Friday, July 30, 2010

Marci's Giveaway

Want to Win $60? Marci over at Down on the Farm is giving away a $60 gift certificate to CSN Stores.

Here is a list of CSN Stores

Check it out then go to Marci's Blog to enter

Good Providence!! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thoughts to ponder

  • Are you Pro-life?

  • A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42% "pro-choice." This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.

  • The Bible tells us we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” - Psalm 139:14

  • "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." - Jeremiah 1:5 – This would convey to most that even a life in the womb has great value.

  • Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.

  • Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.

  • In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. From 1973 through 2005, more than 45 million legal abortions occurred.

  • Each year, two percent of women aged 15-44 have an abortion; half have had at least one previous abortion.

  • At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion.

  • This year marks the 50th anniversary of “The Pill”

  • Margaret Sanger was an American birth control activist and the founder of the American Birth Control League. She led the fight to legalize birth control for married couples in America.

  • This is an excerpt from her work Women and the New Race -

    “THE MOST serious evil of our times is that of encouraging the bringing into the world of large families. The most immoral practice of the day is breeding too many children.”

    “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

  • Sanger pushed eugenics but claimed her views thus broke from those proposing Nazi eugenics—an aggressive, and lethal, program. She wrote in a 1933 letter:

    "All the news from Germany is sad & horrible, and to me more dangerous than any other war going on any where because it has so many good people who applaud the atrocities & claim its right. The sudden antagonism in Germany against the Jews & the vitriolic hatred of them is spreading underground here & is far more dangerous than the aggressive policy of the Japanese in Manchuria...” It sounds to me like Ms. Sanger is contradicting herself. Jewish life is valuable but an infant’s is not?

  • There are 62 million U.S. women in their childbearing years (15–44).

  • Seven in 10 women of reproductive age (43 million women) are sexually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they and their partners fail to use a contraceptive method.

  • The typical U.S. woman wants only two children. To achieve this goal, she must use contraceptives for roughly three decades.

  • Virtually all women (more than 99%) aged 15–44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method.

  • Overall, 62% of the 62 million women aged 15–44 are currently using a method.

  • Almost one-third (31%) of these 62 million women do not need a method because they are infertile; are pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant; have never had intercourse; or are not sexually active.

  • Thus, only 7% of women aged 15–44 are at risk for unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives.

  • Among the 43 million fertile, sexually active women who do not want to become pregnant, 89% are practicing contraception.

  • What does the Bible say about children?

    Ps 127: Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

    Many times we are given the command to be ‘fruitful and multiply’

    Over and over in Genesis we find being fruitful is used as a blessing. To Noah in chapter 9, Abraham and Ishmael in chapter. 17. Jacob in chapter 28.

  • Is God Sovereign?

  • Do you trust him to provide for all of your needs?

  • If he chooses to give you more children would he not also provide a way to care for them?

  • Do YOU use birth control?

Thoughts to ponder……

Additional reading:

Side Effect: How the Pill Altered America’s Moral Intelligence

100+ Reasons to have Children

Abortion statistics from here

Birth Control Stats from here

Read the full excerpt Women and the New Race

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I mentioned a few days ago that I hadn’t shared birth stories before. I think the events of how your precious child came into the world are a wondrous thing, but what I really want to share is how God was working and moving in our lives at the time surrounding each of the births of our children. So, this will be spread over several posts, maybe consecutively, maybe not. We’ll see. Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start ;)

Nine years ago, in the summer of 2001, I met my husband. (Now, all the details of our dating/engagement/wedding are destined for another post and are a huge part of my testimony but this isn’t what I want to share today…) We started dating and it didn’t take long before we knew that we wanted to get married and spend the rest of our lives with each other. At that time I was pretty deep my sin. I’d been living on my own for a little while and my life truly reflected someone not under the authority of her parents, or God for that matter. But God was working in me… changing my heart.

The next summer rolled around and Graham and I were spending everyday together. Sometime in mid-June (sorry hunny, I don’t remember the exact day) we got engaged. We started planning our wedding. I decided I hated the job I’d worked so hard to get, so I quit. I moved back home to look for a new job and save some money before our big day. Two weeks after we got engaged I found out I was pregnant.

