Ramblings

 Sunday, January 30, 2011

I haven't been on here much lately. We only have a laptop and my hubby has been taking it to work with him. It's good in a way, I am not tempted to be online all day. But it's hard to not be able to look things up when I think about it too!

We have been pretty busy here. Cleaning and organizing still. Doing school. Living life.

I am back to cloth diapers full time, except for night. I'm scared to leave them all night and deal with ammonia burns again. I have some sherpa that I'm going to use to make some diapers so hopefully that will work for overnight. I have been doing good at hanging them out to dry too. :)

I have successfully been making kefir for my hubby. I have yet to try the stuff as it smells funny and I didn't like the taste I did get of it. I'll try it sometime when I get brave enough! My second yogurt attempt was a flop. I'm pretty sure it was the temperature, so the next one I'll be more careful about watching it and getting it right! I am going to soak some oats tonight for oatmeal. I am finding lots of info regarding soaking grains and think it may really help with some of Kathleen's food allergies and with some others stomach issues upon eating certain grains. I have yet to make bread, which was my goal this week, but I have been making biscuits from scratch! We all love them, but I'm going to have to double the recipe as it just isn't enough! I don't know for sure what's going on with my kids but they're all "starving" all the time now! The amounts of food I used to make is not enough now. I know my boys are getting bigger so that's part of it, but even the girls are always hungry. I think Emily is going to have a growth spurt because she is literally hungry ALL day long. But they are all asking for more after every meal! We are all still healthy (PTL!!!) and we're all still doing the cleanse and taking our daily vitamins. So maybe that's it?

I have finally started doing 2 of the studies I wanted to do. Proverbs 31 study and Created to be His Help Meet study. They are both very convicting and together are VERY convicting. I'm really trying and don't want to get frustrated and quit or fail, but I'm really feeling the stress from it! Please pray for me. I know it won't be easy and the adversary will do everything in his power to try to keep me from succeeding but I really want to have victory in these and several other areas!

Well, it's late and I'm needing some sleep...


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Seek the Lord

 Monday, January 24, 2011

First a picture...

That's for you Sara! Yes I actually went OUTSIDE and hung my diapers! :) For those of you who don't know me personally, that's a big deal! I don't like going outside. I don't like hanging clothes, but I did both! YaY! Aren't you proud of me?! LOL

We started our schedule today. Things aren't going tremendously smoothly, but at least they're going. We got the school work done, except for the boys, who need to finish about 3 weeks of math. The girls are still doing a great job with the dishes. We have been working on keeping the house picked up. Been doing pretty good with that too. I was able to get some cloth diapers, pretty cheap, off craigslist. We've been doing cloth during the day, but not at night. I don't know if any of them will be good over night or not, but we'll see. We're just going to try them during the day for now.

I was thinking...Today I have been pretty cranky. I got up and just got started with everything. I really didn't want to, but I did. I kept wondering why everything seems to be going to badly. Then I was trying to pray, really just "God Help Me!" and started thinking...Nothings going right and I didn't do any devotions today. I didn't read my bible, I didn't pray, nothing...So then the thought crossed my mind...I want help from the Lord. I want a good relationship with Him. I want Him to speak to me. I want His guidance. How can I get all that? Through His word. If you don't read His word, how will you know what He wants from you, how will you be lead, how will He speak to you? I know that if you're close with the Lord He can speak in other ways, but how can you be close to Him if you never read His word? The bible is His love letter to us, His guide book, His description. And so then I thought saying I want these things and not reading the Bible is like saying I want to be friends with "____", but never talking to that person, never reading the mail they send you, never answering the phone when they call. And ignoring the prodding of the Lord to read His word because you don't feel like doing it right now, is the same as ignoring the phone when your Best Friend calls, because you're not in the mood. You'll never get anywhere in your life if you don't get close to the Lord. Being stagnant is miserable. We need to move on with our Christian Walk. We need to be close to the Lord to do that. So the answer is simple....Read your Bible, Pray, and seek the Lord's will in your life, in every area.

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Working Together

 Monday, January 17, 2011

My nephew is not better, but he's not worse. He isn't eating though. So please continue to pray. Pray that he'll eat (he's breastfed exclusively), that his mama will get rest, that his sisters will get better (they're getting sick now too), and that he will be healed quickly with no lasting damage!

