Thursday, December 31, 2009

beginning and endings....

The year is ending and a new one is beginning. As I look back over the last year I am impressed with a how many things in my life have changed. Some good, some bad. Relationships and friendships that have ended and new ones that have been found or picked back up from a previous time. Attitudes, thoughts and beliefs that have changed.
A new direction is right around the corner, and I am looking forward to embracing it! New chances to do things in my life that will help to enrich and bring happiness.

A new year brings hope and new choices - I hope that yours are good ones and that you have a new year full of love, happiness, and peace!!
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Time has gotten away from me

I know there have not been any posts lately *blush* so here is a quick post covering it all.

Kids are doing good. Conner has been in the hospital twice this last week and has pneumonia. He also has had a serious weight loss and will be seeing a doctor.

Kaitlyn went to her first party/dance for a friends sweet 16. She had a blast. Here she is on her way out:

Noah is good. He went to districts for wrestling and took 6th overall. He is the only 6th grader from his school to place in the districts.

Hannah is well. She was invited to join the drama club at school and is very excited about it.

Lexi is Lexi. Still in her own little artistic world! She spends most of her days drawing on every piece of paper she can get her hands on.

Bella just got in to Thomas Jefferson charter school. She will start at the beginning of the year and we are thrilled! I think this will be so much better for her than the current 2 days a week kindergarten that she is currently in.

Harrison is a character. He is talking more and loves to sing Christmas songs!

I am good...I finished my classes for the semester the first week of December..I wanted them done! I got grades back...both A's! YAY!

I did another starbucks wreath-and I love how it turned out!

Happy Holidays. See you soon!

Monday, November 30, 2009

30 days of Thanksgiving

So I found my old posts (almost all of them anyway) from 2009, the first year I did this.  Sharing them now!

Today I am thankful for my good friends. You know who you are. I appreciate you and value our friendships
Today, I am thankful that i do not have cancer. I am thankful for my family and friends that stood by me the last 2 months-the ones that called and wrote and offered there support and love. I am thankful that life is returning to normal and look forward to the day that this is a distant memory. I am thankful that I do not have to worry about still being here for my husband and children. I am thankful for my LIFE
Today, I am thankful for my artistic nature. My creativity is the one talent I possess and I couldn't ask for a better one. I love sharpies and doodling. Knitting is a passion and sewing a bit less-but still there. I love color. To dye yarn is the ultimate expression of my love of color and art. I would be lost without my creativity
Today, I am thankful for a roof over my head, food in our cupboards, dh's employment and clothing for us all. So many do not even have these basic needs
late in the day--Today I am thankful for the church's teachings of eternal family. For the solace and peace that it brings to those mourning the passing of a loved one. Especially today for Jessica and the loss of her love Jason. Peace and love to you sweet cousin
"Today, I am thankful for the good nights sleep I had. I have not slept so long or so well in a long time
Today I am thankful for my son with aspergers. He has taught me so much about love and has brought to me the appreciation for the simpleness of a hug or an "I love you"
Today, I am thankful for homeschooling Kaitlyn. We have enjoyed our time together so much, and I would not have that if she were sitting in school all day. I love my daughter.
Today, I am thankful for my fabric stash. It is serving me well today.
Today, I am thankful that I get to go out with my 2 oldest kids tonight to the movies. Thankful that they are good kids that I enjoy being around. We have a great relationship and I couldn't ask for better children
today I am thankful for knitting. To be able to take some yarn and needles and create a beautiful handcrafted piece of clothing is a wonderful feeling. Each stitch is filled with love-except those that get messed up and have a few snarly words involved too!
Today, i am thankful for my local group of girlfriends. Looking forward to our day of crafting together
Today, I am thankful for the Food Network. No really. I know it is silly-but growing up and not learning to cook, well--the food network inspires me and teaches me to cook more great foods!
Today, I am thankful that my brother is alive. It has been one year today since his car accident and subsequent 2 months in the hospital. He shouldn't have made it. he shouldn't be doing so well with his brain injury. But he is. He is working, he is engaged, he is living!
Today, I am thankful that I will have my children home for 5 days. I miss seeing them so much
Today I am thankful for the moments I have with the kids today-preparing our holiday dinner together and making christmas presents for swaps.
Today I am thankful for the life I am living. I have a wonderful husband who is there through thick and think. Great kids who teach me something new every day and show me how much love one person can have. I have caring friends who are there when I am down to lift me up, and to laugh with through the good. We have what we need, and I thankful for that. Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and loved ones!"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My annual Christmas wish list for dh...

So every year now I make a list for dh of things I would like for Christmas. I help him by being exact and giving links, and then he is happy because he gets what I want..and I am happy because I get some of the things I want!

