Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stir Crazy

After another awful nights sleep last night I'm having a hard time function. But again, I am also going stir crazy after not leaving the house in almost a week! I need to be around some people! But again, I am sick and that is why no one has come to visit! 

I have been thinking about making some ginger cookies and chili but I'm just not feeling up to it which is why I haven't left the house to go for a ride. I'm not up to getting the kids in the car and back out again when we get home so here I sit in the house. 

Not quite sure what to make for dinner tonight that is "quick and easy and healthy". Still thinking about it but I need to figure it out pretty quick because it's getting to be that time again!!!

I've been craving a pumpkin spice latte and pizza so it's kind of hard to figure out what to make for dinner when all I can think about is a greasy processed pizza!!! Strange. I eat so healthy then I crave random culinary atrocities!!! Well I better sign off and look through my cookbooks for something quick,easy,and healthy to eat before it gets too late! Maybe I will get lucky and my husband will need to run to town for something so I can at least go for a ride and see some of the fall colors before the wind blows all the leaves off prematurely!!! 

Off to dig for a recipe in the cookbook treasure trove!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just Pondering

Today I am abnormally exhausted and it is just past noon! Hope I get an afternoon burst of energy to be able to finish off the day! It must be the virus I have that is making me feel this way. It really stinks succumbing to sickness this far into the pregnancy!

I was horrified last night when I found out the generic vitamin C I was taking had sucralose in it. Sorry, I avoid artificial sweeteners like crazy when pregnant and here I am taking it without knowing it! Since when do they do that?! Well anyhow I will be buying my name brand vitamin C from now on despite the $4 difference. My long term health means a lot more to me than $4. Not only my health but the health of my husband and kids too!

I had heard recently some news about wheat. I, personally, have never been a big fan of grains. They make me feel bloated, slow, hungry and over all not feeling well. When I eat more fresh fruits, vegetables with a little meat protein I feel great. I don't feel slow at all, rather I feel like I can work and get things done! I don't have celiac or any other disorder but I have noticed that when I eat lots of breads (whole wheat or not wheat at all) I don't feel well. That includes crackers, chips and other processed foods too. I had always assumed it was processed food making me feel that way until about a year or two ago when I read that book about blood types and diets. My blood type needs low grains. Then I started thinking that while the processed food isn't good and can make me feel that way then grains even whole grains could make me feel that way too. I don't eat a lot of grains anymore and I do feel better but this new news I heard on wheat, depending on what I learn may even have me limiting the amount of "wheat" for the rest of my family as well.

I think back to creation. You can't tell me Adam and Eve had ready to serve frozen waffles with "maple" syrup composed of cellulose (yes, that is a wood product) and corn syrup. Yum. Sounds good huh? They didn't have potato chips, they had regular potatoes - and not flakes from a box either! They had the real deal. They didn't go to the market to buy a grain fattened steak. In fact, before the fall they didn't even eat meat. Which is something I still would like to study more.

Well as I ponder those dietary items I have more braxton-hicks contractions. Annoying and interesting to not that with each kid I have they become stronger and more noticeable. In fact I think braxton-hicks hurts worse than regular labor. Only 2 more weeks and I will be full term so I can finish my projects before lil one comes. I have to take it easy with all the BH contractions I've been having. I've noticed that with more activity they become stronger so I don't want them to turn into actual labor for at LEAST another two weeks. Although preferably baby will wait until 11-11-11!!!

I've also finished up a finance book. It was so good and I highly recommend it for people wanting to get their finances in order. It's super easy to follow, not boring and I actually feel like I learned something and I support my husband 110% with setting up a new budget. I thought he was joking when he said we could be totally debt free in 1- 1.5 years! If we follow the plan in the book we can. No, it's not a get rich quick book but if we stick to the method then yes, we can be debt free that quick even with 3 young kids! I hope and pray we can stick with it. We got hit below the knees this month financially and it came out of no where. We start getting caught up and bam, back into the hole. I pray God will get us through this period quickly so we can start looking ahead to the future and stop living paycheck to paycheck. It's possible to live well on one income!

After doing the math I estimated that if I worked full time, after taxes and other work related expenses (including child care) I would be lucky to bring home an extra $100 a month. Realistically that is ridiculous. Why on earth would I go through all that trouble just to bring home an extra $100? Getting a full time job out of the home is too expensive. Good thing we sat down and did the math before I went out and got a job! The amount of stress it would have placed monthly on me, the kids, my husband all for an extra $100? Wow. So not worth it. It pays to sit down and calculate these things out! So therefore I will still learn a trade I could do from home and maybe start my own business some day! I do have a few plans in the making but I really won't do anything with them until I'm done having kids. This being #3 we are only planning on 4 kids so that time is coming soon.

I'm so thankful that I have a husband that works hard to support our family. I feel so bad for him when bad things happen to us and I know it is incredibly frustrating to him as well. We had been going the past two years to a place we went to on our honeymoon but our anniversary is exactly one week from today and unfortunately we can't afford to go. Not because of a budget shortage but because of getting kicked right back down. Not sure how I can help out except pray. I know God will work it out in His time. At least I can still make strawberry cake for our anniversary! :)

Well I think it's time to sign off. These are the things I have been pondering on this beautiful Tuesday afternoon. I think I will make myself a cup of tea, put on Hello,Dolly! and try to find something to organize while taking it easy so these BH stop.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Hot German Potato Salad and Other Good Things

 Today is another perfect rainy fall day! I don't mind the rain when I can stay inside and stay warm and dry! It's not really cold just rainy! The rain really makes the red sumac leaves pop, as well as all the other colors magnify. Can't wait to see the rest of the week. It will be 70 and sunny one day this week I bet after all this rain it will be just gorgeous out!!!

