Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall is in the air!!

Fall is on it's way! HooRAY! This is my favorite time of year and I always say "I'm so lucky to have been born in my favorite season!" lol!  Audrey remarked the other day, as I was attempting to be crafty with some things for my table and coffee table, that I didn't need to decorate for fall because my whole HOUSE is ALWAYS decorated for fall;-) 

Oh well, what can I say? I LOVE fall colors:-) Anyways....I took some photos of the kids the past week and needed to get those up for the family. So hard to believe that next weeks post will be about my littlest munchkin turning 7 months old! YIKES! How is it that after they are born the time goes so fast you can hardly catch your breath, but while you're pregnant the time goes so slow you feel like your suffocating...well, literally...hehehe:-) He's turning into such a crazy man...but that's all for next weeks post!

I've posted a few pictures of my house for my sister Em, to get her in more of the "fall mood" as she lives in the very dry, sandy, same-ole-look-to-every-season, state of Fl:-)

The kids have also been busy playing in their playhouse, helping Mommy put up apples and tomatoes, and getting the flower beds ready for fall/winter landscaping. The girls are doing well in school and Adalyn is beginning to be able to read 3-4 word sentences.

The girls made cards for Uncle Jeremy's birthday (he lives in Brazil) and we took photos of them and their cards and emailed the birthday greetings on the exact the snail mail anyday!

Adalyn is also learning how to ride her bike and has even pedaled some by herself. She doesn't really want to learn to ride, but we told her "it's time":-)

Last, but most certainly not least, is Caleb...he loves his toes, "singing", says "ma ma", and looks just like a little man all dressed up for Church! How we love this little guy! But, I'll have more on him next week:-) 

I'm not sure why one of the pictures turned out blurry, but I guess you can still see that killer grin and that's all that matters, right???;-)

Until next week....Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

O Taste and See that the Lord is Good!

Unusual title, I know, but I chose that one for a specific reason for this weeks blog post:-) Every week I make my grocery list for the Farmers market, white envelope my money, and shop carefully to get the most "bang for my buck". Well, this week I didn't do anything different to prepare for my grocery shopping except I didn't buy anything! "not buy anything??!!" you say, yes, not buy anything. I didn't buy because the only farmers that were there were the herb and soap sellers. I don't like to eat soap nor do I need any herbs.:-) 

Hmmm...what do I do? I have this money all neatly tucked away in my wallet, I have a car to drive around in, and yet, I do not have a thing for the weeks groceries except some meat and potatoes from last week's shopping. 
My Mom was with me and she suggested we make another 30 minute drive to another market to see what they had. It was already late in the morning and there would be no guarantee that the other market would have anything.  I replied, " No, I don't know what we're going to eat this week because I am NOT buying that stuff at the store and I am NOT going to worry about it. God already knows all about it and He WILL PROVIDE because I've already asked Him to". 

Just an hour earlier, a friend of mine had called me and told me that she had some leftover veggies from her garden and she didn't want to bother with them this week because she had fresh stuff to deal with for the upcoming market in BS. She didn't say what she had or how much and I told her that I'd drop by on my way home and pick it up. I didn't think much about it because usually there's not much left over after a regular market day for her and I knew she was busy with other stuff this week and just didn't want to have to think about it.  BUT GOD KNEW!

I went by her house and when we pulled up in the driveway I saw the large box and bag on the porch:-) The box was full of two different kinds of peppers and onions and the bag held several eggplants! At the same time, my mom said that her bean plants had not been making all summer but just this week they decided to produce and were covered! So there, I didn't spend a dime and had enough vegetables to eat on for not just one week, but TWO! I didn't have to go the the store and buy tasteless watery gmo vegetables, nor buy anything canned, nor search the paper for a "free deal". I asked my Father for my daily bread and He gave me two weeks worth:-) I was then able to take what would have been my grocery money and bought milk and a month's (or more) worth of local raw honey. 