So here is a small list for him...he has been impatiently asking me to list it! LOL I didn't realize how much he looks forward to this now.
Shawn-do not go over budget! LOL

Never Not Knitting-pattern a day calendar

a robe...

a ped egg

favorite colors: brown, green (chartreuse is the best), aqua (and lighter teal)

I am not giving him much to work on huh?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The beginning of the season....

crafting, sewing, knitting, dyeing yarn, etc etc.

I am participating in several handmade for christmas swaps and having a blast! I will post pictures as the date gets closer as I don't want to ruin surprises!

The past few weeks have been hectic. hectic= my school, homeschooling, wrestling meets, and more!

Here are some of the new yarns I did recently for the store:



Wise Owls

I am working on a few more new colors too! Including a very girly one!

Not much else is going on. Planning for Thanksgiving dinner this week. When we moved to Boise 9 years ago, we started our own tradition of staying home that day (instead of traveling to family) and doing our Christmas decorating throughout the day. It was the only day that Shawn (as a restaurant manager) had off for sure every year...and we wanted tradition/consistency so that became our day. I am finishing up a few handmade decorations that will be added to the mix this year.

Its snowing outside. I love to see the snowflakes fall. It brings such a holiday spirit.

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Starbucks Yarn Wreath- the start of crafting!

So last year, starbucks had these beautiful wreaths at Christmas time that were made out of ornaments and yarn balls. Yes, you read that correctly! It was a YARN BALL WREATH!

So this year, I wanted one too! I posted to my local parenting group (a great group of ladies that I hang with often!) and asked if they wanted to do a craft along. Instead, I was asked to do a show and tell at our monthly saturday get together! *gulp* so I decided I needed to make another one ahead of time so I could make a materials list and learn how to do it so I could show everyone else.

I headed off to the store and saw they had the Christmas stuff out! So I walked through the aisle and found these GORGEOUS Christmas ornaments! I had to have them - and then inspired me to make an Autumn version that I could hang now.

Wrapping the balls:


Attaching them:


the finished product!


I really love how it turned out. You can't see as well from the photo-(well you might be able to if you click on it to make it larger!) but I have some glitter balls in there too and I just love it!

Now, I had to admit my first thought was: I have to make another one? LOL

Sunday, November 01, 2009

November 1st

Brings a thrill coursing through me. November 1st means this month is Thanksgiving. November 1st means that next month is Christmas. Next to fall, this is my favorite time of year. The feelings, the scents, the ambiance, the family and friends and crafting. This celebration is a wonderful time of year.

Halloween was last night and the kids had a blast. I was a bit slow on making costumes as I had been sick 2 days previously so I was crafting right up until 7pm when we left

kaitlyn saw this bird mask..inspired by carneval on martha stewarts website and we thought it would be perfect!

I forgot the blue paint to paint underneath so there is a bit of white showing-but this sucker took over an hour to do!

and harrison...a tree of course!

I am currently working on a new shawl by Sweet Mama Small Sugar It is turning out so gorgeous! Her patterns are really nicely written and easy to follow.

This is it so far:

I am getting ready to start being really busy. yarn co-ops, school, crafting, swaps. looking forward to a whole lot of fun!

Happy November!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Meal Plan Monday - a day early!

Ok, I have to get back into the scheme of things. We've had a lot going on here including a breast cancer scare (pathology is negative-I am ok!) so I have to get posting again.

Here is the meal plan for the week. A few new ones that we haven't done before, so I will review those after we have them.

  • Oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • yogurt with fruit
  • oatmeal
  • overnight breakfast casserole
  • poptarts-yes, even I give in once in awhile!

  • Cheese nachos
  • bean and cheese burritos
  • baked macaroni and cheese with a steamed veggie
  • mock chicken sandwiches with apples
  • some sort of squash soup-will update with more specifics
  • oven fried potatoes and onions with fruit

  • Curried Potatoes (with peas, raisins and cashews) with basmati rice and East Indian Banana Yogurt salad
  • Crockpot corn chowder with pumpkin muffins
  • Vegetable fried rice
  • Honey baked lentils with green salad
  • vegan chili and sweet maple vegan cornbread (chili feed at the church)
  • halloween

Friday, September 18, 2009

The weather is cooling and fall is coming

and I could not be a happier woman right now.
This is my favorite time of year. The colors, the smells, the harvest, the atmosphere. I am in my element this time of year.
The weather is starting to cool. I realized last night that even though Harrison is potty training that with his sensory issues (among other things) that I probably need to make him a few pairs of longies for the winter.
Today- it is so nice out right now that it definitely makes me think of babies wrapped in warm wool-I need to get knitting. I love longies.

My new baby:

an Arrow of Light

Football games and an awesome son

first hair cuts

and best friends


Monday, August 31, 2009

school has started with a bang!

this has been a crazy time! Conner, Noah, Hannah, Lexi and Bella all started back to school on August 19th-my birthday! I started class again the following week and Kaitlyn started homeschool today. Definitely a busy time!

Conner is doing football again-he made special team this year (kick off/return team) and that is quite the honor. Kaitlyn is competing cross country again and is loving it!

