Friday, March 30, 2012

loose tooth

i have expressed before how Abigail is reluctant to pull teeth. that has been the case with one of her remaining front top baby teeth. it was just hanging but we didnt dare touch it for desiring not to have major wailing.
today she, Asher & Esther were playing in the living room....(i call it mayhem at large, but they call it playing). their idea of playing was having Abigail roll around on the floor as Esther & Asher jumped over her face and head. not smart, but their play none-the-less.
well Asher jumped and Abigail didnt roll & he kicked her in the mouth & knocked her loose tooth right out of her mouth. much to Abigail's dismay we couldnt find the tooth until about an hour later. so now her tooth is safely in her little tooth chest keeper (no tooth fairies here) & she is a happy camper. Esther was fascinated with the whole process. I didnt get her in the picture but she is standing up on the bed beside them trying to peer into Abigail's mouth.
wildness abounds here with Asher. the albuterol is not helping him in that area (he actually has been in timeout about 5 times to day) - but it is helping his breathing. he is holding the tooth up in the picture.

ok for clarification - as i stated in the last post, i have become "one of those moms". as Jenny commented "one of those moms that i would have judged harshly 15 years ago". sadly so true. but i have been humbled and brought low. i am not super mom. the only reason i had it so good 15 years ago is because Rachel is an outstanding person. it had not much to do with my parenting skills - i have since learned. anyway, yes those are the same pajamas he wore to the doctor yesterday. and no i didnt dress Abigail. She dressed herself. it is what it is. i'm sick. i'm pregnant & the reality is it just doesnt matter anymore. as long as we arent going off to church or out in public (the doctor doesnt count with a sick child) they can pretty much wear what they want. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

results are in

i received the results for the baby's 1st trimester screens. all is normal. now we head to the 2nd trimester neural tube screen & an EKG on the baby's heart between 16-24 weeks. i fully expect all to be well.

unfortunately i am sick with bronchitis as well as Asher. poor kid. here is a picture of him at the doctor's office this morning. (notice he is still in his pj's.) a very dear friend said to me - after i told her he wore his cowboy boots with his pj's - "oh you have become one of those mom's". very funny! but yep. i'm one of those mom's - sick & tired - literally. this kid is so sweet. (and as of this afternoon abigail & esther have started running fevers.....)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

1st trimester screens

i went to the doctor today to have the 1st trimester screens done on the baby. basically to see if the markers come back for downs syndrome or trisomy 18. we are not anticipating a problem but would like to be prepared in the event something arises.
the ultrasound tech took a peek - albeit early - at the baby's private parts & if the early indications are right we are having a boy. she told me to not hold her accountable until the 20th week but it looks to be a boy to her.
we are just praying for health.

here's a peek:

Monday, March 26, 2012

long day

it has been a very long day. unfortunately my allergies have turned into an all out bronchitis attack. i am going to the doctor tomorrow for the 1st trimester screens on the baby so i plan on asking for an antibiotic to clear all of the junk up. i'm tired of being sick.
plus i started a huge amount of vitamins. i hate taking pills but i'm doing it...vitamin d, prenatals, iron, & omega-3....and they are all gross!

we had the 2nd counseling session with our child. it's going to get hard before it gets better. we also will be going to a psychiatrist to try a different medication for this particular child's ADHD. while i dont think it's the main concern, we dont want to rule out the disability affect on this child's life. we just want a medication that has more pros than cons attached to its use.

i'm also dealing with depression. i still cant seem to shake it. i realize that being off of my anti-depressants have caused some of the relapse. also, life. just everyday life. its hard. i listened to this Bob Carlisle song today off of's how i feel today. i'm not perfect but i'm not a complete failure either. i walk in God's Grace everyday. i am trying to live my life the best i can, being the best person i can, without worrying about what everyone else is doing. i can only be accountable and responsible for myself in Christ, while trying not to be a stumbling block to those around me.

