Monday, July 30, 2007

Bento....How to un-boring your homeschool lunch

"I have eaten so many sandwiches this year that I don't care if I never see another one again"

This is how I've been feeling....enter, the idea of the Bento Lunch.

I've always been a sucker for a little packet or kit of just about anything. Make it miniature and it's even more fun. This way of packing up a lunch or plating up the food is that same kind of fun.

Here are some of the meals we've made in the last week:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Daddy's Mexican Bento Lunch

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Evelyn's Quesadillia Bento

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Mommy's Garden Bento

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Molded Boiled Egg Bento Breakfast

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Mama's Lunch another day (the little side dish container has kiwi fruit)

Friday, July 27, 2007

faith and medicine

My deal with alternative medicines is that I believe they were 'stolen' by the enemy and now have connotations there that keep the Christians from exploring their uses fully, but that does not mean that God did not intend their uses for good.

There are Christian practitioners, IME, in most fields of alternative medicine. I do believe that if participating in anything will cause you to fall into a lifestyle that is unholy, then of course, you should flee from it.

This said, I do not believe that any one of the alternative healing modalities itself is unholy, only some of the practitioners.

Most Christians have no problem worshiping western medicine and using it, nevermind that the developers of said practices and medicines often believe themselves to be God.

Here are the quotes I think are very 'telling'
"See, I have given you every herby that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth and every tree whose fruit yeilds seed; to you it shall be for food"

"And Jesus, immediately knowing that the energy had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?"

Energy is a funny word. God created energy. Every living thing contains energy (natural frequency) which can be proven even with western science.

Why should Christians shrink from something created by God just because some agent of the enemy also uses this as a buzz-word?

I personally use any number of kinds of treatment. I use Claritin when allergies act up. I take adrenal supplements when my blood sugar is wonkey. I take Echinacea when I have a sinus infection. I have recomended accupuncture for infertility treatment when the cause was 'unexplained' successfully. I use homeopathic Arnica 200C when my children falll and crack their heads, and I take Excedrin when I have a headache. Each works for it's own purpose, and used judiciously, I think they all have their place.

Powerful, Primal, not Instutional

I've had long hard labors and I've had short furious labors. The shortest one was the hardest in some ways because there was not much breathing time between contractions. The long labor was hard just because it was 72hours of 5minute apart contractions. I am the pain weenie of the western world. I get nitrous gas just to have my teeth cleaned, okay? I take four advil at the mere idea of a headache. I have labored over a total of 100 hours to birth 4 children who averaged 9+lbs each. I am no super woman, and every single woman thinks that her labor was the most painful thing that ever happened to any human being and that no one could ever understand how painful it was, and in a way, she is right, because no one is in her body or feels things the way she is feeling. In a way, though, she is wrong. Women have been birthing babies without drugs for...well up until about sixty years ago. What changed? Nothing in our bodies and everything in our brains. Our confidence is undermined by the media and by our communities. We have no sisters and mothers who have done it before supporting us. We birth in places that are more like prisons than joyful welcoming grounds strapped by monitors into uncomfortable cots. No wonder we believe we need drugs to get through. The reality is that we don't. We just need appropriate coping techniques, places where we can be cared for rather than tended to and people around us who have a clue! We are powerful beings have a powerful experience that is primal, not institutional.

The Reality of Postpartum Life or 12Week Magic

It is so very hard, and no one ever talks about it.

We all want to think of that time as a haze of loving our babies and nursing peacefully in our beautiful frilly gowns rocking serenely.

BAH! We're sweating so much that the frilly gown is thrown on the floor in disgust. I actually accused my husband of not loving me because he wouldn't grow a lactating breast! I was delusional and actually believed it when I said it. The rocking chair has a hard seat and a tender bottom has no place in it. The nursing is messy at first and getting the supply/demand thing right takes time so engorgement has you soaking everything in sight. No one tells you that when the baby nurses on one side you leak like a sieve from the other, and everything smells of milk for a while (until you get things just so, and that takes a couple of weeks)

You didn't just give birth to a baby, you gave birth to a mother.

