Monday, June 28, 2010

Camping Encounters with God...

...And how it strengthens the marriage. Really! Camping can strengthen your marriage. I believe it 100%!!! It's do or die! Especially with two small children. A blast, for sure. Totally worth it. But you really have to work together and communicate. Therein lies the essence. Communication. We are told countless times of the importance of good communication skills in marriage and yet, most of us are lacking seriously. With the influx of advanced technologies, we need not speak to one another anymore. Text, email, picture text, instant message, facebook, twitter, etc... The list goes on! No one talks to one another anymore. Not even written letters. Postcards and notes in the mail seem like a hindrance from times past. With the busy lives lead in our culture, we are missing the essence of each other: communication. Who are we? We don't even really know one another anymore. there's a switch of pace. I didn't realize it before we went but now??? WOW!!! Just the ride there (6-8 hours) is enough to at least get you chatting about the weather! But when you get there and are completely phone, computer, work free, conversation really takes off! Now don't get me wrong, Joe and I communicate real well. However, conversations just become so much more in depth. These are the times when your heart cry is exposed.

We talked about the beauty God has placed before us and how yes, it is post-flood, post-sin type beauty but to us, it's still beautiful! We know nothing else. We never saw Eden and all It's Glory! Our hearts seek to see beautiful things. So we take vacations with beautiful views. No one vacations to the sewers despite how fascinating it is to see rats the size of grown yard dogs!!! (Yeah right!) God gave us these amazing beautiful things to appreciate and care for. There is a sincere reason and as Joe and I were talking about this yesterday, we discovered it together. God never starts out giving us the whole package. If He did, our appreciation would be diminished tremendously. No, He starts us off with a little bit, just as you do small children, to establish trust in us! He wants to see what we will do with it. Because it is then, when He is confident in us, that HE has promised us the Kingdom. Which, by the way, is BEYOND our greatest expectations and imaginations. We cannot even fathom what Heaven holds. I am reminded of the desolate as it may seem, all you have to do is look around for the beauty in our world. The mountains snow capped with fresh powder, the trees with dangling icicles, even the barren plants and's just waiting for that perfect time to spring forth new life. Which in itself, is pretty beautiful and amazing! In discovering this amazing concept through our conversations, I realized that God created all of those amazing and beautiful wonders for us, His children, to enjoy and marvel in. But He says He loves us more than all of those things and that we are of more value and more beauty. Women, listen up:: God thinks you are more beautiful than any of the 7 wonders of the world!!! You are the 1st true wonder. You bear the image of God! You give life! You nourish life! You are His beloved! Despite our sin and despite our lack of glory, we are still His and He still loves us more than ever! So when you see a picture of yourself (as I did yesterday) that you really hate and are disgusted with, rest assured that your eyes are certainly NOT the eyes of the Lord! His eyes have a much better focus on who you are and what you look like. If you are moving in a different direction (as I am with trying to get my health on the right track) rest assured as well. God never sees you where you are when you are taking an active role in your personal change. He sees you where you are going and He knows there is much more in store for you than you know your self!!!! Us women, we need to stop devaluing ourselves, by first, stop comparing ourselves to other women around us. Don't look at them as a threat or as a standard. Look at them as God does...with Love and with Respect! Inevitably, there will always be someone smaller, bigger, prettier, smarter, richer, etc...than you. But with your eyes on Him, no one can be more Joyful than you or more Happy than you!

There is a new song out that I don't know the name of or who sings it but there is a part of it that goes, "If our God is for us, who could ever be against us? And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?" The answer: No One!!! No one can be against you and no one can stop you when your eyes are on the King and your heart is for Him!!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

As I bake and take care of my littles....

