Thursday, October 30, 2008

How to quit nagging

I loved this post today too, about how to teach habits. Now to implement...THAT is the hard part! :)

Two Posts

Here are two posts that I appreciated in the past couple days:

Kim's post about simplifying Christmas and helping our children truly appreciate and enjoy it. It's always somewhat of a gamble when you buy presents for kids. It does seem like they are often tossed aside, even the "flashy" ones that are designed to catch and keep their attention. After 10 minutes, the thing doesn't do anything more than what it already did, and the fascination is over forever. We've been trying to choose things that will encourage more imaginative play...good to hear these thoughts about it.

Glenn's post about how you can't love the whole world, you've really gotta love just a few people (incidentally, this is a portion of his book, and I highly recommend it). I think this is very applicable to moms who are focused on their children. We all went to those youth conferences as teenagers, where they encouraged and inspired us to change our world. But can you really do that? Does it last? I have been frustrated looking back, because I don't remember one time those events placed a high value on raising Godly households. I know one thing - the lives of our kids are deeply changed by our involvement with them. If we can raise children who know God, who are not bound by their own insecurities and faults, who love other people more than themselves, and who are highly imaginative and intelligent...sounds pretty world-changing to me... Arrows in the hands of a warrior, like Ps. 127 says...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekly Update

1. Halloween on Friday. Hannah is going to be Cinderella and Audrey is going to be Sleeping Beauty. I have to keep reminding Audrey that's what it's called. She likes to say "Sleeping Goady." It's really funny. She can say it right, she just doesn't unless I remind her. We'll probably take them to my parents' and then to church's HUGE "Fall Fest." It's usually too cold here to Trick-or-Treat, especially when you live in a rural area like we do. My parents used to drive us around in the van. My kids don't know any better, so far. :)

2. Really liked this post on parenting this morning. Nick and I also went to a parenting class at church last night. (On Sunday nights they have "New Life U" where pretty much every week you can choose from around 5 or 6 different mini seminars. They are an hour long and usually three consecutive weeks. The Marriage and Family pastors are doing a parenting one. The third and final meeting is two weeks from yesterday.) Anyway, SO encouraging and challenging. I've always wanted to do more than survive parenting, feeling direction and purpose about what we're working toward with our children. The Grothe's have 4 fantastic grown kids, and hearing about their parenting ideas, it was not an accident. Still pondering on this one...

3. Nick and I started going to a marriage conference they had at church Friday night and Saturday, but after the 2 hour Friday session, decided to skip the conference and have a date on Saturday. (The conference was free anyway.) The content of the conference was terrific, but felt like it was geared toward couples who were really struggling. ("Here's why you should not cuss each other out.") By the grace of God, that's not where we're at. Instead, we went and had breakfast at Whole Foods, and then wandered around town, chatting and enjoying the morning. It was a great way to start the weekend. Fun to have a date during the day!

4. The Jetta is getting fixed today! Yay! Hopefully it won't cost too much and will run well...

5. We had a couple of cooking adventures the past week. I made this pumpkin ice cream. It tastes a bit like frozen pumpkin pie filling. Hannah said it was yucky and then ate it all. :) It's good, strangely so... I also made Runzas for dinner, mainly for Nick. Runza is a fast food place that is mostly in Nebraska. Nick grew up eating these pocket sandwiches, and prior to my gluten free life, I really liked them too. I used dough from this company that Gluten-Free Girl recommended a while back, and made the filling according to the recipe online. I needed to bake them a bit less (the crust got hard), but the flavor was great! We'll have to do those again, and maybe freeze some to heat up later?

6. Things with Maeve are pretty slow right now. We're working on a new project though - boutique clothing! Maeve Bridal is set up under the parent company Maeve Designs, because we wanted to keep our options open to design things other than bridal gowns. So, we're trying it! If you have any contacts that might be helpful, I'd love to have them. I'm guessing we'll have a summer line, which will be ready in the next few months for buyers to look at.