You are both BRAND NEW PEOPLE and you've got to take time to get to know both of you (and your husband) in completely new roles.

It takes time, and sometimes it will be REALLY hard. You will cry, you will wail, you will smile and you will laugh. Sometimes within minutes of each other.

These are the dirty secrets no one talks about:

No shower for days on end, sweating, bleeding, crying, sore bottoms that take weeks or months to heal.

They are the currency with which motherhood is purchased.

Again, extend yourself the hand of Grace. Cry out to the Lord. Even His own Son cried out to Him when He said "Let this cup pass from me" So, you are in good company when you do.I promise you that things will get better, and easier every day for the next 12 weeks.

It takes 12 weeks to get really good at this and to feel as if you've been doing it your whole life.
It takes 12 weeks to get past the thought that someone will call any moment now and say that they are coming by to pick up that baby from you.
It takes 12 weeks to fall completely in love with yourself as a confident mother.
12 weeks is magic.
12 weeks is where the prize lies.

Was your day successful?

Success is spelled differently now.

Until then, if you get a shower, call the day a COMPLETE SUCCESS.

If your baby only ruins two outfits call the day a COMPLETE SUCCESS. I

f you have a day in which no diapers leak, call it an UTTER SUCCESS.

If you spend a day in bed nursing your baby and only getting up to get a snack or meal for yourself, but you only cried three times, consier it a TOTAL SUCCESS.

You are a stranger in a strange land with a new name that sits funny on you: Mommy. It will fit you better every day. You will learn the language of the foriegn people. You will speak fluently and love on the new ones who come after you because you have now done the most amazing thing any human can have had a hand in creation. You are amazing.

To the mother who hates her body!

You are deceived.
This pit of dispair is brought to you courtesy of the GREAT DECEIVER!

You are God's precious creation.

He made you beautiful, you are beautiful, your husband holds you up as a beautiful wife.

It's time to say "Get thee behind me Satan." and find the beautiful woman in the mirror, and see her as HE intends her to be seen.

I do know how hard this is.

I certainly struggle with body hatred...this body that has grown four beautiful children, birthed them mightily, fed them heartily, yet I find myself loathing what He has created.

When I hate myself like that, though, it is blasphemy, for He created me beautifully....fearfully, wonderfully for His pleasure.

It is time to Pray! Ask God to show you yourself as He sees you. Ask Him for His heart and His eyes. If you ask Him for bread, will he give you a stone?

If you learn to do this, the cycle will break and your children will see it and learn it and understand how beautiful they are to their Creator because of you. You can do it!

Beautiful beautiful

I like REAL women. If they're athlethic and work to have a taut body, then all awe and admiration is deserved, however, if it's purchased I'm not impressed

I think that women in general are spectacularly beautiful. I love women in all their shapes and heights and widths and am just as likely if not more so to notice a beautiful woman than a handsome man.

I am not so enamored of the male form, and am generally embarrassed by them (strange, right?) The only men who hold my attention for any amount of time are the ones who are being overtly loving and kind to their wives or warm and present with their children. Their bodies are not really appealing to me on a large scale the way women's are. I love my own husbands arms and legs and hands and ears and and and and, but I can't see men the way I see women as far as sheer beauty is concerned.

I am a strange woman in a strange profession which has allowed me to indulge myself with the glory of women in God's creation at their most amazing and incredible moments to behold. I am filled to overflowing by that work work, not in a sexual way, but a spiritual one.

They are art incarnate. They are power, and surrender all at once. I am overwhelmed by who we are and what we are given to do. I am in awe and amazed by how fearfully and wonderfully we are made.

It's a Date!

We are creatures of habit.

Our society says it should be all spontaneous, but really, anything worth doing well or anything special in our lives we plan for.

We anticipate our weddings and plan them to the nth degree.

We purchase clothing appropriate for every part of it.

We put it on the calander.

Same for our babies and our parties and our other life events.