Today, in honor of the weather I decided to make some fall comfort foods. Hot German potato salad, pot roast and for desert I haven't decided yet. Still thinking about what to make! Not sure if I want to do an apple rhubarb crisp or something with frosting on it. I have a few more hours to ponder this before it gets too late and we don't get any desert! 

This is the first time I am trying to make hot potato salad so I hope the recipe turns out! Here is what I used:
~Hot German Potato Salad~
About 5 potatoes sliced and quartered per batch (I did two batches)
1 large onion
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vinegar
2 Tbl flour
2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp pepper
4 slices or more bacon crumbled
*place potatoes and chopped onion into slow cooker. Mix all other ingredients and pour over potatoes, put on low until done (5-10 hours depending on thickness of potatoes)*

Like I said before I hope this recipe turns out! For my pot roast it's going to be whatever mood I'm in when I throw it into the oven in about 3 hours from now. I'm probably going to use onion soup, carrots, a beet or two (no potatoes because I have the potato salad), an onion, cabbage and whatever spices I deem necessary to the desired taste. 

I am slowly getting over the virus I came down with on Saturday. I have been taking extra vitamin C, a teaspoon of honey throughout the day to help soothe the throat as well as the healing properties in the honey, and of course hot tea!  I love my tea! In fact I am going to go sit down with a book and enjoy my freshly brewed tea!

Taking in the smells of autumn (including my spiced pumpkin candle)!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Amazed by Autumn

I'm loving how my house is becoming more homey each day. Plus, getting into the whole excitement of the changing of seasons and decorating is so much fun too! I look outside yesterday and this is what I saw:
The sumac across the road is really starting to flame red! The leaves on the maple trees are just starting to turn too. Otherwise it still really doesn't look like autumn unless the sun shines bright (like it is right now) and really makes that sumac brilliant red! I had to drive to town this morning and run to the bank and on the way I was amazed by the colors of brilliance I saw! I was glad no one was behind me and I live out in the country anyways because I was only going 35 to soak it all in! The different shades of green, some of the trees turning gold, yellow, orange and red, the flowers white, gold, purple, milkweed turning yellow. It was gorgeous! I don't think I have thoroughly enjoyed a drive into town as much as I did today!

My house is also starting to look more like autumn inside too, as you can see from the above picture we have gourds in the bay window, and view of part of my kitchen below:
Plus I have a pumpkin and indian corn and leaf rug in front of my kitchen sink so I can stand on something nice and soft while I do dishes :) Ah, the simple things in life can make even the most mundane of chores something not so bad! I found a really cute harvest wreath at St. Vincent thrift store earlier this week for the same price I could have made one myself except I didn't have to spend anytime making one so for me it was actually a great buy! I could have sworn I had a wreath hanger somewhere upstairs but it either got misplaced or buried (or put by mistake in the garage!) so it's just hanging inside my screen porch for the time being. It will be good until after Thanksgiving when I slowly start switching my seasonal decor to Christmas time!!! I love pine cones and balsam wreaths and the electric ice rink and candles...

But for now I'm totally enjoying this autumn season! Fresh pressed apple cider, if you haven't tried it before it is a must do!!! Cider, homemade bread, indian corn, gourds, pumpkin decor, pumpkin and apple pies, the fresh crisp fall air signaling the ending of gardening season and a time where families can spend more time together instead of working so hard outside. A time where you can look at your kitchen shelves, freezer and enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of your hard labor all summer. Yep, I'm all for fall. I really think Autumn is my favorite season of all. Plus my wedding anniversary is coming up! I always wanted a summer wedding but we ended up getting married in the fall and it was just perfect fall weather. I think that is what really started my whole love affair with the fall season. It reminds me of the day I married my best friend and get to spend the rest of my life with him! Autumn is nature's paintbrush showing off the beauty of God's creation, a signal that we can start to slow down and rest for the year. Well, off to open the windows a crack and let that crisp autumn air flow into the house before the autumn turns into winter and we put of the plastic and the windows stay shut until spring. I will enjoy every last bit of crisp fall air that flows into the house, along with the smell of my cider tart warmer and the sound of the wind blowing through the still drying corn across the road. Yep, even while I work there are things to be enjoyed!!!

Hava Nagila!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stuffed Cabbage and homemade rolls!!!

Yesterday and today I got some huge cabbages!!! I decided since it is cool outside that stuffed cabbage rolls would be the perfect dinner for tonight. Of course you have to have homemade dinner rolls too! As you can see from the picture the cabbages are huge! That cauliflower isn't too bad either! That is a ruler in front of the one cabbage just to show exactly how big they really are!!! Or in the one cabbage's case - was!!!

Here are the cabbage rolls in the oven getting ready for dinner!

I didn't want any tiny little dinner roll for tonight. I wanted hearty!!! So I made them extra big!
The smell of homemade bread filled the house and it was just fabulous!!! Homemade bread is such a comfort food!!!
The finished product with of course Chef's Choice removed just to make sure they are good enough to serve! Oh, heavenly!!! 