Now, Graham and I obviously had made some poor choices, but God is good. I’d been sick for few weeks, so sick I could hardly get out of bed. Finally I decided to go to the doctor. My parents were on vacation when we found out and the second they walked in the door my mom asked how my Dr. visit went. I wanted to wait till they got settled, but she wanted to know what he’d said. As soon as I told them my Dad’s face fell. Hands down the worst day of my life. To see that look on his face I will never forget. I’d let him down. His eyes became teary and without a single word he stepped outside. My mom followed.

My parents had every right to yell at me. But they didn’t. They came in and with a shaky voice my Dad said something to the effect of “We never know how good the Good is until we’ve known how bad the bad is. We are never too far for God’s grace to reach us”. We spent a while talking and shared with my parents that we thought God had chosen to put us in this place to bring us to the very end of ourselves. We were at a point where depending on Him was absolutely the only thing we could do. My mom cried. I cried. Due to past issues we weren’t even sure I would be able to have children. And here we were.

Needless to say the wedding date got moved up. Graham and I were married on August 31st, 2002 and our precious Chelsea was born February 18th, 2003*. I’m not looking forward to the day she figures out how to do the math. Not because I’m unwilling to talk about my sin because this event was a catalyst in bringing me to the relationship I have with Christ now, but because I don’t EVER want her to feel like she was a mistake, or the reason we got married. I pray (and trust) that when the time comes God will give me exactly the right words to say to her. She is precious and our sovereign God orchestrated every step of her existence and the timing of her birth for His perfect will. I feel like I was let off easy. I sinned and deserved a harsh consequence. Instead I was given grace, in the form of a precious little girl. One of the most amazing gifts I could have ever received.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I decided not to meal plan this week. I'm pretty sure this will come back to bite me but we've got several things floating around here so I just plan on using what I've got on hand and just adding a few things as needed. Each week I plan and get groceries accordingly and inevitably we go out an extra time or have a meal with my parents so I always end up with ingredients that go unused. Until this week :) . Plus, my sweet Silas is feeling a little puny and wants to be held ALOT. So I'm taking a pass.

In other news, Several times we have canceled our cable t.v. for various reasons. Then we get it again because it makes the Internet cheaper, or we're living in the middle of nowhere so we'd never get any channels without it, etc. Really we could live without it. They recently released Netflix instant watch for the Wii so 95% of the time if we watch something it's on there. But with the Rangers recent acquisition of one Cliff Lee my precious husband feels it justifies getting cable again so he can watch the games...... Boys. :) Now, I get the character building experience of increasing my self-control by not spending all day watching the Food Network :).

I've been researching cloth diapers. I'm thinking it's a wise choice especially since we hope to have more kids. It's not cheap to get started but I entered a giveaway for a starter pack...{{{fingers crossed}}}. Graham's not sold on the idea yet but I'm sure once he sees how much we'll save in the long run he will be on board.

Stumbled across a blog of 'How to' make your own green cleaning supplies. I need to start doing this again. And super cute blog chalked full of household How To's. Fantastic. I'm totally wanting to make those ottomans! So cute and easy!

I've been going through and reading old posts on Life in a Shoe. The blog is written by some old family friends of Graham's and I'm quickly becoming enamored with this precious family. It's so encouraging to me, especially where we are right now. I'm getting FANTASTIC idea's of really just how to function as a large family.... Always worth the read.

And lastly, Vision Forum announced the release of audio recordings of this past weekend's Baby Conference. I have no clue how much they will cost (TBA tomorrow, I think) but I'm sure they will be worth every penny! I can't wait to order some.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Oh Baby!

The older I get the more I realize I don’t know as much as I thought I did. I recently watched The Business of Being Born, a ‘controversial documentary that takes a hard look at America's maternity care system, juxtaposing hospital deliveries against the growing popularity of at-home, natural childbirths’(1) . It really opened my eyes.

The births of each of our four children have been a little different from the previous one and as I’m learning more I’m pretty sure the births of the remaining children God chooses to give us will be different as well. A family friend recently had their tenth child and in sharing the birth story I contemplated sharing each of ours. Then I realized there wasn’t a lot to share.

