Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bicycling - MUCH Harder Than It Looks

I am not a kid anymore.  In fact, if I look at my driver's license, I am not even a young adult anymore.  Am I sad?  Not really.  Maybe I wish I had used my exuberance and freedom more productively, but all in all, I really love the direction of my life and having my dear family to share the days with me.

I have been so excited recently by getting a new bike and a bike trailer.

My husband and I have used the bike trailer in stroller mode and gone on some great walks in the park this last week.  But I was really quite eager to tow my kids around while I felt the wind rushing on my face as I biked the town.

So today I loaded them up  (with copious amounts of help and encouragement from my husband) and was off.  The bike teetered this way and that for a bit.  My husband laughed and suggested that he would record the whole process for the kids to watch someday. HA HA *growl*

After a few feet though I evened her out and was off.  The bike trailer really did beautifully, it rolled so easily, that I actually only "felt" the pull of it once when I hit a bump in the road.  The kids were content, sharing crackers and water while I did my tour of the neighborhood.


It was hard work for me.  I'm surprised because I can walk for hours easily.  Bicycling must use entirely different muscles because I was beat at 10 blocks.  I had to get off and push the bike the last 20 yards home because there was no way I could push those pedals anymore.  I know it will get easier with time.  I enjoyed it.  I feel great now having done it.  But WOW, I'm exhausted!

My husband DID point out I could probably bicycle SLOWER.  I guess, since this isn't a timed test or anything, I could try that. :)

Deuteronomy 7:12-16 ~ If You Follow The Lord's Judgements

Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. Also you shall destroy all the peoples whom the LORD your God delivers over to you; your eye shall have no pity on them; nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
Deuteronomy 7:12-16

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Bike Trailer has ARRIVED!

YEAH! A loud banging on my door announced the arrival of Fed Ex, with a beautiful, enormous package.
My bike trailer has ARRIVED!
Now...... to assemble and enjoy. :)

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Daniel 4:10-12 ~ A Tree In The Midst of the Earth

I was looking, and behold,
A tree in the midst of the earth,
And its height was great.
The tree grew and became strong;
Its height reached to the heavens,
And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth.
Its leaves were lovely,
Its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The beasts of the field found shade under it,
The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches,
And all flesh was fed from it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our Attempt at Healthy Living

My husband and I are making some changes this week... month... year. Fortunately we were already headed in, what we feel, was the right direction. Garden, Exercise, Scheduling, Family Prayer and Reading.

Our 40'x40' plot of dirt is taking shape. It is taking us ALOT longer than we thought to get our planting done. But we are optimistic and realize that it is time consuming and labor intensive because we have such lofty goals. Currently we have 2 40' rows of corn, 1 35' row of potatoes, 1 35' row of onions, about 30 tomatoes, 2 25' rows of various beans, about 21 pea plants, 2 hubbard squash, 3 zucchini, 3' square of salad stuff (lettuce, radishes, green onions, cilantro, and arugula) and some cabbage. I think, "WOW that is alot." But we literally are not 50% done planting!!!

I recently got a bike and just this morning ordered my bike trailer/stroller to tote my kiddos around in while I get some fresh air. I am eager for it's arrival and my freedom!!! Of course, with freedom comes responsibility. So I will MOSTLY be using this as transportation to check my garden frequently during the coming months. A rumor has reached my ears that someone is giving my husband a bicycle too... and I dream of family bike rides at the park!

Personally, I am a disorganized laze about. I am NOT proud of this. So I have been trying to better myself and have been implementing some scheduling techniques I learned while reading Managers of Their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell. I was doing pretty good actually and feeling quite proud, until we took a "Garden Break." I really fell of that wagon and haven't gotten back on since! While it's only been two weeks, I see the consequences in my attitude, my children's behavior and my housework. So.... NO complaining. Get up and do the job right GIRL! :)

Family Prayer and Reading:
Our relationship with God is central to our family. How can I prepare my children for their futures, when I have no idea what they will face? I cannot. But I know who can. I know who loves them more dearly than I do, who knows every hair on their head, every thought on their mind, and every day that they will walk on this earth. So, I find my most important goal, is to show them where to go, and hope they go there. "Look child! There is the fountain of life! There is the source of all strength!" I need the same reminders myself. When there is trouble at my door, where can I turn? When there is fear in my heart, who will uphold me and strengthen my hand? When there is a blessing, who indeed has placed it in my keeping? And though I know I am imperfect and fail constantly, I look at my children as they clasp their hands at bedtime and we say, "Amen." And my, soon to be, 4 year old son says, "Wait, please. We did not pray for the boys.... or Samantha.... or Aunt Nessa.... or Grandpa Hans... or the baby in Mrs. Jessica's belly."

Just a little reminder what we're trying to better ourselves for.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Psalms 42:11

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again
My Savior and my God!
~ Psalms 42:11

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Psalm 74 - The Enemy is in the Sanctuary

Psalm 74
A Contemplation of Asaph.