Between baking chocolate chip cookies and nursing my little little, I am convicted over and over again by the love of my Father in Heaven of something I touched on a couple days ago in another post. I have been meditating on Matthew 24 and Jesus' telling of the second coming and the end times. I have NEVER EVER been one to say or jump on the bandwagon of "we are in end times." I feel that since Jesus walked the earth, people have been saying we are in end times and in the grand scheme of things, we really always are in end times. Whether the beginning of the end or the end of the end. The Bible says that one day is a thousand years to God and a thousand years, one day. So, in the grand scheme of things, always end times! HOWEVER, God directed me to Matthew 24, which I have read many times. Sometimes we read out of obligation instead of out of eagerness to absorb all of what God has to offer. I guess I have always done that when reading this particular passage because in reading it this last time He led me there, I realize that maybe, just maybe, we are really in the last of the last days. Now let me clarify, I am excited to goto Heaven and to see the face of God and be held by the only real Father I have. I just love my life with my family so much so that I want to spend as much time committing them to my soul as possible. I feel like I have a TON more things to do before I am qualified enough to spend eternity before the Heavenly Hosts! As I am reading this passage of scripture, I realize that we are experiencing almost every single aspect of the Second Coming. Now, whether these last days are 2 years long or 2000 more year long, of course no one will ever know until it happens. However, we should be living as it is the last days each and every day. Therein lies CONVICTION in my heart!!! I am so far under par that it would take another round for me to even break even. I am sure of it!!! My whole life is a joke! Really! I have paraded around living for myself and the world for so long. Only in the last 4-6 years or so have I even begun to break through to the life I know God wants me to live. And really the past 2-3 years have I changed the most in my thinking and actions. I fall short of the glory probably more than you do, reader! I am far from near able to walk through the gates of Heaven unblemished. I desire desperately to live a life worthy of the King. And I am working hard to be there. Thank God for Grace and Mercy and His unfailing Love that He covers me with daily because without it, Satan would have had me at Hello!

The main reason I have never been the "end times" kind of person is this: I feel that the church uses that to scare people into salvation. Honestly, as true as it may be, there is really no love for an unbeliever in "end times." It's a scary picture painted in Matthew, Revelation, and other parts of the Word. Sure, we know as believers in Christ, that it is because He loves us that He is coming again, to establish His Kingdom and the New Earth. But to an unbeliever or new Christian, it's hard to see love and compassion in that picture! Secondly, the Bible says that no man knows the hour of His coming. Who are we, as humans, that we think so highly of ourselves, that we feel it is up to us to predict the time Jesus will come again??? Sure, God says in Luke 12:6-7 "Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!" We are more than the fowl of the air, but compared to God and His infinite Almighty-ness, who are we??? "What is man that thou art mindful of him, the Son of Man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4/Hebrews2:5-6) Thirdly, I feel that the people who witnessed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah were likely thinking, "This is the second coming of Christ." The people were TERRIBLE, to say the least! Probably worse that we are now! Maybe not, actually!!