See, I had the money in hand and a car to drive to go pick it up, but I couldn't buy it because no one was selling it that day! They weren't selling because my Father was giving. We ask Him to show Himself to be real and then we don't expect to see anything happen! In these days of tighter budgets and skinnier wallets, we tend to think that we must be the ones to figure out how to make things stretch. We tend to think that "healthy" is unaffordable because of the price of the "organic" products on the shelf in the store.  We don't taste and see.  Now, the "easier" thing for me to have done would have been to resign myself to my set budget with a "woe-is-me-attitude because I can't afford the "organic stuff at the store" , gone and bought whatever was cheapest and eaten the nasty stuff with my "sacrificial" attitude. But, who would have gotten glory out of that? NO ONE. The only thing gotten would have been upset stomachs and a struggle with resignation that "I was too poor this week" (or irritation at the farmers for not meeting my needs:-) 

I have been guilty so many times of "making it work" on my own and have many times taken pride in my ability to do so.  A while back, as the chief cook in the family:-), I made a decision. I asked the Lord to help me feed my family only that which is truly good for them. I told the the Lord that I wanted to raise up a healthy family, not hindered by consistent illness and fatigue, in order to be physically effective for His service. I also told Him that I would do my part and work with whatever was available each week through my own garden and the gardens of others that He was going to bless. Now, that is a little scary!! When you step away from the conventional grocery store, you are stepping away from dependency on machinery and every kind of "....cide" known to commercial farming that can seemingly produce things to resemble what should grow in a garden.:-) 

I asked the Lord to use this area of my life as a way to grow me spiritually and as a way for my children to daily see the Lord provide in ways that only He could do. What an exciting thing it was for me to be able to share with my children the prayer of my heart and for them to visibly see the answer to Mommy's prayer on their plates every meal time! We pray "Lord, give us this day our daily bread..." and yet, every spare minute is spent on figuring out how we are going to make that happen.  Now, I don't really know what to do with eggplant, but I think I'll take my Dad's advice and "take a cooking class" on the internet;-) 

Stay at home mommies sometimes struggle with the feeling of not being "out there" in some grand and glorious endeavor that will show our children the power of God. What I have found is that I don't need to be "out there", I just need to be available to do what is right and to have the courage to leave it totally in God's hands! My children and I saw God this week in a powerful way and it has strengthened my faith to put more trust in Him than ever before! 

So, as you approach this new week, take courage and "TASTE AND SEE!"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Below is the monthly Newsletter from Foothills Connect in Rutherfordton, NC where my Dad manages connecting local farmers to local markets. If you are interested in getting a hold of some really FRESH food and some REAL meat, this is the place to check out! Enjoy!
For anyone interested, there are three local markets that you can visit weekly: Thursdays from 5-8 over at Boiling Springs YMCA, Saturdays from 8-11:30 in downtown Columbus NC, and Saturdays from 8-12 in Forrest City NC in the parking lot of the Tri-City Mall. From breads to meats, these people sell it all! And, if you don't have the time to drive all over, check out the produce, meats, and breads available on, order, and drive to one place to pick it all up at the same time...can't beat that!