I have just been taking time to slow down. I have been knitting, visiting with friends, reconnecting with some old friends and looking at things to come in the future. It is amazing what some clarity does for your life vision-if that makes sense!

I have almost narrowed down which spinning wheel I am going to buy. I am so excited, this has been a long process but I am almost there.

I have gotten a lot done in the last few weeks knitting wise. I did a sweater for Harrison, a sweater/shirt for bella and a sweet little baby pinafore for my gift box. Now I am going to do a few things all for ME!

The sweater is from fawn pea called the Mossy Jacket. It was a great easy knit! I am so glad that Harrison is so tiny that he could wear the largest 18 month size. I wish the pattern went larger for the other kids!

not much else to report-just going to end with some pictures!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

hey knitters! awesome giveaway

from my friend Erin's site!

She is giving away a brand new zephyr knitting needle set from knitpicks!!!

All you have to do is a few small steps, like checking out patterns and leaving a comment. what could be harder than that?

Come check it out!


I think I am like that fairytale

you know the one? the man that slept for so many years? what was his name? ((off to google))

oh yes! Rip Van Winkle...only I have slept for 3 months..and missed the whole summer! I cannot believe that the kids go back to school in 2 weeks. It has been insane with not much to show for it except for another semester of school over and a co-op finished and well, not much else! LOL

*sigh* can we extend it a bit longer?
I have noticed that I have gotten a bit more done in my life. I took a conscious effort to not visit any of my message boards very much and saw how much more I got done during the if I could break myself of facebook, we would be set! LOL but what would I do without all my farming games? *wink*

I don't have a topic to right on today, other than the fast passage of time. It has been almost a year since my brothers accident and it doesn't seem to be possible that it is that long

a year since Thanksgiving...since Christmas. Harrison is almost 2 and my friends are due to have their babies.

I truly feel like Rip Van Winkle, awake after a 20 year sleep because I just have missed so much lately

Monday, July 27, 2009

I feel like I can breathe again.

school for the summer is over. I turned in my last paper and took my last test on Wednesday. I also shipped out all of the yarn I dyed for the co-op and when that was all done-I just sat down and had the biggest feeling of relief overcome me.

here is my yarn; 25 lbs worth!

for some reason, it shows blurry. I hope it doesn't for you too!

I also was inspired with the upcoming fall season-my favorite time of year for those that do not know me! LOL and here are a few new colors

shawn is now home from scout camp. I think he had a lot of fun. Him and Conner both came home tired and sunburned. Conner is peeling like mad! He got burned really bad and is peeling several layers in some places. Of course, I wasn't too thrilled about that-but they were constantly appying sunscreen. I told him that next time he should wear a tshirt. oh duh mom, didn't think about that! LOL

I am currently working on a really cute sweater for Harrison..and I plan on making him a Mrs. Weasley sweater too just in time for Halloween!

Other than that, not doing much around here except enjoying the time with the kids and hoping my school break goes by S~L~O~W!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A meaningful gift I’ve given or received

So I found another one of those good topics to talk about while reading those prompting sites. I want to thank my friends that left comments or told me in person how much they enjoyed my last topic. I think it was a great way to let you get to know me a little better.

so on to the topic:

A meaningful gift I’ve given or received:

There are two incidents that immediately come to mind. The first (the one I will share today) was when I was still working in southern Idaho. I worked for the hospital down there and it was Christmas time. In previous years, my department had always chosen to do something special, so this year we were adopting a family at work that was having a hard time. The family was a single mother with 3 children. Our Christmas "bonus" that year was a gift certificate to Fred Meyer and a turkey. We all decided to donate our gift certificates to this family and we collected cash as well. By the time it was all said and done, the collection was up to about $300. I don't know why, but I was chosen to do the shopping for this family.
I spent so much time going to the stores and selecting items for them. When I was done and brought the gifts into work, my bosses and co-workers were amazed at the amount of items I was able to find for them. Being a thrifty shopper pays off! and I was able to get everything on their wish list, plus MORE!
I was elected to take it home and wrap all the gifts-which if you know me is my favorite thing to do! and as I sat there wrapping their gifts, listening to the music in front of my tree, I was so full of joy. Knowing that I had a hand in making this Christmas special for someone else. Knowing that we could have just donated our turkey and gift certificates and done nothing else-but we all chose to do MORE and donate money too! I was so proud of what we had done-and I will always wonder what their faces were like Christmas morning when they got to see their gifts. That experience touched my heart so much. It blessed MY life.

Since then we have adopted families to help out many years. the kids enjoy this so much. In the years when the money was too tight, we have gone through our house and gathered toys and books that the kids do not need or use and have taken them down to the thrift stores. They know that by doing so, some family that does not have a lot of money will be able to purchase an item there for their kids.
I think this is the tradition they enjoy the most. And I am so proud of them for loving to give to others!