Well it is almost time for the cabbage rolls to be removed from the oven so off to enjoy the summer's bounty!!! Will post the recipes later!!!

Livin' Life in the County,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lessons in Simplicity

 This morning as I was doing the dishes before the kids got up I had some quiet time to think. Funny how doing the most common, ordinary of chores can give you great time to contemplate things of life!

Since I've taken some time off from facebook my internet time has dropped considerably. I think it's pretty crazy how just one web page can consume so much of my time, let alone how much time it actually did consume! I never realized how much time was lost to the world wide web until I started taking a break from my most visited page!!! It was a real eye opener because as I have been trying to get things done around the house I was wasting so much time online! 

As the seasons are slowly changing and colored leaves are gracing the yard, the crisp autumn air reminds me of apple pies, pumpkin pies and roasted turkey. Simple things yes, but wonderful simple things! 

Since I am trying to purge and organize my house in order to simplify my life with less clutter and things to constantly pick up (i.e. kids toys) I have to go through other places in my life that need "simplification" as I call it. I recall a quote I read in MaryJanesFarm magazine that said "Being simple to simply be". How true is that! Then of course we all know Henry David Thoreau said "Simplify, simplify, simplify". Some more words of wisdom. I love the technology we have available but sometimes I think it gets in the way of us simply being able to live life. The best thing I ever did for myself is get rid of having a cell phone. Now when I run errands I can concentrate on what I need to get done and if I get on a rabbit trail I can enjoy it without someone calling and bugging me while I'm trying to check out at the cash register!!! I do have a way to contact people if I am in an emergency plus if I get wifi I can contact anyone I need to as well so it's not like I'm disconnected from the world, rather I'm actually getting to enjoy it fully now without being tied down to the cell phone. Not to mention the money we have saved by not having two cell phones!!!

Since taking the time off from my most visited web page I have missed seeing the updates from my friends and seeing how they are doing. Which is a positive side of being able to use technology but on the negative side it took away time from my kids and the house in general. Now, I've been able to really truly enjoy having some book reading time, play time with my kids and this time that they are little and think me and my husband are their heroes is such a short time I don't want to let technology (however nice it is to have) rob me of that precious short time with them. Plus despite me digging deeper into the purging of the house I have been able to keep up with the rest of it so what I have already organized is staying organized compared to earlier this summer I just never could get ahead of the game. Now I know why! 
Back in the day when this country was just starting to get settled people were healthy, and families were strong the way of life might have been rough without a lot of the technology we have today BUT it just seems like society back then was a lot better than now. Ok, I'm not saying it's technology's fault for the position our society is in today but I am saying people need to look at their lives and as Ghandi said "Be the change you want to see in the world" So, so true. 

We are surrounded by little words of wisdom and all of them simple. I love simplifying my life, by simplifcation of my life I've experienced the following side effects: Less stress, better health, easier to stay focused on the positive things in life, more quality time with the kids, less time cleaning the house and more time with my husband in the evening, more time to bake (I love baking!), not being in a rush anymore, peace. Yes, peace.

Simplification leads to peace. If silence in golden then simplification is steel. The strong backbone to a long life. So common, so simple, so important yet often overlooked for those very reasons.

Learning to be simple,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

End of One Season, Beginning a New One. . .

This week the calendar says it will officially be autumn. (Well at least the last time I checked!) I'm very happy with how much work was done this week despite the many setbacks I had. We hit an amazing sale going on for rugs so I was able to get an area rug for the living room to help make it more homey and also somewhat cover the very dated and cold looking tile near the fireplace and hearth. I would like to find a coordinating hearth rug too but I will just keep my eyes open for a good deal and if I happen to have the money then I might be able to get it! 

I'm so thankful for a lot of things and this week made me appreciate my husband even more than I did before. He has given me so much support during the past week when I was having such a hard time, he bought me the rug for the living room, I had been craving plums so bad and after church without telling me what he had to go to the grocery store for (I was clueless) he brought me a bag of plums. What a manly man!! I couldn't ask for a better husband because a better husband doesn't exist. I'm so thankful for my man!!! He has been working extra hard getting the yard cleaned up and winterized. He is fighting that nasty head cold the kids and I all had two weeks ago but he was able to get stuff done around the house anyways. Like I said I couldn't ask for a better husband because he's the man :) 

Friday I had an OB checkup. That was just absolutely stressful. I wish I had not gone at all. I had to reschedule my August appointment for the first week in September and I totally forgot about it!!! They never called me or sent me a letter telling me I missed a scheduled appointment so it took me an extra week to figure it out myself that I hadn't been to see the midwife since the end of July. Now that I'm 33 weeks they want to start seeing me every two weeks. The road construction getting to the doctor is enough to give me a coronary as it is let alone having this big discussion on why I don't want to get the glucose test done. Then, since I have been having lower stomach cramping she wanted to do this other test for fetal fibronectin. I couldn't remember how accurate it is and since everything is pretty much out of pocket for us I hesitantly agreed. I still have to find out how accurate it is because it came back positive. I remember when I was pregnant with my 2nd I had been dilated to 3 and 50% effaced for almost 5 weeks but every two weeks (because I was dilated and effaced) they wanted to do that fetal fibronectin test and it always came back negative. I ended up having him a day before his due date. So after stressing me out and trying to scare me into the glucose test this stupid test  came back positive for that protein. So, according to the midwife I saw she said I could give birth within 1-3 weeks. 