The lesson I feel God is teaching me, or lessons, I should say are these: 1.) Always goto His Word in complete reverence and with an open heart to absorb as much as I can. I REFUSE to read the Bible when I am not totally focused on what the King of Kings can reveal to me. It is like staring at a wall for me. If I need to, I worship first in music, I get in my prayer closet and pray that He renews my heart, and then I get in the Word. That is me and my personal battle daily. I realize some people may feel differently about this, but this is where I am right now in my walk. Judgment saved for the day I meet my Father! 2.) End times are upon us. Whether I want to admit it or not. They are! Deal with it, chica!!!! And do something about it! Walk in righteousness, forgiveness, grace, love, and humility each day! It is my heart's cry just to measure up day to day! 3.) What has appealed to me in Matthew, among all others things (as there is soooooooo much that speaks right to my heart strings), is this: 19And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! (pregnant and nursing mothers, which is my heart's passion). I compare that to what times we are living in. People are rarely excited about women being pregnant anymore. It's always attached with some social stigma..."what about a house? a bigger car? how will you afford food? child care? clothes? diapers? etc..." Children are a gift from God and Joe and I are LIVING testimonies to the fact that 1.) God will never give you what you cannot handle. 2.) When you are living for Him to bring Him glory and honor, He will not leave you to struggle. It is when you take your eyes off of Him and put them on the world and it's standards that you find struggle and strife. Not only are pregnancies rarely celebrated anymore, but more than two pregnancies is taboo in our culture. At the rate we are going, our population is declining in negative numbers. Interesting. If we are truly in end times, as the church will have you believe, (and as I am now coming to see) shouldn't we "be fruitful and mulitply" for the sake of the Kingdom??? For the sake of God??? Satan doesn't want us to have children. So he uses the world and society stigma to attack women and families! As a LLL leader (in training) and a nursing mama to two sweet boys, I hear and see and have been privy to the hatefulness of breastfeeding. Cover up. Sit in a secluded room, usually nasty bathrooms. Wean too early. Give solids too soon. Or call solid "real food" as if my milk isn't. Etc... The list goes on and on...I see it now. My eyes are open. Of course I plan to reverse both of these stigmas as I walk in Biblical truth! When Mary, mother of Jesus, went to visit Elizabeth and she found Mary to be pregnant with Jesus, her baby leaped in her womb. Pregnancy was cherished and exciting back then! Hannah begged for a child and promised his life unto the Lord's service. (1 Samuel 1:11) The Bible says that the barren womb (as compared to land without water) is never satisfied and never says it is enough! "the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, 'Enough!'" (Proverbs 30:16) Which makes me wonder, and this is my personal, over-analytical wonder, if the reasons we haves such trouble in the area of reproductive organs and fertility is because we aren't leaving the womb and matters of the womb up to God. He says he opens and shuts the womb. Who are we to take that role and play God?? Jesus was breastfed, as history shows, until he was 7 or 8!!! Almost all places in the Bible where nursing or breastfeeding is talked about, the children were 7-8 years old. More than that, it was an exciting time! When the child weaned, the father has celebration feasts to commemorate the day that the child was now ready to enter mentorship to manhood. The men of Bible days knew what a woman was. He respected her body as a temple of God and His matters. In 1 Samuel 1:21-23, I find it so beautiful that Hannah did nothing in the way of "church" other than nurse her child, as that was most important. Elkanah respected her and knew this was so important that he says to her:
"1:21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.

1:22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.

1:23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, ******Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.*****

How beautiful it is to me!!! "Only the Lord establish his word." Only God can tell you when it is time to wean!!!! I am so blessed to have a husband who finds the matters of the womb not only beautiful but holy and thinks of breastfeeding not as sexual, but as a bonding holy nourishment. I praise God for Him each day!

I am not on a soap box or anything of the like. I am speaking my heart and hoping it touches someone else's heart! We are in end times. Enough of my denial! Now I vow to take action and not worry about hurting people's feeling with the truth of God's Word. If the Bible and its contents offend you so deeply that you can not take reproach, you need to check where your heart is!!! You are never too old to have new revelation and never to young to be ineffective when the Kingdom of God is at hand!!!

I challenge you to buy, check out, borrow (I have copies available) the following books:
Family Un-Planning-Craig Houghton
Be Fruitful and Multiply-Nancy Campbell
Power of Motherhood-Nancy Campbell
A Full Quiver-Rick and Jan Hess
Breastfeeding and Fertility-Jenny Silliman
Does The Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?- Randy Alcorn
The Bible And Birth Control-Charles D. Provan


Friday, June 18, 2010

LOVE cloth diapers and wipes!!!

Two posts in one all are lucky! I walked in the bedroom where Xander was sleeping and I looked down on him and realized HOW MUCH I LOVE OUR CLOTH DIAPERS!!! He just looks so cute with his "bumblebee butt" as Joe calls it! And they are such a blessing to me. I know they are free of that nasty gel that makes me stomach turn thinking is on my baby's bottom. Free of chlorine and any other nasty additives. I love that I can hang dry them and the sun brightens and sanitizes them!!! I bought one set with Jayden, a set of 12 for $203.40 and then a second set with Xander 14 for $203.40 (and only because you by six, you get 1 free....that's why I got 14. Now we have 26 diapers and I wash about every 3rd or 4th day. (bumgenius 3.0) has a new special going where you buy 5, get 1 free...And free shipping!!! So for a set of 12, it would be $173.80!!!!! WOW!!!! If I needed more, I would definitely be purchasing!

