Friday, April 24, 2009

I Need Your Help!

I had someone mention to me in an email that something is hanging up her computer. It may be something with the new layout, but I'm not sure. Is anyone else having problems?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mostly a Picture Post

***Tons of pictures in this post!***

Tammy from This Pilgrimage had mentioned in a comment I left on her blog that she didn't realize that we had a garden. Shame on me for not mentioning my wonderful garden yet. So I put together a photo tour of the garden. Click images to enlarge. Hope you enjoy.

So here's the best shot I could get of the whole garden. We were blessed with a beautiful day yesterday. After all the rain we've been having, it was a welcome sight.

The bushy plants are potatoes. The larger ones are new (red) potatoes. The smaller ones to the right are russet potatoes. I didn't use them from a grocery store visit and they spoiling in the pantry so I asked Jeremy why not try to plant them. I don't know how they'll do. We'll see! Some of the new potatoes are starting bloom, so it won't be long until it's time to turn them over.

We just planted these little lovelies. On the left are cantaloupe and on the right are watermelons. We have half a row of each.

Our rows of tomatoes. We have everything planted here from little grape tomatoes to several varieties of globe tomatoes. I do not at all like store bought tomatoes, but a homegrown, vine ripe tomatoes it an entirely different creature! Yum! Yum!

Won't be too long until I'm putting up tomatoes! This isn't the only bush loaded with blooms.

I had my herbs planted in the house in clay pots, but they were just in the way. Jeremy planted them in the garden for me, but this poor basil isn't taking well to the transition.

Lots of pepper plants planted here. Everything from red and green bells to jalapeƱo and habanero. The jalapeƱos are there for tomato salsa, but I think the habaneros are there just to scare people. haha

Four rows of sweet corn. We plant corn in two plantings because it's too much to deal with if we planted all four rows at once.

Next to the corn are the cucumbers.

And then we have least I think it's okra. It may be squash. I didn't get out the "garden map."
Okay well, I have to edit this post to add that, after my husband read my blog post, he said that these are the beans. The okra, yellow squash and zucchini I didn't photograph, but it's all really BIG!

Beans maybe? Or maybe these are the peas. Weeds included! Also have to edit to add that again, Jeremy says I'm wrong and that these are the peas...and weeds.

A beautiful day in rural farm country.

Along this woodline are some pretty blackberry brambles. And of course, John the camera ham, asked to have his picture taken with the berry brambles.

Most of the berries are no where near ripe.

But there are some that have ripened.

And what's ready is still terribly sour. But that doesn't stop some blackberry lovers.

We even have tons of berries across the street. When I pick berries for jelly, John is the best helper anyone could hope for. He doesn't like to eat the berries, but he loves picking them. He loves stomping down the thorns. Ethan, on the other hand is a pretty good picker, but he's an even better eater.

"See how many Mom!"

"Can I just pick one more, Momma?"

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Countdown!

The countdown toward the last day of school is officially on! After we finish tomorrow, we will have 10 lessons left. Yes, it is a little earlier than normal, but we've not really had any days off. We took off 2 weeks around Christmas and that's been all. We still have evaluations and a kindergarten graduation left to keep us busy until the first week of May.

Why finishing so early? I am hoping to have an early start on school, probably the beginning to middle of July. That way I'll be able to have plenty of time off when the new baby is born the end of August. If school runs too late into summer, it starts getting difficult to plan youth stuff, VBS, etc. I'm thinking ahead, right?

My babies headed to Sunday evening worship. They were battling the sun for these shots!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From Resurrection Sunday

Yes, the younger ones are not looking straight on, but there were so many distractions that I was just glad to get them all still!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Resurrection Sunday

(I looked for a nifty graphic to go with my Resurrection Sunday post, but I can't find one...sorry!!)

I've read a lot of wonderful posts celebrating Resurrection Sunday, and I keep telling myself that I can't compare with what's already been posted. But it seems so terrible to skip over the most important day in Christianity.

