Nesting has been a different experience this time. Firstly, it has been more prolonged. I blame this on the increased hormones required for nourishing two lives. Secondly, my focus has been more on the cleaning chemicals I have been using. I am trying to make our home a completely safe, and non-toxic haven for my little guys. I will still be using cabinet locks, but I will also be using safer, homemade cleaning chemicals from now on. I have done so much research and the things I thought were helping me keep our home clean are also helping diminish our health and longevity. The side effects of commercial cleaning products are many from reproductive dysfunction to endocrine malfunction, to respiratory irritant, to allergic reactions. I recently have made natural window and mirror cleaner, disinfectant, deodorant, and stain remover and laundry detergent. The recipe I will share with you tonight is for the household disinfectant. It has already proven itself to me during my husband’s recent bout with a stomach bug! I was not only pleased with its superior ability to clean my kitchen appliances, and bathrooms but also the pleasant, non-bleachy smell!
1 cup water
1/3 cup liquid dish soap ( I plan to make this as well, just haven’t collected all the ingredients I’ll need yet…more to come)
20-30 drops tea tree essential oil. Tea tree oil has many wonderful, proven abilities to act as an antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral agent! It is also pretty inexpensive!
You can also add a few drops of lemon or grapefruit essential oil. Lemon and grapefruit oil also have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Plus it adds another dimension to the already pleasant smell of this mixture!
(I use a mixture of very hot water and a few drops of lemon oil to safely clean my son’s bath toys that I know he potties on on a regular basis!)
Use a funnel to place all these ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake, and use! I use soft, clean microfiber cleaning rags with this solution on just about every surface in our home. I’m completely sold. I will never go back to commercial cleaners/disinfectants again! It’s more economical, and works better in my opinion.
I love that I am still having a bit of traffic to this site, even though I’ve been neglecting writing on here as I should! I actually do have a good reason for not writing recently. On March 10 I found out I was pregnant again! On April 2 we had our first doctor’s appointment and were completely shocked to find out we are having twins! We had never in our wildest dreams imagined we would be parents of twins, yet somehow I knew I was carrying twins before the appointment. Don’t ask me how. I actually texted a good friend of mine and asked her what she thought about me having a larger than normal belly for the amount of weeks along I was…She told me it was probably just hormones playing with my mind basically. I recall telling her- “or, it could be twins!!”
At our appointment when the ultrasound tech confirmed it was indeed twins, I think the first words out of my mouth were, “You have GOT to be kidding me!” Followed closely by, “I’m so glad there is an Ikea near by!” I was so excited I was laughing, making it difficult for the tech to get the pictures she needed. My husband’s eyes got really wide, but I could tell by the smile on his face that he was very excited too! I have been required by my OB to be seen by him, and to have an ultrasound done every three weeks. It is absoutely amazing to see God’s handy work in knitting these two babies together every three weeks!
Our 16 week appointment the tech was able to tell us that we would be having IDENTICAL boys!! She confirmed that at our 20 week appointement. Time has flown by. I am now 25 weeks and 3 days along as I write this today. We get to see our boys in 3D tomorrow!
When I first found out we were having twins I was so excited, yet at the same time, scared to death, and so overwhelmed! We called all the family members and our friends, who ALL thought we were playing a late April fool’s day joke on them. Once we assured them this was for real, they were all very excited, but also told me how busy I’d be, and so on. I even had one person tell me, “glad it is you and not me”. That night I went to sleep, only to be awakened at 2am by who knows what. As I sat there in the stillness of night, my mind began to race…”We need to come up with 4 names…2 first names, and 2 middle names”….”how on earth will I have the time to not neglect my precious toddler, with two newborns demanding all my time?” …….”how on earth will I handle 3 kids under the age of 2 while my husband is at work 24 hours every other day??”…..”how will we fit them all in the 4-runner?”……”how will I ever grocery shop, go to the gym, run errands ever again with twins and a toddler in tow?”….”I am going to get huge! How will I ever loose the weight and not have a flab of skin left behind? Especially since I probably won’t have time to work out with so many little ones? That will look terrible, and I’ll be so self concious about it!”…..