Marital intimacy deserves the same loving attention.
Put it on the calander

Choose special clothing.....or not!
Put it on the Calander.
You can do it :)

Talking with kids about sex

Now that you've seen my rant to the women of America, let's talk about talking with kids and teens and young adults about sex.

I think that is one of those things where you have many opportunities and teachable moments over years and years to establish and discuss in manageable pieces (rather than one Big Talk)

One opportunity to discuss orgasm comes with discussing childbirth with an older teen....something along the lines of "I think it's pretty great of God to consider that women might have an easier time in childbirth if He put the bulk of the nerves necessary for a woman's pleasure in her clitoris" Of course, I'm pretty frank about sexual things, so that sentence might be easier for me to say than the average mom

I think that it's pretty good to avoid "Your father and I" type statements that yuck out kids, teens and many adults Most people don't want to think about their parents having sex (though some of us think it's GREAT, we're in the minority)

I think that it's important to provide resources for our grown children, including Godparent type people, Titus2 men and women who might not be as intimidating as we the parents are to talk with about these kinds of things.

Optimally, a parent would be able to just talk with their adult child easily, but in many families this is not the case. I think that in this case the godparent may even need to initiate the conversation. Failing all of the above, find yourself a crazy midwife to do the talking and have a 'premarital physical and pep-talk' Included in the conversation needs to be things like.

Keep it light. Sense of humor is KEY, especially in those first short encounters.

Use lubrication! (and why,and start with Astroglide, NOT KY)

Always always always pee afterwards (Honeymoon cystitis is AWFUL)

Don't have oral sex if you have a fever blister (Hello, Herpes Virus)

It is/is not (depending on your beliefs) okay to have sex while menstruating (and why you believe this way, and why others disagree)

All good things come to those who practice often. Contrary to any myth you have ever heard, the first time is NOT the best time, and it will get better as you grow together.

For a woman to orgasm takes some technical know-how. Definitely figure this out ahead of time theoretically (or through self exploration. Again, books are SO helpful here!)

Be not ashamed. Your bodies were made for oneanother's pleasure and gratification.

This is Beautiful and Awesome and Honors God, it's not dirty or disgusting in any way.

I would be sure that there were appropriate books available. That's a nice way to learn the mechanics of everything in a non-threatening way, and there are LOTS of them out there. I think even a present of such books near the wedding date would be appropriate.

My precious grandmother, rest her soul, took me aside before I married and said, essentially, not to expect too much from sex because it's not like on TV. It's something men like and women endure because they love their husbands. I wanted so badly to go buy her a book! The spirit of what she said was important because it was about giving and receiving even when what the other person needs is not something you particularly enjoy. She did mention that she loved the kissing and as they grew old and he could no longer 'perform' she really enjoyed making-out with him, a lot!
Remove Reply

Mom sex, wild sex, dirty sex. Holy Sex?

We're so programmed by our society to think that a motherly body is unsexy and undesirable, we have willfully given Satan the most precious of gifts from God....our intimacy with our husbands.

That's sin as far as I'm concerned. I am only so blunt to shake things up, make you think about sex from a God point of view.

Yes, it's wierd, but should it be? When He said "Go forth and multiply" I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about mathmatics, you know?

It's almost a mission for me to help women in America see this and find the amazing Godly passion for their husbands. I want them to see intellectually that when they dress up for their husbands or choose something other than 'mom sex' (hidden in your flannel nightgown until all the lights are out and you're under the covers,) that their husbands see THEM, and are not (in most cases) fantacizing about some playboy/internet 'model', and are TOTALLY turned on by THEM and how they look (men = visually stimulated, remember?) God hard wired them that way, and I figure He had a good reason.

Your husband doesn't look at you and thing 'eww, she's saggy.' only you do that. He's looking at you and thinking 'Woo hoo, I'm gonna get me some of THAT! Praise GOD! Thank you Jesus!'

So, yes, I'm going to KEEP preaching that God loves sex and invented sex for our pleasure, and that when we remember that, it becomes something more than becomes HOLY.

