Thursday, December 31, 2009

My adventures in Green/Raw foods education

I've been drinking Green smoothies pretty much everyday since December 12 and I've noticed some rather nice changes in myself! I start off each day craving a green smoothie and making a huge one for myself. No sugar or high fructose corn syrup, only frozen fruits, water and spinach (I've yet to try any other "green veggies" in the smoothies). Some of the benefits i've noticed:

  • The dark circles under my eyes have started to diminish. I've had those forever regardless of sleep or not, and they have actually lightened.
  • I don't need or want any coffee in the morning. It doesn't even appeal to me and it's something I couldn't live with out a few weeks ago. I didn't say I don't drink coffee at ALL....just not in the morning!
  • I have WAY more energy than I did weeks ago. MUCH more.
  • I physically FEEL better, healthier.
  • My skin has totally cleared up and looks much better than it did weeks ago. All my blemishes are gone!
  • Everyone else in the house got that nasty fever/runny nose/cough/ thing and I have stayed healthy (though I know there are other factors involved and I COULD still get sick with everyone hacking around me...)
  • I don't crave junk food or sugar. I don't even have the slightest desire to have a bowl of ice cream at night after the kids are in bed (which has been our little tradition for quite some time now)
  • I crave fruits and veggies.
So now I'm reading "12 Steps to Raw Foods~How to end you dependency on cooked food" and am very intrigued by it. I know for a fact I won't ever be able to convert this family into a raw foods family, and of course I really enjoy cooked food. But it's so interesting to read about the chemistry behind raw vs. cooked food and the benefits of eating raw (by the way I am NOT talking about eating raw meat or chicken just veggies). I will definitely be adding more raw foods into our diets and trying to take out the precessed foods (by the way a show on Modern Marvels about how cold cuts were made really helped me want to eliminate THAT from the kids diets!), even removing more sugar from their diets. They actually like a lot of healthy foods (Jonah's favorites are frozen blueberries and a a Spinach salad for a snack!) it's a matter of cutting out the less healthy items in the house. At least for myself and the kids during the day I'd like to eat only raw foods (or very little cooked and meat/chicken) and then have a normal dinner. Like I said, even though Dave teaches chemistry, I don't think he'd get on board with this....but you never know, and I don't think I want to give up all my yummy recipes! But I would think adding healthy and taking out not so healthy most of the day should be good for you right!!??

I've borrowed a few books on how to get kids to eat more raw....I'm looking forward to checking out some of those recipes! I'll let you know!

As for my Green smoothie recipe:

1/2 to 1 frozen banana (necessary for the sweetness factor)
1-2 cups of frozen pineapple, mango, papaya, strawberries (found in a frozen smoothie mix at Costco)
1 cup of banana/strawberry/apple smoothie (found it at costco~organic and NO sugar, pure fruits)
1 cup of pure organic guava juice (again NO sugar added)
water if you still need to dilute to get the right consistency
a heaping handful (or more) of spinach

I blend up the fruit and juice and water first then add the spnach last. You might have to blend it a lot to get the spinach to really get blended in and not in bits and peices.

So WHY green smoothies? What makes em so good for you?
  • They are nutricious.....no really? Yup!
  • Easy to digest since you are breaking down the cell wall of the greens making it easy for the body to assimilate.
  • They are a complete food because they have the fiber in them (juices emliminate the fiber)
  • Fruit dominates the flavor, yet greens balance out the taste with zest!
  • They are chlorophyll-rich...it's like getting a healthy blood transfusion each time you drink 2-3 cups!
  • Because greens are hard to get into your diet, this makes it super easy to make, drink and clean up after!
  • Even the kids love it!
  • You reduce the amount of salts and oils and FAT in your diet
  • After a few weeks you will enjoy eating greens more and start to crave more greens ( I totally attest to this!)
  • I can carry my green smoothie around for hours in a thremo cup with a straw and it stays could and doesn't get watery like other smoothies, it stays nice and thick and smoothie like!
So there you have it. My little talk on green smoothies...... call it a new years resolution of sorts to eat healthier and feel better physically.....if you like.



Happy New Year everyone! Careful with those fireworks! We are loaded up and ready to go here!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Craziness!

All in all Christmas was superb this year. All of my immediate family flew in for the special day (except poor Tessa who tried and got cancelled flight after cancelled flight due to snow and high winds). We haven't had Christmas together like that since I was pregnant with Ellie! I think the year was 2005, so it's been a while!

We started the day at home. It was really nice to be here by ourselves for the first time in years. I actually had to wake the children up! I woke at 5am all excited and giddy and went downstairs pluggin in Christmas lights and starting coffee......and waiting. Finally Ellie woke up and then Gracia and then the 3 of us went in and roused the boys. We came down stairs and finished the last ornaments for our Jesse tree and Dave read the story of Jesus' birth from Luke. It was really special, I was surprised the kids weren't impatient and begging to tear into their presents. It was actually nice they sat and listened to Dad talk about why we were celebrating a special day and why we exchanged presents at all.

Of course we DID get to the presents and recorded them opening the big FULL boxes from grandma and grandpa, that was a hoot, we'll post that at some point! With our growing family we never have tons of money to spend each year and even though it would be nice to go out and splurge on the kids, it felt really good to be able to buy the kids 1 thing they really wanted (a Nerf Blaster for Jonah and a Poop Doll for Ellie) and a few other things we knew they would really enjoy. And they were so satisfied and pleased, even though there were lots of things left on their lists they didn't get. We never heard ONE complaint. I felt like we accomplished getting across to them what we were really celebrating, and it wasn't just gifts.