The most important day, you say? Yes, I believe I can stand firmly behind that statement. When the majority of people think of the most important Christian holiday, or their favorite, most people cite Christmas. But Christ simply coming to earth as a baby wasn't enough. Coming to earth to live and preach and teach the Gospel as no one else ever could have wouldn't assure us eternity. What about "Good Friday," quoted because I firmly do not believe that Christ was crucified on Friday; if He was he could not have risen on Sunday. More on that below. Dying on the cross as our atoning sacrificial lamb was not enough either, but we're getting closer! It is the promise of the resurrection that truly gives us Christians the promise of eternity. Just as Christ arose bodily, in a glorified body, we also shall be given a new body, sanctified and spotless.

This is one of my favorite passages teaching on the resurrection. It's just in plain speech.

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. --1 Corinthians 15:12-22

As I was saying about "Good Friday..."

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. --Matthew 12:40

Three days and three nights very specifically refers to 3 twenty-four hour time periods. Even if Christ died early on Friday morning, that is still not 3 days.

Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. --Jonah 1:17

I mentioned this just to back up Matthew's account.

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. --Matthew 28:1, 5-6

These are some of the Scriptures that I readily see that explain when Christ was crucified. I really could write more explanation in my own words. I just don't think I could do as good of a job as this article I found. This article isn't were I learned what day Christ was crucified; I found it just today just because I wanted to find someone who can write and explain better than I! :-)

The first several years after I was born-again, I got completely excited about Christmas. I didn't understand all the tradition of men that revolve around Christmas, but it was the knowledge that Christ gave Himself and was sent to earth in a most humble fashion that excited me. I find myself, as I grow older in the Lord (not that I'm some kind of super wise, mega-Christian ... haha), becoming even more excited about the resurrection.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. --1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Our Latest Blessing Is a ...

If you can make it out, here is our little one. Unless you are accustom to looking at ultrasound images, it can be confusing. This is a 4D ultrasound...the first one that I've ever had. Anyway, our little blessing looks like he's going to be a little man blessing! We are very pleased and very glad that, physically, everything looks in great shape.

It's also been a great opportunity to teach the boys. We, as a family, have been asking for a girl. But acknowledging in family altar that God's will for our baby is what we need. The boys are understanding that although we ask for things that it is better to want God's will, even when His will is not our will. It's already brought on a lot of questions: "Momma, did God hear us ask for a girl?" "Momma, but why didn't God want us to have a girl?" "Why can't God's will be the same as what we want?" These are questions that even grown-ups ask, and I hope that God can use this time to teach the children (and us parents to better understand) that although God's will isn't always exactly what we want, His will is ALWAYS better, good, and perfect.

(edited to add: As I read over this, I just want it to be clear that I am completely, 100% happy with a boy. What I really wanted was the Lord's will. After two boys, we just thought that we would like another girl. Most importantly, we know that His will is being done and there is nothing at all to be the least bit disappointed about. :o) )

Oh, and maybe it stands to mention that I am 30 today. I don't know what the big deal is. I certainly don't feel over-the-hill. And I'm glad to know that I'll be spending my 30th birthday in God's house tonight!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Doing Our Part

Here are the boys, still in their pajamas, cleaning the kitchen after our "weekend" breakfast. (Mind you, that our weekend is Sunday - Monday). Usually John does the washing, because Ethan is just too clumsy to not wet everything and everyone in the kitchen. Today Ethan got a go at it and he did a fantastic job! John did the drying, clearing off the table, and wiping up. Mom did the putting away, which they're just still too short for!

Friday, April 3, 2009

This One Takes the Cake!

If you can pardon my yet-to-be-folded laundry, maybe this will bring a smile.

Sometimes naps come on unexpectedly...

Adventures in Homeopathy, Pt 4 1/2?

I didn't really want to make another post in this series, because it's getting so lengthy. But as I read over my last two posts, I've left something really exciting out. I had mentioned in part 1 that we'd been battling behavior problems with Ethan. The praise (and relief) that I have with this part of our new treatment plan really deserves more attention.