Cloth wipes. Enough said in my humble opinion!!! When someone had told me they used cloth wipes, I was a bit apprehensive. I did look into it and realized that I wanted to do it, but wasn't sure how to. I really HATE commercial wipes. They seem to leave a funky residue on you after you wipe, my kids always break out, not matter what kind I use, and they are TERRIBLE for the environment. Talk about wasteful use and wasteful spending. If you use a cloth to wipe down you kitchen counter, you can use one to wipe down your kids. I went to Hobby Lobby, or your favorite fabric store, when flannel print fabric was on sale, bought two yard of a cute print, 2 yards of a complimentary solid, and a rainbow thread to stitch the side up. I cut them into the size square I wanted and sewed the pieces together. They are seriously, not only the cutest things, but they are soft and gentle on the kids' skin and Xander's bottom. I realized how much I enjoy using them as I was getting the kids' dressed to go out tonight and was wiping down their dirty faces and hands. I got a small spray bottle and filled it with distilled water, some grapefruit seed extract, and some tea tree oil (both can be found at healthfood stores or the vitamin shoppe where I get them REAL cheap). When I am changing a diaper, I lay it under Xander's bottom, spray his bottom with the spray and the cloth and proceed to clean him right up. No mess, no fuss! He loves the spray makes him giggle!!! LOL! And then I toss the diaper and wipe(s) in the diaper pail to await cleaning. It smells yummy and keeps the baby from breaking out and nice and disinfected.

If you don't know the benefits of grapefruit seed extract and tea tree oil, you really should look into it. In the Dominican Republic, missionaries use grapefruit seed extract as a disinfectant to clean EVERYTHING: dishes, laundry, counters, medical facilities, etc... And recently I heard of a hospital that switched to GSE from bleach to clean all their linens. What a progressive movement. While you are searching the benefits of these two amazing items, also search the dangers of using bleach. It is one of the main cancer causers in the world!!! Seventh Generation makes a great bleach that is great for people, animals, the is peroxide based! Wonderful!! Although you could just ass peroxide to your laundry for whitening and disinfecting! After Xander was born, we used it to get the blood out of towels, sheets, carpet, etc... and only one wash!!! It's amazing! We take GSE orally for common ailments and I also used it when Jayden and I had thrush about 1 1/2 years ago! God placed the most amazing things upon this planet for us and we need to be more diligent to use them and give Him thanks for supplying for us! Don't be so quick to jump on to over the counter of prescription drugs. Seek out homeopathics first. And check your diet as well. I hear of children with lots of allergies and weakened immune systems all the time through La Leche League, church, and other places. In La Leche League, most mama's are already pretty cruchy so there is no need to really figure out the problems. But food allergies are the most common instigators in health. Primarily dairy, wheat, gluten and soy. Nuts are a close follower! God had such a beautiful plan in place for our food consumption and we have totally neglected it by saying, "God placed it here, we are are redeemed from the law, we can eat whatever we want." You can, and likely do, eat whatever you want but there is truly something to be said for the Maker's Diet. (Not an endorsement there) However, I do totally endorse the Hallelujah Diet and am moving our family more and more back in that direction. With us all detoxing through juicing and following a good vitamin and dietary regimen, we are noticing major health differences and overall feel of being alive! Live food feed your body...dead foods weigh you down!!!!

Happy weekend!!!!!

Babywearing Giveaways, Ads, etc...