Urban Box Newsletter for 9-16-2011!
 Greetings all !Did I hear someone say today that they rolled their windows up on the way to work the other morning? I did. Did I see my breath morning before last? For sure. It's called livin' in the Blue Ridge... (Another sure sign it's football time. Hope your team won, mine did...) Apple time, punkin time, cushaw time, tailgating-with-local-brats-or-weiners time and yes, even candy roaster time! OK, OK, the candy roasters are listed on the market/featured page and as stated previously, what a conversation piece. Talk about it, admire it, take family pictures with it, paint a face on it and hide it in your kids' beds so they'll see it when they wake up, take it for walks in the stroller... Now that is something I could get into!  Almost as much fun as using a banana for a cell phone while in rush hour traffic. Because it stores so well, you can have all this fun with it and then you get to eat it. Oh what scrumptious pies! Save the seed and plant your own next spring. What a deal! Yes, this silly diatribe about a squash will bring on an UNSUBSCRIBE reply or two, but bless their hearts, I bet the last time they smiled was when they cut someone off from getting on I-85. Anyway, hurrah for the harbingers of Fall!Candy roasters aren't the only conversation piece on our virtual farmers market I'm seeing a cornucopia box with corn and even cayenne peppers all strung for drying, jams and jellies of all kinds including a gift box that would mark someone right off the Christmas list, shiitake mushrooms, chocolate mint cookies, local honey and yes, for a wee bit longer, those Big Red peaches. 2nd crop tomatoes are just around the corner along with a bunch of other apple varieties and cider. Yummy! We here at the Farmers Fresh Market also would like to express our thanks to all of you who have made the last three weeks the biggest three week run in our short history. Something just broke loose about three weeks ago and we've been running to keep up! Our buying club hostesses have borne the brunt of it and continually amaze us with their creativity and perseverance in dealing with what one youngster said when they walked in, " Mommy, it looks like a store!" This would not be happening like it is without these ladies and whenever you're there, on the scene, and the van arrives, go ahead and help where you can. But a lot of you do... Somebody told me, so thank you one and all!It's SO obvious that more and more folks are opting out of "government food." Here's a quote from my pastured poultry mentor-“If you want government food, go to the supermarket  and buy government food. But for those who want to have a relationship  with their food, and the accountability that inherently comes with  voluntarily and informatively opting out of the supermarket to go ask  around, smell around, sniff around, look around and opt out of the  government food system, they ought to have that right.”- Joel SalatinYes, it is not easy at first to "opt out." It might mean getting a food processor or a Champion juicer or a freezer or a grain mill or a dehydrator or taking a food preservation class or bless your heart, a cooking class. It might mean deciding to eat locally and then figuring out that, wait a minute, bananas and coffee aren't local. It could be that you find a bulk food co-op and carpool the pickups. It definitely means changing your home library or your Kindle requests. It could mean a little less soccer/baseball/football/swim team and more farm tours/gardening/edible schoolyard. Yet, as daunting as it may seem, the rewards far exceed the cost! I think I may have used this quote before, but it bears repeating- " You either pay the farmer or pay the pharmacist !" Who knows, maybe someday we'll have a Dave Ramsey-like radio show with people cutting up their Food Lion cards and screaming, " I'm government food free!" These farmers are doing their part to help. Nutrient-dense, local, fresh and worth-offering-to-the-three-trillion- microorganisms-in-your-digestive-tract food is right at your fingertips. With the click of a mouse, you can begin, continue or expand your crusade to opt out of food that my Granny said was causing us to "dig our graves with our teeth!" Just go do it. Do something. All it takes for us to lose food freedom "is for good men to do nothing."
“The bigger issue here is, to me, that when we can't  access our neighbors with food, then farming just dries up. The fact is  that all these hurdles that prohibit local food commerce keep what would  be millions of dollars circulating in the rural local economy are  therefore denied to the local economy. So farmers go out of business and  sell to developers.”-Joel Salatin
Know your farmer, know your food, know you're right! Putting a face on the food,Kirk
Foothills Connect Business & Technology Center was established in 2005 to support the development and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurship in Rutherford County.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Each day brings new things

Well, it's littlest man has decided he's ready to use the spoon:-) Just a little banana for today, but will be starting him on boiled egg yolk and banana once a day. I must confess that I'm not quite ready for this, but he obviously is:-) *sigh* They grow up too quickly!

And not to leave his sisters's an Addy "funny":-) The other day we had temperatures in the 70's and she wanted to go out to play. I think she's jumped the gun on the seasons though....

Now, remember that this is my child that wanted to play in the sprinkler when it was 45 outside and we let her, thinking that she'd give it up once she went outside...nope, not her! Somehow I've got to help her get her outside activities in line with the correct!

And Last, but not Least...Audrey:-) 
 She was helping Adalyn with a Phonics experiment and was getting into it as much as Adalyn was:-) She's my big girl helper and I'm glad she's mine!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Answered Prayer

   The last year and a half, Stephen and I have made some physical issues a matter of diligent prayer. While I was expecting Caleb I began experiencing some uncomfortable rib pain...pretty much thought it was just car accident related and pregnancy A while later we discovered through some examinations that two ribs had dislocated, but were able to have them fixed. The pain, however, did not go away.  It got to the point that every breath I took, I experienced severe pain. We thought that it was just pretty much still pregnancy related and that it would go away once he arrived. Well, it didn't. A couple of months ago, I began to have pain in my shoulders, elbows, and eventually in my hands to the point that picking anything up or playing the piano was excruciating. The left side of my back was also swollen to twice it's normal size.  Chiropractic care relieved some of the swelling but the pain was still there. The pain is located specifically and to put pressure on it would about make me puke:-) Anyways, through some research, examination, and advice, we determined that I have a stress fracture in my rib.  Many different things have brought this one... mainly car accident, difficult pregnancy...We bought a brace and I've been wearing it day and night for three days. For the first time in almost 3 years, I've slept through the night (well 6 hours anyways:-) two nights in a row without waking up one time. The swelling has already started to go down and also the pain in my arms is diminishing. I was able to play the piano yesterday for a good bit without pain so that made me really happy!!