It was about then that I felt a strangling sensation around my neck, and it got very difficult to breathe. I began thinking, “I just need to breathe!” I felt a little panicky but didn’t want to bother my husband who was sleeping soundly. After trying to take a few deep breaths, I still felt unable to breathe, and lightheaded. The sensation got tighter, and I got more frightened. I closed my eyes, leaned my head back and tried to be calm and just take in the air I needed. In my mind, I cried out, “Jesus, take the hands of Satan from around my neck! Release me from this fear!” At that very moment, the sensation eased, and I could immediately breathe. I thought about the interaction I’d just had with the unseen world, and it became very real to me. God is my ever present help in time of need. I felt a new power in my life that night. I knew God had triumphed over evil on my behalf. At 5am, I finally had peace in my heart and was able to rest again.
I went to have my prenatal labs drawn at a lab in town. When I sat in the chair the woman immediately noted from my chart that I was pregnant with twins. I told her that was correct and she got a big smile on her face as she told me that she was the mother of twins too! She went on to tell me how wonderful it had been to raise twins, and even gave some helpful advice in the short time it took to draw my blood. I walked out of there feeling God’s infinite grace once again. He had provided me the comfort I’d been looking for on the lips of a lab tech!
I had started a women’s bible study through my church shortly before we found out about the twins. We were studying the book of Jonah and how Jonah was called to go to Ninevah, a place he did not want to go, and tried desperately to change his own course. God would not have it though and in the end, Jonah went to Ninevah and the entire nation was saved. I had just been telling the ladies that I really didn’t have a Ninevah in my life at that time. Then we found out about the twins, and everyone kept telling us how hard having two newborns would be, and all the complications my pregnancy could have, and all the problems at delivery time, and the list went on. My anxiety level was going through the roof. One morning I clearly remember standing in church singing, “His Mercies are New Every Morning” with all the other ladies in Bible study. I began to cry right there in the service, because I knew He was speaking directly to me, and letting me know he had not abandoned me, in fact He had blessed me beyond my wildest dreams with 3 children! He gave me a vision of my arms full of my children, and we were all smiling and laughing, and I could feel the happiness and love coming from that moment! I knew then that my arms had been created for holding and loving the children He has blessed me with. I knew that this was definately NOT the burden others were making it out to be, but the exact opposite , a blessing straight from my Heavenly Father of Love.
I have since joined a local support group for parents of multiples. Through them I’ve had many questions answered and lots of good support, and helpful advice.
My husband and I have also decided that I will stop being a nurse for awhile at least, and I will transition into being a stay at home mommy to our little precious boys. We have prayed that God will bless this decision. He has been so faithful many times over again. We were given 2 carseats and bases-the exact brand I’d been looking at buying! I was actually not going to buy them, because they are very expensive. God provided them for us! We were worried about what kind of vehicle we could find to fit three children. I had read about fitting three across in our vehicle, but we would have to buy carseats that were $300 each for three children, and then again when they grew out of the infant seats! We found a mini van for a great deal while visiting my parents! The mechanic my dad and brother trust assured us it was in good condition. I had a wonderful woman offer to be my doula both for birth, and post partum to help me learn to breastfeed two little ones. She is offering her services for free! I have had numerous friends and family offer help in such kind and generous ways! Everything has been falling into place, and I am seeing how things can and will work! Once again gifts of blessing straight from God. It has been an exercise in trust, and I do not do well with things that I cannot plan or reason out in my head. God has been teaching me that He is perfectly capable of working out the details…without my help. Exiting my outside job, and thus my career will be a big change for me. I’ve worked in healthcare for the last 18 years. I’m ready for a change though, and motherhood seems to fit perfectly! I am really looking forward to all the boyscout meetings, games, camping, snowboarding, and biking with our boys! What a fun journey it will be!
I love chicken salad sandwiches. I created this recipe the other day when I had leftover fried chicken and a hankering for chicken salad sandwiches!
You will need:
*2-3 cups mayonnaise
*1/3 cup mustard
*2-3 hard-boiled eggs-de-shelled and diced
*Pickles-diced and as many as you like! I love pickles so I add lots.