Holy sex? You bet. In marriage, there's no other kind...the marriage bed is undefiled!

Sex as a 'dirty' thing is a lie from the PIT OF HELL! Satan wants us to think that way. He wants to steal the joy and wildness out of our love, out of our marriages.

That which pleases the Lord is NEVER SHAMEFUL.

That shame is a LIE. Satan is a great thief who wants you to think these things.

Repeat after the crazy midwife:

We have more to do and more to love and more love to make than to give that jerk the time of day!

Take back the wild sex. It is a gift from God. He invented it. He put all the nerves where they belong. He gave us desire for our spouses. He set up the system so that we would want to have great sex. Who else could design such a plan??

Certainly not Satan who is only about perversion and distruction. He wouldn't want to build your marriage with amazing intimacy. Only the one true God would and does!

When you let the lie (that wild sex inside of marriage is dirty rather than worshipful) become truth in your marriage, Satan has had his way with THAT's dirty.

About drinking water

Only water is water. You can add lemon or something like that to flavor it, but not those stupid colored sugar packets that claim to have nutrients (like Propel.) You can also add EmergenC which comes in dozens of flavors. It's not about boring. You have to get past that idea and stop saying "I hate water" ESPECIALLY in front of your children. Water is critical in every part of your life, it has to be given the respect it is due. Your drinks are not for entertainment or to keep you occupied. They are to keep your blood from turning to sludge and giving you heart disease, and to keep your organs free from disease causing toxins, and your bowels free of chronic goo that causes cancer if it stays in there long enough. Unfortunately we have been sold a bill of goods that our drinks should be exciting (Hey Koolaid!!) and it's just not so. Once you start drinking water regularly, you will find that you crave it terribly and come to LOVE it!The first few days of proper hydration, you will pee and pee and pee, but after about a week, you'll be back to a normal amount of peeing as your body adjusts to being properly hydrated, and you'll only go every few hours and not have to get up in the night to go.Drinking water gives you a headache because you are so toxic and dehydrated that your body begins to purge the toxins when you drink appropriately. They can also give you a headache if you stop drinking caffine to get your water. Take a tylenol or an excedrin and keep drinking. The headaches will go away in four days. Also if you are drinking caffinated drinks, well, caffine is a diuretic, so it makes you more dehydrated.

When people say rude things to pregnant women

You just have to have a few 'whammies' up your sleeve.

Rude Big baby/Twins comment gets: It's one ENORMOUS baby I'm going to have at home with no drugs.

You're about to pop comment: Yea, you better move it, I think my water just broke.

Swallowed a watermelon: Won't my dh be disapointed that the baby he wants so badly is just a watermelon

The EVER POPULAR Don't you know how that happens comment:
No, I can't figure it out. Please let me know, and don't spare any details (wide eyed) OR "Yes, of course I know how it happens. Dh and I are so good at it that it is effective every time. You need some pointers??"

Negative Family Reactions to Pregnancy

This reaction is actually pretty typical in the 50-80 age set. These are women who "fought" so that their daughters wouldn't have to be "tied down" These are the women who fought and paid for the right of every woman to work outside her home for equal pay and to not 'have' to have children at all. They brought us major 'advances' in birth control and abortion rights. They are the authors of the Equal Rights Amendment (Did you ever actually read this document? It's so very scary.)They don't understand what a smart, educated woman is doing having lots of babies and then staying home and raising her children, nevermind that the generations they produced are the most self-centered, disfunctional, unhappiest people EVER.