7. Food budget. Um, yeah. We have always prioritized enough money in our budget to buy organic, gluten free food. It's just our way of life. We choose our cars and home accordingly so we can afford it. But lately? $100-$130 more than the budget per WEEK! Prices have gone up so dramatically that it's incredible. Honestly, I'm not sure what to do. I try to keep dinners at $15 or less, with leftovers. Even just oil and maple syrup and things that seem like basics are so much more expensive... I read lots of those frugal blogs, but their solutions are usually to cut back on protein and eat more carbs. While that is definitely cheaper, it's not a good idea for people with blood sugar issues (us) or we'll have bigger problems than being over budget. So, we can't really follow lots of the advice. Arg. Budgeting is so hard... Surely the prices will come back down, right? That whole supply and demand thing? The gas prices followed it...

Alright. Audrey just came to sit on my lap and cuddle, and it's time for yoga (you should see Hannah do yoga with me - SO funny!). And the girls just had a little battle. Gotta help Audrey say she's sorry - this is a process right now... :) Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More on flu

More flu shot info/natural treatment of flu here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

GF Pumpkin Cookies

Sometimes you gotta have a cookie.

Danielle brought some mouth-watering looking pumpkin cookies to small group a few weeks ago. We asked her to post the recipe and she did. Of course since they were made with gluten, I could only sit and have my mouth water. :)

So, I adapted the recipe. I laughed as I did it, because ultimately the recipe looked nothing like hers. But, the cookies actually came out looking similar, and they are very tasty! I was afraid to make the huge amount her recipe makes, until I knew if it would work. So, I halved the recipe first. Here's my adaptation:

GF Pumpkin Cookies

Combine and set aside:
1 c Teff flour (brown rice flour or sorghum flour would probably work too)
1/2 c Tapioca flour
1/2 c Sweet rice flour
1 c Quinoa flakes (or certified GF oats)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice (it was a nice touch, I thought)
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together:
1/2 c virgin coconut oil
1/4 c canola oil (or grapeseed oil)
3/4 c agave nectar
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer powder (no need to add the water)
1 tsp vanilla
1 16 oz can of pumpkin

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add 1 - 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional)

Drop by tablespoon onto lightly greased pan (I used parchment paper on my pans) and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

The Blessing of Children

I enjoyed this post from Kim today. Although I seriously doubt we will ever get to 10 (never say never on this kind of thing!), this is something I've been giving a lot of thought to lately.

While talking to my Gramma on the phone a week or so ago, she was talking about the many things she wishes she could still do. Dance, was one of them. (My Gramma always was a feisty one!) :) I said to her, "Look at how many people came from your family though, and how many of them love God and take care of each other. You have a great legacy." (They had 6 children, and they have 25 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren) Her response surprised me. "Yes, I would have had 10 children if I had known how much joy they would bring us." I asked her if she really meant that, and she really did. My Gramma was a nurse for many, many years, helping women deliver their babies, and also working in ICU for a long time. She had the chance to serve and help lots of people, but none of it meant what her kids did and do... They've had many struggles over the years, but their children still mean more than anything else to them.

My Grampa's family can trace their heritage back to the 1400's. We have a family historian who has spent countless hours putting our family tree together, and we have a "family website." On that site, many of my relatives have posted OLD pictures from as far back as the 1880's. The thing that struck me is people are all that really lasts. We can do huge amounts of great work, and it will make a difference. But our children, and their children, and their children are the ones who will remember us, ask about what we were like, want to know what was important to us, and treasure the memory of us. No one I make a wedding dress for will do that. Most people I have or will lead worship for or teach will not do that, although I'd like to think there would be a few I would make an impact on. There are many dear friends whose pictures made it on the family website too, which I found interesting, so friends definitely matter a huge amount as well. But, PEOPLE! People are all that is important in the long run.

I have no brilliant conclusion to this post yet. What are your thoughts?

Weekly Update

1. It's a foggy day here. Hannah told me at breakfast that we needed to get rid of the fog so we can see the sun. "But how will we get up there? We need a ladder." You betcha.

2. We spent most of the weekend sitting around here. We did finally make it to church last night, keeping Hannah with us since her cough sounds awful, but other than that we stayed home. Kind of nice to do that once in a while. Wish Hannah felt better though.