1 O God, why have You cast us off forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
2 Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—
This Mount Zion where You have dwelt.
3 Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations.
The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary.
4 Your enemies roar in the midst of Your meeting place;
They set up their banners for signs.
5 They seem like men who lift up
Axes among the thick trees.
6 And now they break down its carved work, all at once,
With axes and hammers.
7 They have set fire to Your sanctuary;
They have defiled the dwelling place of Your name to the ground.
8 They said in their hearts,
“Let us destroy them altogether.”
They have burned up all the meeting places of God in the land.

9 We do not see our signs;
There is no longer any prophet;
Nor is there any among us who knows how long.
10 O God, how long will the adversary reproach?
Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever?
11 Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand?
Take it out of Your bosom and destroy them.
12 For God is my King from of old,
Working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 You divided the sea by Your strength;
You broke the heads of the sea serpents in the waters.
14 You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces,
And gave him as food to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
15 You broke open the fountain and the flood;
You dried up mighty rivers.
16 The day is Yours, the night also is Yours;
You have prepared the light and the sun.
17 You have set all the borders of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.

18 Remember this, that the enemy has reproached, O LORD,
And that a foolish people has blasphemed Your name.
19 Oh, do not deliver the life of Your turtledove to the wild beast!
Do not forget the life of Your poor forever.
20 Have respect to the covenant;
For the dark places of the earth are full of the haunts of cruelty.
21 Oh, do not let the oppressed return ashamed!
Let the poor and needy praise Your name.

22 Arise, O God, plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily.
23 Do not forget the voice of Your enemies;
The tumult of those who rise up against You increases continually.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Year Ago Today - About our homebirth.

One year ago today, my beautiful baby girl was born at our home.

About our homebirth...

My first birth went badly. I researched NOTHING during my pregnancy. I had full medical. I went to all my appointments. I did everything the doctor told me without question.

After 26 hours of labor, I had no strength. The epidural was causing uncontrollable back spasms. I could not concentrate on anything, and was already feeling very "out of it." The doctor recommended an emergency c-section. So they carted me into an emergency room, put up a sheet so that Aaron and I could see nothing, and they pumped me full of enough anesthetic so that I stopped twitching, and could no longer move, speak, or even think clearly. Isaiah was cut out and handed from doctor to nurse to nurse to doctor while we looked on from across the room. The nurse bathed him while he screamed. It was more than 2 hours before I could hold him. He would not nurse for the first month. I
continued to pump with the hopes that we would eventually be able to enjoy that, which finally after many tears happened.

I didn't want my second birth to go this way. And after a c-section the outlook seemed even worse. Doctors demanded a 2nd c-section. My first doctor, whom I immediately quit, strongly urged a tubal ligation. That is where they tie your fallopian tubes in a knot so that you are incapable of having any more children. WHY? He said 2 was enough children.

It was after that appointment I really cried out to the Lord. I was SO scared, disappointed, and hoping against all apparent reason that there was a better solution. I wanted 6 kids, maybe more. That isn't a joke to me, it is my deep desire to be a Proverbs 31 wife and mother, with my children surrounding me and blessing me. I wanted my husband and I to raise our children with names of promise and pray our blessings over them and their lives.

And that is when I heard of homebirth.

I found another doctor, and continued to struggle and argue with her as I researched and read on my own about this other possibility. I found more and more articles and evidence that doctors' interventions, stress of being in the hospital and any drugs or hormones greatly increased chances of having complications in childbirth, including leading up to c-sections. My research led me to believe that the epidural actually caused my failure to progress. I felt that if given the opportunity I could birth my child naturally. I finally found the courage to talk to my husband about it. At first he said nothing.

My new doctor at first seemed like she wanted to "work with me." She offered the "trial of labor." That is where I go into labor and we watch and monitor it closely and any signs that it is not progressing or any signs of complications we would immediately go into another emergency c-section. I asked her about her success rates. She said, "Oh about 60%." That meant that 40% of the time it ended in a c-section.

That wasn't good enough for me. And I told her so. I told her how much it meant to me to have a natural birth. I didn't want IVs. I didn't want the monitoring band around my stomach. I didn't want doctors I didn't know and tons of nurses surrounding me and taking away from the experience between myself, the baby and my husband. But those were all
just part and parcel of the hospital birth.

And that is when my husband said, "Yes. We will do a homebirth."

And that was when our doctor started lying. She purposely measured my stomach incorrectly, telling me the baby measured weeks too large. She purposely started stretching the percentages of uterine ruptures after c-sections. We found out that I had gestational diabetes. I increased my research, and my prayer. I began a careful diet to control my blood sugar to ensure my baby's safety and health. After the first week there were no signs of uncontrolled blood sugar. my doctor demanded more tests. There continued to be no signs of uncontrolled blood sugar.

Then my doctor calmly asked me to take non stress tests. At first I complied, although this meant that I now had to ride the bus or walk to the doctors office twice a week now, sit for 30-60 minutes with my toddler son while attached to a monitor to see if myself or the baby were under stress. They came back negative. We were fine.