Well let me tell you what. #1 after the exam she gave me I will NEVER go back to her again, #2 she will NOT be delivering my baby no matter when I end up giving birth #3 my body is capable to grow this baby until she/he is ready to be born  #4 No one is going to tell me to go on birth control like I'm some in capable, unschooled highschooler having uncontrolled sex. I mean seriously people the nerve!!! She said that even after I told her my husband and I want to have our 4 kids close together so once we are done with baby stuff we can be done with baby stuff! Some people just have nerve. This baby, and our other two kids are no accident. 

Continuing on I did some research for myself to verify the information I already have and I decided to discontinue taking my flax seed oil, take another dose of my Cal/Mag supplement and continue drinking tons of water like I always do. I am also going to only drink up to one cup of coffee a day and when I feel extra Braxton Hicks I will get out the relaxing chamomile and also start taking red raspberry to continue preparing my body to give birth to this baby when she is supposed to come out. I guess the main point is that I know I am healthy, I know my body better than the doctor or midwife or anyone else for that matter (besides God of course) and by the grace of Yahweh I will give birth to this baby at full term despite what the medical field tries telling me. I will not be discouraged. God is in control.

Besides babies are birthed NOT delivered.

Well as I continue to strive to be healthy, minimize stress (including possibly finding a different midwife/doctor), organize my house, be a wife, be a mom and be myself (can't forget that one!) I'm having a fabulous weekend relaxing at home and enjoying the slow transformation from a house we live in to a home we live in. It's so neat watching the season slowly change from summer to autumn. I'm so thankful God gives us change and also that we never have to go through change alone. 

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First Frost of Autumn!!!

 Last night we got the first frost of the season! The only reason I am excited is because I don't have anything left in the garden worth salvaging since the chickens managed to find a way into the garden and destroy the rest of my tomatoes and squash AND cabbage. The only thing left thriving is my sunflowers! So pretty! 

The picture is of the front yard, after the frost left of course :). I can't believe the leaves on some of the trees are already starting to fall on the yard! I still need to get some apples from one of the local apple orchards! Hot apple cider sounds soooo fabulous right now! Swirled with a cinnamon stick, yeah I'm thinking that sounds super good!

Evelyn has been doing fabulous in her "big girl bed" sometimes she gets up when my husband gets up for work and she will follow him around a little bit then come and crawl in bed with me. Our son is ready to have his toddler rail put on his crib but we haven't got to that yet. Sometime the next month he will have his big boy bed then both my kids will be out of the crib stage. They grow so fast! I've enjoyed them so much and I'm so thankful for them!

The house is starting to look and feel soooo much more homey this week. It's so much more relaxing to be home its just a fabulous feeling! It is getting closer to that time of the year when we have to start thinking of winterizing the house though. The house dropped 10 degrees in temperature overnight! We went from 76 to 66! Crazy! No wonder our heating bill dropped dramatically once we winterized the windows!!! I saw Menards had window kits on rebate this week so I will have to try to work it into the budget to pick some up for the windows. We still have some heavier duty plastic for the extra living room door and the bay window which works a lot better with the kids always coming into contact with it. I hate finger prints on the windows and it's absolutely worse on plastic! I will have to come up with something creative to keep the kids from climbing up into the bay window and getting fingerprints all over the window plastic!

Well, if I can get some caramel I will make an apple pie today. I am so glad I found out how to make a pie my husband LOVES! I don't think I can ever go back to a regular crust now that he loves my pecan caramel topping!!! No problem, making that topping is soooo much easier than rolling out a 2nd crust for the top crust! Now I can make two pies for the effort of one! 

Well I need to start taking it easier because my body is telling me to slow down and let the baby finish growing because I have a feeling (my husband told me the same) that I'm doing way too much in such a short time. I still might be in pretty good shape and healthy BUT it doesn't matter, overdoing it is still overdoing it and that is totally not a thing to be doing while pregnant. Especially in the third trimester! 

Off to continue my day in the country, counting the days to meet baby #3!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thrifty Fun; Living Life

Whew, so thankful the baby moved last night! I don't think I could have survived another day of not eating and hardly drinking any water! Yikes! Last night all of a sudden I felt the baby shift! It was pretty uncomfortable BUT considering how awful the whole day had been with having that heartburn it was almost instantaneous relief! Amazing!!! I'm guessing the baby was pushing up due center of my stomach forcing me to have reflux, except it felt more like heartburn instead of reflux. I remember having reflux with my son, oh that was awful but this was WAY worse!!! 

I'm glad it's over :) I love drinking water! Now I'm working on catching up and not getting dehydrated. 

Otherwise today we went to a few thrift stores. I'm pretty picky with what I buy and I was pretty disappointed at seeing the prices in the "thrift" stores. I hit sales on brand new stuff a lot cheaper than what they were selling their used and abused clothing at. I did manage to find two pairs of jeans for my husband, a nursing night bra for myself as well as a book. I checked the prices on baskets since I wanted to make my own fall/Thanksgiving decorations for the outside of the house as well as a few pieces to hang inside but I had to hold off after I saw how much the baskets (used at a thrift store mind you) were priced at. I went to Walmart (have I ever mentioned how much I hate that store) and they had over priced autumn decor as well. So I decided to take my time with decided on how to decorate my home for autumn.