When Ethan was on his prescription medicine, he was moody, stubborn, and easily angered. I know that children are all different, and I always just thought that's how Ethan is. That he's my "strong-willed child." It seemed the more chastisement and the more correction and the more reproof he got, the harder and harder his heart was. Especially when dealing with him, I was always careful to handle him in love and not impatience or anger. But really, it seemed the more we tried to mold him, the more he rebelled.

side effects of Zyrtec include: mental or mood swings, anxiety
side effects of Singulair: aggressive behavior, agitation, mental or mood changes, depression, irritation, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, including suicide.

I usually skim over side effects, but don't closely read them. If I had known, he wouldn't have taken them.

Before if I had asked him to do something he didn't want to do, he would comply though unwillingly. Sometimes with a sigh or irritated facial expressions. Then followed correction for his attitude, which caused more agitation. Once he was finally "corrected" until he wouldn't outwardly show his feelings, he Holy Spirit would tell me that his will was not broken yet. It seemed like such a downward spiral. It was so frustrating and I felt so helpless.

I can't emphasize enough the marked change in the boy's behavior. He is so pleasant. Now when I ask him to do something, instead of the before described reaction, he replies, "Sure Mommy." He takes initiative to complete tasks before he's told. If he's done something wrong, now he'll usually come to me in tears and apology, "Mommy, I've done wrong." If he needs chastisement, it seems like I'm getting through to him much quicker. If he doesn't get his way or if another sibling has wronged him, instead of hitting or getting his own revenge he is so much more docile. I firmly believe that it's not just coincidence.

This morning he got up much earlier than the rest of the children. He sat on the couch with me and we talked about how proud I am of his improved attitude. I asked him, "Ethan, you just seem so much more happy." His response was thrilling to my heart...

"Momma, that's because I am more happy."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Adventures in Homeopathy, Pt 4

David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. --1 Samuel 17:37-39

This really is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. David knew that the Lord was on his side. He had the power of God on him. His trust was in the power of God because he had proven (tried, tested) that power. God had not let him down and God wasn't going to let him down now. He didn't trust the king's armour and sword because he had not tested it. He was going to stick with Someone who had delivered him before.

I have 3 chef's knives. One of them is a Santoku knife and the other 2 are traditional chef's knives. I use all of them. When I have a dish that calls for me to slice something thin or requires a lot of mincing I have a particular knife that I favor. I like the grip, it has a more balanced weight, and it's good and sharp. This knife promises to do well any time I need it to preform. I have proven it. We can all think of different situation, spiritual or otherwise, where we stick with what is tried-and-true.

We had the opportunity to prove this new route of medicine last week. It had been a while since we'd had a good rain and the pollen index was outrageous. Spring pollen season is hard on Ethan ... not to mention that we live within 50 miles (as the pollen flies) of the 12th and 35th worst cities for spring pollen. The pollen was collecting everywhere making blankets of yellow on everything. I can't (and I'm not going to) keep the boy indoors all spring and eventually his immune system had all it could take. The asthma attacks started.

One of the recommended treatment options that our nutritionist gave us was to soak thinly sliced onion in a small amount of honey. I honestly was so suspicious. I mean ... onion? I think onion and I think mirepiox or the Cajun trinity of aromatics. (I hate using that term ... but there really is no other name for it) I know that the Lord directed us in this direction for Ethan, but just opposite as David trusted God because he had proven Him, I personally have not proven herbal medicine. I was going by faith. I'd like to think I can trust God by faith; I've done that with many things. But we're talking about my son's health here! Ya' know, breathing is rather essential to life. It was a different leap of faith than I had taken before. As I listened to him breathe, I kept thinking of the above Scripture. I prayed many times, Lord I haven't proven this medicine, but I know that You've sent us here. Help me to trust and prove them to me. Or something to that effect.