A hodgepodge of things today! First of all, Raising Olives is giving away an ERGO baby carrier. The benefits to wearing your baby are so numerous and it saves your poor little one from living life in their plastic bucket of a car seat. "CAR SEAT" not shopping cart seat, baby bed, play place, eating place, etc... One of my money saving tips when preparing for a baby and to keep you from using the car seat as a carrier, is to not buy an infant seat. You can get a convertible car seat that will take them newborn through age 5 or so. Plus, it's cheaper, more comfortable, and longer lasting! Anyways, go there and post and you could win an ERGO!!! I love the ERGO although I don't have one. I WOULD LOVE ONE, thank you very much!!! When people tell me how smart, alert, well-behaved, etc... my children are, I attribute it to wearing them as babies and young toddlers.

Second order of business, Adsense, a company that advertises on your page, chose to sponsor me. If you click on the ads you see along the side of my blog, it shows them that people are on my page, plus a get a little $ for it too!! Although I don't know how that works yet, it just does and I would appreciate if you clicked on it if something interests you!!! Thanks ya'all!!!!

Lastly, I will not be updating on the weekends. We spend weekends as a family and I REALLY try to take in those moments that we have together. It's so important to me! But make sure this weekend, that you wish the Fathers in your life a Happy Day!!! I saw a beautiful church sign that said, "I have been given the best give and it came from God. I call him Dad." So sweet that it makes me wish I had a dad to wish a happy day to. However, I do have the most amazing father in my life and I call him my husband! He is more than I could have ever dreamed of in a father for my children. His heart for our children and the children yet to come is so beautiful!! I love that he desires to raise as many children as the Lord blesses us with, without any reservations! We have seen the hand of God in our lives and we know that He has blessed us with these amazing children in His perfect timing. The faith Joe exudes in God is so admirable. Never does he lose his patience or get stressed out. He trusts God with everything and shoulders no burden. I pray each day that my children emulate that kind of faith! Happy Father's Day!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bottle nursing your baby...

Yesterday, I had this conversation with my best friend about breastfeeding and bottle feeding.(she bottle fed her baby breastmilk and then organic formula) I am pro-breastfeeding, exclusively for extended period of time. I really don't need to post the WHOLE list of benefits but just say, it's best for mom, baby, society, and the overall health of all people for LIFE. As a La Leche League Leader *in training* it's so very important to me that people are educated on the issue as well. Last weekend, we went to a party and there were many babies, toddlers, and pregnant women around me. And I L-O-V-E all of those!!!! As I sat down to nurse Xander, I overheard a conversation that left me in shock!!! A woman says to a pregnant lady, "It's so not chic to have a baby hanging from you so that breastfeeding stuff is not for me." I am sure she did not know that I am or was about to nurse my baby. But all around me I saw bottle fed babies being passed from one person to the next. It was a full out game of "pass the baby."

Now I am pro-breastfeeding and will tell anyone who wants to listen why and how awesome I think it is. When I had my first, Jayden, there wasn't any other option for me. I never even thought about formula and really not even about bottles. We had a tough time with low milk supply, thrush, and inconsistent nurse times. But we push through and made it to 18 months, where my milk dried up from pregnancy and inconsistent nursing, and then even still sometimes a blue moon he asks to "nurse too."

Just because I am a breastfeeding mama and support it completely, I AM NOT against bottle feeders. I would like to think that some person 100 years ago with good intentions created formula (or just gave their child goat or cow's milk) to help mothers who had a truly hard time breastfeeding or for women who adopted their children (Although I know it was a conspiracy to sicken for profit, and make lifetime patients of our itty bitty's). I would also like to think that most women AT LEAST try to breastfeed their babies and realize you CAN do other things at the same time. I do believe it's your child so it's your choice what you do. I also believe that many formula feeding mom's are in the dark of the health issues that come along with. Different topic. My point is that go ahead, bottle feed your baby. FINE!!!! But there is such a thing as "BOTTLE NURSING" your baby.

