Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meet My Amazing Children (Anina)

This is our "Fancy Nancy". My mom bought her the book when she was about 3 and I don't know if it's the book's fault that she insists on being fancy or if she was just born like that and the book fit her well. Either way, if you ask her to set the table, she gets into the china cabinet and you get the works. Candles and all. If you tell her to get dressed for PE you have to be extremely specific or she will come down in a pretty skirt and her PE shoes with her hair done fancy. The great thing about this is that she is now in charge of getting Hannah (3) dressed and Hannah absolutely loves it! She is the best big sister. I have never once heard her get frustrated with any of the little ones and she did not get this from me. She talks in the sweetest voice every time no matter what they are doing. They all respond really well to her too. (Interesting how that works....) John and I had been married for exactly a year when this precious little girl was born. Her name means "Answered prayer". I really didn't think I was worthy of being so blessed. I was married to the most wonderful man and having a baby the right way! It was such a different experience to have someone there with me. The pregnancy was pretty uneventful and that was sure new. I had my stitch removed at 37 weeks. Dilated immediately to 4cm. Went for a few walks and went right into labor within 24 hours. Went to the hospital and it stopped. Getting sent home had to be one of the most disappointing experiences of my life. I went to bed even though the contractions had started back up again. "I'll show them," I thought. "Send me home. I'm not going back until it's time to push." It became too much to just lay there so I got in the shower. I shaved my legs and washed my hair. I stayed in there until I ran out of hot water. By that time I could barely get dressed. My husband convinced me that it was time to go to the hospital. I was pretty sure he was right so we got back to the hospital and I had made it to 5 whole cm. "Are you kidding me!" She was face up as Nathan had been and if you've ever experienced this you feel like you are in transition the whole time from the back labor. I told the doctor but he said I was wrong. The rest is kind of a blur until it was time to push. I pushed and pushed and pushed and the doctor says, "You are not pushing hard enough." "What!" Did this guy realize that he was right by my foot! Who tells a woman in labor that she's not doing a good enough job? "I tried to explain to him again that she was not in the right position but what did I know. He was the professional. The he says, "I think this baby must be really big". Well, I finally got her out. All 7 lbs of her. Face up and lots of stitches but I didn't care anymore. This baby was so beautiful. Her hair was so long that we had to put it in a barrette to get her hospital pictures taken. She had the biggest eyes we had ever seen and never, ever cried. She is 7 years old now. Her love language is definitely "Physical touch". She doesn't just hug you. She squeezes until you "Know" you are loved. She rubs Daddy's back every morning (He's "Physical touch" too). And Gideon, our littlest guy, will go up to her and lift up his arms and say "Up". Then he'll lay his little head on her shoulder. This blesses a Mommy's heart more than anything. I really need to try and get a picture of it now that I think about it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meet My Amazing Children (Melaina)

This is My precious Melaina. I love the way her eyes disappear when she smiles. I could not survive without this girl. You will here me say this 5 more times at least but, this girl is amazing!!! When Nathan was just 9 months old I found out I was pregnant again. I was still not married, my life was still a wreck but I was excited. Although, I was really unsure as to how I was going to possibly love anything as much as I loved Nathan. I was really worried about this. Life got really complicated for me and I ended up very, very alone with my little guy and this baby on the way. I was blessed to have a job working at home on the computer but I really did not have much contact with the outside world. I had my routine ultrasound scheduled when I was about 17 weeks along. I was absolutely positive it was another boy because I wanted a girl SO bad. As I lay on that table and watched this amazing little life growing inside me the tech writes "It's A Girl" across the screen. Tears came to my eyes. I couldn't believe it! When we were finished I was informed that the doctor wanted to see me. He sat me down and explained to me that I was dilated to 1cm and 50% effaced. He said, you could lose this baby and she will not survive. We need to take you in for emergency surgery to have a stitch put in your cervix and you will have to rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. "How will I do that?" I asked. "I live alone with a toddler. I don't have any help." I didn't know it at the time but this doctor knew the Lord and he was very sympathetic to my situation. I got saved not to long after this and God used this situation to show me how REAL He was. He met every need every day and I learned to rely on him because I could not provide for us nor could I physically care for Nathan. Somehow we got through each day. I went into early labor quite a few times. I lived on medication to keep the contractions away and one day I just reached a point where I felt like I couldn't continue like this. I hit my knees in my roach infested kitchen and cried out to the Lord for the first time in my life. I promised him if he saved my little girl I would teach her about Him. I know He doesn't need these things from us, and only He knows if we'll keep our pathetic promises or not but He honored that prayer and saved her and I am so grateful. I tore off of that stitch earlier then we wanted but for some reason she wasn't born until about 38 weeks. She crawled at 5 months, walked at 9 months and learned to read at about 4. She is always just one step behind her brother in school (Which keeps him moving thankfully) and can do just about anything to run this house. She cooks, and bakes, and cleans, changes diapers, laundry, sewing, crocheting, knitting...I could go on forever. She has a tender servant heart but is also very bold and strong at the same time. I love this girl. She is one of my greatest friends.

And I did fall in love just like the first time. It's amazing how that feeling never gets old. Never fades. Each time my precious little one is placed in my arms I cry and it is always love at first sight. I've experience it 7x and it is just as beautiful as the first.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meet My Amazing Children (Nathan)

I really do have the most amazing children in the world!!! I've been reminded of this lately because I hurt my back and have been pretty useless for the past 4 weeks.
I'll be posting a recent picture of each of them thanks to AlysunPetersPhotography. Her prices are very reasonable and she is a great person and great with the kids. She will come to the location of your choice so there's not stressful wait with kids you're trying to keep perfect. We did this at the local park and the kids got to play when we were done. Very casual and easy. I really needed it that way. She captured wonderful pictures of all of my children and this was no easy task.

