Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cure for colds

My friend Holly showed me this about 6 years ago. We were in Oregon visiting and my baby girl (Anina at the time), had her 4th ear infection in a row. We had already tried tubes and she had just finished her 3rd round of antibiotics. We were away from home and I was desperate or I never would have let her do it. The next morning her nose was running clear again and her fever was gone.

What you need:

Fresh garlic unpeeled
garlic press
wash cloth
cup of warm water
olive oil
small container for olive oil
cotton ball

A cute subject with a runny nose, cough, fever, ear pain or all of the above.

Press a couple cloves of garlic into the wash cloth (Peels and all) and wrap up into a poultice. Dip in the warm water and rub on the child's chest,


and feet.

When my kids have a runny nose it usually turns into ear pain so I also put some garlic oil in their ear when I do the garlic treatments.

Chop a clove of garlic into large chunks and put in a couple of tablespoons of oil (Pictured above). Let sit for about 15 minutes while you're doing the garlic treatments. Use a dropper to fill up the ear canals careful not to get any of the garlic chunks. Tear a small piece of cotton and plug the ear with it for a few minutes to let the garlic do it's job. Then remove and let the ear drain out the gunk.

My children have not been on antibiotics (Which weaken their immune systems) for upper respiratory infections or ear infections since I started doing this all those years ago. They love the feel of a warm rag on their body but I would suggest testing it in one small area the first time. I had one child with very sensitive skin develop a rash when I would us garlic on her.

I recently fought mastitis by eating garlic and doing a garlic poultice on the lump. For adults and older children I simply chop the garlic up into small pieces and put it on a spoon. We swallow it like pills with juice as a chaser. This is also very affective and you won't smell as bad.

Other uses:
Vaginal infections (Use the water from the poultice or an un-knicked whole clove over night)
Prevention of illness (Boosting immune system)
Pink eye (It does burn bad though)

Garlic has the same ingredient antibiotics have but it is much, much stronger and does not kill the good bacteria your body needs to fight off future infections.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why I Have 8 Children

A discussion got going at our MOPs table this week on how many children we have and how each of our lives are different. Our "Mentor Mom" says to me a lot. "You're a wonderful mother, you have 8 children!" I'm not sure where she got this misconception but I'd like to clear it up right here. Having many children does not make me a wonderful mother. It gives me lots more opportunities for mistakes. Remember, God chooses the weak to show Himself strong. There was a variety of us at the table this year from 1st time moms, moms with a few children feeling tired and overwhelmed and contemplating permanent alternatives, and moms who have already shut the operation down. And then there was me. I don't fit into any of those categories. We've been called "A quiver full family" many times by families with lots of children and we've just smiled and thought "If you really knew". I wish I could say we've always trusted the Lord to bless us with the children He wanted us to have.

Here's a run down of our lack of trust in this area...

Child 1 & 2: Born out of wedlock (Still a blessing and I would not be surviving without them right now) I swore I would stay alone for the rest of my life and focus on these children. God's mercy enters and I meet my husband. He takes all 3 of us on.

Child 3: My husband wanted another baby but I used birth control to prevent this one because I was scared that my husband would love this one more being his biological child. I was feeling a little wacky and bleeding a lot so I decided to ask my doctor what the stuff was doing exactly. This will be the only time in history I've gotten the whole truth from a doctor. He said it's main job is to keep me from ovulating and thicken the uterus walls. If I ovulate anyway a "Fertilized" egg should not be able to attach to the thick wall. If it does, the chemicals in the birth control will abort the egg like a regular menstrual cycle and I will not be "Inconvenienced" by an unwanted life to care for. So, that was the end of birth control. We prayed that God would give us a baby despite our sin. Our family would not be complete without this sweet girl. Her name means "Answered Prayer".
(Note: This goes for all hormonal contraceptive. Even the copper IUD without hormones will make the uterus "Inhospitable" to a fertilized egg and your body will abort it. If you do not believe in abortion, you do not believe in these forms of birth control either)