Friday, July 17, 2009

What makes me happy

so dh has started getting ideas for his blog from journal gives him a bunch of ideas to chose from and then he writes. This is one I found today that I thought was a good idea.

What makes me happy?

There are so many things that can bring a smile to my face other than the obvious answer of family.

My friends. I love having good friends. Friends that you can go to about anything. Friends that you can laugh with and cry with and share your high points and low points. Friends that you learn from. Friends that no matter how much time has passed between the last time you talked, you can still pick up and share where you left off at. Friends that do nothing but bring brightness in your life and will not do anything to purposely bring you down. Good friends are the best thing to have.

Knitting. I only learned to knit a few years ago, but I love it. It brings me happiness to take a ball of yarn and create some amazing object that I could not get in the store. I love the colors and the textures and the relaxation it brings to me. I like that it is a forgiving hobby and if you screw up you can usually fix it! LOL I especially love being able to do the whole process of putting the dye on the yarn and then making it into something for a friend. My yarn collection is big-and it makes me happy-and gives me a lot to work towards for project making! LOL

My crunchiness. Yes, my way of living makes me happy! It actually brings me joy to get my natural remedies and use them instead of using artificial methods. to use something "crunchy" instead of main stream. I am sure that it sounds funny to like a way of living, but I do!
I like knowing that the choices dh and I have made for our kids ie: family bed, NO circumcision, vaccines, extended nursing, homeschooling are the best choices out there for us.

Eating vegetarian. Again, a lifestyle choice that makes me happy. I love to see all the different dishes I can make out of varieties of vegetables. I feel healthiest when we do not eat meat, and I love having kids that will eat any bean or veggie I put in front of them without being picky!

Books. I love to read. I am a very fast reader and can finish a book in 1 day. I love a well written story. I really have enjoyed the medical mysteries and serial killer books that I have read over the last few years as it challenges my mind. I often irritate my dh though as I tend to laugh out loud while reading or make some comment back to the characters. I try not to do this so I don't look crazy! LOL

Fall. It is my favorite season. So much so that my guest bathroom is actually decorated with a fall theme. I love the colors. The temperature. I love the leaves falling from the trees and I LOVE to walk through big piles of them on the ground. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that fall is almost here. I wish I could live somewhere that was fall all year round!

rain and thunderstorms. I love to watch the rain fall. I could sit in my window with a book or knitting and blanket and just listen to the rain drops. I love a good storm too. Shawn says they had some awesome ones in Paraguay when he was there. That would be so awesome - some of my favorite memories in highschool was taking off late at night with my aunt and cousins to go sit out in the middle of nowhere to watch the lightening storms!

simplifying. I am currently working on simplifying my life. Getting rid of garbage in my life both physically and metaphorically. Letting go of stuff I don't need and stuff that does not enrich or help my life at all. Getting rid of clutter and living simply. I gave my friend heidi a book a few weeks ago that was an amish cookbook - but it also showed a lot of the ways they live. It was very inspiring!!

my education. Having the chance to go back to school and finish my education makes me very happy. I love to learn. I love the challenge it brings to my mind! I am so very happy to be able to do this now-it is a huge part of who I am.

so - those are the things I can think of right now that make me happy! What makes YOU happy?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eagle Scout project

My son is working on his Eagle Scout project. For those that don't know, this is a very important step in the scouting program. He has chosen to do chemotherapy care packages to be donated. We are asking for volunteers to make a hat either sewn, crocheted, knitted..and then send it him to collect for this project.

there are many resources out there for free patterns:

Headhuggers Patterns

Cancer Caps

they can be adult or child. We just want to collect a lot.

This is so very important to him with all those that we know that has been affected by cancer. If you are willing to help, message me and I will send you our address.

Deadline to reach me by October 1st.

Thanks ladies!!!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Where does the time go?

whew, it seems like the weeks are just flying by. Full of kids, school, friends, business, etc just goes faster and faster. It is amazing to me that it is already July and this year by now I already had started on hand made toys via swaps and purchases to be set aside for Christmas for 2 months! Completely way behind! LOL

last night I got to leave and hang out with some girl friends for a really lovely evening of chatter, food, environment and yes, a few revelations and some baby snuggles! It was so nice to have that.

Tomorrow we are going to the family celebration in Melba for the 4th. I am not sure how the all day thing will go with Harrison, but we will play it by ear. He is changing more and more, and has really started to remind me of Noah as a toddler. I hope that it is just a passing thing.

