OrtinIndyAdventures16

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Morning sunrise & fog.

The long awaited trip is now history. Why do fun adventures seem to take forever to arrive, and then are done and past in the blink of an eye? We had been planning this fun get-away for about 2 mths. I had my moments of panic and excitement come in waves as I thought of what I was getting myself into. But, I really wanted to do this. So I decided we were just gonna do it and make the best of it. The biggest part of the challenge was the travel time of about 6.5 hrs with all 5 of my children 11 yrs-9mth. And driving through Chicago, all by myself.

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Eating at Whole Foods

What was our plan? We left bright and early Tues morning. I got up at 3am with my hubby and Collin-11. And was almost ready to go an hr later when Collin came in. He showered and got the other 3 up and ready to go out the door while I got baby up and fed her good. We then hit the road at about 4:35 am. It took about an hr for them to all nod off to dream land again. All but Rylen-7. He never took a nap. We actually managed to drive a huge chunk before needing to stop, in fact. I think it was the other side of Chicago. Which ended up NOT being a good idea. As Kianna got hungry about half way through and was NOT impressed with not being able to just stop anywhere. We also discovered a certain son who can not handle a moving vehicle while watching a movie. So going through Chicago found him hunched over the trash can.

I have no clue where we even pulled off at. I just seen a huge mall, with a Lego store and thought ‘Why not?’ Yeah, why not check the time too!! Just because you’ve been up for hours and hours doesn’t mean the rest of the world has been. It was about 8:30 am, no store was open. So we opted for a movie while I fed the baby, in the parking lot. Then I seen a sign for a Whole Foods grocery store. So we went in there for a brunch, which we ate at their picnic tables outside. Then we loaded up and headed out on our way. It was a good hr stop!! And soon after we were on the road, and another movie was going, the above child lost his lunch! You’d think he’d get the idea!

Anyway… we made it to Indianapolis, IN around 2:00. Which we lost an hr in there. And we had made another stop. Yes, we are so thankful for a bigger vehicle – we had upgraded from our minivan to a suburban, known as Big Red.

So after checking in, and finally getting to our room, our friends got there!!! So let the fun begin. We have been friends with Brenda for a long time, but our times together have been far and few between and always so short. So we had decided to meet somewhere half way. And just spend a few days together having fun! The only thing we really planned was going to the zoo.

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So Tues afternoon we went swimming and just let the littles get to know Brenda and her sister again. Which really wasn’t hard to do!! The motel had a great pool with wide steps, perfect for Karson and Kianna to play on. After a pizza supper we found this great park with a huge silo and slides and a tractor to play on. There was also a meadow of flowers with paths through it. A splash park, and more.

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We all crashed fairly early that night. We wanted to be at the zoo soon after opening time. Which didn’t really happen. We all felt like taking our time. And then it was a HOT day, like in the 90’s. But we survived. And had lots of fun. I discovered Rylen is becoming quite the photographer. He has for some time been begging to use my camera. I let him now and then, but not often. But he proved to me he has a genuine interest in it and some skills that will be awesome one day! He took many of my zoo pics and other pics of our time together.

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The zoo was fun, yes, the heat damped the spirits and the clothes!! But we made the best of it. A train ride, and a fun little roller coaster. The Dolphin Show. A Dog Show. The picnic and boys playing the the shrubs nearby, where by-passers were amused at Karson for popping out at them. He had a stick and they were ‘hunting’ each other. Kianna was finding every odd piece of left over foods and non foods to sample. (Blah!!) And Rylen had the camera for a while…

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These are all photo’s by Rylen, age 7.

The zoo had a little bit of everything, but a HUGE disappointment in that there were no crocodilians. (Yes, that is a word! Even though my computer declares it a misspelled crocodile. Crocodilians is the word for crocs, alligators and gharials. Now it’s yelling that gharial isn’t a work either!! Thanks ZooBooks for the education in crocodilians!!) They did find ONE fake croc, heading under a bridge. And they stayed there for too long looking at the silly thing.

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Lunch time and bush hunting.

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Photo’s by Rylen, except for the giraffe’s.

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Most of the other animals it seemed to be a fast look and they were on their way again. Boys!! They didn’t have very many monkeys either. But did have this huge skywalk system for the chimps. They would climb up this high tower then walk across huge ropes to platforms. It was neat. But when they were walking out there the sun was so bright & hot, we couldn’t see real great, nor did we want to stand and watch for long.

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Lego creations in the garden’s.