3. Another fairly quiet week around here. There's a free marriage seminar at church Friday and Saturday that we're hoping to get to. You're supposed to register, and no childcare is available, but you can't beat free.

4. I'm starting Flylady again. Our house had gotten completely out of control. I always come back full circle to her system. It's not perfect, but your house does get and stay clean. Hannah in particular has such a need for order in her surroundings. She actually behaves better when the house is clean. It's important for me to give her that chance.

5. Honestly, not sure what else to talk about. Money is incredibly tight around here. I set a new record this week for money spent on groceries for the week, just for the normal stuff. The prices keep going up. At least gas is down, especially when you only have one functioning car! :) I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how big God is, and how he promises to take care of us. If the money issues start to seem bigger than God, my perspective is out of whack. God has to be big enough to take care of us, or what we confess to believe is phony. And ultimately, my desire to be close to God has to outweigh my desire for the comforts money can buy. My ultimate comfort comes from intimacy with Him.

There's my sermon for the day...well, I'm teaching school of worship today, so it's probably not the only one, but it's the one for you. And me. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Frustrating Day...

This post is for my own therapy...feel free to skip.

We got home from dinner and errands at 8:30 last night. Nick left right away to go out with his best guy friend (I'm his best friend. Teehee), who is about to move back to Ohio. They totally needed to hang out before he leaves, so I got the girls to bed by myself. Then I laid down and was OUT. Nick got home at 11:30, and got up again at 4am because he had a bunch of hours of work to do before we could go to the memorial service today. Meanwhile, I had terrible dreams all night, and ended up laying awake the better part of the night. At 6:55am, Hannah came and got in bed with me. She was coughing and stuffy and miserable. She kept randomly yelling because she was so frustrated with her stuffy nose. This, while I'm trying to get the little sleep I actually got last night. At 7:30 I finally called Nick and he came home from work so I could get a couple of hours of sleep. When I woke up my head was buzzing. That's the best way I can describe it. We had planned to leave the girls with my mom so we could go to the service, but didn't want to do that since Hannah was sick, and someone with a seizure disorder (me) cannot drive when their head is buzzing.

So we skipped it. All of it. The service which there is no replay for, and the farm with the pumpkins. I finally woke up at 1, feeling somewhat groggy, but normal, and very disappointed. The house is a disaster, the girls were wiped out and Hannah is sick (at least they went down for naps easily), Nick is sitting on the couch watching football, and I'm pouting, I must admit. Can I have a do-over?

ADHD Treatment

This is an article I found today, talking about alternative treatment of ADHD. I have no personal experience with ADHD, so I'm putting this out for discussion purposes only. What do you think?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Politics in American History

Just came across this site today. David Barton, the head of this organization attended ORU, and they used to show us his videos in my Christian high school. Very interesting historical information that often is left out of textbooks edited by non-Christians. There are also lots of voting resources on the site. I will be looking it over in the next few days - check it out!

End of the week Update

1. I've been home a lot this week, due largely to the fact that the Jetta has quit working. It has needed a new oxygen sensor for about a year and a half, and it's worse in the cold. So, we have cold nights now, and it's done starting unless we jump it. Not sure when we'll have the money to fix it, so for now it's parked.

2. I played for Prayer Shield again yesterday. When I picked the girls up from childcare, Hannah informed me that she found an animal cracker on the ground and hid under the table from the teacher while she ate it. This after the raisin incident last week. Hannah has been a pretty cranky little girl for the past few weeks. Whew.

3. In spite of that, Hannah is finally potty-training! She stayed dry all evening while we ran errands two nights ago, and even during childcare yesterday! When we're at home she still lays on the floor and cries when I tell her it's time to go potty, but, you know, who's counting that? ;) I just wonder why she thinks it's such a chore to do. But I'm glad we're making progress!