In their paradigm you are a waste of a good education and they don't understand why you aren't just having one or two children and dumping them in daycare and working because you're smart.They forgot that what they were really fighting for was the right to CHOOSE to go to work for equal pay OR stay home with our children OR find a way to seek balance between working and being home with our children (assigning actual value to the children as people in their own rights and as future leaders of our world, rather than just having 2.4 of them because it was expected)

The initial reaction to pregnancy is "Only stupid girls get pregnant" and "It was on purpose? Why on EARTH would a smart girl like you want to do something so STUPID." ....then reality hits them and the thought process is.... oh, yea, you wanted that baby and my reaction probably hurt your feelings .oO(which are stupid because only stupid girls are excited about being pregnant) I better 'make nice' and call to congratulate you.They are only a product of their inculcation, and only God can turn their hearts. It can happen. I got the "stupid girls" reaction from my mom with the first two, and she had a total change of heart, and was so generous in her excitement about the second two....and is still believing for a 5th in spite of dh's V. Only God could have brought that change. He can and does do it.

to the women who are wondering when they will get their pre-pregnant body back....

having a baby is the ultimate loss of virginity. The first time you have sex, your vag*na is stretched 'a bit' and may tear in a place or two, but bring a baby through there, and everything is changed, for life. Growing a baby changes your body, inside and out. Many women find that even when they weigh what they weighed before they got pregnant, their body shape and clothing size is completely different. This is caused by the hormones that relax your joints for childbirth, and once they are relaxed, they are prone to change shape. Pre-baby shape is a virgin shape. It would be folly to think that you could grow an entire additional human being and be unchanged in every single way imaginable.

Five Year Olds

I love 5. it is an age when they can wipe their own tush, hold and use scissors, and still think adults are really cool.They are energetic and changing into 'big kids' They think the most amazing things! When they are not overwhelmed by their changing view of the world, they are sunny in disposition and willing to try all kinds of new things. It's a time of exploring the attitudes and outlooks of the people around them, and learning to tie shoe laces. There is so much that I LOVE about 5. I think it's harder when your oldest is 5 and you still think of them as a baby. I know a lot of 5yo's who have been potty trained for years and their moms are still wiping their tushes...time to get some of those flushable wipes and let them do it themselves! A 5yo can cook things (with supervision of course) and can fold and put away laundry. A 5yo can vacuum. They love to have 'grown up' jobs. They love to choose their own clothes (umm, you should see my 5yo right and cream paisley long sleeve tee and a brown courderoy jumper/dress with pink and cream leather flowers on the front.) They can help make grocery lists and put away groceries when you bring them in from the car.

Grace Based Discipline and the 3yo

I have noticed that the 3rd year is a kind of watershed time for sticking with GBD or moving into punitive measures.

I think that the go-with-the-flow of not nursing on a schedule has set up AP moms who do GBD to think that all schedules are evil and that their children will be damaged by them and it is robbing the moms of a crucial tool for having a happy and healthy 3yo.

Ames and Ilg state that the way to solve the problems of parenting a 3yo is to send them to preschool, and it's pretty much the only solution they offer. They don't say why it works (because it does) It works because the children are given a set of exact activities with a definite beginning middle and end, with their entire day in a predictable routine where they always know what comes next, they are given ample gross motor opportunities, and they eat snacks in such a fashion that their blood sugar never gets too low to be able to function like they might at home. They don't beat children in preschool, and the kids behave. This can happen at home. It just takes realizing that parenting an older LE is different from parenting a baby. They have different needs and their growing minds thrive on order and absolute knowledge of their boundaries. When they have no concrete boundaries, they push to find them....hard, and if allowed to continue, can make everyone in the house miserable.

loving new babies

I had two babies I fell in love with over the course of their first two years of life as we got to know each other. I had one baby I bonded with in-utero. I had one baby I fell in love with on sight right at birth. I just say this because most people assume that it is love at first flutter, and that's not always the case. I hate for moms to think that not being in love with someone they've never really met is a problem and somehow makes them defective. Sometimes, they are the alien inside, and when they come out you fall in love. Sometimes they are the intruder, and you have a "Hmm, pleased to meet you and look forward to getting to know you." experience when they are born. Sometimes they are the precious growing child and when they come out they are nothing at all like you imagined. None of these means you love your baby less or more. They are a function of chemistry and personality and circumstances, and all eventually end up in the place of absolute adoration, joy and love.