I have recently been switching around chores. Trying to get all the kids doing something and spreading things out so one person doesn't have "more" than anyone else. So I now have Madison rinsing dishes, Makenzie washing, Michelle and Emily drying and putting away. Kathleen "helps" :) It's such a joy to see them doing their jobs happily! They have all said how much they like doing their jobs. They do the dishes, and put them away after every meal, WITHOUT being told. They all seem to be working together and getting it done. Although I'm not sure who's really doing what, but I say that if the job is done with happiness, working together, and is done right, who cares who's doing it?! :D  I just am happy that it's done. They have also been singing while they work which is sweet. They do sound very good when they sing together! (Yes, I'm partial, and biased!) It just so funny to me, because here I've been trying to get them to learn to get along and be nice to each other. All the while bemoaning the fact that I have no dishwasher, and what do ya know?! That's what brings them together! Funny how the Lord uses things huh?!

Well I better get off here. I've been on way too much today. That's what happens when hubby's not here keeping me off! LOL :D


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Updates

 Sunday, January 16, 2011

First I have a prayer request...My almost 5 month old nephew has RSV and Pneumonia. He was admitted to the hospital, but has been discharged. He is having a very difficult time breathing. He is on antibiotics, steroids, 2 different nebulizer meds, and tylenol for his fevers. He isn't keeping the meds down though due to his high fevers. Please pray for him to get better quickly. Also, pray for his mom (my sister) as this is very difficult to go through!

Just a quick update...

This week I have continued to just plug away at life. Chipping away at all the messes! I have just been slowly going through room by room or cabinet by cabinet organizing and purging. I feel so much less stressed about things. I have a very small bit to clean up in the Big Pantry. I did go through all our movies and get rid of anything with bad language or innuendos. We have a very small DVD collection now. I have to go through the VHS and books still, but most of that has been done before and we've only accumulated a few extras. I have gotten all my laundry done and I've been using cloth diapers again. I've only been using them during the day as I don't want to deal with ammonia burns again. Still trying to figure out how to get rid of that problem. All in all, things are looking pretty good around here.

We are all doing a cleanse right now. It's a liquid that we take a small amount of everyday. It's not a very intense cleanse and will probably take us around a month to do. But it's good for all of us and it definitely makes a difference. We are really trying to build up our immune systems. After all the sickness last year with the worst happening around Christmas, we really need to get ourselves healthy. I've been making kefir for James. I haven't started drinking it yet, but I will be using it for shakes for us soon. I also made yogurt. It turned out pretty good. It is runny, but I accidentally used too much milk somehow? I was supposed to end up with 4 quarts and ended up with 4 quarts + 1 pint. But it tastes good and mixed with strawberries it was really good. The kids liked it! At the first of next month I will be purchasing lots of different herbs and such to make our own vitamins. I'm looking forward to it.

My next hurdle, in the kitchen at least, is making bread. I will be trying to do that sometime this week I think. I am not feel very well, so we'll see how this week goes. We have been eating beans about every other day and I think it's really made an improvement in our health. At least I know I feel better!

We are still working on the kids. Right now, besides obedience, they are really working on the words. The words they say AND how they say them. Sometimes you can say something that's not mean, but the way you say it makes it mean, ya know! So, we're working on them talking kindly to each other. Attitudes! I am going to be getting the book "Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends" and using it. I have heard really good things about that book so I'm hoping it lives up to it's reviews! :)

I'm off to finish dinner, hope everyone has a blessed day!

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Child Training

 Friday, January 14, 2011

We are having a real crack down around here. It's not easy and definitely not fun, but in addition to getting our house organized we're trying to get some attitudes and behaviors organized! I have recently read some very convicting books and even some blogs, dealing with keeping our children's hearts. I am really convicted about the way our family is headed. The behaviors and attitudes have gotten out of control around here and I am spending most of my days correcting them. We have greatly cut down on all movies, we are cutting down on all out of the house influences and are purging our house of anything that could possible cause disrespectful or mean attitudes. I really feel it's important to bring soldiers of the faith into the world, but in addition to that they need to be testimonies now. What kind of testimony is it if you go to the store, doctors office, church and you have a bunch of kids, but they're ill behaved or mean? And like the Bible says Pro. 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. I really do try to get them to understand that. People are watching us. As Christians, but more as a large family. I guess we can't help being noticed! A crowd of children and the females are all wearing skirts! We're sure to draw attention, and so we need to be acting like Christians more than dressing/looking like them. Actions speak louder than words! And so A SONG!

Do you know, O Christian,
you’re a sermon in shoes?
Do you know, O Christian,
you’re a sermon in shoes?
Jesus calls upon you to
spread the Gospel News;
So walk it, and talk it,
Live it, and give it,
Teach it, and preach it
Know it, and show it,
A Sermon in Shoes.

So, Christian, do you realize you're a sermon in shoes? Do your kids realize they are? Very convicting thought!


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Pantries!