"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love."
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Thursday, March 22, 2012

too cute

i know i keep posting pictures of esther or levi lately...but they are really cute & at a fun stage. rachel was pulling them around in the wagon today while i was getting clothes in off the clothes line & she rode them past me & i had to snap some pictures. Our beloved Georgia's cherry blossom tree is blooming & rachel picked off a couple of the flowers & stuck them behind their ears. esther thought it was hilarious that levi had one on his ear.
anyway, they were happy.

also here are a couple of SHORT videos that rachel took of levi today dancing. the boy has some moves!! again they are short - very short videos. if you blink you might miss them. and you will notice a few other little people dancing around him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


so esther doesnt want to sleep in her bed anymore. she, lately, has fallen asleep on my bed, or on the floor out by the couch while i was using the computer, etc. she just wont go to sleep in her bed right now. it's a stage. it will pass. for now we are enjoying her. well i should say, for now i will enjoy her. she is majorly a clingy mama's girl at bedtime. i'm hoping we can get her through this before the baby gets here. (yes i'm already looking into that). the last few times has been really hard. abigail & asher took it hard when esther was born & abigail, asher, & esther were all miserable while i was in the hospital having levi. its going to be difficult period, but we need to find a way to deal with their anxiety at not having mom home. they are not use to that. i have only left any of them (except rachel elizabeth who travel regularly with clay) at night to just go have babies. no other times. and the older i get and the more i learn and believe...i think that's a good thing....that i dont leave them. they are my children. my babies. they shouldnt be sent off to feel insecure - even if they think it will be fun at the onset of a spend the night away. i think abigail is getting to the age where she would do better for an extended period of time away from mom & i'm talking like 2 days max. but the other way. it's not suppose to be that way. i'm not saying that they, on occasion, shouldnt be at home without mom & dad - if we go off on a mini trip. but they need to be at home with each other & not shipped off to stay away at other's homes. and we have had to do that - send them off for a night...but it's always worse when they get home...the clinginess & insecurity. as for clay & i taking mini-trips. that generally does not happen. he works too hard & just doesnt find time to do it. and i'm a bit of a homebody. i like my house. i like my kids. i like my animals. i like my stuff around me. for now.

so i have been looking into these homeopathic remedies to help aid sleep & suppress anxiety in little children for short periods of time: (i was turned on to them off of a blog i read so i didnt come up with this by myself - i even borrowed her picture: ). anyway, at this point, clay is open to any help considering he has lived it the last few times. i even left the hospital a day early with esther's delivery, when i was close to cardiac arrest because of a belly bleed - against my doctor's better judgement - because abigail & asher were miserable -which in turn made Clay miserable. and considering we dont usually have help during my hospital stays, Clay & the 2 older girls go it alone with the little ones. and this time around wont be any different. and my recovery time here at home we are planning something a bit different. possibly paying for help to come in. we are throwing around ideas. my mother has come up with 3 out of the last 4 deliveries to help here at home with my recovery. she works & is a vital part of her company so it is hard for her to be gone for extended periods of time. plus, she is so much like Clay in that if she leaves then things get done wrong & she has to fix them when she gets back & it just makes more work for her. plus my dad relies on her a lot. if she isnt there to feed him, he doesnt eat well. so i dont think that will be an option this time around. i would rather she & my dad come up for a visit together to see the baby & the kids rather than she feel like we just want her to come up and work. so anyway, time will tell. we will see. plus Clay & I will do what we have to - we always do. being 6-9 hours away from family - we always have. this is our family & our children. our responsibility.
anyway, here is a picture of the 2 items i am going to look into for the kids. might get it & try it to see if it works. especially with esther's lack of sleep lately.