4. We had a first fitting for Tarah on Monday night. It was just the corset of her gown, but it looked great! Her wedding is December 20th, which is right around the corner in our world. I put up pics of Safiya's gown on our website this week, in case you haven't seen them and wanted to. It's looking like we're going to be getting an office in the next couple of weeks, so that's exciting too. No more fittings in Holly's basement or consultations at Starbucks. ;)

5. Sunday night we went to Group Leader Training at church. We are all taking the DISC test, and this Sunday night we're analyzing what the results mean. When I lead small groups, I am an ID, in case anyone cares. I think I become a DI at home...which I have to temper with S in order to not drive my kids nuts. Anyway, enough rambling about that.

6. Thus far, not a single contact from the Bridal Fair. I think it will be several months before we know for sure if we got business from it, but I had expected at least a few inquiries. Oh well. Other vendors there told us in the future, not to waste our time with shows in the fall. Apparently everyone gets engaged over the holidays.

7. Tomorrow we're headed to this little farm about an hour away to pick pumpkins. I think we're going to bring the dog since they allow that, and make an afternoon out of it. They have a general store, a tractor ride to the field, homemade treats (not that we can eat any of them!), and other fun stuff.

8. In the morning though, Jon Hutchison's memorial service first. Though this is incredibly hard, I'm sure it will be a beautiful celebration of his life, and I look forward to giving my friend Melody a big hug. We do not grieve as those who have no hope...thank God.

9. We were headed to the grocery store the other night, and passed by a toy set out on the road. I asked Nick to turn around, and lo and behold, it was a First Steps kitchen - a very expensive toy! Some of the stickers are worn off and it's missing the coffee pot, but other than that it's in terrific shape and super neat! As soon as I get it cleaned up my kids are going to absolutely love it. I guess it's discontinued, because I can't find anything remotely like it online. It's probably 10 years old. Heh. Oh well. It has a fridge, a dishwasher, a light we can try to put batteries in, a fold out table, and the usual stove, sink, cabinets...and it's really sturdy. Plus, Step2 is made in the U.S., so no fear of lead paint! :) Not bad for free, huh?

Alright this is getting super long, so I'll go. What's going on in all your worlds? It's quiet online this week!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good News for Adoption

This is pretty cool...

Homemaking Article

Funny how people that would have once been anti- women staying at home, are coming around to understand what lots of women have been saying all along! Wall Street Journal article...

Monday, October 13, 2008


Our friend Melody Hutchison's brother Jon went to be with Jesus yesterday morning, after a two year battle with cancer. Though we grieve with hope, it seems trite to give you a list of what's going on in my life right now.

When Hannah woke in the middle of the night last night, I went to go lay down and snuggle with her for a little while, rather than require that she go back to sleep alone. We're going through a bit of a tough discipline time around here, but I'm gonna do my best to treasure my little girls today and in the future, just a little bit more. We never know what life will bring. I want to be fully present enough to notice more.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What Caused the Economic Crisis?

I am basically done talking about politics at this point. Can't wait for the election to be over, and we'll all just deal with the results. If you can handle one last thing though, check out this video. It describes in great detail what the economic crisis is all about. I find this kind of stuff interesting from an intellectual standpoint, beyond the politics. Frankly, I don't care whose fault the whole thing is, I just want to understand why it happened, and therefore maybe understand what is being done to fix it.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Staci has written another excellent post, without which this conversation would not be complete. She makes a terrific point - neither side can currently trust what they hear in the media, or from any one of a dozen website that claim to be unbiased. We must do our own research if we are to be sure that our information is correct.

I wish we could elect politicians who did not bend the truth for their own gain, but currently it does not seem possible to get elected while functioning that way, and someone MUST be president. So, what we must look for, is someone who matches up with our principles of government and life. The only way to really know that is to check out who they were before they became famous. The only way to find real facts about that kind of record, is to check out things like how they voted at We cannot take people at face value when they have an agenda to promote. The future of our country is too valuable.

Why I Can't Support Obama...and will do what I can to keep him from being elected

I don't love everything about McCain myself. But, I feel that many of Obama's opinions are downright dangerous. Maybe with McCain we would get more of the same in some areas. But change is only good if it's GOOD CHANGE! Here are my reasons that I cannot and will not support Obama in any way:

-He doesn't seem to understand that there are evil people in the world. Islamic terrorists WANT TO KILL AMERICANS. You can't make deals with people who are evil. They lie. And then they kill more people.