After a quick call to Dave's family (which didn't last long enough) we threw the kid in the car and headed to my parents house. That was where the REAL choas happened! Have you ever tried to open presents simultaneously with 20 people????? It was crazy! But fun too! I spent most of the time trying to chase after the flying wrapping paper *(okay I was seated and mainly just being pelted with wrapping paper balls but whatever)*!! The kids were even more pleased with the thoughtful gifts they got there as well, Jonah really scored big time with all sorts of science experiments and books, and I was happy as well, being the nerd that I am!

Then we ate and ate and ate the best food ever, all the traditional stuff was there (well traditional for our family) like Great Noni's "Red stuff" (layered jello mixrd with fruit with sour cream in between...it's deliscious!) and then we played Pit and Apples to Apples. I was so thrilled that everyone was loving Pit. We learned that game from the Heldts and then found friends here that also love that game and actually gave us a copy! And it was a hit, the loud screaming and yelling was hilarious. (If you haven't ever played Pit and want to know what it's like to be in a stock market check it out, you can find it at Toys R Us....it's easy and fun!)

Eventually we made our way home, exhausted and full in heart and belly and trunk!!!

Last week though wore me out. I had a few meltdowns the days after Christmas. From last Saturday until this Sunday we went every single day to something out of the house. A party, birthday, dinner, shopping, Church, something took us away from home. And the more we go the bigger the mess is here. I dont' know how it happens exactly but almost everday we were coming home late at night, getting up early packing up and going again. I guess that leaves no time for cleaning, laundry, straightening. Things get thrown out of the car and back in, it's chaos. Needless to say I was totally fried.

And now everyone in the house is sick. Fevers, runny noses, coughing ,the whole works. I think so far I have it the easiest with just a runny nose, maybe it's all those green smoothies I've been drinking everymorning...who knows but we are pumping everyone's immune systems with all the strenght building things it needs hopefully!

I've been trying to catch up on all the reading from the books I've requested from the Library...I finished Ina May Gaskin's books on birth and midwifery, I'm working now on Lorraine Curry's "Easy Homeschooling Companion" and after that I've got a Biblical parenting book by MacArthur lined up, The Green Foods Bible, Disease Proofing your child, Baby Greens, the Birth Book and the Gentle Birth Book. I guess it seems I'm in a non-fictions sort of frame of mind! Funny I think I am becoming Dave, I'll need some easy reading at some point soon I'm sure!

We've got 5 days left before school starts up again and we are in the full swing of things! I've still got sewing to do and organizing to finish and I absolutely HAVE to catch up with laundry before next week Monday. I might drown in it if i don't. It's been a constant purr of the washer and dryer for days and I 've commited to folding it right away so the clean pile doesn't turn into a mountain on me! It's worked so far.....who knows how many loads I have left though!

Hope the end of your vacations are restful and fun!

And just for the record, we found out we are having another little girl! She was very clear about showing us who she was! Her little profile is so adorable, I can't wait to meet her! It seems to me that to others a fourth baby and a third girl in a row isn't very exciting, but to us the blessing is amazingly exciting. All of the children are so different and so wonderful to watch develop and grow, she will be just as special to watch!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Midwife Appointment

My very first appointment with the midwife today went fabulously! I loved the location of course...overlooking the huge waves were amazing and so calm and peaceful. But even more calm and peaceful was the midwife and her assistant. She answered all my questions I had been saving up after reading 2 Ina May Gaskin books, even about the shoulder dystocias with the girls (though she said from the sound of it they weren't true shoulder dystocias). She told me everything she has and does and is prepared for. All of her experience, being at this for 34 years, being both an RN and a Nurse Practitioner eases any fears I have of her ability to care for me and the baby being so far away from the hospital as it is. Dave and I brought all the kids with us so she could meet everyone, the kids just ran around the house and the grounds playing and exploring and they were so wonderful about all of that. We talked about a waterbirth and she said she was a professional heated tub we can use! That sounds great! And basically we just talked and got to know each other! Dave really liked her which I was relieved about, it's extremely important we are a team on this one. We also talked about how I go through transition and get stressed out, deliver the head to quickly...etc, things like that. I love the way she really just listened and reassured me. I've been doing so much reading and research. I really want this birth to be wonderful. Every birth no matter what has been wonderful, bringing my children into this world. But I would like this birth NOT to be stressful if at all possible! It's exciting and stresslifting just thinking about NOT leaving the house and worrying if I will have to deliver a baby on the side of the road! That alone has lifted an immense amount of stress off of me!

After the appointment we went down to Lanikai Beach and got to swim with lots of Turtles! The are so neat to watch I don't know why! I suppose because you don't see a whole lot of Ocean Life up close. It was really fun, sometimes the beach is a little stressful for me with all these little ones but it was relaxing. It was funny to see the looks we got with 4 little ones (Bella was with us) Jon (who's 14) and another one on the way....I laugh at what others were thinking that I couldn't actually hear.

At one point Dave turned to me and said, "See 4 little ones isn't very many kids at all!" He's right.....I know it's all the hormones swirling around....but I love my babies. Life is extremely overwhelming sometimes but then there are times like today that for a little bit, all is calm and peaceful within watching those little toes dance and run in the shore break, those are the times you really feel the blessing of God's hand upon your family. I know people think we are a little off for having all these babes especially so close together and truthfully sometimes I am roaming around looking for my marbles myself. But THESE little moments are when I find my answer. When I know what God has given us in these little souls is so much richer than any worldy treasure.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

{Step One to accomplishing a dream}

First prayer.

It's been a {not so} secret desire of mine to have a homebirth. I've labored and birthed in 2 different hospitals and though it hasn't been horrible, it hasn't been exactly what I've wanted either. So this was something I have committed to prayer.