We headed back to our motel around 3:30, after the dolphin show. Oh, and after a tour through the gardens to see the huge lego sculptures, while Karson, Kianna & I went to Big Red. They were just done! Then the boys headed straight for the pool, as soon as they could. We had so much pizza left over, we had eaten that for breakfast and then supper again. And snacks. ha

We headed for the park again, this time earlier than 8pm. We wanted to go walk so other trails we had seen on our way out the night before.  AND we took some furniture polish to spray slides to make them slipperier. But once we got there and seen it was once again really full, we decided to spray bottom sides and let them polish the slides that way. Let’s just say ‘It works!!!!’.

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The boardwalks were fun to run on. I was a bit nervous someone would find their way into the water. But no one did fall over the edge. And we got some great pictures. It was a photographers haven. And we seen a couple photographers out there doing their thing. We then headed for Yo Joy Yogurt shop for a cool treat!! Then back to our motel. It took the boys a while to settle down to sleep. But one by one they dropped off. Then Collin stayed up with us girls til midnight. It’s fun to hang out with your own son. He is growing up so much! And joins in on conversations. We had a blast.

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Thurs. we decided to head for a mall with a Lego store. We packed up and headed there about 10. After an hr of lego drooling, the littles were just getting DONE. And the boys were too. I wasn’t sure what time I was gonna head home. But decided they were all so tired I should just drive while they slept!! My parents had come through Chicago that morning and said traffic was crazy. So that helped the decision as well. Traffic was CrAzY coming down on Tues, and if she said it was still crazy Thurs, I was a bit nervous. I tanked up baby and boys. And we hit the road around 12:20pm. And I soon had a quiet rig!! Most slept for over 2 hrs. Karson it was around 3. Collin kept me company, as we talked about the trip and the fun we had. We seen a crop-duster plane that was going over fields right beside the interstate. He would cross the interstate and do the other side. We tried to time our passing, but just missed him. But he flew right up behind us, he was getting bigger and bigger in my side mirror before looping up and away.

We then hit a big rain storm just south of Chicago. And had to slow to a crawl for a while. The lightening was fun to watch and the cracks of thunder we could hear above the rain and music we had going. Kianna woke just as we got into Chicago. But a couple of the boys were still sleeping. So I decided to push my luck and see how far we could go again. Rylen did a great job keeping her happy!! We made it the whole way through Chicago without stopping. We did stop in traffic for just a bit when we merged onto I90. But otherwise we had a pretty easy sailing through there. I was very thankful for that. One frustration I had, was I forgot the I-Pass. So had to stop at every toll booth. The last half hr Kianna was DONE waiting. But I wanted to stop at the Plaza that went over the Toll Road.

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So we took a good hr break there. They had a small play area the boys & Kianna played in. And while we watched the traffic zoom beneath us, we ate an ice cream treat. It was time to get on the road again.

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We had just gotten into WI when I seen the sky beginning to get really dark. Let’s just say that storm was a bit worse than the first one we went through. We finally stopped along the road. I fed Kianna again, and we waited for the worst of it to pass. I thank God for His protection over us. I was ready to pull out into traffic again and seen a big open dark spot. Good I thought, no traffic. It was nearly as dark as night and it was only around 6 o’clock. Anyway, something made me pause. As I looked again, I thought I seen a dark shadow coming up behind me. So I waited a bit to see if it indeed was something. It was!! A big dully pickup with a large cattle trailer, who didn’t have his lights on!! We were so thankful for God’s protection.

We slowly made our way home. The storm was still not very friendly for driving, but it was hard to stay parked. So I kept going. We got home just before 9pm. The lights of home were so Welcoming!! And so was the hubby & dad of this tribe!! There is just no place like home!! But we sure enjoyed our trip!!

*Photo credits go to Rylen & Lois Martin, and I used a few from Brenda & Kendra Orendorf.

 

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The Aggravating thing about Flies

Life on the farm comes with it’s bad side! The bad side of FLIES!! And the many, many offspring they produce in a single yr. I hate spray and the bad chemicals in them. It does get used in the barn, but I won’t use it close to my house. Especially knowing my littles would be around it, touching the things it’s sprayed on, etc. So what’s a person to do when your main door is on the west side that faces the barn. (In case you don’t know, that’s the favorite side for a fly to sit on. It’s warm and sunny.)

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Part of the nastiness of my siding, but not the worst of it.

So… the siding of the house is very, well, um, decorated in undesirable fly droppings. My mother-in-law has lived on a farm all her life. And I knew she has tried many, many things to get it off. But was never very successful. So I didn’t bother trying. 1. Because it was so high to reach. 2. I didn’t have the time or energy. 3. I didn’t know what to use. 4. It wasn’t something people noticed right away when they visited. BUT last fall, we built a deck. Put in a new door, all on the west/south side. Where do people walk? Right past my ‘decorated’ siding. It was nasty!! But I didn’t know what to use.