I am thinking of taking a spinning class in August with my friend and business partner Stacy . On one hand, it is something I've wanted to do for a very long time. On the other, it is a new addiction! LOL

I am working on a shawl for ME! It is turning out beautiful and I cannot wait for the fall so I can use it. I will update with photos later on.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

sometimes you have great ideas...

and sometimes not so great! LOL

sometimes I really surprise myself that I still get surprised by others behavior. I see just meanness or obnoxiousness or hurtfulness all the time, IRL and online and yet I still get surprised each time it happens. It could be a news story or a message board, in the grocery store or in church or school, or in just day to day chatter . Family, friends, strangers-it isn't exclusionary. Like walking through the store and having someone comment in a rude way about the number of kids we have. Or commenting on the parenting choices that we as a couple make like it is any of their business. etc etc..or like this week, seeing a blog that took submissions from people on facebook that copied peoples status that had to do with their kids, and then mocking it on the blog.
Why do people think it is ok to just open their mouth all the time?

I think I still just want to see only the good in people. Is there a way to cure that? LOL because really I am tired of caring.

I saw it again just this week on several occasions. the girl in church that looks down on the others because they cry during a testimony. the one that laughs at the way others are dressed. the woman with the blog made specifically to mock others parenting moments...and more.

I feel so sad that so many people are so full of hate or anger towards others that they have to put them down or hurt them to feel better about themselves.

so can I have a magic cookie? you know, the one with the special chocolate chips in them that take aware you caring button?? because I'd like mind removed please.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brazilian Vegetarian Feijoada

I made this tonight for dh who had something similar on his mission to Paraguay.

Vegetarian Feijoada ( pronounced fay-zhwa-da)

This meal is comprised of several different aspects.
Brazilian hot pepper and lemon sauce
Brazilian Rice
Greens and garnish of oranges

First: Make the Brazilian hot pepper sauce several hours in advance.

2-3 fresh chiles, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 garlic clove
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and puree just until a coarse sauce.
Let flavors meld for at least an hour at room temperature of 3 hours in the fridge. Make sure to take out of fridge ahead of time to be served at room temperature.

Start Brazilian Rice:

2 cups chopped onions
1 tsp oil
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 tsp salt
2 cups brown rice
3 cups water

In a covered sauce pan, sauté onion in oil for 5 minutes on med-high heat. Add tomatoes and salt and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in rice and water, cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer on very low heat for about 40 minutes or until the rice is tender. I found I had to add more water.


2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 cup diced celery
2 peppers chopped (choose combo red, yellow and/or green)
½ cup water ( I found I needed more than this-use your judgment)
2 cups canned tomatoes (18oz can, undrained)
¼ cup chopped cilantro (I left this out)
¼ tsp thyme
½ tsp ground fennel (I left this out!)
1 tsp ground coriander
5 cups cooked black beans (4 cans or 1 ¾ cup dried-prepared)
Salt to taste

1 ½ lbs collard greens or kale
1 cup water

4 oranges
2 tbsp soy sauce

Place onions, garlic, celery, bell peppers, and water in large sauce pan. Drain the juice of the canned tomatoes into the pan, set aside tomatoes for usage later. Place pan on high heat and boil vegetables, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, until onions are translucent. Lower heat and stir in cilantro, thyme, fennel, and coriander. Add the black beans and chopped tomatoes and simmer on low heat 15-20 minutes.

Collard greens/kale

While the black beans are simmering, remove and discard the collard greens stems and rinse the leaves well. Stack leaves and slice. In a saucepan, bring the greens and water to a boil. Cover and simmer (stir frequently) for about 15 minutes until greens are tender.

Peel and section the oranges and set aside. When the black beans and the rice are both ready, drain the greens and toss with soy sauce. Serve the feijoada on a large platter with the black beans on a bed of rice with the greens piled to one side and the oranges arranged around the edges.

This was AMAZING! It took a while to pull together, but the wait was worth it. The combination of the oranges with the feijoada and rice and greens was outstanding. I thought the oranges would be kind of weird, but it was really the piece that brought it all together.

Word of warning on the sauce, it is hot! A little goes a long way!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Few things excite me as much

as finding products for my home that are MY family sized!

Tonight, on a trip to Cost Co to try and find some new flooring for my laundry room, I came across this pan and instantly grabbed it and put it in the cart. It is HUGE! My largest pan is my Rachel Ray Oval Pan which, lets face it, is just not big enough when I am doing a veggie stir fry or fried rice!!

This pan looks to be big enough for us..I cannot wait to try it out!

to show size comparison, I put my sonic route 44 cup inside of it so you can see how big it is! This picture is not as good for showing size as it would be on the stove-but my stove is otherwise busy right now! LOL

Sunday, June 14, 2009

5 years ago, my life was so blessed

with the birth of my sweet baby girl Isabella Reese.

Our 6th child (the surprise "I can't get pregnant without fertility drugs" and yes I proved my OB wrong baby )

She was my fastest labor clocking in at just under 1 hour respectively from very first intervention to delivery. but then, with my longest labor being 5 hours on the dot, I guess that isn't all that exciting. LOL

here is a re-post of my very hospitalized birth story.

Due to high BP and protein in my urine, we were set for an induction Tuesday morning. Monday afternoon my doctor, whom I LOVE, stripped my membranes at my request it hoping that would send me into labor on my own. It didn't...but by the time I got to the hospital Tues morning I was a 5 and 95-almost 100% effaced. I just still was not contracting.