First and foremost the health and safety of me and my baby are very important. I've had 2 babies born with shoulder dystocia. After asking the doctors, they could not tell me why it was happening nor if it would happen again. After some simple research my thoughts about what I had experienced were confirmed through research. It seems my two daughters crowned so quickly (I think due to my stress level) and didn't have enough time to fully rotate before I was trying to deliver the rest of them. Ater a very short time had past, (30 seconds or so) another contraction would hit, the baby would rotate and deliver without problem.

I've been doing lots and lots of reading on natural birth again, and reading other woman's birth stories and just really wanting the birth I've tried for and dreamed of. At least the CHANCE to have a calm, peaceful birth! I finally found some information stating that our insurance covers up to 80% of a Nurse Midwife!!! The same as is covered by a Doctor! So I emailed one that is an RN and Midwife and Nurse Practitioner. She does homebirths and waterbirths and has been practicing for 30 years. She even worked with my current Doctor (who by the way is amazing....very pro woman and pro natural birth). Anyway after talking to her for a little while I am thrilled. She said she doesn't even care about the insurance companies, she will accept being paid the 20% if that's all we can afford! Seriously! (I will still fight for her to get paid fully~but am thrilled at how she views the importance of hat she does verses that of being paid!)

We set up an appointment for Dec 21, she asked if I minded being scene at a beach house on the North Shore...uh no......she asked if I minded sitting on a bench overlooking the beach and laying with a pillow under my head while she measured and listened.....I like this woman already. Really I do. So Dave will come with me and we'll talk about what we have in mind and see where it goes from there.

I just can't believe that this could actually be a reality for us......it's something to explore for sure!

PS.....made a green smoothie this morning...it was really really good....pineapple,mango,papaya.strawberries,banana and spinach...you gotta try it! It's delicious! You don't taste the spinach just all the fruity goodness! Only Jon would try it with me, but that kid will try anything! For Jonah...he'd rather eat a bowl of spinach!

Friday, December 11, 2009

What is it with GREEN?

I don't know!!!!

But I tell you I am fighting this insane urge to just break out of the Mommy mold. Every once in a while I get this itch....this urge just to change things up a bit. Maybe it's the routine of doing the same ole thing around here. Maybe it's New Year's approaching .....

Somewhere though deep deep down, I feel like I've lost the artistic crazy side of me and settled for the one that just keeps plugging away at laundry and toilets. And I'm getting pretty tired of it. There hasn't been a whole lot of creativity in my life these days. More accurately since Jonah was born the creative happenings have been becoming less frequent.

There used to be periods where I was so engrossed in a project it would take up every spare moment and much of the night. That just doesn't happen any more.I dont' have the energy or motivation to get everything out, make a mess, play with ideas. My photography has been reduced to snapshots, which I really hate. I just don't have the time or energy for that anymore either.

But I want to get that back.

I suppose having 3 small kids 5 and under and having another one on the way may have something to do with it. I just miss me. The artistic, creative me.

I even feel like my house is lacking in the true me. Everything is under decorated and so not me. I mean the me I see myself as if that makes sense. I am so tired of the brown on brown in the livingroom. And the granny curtains in the kitchen. So I'm thinking 'Apple Valley' and 'Del Sol' might whip me out of the neutral doldrums. That would be Green and Orange in layman terms. I've been pretty attracted to orange lately. Don't know why but it's going on the wall. As well as some fun bright (not neon) green. I just need a change and paint happens to be free....and it just so happens we've got a little staycay coming up. .....Now I just need to hunt down some bright coordinating fabrics to do the trick for curtains and pillows. Oh how i miss Joanns already.

I've been doing a little reading on Raw Food diets lately. I am very intreged. So much so I am sending Dave to Costco today to get me some frozen fruit and baby spinach. Maybe it's the pregnancy but a green smoothie sounds really really good. And I love fruits and veggies so why not try and eat a little greener? I already know Dave would never give up his steak (and I don't know if I would either really) but......I would really like to take care of myself better than I have. So I am trying something new. Just for the fun of it....and because it's green. No I mean really green. I'm not declaring anything here....more like rambling......

And Yoga (which I know if controversial in some christian circles) but I was up at 5am this morning....dreaming of green smoothies.....and sore and stiff and generally feeling pretty old in my early 30's. So I turned on FitTV and did some Yoga. I feel amazing! I didn't say I LOOKED amazing while doing Yoga, it was pretty hilarious actually. And at one point I had Gracia laying underneath me while I was attempting downward dog....and in my lap in every other pose (though her weight helps in the stretch let me tell you!). But my back feels amazing and it was only 20 minutes worth. I've been contemplateing taking some me time before the kids wake up in the morning. Going for a walk or jog. It's really the only me time I get to be alone and I've been itching to just do that lately. I'd have to get up early (for me) to fit in devotions and a walk, but it is something that actually seems appealing to me lately.

Who knows, it could be the pregnancy hormones!

I hope all this green obssesion doesn't mean I'm having a hermaphidite.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Meek and Quiet Spirit

So I am exhausted, still, even after a long night's sleep and a good (albeit long school day). But that really isn't my main problem.

I don't see how people get through life living on a Spiritual deficit. For me it's nearly impossible. And even though vacation is wonderful and relaxing, I don't seem to find time to keep my spiritual tank full. And for me, when it starts getting low it really really shows. And for some reason during these times I fail to cling to the promises that I KNOW to be true! Last night I feel like I was brought to me knees finally and was able to rest not only physically but spiritually as well.

These verses spoke to my soul~ as they should have in the morning BEFORE I started my day.....

2 Corinthians 12:9
"My gracious favor is all you need. My power works BEST in your weakness. So now i am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may work through me."

All day yesterday HE could have strengthened me where I was weak, but yet I refused to have the power of Christ working through me...instead I trudged through the day by myself, exhausted and worn down while Christ was right there the whole time waiting to strengthen me.

Philippians 4:13
"For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need."