Caleb is not getting any lighter these nursing and holding him has been a difficult challenge. I am just grateful that the Lord answered this prayer because I did not want to have to wean him and not hold him like I want to.  It will take a long time to heal and I'll have to wear this thing for many months, but we just kept asking and knocking and the door was opened up to us! When you haven't slept for more than a couple of hours at a time without waking up for nearly 3 years, a couple of good nights of sleep is something to be happy about and thankful for!!!!:-) Maybe this time next year, I'll be able to go for a run again! Before the accident, I used to run 5-6 miles a day, 5 days a week. I've missed doing that and have had to modify my exercising. Now, I can begin to heal ***rest is imperative to good healing*** and focus on getting back into being a better helpmeet to my husband and better mom to my kids!

I am thankful though for all these experiences that the Lord has brought my way over the last three years. I've gained new perspective on the the issue of chronic pain and can now have a greater sympathy for those who are experiencing chronic pain. I've also had to rely more on the strength of my Lord than anything else during this time and I know that He will still be the main source of my strength in the days to come. I've learned that He must be our sufficiency in all things because He CANNOT fail. Human flesh fails us and friends forsake us, but our Lord is always the Same!  Many days I lived minute to minute asking for strength to go on just one more. Certain passages in Scripture and songs have come to be more dear to me than ever. The Lord always seemed to bring a verse or a song to mind just when I thought I couldn't do one more day. Many times a song was all I could sing and I would sing it again and again because it was the only thing that brought comfort. See, comfort of the soul overrides comfort of the body when one has a Lord to rest upon.  The pain was still there, but the soul was comforted. 

We know that the Lord works all things in our lives for good and that He will not give us more than we can bear, even though there have been times when I thought that He misread my pain tolerance I am thankful that He is patient with our failing flesh and that He doesn't write us off when we fail in our responses to the tests. Though this journey's end is not in sight, yet I know that the Lord will always answer my prayers...maybe not always when I think they should be answered, but answered they will be! Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Really??? 6 months old already??!!

Another milestone has been reached today...6 months old! I remember thinking to myself on more than one occasion 6 months ago that" all would seem like a bad dream 6 months from now" It seems that I just blinked my eyes and here we are six months later with a healthy, happy (well, for the most part - teething isn't fun:-) growing little boy! What a joy he is! Just in the last few days he has started really belly laughing at us, giggling when tickled, likes to  blow loud spit bubbles, and has discovered his legs and toes! He is so funny when you try to change his diaper. He sticks his legs straight up in the air and you lay them down to undo/redo the diaper and he immediately pulls them straight back up. It makes for interesting diaper changes, but it's quite cute too:-) He also has figured out that if he "fake coughs" somebody comes running to check on him. It has been interesting to observe that he does not "cough" until he is either being put to bed or is supposed to be playing with toys by himself and he doesn't want to do that...he starts his coughing thing, kinda soft at first, and if no one responds right away, the coughing gets a little louder and more pronounced with a little yell in between the coughs! lol! It's so funny and we usually end up picking him up (NOT when he's supposed to be sleeping) and having tickle time or what not, so he does get held a lot! BUT, that's OK! He will only be little for just this very brief time and we are determined to enjoy every single minute of it!

Several people have asked me is "he is really all "ok"? and to us he is. Now, according to stats and growth charts he would be considered "slower to develop". I determined when I brought him home that I was not going to compare or expect. I have taken each thing that he does as a blessing and have enjoyed each stage of his little life so far and am kinda glad that he's not growing up quite as fast as his sisters did:-) In some areas I've observed an advancement to what his sisters did at the same age. He does weigh more than either of them did, more verbal, and is quite a bit more expressive with body and facial expressions than they were. He still struggles with holding his body upright, but that will come:-) All in all, he is just fine! He has not had one sickness since he came home and that is miraculous!

So with a heart of gratefulness, we will enjoy this new day with him and look forwards to what the Lord has in store for us tomorrow! We love our precious little guy and are thankful that the Lord entrusted his earthly care to us. May we never take it for granted!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The three little munchkins and how they grew...

Here's a few pictures and video clip from this week's school. School is going well and Caleb has been fairly cooperative despite the fact that he is trying desperately to cut his second tooth:-)
This second one is proving to be more stubborn than the first and he's been quite fussy and not napping well...oh well! Home educating is so flexible when it comes to a teething!

We made these houses one day to correspond with Adalyn's phonics lesson...I even made one myself and it was fun!

Now that the weather has started to cool off a bit around here, we've been enjoying playtime OUTSIDE and Caleb and I have enjoyed many a swing together on the front porch. He loves to watch his sisters play and it won't be long before he's running around after them!