*2-3 celery stalks washed and sliced into thin slices
*1 tsp of the following spices: cayenne, paprika, garlic, thyme, marjoram, pepper
*a dash of kosher salt
*mild cheddar cheese
*Fried chicken (see previous recipe) cut into small chunks-I cut mine really small since I have a toddler eating this! I like to heat the chicken for a minute in the microwave too!
*French bread slices-toasted
Mix together the mayo, mustard, diced boiled eggs, pickles, pepperocinnis, spices, and salt.
Lay the toasted french bread on a plate, and top with the warmed chicken, and then the salad you made, then a slice of cheese, then the sprouts I usually add a few slices of pickle for garnish. I serve this dish again with iced tea and tortilla chips and fresh homemade salsa.
Enjoy lunch! I know I’m going to!
Last night I ran across a very cool tool that enables you to delve into the heart and soul of your spouse/significant other, or your children for that matter. It was a list of questions that you can discuss with each other…I love lists of questions like this. This kind of exercise helps you understand not only your spouse/significant other but also yourself better. Sometimes I find that these kinds of questions require quite a bit of contemplation by both parties. I have what seems like a million things I’m interested in doing, or trying. This helps narrow it down to what is the most important, and also makes you answer that ever important question of, “why do I believe this is so important in my life?”. It begins to shape and prioritize. It begins your journey of prayer and true soul searching. I believe that knowing the answers to these kinds of questions also enables us to be better spouses/significant others because we then begin trying to find ways to work towards what we know will make our spouse/siginificant other, or children happy. I believe questions like these reveal what a person is made up of.
So are you ready for the first question for contemplation enjoyment?
Here it is:
If you had two full weeks all to yourself-free of any kind of obligations, what would you do?
If you had 5000 dollars to do anything you wished, what would you do?
*I knew ahead of time that my husband’s answer to this one would be that he would buy a raft…
If money were no object in your life, what kind of work would you choose to do and why?
I find it so interesting that I found questions like these during a time when my husband and I are dreaming of a very large project and trying to plan for it together. I feel that working on your dreams and goals together brings you into a kind of intimacy that you will never know with another person in this lifetime-and that’s a wonderful feeling! Happy dreaming!
Here is the cold frame my husband built. It is made from our old windows, and wood that used to be a deck attached to our home. The deck was the only thing that didn’t pass inspection on our home when we bought it…so my husband took it down, and is now re-using the wood.
A cold frame increases your growing season for those of you who live in colder climates. You can start your seeds in the house, and then place them in their pots inside the cold frame to acclimatize them to being outside (it’s actually warm inside!). The window is attached to hinges. You then lift the window and place your seedlings inside.
Yeah! Finally! I would love to let my son play with play dough, but I know he would just eat it. I have wondered how I could make it edible for him until he understands not to eat it. Today I ran across a website that explains it! The website is http://cheapfamilymeals.info/category/kids-recipes/ Here it is! ENJOY!
1 box cake white cake mix
1 stick of softened butter-NOT melted!
3 TBSP water
Have some flour on hand in case you put too much water in accidentally!
Mix dry cake mix and butter in large bowl. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time until you achieve the desired consistency.
Mix in food coloring
Hand over to your child and let them enjoy!
My husband and I love gardening. I remember gardening as a child with my grandma. It was so fun to plant the seeds and then see the new little shoots coming up soon after. I watered and pulled weeds often as a child. I used to think that the up-keep on a garden was so boring. Funny that now I find it relaxing to sit outside, breathing the fresh air, feeling the warm sun on my back and shoulders, listening to the birds, and feeling the cool spring breeze while pulling weeds and tending to the garden. It brings a little piece of my childhood back.
We live in the city now so we bought a house with a very large back yard. I believe we will be getting chickens soon! The possibility of fresh eggs every day is very exciting to me! Our back yard needs some work-so this summer we plan on getting at least a portion of it into shape.
My husband has built a large composter and then brought home another very large vessel that used to be for storing non-potable water. It has a large opening on the top. We use both for composting since we have such a large backyard, and the need for lots of compost.
A composter is a wonderful way to reuse, and recycle! I thought today I would list some dos and don’ts on composting. If you are living in town-in a covenant community-be sure to check out your community’s rules on composting. Some areas will not let you they say due to the stink…we have never had a big problem with odor and have been composting for 3 years now.