Child 4: Breastfeeding held off ovulation for awhile. Things were pretty easy. Life was good. My husband kinda talked about another baby again and again I was scared. This time we would be joining the "My, you have your hands full" families. My husband worked a lot. I'm not sure what all my hindrances were. I ended up meeting a lady with 5 children. At the time I hadn't know anyone with that many! She was such a gentle and quiet spirit and convinced me that another baby would be a blessing from the Lord. Two days later I took a test and I was pregnant. God chose to prepare my heart first this time. This pregnancy was very difficult. Nursing was difficult. I became depressed for a few months and was pretty sure I shouldn't have anymore. But, I was nursing and not cycling so I didn't give it much thought. By the time I started cycling again, life was good. We were serving at church as a family. This little guy would go in Daddy's backpack. He was such a joy to our family and brings us joy every day.

Child 5: We were using condoms off and on depending on our moods, how life was treating us, how we were getting along, and how well behaved our children were. I cant remember the statistics on condoms but I know they are not 100%. Pregnant again. After all these babies things were prolapsing. Especially my bladder. The doctor convinced me to sign the papers to have a tubal after the baby was born. I was devastated. I felt so guilty for not being content with the 5 children God had blessed me with. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't enough. I just had no peace. At my 6 week check up, there was nothing prolapsing and my body was restored. So, why get fixed, I wasn't broken. This daughter has added life and laughter to our lives.

Child 6: The whole nursing thing didn't work for this one. I got pregnant before I started cycling again or even thinking about having another baby. This pregnancy and after were also very difficult and we were both overwhelmed and feeling done. My husband was worried about providing. I didn't think I could care for them all or spend enough time with them or home school them. He became very sick when he was born and I had just lost my best friend. I couldn't breastfeed him because my milk dried up (probably because I was so stressed). He turned out to be the easiest and calmest baby ever. He is still very mellow and has the biggest sweetest smile I've ever seen.

Child 7: I was pregnant at my 8 week check up. No time to think about it this time either. I cried and cried and cried. It was like having a baby but remaining pregnant. I went in on a Friday afternoon to get checked out and she couldn't find a heartbeat. I was sure I was going to mis-carry and my heart all of a sudden ached for this baby. I had all weekend to think about it and I prayed for a heartbeat. Monday afternoon we went to the ultrasound and there it was. I was in love again and praising the Lord for this life. My husband was relieved but absolutely sure we were done. He was feeling stretched in every direction and wanted to spend enough time with the ones we had. These last 3 were born in 2 years and 2 months. I didn't even know this was physically possible. This little guy is our "Mighty Warrior". He still adds excitement to our lives daily.

Child 8: We were not on the same page. I knew God knew better then us and was angry with my husband. I prayed that God would change someones heart. In the meantime I respected his wishes. He agreed to allow me to do some research on different forms of birth control and permanent alternatives. As I dove into this research I was even more convinced that God should be in control of this decision. Things that abort life or alter our bodies causing long term damage and health risks such as tubals and vasectomies are NOT in the Lord's plan for us. The only thing I could find that was not morally wrong was "Natural Family Planning". I believed I was in God's will by submitting to my husband and this is 100% accurate if done correctly. He agreed and I did this perfectly. We were at peace in our marriage but overwhelmed with all our little ones. Pregnant again. What! How could God do this! I felt so alone. I was this mother of many children and it's not what my husband wanted. I did not want to do this alone. He was still a big help and loved our babies but his heart was to be done maybe a couple of babies before this. I wrestled with the Lord on this one and even questioned my faith. It didn't seem right. God let me fight until I wore out and hit my knees. I surrendered the situation to Him because there was nothing else I could do. I loved this baby and was secretly happy to be pregnant. The very next day, my husband came home. I was sitting on the couch feeling very defeated. My husband knelt in front of me and said "I was wrong. It's God's job." "We are to trust Him with everything. Where we live, work, what we eat, provision, and this too." He has not wavered on this. Not once. He absolutely adores this little girl and I know she reminds Him of God's faithfulness and mercy. Her name reminds us that not even the lilies of the field have to worry. How much more us. Her smile brings the sunshine in the darkest hardest of days. God knew we needed that. He knows what we need so much more then we could ever imagine and I am so grateful to him for showing us mercy and not giving us what we thought we wanted.