 Wednesday, January 12, 2011

That's what I've been doing this week. Organizing pantries! With a family this size, we have quite a lot of food and with trying to stock up, we really have a lot of food! We (my hubby and I) have really been feeling a need to stock up lately. To become self sustaining. To be prepared. In case of anything really...depression, natural disaster, war, EMP...Not that we're hoping anything happens but we believe we should be prepared. And since so many Christians we know have been feeling that prompting too, it kinda makes it seem like it's probably a really good thing to do. My hubby has been reading several blogs on how to prepare, and so have I. One good article was What to do in case of an EMP? While I'm sure a lot of people will think "oh they're just weird" or "they're just doomsday sayers" or "that could never happen here" or "nothing bad will happen". I don't think we should let that stop us from being prepared, and if nothing happens, well that's a blessing and we'll have plenty of food and supplies, but if something were to happen? We wouldn't be sitting around panicking and wondering what we're going to do. We'll just go on living!


When questioned by a friend and hinted at by a loved one, it got me thinking. So I asked my hubby what he thought...The question/hint...God is in control and we don't have to worry. We shouldn't stress about it. "Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" And if you read the rest of the passage it talks about it more. But I think there's a difference in worrying about what tomorrow holds and preparing for things. We can prepare and not be worried or consumed! We are supposed to be good stewards with what we have, so I don't think you should do anything beyond your means. You shouldn't go into debt to "prepare". Also, I think we can all learn a lesson from Joseph! He became a leader second only to the Pharaoh because he PREPARED! The Lord used him to stockpile and save His people from starvation. I think if we look at it like that it becomes the right perspective. No we shouldn't worry or stress, but we should be ready. If nothing happens, nothing happens, but if something does (And I honestly think it will, and since so many Christians are feeling prompted in the same way...) we'll be prepared. We can take care of our family, and we can help out the ones who didn't prepare. Maybe even lead them to the Lord. So I think you should do whatever you can, within your means to prepare for however long you can, and then leave the rest in God's hands. I don't think we should become consumed with it, but we should be ready for anything! Sitting here with the prompting from the Lord and doing nothing makes us foolish if something big does happen. I don't think He would give so many people the prompting to get self-sustaining and stockpiled, for no reason. And he wouldn't do it to make us look foolish either. I know some people think we're weird for it, but what will they think when something happens? What will they do? They'll turn to us, because we're ready! 


So, saying all that here's a few pics of my pantries and storage room...


Our Everyday Pantry 
Our Storage Pantry


Our Medicine and Food


More Storage Room for Food


Our Books and Movies that I need to Purge :)


Yes, Zachary takes his Naps in the Storage Room!


Our Unfinished Storage room






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Stuff

 Saturday, January 8, 2011

I think we have too much stuff! I really try to not be a pack rat, but I don't think I'm really succeeding :)  We have decided that we need to prepare for...whatever...by stocking food and supplies. So we are moving rooms around so that we'll have a food storage pantry and a supply storage room. In moving everything I'm trying to go through and get rid of. I must say that I hate packing, but I always love unpacking after we move because it allows me to go through and get rid of things that have "accumulated" over time. While we're not actually moving, I'm looking at it in the same light. Going through and getting rid of! It's always such a nice feeling to have it done. To have a clean, organized home. To know that there's not a bunch of stuff shoved in cabinets or closets. To know where everything is! We have already accomplished quite a bit. Not as much as I'd like, but since we're still having sickness issues, I'm giving myself a break! :D

Yes, we're still sick. We still have a few with a cough, ear infections, headaches, etc... I'm not sure what to do about it all. We've been sick so much over the last year and a half. I have been reading through some books James picked up and am hoping the suggestions will help. (ie...taking more Vitamins A, B, C, D, & E, and minerals and herbs, plus healthy eating)

On a happy note, Emily turned 4 on Christmas day. She really was so excited to turn 4! She loved her gifts and is such a happy 4 year old now! :)  Today was Zachary's 1st birthday! I can't believe how fast the  years gone. He's such a little stinker, but such a snuggler too! He started walking last week! The kids are so excited about it! Also today, Michelle lost her first tooth! She has been so anxious for it to come out. It's been loose for a few days now. Tonight it was loose enough. I tied the string on it and as I was tightening it, it popped out! I was so glad, because honestly, I HATE pulling teeth. I'm not normally a sissy when it comes to blood or anything, but something about pulling teeth makes me sick to my stomach! Anyhow, the first thing she said was "I didn't even cry!" LOL...Everyone else has seemed to throw fits and act like they'e dying (esp Makenzie!) so it was a big deal to her that she didn't cry! She said it several times actually! :)

Well, we are going to finish up the cleaning this weekend and then hopefully start up our schedule on Monday. Doing school, piano, and such.  I've decided that I'm just gonna have to make myself give them lessons. I think that I'm probably not the best teacher in the world, but they need it and I can do it so... :P   I'm looking forward to it though. I don't like having a rigid time schedule, but I do like routine and I think kids thrive on it, so it will be nice. Hope you all have a blessed day!