This is Nathan. Born at 33 weeks. I was told he would only be 3 to 4 pounds. They had a neonatal nurse from Phoenix children's hospital in the delivery room ready to stabilize him on his way up to the air vac. Everyone who loved him was in the room ready to say goodbye if needed and he came out a whopping 5'13 and screaming. The love that came over me when they placed him on my chest was overwhelming. As I held him he began to whimper and have rapid breaths and they rushed him off to care for him. Immediately they handed me a paper. I don't remember exactly what I was signing over at the time but something along the lines of he needs this and that and we need permission right now and you won't hold us responsible. I was a Mother for a whole 2 min. I was 18 years old and not married. Until this moment I had never cared for anything more then myself. I prayed and begged a God I didn't even know to save this child and all I could do was cry in my own Mother's arms and wait what seemed like days. After spending 12 hours on oxygen and a few days in electrolyte therapy for Jaundice I was released from the hospital with this tiny, fragile, premature baby. I had know idea how my life was going to change but it was time for me to grow up. Today he is 11 years old and about 5'8, 120 lbs. Nothing tiny about him. Especially his heart. He is the best big brother anyone could imagine. I would not survive daily life without this amazing young man. He regularly says to me "Can I cook dinner tonight mom? Is there anything I can do for you Mom? Don't lift that Mom, I'll get it." If we are in a crowd with many children, he will find the loneliest child he can and make friends. His heart is huge and loves big. I know God saved him that day because He's got great big plans for him because I sure didn't deserve for Him to answer that prayer or for Him to bless me the way that he has.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More on Cloth

As you know we've been making a lot of changes around here over the past year. A friend in my MOPs group asked me last week if it would be faster for me to tell her what I don't make rather then what I do. I had to think about it for a second. It didn't occur to me that I make more then I buy because it's been such a gradual thing. Little by little as I study and learn we've changed some things. It's not been drastic or overwhelming because it's been one thing at a time. But I guess from an outsiders point view we are really weird from everything to food, beauty care, home remedies for illnesses, toiletries, etc. When I got married I couldn't cook, clean, manage money, train children, and much much more. Now that I think about, I'm not sure what my husband saw in me. However, I had a desire to learn and I read everything I could get my hands on, that was bible based and would teach me how to be a wife, mom, and keeper of the home. I still have a long way to go but I guess if I look back the Lord's brought me a long way too.

Proverbs 14:18 The naive inherit folly, But the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

Proverbs 18:15 The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Webster's Dictionary defines "Prudence" as "Skill and good judgement in the use of resources, caution or circumspection as to danger or risk. "Prudent" is defined "Frugal".

It's so interesting to me that God cares about these things. He's pleased with us seeking knowledge and using what He's provided for us wisely. He say's if we are prudent we are wise.

My husband called me one day and said he was reading the Proverb for the day. He came to Proverbs 14:1. The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. He wanted to thank me for building our home wisely. That's worth it right there!!!! So, my latest weird act is switching to cloth menstrual pads and cloth toilet paper. Yup, you read that right! I posted earlier about cloth diapers and their health benefits as well as cost effectiveness. You can read it here. I stated some facts on the hormones and chemicals in disposable diapers and a lot of them are in the menstrual pads and tampons as well. Women who switch to cloth, (And I know of few personally), claim to have less bleeding and less cramping. I don't know about you but I sure don't need any extra hormones when I'm on my period. I especially don't need any extra after I have a baby. So, I'm giving it a try. I'm only saving about $4.00 a month so this is more of a health conscience move. I'm also thinking ahead for my oldest daughter who has had signs of puberty and imbalanced hormones since she was 5. So here they are!

I can tell you how they work yet. I'll have to get back to you on that.
Now, for the toilet paper. It's 2 layers of cotton flannel. Talk about luxury! The kids have been ranting and raving about how soft it is. I was reading about putting wet ones in a wipe warmer with some lavender oil. I like this idea alot! We would have the most clean and fresh bottoms around. I'm saving another $20.00 a month right here which is going to pay for one of my girls to have piano lessons and I am not adding to my laundry! I just dump it in the diaper bucket and wash with a vinegar rinse cycle to sanitize. And don't worry, if you come over I will try to have a roll of paper under the sink just for you but I'd say you'd be missing out if you use it.

And Anina learned how to use the sewing machine. It's all straight lines and she made most of them. My girls are definitely more prepared for their future families at 9 and 7 then I ever was.

Also, I found this great website called Grocery Shrink. This family won Dave Ramsey's contest to pay off the most debt in a certain time because of their frugal ways. There is something on this website for everyone from meal planning and grocery shopping to decorating on a budget.

So tell me what you are doing to build your house. I would love to get more ideas. I'm off to read my bible now. If you're not building your home that is a great place to start!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And The Winner Is...

I wish I could give all of you cloth diapers to get you started. I just know once you try it you'll realize it's a piece of cake and you absolutely love it!!!! I really hope that you continue to search for your own stash. I have to say that I found some of the same diapers on Ebay for even cheaper. If you don't mind ordering them from China. I ordered four of them and they are exactly alike. They take about 25 days to get to you but they are only about $6 a piece, free shipping.

Keep checking back. I'll be doing another giveaway soon for you ladies who already cloth diaper with a homemade diaper to help promote a friend starting a new business with her husband. They are super cute!

So, the winner is Amanda!!!! Congratulations! I will be contacting you about shipping.