After a couple of appointments the doctor said, she wanted the baby to move more and requested a second ultrasound. I went to get my second ultrasound. 1.5 hours of laying there while the technician measured and measured and measured. I requested a printout of the measurements. While most of it would not make sense to me, there were included estimates of how large the baby was compared to it's gestational age. They told me only the doctor could give me this information.

At my next appointment she told me the baby was too big and MUST BE INDUCED at 36 weeks. I refused and requested the documentation. The doctor said I had to talk to the hospital, who said I had to talk to the doctor, who said I had to talk to the hospital. Why the run around?

So I did not go to any more appointments. I continued my careful diet. I gathered equipment for my homebirth. I prayed and prayed incessantly to make sure I was doing the right thing, for my baby, for my family.

The morning of my due date I took castor oil. That evening labor started. My husband took our son to a friends for the night. I called my sister in law who was going to assist us. We all slept a few hours. I woke up after a while and labored quietly in the other room. My sister in law woke and found me up. So we watched Frasier and ate toast with peanut butter. In the early morning hours we took a walk. It seemed like the labor was slowing down. So when we returned home I took a warm bath.

My water broke, and I got out. Hard labor had begun.

I could barely walk to the living room. I leaned on the arm of the couch and couldn't move anymore. My husband saw that it was time. I was afraid and started to cry. But my husband and sister in law were right there and encouraging me. And I cried out "Lord help me!" And my baby girl came out in 4 pushes, less than 30 minutes. I could feel her little hand moving wedged against her face. And then she was wrapped up and in my arms. I sat there for a long time, and offered to nurse her.

But she was not ready. Eventually my husband took her for her first bath while I took a shower.

Then we settled in on the couch for my son to arrive and our first guests.

And here she is today!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Children are a Heritage ~ Psalm 127

Psalm 127
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blessed is every one who fears the LORD ~ Psalm 128

Psalm 128
A Song of Ascents.

1 Blessed is every one who fears the LORD,
Who walks in His ways.

2 When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the LORD.

5 The LORD bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
6 Yes, may you see your children’s children.

Peace be upon Israel!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to ALLLLLLLL the mamas in my life.  Hope you have a lovely day with loved ones!

Personally I don't worry too much about Mother's Day.  I get kisses and hugs from my family every day and know they love and appreciate me.  It is a good feeling.  "Husbands and Children out there!!!! DO THE SAME FOR YOUR MAMA!"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Homeschooling - Year One Down!

My husband and I are part of that crazy fringe group known as homeschoolers.  We love it.

August 24, 2009 we started our first year of homeschooling.  Our son was only 3, but he was extremely driven and curious about the world.  A very quick learner, with an ABUNDANCE of energy, I found it very challenging to shape and lead this little man.  We knew we had to teach him to use his many wiles for good, and not evil.  You think I jest.

Here is our "School Photo" for the year.  Look at that smile. :)

We wanted a good foundation of the basics.  So, we laid out our goals, and some tools we thought would work and began our new journey.

The Alphabet, Counting, Colors, Shapes, as well as Healthy life habits, manners, hygiene and chores were all included in our plans.

It was a learning experience for all of us.

The tools I found most useful....

Managers of Their Homes: This helped me list out EVERYTHING I wanted to do, and see that it was INDEED possible!  BY using a schedule I really could do the housework, the schooling, AND watch a tv show..AND TAKE A NAP!  Wow.  What a joy to read and to live.  Look, I even have time to keep up this blog.

Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills, Preschool: Isaiah LOVES this book.  And... so do I.  Everything a preschooler should be learning, all in one book.

Leap Frog Learning Videos: Letter Factory, Talking Words Factory, Code Word Factory, Math Circus and Lets Go To School. My son learned his ABC's by sight, in 1 week watching Letter Factory.  I was able to get these through Netflix, LOVED THEM and immediately got my own copies.  They have a new one out too, Math Adventures to the Moon.  I am looking forward to checking it out!

I added to this frequent walks to the park, bus rides to the library, play dates and a trip to the zoo and a field trip at Petco.  These outings were memorable, educational and enjoyed by all.

Now that gardening season has started (YEAH!) I just don't have the time every day to devote to so much schooling.  So we are taking a Garden Break.  We'll start summer school in June using Summer Bridge Activities: Preschool to Kindergarten.  And then we'll have a Harvest Break before we start in the fall.

For our records my husband and I discussed different methods of testing Isaiah.  We decided to make a video of him presenting what he has learned.  The program on my computer has been glitchy and not working.... but as I type this blog I have JUST NOW remembered that my camera records videos quite well.  Soooooooo... maybe I will do that today!

For those considering homeschooling... try it.  You and your children will love it.

For those not considering homeschooling, I beg you to think about it.  The benefits to your children, and to your family are incalculable.  It does not take much searching nationwide or even in my own town's paper, to find MANY reasons my children should not be in public school.  Drugs, violence, poor test scores, and even more insidious, VERY POOR association are detrimental to young learning minds.