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Fire Pics

 Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The pictures speak for themselves























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Fire!

 Monday, January 3, 2011

We had a very chaotic/emotional day...Our day started not so great...We are trying to change the way we live our life, to please the Lord. We stayed up til after 3am this morning talking about purging our house of anything not beneficial to our walk with the Lord. So as is usual, we got a lot of adversity today. We were trying to get things done, and it wasn't going well. One of my sons cleaned the fireplace and took the ashes outside...The normal process is to leave them for at least the day or two and then dump them in a box for the chickens to use to keep away the bugs. For some reason, today he decided to dump them right away. He came back in and then took some garbage out to the trailer which is over by the propane tank. He came running back in yelling "there's a fire by the propane tank!!!" We obviously panicked, sent the kids outside, grabbed shoes and ran...I couldn't think much past "Oh God, help us!" I sent the kids down the road and James ran to the back side of the fire. I yelled for someone to bring me a shovel and James was hooking up the hose. The fire in the front of the house came within 5 feet of my van, and just a few feet of the side porch (which is of course all wood). I had grabbed a jacket and was hitting it out with that. One of the boys brought me a "shovel"...It was a trench digger. Didn't help much :) I had called 9-1-1, but apparently they couldn't find our house on their system. (That is a call I'm going to make later when I'm not so emotional!) I kept hitting fires as they came too near the house. Put out a fire on the lawnmower bag. Put out a fire around the electric pole, then realized the fire was in my backyard and only a few yards from my house. I ran back there and was hitting it out at the first spot I got to. Once I got that out, I went further in and James yelled for me to hook the hose up. I couldn't find the hose. James Michael brought a 2x4 and started hitting fires out with it, but then threw it to try to hook up another hose. The hose caught on something and caught fire though so it was rendered useless. As this was happening the fire came through the fence and flared up bad in my face. The "shovel" I had was of no use so I ran in the house and filled up a big pot. I ran back out and poured it on the fire. It didn't do much, but it was enough to slow it momentarily. At that point Jason came back and said the girls were screaming so I went to make sure they were ok and to try to stop the fire from jumping our driveway. (the other side of the driveway is very tall, very dry grass) I sent the girls further down the road away from the smoke and then the first 2 firetrucks got there. They started to work on the fire and then realized James was in the back so they went back there to work on that fire. Thankfully they did right then, because the fire flared again and was also very close to our rabbit hutch and chicken coop. James pointed at it and they got it away from there and then got it away from our house. I continued to try to stop it from jumping our drive, James continued to help in the back. The wind was really bad though and it finally jumped and flared so bad that I yelled at the boys to run and we hightailed it out of there. The fire immediately overwhelmed the grass on the opposite side of the driveway and took off. From there it jumped the road and was burning the neighbors field. At that point James came around and was able to drive the van through the fire (me and all the kids were on the wrong side of the fire, where we were, we couldn't have gotten out because the road was engulfed in flames) to get all of us. We got in the van and went back to the front of the house where James got out and went back to the back as the fire was coming up towards the house again and the 2 man fire team that was there was trying to stop a major grass fire from erupting. I drove the kids down the road and watched, waited and prayed. Finally three more fire crews and the big tank truck showed up and were able to get the fire under control. I went back to the house and picked up James and got some things we needed from the house. (my makeup, I couldn't go to town looking like I did ya know! LOL) Then we went to the doctors. Me and the kids had x-rays done and 2 kids had breathing treatments. But were otherwise (thank the Lord!) Fine! James went to the ER and the doctor he got was a "bad" one. His oxygen levels were down to 92, but the doctor basically said that since even though his lungs hurt and his O2 levels were low, that since he wasn't standing in the flames (yes I mean he said that since he wasn't literally standing in the flames) and his shoes weren't melted (they were melted) that he was fine. Just to take some Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Yes, we have some of the worst doctors on planet earth here! He came into the room with us and said what happened so the doctor we were seeing gave James Michael a refill on his inhaler and said for "anyone" who needed it to use it.

So, needless to say, We are SOOO Thankful that the Lord had His hand on us! We know He is the One who protected us and kept us safe from harm. As well as preventing our house from burning down! We realize that our most important possessions (our Children) were kept safe, but we don't have insurance on our house right now because of finances, so it was nice to not have that burn down. Plus we kinda like having a house to live in and having all our clothes and possessions! :)

God is Good!


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Proverbs 31

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