Anyway, be sure your composter has a large enough opening for air to circulate to begin the decaying process.
In your compost pile you should never put animal protein/fat of any kind with the exception of fish. Now, fish will be stinky, so you may want to bury it pretty deep in your compost-and don’t keep it in a scrap bucket in the kitchen. Also if you have problems with raccoons or other little critters in your yard thus your garden, you may not want to use a lot of fish. So if you have meat scraps-other than fish, give them to the dog for a tasty treat instead.
Things you should include in your compost:
Yard trash such as leaves, grass clippings, most kinds of animal manure are great…I can’t see using dog or cat poo though. My grandma used chicken manure on her strawberry patch and got wonderful results! You must wash your fruit very well though-it’s best to let manure decompose for a while before using it on your garden-less risky for fecal type bacteria that are harmful to humans. Branches from trees tend to not decay too quickly. We do use the larger vessel for those kinds of things though since the decay process will be so much longer-then we have one compost pile that is always ready to use, and one that is decaying slower.
Vegetables and fruit peelings, or veggies and fruits that have gone bad in your refrigerator.
You can use all of the plants from your garden once late fall comes and the plants die off.
You can even include things like dog hair-from your vacuum canister or human hair if you give yourself or your family haircuts at home.
You can put used tea bags in the compost.
Sometimes my husband has me stop in at Starbucks (which I like to do anyways!) and ask them to keep their coffee grounds for the day. They have never given me less than around 50 pounds! You will want to do this only once in a while as to not get your compost too acidic. If your soil becomes to acidic it can affect how and if your plants grow.
You should have a shovel or a pitch fork on hand to turn your compost every so often. You can also water it with the garden hose to speed the decay process.
Once you have a beautiful, dark, rich looking soil (usually will be the lower most layer of your compost-so you will have to dig for it!) you can use it in your garden or flower beds.
My husband has been researching a type of gardening this year called lasagna gardening. We have raised beds in our yard for our garden-so that we can fill them with nutrient dense materials and make very rich soil for our plants. He rototilled the beds, then laid down a layer of newspaper, a layer of straw, and then a layer of compost. This is done in late fall when your plants are done producing and ready to be tilled under. The beds will get snow on them-which is rich in nitrogen that plants love, and the soil will be nourished by the layers of goodies he put down. When spring comes, we will rototill the soil again, and begin planting our new seedlings. He is busy building cold frames from our old windows right now! I will post pictures when he is finished! Cold frames lengthen your growing season and are a great place to place your tender new seedlings until they have grown strong enough to place in your garden.
The above pictures are of our composters.
If any of my readers have any more great tips for composting I’d love to hear them!! Happy composting!
All the widows stood around him, (Peter) crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas/Tabitha made while she was still with them. Acts 9:39
As I listened to yet another great sermon by our pastor yesterday, I was so moved by this verse. In this verse a beloved woman has just died. The widows who are standing around Peter are crying out of brokeness. Tabitha (Dorcas-what a name translation! eek!) showed love to these widows through making clothing for them. What I am struck by is that Tabitha used her hands to make practical things for these widows to show them kindness and love. It is apparent that Tabitha had a heart of compassion. It is also apparent that Tabitha looked for ways to bless these women.
I believe that this verse has so many practical applications in our lives today. Do we have a heart of compassion? Do we look for ways to bless others; to reach out to those in need? We can start right in our own homes by doing those seemingly mundane chores such as laundry and dishes, without grumbling. We can be sure that there is lunch in the refridgerator for the working spouse to take into work the next day-maybe even with a note of appreciation for the hard work they do for the family. I know many of you are saying, “I work hard too!” This attitude of gratitude is usually contagious-and we are called to give love unconditionally-no strings attached, just like Jesus did. Love is a choice remember? It’s not a feeling. Feelings are as fleeting as the wind due to our human nature. We often times need to choose to love the unloveable, and broken people in our midst. I find Tabitha so inspiring because this is exactly what Tabitha chose-to love the broken in her midst, and she was greatly loved for the kind acts of her hands.