-If Obama is elected, he WILL tax small businesses. He says it's only businesses that make over $250,000. Um, those ARE small. My dad's business only supports three people...barely. And that affects us, personally. Do we seem wealthy to you? Have you been to our house and seen the cars we drive? Obama talks about McCain not having a concept of how normal people live. Well, we are normal middle class, the people Obama claims he's trying to help. His taxes would drastically affect us.

-Taking more taxes from people who make lots of money and giving it to poor people never works. That's called Socialism/Communism. There's a reason poor people are poor, and it's because they don't know how to manage money, and/or they don't or can't work hard. That doesn't mean you give them handouts and their lives get better. Jesus even told the disciples they would always have the poor with them. Yes, we should be compassionate and help care for their needs, but that's not the government's job - it's the job of individual citizens. The government trying to do that job will only foul things up. FORCING people to care for those less fortunate will not make them more compassionate and generous.

-Healthcare...the problem with healthcare is twofold: ridiculous lawsuits that drive up the price of practicing medicine and therefore of receiving care, and the fact that drug companies control everything medical-related in this country. Fix those two things, the price of insurance plummets, and voila'! people can afford healthcare again. The government taking over health insurance is treating a symptom of a problem. Plus, if you are under government healthcare, do you think you're going to be able to decide when/if you want to have a certain test or vaccine or medication? Why would you be able to do that? They will want to cover their tail and make sure you never have an "unnecessary" illness. You will have to get every test in the book, every vaccine, every medication they prescribe. I guarantee it. If it doesn't happen right away, it will.

-Obama has talked about encouraging teachers who do well, and helping teachers who don't teach well to find another line of work. OK, where do I even start with this one? We've all had terrible teachers. But what he's talking about is giving the federal government power to decide which teachers go and which teachers stay. Isn't that the job of school administrators? If that's not their job, what is? This kind of rhetoric sounds awesome - like it would fix some of the things that private citizens just can't seem to fix. But in reality, it gives the federal government a HUGE amount of input into my everyday life. Recently there was a bill in Congress that would have required government employees to go to every house where there was a child under the age of 5, to "teach" the parents how to parent. This is so scary. I have nothing to be ashamed of, but I'm also not a robot. Who decides the standards by which we raise our children - the parents, or the government? I believe based on his beliefs about other things, that Obama would support a bill like this. I have no proof, but I don't want to find out.

People, the economy is in bad shape. The current President has nothing to do with that. Economic geniuses have been explaining for months that the culture of debt in this country would eventually catch up with us. We have to live on what we make, simple as that. The Republicans or the Democrats did not do this to us, we did it to ourselves by spending more money than we had. It should have no bearing on who we vote for.

The war is a terrible, terrible thing. War always is. But we don't know all the details of what led our leaders to make the decisions they did. They carry a burden we will never understand. Treating people who are evil in their every intention as if they are logical, reasonable people will not work - they don't behave in logical, reasonable ways. McCain, just like Obama, will not make all right decisions. He's human. He's not God. But he understands that evil exists. Obama can't even bring himself to say that.

I don't know if this will change anyone's mind about anything. But I feel it's time for me to say it. So many of Obama's ideas sound great until you follow them to their logical conclusion. Change isn't worth that.

Note: We're headed out for family time this afternoon, and tomorrow is my Sabbath, so I'm closing comments. Thanks, everyone.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm up late...again. I tried to go to bed at 10 with Nick, I really did. Except that I just laid there and thought about stuff anyway. Finally I gave up and came to finish a few more things on the computer. I've been posting lots of snippets and bulleted lists lately, and not much else. Oh well, here's another one.

-Holly and I are making lots of decisions about Maeve. I know God will guide us because I continually ask Him to, but it's scary to start to take small risks with the hope that it will grow. We have no reason to think it won't grow, but we also had nothing to lose to this point. If you think of us, pray for wisdom and guidance!

