy Daddy!

video

If you know Rich, you probably know that he is a HUGE hockey fan. Specifically, a Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey fan. On Martin's last day of ice skating lessons, they put a hockey stick in his hand. Martin was thrilled to be able to hit that puck with the stick - and he especially couldn't wait to come home and show the video to Daddy!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Making bread and pizza crust with soaked flour.

I've known for a long time that I needed to add this step to my breadmaking. I've been soaking flour for pancakes, waffles, and muffins for a couple of years. I wanted to add that step to my bread baking, but was fearful that I wouldn't get a decent loaf of bread that way. I had already spent so much time tweaking my bread recipe that adding the step of soaking would put me right back at square one. I didn't like the idea of starting over. However, those who know me, may already know that once I learn that there is something that I can be doing to provide better nutrition for my family - it is very difficult for me to know it and not do it.

Since we have thrown ourselves so completely into the Maker's Diet - I knew that it was time to add this step if we were ever going to eat grains again. So, I did it. I made 2 loaves of bread - using the flour that I had ground the day before in my grain mill and had soaked for about 16 hours.

I was pleased with how the loaves turned out, however I do have a little tweaking to do to as I expected - however - they turned out really well for my first time!

I also soaked the flour for our pizza crust and it also turned out really well!

Some of you may be wondering: Why soak the flour?
The Value of Soaking Flour



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mastitis

This past Sunday, I discovered the clogged milk duct. By Sunday night the fever, chills, aches, pains, headache, and nausea became reality. Monday morning came and I could hardly move.
I was facing a day full of things that needed to get done and knew that Rich would not be able to help me. He had to leave that afternoon to go out of town, and wouldn't be home until dinnertime on Tuesday.
I called my Mom early on Monday, because I had no idea how I could possibly make it without help. My Mom knew immediately why I was calling - but with much regret - had to tell me that she had to cook at church on Wednesday and no one would be able to fill in for her. She was not going to be able to come. So, I had to face reality - and somehow get through the day. I had already decided that I had to do something about the aches and pains. My readers who know me well might need to sit down before your read the next sentence. I took ibuprofin. That's right people. Desperate times call for desperate measures. That one dose got me on my feet and moving around. I was able to get breakfast for everyone and work on our dinner preparations.
About 30 minutes after I called my Mom, I called her back to tell her not to feel bad - and that I would be just fine. Strangly, she did not answer her phone. About 20 minutes after that, she called me from her cell phone. She called to tell me she was on her way. She was with me by 11:15 that morning! She was my lifesaver. She took care of the children. She helped me get Martin to his first soccer practice. She gave me the opportunity to rest.
For those of you that don't know, Mastitis is a bacterial infection. It is usually caused by a clogged milk duct. I thought at first it was just a clogged milk duct, but once all the other symptoms set in, I knew that it had progressed to mastitis. Antibiotics are usually prescribed, but I am pretty determined to not use antibiotics.
Once the ibuprofin began to wear off, the fever, chills, aches, and pains returned. I started taking GSE, colloidal silver, garlic, and oil of oregano, vitamin C, and echinacea/goldenseal. I used a heating pad, and moist heat. (thanks to Marsha for giving me advice on what I should be doing) Interestingly enough, on the top of the list for healing this awful infection, is rest!!
Rest is the gift that my Mom gave to me when she walked through my door. I went to bed Monday night feeling worse than I have ever felt in my life. She took over. I was able to sleep all night long - never once being disturbed. My Mom was up with Aaron, Jonathan, and Rosalie at different times throughout the night, and I never knew it. When I awoke on Tuesday morning all my symptoms, besides the clogged milk duct had almost completely subsided.
I am convinced that being able to rest on Monday and all through the night is what helped me get better. My Mom has already gone home. She had to leave Tuesday afternoon. I am so thankful that she came to help me through such a rough time for me. What in the world would I do without my Mom?
I hesitated briefly before calling my Mom. I didn't know if she would be able to come, and I didn't want to make her feel bad if she couldn't. The reason that I decided to go ahead and call - I knew that if any of my children ever needed me for anything, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything I could to help them out. That's what my Mom did for me. Thanks, Mom. This wasn't the first time, and I know it won't be the last time. That's just what Mom's do.
So, if you have the opportunity to hug your Mom today, give her a hug and tell her how much you love her. I sure do love my Mom, and am so thankful that God gave her to me. I wish I could hug her today, but I sure am blessed to have had her here when I needed her the most.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Martin starts soccer!



Uh-oh - don't touch the ball, buddy!


Martin started soccer this past Saturday. He loves it!