here esther is last night in my bed. she's so crazy but in a good way! love this wild girl!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Baby #7 is cooking as i type. i had a doctor's appt today..the first for this pregnancy. everything went well. the doctor was wonderful, but then again Dr. Dixon is always wonderful. she has done 2 of my c-sections out of the 4 that this practice has done. she just has a wonderful bedside manner. she isnt judgemental at all....just helpful, encouraging, & straight to the point.
i am going to have to watch my weight this go round. bascially i have 15lbs i should comfortably gain this pregnancy & really no more. my blood sugars are doing excellently so at this point gestational diabetes hasnt reared it's ugly head yet. we will do the glucola test at 16 weeks like every other normal second, third, etc..time around pregnant lady who had gestational diabetes in their previous pregnancies. we are not assuming i will have the diabetes.
the baby's heartbeat was a solid 160 beats per minute. i have to go back next week for 1st trimester screens. since i am 41 we think it is wise to be prepared in case there were any health concerns with the baby - but then again we have always choosen to do the screens to be prepared just in case. we have a lot of people to prepare. i do not expect any abnomalies to show up.
the kids are so excited still. asher told me this morning "i'm ready for the baby to come out so i can hold him." he will have to wait until sometimes in Mid-October.

here is either Israel Zachariah or Cadence Ruth:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

chicken tractor - check

well it's finished. Clay came through in a major way. we have had a problem over the years with our speciality chickens. the problem being - keeping them alive. we have had silkies before. we have had polish before. they have all died. the little specialty chickens really need to be set apart & cant be kept with the standard sized birds. they get killed. we have always had a standard size rooster try to cover out little silkie hens & they end up breaking their necks & killing them. so this time...we got smart. we are keeping them separated. what is also nice is we wont have to worry about what kind of mix breed chicken we will get out of this small flock. it will all be silkies or silkie/frizzled cochin mixes.

that's what those cute little fluffy chickens are called. silkies. nope they arent poodles. they are really nice little birds. and the one little white bird that has the curled up, wild feathers is called a frizzle...she is a frizzle cochin. only 1 in 4 chickens with the frizzle feathered gene actually frizzles. we bought these & the lady sold me her last frizzle. we were estatic.

these little guys are our 2 polish chickens that we incubated ourselves. out of 32 eggs we only had 2 hatch. it was the worst hatch i have ever had. but the chickens are very cute. the little brown polish is actually frizzled so i am happy with these 2 little guys! i mentioned to Clay this morning after putting the chickens in their new coop that now that he knew how to build one i would need another one depending on what hatches out of the 25 eggs i have incubating now (12 being polish, 12 being leg horns, 1 being our own barnyard mix). if enough of the polish hatch they will need to be kept separated also & since we already have a chicken tractor of silkies, we will need another one for the polish! 

Anyway, Clay has worked diligently on the little tractor to my specifications & i appreciate his hard work. Rachel is thrilled as well considering these are her chickens. They should live long & happily in their new little coop.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


today was a milestone in Rachel's life. she finally had her 2nd pair of braces removed. we have roughly spent about $10,000 to have Rachel's mouth made straight & pretty. It wasnt just to make her mouth straight & pretty.....which is a huge bonus....but her mouth is so small she had no room for growth. she had permanent teeth growing in sideways. she has had to have 4 permanent teeth removed & her wisdom teeth removed so that the remaining teeth she has in her mouth fit nicely and wont cause her problems down the road. her new retainers are plastic that pop onto her teeth like a fitted glove. very fascinating to me. and before Rachel left her orthodontist office she found out that each of the retainers (there are 2 - 1 for the bottom & 1 for the top row of teeth) cost $150 each to replace as we told her if she lost them, broke them, or didnt keep them safe from being broken..she would be responsible for their replacement.

here is her before:

here is her after:

i think it immediately aged her but not bad. she's a beautiful girl. the receptionist, Mrs. Kitty, who is seeminly fascinated with our family & is always very nice and fun to talk to, told me after Rachel walked back to start having her braces removed, "she is drop out gorgeous." i must say i agree completley with Mrs. Kitty.