My heart now:
God never cursed anyone with a child in the bible. Children are always a blessing from the Lord.

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord. Psalm 127:3

I have only met 2 people so far that did not regret closing their wombs. One has since changed her mind and her arms and womb are empty. Her heart aches over that decision (One she made while pregnant, tired, hormonal, and overwhelmed) every day and I'm begging you not to do this to yourself. The other person still has a baby so we'll see in a few years.

There are three things that will not be satisfied, Four that will not say ENOUGH. Sheol, and the BARREN WOMB. Earth that is never satisfied with water, And fire that never says enough. Proverbs 30:15-16

Breastfeeding will most likely give you a natural space between babies if you do it the way God intended. It is not a scheduled thing or burden. Our babies know when they need to nurse. God gave them that instinct. He relates himself to a nursing mother in Isaiah. It is not just food but comfort also. God says so.

That you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, That you may suck and be delighted with her bountiful bosom. For thus says the Lord, "Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you shall be nursed, you shall be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem".

Nursing babies gives us such a beautiful picture of the way God cares for us. It's not just food.

If God wants us to trust Him for everything and not lean on our own understanding then why would this be an exception. Birth control is the world's idea. We are to be set apart from the world.

Indeed we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. For our proud confidence is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you. 2 Cor 1:9&12

We should never make decisions based on fleshly wisdom.

Jesus came to serve. If we think we need a break or we long for our children to grow up so we can do more things for ourselves we are not living as Christ did. Should raising little ones be something that we suffer through? Or do you hear older women saying "Enjoy it now. It goes by too fast."

I will not judge you because I still do not always trust the Lord. My heart is to stop you from doing something you will wish everyday you didn't. Seek the Lord. Ask Him for the wisdom He promises and search His word. We can not make decisions based on how we feel. My italicized words were the things we were going by. Scared, feelings, guilty, worried, etc. When you've got morning sickness, or your tired from being up all night with the baby, or you're overwhelmed because your little ones are everywhere and out of control is not the time to make decisions like this. We're not to live by how we feel but on God's truth. The blessings will be so much more and our lives will be fuller. Satan wants to cut off Godly seed. He doesn't want us Christians multiplying as God told us to do and he's succeeded. When we spend our lives doing what He designed us to do despite what the world thinks, then we are truly blessed and content.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Quick Update!

After I posted last night a lot has changed. We went to our weekly lactation meeting today and Lily took almost 3 1/2 ounces at breast all by herself!!! The new plan is to nurse her whenever she wants and not supplement. I'm praying to my faithful God that she still gains weight. We made it!!!! My family had a party tonight with chinese food, ice cream, and grape juice to celebrate all our hard work. I couldn't have done it without them! I would have taken a picture but some of them weren't dressed due to the laundry situation (just kidding), and I can't find my memory card in the mess that was once my organized desk.

I've told the Lord many times through this situation that I refuse to stop asking. I decided to bug Him until He answered me. Now, I'm realizing that my nursing issues are probably the only times that I pray without ceasing and that's definitely something to think about...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Struggling or Praising?

I'm not sure how to title this entry. I go back an forth at any given moment between "Struggling" with what God has placed on me and "Praising" Him for my many blessings. Lily is the sweetest little blessing. She is so peaceful and content most of the time.

She is just really really terrible at nursing. For 8 weeks now I nurse her, then I give her a bottle to fill her tummy, and then I pump for 15 min. Eight times a day, day and night, nurse, bottle, pump, nurse, bottle, pump...I pray over and over that God would relax her tongue and put it where it's supposed to be so that it will be EASY, and He replies, "My grace is sufficient for you". Two days after she was born I came down with a serious infection. I went to the emergency room with with my tiny little baby and horrible shakes and fever. After many tests, they diagnosed me with a uterus infection and put me on 3 different antibiotics. A couple days later we discovered it was not in my uterus but in my intestines instead. I had to go on a liquid diet and my milk almost dried up. "Please Lord" I begged. Let this be EASY so I can get back to taking care of my family and he replied, "My grace is sufficient for you". We developed thrush which added to our nursing problems, it lasted 5 weeks. I tried everything to no avail and begged the Lord to take it away and he replied, "My grace is sufficient for you". Then came the kidney infection, more antibiotics and more thrush. Nothing about this has been EASY. Yet, this peace that surpasses all understanding consumes me. My husband is wonderfully supportive, my children have risen up and taken care of things I never imagined, and my baby is healthy and growing. So I have to constantly decipher between lies and truth.