So here is the autumn decor plan thrifty style: I am going to try to find a basket this weekend rummage saleing so I can put a few gourds in it for outside. I'm going to hang it on my double shepherds hook by the door leading into the front porch. On the other side I'm going to hang some "indian corn". I already have a bundle of corn stalks tied to the center of the shepherds hook. I'd like to find something to hang on the front door of the house and I'm thinking about making my own simple grapevine wreath and getting a very tiny gourd from the U-pick farm down the road and a few fake leaves from walmart. (They were priced at 94 cents each and I will probably get two colors to contrast the tiny gourd). Then I am going to hot glue those on the wreath and voila' what Walmart was selling for $20 I can have for 1.88 plus whatever the hot glue and gourd costs me. I have hanging material already so I don't have to worry about that. Then I just need a few gourds for the inside of the house and later on this month I will get a few pumpkins and put them outside the porch at the bottom of my corn attached shepherds hook. I can probably get away with keeping it that way until after Thanksgiving then it will be time to decorate for Christmas!!! Autumn and Christmas are my fave holiday's to decorate for!
Well now that I'm back from taking a break (I so needed to get out of the house after being laid up yesterday!) I need to get working on getting caught up with house work so I can keep on track for getting this place ready for baby #3!!! 

Today I am still thinking about that verse I posted yesterday, the part where it says "Choose Life". As I went shopping I couldn't help but noticed the people around me. Some where in a hurry, some looked like they were bored, some looked sad, some (including some moms with young kids) looked like they were struggling. Some where just lonely. A simple smile can go a long way. Not to mention having kids that love to smile, wave and say 'hi' to everyone that walks by. How many people go through this short life without actually living life?

After seeing all the different kinds of people I definitely want to choose life. As a mom with young kids I can't do much but what I can do is give that mom with young kids screaming a smile and let her know that I have days like that too, I can give the lonely elderly lady a chance to give my kids a hug because the poor thing is so lonely because maybe her family lives out of state. I can, with my young kids, hold the door open a little longer for the older guy with a cast on his leg because I'd want someone to help my grandpa out like that too.
You don't have to be rich, you don't have to have your ducks in a row, you don't even have to "have the time" to make a difference in someone else's life. Just by doing something you are making a difference.

A difference in someone else's day. A difference in someone else LIFE. Choose Life = Choose to LIVE life!!!

Livin' Life, 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday's Thoughts: Therefore, Choose Life

Well I'm 32 weeks pregnant and have the longest lasting, absolutely worst case of heartburn ever!!! I was definitely feeling third trimester pregnancy hit me this past weekend and with some added stress from yesterday I hardly slept last night and woke up with this! 
So far I've pulled out all the tricks in the bag: Apple Cider Vinegar, Ginger, Real Ginger Ale (not the soda kind but not alcoholic either), Tea, I even tried conventional Tums to no avail! Then about a half hour ago I tried some lemon water and I decided to eat a few saltines. Saved by the savvy saltine? maybe, just maybe! I'll find out if the lemon water and saltines did the trick or not once I get off the computer chair! 

I think the real culprit of this whole things is stress. For some reason I can't handle stress very well during the last trimester of pregnancy especially. I did pretty well this whole pregnancy, save for one instance up until now. Yesterday just really threw the cat in the bag for me. 

So on this Tuesday afternoon as I de-stress by doing the Phil 48 workout I can't help but wonder how long it will take for my body to de-stress after I've mentally de-stressed? Hmm, guess time will tell! Stress is so toxic for our bodies, us humans weren't meant to live under all the stress that we do! It's toxic! That is why I feel it is even more important to properly deal with things, take care of things right away so they don't fester and once you do take care of things then let them go! Don't hang on to things of the past like jewelry? Why would you want to hold on to the past while the present is constantly happening? It's like wearing ankle and wrist running weights while you are trying to swim. It's stupid and ridiculous! 

So I am going to follow my own advice and deal with the stress head on, don't let it fester, get it over with and move on letting it fall behind me :) It kind of reminds me of this verse in Deuteronomy. 30:19 " I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life..."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, check!

Another Monday, another day closer to when baby #3 comes!  This weekend was so productive! Beautiful weather, a touch of summer yet today then a cold front moves in and we will be lucky to be in the upper 60's. No matter, it will be sunny! Some of the leaves are starting to turn. Across the road there is a ton of sumac bushes and some of the lower leaves are already turning a brilliant red. I bet it is just gorgeous in the fall as the leaves all change! We moved in this house after Thanksgiving so all the leaves, except some oak leaves had already fallen so we missed the fall colors here. I'm excited to see what the yard looks like this fall! 

Today I am going to do some straightening up in the kitchen then on to the living room. I got done with my bedroom and it's so nice and organized in there, its fabulous! I got rid of a ton of stuff either just by throwing it out or putting it in my donate pile which I need to get down and donate later today or tomorrow. 