between 2 different appoinments today with getting the braces off & going back to pick up the retainers i decided to cut the grass. spring has sprung & the grass (well weeds really) are out of control. so my OCD got the best of me & i decided to get out the riding lawn mower & cut the front yard & the back yard (not the back lot). needless to say, i may have erred in my judgement. i love cutting grass. i love the uninterrupted time of listening to music or being alone with my thoughts. i love being out in the sun, outside - just being is the best. but i think i sneezed 250 times today if not more. my allergies are already out of control with the pregnancy but the weeds blowing in my face made it 1,000,000 times worse. and i didnt think to put on a face mask until the last 20 minutes. it did help tho, for the last few runs. so tonight i got my clothes in off the clothes line, set the table, gave instructions to Rachel & Elizabeth concerning supper & abdicated the throne for the evening. i have been laying down since about 6:15. i am crampy. i'm wheezy, sneezy & hacky all rolled together. (on not to mention itchy) i have used my inhaler & my afrin nose spray. both have helped. i'm alternating between drinking hot tea & diet mt. dew. but i learned my lesson. no more grass cutting for me this pregnancy. i'm done. i dont think this old girl & her already big belly can take it - as the crampy belly is indicating. but then again it could be from all of the sneezing. but why take the chance? in Clay's defense in why he hasnt cut the grass, he has been diligently building my chicken tractor. when it is finished (he promised by Saturday), i will post a picture of his handiwork with my silky chickens in it. i'm so excited about this chicken tractor & didnt want him to stop building it. next he is going to build my bee hives & till up the garden plot....woohoo!!! thank God for his goodness of spring & summer! i can not wait for fresh watermelon, canteloupe, honeydew melons, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, grapes, strawberries, muscadines, blackberries, apples, peaches, figs, .......i can not wait!!
here i am on the lawn tractor:

Monday, March 12, 2012


ok these 2 pictures go with the last post:

the 1st picture is of my tomato plants already started & my cucumbers already started. the office is my small greenhouse at the moment.

the 2nd picture is of the donuts already ready to go to school tomorrow. yep...they look homemade...but think of their yummy goodness!

oh & the last 2 are bonuses. abigail brushed my hair today & gave me a new do! i forgot these were on the camera. i refused to let them take a picture from the front. it was interesting enough from the back. & esther had to get in on the hair styling & styled her own hair. it didnt last long & the bows are now put away never to be used when i want them to be. oh well.

donuts & tomatoes

so rachel has to take something edible in a round shape tomorrow for school to share with her school mates because it's 3.14 (PI in the math world). Since she is taking Geometry & Algebra the teachers made a party out of it. So we made donuts...yep donuts.....we used this recipe. they turned out pretty darn good....of course not as good as Krispy Kreme's but good enough for homemade. i saved the donut holes for the kids for breakfast tomorrow morning.
my back is killing me after standing on my feet for the last 2 hours making them but i'm proud of myself.  i have come such a long way with this homemaking deal in 18 years.

today i also finally finished starting my seeds....tomatoes, cucumbers, canteloupe, watermelons, squash, zucchini squash, honey dew melon......there's more but i cant remember off of the top of my head. we use the God's Way of Planting by T.E. Black as a guide to when is the best time for starting seeds & planting. it' goes with the astrological phases of the moon. it's very interesting & i would have never thought to do such a thing before meeting Clay & his family. i would have thought it voodoo. but it's really not. it's understanding the seasons that God put in place. Mr. Black is long since passed away but you can send  $10 to his address in Alabama (T.E. Black, PO Box 785, Andalusia, AL 36420) & still get the guide for the 2012 season. You have to use it in conjunction with a good Almanac with the astrological signs like the Old Farmer's Almanac. today the signs were in the "secrets" (old country folks way of saying, loins) & it was perfect for planting. so today i planted.
I even got the Quinalt Strawberry roots planted - all 70 of them.  I am praying for a harvest of strawberries. i want to make jam!

and just on a side note: the therapy went well today. we are very optimistic about this being a good thing & a turning point in this child's life. i thank God everyday for this child. i know He has a special plan & their testamony is being written into one that will change lives!