Lie: I'm not doing my job because I had another baby.
Truth: I'm doing what's most important right now. My job was to train my children for such a time as this.

Lie: My older children are doing way too much and should have more time for play.
Truth: They are learning valuable life skills, learning to be servants, and they know that they are valuable members of this family and that I couldn't do this without them.

They have whole home school curriculum on learning to be a homemaker. We won't be needing that. My 10 year old daughter just planned a menu for the month. While I nursed the baby she came up with meals from food we had in the house, and made a grocery list for the rest. She looked up recipes from our books and online. She feels a huge sense of accomplishment when she makes a meal from the list and everyone tells her how great it is. My son's wife will thank me one day that he knows how to change diapers and do laundry. Where else would they get these skills. I didn't even know how to cook when I got married. And I can't take credit for all of this. These things have come about because of my insufficiency's and because God's grace IS sufficient for me. His power is perfected in my weaknesses. He provides what we need. He's had a plan all along and I'm so glad He doesn't listen to me when I think it should go differently.

Someday I'll get back to blogging about how to get it all done, but right now, if you came to my house you wouldn't make it in the front door without tripping over a mess. Some of my children will be naked due to the laundry not getting done. I'm still having some minor health issues and she's still terrible at nursing but she's worth all the effort. I mean, look at her!

Meet My Amazing Children (Elijah and Gideon, The almost twins)

These little guys are only 10 months apart. They're almost twins and are always together so I have to put them together here. They are either playing together or getting into something together ALL day everyday.

This is Elijah...

This little guy had the most problems at birth. Baby number six and was going to be our last. We outgrew our van with this one and moved into our big orange school bus. This was not an exciting thing for my husband. As if people didn't stare at us enough. Now they just wonder if we're on some kind of weird field trip. He was unable to nurse on his own so I was supplementing and pumping. We made the horrible mistake of getting him circumcised in the hospital 24 hours after he was born. He did not do well with this at all. He bled a lot and a couple days later it became seriously infected. Because he wasn't eating well he also wasn't healing well. I took him to the doctor and he had a bad fever and a rapid heart rate. They sent him directly to intensive care where they informed me they thought the infection had gone to his blood stream and it was serious. We had a stab wound in the bed on one side of us and a suicide attempt on the other side. We're in the hospital with this tiny, tiny baby and they're telling me that my baby has the same thing that my best friend died from 3 months prior. All I kept thinking was "No God". You can't do this. You took her and you can't have him. I don't know if it was that serious but my wounds from Annie were so fresh and had shaken my faith so hard that the whole situation was more than I could bare. They gave him some serious antibiotics and he got better really, really fast. We brought him home and I began again to try and teach him how to nurse. In the first 2 weeks of his life we had a doctors appointment or hospital visit every day between his jaundice and infection. During this same time my oldest son got stabbed in the head with hammer. We failed at nursing. My milk dried up completely by time he was 6 weeks old. I was devastated more than I could ever describe and I ended up pregnant again by the time he was 8 weeks old. (Good thing we had that school bus!) It's also a good thing God doesn't do things the way I think they should be done all the time. Sometimes he has a greater plan then I can imagine.

This little guy went from this tiny baby to a big brother in 10 months. He is so sweet and patient with his little brother and just adores his new baby sister. He is my one calm child. He prefers to stay close with the family and away from strangers. I never have to worry about him wandering off. If Gideon takes his toy or smashes his block tower he most likely will say, "No, no Gideon, please stop". I love this boy!

Which brings me to Gideon...