Finally, I decided I would just scrub. It would HAVE to come off. Yeah, you should have heard the flies laughing at me!! But I wasn’t going to give up. So, world wide web to the rescue. Ha. Almost a NOT!!! All I was finding was ideas to use Dawn dish soap. I mean seriously!! Dawn might be good, but not THAT good!!! I never bothered to even try it. I had tried something more powerful than that, so I knew Dawn would never do anything. Only one place did I see the idea to use OxiClean. I decided to give it a try!! I had run out, so I picked some up the next time I went shopping. The next day I wet a small area of the siding and sprinkled it with the powder. I just wanted to see if it would actually work. Well, most of the day passed before I got back out there to scrub. And what do you know… that whole area came clean with a minimal amount of elbow grease. I was hooked!!!

I went right back out after supper and scrubbed that wall!! Rylen had seen a bit of what I was doing & was loving the results as much as I was. So he worked on the area under the window. And he did a fabulous job too!!! I just put a generous amount of OxiClean in a bucket with water, and used a scrub brush. Wetting down a fairly large area. Then starting at the top worked my way down. It definitely needs to soak a bit before it comes off. But it was surprisingly easy!

20160714_172550After supper, he helped me some more and we did that whole wall. It looked amazing!!

Today, I finished up above the door & by the far window where I can reach. Also a bit on the south side. It doesn’t look near so bad over there. But I still need to do the south side by the garage door. I need a ladder for that. I also scrubbed chairs & some railing.

Oh, it looks so delightful & inviting now!!20160715_154447I do have one secret weapon that works pretty good. Or at least discourages the masses. See that water bag? I have 3 of them out there. There is a couple pennies in each. It has some really good reviews online for such a thing. And I really do think it helps. Maybe not 100%, but it sure helps!

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And that far wall is where I can’t reach. Where I need a ladder. I’ll tackle it one day, just not now. Don’t you love my chair though? One of our renters left on the burn pile and I nabbed it. It sat in front of the barn for a while, but now I enjoy it by my door.

And that my friends, is my shameless plug for OxiClean!! I think it’s my new favorite cleaner!!

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Posted in Cleaning, Farming, Home, Household Tips, Randomness | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Crazy Bit of Our Life, In Pictures

I know I could say this every time I post… and I probably about do. But where, oh, where does time go?? This is the easiest way to update our life right now. So enjoy the pictures…

I know I am missing things in here… Rylen turned 7. We had a fun Homeschool-End-of-the-Year picnic with the area homeschoolers. Other picnics, swimming, and all the other fun things of summer and life!!

These are from May. Karson so sweetly loved up on this bull calf for pictures!! Collin turned 11, (I thought he was just born.) And Kianna is busy learning and exploring. She learned to crawl in April at just under 6mths. She lives life to the fullest and from one adventure to the next!! Oh, and that middle pic… it’s my ‘milk-maid’ sis.😉 She’s been milking for us for a while now. 5 May 16At Grandpa Martin’s one evening, while Delvyn & I had a quick date. They love playing ball!!5 May 162My sister Linda came home for 2 wks on furlough from MX in June. We thoroughly enjoyed her short but sweet visit. The boys had so much fun with her. Showing her the tree-house they were building.

My monkey’s in the tree…PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-15-54-20There was also a Martin Reunion, on my Dad’s side. Yes, my Grandma Hershey was a Martin. So the Hershey’s also got together on Sunday evening. I got a 4 generation picture with Kianna, my Dad, Grandma & I. It seems so strange that my ‘little cousins’, who once upon a time I took care of as little babies, are now becoming Mom’s themselves!! Time keeps marching on!!!PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-15-43-48~~We went with some friends out on the MS river one Saturday evening. It was full of people, so we ended up getting a ‘beach’ with a very steep bank and LOTS of turtle eggs. We made the best of it and had fun anyway.  PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-13-55-45PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-13-57-51PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-13-54-04Boating is always so fun. It’s been a few yrs since we’ve been able to go out. So it was almost like a new experience for most of the boys.

The next 5 pictures are from our Church’s camp-out over Father’s Day weekend. We tried something new, and had a large lodge. And a small, private lake a stones throw away. It was a lot of fun!!!

PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-14-56-34High on the list of things to do was canoeing and kayaking!!! Even the little boys could kayak and spent a lot of time out there, just paddling around by themselves. Delvyn & I even took a moonlight canoe ride. It was so quiet and peaceful, I could have been out there for a lot longer.PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-14-59-08We played some games, a scavenger hunt, ‘Elephant Trunk Bowling’, and a beanbag game.PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-15-01-37Of course campfires and late night chats were included!! And lots of ducks & geese, who followed you around begging for food. PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-15-08-26There were many who spent a lot of time in the water!! Both days were nice and warm, just perfect for it. The youth played volleyball in the hot-HOT sand. They kept a water hose and buckets nearby to cool off with it.  PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-15-10-11~~~~~~~~~~~~

Over the 4th of July we went to visit friends in IA. So here are a few random pictures of that. They have 8 children, so there isn’t a lack of friends to play with. Kianna LOVED swinging. I had her in the Ergo swinging as high as I could, and she loved every second of it. She loves thrills. (Riding 4-wheeler is also high on her list of fun things to do!)PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-13-50-01Kianna had a little friend- Luanna who is 13 mths. They played together very well. PhototasticCollage-2016-07-08-13-42-47We are so blessed, friends & family, good health, and a God who loves us!!

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That’s My King, Do You Know Him?

Sunday we were encouraged to speak who God is, of who He is to me!! I am going start my own list and speak them. We can not go by emotions and how we may be feeling at the moment. But speak the truths and let them become rooted & grounded in our hearts & minds. My Dad has read this sermon a few times. And it always blesses me. So I did some digging  and found it. Who is God to you?? As you read this, (I’d encourage you to listen to it too!! Link below.), as you read, think about it. Is this who Jesus is to you? S-M-Lockridge

The Bible says

He’s the King of the Jews

He’s the King of Israel

He’s the King of Righteousness

He’s the King of the Ages

He’s the King of Heaven

He’s the King of Glory

He’s the King of Kings

and He is the Lord of Lords

Now that’s my King!

David says

The Heavens declare the glory of God

And the firmament showeth His handiwork

No means of measure can define His limitless love

No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply

No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing

He’s enduringly strong

He’s entirely sincere

He’s eternally steadfast

He’s immortally graceful

He’s imperially powerful

He’s impartially merciful

That’s my King!

He’s God’s Son

He’s the sinners’ Saviour

He’s the centerpiece of civilization

He stands alone in Himself

He’s august

He’s unique

He’s unparalleled

He’s unprecedented

He’s supreme

He’s pre-eminent

He’s the loftiest idea in literature

He’s the highest personality in philosophy

He’s the supreme problem in higher criticism

He’s the fundamental doctrine in true theology

He’s the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion

That’s my King!

He’s the miracle of the age

He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him

He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously

He supplies strength for the weak

He’s available for the tempted and the tried

He sympathizes and He saves

He guards and He guides

He heals the sick

He cleansed the lepers

He forgives sinners

He discharges debtors

He delivers the captives

He defends the feeble

He blesses the young

He serves the unfortunate

He regards the aged

He rewards the diligent

And He beautifies the meek

Do you know Him?

My King is the key of knowledge

He’s the wellspring of wisdom

He’s the doorway of deliverance

He’s the pathway of peace

He’s the roadway of righteousness

He’s the highway of holiness

He’s the gateway of glory

He’s the master of the mighty

He’s the captain of the conquerors

He’s the head of the heroes

He’s the leader of the legislators

He’s the overseer of the over-comers

He’s the governor of governors

He’s the prince of princes

He’s the King of Kings

And He’s the Lord of Lords

That’s my King

That’s my King!

My King

His office is manifold

His promise is sure

His life is matchless

His goodness is limitless

His mercy is everlasting

His love never changes

His word is enough

His grace is sufficient

His reign is righteous

His yoke is easy

and His burden is light

I wish I could describe Him to you

He’s indescribable

He’s indescribable

He’s incomprehensible

He’s invincible

He’s irresistible

I’m trying to tell you

The heaven of heavens cannot contain Him

Let alone a man explain Him

You can’t get Him out of your mind

You can’t get Him off of your hands

You can’t outlive Him

And you can’t live without Him

The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him

but they found out they couldn’t stop Him

Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him

The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree

And Herod couldn’t kill Him

Death couldn’t handle Him

And the grave couldn’t hold Him

That’s my King!

He always has been

And He always will be

I’m talking about

He had no predecessor

and He’ll have no successor

There was nobody before Him

and there’ll be nobody after Him

You can’t impeach Him

and He’s not going to resign

That’s my King!