**sorry for no pictures. i was too tired. maybe tomorrow.

prayer changes everything

today is the day we draw a line in the sand with one of our children. we refuse to let satan have his way with their self-esteem, their mind, or their disabilities. this child has an overall language based delay (basically they have a hard time sorting it all out - it's like a big ball of yarn that the cat has gotten to & scrambled into a mess), short term memory lack or damage, dispraxia, & an articulation disorder in regards to speech. this child also deals with abandoment issues, adhd, oppositional defiant disorder & self esteem issues. what can be very frustrating is that you would never know that this child has this long list of issues (unless you here them speak i.e. articulation) by looking at them - they look very age appropriate - if not older. but these delays or disabilities affect every aspect of their life & ours in parenting this child. while we are very diligent in continuing this child's schooling at home to give them the needed support, it was time to seek counseling to deal with the above mentioned issues this child is facing. today is the day. Clay, this child, & myself start counseling today to help this child with their issues & to help us parent this child better. please be praying that this will be the turning point that makes some much needed changes for us all. i'm believing this is the right thing to do at this time. all we can do is try right?!

Friday, March 9, 2012

the games we play

does your family have a family game? we have one. we play "guess the singer or group". thank goodness for youtube, google tv, pandora & digital cable with music channels because we play it more than probably what is normal & school the kids in music singers & groups.
i'm not trying to brag but i am generally the winner of the overall genre game....i know a wide variety of music from all genres & styles. my Mama raised us on Motown & beach music. one of my favorite albums is from the movie The Big Chill.
we learned to do "the Shag" at school during P.E. classes in elementary school (besides what we didnt learn from our Mama & Daddy doing it for us in the living room) - HELLO it is the South Carolina State Dance! My Mama could dance that dance. They use to have Shag contest in the mall. I remember many times watching them at Dutch Square Mall - in awe of the couples who could dance....the Shag perfectly.. & do the under the arm, behind the head kind of spin & never lose grip on their partner's hand. I remember Renee & I doing it together but I doubt I can remember how now. I can in my mind still do it but who knows if my legs could. Maybe it's something I need to teach the kids - for fun.
anyway, back to the game. put on some Sam Cooke, James Brown, Tempations, Otis Redding, Genesis, Duran Duran, Cars (usually), Patti Labelle, Creedance, Charlie Daniels Band, Conway Twitty, Elton John, Chaka Kahn, Kool & the Gang, etc.....I'm good (my ipod of about 8000 songs is a varied collection.) and i know some people dont listen to secular music, and we respect that choice but we do. it's reality and we do not feel bad about that or convicted by that choice at all. but we are selective of what we will allow the children to listen to in their rooms, especially at night before bed. call our logic crazy, but it's what it is. the little ones especially - they have only kids praise & worship in their cd players & their radios are never in use.

Clay tends to win when it comes to obscure singers like George Benson, Benny Mardones, or Dan Folgelberg. out of about 20 songs/singers he stumped me on 2 tonight....Dan Folgelberg & a Cars' song. I couldnt believe I didnt get the Cars tonight. It was their song "who's gonna drive you home". and i have no clue what the Dan Folgelberg song was. But the Cars...i was shamed!

we had a fun time playing. Abigail & Esther both got out of their beds & Elizabeth & Rachel sat around laughing & watching. (the boys were fast asleep). Rachel kept saying "oh she knows that one" or "that's one of her favorites"....Clay would type in on his google tv keyboard the singer or song & Rachel has a pretty good idea what music i like & dont like or dont know even. my back was to the tv so i could not see what he was typing in as not to spoil the game.