Yes even yesterday which seemed I would not survive, was possible. So much easier than how I handled it though is truly relying on HIS strength and not my own.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9
"But this precious treasure~this light and power that now shine within us is held in perishable containers, that is our weak bodies. SO everyone can see that our gorius power is from God and not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles but we are NOT crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit! We are hunted down, But God NEVER abandons us, We get knocked down but we get UP and keep going!"

On the grand scheme of things yesterday was a mere blip. I was tired and emotional at best. Nothing major had happened, everything seemed overwhelming and frustrating and impossible. I was knocked down, I was pressed, I was perplexed. But at any moment the amazing power of God is there to lift us up again and again, however many times we need it in a day, hour or moment. He will NOT forsake us even in the silliest of meltdowns! And even after years and years of being a Christian for me it is so easy to forget, especially when I am focused on me.

I never took the time to look up, reach up and grab a hold of what is always near, always waiting to help and by my strength and grace and peace.

Trust me I did NOT forget that today.Yesterday was enough of a reminder of what a day not walking and living in the spirit is like. I don't need another one of those anytime soon.

PS. I will very soon do a cheery, happy post about all the fun we had in Florida complete with way too many photos for your viewing pleasure as soon as I get the images off Dave's MAC! Which hopefully will be tonight!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mom's travel tips 101::

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Thursday is coming quick!!!

We leave for Florida on Thursday!!!!! You know that used to evoke a bit of a panic in my innards.....your know quivering, nervousness, anxiety. Either I am totally insane or we've gotten used to making the Florida trip. I hope it's the later. Even though it's only once a year, I think we've gotten the hang of it. Here are a few tips we use:

  • Don't leave home without a portable DVD player and a new Never watched before video, as well as your child's favorites. This time I bought "UP". I've read good reviews about it, hope it's good!
  • Especially these days pack your child's favorite snacks (and don't forget to deprive them of those the week before so they REALLY like them when they see them again! No I am not kidding about that!
  • I always run out and get the kids a few new things they've never seen before...this time it was a new set of bendaroos, paperoni, an etch n sketch for Jonah and a little handheld educational game thingie for Ellie. Don't spend a lot of money, but a few new things really help!
  • Hands on activities are a must! If you can manage it, a few coloring/cutting/glueing activities could take a few hours for my kids. This time we are studying the Pilgrims and their voyage to the New World, the First Thanksgiving......cornucopia craft time here we come! Also got a little playdough that came with a little hand held squeeze thing (very small and $2!!!) Of couse the classic coloring book and crayons are great, they even have these little magic pen books at Wal-Mart that the kids both love as well!
  • New books (this time I found some that Jonah can begin to read himself) as well as a chapter book or two.....those are long for a reason! I'd rather read a long book than the same one over and over again for 7 hours! I think we are going to pack the Secret Garden this time...or another Boxccar Children (they really love those)!
The best part this time is the kids are big enough to carry their own backpacks! I am pretty excited about that! We usually have to carry everyone's stuff but this time they are thrilled to have their own bags! I am going to pack them up Wed night and hide things all throughout the pockets so it's a surprise when they find things! Our first flight leaves at 11pm so we're hoping they sleep the first flight and then we've only got 4 hours to entertain!

I also made these little tray table covers. I had this idea last year and when I googled them and found someone had already thought of them it was kind of a bummer...but hey, I still made them for us. I used whatever scrap material I had around and only paid $2.50 for the vinyl.......and here we are:

There are 5 pockets total, Two on one side have velcro to keep things in like pens and crayons, the three on the other side are open for sippy cups, juice boxes, snack bags etc....

The top is has a vinyl layer that is open so you can slide paper underneath and write with EXPO markers, or eat on the vinyl surface and wipe it off!

I added velcro to the underneath in case you have a different sized tray table you can adjust the cover!
Just pretend the box is a tray table!


It's hard to see the vinyl but....it's there!



All ready to load and go!

They really didn't take me too long to design and put together. Now off to that long long list of items to accomplish before we set sail....I mean take off!

Better late than never!

Friday, 06 November 2009

Just cause.......



Jonah on his way to find the right Pumpkin.......


The girls and their choices.....

Two confused Pumpkin pickers.......

The clan.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our First Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

It wasn't just a first for the kids....it was a first for me too! And for the most part it was fun BUT.......it was really really hot. I got totally fried in the 90 degree weather and left there LONGING for some cold, chilly fall, leave-changing weather. But hey, this is where we are, at least we get a little of the fall activities even if we miss out on the weather.

It was dusty, and scorching but we still managed to find some great pumpkins to carve later in the week, took a dusty bumpy hot hay ride....and ate shave ice!!! Yup we did. I have some photos somewhere....but I can't find my camera at the moment....really need to do that.

Well I finally got all of Jonah's MBT Academy figured out.....I think. I think I mentioned before I really think enrolling in this Charter school is going to be the best of both worlds for us! I have always loved school and Jonah has always shown an interest in going to an actual school, and this way we get a little of both. For the most part I get to implement our curriculum, including "Faith Based". We ordered a new curriculum from Sonlight (though we started with Lifepac from Alpha-Omega) and it seems to have a classical feel to it, which I am excited about. The online teacher then assigns one thing a week ( don't even think they are all required but we'll do them anyway) and along with the assignment comes a webclass and a Face to Face class. So twice a month (at least) Jonah will be able to go down to the Academy and take part in a traditinal classroom setting! The Academy also schedules 2 Fieldtrips a month for the kids to be included in and I can bring along ALL the kids with me! I'm pretty excited. It took me all of last week to get everything squared away and understand what was going on...but I think we are really going to love this. And if not.....we'll go back to doing in ourselves next year!

Friday was the first of 17 Furlough Days here in Hawaii. Although it'll be hard to make up for the lost wages, I really enjoyed having Dave home an extra day. This Friday and next are also Furlough Fridays....can't wait! It gives us an extra day for family time and just to get things done that we normally wouldn't have the time to! And I think it helped me relax a little more this weekend and face a new week with a better attitude!