Babies NEED, CRAVE, DESIRE to be held close. To look into the eyes of their mommy. To smell her and feel her. It is a seriously intimate and beautiful experience. I have come to realize that breastfeeding is the only way women in our culture are experiencing this. And look around you!!!!!!!!!!! Who's breastfeeding??? Sad, huh? You CAN achieve that intimate bond while bottle feeding. When did it become the social norm to use formula because you want to be able to pass your child off on someone else?? THERE IS WHERE MY ISSUE LIES!!!!!! Do animals pass their young off to their friends' den, "Will you watch little Cub tonight? Here is his bottle and pacifier just in case." No! We are the only "things" on this earth that do that. The Bible says, "Even jackals offer the breast; they nurse their young, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness." Lamentations 4:3

There is a purpose for formula. Some of my dearest friends formula fed their precious little blessings but for issues that surpassed just wanting to be able to leave their children. I AM NOT AGAINST YOU FORMULA FEEDING MAMAS!!! But please don't be against me either. I am tired of the stares and comments behind my back. Even the comments to my face! I suppose end times certainly are near as Jesus said, ""How horrible it will be for the women who are pregnant or who are nursing babies in those days." Matthew 24:19 Hate and judgment is upon us in the worst kind of way. I am tired of mothers being afraid to publicly nurse their babies because someone might say something to them or they will become the social pariah. God gave us the amazing ability to make the RIGHT milk to nourish our babies and bond with them. I don't think when He made man and woman in His image, that He ever thought someone would take His perfect design of the breast and make an artificial one to artificially pacify and nourish His miracles. Some people work so hard to get pregnant and buy all of the fanciest things but neglect to MOST important of all that is totally FREE!!!!

Just as you (formula feeders) have the right to choose how to feed your baby, so do I and other breastfeeding moms. And if you are out there, on the fence about what to do, RESEARCH, INVESTIGATE, BE INFORMED, and then make a decision that is best for you. But please, please, please, look into getting and reading, "The Ministry of Parenting Your Baby" by Dr. Sears. That book revolutionized my thinking on parenting and what it means to really PARENT your baby. People will say, "oh, your baby is a mama's boy," or "he is so spoiled." As babies and toddlers, why do we want our babies to leave us? Do we want them to run into on coming traffic to prove that our babies ARE NOT mama's boys???? Of course not!!! But it is so foreign in our society and culture to have children that are bonded, they are dubbed as "mama's boys/girls." And children do not spoil....meat spoils!!!!!

Breastfeeding was designed for the whole package: baby benefits, mom benefits, society benefits, the world benefits. Formula feeding was designed for a basic package: mom benefits. However, when babies are BOTTLE NURSED, a deluxe package is created in that: mom benefits, baby benefits and society reaps a bit of those benefits. Although, there are still RISKS to formula feeding that we do not yet know the extent of but that start is to BOTTLE NURSE your little miracle and YOU, mom, be the only one to nurse your baby. Whether with breast or a bottle that looks like a breast!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Garden Harvest

We live in times where we almost completely rely on others to provide for us. In a world like that, it is hard to think that we can rely on God and He will provide. That man is not to be trusted as he will always fail you, but God will NEVER fail you! Each year, Joe and I have tried to have a garden and although we did, we didn't have the kind of space before to REALLY have a garden! This year, God blessed us with the space and ability to have a rather large garden. When planted everything from seeds. Nothing (except a few tomato plants) was planted as plants. We direct sowed each plant with faith that we would reap a harvest. As we were beginning this process, we "stumbled" upon Matthew 6:25-34------

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

At first when you have a beautifully tilled garden with perfect an straight row free of weeds and grass and freshly planted seeds, you think, "There is NO WAY ON EARTH these tiny, itty, bitty seeds are going to come up let alone be anything worth all of this time and effort." After a few weeks, you have little seedlings that you wonder if they will produce a harvest. God reminds us that when we relinquish our worry and fears and focus on Him to provide for us, we will be provided for in an abundance.