Our first, Chelsea, was delivered by a Dr. (All our children have been born in a hospital and I had an epidural with each, no complications) I was induced about a week past ‘due date’(2) and then, while in labor they put me on several drugs - I don’t even know what they were. I spent most of labor in a groggy, unaware state and while I remember bits and pieces the experience, as a whole, is a blur. It took about twelve hours from start to finish and about three pushes. Afterwards I was a little discouraged about the ordeal. Even though there were no major problems I still felt like it could be better. So, I opted to switch to a midwife.

Next was Mackenzie. I was scheduled for an induction but the night before she decided to start the process on her own. The midwife was a little scatter-brained which didn’t give me a whole lot of confidence but I’d been through this a mere 10 months before. 8 hours and two pushes later Kenzie arrived with no complications.

Isabelle was delivered by my favorite midwife so far but she too was induced. I was a week past and after being monitored at the midwife’s for awhile they decided to send me over to the hospital. They started the induction and before long I was given an epidural. It wasn’t dispersing correctly through my body so they had me lay on my side. Best thing I’ve ever done. Within 30 minutes I felt pressure and called the midwife back in. While she rolled me over to check things out she realized our little Boo was half-way here. No pushing involved. Not a single push. Labor was about 6 hours if I remember correctly.

Again with Silas I used the same midwife group in the same hospital. I was only four days past my due date but they scheduled an induction for the next morning. Graham and I went home and did some last minute house cleaning. When we were finished I sat down on the couch to rest and started counting contractions. It was around 5 or 5:30. When they were 5 minutes apart we called the midwife, dropped the girls at my mom’s and headed to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital around 8. I tried to labor as long as I could until it became too painful before having the epidural. This didn’t take too long, mostly because I was stuck on a bed, on my back, and I don’t know any pain management techniques. It slowed labor a little so they put me on a tiny bit of Pitocin to move things along. After awhile I asked to lay on my side and sure enough, same as before, within about 30 minutes I felt pressure, no pushing, and he was here. Slightly less than 6 hours since I started counting contractions.

In light of the new things I’m learning I would like to try a birthing center and no drugs next time. Because of my previous birthing experiences I feel confident that complications are unlikely and if I could educate myself more on the art of labor, I feel like a natural birth would be a much better choice. For everyone. And my husband whole-heartedly agrees. In fact, he said it’s the hospital births that weird him out. While I like the idea of a midwife the ones I’ve used aren’t too different from most doctors. They have no hesitation to use inductions or Pitocin. This is a little disheartening to me but I’m not defeated.

As I grow, both in age and in my relationship with Christ, my views on things are changing. A LOT. I used to say “I would NEVER have my babies at home” and “I could NEVER drive a 15 passenger van”. Now, those are things I HOPE will happen. :)

2.I’m learning that due dates don’t mean much. God is sovereign and babies will come when they are good and ready.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Meal Plan Monday (ish) - Again

I promise. One day I will post something other than my meal plans. I have a lot mulling around in my head I'd love to share but rarely have, or make, the time to type it out.

While I'm attempting to stick to our convictions about what we eat, this week I am honoring a few of my eldest daughter’s requests. So often she HATES what I fix but suffers through it. She asks what we have for snacks and never likes my answers. I figured this week I would humor her a little so it's not quite as healthy as I'd like but we'll live. I'm sure you'll be able to guess what things she wanted :)




Bagels w/cream cheese

Fruit & yogurt parfaits



Turkey sandwiches

Amy's Bean & Cheese burritos

Cheese and fruit


Cheese ball w/ crackers

Annie's snacks - Assorted




Monday: Bulgar Burgers w/ sweet potato fries

Tuesday: Neiman Marcus chicken over rice w/ sweet peas (this recipe is similar but I do 8oz cream cheese, 8oz sour cream, & will make my own cream o' chicken soup. I also just use one sleeve of crackers, no clue exactly how many that is, and one stick of butter)

Wednesday: Greek Salad - Romaine, cuke, feta, olives, tomato, homemade dressing

(If I feel ambitious I may make some bread this day)

Thursday: Bean & Cheese nachos, sour cream, guac, jalapeƱos

Friday: Cod with Mediterranean salsa and salad (This is a new one for us, doubt Chelsea will eat this)

Saturday & Sunday: clean out fridge, one meal out, spinach quiche w/ fruit salad