Anyway, Clay introduced me to a newer BeBe & CeCe Winans song that I have fallen in love with called "Grace."

Here is the youtube. Check it out. (dont forget to stop the music at the bottom to hear this one)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Esther Adlai

Esther is such a delight. She, recently, has become a serious Mama's girl - literally my shadow. No one else is allowed to do anything for her....except on occasion Rachel & that's if Mama has ok'd it. I guess its a stage. I can't say that I have trouble with it - as I don't. She is so much fun. She enjoys a good joke. She enjoys a good cup of coffee & she will sit in silence & just be with me.
As a matter of fact we are in the little van, sitting at Rachel's co-op, waiting for Rachel to be done with classes. We are sitting here...not talking, listening to Rush (ditto heads here), just being together.
I think she likes me so much right now because I really try to understand her needs. Esther has a mild speech impediment. Probably not even that - she's just #5 of 6 & hasn't had a need to talk much. But I really strive to find out what she is trying to say rather than ignore her or shut her down. And generally everyone else does also, but generally they try to guess & distract her instead of really find out what she is saying. And I get that...its easier.
But Esther is my little buddy girl. I adore her and am blessed that she is my daughter.
And on that note I must express how blessed I am by Elizabeth. She has grown up so much lately. I am able to be here with Esther, waiting on Rachel because Elizabeth is at home with Abigail, Asher & Levi holding down the fort. If you have more than one child and are over the age of about 36, then you can probably relate. It Is tiring to have to load up all the kids, make sure they are all buckled, run 5 miles up the road, just to turn around & go back home. And its especially draining if there are several in car or booster seats & refuse to anyone but Mama or Daddy buckle them. It also gets very tiring when some.of the children think because they are getting in they must bring something to entertain themselves or they immediately declare as you are pulling out of the driveway that they need to potty &/or they need you to stop at the nearest fast-food joint and buy them a drink or else they will surely die of thirst.
So yep, Elizabeth is a blessing. I am so excited for her this year. Her 13th birthday is this year & she gets her trip to NYC with her Dad. Plus she loves the Nancy Drew series. We were able to get 50 books of the 56 book set off of Ebay for her birthday. She has some duplicates (about 10) that we can resell. & 1 that was missing out of the set we bought she already has, so now I just have to hunt down the last 5. (They are all on Ebay, I just have to order them). She is going to be thrilled. Her birthday isn't until July tho. I guess I can wait!
Hope you have a good day.
Here's a picture of my Esther playing "babydoll".

Monday, March 5, 2012


this boy is turning into a comedian. he's all smiles & giggles! he never fails to make us laugh & he never says a word - really he doesnt speak a word. we never hear mama, dada, no, mine...nothing....nada....well i take it back he will point & say "this". and he on occasion will say "thank you" but other than that...nothing. but he conveys himself without having to say a word. (and we are working on the sign language).

i think he is realizing that 1. when a camera is around you give your "cheese" face. & 2. when you get caught being somewhere you dont belong you give your cute cheese face because it gets you out of trouble. yes that is the dog kennel he was in. we had to keep it in the kitchen for Readen, our Cocker Spaniel, to heal from her recent surgery. Levi LOVED the dog kennel. and then he climbed in the girls barbie house. Elizabeth caught him up there today. crazy kid. now he's starting to climb. I am in soooo much trouble! but it's good trouble (if there is even such a thing!)

and now for baby names - a bit early:

girl names:
Cadence Ruth or Ruth Cadence - cant decide which way i like it
that's the only one i've even considered at this point. I can see a little Ruthie running around with Esther.
Well i also like Naomi - but at this point, Ruth sticks with me more.