I kid you not when I say that we have the BIGGEST plants of some varieties that we have EVER had!!! Squash is what's in season for us right now and in abundance to say the least! On Saturday, I picked at least 20 very large squash. Last night, during rain, I picked two armfuls of zucchini squash. And there is more to be picked today! God is supplying not only for our needs, but he is blessing us to be a blessing to others. We have been sharing our garden with friends, neighbors, co-workers...anyone who wants fruits and veggies that are homegrown without the use of harmful junk! Here are some pics of the garden::

I made these two recipes and thought I would share for those of you who might have an abundance of squash like we do or would just like to make some! The zucchini bread recipe is the BEST I have ever had! I could literally live on it!

Squash Casserole:
Olive oil
3 lg. onions, chopped
2 lbs zucchini, sliced
2lbs yellow squash, sliced
2 t. sea salt
1t. black pepper
1/4t. ground nutmeg
2T. flour
1c. hot organic milk
3/4c. bread crumbs
3/4c. cheese (gruyere is preferred but I used sharp cheddar cause it's what I had)

--Put some olive oil in large saute pan and saute onions until clear looking. Add in squash and cover for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in flour, add milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes until it makes a sauce. Pour into baking dish. Mix breadcrumbs and cheese together and sprinkle on top of mixtures. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Zucchini Bread:
* 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 4 eggs, beaten
* 1/3 cup water
* 2 cups grated zucchini, strained from all water
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

This recipe also makes AMAZING muffins!!! Jayden loves to eat mini ones as a snack and it's a really healthy recipe if followed as above, it's a good way to sneak veggies into your children. Adding carrots would also be great!!!

To add as just an extra bonus that God is totally meeting us each and every day where our needs and faith are, last night as I picked my tow armfuls of squash and was wondering what I was going to do with it all and how tired I was going to be of it in a couple weeks, He revealed the most amazing and beautiful rainbow I had ever seen! It was incredible and like it was there just for me. I took pictures but it was so close to me that I had to take it in two sections. It was incredible!!! It was like God was just telling me again to stop worrying and have faith. Surrender unto Him and He will supply! The rainbow is His promise...Once, I was in an airplane and saw a rainbow when leaving Tampa, Fl. and it is a complete circle. For those of you who don't know, as I didn't until then. From the sky, it hovers right on the ground in a circle. What we see from the ground is the arch of the rainbow but what's on the ground is the rest of it. Which then reminded me of the promise a ring is in a wedding ceremony. It's a symbol of love that never ends...Just as God's promise is with the rainbow! How awesome is the power of God???? If we could only slow down long enough to see what He's placed right before us to marvel in!

Blogging Day1

Being new to having a blog, it's hard to decide what to write first. You have so much you want to share but you don't want to give everything out all at once!!! I suppose it's best to just state what I plan to share and then as it comes up in my daily, I will post about it! Sound okay? Hope so.

I love my life. First, I must say that without my Savior, Jesus, none of it would be possible. Not one single speck and I owe it all to Him!!! I always feel like I have so much going on but never time to share it with everyone in my life. I hope to share my adventures in scripture with the Lord and what He is revealing to me, our daily endeavors in parenting, tips and money saving advice, food choices and recipes, homesteading and gardening events, and maybe just some fun conversational pieces. At times we all have those things we are eagerly passionate about that you just want to share and so I also hope that this blog will be a platform for that as well.

This is really just a place that people I don't get to talk to or spend quality time with on a daily basis will be able to spend that time with what's going on in my life. I love to share little things about my children, as they are the light in my days. Really, I hope that no one is offended in anything I post. I have to say that I have learned that 1.) offense is a personal choice but that does not negate the fact that sometimes people do hurt your feelings...I hope that I don't do that. 2.) everything that I post about is a personal conviction in my life, marriage, and parenting. I do not feel that all of the things that we do in our lives is for everyone. I just want to share the amazingly profound effect it has had on my life and if that inspires one other person to take a deeper look at things, then I feel accomplished!!!

I sincerely hope that this is a fun place you can come to enjoy learning and seeing different things and connect with others that may have something to add!!!