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the living room. I need to find a decent entertainment center that is high enough so the kids can't keep touching the tv but also made so they can't climb up the shelves like steps. I'd really like an old wardrobe/armoir deal so I can shut the doors and the tv and accessories will be out of sight out of mind. Plus I think it makes the living space a lot more organized looking when you don't have dvd players, consoles, tv and stuff sitting out in the open. 
Right now we have the tv on my old desk which totally isn't working for me. I will just have to keep a more active eye out looking for the right piece of furniture to add to our main living space. Until then I will just keep purging and organizing until everything is nice and homey, non cluttered and then I can relax and just get the baby stuff ready for when #3 comes! I'd love to get done with everything by the end of the month so I can spend the last month taking my time, enjoying my two kids and getting ready for the new baby.

Well I suppose, time to finish my morning coffee then off to work I go! Counting the Days till #3! ~KT

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weekend Productivity

So much has gotten done this weekend! For me the weekend really started on Thursday when I bit off more than I could chew rearranging the house! But now it's starting to come together. I even squeezed in time to give my little man a hair cut! Now I just need to get my man to give me time to cut his hair!

My bedroom is just about complete with purging and organizing, now it's just finding the right decor. I am thinking the colors green and brown with a few hints of black and maybe gold. I think I will use foresty type things along with bears. Not positive on that yet, I will just see how it goes, decorating is the last thing I am going to do as purging and organizing comes first since that is the most time consuming!

As I was doing regular kitchen chores (ahem, the dishes!) I decided to go through my pantry and organize so I don't have food sprawled around the kitchen. I hate clutter, I hate messy and I like, ok I LOVE organized. So when I finally get to the kitchen it's just one less thing I have to organize!

Tonight marks a big mark for our daughter! She FINALLY gets her "big girl bed"! We have one of those convertible cribs so tonight I said is the night I took the extra half hour and put on the big kid railing so she doesn't fall out (or at least it will help prevent it some!) At first she looked a little scared but then as I did the good night routine with the kids I noticed she starting thinking "wait a minute, I'm not stuck in bed anymore, I can keep playing! but should I? but I can!" haha it was so cute seeing the wheels turn in her head. In fact I hear her playing with the toys right now, probably to the disappointment of her brother who is still "stuck" in his crib! Once I get the kids room purged and organized I will put his big kid railing on so he can have a big boy bed! I could tell he is totally ready for it, its just a matter of there being too many toys in that room right now and I'd like it to be organized so I know they aren't pushing the bigger toys up to the dressers and climbing on them to try to see out the window. Yes, I can totally see my kids doing that because that is totally something I would have done when I was a kid! haha :)

Well I am almost caught up with laundry as well this weekend, but we all know that is a recurring chore so is it really possible to ever get caught up with laundry since there is always laundry? Haha nice thought, but I will chose not to think about that one too deeply here.

Yes, this weekend I am very please with how much work I was able to get done, my kids even "helped" as I sat down and went through things. I know I am very prejudiced but I have the best kids ever! Well I am going to unwind a little bit this evening and read a book before I head to bed. This coming weeks marks my 32nd week of pregnancy so as long as I keep on truckin but at a nice pace everything should be done by the end of this month about when I am considered "full term". I would absolutely love to have the baby on November 11th but the way I've been feeling I think its going to be shortly after I get full term, but only God knows when the baby will be born. We are all very excited about it!

~Counting the days until I get to meet baby #3 ~KT

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Tale of Two Pies

This is the second apple pie I made this year. I got the recipe from Betty Crocker but still, not a favorite recipe. I've also been experimenting with pie crusts to find one that we like the taste, texture and I like how to rolls out and the ease of use. I used a recipe last month and I loved it but I can't remember which one it was on my list! So I've started at the top and have been using a different recipe each time. Last night the crust was too bitter and crumbly instead of nice and flaky. My husband also told me that although the pie was good (he is such a fantastic husband!) he preferred the pie I made two nights ago because he LOVED the topping and how sweet it was. 
I know what happened with the sweetness, I used a different kind of apple last night and while they weren't the type of apples I would normally use for pies they were free, so who is to argue with that?! Plus since I've never cooked with these apples before I didn't know if they soaked the sugar up or made a nice sauce with it. If I cook with those apples again I would add 3/4 brown sugar and 1/4 the amount of white sugar. 

The pie I made two nights ago with the recipe from The Pioneer Woman I will be writing down since my husband liked the flavor and taste BUT I need to find that recipe I had for that amazing pie crust! I do have an amazing pie crust but I reserve that for my pumpkin pies! It's got cream cheese in the crust! YUM!!! 

So we had a great night of tail-gating food and apple pie! 

Yesterday I bit off more than I could chew regarding organizing! I wasn't able to finish it was so awful the mess I had created! The dresser my clothes were in, is now in the living room empty. The dresser my husband's clothes were in is now in the kids room being used for my sons and the new baby's clothes. The dresser my daugher's clothes were in now has my clothes in it, the dresser in the back room is now in my room with my husband's clothes and of course the dresser my son's clothes were in now has my daughter's clothes in it. We are going to sell/give away the dresser my clothes were in and buy another chest of drawers (I need two) so then we can sell/give away the dresser that I'm splitting between my son and the new baby. 

Plus I moved other furniture around and my back is still tender from all that. I was so sassy but I knew if I didn't do it this week I'd be in trouble if I did it later so the sooner the better. Now I just have to finish organizing and purging our clothes then I can work on organizing the living room and finish in the kitchen :) 

As far as it looks right now it appears I'm right on target to get everything done this month. God willing I can get everything done before my wedding anniversary! It will be three years October 4!!! I love my husband more now than I did when we got married. I really enjoy who he is and that he accepts me for who I am! If we can't afford to make it back to Mackinaw City for our anniversary this year then I hope we can at least make it to starbucks to get a pumpkin spice latte :) I couldn't have married a better man for me!