boy names:
Samuel Zachariah  (but on further examination i'm not digging Sammy Simmons - but we would never call him Sammy - it would be Samuel or either Zach - most likely Zach)
Ezekiel Zachariah (still Zach) (rachel said it had too many z's)
Daniel Zachariah (now leaning towards that) (rachel said she knows too many daniel's & doesnt like it)
Judah Isaiah (but Judah is not at the top of my list)
Hudson is a consideration still...Hudson Isaiah or Hudson Zachariah...I'm definitely leaning more towards Zachariah than anything at this point.
and Luther Zachariah is always in my mind...Luther has always been a name i wanted to use & i'm sure - for the most part - that this will be my last baby - unless we adopt & get to do a name change.

i guess i need to get further along & decide if we are going to find out the sex or not. since this baby was a complete surprise - i'm contemplating keeping the sex a surprise until the end. wouldnt that be fun?! i dont know if i can do it tho. someone once told me that if my babies were little chicks in eggshells that they would never make it to hatching as i would crack them open way before they were ready to see if they were done! so yep, i'm a tad bit impatient. (also you have to understand that we do about 6 hatches of chicks & ducks a year &  1 time when i thought the little chick was dead in the egg i unfortunately cracked it open to see the development. but i'm always putting a flash light up to them to see them moving in the eggs & their developmental stage is only 21 days at most) also FYI: we have 2 little polish chicks that hatched out this weekend in a sweet!

and i know y'all are probably wondering what Clay has to say about all of this......he trust me with the kids names. very rarely has he put his foot down. he does like Samuel Zachariah (he thinks the baby will be a boy) but i dont think he was looking at it in light of the SS together. i didnt at first then when i said it outloud i didnt like it so much. but we just talked about it today actually so it wasnt a major discussion........he wasnt even keen on Asher at first but now sees that i really did know what i was doing. i truly believe we should name our children with much prayer and consideration. so while these names are all fun to go through...i still have some praying to do & i have to have an idea of who this child is in the womb. got some time either way!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

dont do life alone!

we didnt "attend" church today in the normal sense of the word. we actually attended our church service online today. while i'm not a fan of that being a "normal" way for us to "attend" church - it met our needs today and it is a wonderful tool to reach the nations.

Pastor Craig has been speaking on "TOXIC"....toxic relationships, toxic situations, toxic people, toxic words...etc. and he has been preaching on how we should not be toxic, how to avoid being toxic, how to avoid being in toxic situations, how to walk away from toxic people.

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21

it has been a great series. one we all needed to hear. it's easy for us to become toxic - or negative over things that displease us rather than put our selfishness aside. it's also easy for toxic people or people's negative reactions or words to bring us to a place that draws us away from the Lord. and sadly there is times in our lives when we have to find a fork in the road (so to speak) with regards to toxic relationships or toxic people & we have to go our separate ways.
anyway, that's a recap of what his sermon series has been on these last few weeks (and i think we were able to hear all of them with attending saturday night service & online service).  I didnt come on here to post about the actual sermon - even tho it has spoken volumes into my life in many different ways...applying it where it is necessary is a slow process, and one that God must be in the lead role......but i came on to post about the church.
if you do not have a home church or you find yourself working on sunday's or late saturday's & cant get up to go to church on sunday mornings...or even if you just want extra bible study & want to hear God's unadulterated word, in a very simple way that speaks directly to hearts, then Harvest Central Online is a tool for you.
check it out here .

Saturday, March 3, 2012


rachel has been asking me when i was going to make bread again. they like the bread i make. to give you an idea of how much they like it...well a loaf can be gone in a matter of minutes between all 6 of the kids.
so last night rachel was asking when i was making more bread. i have wanted to but it is taking everything in me these days to wash the clothes, keep the house at a minimum level of cleanliness & keep our schedules. many days a shower isnt even an option for me.

so i told her that she should get out the recipe i use & make some bread herself. well she goes and grabs the whole wheat version - nuh uh! so i pulled out my mennionite cookbook & showed her the recipe for basic bread. she immediately got busy & made 4 loaves of bread. (and yes she went from night to the next day to finish the 4 loaves - you will see in the pictures the light out the window goes from night to day - so i was clarifying). she did an excellent job. she is learning more & more how to cook & follow recipes. she enjoys learning how to be a homemaker (in some aspects). she is a blessing to me on a daily basis.