It means mighty warrior. And boy does it fit him. Sorry Elijah. He loves to wrestle. And Elijah loves it too. He just would prefer to have some warning before Gideon charges from across the room and tackles him from behind. These two roll around on the floor together daily with great big smiles. It is the cutest thing!
My pregnancy was pretty uneventful. Gideon was born a little early and had a hard time nursing also but we overcame that after about 4 weeks. He has always had a mind of his own and has always been a fighter. I know that this little guy will be a mighty warrior for God one day. We just have to get his bullets firing in the right direction. (Thanks Alysun's Grandma for the great analogy! It's encouraged me many times!) He's currently learning how to talk. I love this stage! He finally learned the word "Yes" and has stopped saying "No" to everything. He's gives the sweetest kisses and loves his new baby sister. This guy keeps us on our toes and keeps us laughing.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My First Home Birth

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since this little baby was born. A quick update on the birth and then I'm back to trying to teach this baby how to nurse, pumping, sick kids, and laundry I can't keep up on. Yet, in the midst of all this I feel my Father's arms around me.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:9

The Birth

7:30 Contractions. Called the midwife in and she says you're at 5cm.
8:00 Went to the Chiropractor to get one last adjustment
8:45 Got home from the Chiropractor and posted on Facebook that I'm officially in labor.
9:30 Contractions getting stronger. Especially in my back. My wonderful husband faithfully did this maneuver through every contraction pushing my hips together which cuts the pain in half, and allows the baby to move down. In the meantime the birthing tub is filling up.

9:45 I decided at this time that I couldn't take anymore and they announced the tub was ready. I stripped quickly in between contractions which was about 10 seconds and jumped in.
10:05 Me: "Carol, my body is pushing by itself!"
Midwife: "Then push."
Me: "But my water hasn't broke!"
Midwife: "It will"
10:10 Push 1: Water breaks Push 2: Head's out Push 3: Body's out
I looked down and saw my baby floating in the water and lifted her out. I've delivered eight babies now and this feeling never ever ever gets old. I was in shock and completely consumed with love for this child. I didn't know that baby's born in water don't even cry. My midwife's assistant assured me she was fine. Just very content. She went from water to water and doesn't know the difference. She just sat there with her big eyes staring at me. I was the one hysterical.

10:30 The infamous Jacqui comes over and helps me get her to breast while we're still in the tub. An hour later, we're still in the tub nursing because Lily decided she liked that spot. It was not until we took her out of the water did we hear her cry.
11:45 Stepped right from the tub into the shower and got all cleaned up
12:00 Laying in my own bed with my precious baby eating cheese, crackers, strawberry's, and homemade soaked Belgian waffles with real butter and maple syrup. (Thanks to Lisa who I don't know what I would have done without!)

I have to say that this was the number 1 most amazing experience of my life.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Still here

I know it's been a long time. I wish I could say I was sorry but I was extremely busy with one of the most important jobs (So my husband tells me) that I could be doing. Laying in bed. I was having some trouble with premature labor and early efacing so I put myself on bedrest at 34 1/2 weeks. I say, "Put myself", because the doctors were not terribly concerned with her coming that early but we didn't want to take the chance. We also didn't want to take the chance of going into labor while the stich was still in my cervix because it's an hour and half drive to Eugene and I've had a labor that lasted that long.

We've planned to do a homebirth this time. Our midwife is an amazing lady who loves the Lord with all her heart. After my not so pleasant experiences birthing in the hospital, we are very excited. The most overwhelming parts of this whole process to me is leaving to drive to the hospital in labor, and packing up the baby and bringing her home from the hospital. I get to skip both! Carol's midwifery license say's she can deliver anytime after 35 weeks, however, we were not comfortable doing it until at least 36.

To prevent tearing, we had the stich removed at 35 1/2 weeks. I dialted to almost 2 and went into labor right away. Praise the Lord it stopped and we came home. Back to bed I went. Here I am today, 36 weeks and 3 days! It's a miracle that I am still pregnant but God has worked out every minut detail of this journey. I've had every sign there is that I will be going into labor any minute but we're still praying for 37 weeks. My midwife has parked her motor home outside my house and comes in to check on me frequently just in case. Who every heard of such bedside manners! There have been more challenges with this pregnancy then any others, yet there's an overwhelming peace. God has reminded me over and over that this precious little girl is His plan and He's taking care of everything.

I'll keep you posted!