Well back off to organizing and purging I go!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Autumn's Apples and Football Frenzy

Last night I decided to make an apple pie for me and my man. I tried a new kind of crust called a press crust. I wasn't impressed and decided to ALWAYS take the time and roll my crusts out! 
I got the recipe from "The Pioneer Woman". It is her "Scrumptious Apple Pie" which in all reality is a Caramel apple pie. 

It tasted really good with the caramel and toasted pecans on top! It was also the first pie that I have ever made with that crumb style topping instead of a pastry topped pie. 

Since today also marks the start of the regular season for the Packers I have been thinking about making another apple pie but more traditional in the means of added spices and the pastry topping. 

I didn't care for the pie I made last night (I think the bottom crust really turned me off) but my husband loved it! The picture shows what little remains of the pie this morning! 

Oh, back to the Packers. Since it's only fitting since it's the first game of regular season we are having a typical "tail gater" dinner tonight. Complete with Brats, Baked Beans, Potato Chips and whatever I come up with for dessert. I also have a recipe for apple bars which might be less time consuming than making a pie. Dutch Apple Cake is also a good recipe BUT I would think a bit too rich to serve with the high fat foods we are going to be consuming tonight! 

As for my cleaning and purging escapades I made great headway into my bedroom yesterday so I am hoping to finish that today. I love seeing the house coming together, slow as it may be! I was thinking about it during the kids naptime yesterday that since I am almost 32 weeks I only have a month before I'm full term! Once I make it that far baby could come any time since this is my third! Well time to get up and get cleaning, time's ticking closer to the time I get to meet baby #3!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Phil 48 Workout

". . . Whatever is TRUE, whatever is HONORABLE, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is of GOOD REPUTE, if there is any EXCELLENCE and if anything is WORTHY OF PRAISE, dwell on these things." ~Philippians 4:8 (emphasis mine)

So I got to thinking about this verse last night as I sit by my lamp, on the couch, cozied up in my nice heavy blanket. 

Here are some of my thoughts and how it is a great workout for us today in the modern world we live in:

If we are to live healthy/right/ whatever you want to describe how we should live our lives as, this is a great guideline we have been given. 

1: Whatever is TRUE: Truth. What is true today? It could be anything that is the truth. I am loved by my husband. God loves me. I love my kids. I live in the country. These are all True things compared to the opposite which would non-truth aka a lie. Ok, so we need to dwell on true things, not false lies whatever they may be.

2: Whatever is HONORABLE: Hmm, doesn't this sound a lot like truth? The dictionary says honorable means "upright" or "worth of honor; respect". Ok, so we need to focus on things worthy of respect. For example, my husband gets up early and goes to work despite him hating the long drive to work. Doing something you dislike because you have responsibilities is very respectable thing to think about.

3: Whatever is RIGHT: Since everyone has different opinions on what is right for them I will just put what the dictionary says for this word. "in conformity with fact, reason, truth or some standard or principle"; "in accordance with what is good, proper, or just". Simple enough. Every one has standards or convictions and that is what makes them do what they do, so even according to the dictionary being right is being conformed with a standard but one that is good, proper, or just. I think that is self explanatory so I will let that be. Interesting. . . 

4: Whatever is PURE: The dictionary has multiple examples of definitions of pure. "free from anything different, contaminating"; "unmodified by an admixture"; "free from foreign or inappropriate elements". So we also need to dwell on pure things, whole things. Not gray, mixed up things. This one is harder to do in the world we live in because of how muddled everything becomes. How much junk can you add to gold before it's no longer considered gold? Is it better to be "pure gold" or just plated? hmmm. What could be pure today? For me I would think that could only mean Jesus, Yahweh, God. Especially in today's society. Also when I think of pure, or purity I think of John 3:16 (despite it not actually mentioning this, the bible mentions it elsewhere but I think of this verse) and how Christ washes us white as snow (pure) so we can enter Heaven when we pass from this world instead of our original destination. Pure is a hard one in this polluted world we live in, no matter how you look at it!

5: Whatever is LOVELY: I don't think I need the dictionary to explain this one! It's better than just dwelling on good things, or thinking good thoughts! We should think of lovely things, beautiful things. When I think of this I think of my wedding day, the way my husband looked at me as I walked down the aisle (or maybe floated down the aisle?!). I think of looking out the window of my warm, cozy house watching the first snowflakes fall as I sip on my morning coffee. I think of huge, fresh out of the oven cinnamon rolls. I think of the Christmas tree in front of the window, I think of sitting in front of a fireplace next to my husband, enjoying each others company while a winter storm blows outside. Yeah, thinking on lovely things is a lot easier than thinking about pure things. Wonder why we are such a negative people then? hmmm, I guess that is why we should dwell on lovely things, not ugly things!

6: Whatever is of GOOD REPUTE: Ok, dictionary help me out! Here is the definition of 'repute', "estimation in the view of others"; "favorable reputation; public respect". Hmm, this one is interesting and could be taken a multitude of ways. I will leave this one up to the eye of the beholder. I'm still thinking of lovely things!