Here's my shtick about labor pain

Labor is not a creshendo with "." this much pain at 1cm and '<' this much pain at 10cm. It is a cycle/circle. Seven cm's is as hard as it gets, and after that it's just more of the same with blessed lovely breaks in between. You can do/withstand ANYTHING for two minutes at a time.

When you have the thought "I CANT DO THIS ANY MORE!!!!!!!" then you'll remember that the crazy midwife from that blog said that you're ALMOST DONE! When a lady says she can't take any more, I go pee really quickly because it will be my last chance before the baby is born!!

You can do it! You come from a long line of women who have given birth, and you were born to do it, too.

About nursing babies

I share about breastfeeding openly, passionately and hopefully inspirationally, but what you have in this post is a glimpse into the way I feel about breastfeeding in a way that I rarely share it. Raw and honest.

I always try to find a nice way to not say what I really think but in the end I feel that I have pretty good grounds for my gut reaction to moms who don't nurse. I don't like dancing around the fact that the reality is that formula is inferior in every way to breastmilk. It's not popular to say, but it is still true no matter whose feelings it hurts.

I nursed babies for 10 years, through heck and high water, bloody nipples (for six months while I searched for someone to clip a tied tongue) through in laws who disapproved, through pregnancies and all kinds of life's ups and downs. I nursed even when it meant that I was working 48hours a week and pumping all that time. I nursed through major postpartum depression. I nursed and nursed and nursed in almost every circumstance that you can imagine except low supply (I have oversupply and OAMER issues instead) so when a mom comes at me with all her zillion excuses, I'll be honest, what I see is just excuses.

I would nurse my baby under any circumstance no matter how bad it hurt, no matter how emotional it made me. The only thing that might keep me from doing it would be cancer treatment drugs or drugs to treat BPD, and even then I'd be looking for a way around it. It is a MAJOR priority for me, for my babies' first years and I'm not apologetic about it being the very best, and I'm not apologetic for believing that it is God's perfect plan for every baby.I am much much more passionate about breastfeeding than I am about natural birth. Birth is over in one event, breastfeeding sets the stage for a lifetime, and that's not just my not so humble opinin, it's a fact.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

On the Christian Woman and Orgasm!

Your brain is your most important sexual organ.

Often women who have trouble with surrender, or who have trust issues, or even who have feelings about sex being 'too dirty for a good Christian woman' can have issues with orgasm. It's more common than you might think.It's hard for some women to make the shift from sex and sexual feelings being a huge "no-no" and being "dirty" prior to marriage to being "healthy, good, normal, wonderful...a real gift from God" once they are married or once they have accepted Jesus as their savior. I've known couples who had great sex as a secular married couple who had tons of problems including no orgasms once they were saved because they couldn't make the shift to thinking of sex as God's perfect and amazing plan for married people. They just got in the mindset of it being for procreation only, or that 'good Christians don't have down and dirty sex, when the reality couldn't be farther from the truth.

God gave us absolute proof that he wanted us to have great sex regardless of procreation by creating the Clitoris. It is the only human organ whose SOLE purpose is to bring pleasure. I believe God put it up where he did rather than in our vaginas so that childbearing wouldn't be more painful than it is (the clitoris has TONS of nerve endings that are very very sensitive!) Of course, it means to have an orgasm, most women need to stimulate it manually rather than relying on penetration during intercourse to do the job.

It's a perfect plan flawed by a pornographic idea Isn't it just like Satan to try and steal our birthright in that way....make no mistake, orgasm is your birthright by His magnificent design!

in defense of the 14yo girl

There is not much more miserable an age for girls than 14,

IMO.I know that my own mother seemed to feel that everything I did was just to make her miserable. Really, I was just so miserable myself and I couldn't even figure out why.

Having studied women and the way our bodies work for more than a decade now, I realize that a great part of it was adrenal fatigue and low blood sugar not allowing me to think clearly and making me irritable and angry. I didn't know about it, and neither did my mom.