It's taken me all the way until now to really feel like I have a handle on both the homeschooling and the house as well as the rest of what I am responsible for. I am still behind on sewing but I am working up to that slowly!

Can I just throw in here I totally don't feel pregnant? Other than crying at silly things here and there. I still have had no morning sickness, no cravings (except a little OJ), nothing....I didn't even bloat out like I normally do. In the back of my mind I get a little worried about this, only because the girls made me sick and tired....no pun intended......but Jonah's pregnancy was a breeze so maybe that's a sign........I'm 12 weeks along so Friday we should be able to pick up the baby's heartbeat on a dopler. Praying for healthy baby beats!

I recieved a Once-A-Month-Cooking Cookbook from a friend at church yesterday. I had heard of it, and wanted to give it a try when Gracia was born but never got around to it. But after spending some time today looking at this book I am so excited to start trying this out! Talk about simplifying one more thing in my life!!!!! I am going to get things prepped to try some cooking this Friday. I may not do an entire month, depending on how much freezer room we actually have!! But I am going try it!

Tonites trial recipe:

Nan's Indonesian Pork

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 t chopped garlic
1/2 t crushed red pepper
pork loin
12 oz can of pineapple ice cream topping (gonna used crushed pineapple instead)

Mix soy sauce, PB, garlic and red pepper

bake the pork loin, 350 for 1 hour 20 minutes

Stir sauce, pineapple and 3/4 c of juices from roasting pan, heat to boiling, reduce heat simmer for 5 minutes pour over pork loin and serve.

I dunno....sound pretty yummy!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Crazy Lazy Monday

Okay so we did NO school today.

This past weekend wasn't particularly rough.....but yesterday I got up at 3:30 am and made it to the church by 4:30am to meet 13 other ladies and do the Race for the Cure in support of Breast Cancer Research. I've never done anything like that but I so enjoyed myself!!! It was so worth getting up so early and getting to fellowship with the other ladies from the church. We've got a great group there!
Before:


After:


It was a 5K...maybe next year I'll jog instead of walk! Though it was fun just to have an hour to gab!

SO today just never happened. I was productive though in getting all sorts of other curriculum ready and planned though. Found yet another great resource of homeschooling. It's a bit pricey at $99 for a year subscription BUT if you have kids in different grades, this site ranges from PreK-6th grade and it's everything from Evan-Moor publications. You can get Units premade, games, learning centers, activities, crafts.....seriously ANYTHING. I think it's well worth $99 a year. You can sign up for a FREE 3 day membership to check everything out too! Go to Teacherbox.com and check it out if you are looking for great additions to any curriculum. I just printed out some great units and centers on Spiders (for after we finish Charolett's Web) and an intro to history and Ancient History for our History lessons! I plan on laminating some of the components and letting the kids use dry erase markers instead of printing out multiple pages!

I got Jonah's new curriculum ordered for Kindergarten through MBTA, but I went ahead and ordered some 1st grade reading curriculum beause the poor kid is bored out of his mind. So hopefully we'll get him interested in ths new curriculum! I know it's a little late to switch but hey. We went with the Sonlight curriculum. I liked that it has a classical approach as well and it comes with tons of resources and a complete curriculum. SO manu Kindergarten curriculums only come with Language Arts and Math! But both of the kids really love learning sciene and Italian and other subjects. Those subjects end up being a reward for finishing OTHER work!

I also read through Sue Patrick's workbox System handbook over the weekend and really love the way she approaches organizing for homeschooling! It has excited the kids the few days we've used it. I can't wait to keep going!

Tomorrow is a new day.....and we'll start new then!

PS.....we did go on an hour long bike ride and located a crown flower tree WITH lots of caterpillars on it!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Reorganizing!

It seems like ever since Jonah came down with Cerebellitis life had turned into a face paced crazy tailspin and it hasn't slowed down. There have been so many changes, additions, beginnings......I can't seem to slow down or catch up....which ever would bring me to the present would be nice. I suppose life is that way perpetually. Dynamic and exciting even when you yearn for boring.....or at least a quite hour to lose yourself in a book. And though I wouldn't change things, I do feel like my life needed some major reorganizing lately. So that's what we've been up to.

I got a little tired searching for my homeschool supplies and book in four different places. It was a little stressful and frustrating at times. So Saturday we cleaned out all the kids toys (tossing and donating) in their rooms as well as the downstairs closet. Under the stairs is officially a toy-free homeschool haven. I go and sit under there just to have a peaceful place to go! It's wonderful. All curriculum, books, educational manipulatives, puzzles, games, craft supplies......EVERYTHING is now neatly stored, easily axcessable, and easy to find!!!!

I also bought a laminator, alright truth be told I bought 2...a cold one on a roll and a heat one that uses sheets...and YES I needed both! I make so many games and things for the kids it's nice to be able to preserve them and reuse them over and over without them getting ruined! SO I've had a little fun with that for a few days!

Part of my organizing is adding a workbox system to our homeschooling. I used to prep everything and lay everything out on the table and just shuffle through it. Not the greatest system! I was purusing a blog called Homeschool Creations and found this article on Workboxes, and even without reading the book on how to do it and why it works......I was sold. I made my own little system and can't wait to use it tomorrow! My baskets are already filled with goodies!!!

Numbered baskets filled with different activities for the kids


Basket #10...love those sticky velcro dots! I've seen other Moms make this into a workbooks system using folders instead. I love the baskets though because we do so many hands on activities, games, crafts etc. Jonahs curriculum has thick workbooks and teacher's manuals that we work with and they all fit right in there! Science experiments, art....whatever!