7:if there is any EXCELLENCE: This is easy, what is excellent? This goes hand in hand with lovely things for me! Excellence to me would be something like organic, whole foods, watching the Olympics and seeing all the 'excellent' athletes. A brilliant scholar, a purebred animal of the finest bloodlines (for example watching a trained horse in dressage or even barrel racing, wow!). But that is what comes to mind for me, I wonder if maybe God meant something else? Excellence as in moral wise, excellence in how we handle ourselves? This is another one like "pure" and "good repute", it needs more thought but I think it would mean something different for every one.

8: WORTHY of PRAISE: This, for me, can only mean one thing. I need to dwell on God Himself. After getting curious as to why there are so many different names for God, I decided to do a study on the names of God to hopefully understand why. What I got was incredible understanding that they aren't nicknames rather, they describe Him, who He is and what He is like. Pretty neat. Any how it's from Psalm 48:1 "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,". Lord is this verse is translated from Adonai which if I remember correctly means "my Lord" because Adon means "lord". I'm no bible scholar but that is what I remember which may or may not be correct but at any rate any time I hear "worth of praise" I think of the name of our God. But again that is for me. Worthy of praise could be anything well worth mentioning. But I do believe it is above and beyond "thinking good thoughts"! 

After I read this verse I did the workout just like I've done here. It was very interesting for me to notice that after doing this workout I felt like I was filled to the brim of happiness. My whole being was singing, in fact I was so happy I went to bed without heartburn (which was why I was up in the first place) and I finished the night off with a fabulous night sleep! That reminded me of what they taught us in one of my counseling classes. "you become what you most think about". It's so easy to get caught up in the rat race of life and get stuck in a negative rut. I'd rather step out of the rut, get filled up with a lovely cup of tea and enjoy the beauty of it all! Why not, in just 8 simple steps, you too can get "Phil-led" up to over flowing in no time at all. I did and now I know where to turn when I start getting pulled back down to negative thinking. If you become what you most think about, then I want to think on these things NOT negative things :)

You can't burn it if you dont work it!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Checking the List: Day by Day

So last week I decided to write myself this list of things I need to get done before the baby comes. Then I came down with a super bad head cold/sinus infection. Seems like that is the way things go for me.

Anyway I got a few things checked off, like finishing my tomatoes!!! But today is the first day that I have felt somewhat normal. I would have to say I feel about 90% this morning which is really good considering I felt about 50-60% yesterday! Raw garlic in honey works! It is even helping my kids, but don't take it on an empty stomach if you aren't used to raw garlic! I learned the hard way! But it was sooo worth it!

Today is Tuesday and I decided to do some routine picking up this morning in order to get my house under control since being sick for the past week. It amazes me with it just being me, my husband and our two kids under two how easy it is to fall behind on things! I've got a great head start by getting up early due to pregnancy un comfort in bed this morning. The baby seemed to press on my intestines no matter what position so instead of struggling I decided to get up and work. Maybe the baby is telling me that she wants to come out when I get full term so I better get up and get to work :)

At any rate I decided to put canning off for another day in order to purge, organize and clean the bathroom. Then it is another room I can check off in purging/organizing the house before baby comes. It's a small enough room where I won't be over doing it today and risking a relapse of the head cold by purging and organizing it. I will get to the apples some time this week. I also need to write down a few recipes out of the library books I have today because they are due tomorrow.

I have a whole bunch of stuff to donate and it feels so good knowing that someone else that is in need can use it instead of taking up space in my attic. How many pairs of clothes do little kids need anyways? How man toys? My opinion is that if the kid can't wear the clothes within two weeks, play with the toys in a week then they must not need it. If the kid has so many toys they can't possibly play with all of them within a weeks time then they don't need it and some kid without toys can make better use of the excess toys in our house.

Just by purging and organizing my house I have found it easier to keep picked up, clutter free and also simplifying my life in the mean time. The feeling of peace and relaxation of having a more simplified house makes it even more of a home you can relax and unwind in.

A home is really somewhere you can just be you. A place where you can leave the stress and rat race of the world at the door step and just un wind. Simplify= Peace. Relaxation. Home. Love it!

Working on the peaceful home~KT

Monday, September 5, 2011

Still no pictures for my updates!

I finally finished canning tomatoes for the year! Another thing crossed off my list of things to get done before the baby comes!

I also was able to do some Crab Apple Jelly! My very first time! I was going to wait until next year and then I remembered that the trees out front didn't produce last year so they must be an every other year producer. So I made two batches and put some in those 1/4 pint jars for gifts this year!

I need to preserve some apple pie filling (just one batch-7 quarts) and some more apple sauce!

I'm looking for an apple pie recipe since the one I had that I really liked got lost and there is no way to get it again. Hope I can figure something out before the apples get out of season!

I'm still struggling with a sinus infection and it actually feels like it is starting to get into my chest. I ate a clove of chopped garlic with honey and it made my stomach sick. I did that two days ago and my stomach is still sick from it :( Must be because I'm pregnant. I'm trying other methods to try to get over this sickness sinus stuff. I really thought it was just a sinus infection but now with it going into my chest I am thinking it must be a virus.

Today we got our winter hats out because of the chill. Besides I can't stand cold wind in my ears, it hurts!

Well time to enjoy family and finish my morning coffee!