have you ever been in a house when bread with yeast in it is being prepared or cooked? it is one of the best smells ever - in my opinion. (Clay was pretty proud of her also & had to get in on the action)

now to tell a little funny about Clay....he was at work yesterday & some of the guys were discussing their "chores" at home...or their jobs. most of us share jobs when it comes to house work or we have different areas that we prefer to deal with. Clay is generally responsible for anything that requires tractor work. he enjoys being outside. and i am a bit OCD so i prefer to do the laundry & the house cleaning. he does help at night put the little kids down at night. i am the main food preparer but lately he has become a big help in doing some of the grocery shopping as it is easier for him to pick things up on the way home. anyway, the guys were talking about their particular jobs & (and in light of our recent announcement at work) he told them that he only had one job at home "to reproduce". needless to say he hit the mark with that comment!

I will leave you with this:

Thank God for His mercy & grace. without Him i am nothing. no matter who stand with me or against me....God never fails me or abandons me - even in my weakness. i am humbled by His unending love for me.

"Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35 

Friday, March 2, 2012


"Ambidexterity is the state of being equally adept in the use of both left and right appendages  (such as the hands). It is one of the most famous varieties of cross-dominance. People that are naturally ambidextrous are rare, with only one out of one hundred people being naturally ambidextrous. The degree of versatility with each hand is generally the qualitative factor in determining a person's ambidexterity."  - Wikipedia

come to find out, this boy - my Asher, is proving to be ambidextrous. And of course that makes his Dad very proud as he says he was a bit ambidextrous as a child but his parents forced him to abandon the use of his left hand and only use his right. i think it's a very cool quality to have. the pediatrician told us that he actually has better muscle tone on his left side, which would make that side dominant. I have been saying for a while now that Asher was ambidextrous as when we sit to do some school work he cant decide which hand to write with. he switches constantly. i let him switch back & forth because he's got to be comfortable and he is who he is - i cant fit him into a box of my making. i want him to be comfortable in his own skin & know that he is perfectly Asher - joyful & happy!

now that i'm on that subject of ambidexterity, it makes me think of life. i know i'm stretching it here but stick with me.
ambidexterity isnt a bad thing. we should be able to on one hand know right from wrong and on the other have the ability to forgive when wrong has been done or even have the ability to accept that possibly we might not be right in our conclusions or decisions.

i'm not saying for one minute that ambidexterity should be a quality that we have in our faith in regards to our foundational beliefs. but we should have the ability to love, be compassionate, accept people as broken sinners - saved by God's grace (or as broken sinners, lost & dying in this world & in need of God's Son), and judge according to that compassion. the older i get, the deeper my understanding of scripture, i am finding that love is more powerful than judgement. if we choose to judge over love, we do nothing but separate and divide.
i've been studying Hudson Taylor & oddly enough Mother Teresa.
those two people understood love over judgement. they gave their whole lives in service to Christ and loving the lost, sick, poor....over judging them.
how is it that we as Christians find it hard to do that? we judge each other over loving one another? those closest to us even. why is it easy to love those we dont know & judge harshly the ones to whom we are closest? shouldnt it be opposite? the reality is it should be neither - we should love period. love wins every time.

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." - Mother Teresa

"Christ is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all." - Hudson Taylor

now for a final comment - to see if you are paying attention and reading to the end. i was going to wait until the 20th when we had a picture to share...but we have already told the kids and family members.....we are expecting baby #7 in October. we are surprised - completely caught off guard and thrown for a loop with this one - was not even on the radar. we had just received the packet from Social Services to start foster care classes. we are happy. what a blessing a new baby will be and we are enjoying the excitement that the kids have over the news.