This is Jonah's schedule so he can see what we are working on that day, what's to come, and how much we have until we are finished with our day!


Under each tag is a number, directing the child to where they can find the work!


For Bible Jonah will find a devotional book, a Bible lesson and a craft!


A bunch on workbox tags for every thing you can think of! Laminated of course!!!! You can download ones from the blog linked above or make your own! I did both!

I haven't actually used the workboxes though I've filled them with the kids work for tomorrow! I whole heartedly believe this will make our day so much easier and smoother! Can't wait to update you on how it goes!

Well it's almost nine and the kids are still up runing around....I'm going to try and update my blog more often. I've missed blogging! I've missed having an online journal and scrapbook of what we are doing and learning and living! My little Gracia is growing up fast and not being photographed nearly enough! We've got some catching up to do folks!

Welcome back!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's been a while, I apologize for slipping off the globe for a while. I have so much to catch up on.

We were side swiped a week ago by a little thing called life.

I went it to have a hernia repaired for the second time, and while I was recovering we received a call that my oldest child and only son was having trouble walking, standing, sitting, etc. It's been a really rough week.

He was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon, but still has months of recovery to go. The doctors have said he has a virus induced kind of Ataxia. This means he has lost most of his muscle control making it hard for him to do anything on his own requiring muscle coordination from walking to talking.

It's been a pretty devastating week in someways and so uplifting in others, we've never felt the Grace and peace of God as I have this week, seen His hand in all of the healing that is taking place in Jonah, and seen his people move as Christ would have. Supporting us and praying for us like I've never experienced.

It will likely take him a few months to fully recover from the Ataxia. There are no medications or treatments that will cure this, only time and some physical therapy. And of course prayer!!!!

Other than that I apologize for seeming to be so irresponsible in responding to emails and getting those samples mailed off! I am so excited about getting our name out, but obviously some things come first! Thanks in advance for your understanding!

I also have a flip video review to post and one for Fuzzibuns as well...both I can't wait to get to! Those will be coming in the next few weeks or so.

for more posts on Jonah you can visit: http://hawaiianheldts.xanga.com/weblog

Broken, battered and bruised

The only thing that comes after the pain and the heartache is the healing.

My heart is in pain, my stomach, my spirit is in pain, my emotions, my psyche, my physical self. I ache all over. I can barely move myself around the house. Yes we are home.

Since yesterday at 2:30pm Jonah started keeping food down and making remarkable improvements, and with his healing, my wounds are open and layed bare waiting for the scabs and scars to start forming.

I have been a physical and emotional mess since yesterday. I can hold it together for short periods of time until the tornado of emotions flare up. I vacillate on a teeter-totter or joy and sorrow. I have boughts from a few tears to outright sob ,uncontrollable outpouring of the bottled up emotions that have been hiding deep within this last week. This is one roller coaster I hope God destroys.

I can't even describe to you the utter feeling of helplessness that accompanies a call that your son can't walk, to be in your own state of emergency and no be able to run to your child's side where he needs you. To hear him calling your name in confusing and fear and not be able to get to him. It was horrible. Then to walk into the the hospital room and see your vibrant, talkative, energetic, bright boy reduced to almost nothing of what he was like just a few days prior. I felt instantly like I had lost him. I had lost him. Though he was here in body and he was alive, he was not my little Jonah. His eyes flashed and the corners of his mouth curved up when he saw me and I KNEW he was as excited as I was to be in his presence. But my neck missed his little arms wrapped around me, the whisper of an I love you in my ear. The unknown as huge as a gaping ugly hole between us. To put it mildly I was devastated.

I couldn't even enjoy his little smile, the way his eyes curved under those huge brown jewels, the way his cheeks piled up to form little apples and his chin pointed down in mystery. It was gone. No laugh, no joy as his name suggests.

And in the same wordlessness I have for describing those feelings are also the feelings of utter peace and grace bestowed upon us by our Creator. It is truly indescribable. It does indeed surpass all understanding, it was the only thing what was holding me up. Literally allowing enough strength to survive the day, the doctors rambling, the vomiting, the pain, all of it. I pray now for that same peace to continue to cloak us and guard our hearts, we need it so badly.

Some of the sobbing today is from utter relief, though our ordeal is far from over, we are on the upswing. It is so hard to hear Jonah speak so slowly and labored when he used to talk a mile a minute! My heart aches for all the time I asked him to stop talking or got irritated at the endless questions he would ask. I watch him so proudly sit up on his own for a few seconds before falling back, and my heart aches for the times I wised he would sit still and not run around like a monkey. All the things that I've done and said without thinking, without regard to the blessing my kids are to me, taking them for granted fully. I have. For the times I wished I could have a break, take a vacation. For the times I've been so irritated by their antics. I've cried, I've begged God to not let me forget this experience in light of that. To take all these moments and cherish them, even the most simple ones. I so easily could have been robbed of all that.

What is really important in this life is before me in these little blessings. The other sobs came from overwhelming joy that Jonah was healing, that he is getting better everyday, that God hears and answers our prayers to make his little body better. So many parents don't come home with their child, as we did. Even though life will be different for a while and we have lots of adjustments to make, he is here, and he is still the vibrant gift of God given to us almost 5 years ago, even if he moves and speaks a bit slower for a while.