They started the pit at a few minutes after 6am...and my OB did AROM at about 6:10am. I did not sleep at all Monday night because I was in so much pain from my hips being popped out and was totally exhausted and just could not cope My body doesn't do well with pit...(makes my contractions one on top of the other) and my OB had told me I would be confined to bed.... so when we got there we had decided to get the epidural...which I had been dead set against the whole time.

The epidural was placed at 6:30am. I started having some slight pressure around 6:40 and she checked me at 6:55 to find that I was 8 1/2.

During this time..we were listening to music and the kids were kind of dancing around the room to it...I tried...but I was in bed! but we were loving the whole family being there.

They set up the mirror for me and my OB got there at 7:00. He had to drain my bladder and as soon as he did I was complete and ready to push. All the kids gathered around as I started to push and the next thing I knew I looked up because I heard "there is her head!" from one of the kids. I continued the push and she was born after 15 seconds of total pushing at 7:07 am....just 1 hour and a few minutes after labor was started.

Noah backed out of cutting the cord at the last minute, so I got to do it! That was the neatest thing. We snuggled with her for awhile while my OB waited for the placenta. When I felt it start to come, I gave a little push to help it out. Well, it came out so fast then that blood splattered all over Noah's leg and foot and he totally freaked out wanted nothing else to do with it.

The nurse left us right after that for some family time with baby and the nursery did not even come down to check her for about 1+hour after the birth. She latched on really good and nursed well. She had some blood sugar issues so they had to continue checking her every hour for awhile.

Dh told me today that when the dr got there, Alexis kept pushing in front of him at my feet so she could see better! LOL...all the kids love her and are handling things great!

It wasn't the birth I wanted.....but it turned out to be a very good experience.

Isabella Reese
June 15, 2004
7:07 am
8lb 5oz
22 inches long
(my largest baby by 1 pound and 2 inches!!!)

the morning I went in to have her:


and other favorites of her from way back then!


and now:



happy birthday to my sweet baby girl!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

sewing and life

So last week started summer semester for school. It sucks because you are taking a whole semester and cramming it into 8 weeks. So for my 2 classes, I have in a 2 week period:
8 chapters to read
4 quizes to take
5 papers to write
1-2 tests
discussion board postings.

piece of cake right? pshaw!
So if you don't see me around, that is the reason. I am kind of owned by the school until the end of july!

I was participating in a sewing stash game that my local parenting group was doing, and before I stopped I got some really great stuff done for myself that I am totally in love with!

My new diaper bag, this patchwork fabric I have held on to for many years and is hard to find now

This is the front, I used my friends embroidery machine to do the gnome. it is my first one.

and a great reversible apron for me

I did a lot more, but I will save that for another day...maybe!

In other news, shawn did not get the garden in so I may be searching out late season items. I am also getting ready to have him put up my clothesline in the backyard. This is what I am most excited about. Cloth diapers hanging in the sun instead of drying in the dryer inside running up the energy bill! YAY!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Flowers that Kabloom

"Mom, when will my flower kabloom???"

Every 5 minutes today...Bella asks me when her flowers will "kabloom"

I don't have the heart to tell her that she is saying it wrong. She got this plant that the little boy in the house behind us picked and gave to her. She went and got "her soil" and planted it and has been watering it all day.

"when will it kabloom???"

kabloom. LOL

then .. Hannah was out front playing with her friends and she left and went next door. Bella could not longer see her and thought that Hannah "goofed off"

"do you mean ran off bella?"

"yes, she goofed off!"

LOL-she never fails to make me laugh. She told me a few weeks ago "Mom, I know that when I go to school this year you are SOOO going to miss me" and she is right!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sometimes you just grow

Isn't it funny how at every age in our life, we think we know what we need to know and don't believe there is any room for change?
As a teenager, we think that we know more than our parents. We think we know it all. You can not argue with us at all.
As a young adult, we look back at our teen years and laugh at how silly we were and while we see that we don't know it all, we don't recognize that we still can have changes in our lives...
As we progress more in adulthood, we again look back at our teen and young adult years and again laugh at how full of ourselves we were...we think that at our age, there is no room for change--and again we fail to see the changes we experience...the ones we embrace...the ones we welcome into ourselves...whether it be a thought process, a way of interacting with our spouse or other loved ones, or how we raise our children.

I found myself , reluctantly, facing this again recently. I've been re-evaluating my life. What is important to me in my home. What is important with my friendships. What is important in who *I* am aa a person, a spouse, a mother, a friend.

I have found there are things I like about myself, and things I do not. That was hard. Nobody likes to think that there is something about themself that they do not like, but I look at it as a way to improve who I am. A way to change. A way to grow.