Teens don't eat normally and regularly, and even when they do, it's rarely good food. I remember eating a plate of fries and two packages of reeces peanutbutter cups for lunch each day.
No wonder I was so awful by the time my mom got home.
No wonder I spent the last hour before she got home doing my chores and muttering "I hate her I hate her I hate her" because she 'made' me do chores (and really very very few chores.)

Now I know that if I have the "I-hates" like that, it's because I NEED PROTEIN! Part of it was hormones.

I wish my mom had known to give me Pulsitillia 30C when I was in such a bad way hormonally. I think it would have saved us both a lot of heartache.

The other thing that would be helpful to know is that teenaged girls need Cal/Mag in a BIG way. Their bodies just simply don't get the building blocks they need from our demineralized foods grown in overtaxed soils.

A little about me

Hi, My name is Allison. OK, so my name is also Heather, but I wish it was Claire. The funny thing, is that "Claire" is the name my mother called me in utero, but then my dad named me "Heather" when I was born. It never suited me and, as an adult, I decided to go by Allison.

I have one brother who is nearly 7 years my junior. He was born at home in 1979, and that was my first experience with birthing. I attended his birth and it set my life on this course. You can find his radical unsettled soul at

We were raised by a single mother, who was a third generation WOHM. It was not her desire to be anything other than a SAHM, but she and our dad split up, so that's where she ended up. I am still working toward repairing my relationship with my father, who chose a year he liked and stayed there...unfortunately, the year he picked was 1972, and I was born in 1973. He also had Polio as a child, fwiw, and it definately affected how he views the world.

I married Stephen in 1994 and we proceeded to multiply pretty rapidly. One child every twentysomething months or so. We got Elizabeth, Andrew, Abigail and Evelyn, who are now nearly12, 10, 7 and 5. I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding for 10 years running. I found the site thanks to a client, when I had just had Abigail, and I have grown so much as a parent and changed so much as a person thanks to the introduction to Grace Based Living, which I learned about from the genuine, gracious, amazing women on the message board, there.

I homeschool our three daughters, and our son attends a very tiny, one-room-schoolhouse private school. I am a montessori mama, and constantly working to find curriculae that go with each child's learning style, because, of course, they are all drastically different.

I have worked in a LOT of different jobs (been working since I was 13) including, paperboy, waitress, nanny, commercial photographer, interpreter for the deaf, and for the last 10+ years, I was involved in midwifery, and had various businesses including a Birth Center and A holistic women's health clinic, but the only good partner I ever managed to pick is my precious, longsuffering husband ;) The Lord called me out of working outside my home to be a full time SAHM, last fall. It is being very interesting, learning how to truely be a manager of my home. It is far and away the most difficult job I've ever done.

on meal planning for a family of six

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I am learning now, to be a homemaker. I didn't learn this skill at my mother's knee. What I learned at my mother's knee is that anything I wanted to learn, I could learn from a book...and it is working for homemaking, too!

The one thing that has helped my sanity more than any other is learning how to plan meals. It sounds all simple and 'no big deal' but it was a hard fought and won skill, and I'm really proud of what a difference it has made in my family's life.

I sat down and wrote out every single meal that I know how to make out of my head without a recipe. I thought it would be like 8 or 10 things, but it was 56! I sit down every other Sunday, and make out a menu plan for all the days until the next two weeks. I plan all the breakfasts, snacks, lunches, and dinners for all of the days and then put them on a calander that hangs on the pantry door. There is a little wiggle room, in that I can swap around the dinners if I'm REALLY not in the mood for something one night, but generally I stick to the plan because it makes my life so much easier. I then make my shopping list based on the menu plan, so that I always have every ingredient that I need. I have a neighbor who watches my younger children, while my oldest daughter and I go out to lunch and then to the grocery store for the "Big Shop" where we buy all the groceries. It takes two carts, at Walmart, and then usually we do one other stop at a HFS or at the good Kroger.

I really do not enjoy shopping like that because it is exhausting, however, it saves me so much headache and heartache to have every ingredient for everything I want to make when it's time to make it, that it is worth it.