In the five days that Ethan was down with asthma we continued the onion and honey (we use only local honey). We could make a cranberry tea from fresh cranberries. Cranberry is an anti-inflammatory. We also were told that we could give him Lobelia extract for a serious attack, but didn't have any and didn't have a way to get any. We did have to give him his nebulizer, which we were told may happen if he had an acute attack, until his immune system and mineral levels got stronger. And really the reason we had to give the nebulizer was because there was a miscommunication between Jeremy and I: Jeremy thought I had given Ethan the onion and honey, and I thought Jeremy had done it. So, it didn't happen. Instead of having to give him a breathing treatment every 4-6 hours, which is typical, he only had to have it twice over the five days. The onion worked surprisingly (to me) well. It didn't open him up 100%, but he was still able to play and have brief outdoor play. His attitude and behavior, which is the best sickness gauge for little kids I think, was very pleasant.

His skin is now still flared up, but that is normal for him following a bad asthma attack. It seems like when he has an attack with asthma it goes "through" him. In through the lungs and out through the skin. That's not exactly scientific terminology, but that's the best that I can explain it. The calendula cream that we were able to order is helping with his skin.

I mentioned the bedwetting as a big plus. Another thing that I am really amazed with is the turnaround in his attitude. It seems that he is so much more cooperative. He's not so quick to fly off the handle when he doesn't get his way. He just really seems much happier. Don't get me wrong, he still a little boy and has a lot of character molding left to be done on him. But really, I as his mom can tell that he is much easier to deal with, his attention span is longer, and he's more ... I don't know ... stable?

We are so excited to see what the Lord has for us over the next several months. Hopefully it won't include any more asthma! haha! Seriously though, it will take a while to get Ethan's vitamin and mineral levels back up. See, pharmaceutical medicine offers a quick fix, but it's not usually a permanent fix. It usually just treats the symptoms and not the cause. It also depletes your body of vital nutrients, which you must have for your immune system to work properly. Although Ethan is no longer taking any of his meds, it is going to take a while for his body to get back in balance.

Thanks for hanging through this really loooooong series! :-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Adventures in Homeopathy, Pt 3

This is getting to be quite a series, isn't it? Well, the Body Balance alone did work wonders. Especially for Ethan's skin. For the first time in his life, he had days when he actually had baby-soft skin.

There was also an added perk...can you believe this one? Ethan, although he's nearly 4 1/2 has never been able to hold out through the night without wetting the bed. I know that children are all different, but John was wearing underwear to bed when he was 3...was dry and even woke up if he had to "go." Ethan would wet the bed several times a night and even had to wear Pullups. Sometimes, he would even have overflow, if you take my meaning. He was terribly embarrassed by the Pullups, but I just can't change sheets all night. Not because I don't want to get up, but I only have 2 sets that fit his bed! After being on Body Balance for just three weeks, the bedwetting has completely, 100% stopped. We were so thrilled, and he was too. The nay-sayers may say, "Well, it was just his time to outgrow bedwetting." But I say,"Hey, that's not odd, that's God!"

There is a family in our church who uses natural healing. Well, there are a few, but I'm thinking of one in particular. The father's mother of this family is a nutritionist. In fact, she has her master's degree. Well, we decided to take Ethan to her. She did muscle testing on him and found many mineral deficiencies. She felt like we were on the right track with Body Balance and recommended a few other herbs and extracts to help him.

Pictured above is our new medicine collection. The things that I'm the most impressed with are first, the calendula (known to us common folk as Marigold) cream. We've used very pricey prescription creams and ointment. Some of them have terrible side effects, including lymphoma! This cream leaves his skin amazingly soft. The $150 prescription stuff can't compare. Then, the nettle tea is great for general allergies. I can tell a big difference in his ability to fight off allergies to pollen and other environmental allergens. The biggest shocker to me was the onion and honey. Take an onion slice it thin and barely cover it with honey. Let it sit over night, remove the onion and then give 1 teaspoon of the honey for asthma. It really is a sort of bronchiodialtor. I was really surprised.

Just two weeks ago (I think), this natural medicine was going to be put to the test. BUT I just don't have time for it right now. I'm so sorry. Promise that part 4 will be the conclusion!