I am grateful that I took this time to see what and who I still want to become. It gave me a new freshing outlook. Something to look forward to. Life is good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

what a nice break!

whew, it was nice to really slow down on internet time and spend more time doing stuff around here.
I have been sewing a lot this week and got some stuff knit up too!

first off though, although I missed meal plan monday.....I am still going to review one of the meals we had on it.

from the fat free vegan blog

Cumin Rice with Eggplant and peas

1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, diced
1 green, yellow, or red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes (fired roasted would be nice)
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or red chilli pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) green peas

Preheat oven to 375 F. Put the rice in a bowl and cover it with water. Set it aside to soak while you cook the vegetables.

Lightly spray a large non-stick skillet with oil or cooking spray. Add the eggplant and onion, salt them lightly, and cook, covered, over medium-high heat, stirring often. When the eggplant is soft but not mushy (about 5 minutes) add the peppers, tomatoes, seasonings, parsley, and more salt to taste. Combine well. Drain the water from the rice and add the rice to the pan along with 3 cups water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.

When it reaches a boil, transfer it into a large baking dish. Place a piece of parchment paper over the rice and then cover tightly with foil. Bake until the rice is tender, about 50-55 minutes. Stir in the peas and allow the dish to set for 5 minutes before serving.


This was very tasty. Easy to prepare and just toss in the oven. It definitely has a middle eastern taste with all the spices

the kids liked it too-even harrison!

I think it would be really yummy with lentils in it as well.

fast.easy.tasty. good meal!

----on to other things----

things I sewed up for Harrison this week:


and some cabled baby longies I knit for my gift box

so school will be ending this week for the kids. I am getting ready for classes to start for me for the summer. and we are working on the house as usual.
not much fun to report....but that was a quick catch up!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Classes are over for now and I have a break

and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to a few weeks without class. Don't get me wrong, this semester has been great! I have really enjoyed what I was learning. The summer courses will be harder though as I have to do a semester's worth of work in just under 2 just a little more rigorous.

I am looking forward to some quiet time. Don't laugh. You are thinking "how in the world does she have quiet with 7 kids?" You would be surprised. It is amazingly easy. I was inspired by my friend Heidi's recent post about finding peace in the world. Now that school is out and we have finally caught up on all the seasons of desperate housewives (yes, my husband is actually addicted-don't let him fool you!) I can see disconnecting-even if just for a few days. It will be so nice.
So if I drop off the planet, don't worry. I will come back and update when done.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

5 medications and 4 diagnosis!

and no, it wasn't the kids..or even more than one person.

It was all just for me! Did you wonder where I had been? It was truly the worst ER visit ever.

I don't think I have ever cried so much in a hospital...well, outside of my brothers car accident and my daughters brain hemorrhage when she was 5!

I started with a sinus infection a few days ago and was treating it. Yesterday I started having IMMENSE pain and pressure in my one ear that reduced me to sobbing and wanting to run my head through the wall.
Finally tell dh "I think I should go in" Duh..because you know he couldn't suggest it himself ::)

Go to the clinic and they are closed so the only other option is ER. I didn't want to go there, but I knew I could not make it until today with this pain.

I signed in, they are SWAMPED (too many people freaking about every cough and swine flue-kid you not!) I go out and send dh home telling him it will be several hours when it finally reaches 8:30 pm

so I am sitting there next to this little old lady and her "younger" daughters. the staff comes out and starts talking to her and telling her how they cannot get her husbands heart regulated and does she want him on a breathing tube and she starts sobbing and saying "he wasn't supposed to go before me" and I of course, being the tenderheart that I am and being in so much pain totally lose it and starts crying right along with her. :'(

15 min later they actually call my name and we figure I will be back there several hours (as that is how they usually run) and as I am walking towards the nurse I start to fall over! I quickly grabbed the desk and realize my balance is way off! :-X and the nurse laughs with me and gets me a wheelchair. well that must have spurred them to act quickly with me because before he was even done taking my vitals the other nurse comes back to get my history etc and she is still talking to me when the doctor comes in and starts checking me out.

he immediately asks if I have ever been diagnosed with asthma. I tell him yes, tentatively but not definitive and he says "oh yeah, you have it"

looks in my ear,raging ear infection.

my sinus infection was so bad that it had closed off most of the tubes in my head (or something to that affect ) which was causing all the pain everywhere in my head. oh yeah, and I have bronchitis too

they almost admitted me it was so bad. the respiratory therapist that came in to do my breathing treatments said if my numbers would have been 1 or 2 digits lower or if I wouldn't have started moving air better after the treatments that I would have been staying the night!

they gave me a large dose of oral steroids too to get it in my system, and I was totally flying the rest of the night! HOLY COW!

so I walked away with 5 different prescriptions, and 4 diagnosis: ear infection, sinus infection, bronchitis and asthma.

oy-and I thought I just had a bad ear.

and all I could think about was that poor woman and if she had to say goodbye to her hubby last night

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I've never been more impressed with a celebrity

as I am with Jim Carrey right now.