-I made cinnamon raisin bar cookies a couple of days ago, and started to be suspicious today that they were making the girls and me sick. Tonight I realized it must be the new brand of raisins I bought. Duh. There on the wrapper "processed in a facility that also processes wheat." I should know to check labels by now. Duh again! So we're all doing the gluten thing this week. My stomach is killing me, and the girls have fought constantly for three days. Again, duh! Course correction...back on track. This is the life of a gluten free person!

-Nick and I get to go on a date tomorrow night. This is way overdue, and the first night in awhile we even have available to do that. Joanna's mom's group is doing mom's night out tomorrow night too, and I am torn, but date night is going to have to take priority this time. I'll miss all you guys! Have fun!

-I have been reading the Today's Lessons blog for literally YEARS. Her most recent post is a beautiful documentation of her garden heading toward fall, and she invites anyone interested to email and request seeds from her garden. Well, I emailed, and yesterday I received a whole thick envelope full of flower seeds! I am so very excited. Except now I have to wait all winter to plant them! :) Our lease is up at this house June 1st, which means I will practically have to put a garden in before I unpack the house, but I WILL be gardening next summer. I am determined.

-This post by New Life's college ministry pastor sums up my feelings about the election. (In my reader it's full of question marks - everywhere. Weird. But the content's good!) I vote based on a political party only so far as that party usually agrees with my worldview. But when I ask the questions Aaron Stern presents, I inevitably end up with the republican candidate. I know several of you are Obama supporters. If you are willing to humor me, I would honestly, seriously love to understand why. What is it about what he believes that resonates with you? Whenever I hear him talk I find myself saying, "but I don't WANT the government to do that for me." Surely we can all be adults here and chat about this, kindly. I'm tired of politics too, and I can't wait until the election is over and we can all just deal with the results. But I'm also very curious about this.

Alright. I'm making myself go to bed now. Discuss. ;)

Critical Thinking

Staci wrote an awesome post today about how to analyze those "news" articles. You know, the ones that appear to discredit organic food or some other thing that it just doesn't take any brains to know is better. :) Let's see...feed my kids food covered in chemicals, or not covered in chemicals. If I can afford organic, uh...let's see...

Now if we could just get everyone to apply those thinking skills to the election. But, that's another story. ;)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekly Update

1. My kids are watching Barney. I used to swear I would never allow this. Oh well.

2. The bridal fair went well. Holly and I felt a little like we were still playing business. There were lots of big companies, and people with lots of experience. The caterer next to us was almost cranky. The laser hair removal person on the other side of us was a super aggressive salesperson. There were multi-level marketing people across the aisle from us. It was interesting, to say the least. We got quite a bit of interest though, and a couple of girls enthusiastically told us, "Oh! I've seen your website and I'm so excited!" Really? Really? That amazes us a little. I suspect it will be worth it, but oh, were we tired by the end!

3. We are interviewing a seamstress tonight, and I'm looking for additional illustrators through Craig's list. I'm already amazed at how many talented people live here.

4. I'm keeping this a quiet week as far as plans. I'll have lots of follow-up work to do for Maeve, and we need a break.

5. Friday night we went to Ted's Montana Grill with my parents. It was SO yummy. But apparently I got some gluten and spent all day Saturday on the couch, aching so badly I couldn't function. I even took Advil - it doesn't seem to help in that case. My incredible husband ran the household almost single-handedly all weekend between that and the bridal fair. The house was clean, the dishes were done, meals were made...he's pretty much incredible. :) Love you, Nick!

6. Nick also fixed the heater fan in our Jeep yesterday while the girls napped. It's been broken...a long time. He really is amazing. :)

That's about all I got. Lots to do today...better get to it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Well, I Tried

Conversation at breakfast this morning:

Me: (Reading the handout they gave us at church last night) Did you guys learn about the Good Samaritan in your class last night?

Hannah: No!
Audrey: No!

Me: Oh. Did you learn about a guy that was hurt, and some people didn't help him, and then one guy did?

Hannah: No.
Audrey: No.

Me: Oh. Well, did you learn about how you should love your neighbor as yourself?

Hannah: no.
Audrey: no.

Me: Oh.

Is it just me, or does it already seem like I have teenagers?