Now this mess of a Mom needs to go crawl in bed.

for more posts on Jonah please visit: http://hawaiianheldts.xanga.com/weblog

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Urgent prayer request for Jonah

My surgery went really well, tahe Dr. found a hernia the size of an egg, probably from the original mesh put in pulling and creating another weak area in my abdomen. It was suppossed to be an outpatient proceedure but when I stood up to go home my blood pressure dropped to 80 and I turned white as a sheet and nearly vomited and fainted all at the same time. A short while later I was admitted. My ab muscles started contracting violently leaving me in a lot of pain. But the Lord blessed me with a wonderful Nurse that found a combination of meds that took most of the pain away. Tuesday morning we recieved a call from my Mom that Jonah was having trouble standing on his own. My Mom immediately went and picked him up and took him the the ER where I was. The quickly admited him for ataxia and transferred him to the children's hospital here on Oahu. He had a CAT scan and that showed no brain swelling, then yesterday evening he had a MRI. He still has no control when standing or sitting so he is spending most of his days and nights laying down sleeping. He is having trouble keeping food down, that is our goal for today. The doctor thinks this all may be caused by a virus that has infected his brain somehow, thus effecting his balance. He also had a spinal tap and they are growing cultures to see if they can identify the virus attacking him. The bottom line is the DR's really don't know what is going on with him. The praise in all of this is our reliance on God is 100%, we can do nothing but wait, pray and watch God's will unfold for this situation. It is so frightening to see your child attatched to monitors and wires and in so much discomfort he can barely smile at you. I've been told a million times to go home and rest but by his side is where I belong. Dave and I are here constantly, my parents have the girls, our church has also rallied around us showering us with prayer and help! It's so amazing to see God's power and his people support is in so many ways! Ihaven't seen my girls since Monday morning and my parents are bringing them here for us and Jonah to visit with today. I am so anxious to see them!Keep us in your prayers. We are suppossed to leave for FL on Tuesday, we have no idea where those plans will end up, pray for DR's wisdom, pray for peace and healing for Jonah, pray!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trying out the flip video

video

I was sent the Flip video ultra to review and blog about....so of course I am trying it out everywhere! I will do a formal blog review about it at my other blog Babywearing in Paradise, but for now here is a little crazy clip of my crazy kids!

I am going to conduct interviews with them a little later for everyone's viewing pleasure! HA!

Here is adorable Jonah.....my sweet heart::


video

I am not real impressed with the quality of the video but maybe there are things I need to play with. I'd love to be able to film sling instructions and make DVD's to send with the slings! But I can't if the video quality isn't good !!


video
And of course the little princess couldn't be left out!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Go with the ERGO



Last week I received my ERGObaby carrier to review for the blog. I was so excited and truly it couldn't have come at a better time. We were literally on our way out the door for a walk up to the park with the kids and I couldn't find my Mei Tai anywhere! I thought, "This would be the perfect time for the ERGO to arrive!" And with that I spontaneously checked the mail...and it had arrived!

I tore into the box as quickly as possible and started pulling things out. The wonderful ERGO team had not only sent me the carrier to try out but the backpack and front pack as well! I'll admit, when I first inspected the carrier I was a bit nervous about all the buckles. I am a ring sling girl at heart and I love the ease and simplicity of those, so the Ergo seemed a little complicated. My second thought was "How do I get this on all by myself????" But as I have learned with every kind of carrier, you need to 1) read the instructions and 2) Practice!



After reading the instructions and looking at their Video Instructions I had Gracia in and we were ready to go in minutes! You MUST check out their video instructions, they are incredibly helpful and take a lot of the struggle and guess work out of getting used to a new carrier! Here is our maiden voyage:



I know Gracia looks a little grumpy but she's happy I promise! She didn't fuss at all, like she does when I put her in the Mei Tai! She was so comfortable and cozy she didn't kick or grumble on bit! The padding on the leg rails is so soft and yet still pretty compact.

SO it took a little practice, but by the end of the day I had her in the front, back and side, without any help from Dave! I tried a few different ways of wearing here and really love the back carry. And honestly this is the only carrier that she will comfortably be worn on the back without fussing!



I also really like how comfortable the shoulder straps are as well as the waist strap. After wearing the carrier for an extended time hiking, I can honestly say my back and shoulders felt no strain! The padding around the waist actually feels good, like a back support! Gracia's legs also showed no sign of being uncomfortable of having marks from her sitting.



The ERGObaby carrier is a really great carrier. I used in many times and in different situations before writing this review so I could get a good idea of the positives and negatives of this carrier. After talking to a few other people about this carrier, I found that shorter people (I'm 5'3") have a hard time with this carrier. I did have a hard time nursing Gracia, though losening the carrier and wearing it around my hips a little lower helped her get into the right position. This carrier is also not meant for full figured Men or Women. My husband is 6" and about 190 and it just barely fit him. I didn't find any information on the website addressing any sizing or special ordering. So maybe in the future that could be an option!



If you are at all looking for a carrier for hiking, exercising or just wearing around the house, this is a great choice for many people! The ERGO website is a great resource for a variety of subjucts from attatchment parenting to positive discipline, it even has some ideas on how to exersize with the ERGO!

I hope this review helped! I know it was a bit lengthy but I want to make sure my readers get a complete idea of the product!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gracia-Rella's First Birthday

Yup.....it's been an entire year since my little babe Gracefully entered the world. It's gone by in the blink of an eye! It saddens me to think she is leaving behind her babyhood and entering toddlerhood! But I guess that is the way it goes!

I would be totally lying if I said this was the first time she had cake, ice cream OR chocolate....this girl has the Heldt sweet tooth, but she enjoyed it anyway! She was a little hesitant at first and kept looking at Dave and I as if we were going to tell her no. She started a little slow and then got the hang of it! By the end of our little photos session I had more precious photos than I know what to do with and she was covered in frosting! What a great little tradition this is!

This little girl has been a blessing right from the start. I was so worried I would be giving birth in the car because of Ellie's quick labor, and even though it was quick, only 2 1/2 hours, she waited just until I was in the hospital, checked in and strolling to the labor room. I had her about 5 minutes after arriving in the room!