He wrote an editorial in response to a vaccination hearing recently (read it all here) and I just wished I could walk up to him, shake his hand, and say thank you! Thank you for writing an intelligent response. Thank you for having an open mind. Thank you for not dismissing the many parents who are told constantly that we are wrong! and thank you for not being afraid to put your response out there!
Jim Carrey earned a lot of respect from me today.

Here are some of my favorite points that he makes. It is a really good read-I would suggest you read the whole thing!

In response to CNN's Campbell Brown and her assertions that the judgment was in, and vaccines had been proven safe. (this following a ruling by the 'special vaccine court' saying the Measles, Mumps, Rubella shot wasn't found to be responsible for the plaintiffs' autism)

a ruling against causation in three cases out of more than 5000 hardly proves that other children won't be adversely affected by the MMR, let alone that all vaccines are safe. This is a huge leap of logic by anyone's standards. Not everyone gets cancer from smoking, but cigarettes do cause cancer. After 100 years and many rulings in favor of the tobacco companies, we finally figured that out.

If we are to believe that the ruling of the 'vaccine court' in these cases mean that all vaccines are safe, then we must also consider the rulings of that same court in the Hannah Polling and Bailey Banks cases, which ruled vaccines were the cause of autism and therefore assume that all vaccines are unsafe. Clearly both are irresponsible assumptions, and neither option is prudent.

In a world left reeling from the catastrophic effects of greed, mismanagement and corporate insensitivity, is it so absurd for us to wonder why American children are being given twice as many vaccines on average, compared to the top 30 first world countries?

With many states like Minnesota now reporting the number at 1 in 80 children affected with autism, can we afford to trust those who serve two masters or their logic that tells us "one size fits all" when it comes to vaccines

With all the doubt that's left hanging on this topic, how can anyone in the media or medical profession, boldly demand that all parents march out and give their kids 36 of these shots, six at a time in dosage levels equal to that given a 200 pound man?

We have never argued that people shouldn't be immunized for the most serious threats including measles and polio, but surely there's a limit as to how many viruses and toxins can be introduced into the body of a small child.

In all likelihood the truth about vaccines is that they are both good and bad........The assortment of viruses delivered by multiple immunizations may also be a hazard. I agree with the growing number of voices within the medical and scientific community who believe that vaccines, like every other drug, have risks as well as benefits and that for the sake of profit, American children are being given too many, too soon.

One thing is certain. We don't know enough to announce that all vaccines are safe!

If the CDC, the AAP and Ms. Brown insist that our children take twice as many shots as the rest of the western world, we need more independent vaccine research not done by the drug companies selling the vaccines or by organizations under their influence. Studies that cannot be internally suppressed. Answers parents can trust.

Good job Jim Carrey. Good job.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Meal Plan reviews

we had some winners this week for sure. I could make a big post about everything that happened this week, but I went and hung with the girls today, and it is amazing how just sitting and talking with 20 women can wear you out! I am so tired, so here is a quick post

the Vegetable Upside Down Casserole..aka cake! LOL **has vegan options**
From The Vegetarian Family Cookbook

Vegetable Upside Down Casserole...aka CAKE for those that have picky kids! LOL

3-4 cups cut up vegetables of your choice ** see note below for what I did**
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk of your choice
1 TBSP oil
1/2 cup grated cheese-optional

saute vegetables in oil until tender, set aside

preheat over to 375, lightly oil a baking dish

combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. make a well in the center and add the yogurt, milk and 1 TBSP oil. stir together until well blended

pour the vegetables into the prepared pan. sprinkle with cheese if using, then pour batter over the vegetables gently smoothing it out ** this was quite thick**

bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown and firm. let stand for about 10 minutes, then serve.

**we used:
red onions, garlic, red yellow and green pepper, yellow squash, zuchini, the green speckled squash, carrots, corn


OH.MY.GOSH this was heavenly! we made a double batch and it is almost gone. the kids loved it, shawn and I both said it was a keeper. the red onion was the perfect choice as it added a sweetness to the veggies. sauteing them first really helped to take away some of the sharp flavor in the peppers too. the blend of vegetables worked really well and we will definitely do it again. the "cake" was really good and harrison walked to everyones plates grabbing more of it! LOL


and the other favorite:

Jamaican Rice and Peas (aka red beans and rice) *vegan**

Jamaican Rice and Peas (aka red beans and rice)
this is a quick way, you can of course make your beans from scratch and then use them!
2 cans small red beans
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 15oz can coconut milk
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste

heat oil in a larger pot and saute' onion over med-low heat until translucent. add garlic and continue to saute until the onion is golden.

add rice, beans, coconut milk and thyme. bring to a simmer and reduce heat, covered. cook until most of the coconut milk is absorbed, usually around 15 minutes.

season with salt and pepper and serve.
ala...vegetarian family cookbook