I always joke she was the baby that read the manual in utero, she just seemed to know what to do right from the start! She nursed without any trouble, ate right from the start, slept a whole bunch, and barely fussed. Her personality is still like that. She thinks she is as able and capable as the older 2 and she'll give you a screech if you try and tell her otherwise! She's got quite the firecracker attitude that Ellie does, but she also has an incredibly sweet side.

She is daring and yet very cautious, she loves climbing on everything she can get herself onto....which is quite a lot these days! She is so feisty and loves to play and wrestle with Dave, she loves it when she is thrown into the air and tickled and played with.

She gives the best hugs....when I get her up from a nap, or sometimes when she's tired, she grabs my neck and my arm and tucks her chin on my neck and doesn't let go. I just stop and hug her back. It's so precious.

She's been known to lay down where ever she is and fall asleep.

She loves being outside and playing in the yard. Since she figured out how to open the door and let herself out months ago, she does that almost everyday.

She loves sparkly necklaces. She will find one laying around and put it on and wear it for hours. If you try to take it off her she screeches!

Water....this baby loves the water. She comes toddling over...the hose, bath, ocean, pool, sink....whatever it is she loves it!

She eats everything....everything edible that is. I don't think there is anything she doesn't like. If she sees you eating it she's going to want to try it! How wonderful is that?

And she's one today........


Happy Birthday Little Gracia Ruth


She was a little hesitant, I think she kept waiting for a "No!"




Two hands!


Hey that IS pretty good!


A hand full!


and a foot full!


This is awesome!


I think my job is done here!


This is the best day ever!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Beach fun 101

So yesterday we decided to go to the beach spur of the moment. I packed a quick lunch, threw everything in the stroller and off we went! I always wish I could somehow snap a photo of all of us strolling down there, just for my own memory of what we must look like, Gracia in the sling the kids in the stroller....crazy Mom pushing these little ones....











I think it was the best time I've had taking the kids to the beach by myself ever. It was so fun we stayed for almost 4 hours! They are all getting to the age that is comfortable for me to actually be with them without worrying (too much) about them getting sucked away! Jonah is so good at keeping his head afloat and doggy paddling, this summer will be great for teaching him how to kick and paddle. And Ellie has finally gotten over her fear of the water. It's amazing to see her playing around in the shore break! And Gracia, she is the one I worry the most about, she is so quick and loves the water so much I have to be very watchful, without fear she just rushes the shore break, my little big wave surfer!




I had the time to just sit and watch them and take photos without barking orders at them. It was so peaceful! Not that I was lounging and kicking back but it was honestly the best time I've had with them. Everyone was happy and content and enjoying God's creation for what it is. We even took a little walk along the tide pools and collected tons of sea snails and hermit crabs! Love those things! They are so cute and so brave, just like my little Ellie who quickly holds her hand out for a hermit crab experience!









Ellie made a new game jumping from a rock into the shore break. Of course Jonah joined in and then Gracie wanted a little bit of the action...she doesn't like to be left out you know! It was so neat to see her bravery and comfort with the water coming out. We've waited so long for that!

I am so excited about school ending soon! Dave's last official day is next Tuesday! We so desperately need some family time. AND Dave and I really need some one on one time, it's been too long since we've had any real time together. I really look forward to that! I so wish we could steal away and take a little vacation together but that won't happen for a long long time. Until we our out of debt!



There are a lot of changes coming up soon and some I am struggling not to worry about. His online teaching gig is up, they no longer have a position for him. And there are some other opportunities for him, which I'll share when they are official. But it's still going to be a significant pay cut for us. Not to mention the teacher's contract for next year will include a pay cut and a benefits raise! So that makes us even more negative. BUT......I know the promises of Jer. 29:11. Isaiah 41:10, John 14:1. 1 Peter 5:7 and so many more. God knows the plans He has for our family, we need not fear, for He is with us and He cares for us so much we can give Him all our worries so our hearts will not be troubled. This is what I need to concentrate on instead of mulling over the possibilities and trying to fix the situation ourselves.


Casting all our cares on Him will bring us peace.....

Beach fun 101



So yesterday we decided to go to the beach spur of the moment. I packed a quick lunch, threw everything in the stroller and off we went! I always wish I could somehow snap a photo of all of us strolling down there, just for my own memory of what we must look like, Gracia in the sling the kids in the stroller....crazy Mom pushing these little ones....







I think it was the best time I've had taking the kids to the beach by myself ever. It was so fun we stayed for almost 4 hours! They are all getting to the age that is comfortable for me to actually be with them without worrying (too much) about them getting sucked away! Jonah is so good at keeping his head afloat and doggy paddling, this summer will be great for teaching him how to kick and paddle. And Ellie has finally gotten over her fear of the water. It's amazing to see her playing around in the shore break! And Gracia, she is the one I worry the most about, she is so quick and loves the water so much I have to be very watchful, without fear she just rushes the shore break, my little big wave surfer! But she also very content when I have her in the water sling and we are just wading along in the surf. Of course water slings aren't completely hands free because of their stretchy quality. But they are great when you have a handful of little ones to take care of!





I had the time to just sit and watch them and take photos without barking orders at them. It was so peaceful! Not that I was lounging and kicking back but it was honestly the best time I've had with them. Everyone was happy and content and enjoying God's creation for what it is. We even took a little walk along the tide pools and collected tons of sea snails and hermit crabs! Love those things! They are so cute and so brave, just like my little Ellie who quickly holds her hand out for a hermit crab experience!




Ellie made a new game jumping from a rock into the shore break. Of course Jonah joined in and then Gracie wanted a little bit of the action...she doesn't like to be left out you know! It was so neat to see her bravery and comfort with the water coming out. We've waited so long for that!



After our long day we strapped eveyone in. Got Gracia back in the Mei Tai had headed home. She peacefully fell asleep as my walking jiggled her. I have discovered my love for the Mei Tai's ease it is to take a sleeping baby from this carrier.

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