Praise the Lord

That’s my King

Thine is the Kingdom

And the power

And the glory

The glory is all His

Thine is the Kingdom

And the power

And the glory

For ever

And ever

And ever

And when you get through with all of the forevers

Then

Amen

This is from a message delivered in 1976 by Dr. S. M. Lockridge (1913-2000) in a message entitled “That’s My King.” Here is a link to a video with him preaching it. I would encourage anyone to listen to it! The power behind his voice is amazing. You know he knew the KING!!!

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Baby Room Re-Do

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Another long overdue post… I was asked to share pictures of the baby room that I redid with my sister’s help last summer. I could NEVER have done it without her help!! But then I’d probably not done all I did to it either, if it wouldn’t have been for her help. So THANKS so much June for all the hours you put into giving me the nursery of my dreams!!! I love it just as much today as the day it was finished. {Which technically was just a couple weeks ago.}

I looked for a while to find an old picture of the room before… but of course couldn’t find what I was looking for. I forgot to get one of the boarder that I had up of Thomas and friends. So you can just imagine it.🙂 I was pretty tired of it, as were the boys, they happily pulled it down! When we moved in here, 7.5 yrs ago, we repainted it blue from a periwinkle color. And the curtains I had put up got taken down while there were bunks in front of the window. {They were up, until they got ripped down by bouncy boys.} So this is the only ‘before’ I really have.

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Jevan hard at work, filling in all the many dents and holes this room had from housing 4 boys!!! Well, 2 moved out when Karson was born, so there were 3 in here for a long time!!

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My lovely sis, who worked long and hard at this room. Painting it a lovely shade of grey. Do you really wanna know all the sweat and work and frustration that was put into this room?? The trim that wouldn’t come off, the paint that Walmart discontinued on us, the trials of rehanging trim, that we finally had a friend come and do for us. The hours of stripping, sanding, and repainting the doors and trim… the rocking chair and frames… yes, we did it all. I really should say, June did a lot of it!!!

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The window before and after…

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I have long wanted a room with white trim. And decided this was the perfect small room to do it on. Yes, it was a lot of work. But I LOVE the results!!! I have no plans on redoing any more of house this way either. I’ll just enjoy this one room of mine!

 

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And this rocker… I wanted a small chair or rocker for this room. But wasn’t sure I’d find anything in my price range that I really wanted. Until I found this perfect, beat up, chewed up old rocker!! Yes, chewed!! A dog must have thought the ends of the rocker a perfect spot to sharpen teeth. But we sanded it smooth, stripped it and painted it white. Looks good enough for me!!! I love it and all it’s imperfections. It’s a very comfy chair too.blog7

So here’s the finished room!! One I delight to walk in each day, many times a day!! And no, my daughter hasn’t slept in here yet. But one day it will be all her’s and not a shared room with her brother Karson. He still sleeps in the crib for now. His days are numbered. She is fast outgrowing her little bed!!

And note the painting to the left of the window, another of my sister’s painted that for me!! I love it!
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I love this wall and the frames and the picture and sayings… and well, just all of it!! On the right side, the baby pics are Karson’s and Kianna’s newborn pics. They looked so much alike at that age. This drysink is from my husband’s parents, when our first was born. They had used it with all of their children and a friend had used it for a while before we got it. I love it!!

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This is the opposite side of the room.

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This was what just got finally hung the other week. And made the room finished!! Karson has only once messed with the frames so far.

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And looking at the room from by the window. Closet is on the left, door to hall is on right. I had the lamp, & my sister Sara redid the lamp shade.

I love the way it all came together.

And here’s the little lady…

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~Our Flower~

k2Kianna Rose

joined our family on Oct. 11th, 2015, at 4:05am,

Weighing 8lb 4oz, 2o.5in long.

We promptly fell in love!!

k7k3Kianna means – Living in God’s grace

Rose – Fragrant flower

Her name has special meaning to us. At the time God gave her to us, He was doing a BIG work in my heart! He showed me His grace in a whole new way!! Rose – is a family name, on my Mom’s side. I have lots of cousins and an Aunt with Rose used in various ways in their names. And we know she is our special fragrant flower, given to us to enjoy!!

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Anyway, she was in a hurry just like her big brother Karson, but this time the midwife was there an hour & a half before she arrived. I was a bit nervous about her birth knowing how fast it went with Karson. And I had been dilating for a while, so my midwife was nervous too. Well, I went to bed around 10, wondering if the gut feeling I’d had all day, was going to happen that night. Well, I woke up around 11:45, and had a few hard contractions that seemed different. I rolled over to go use the bathroom and knew my water had broke. So I knew it was the real thing.k4It was pretty intense, I’d never had back labor before. Kianna was in a position she could not move out of. Not the labor I wanted, but at least it was only 4 hours long. She arrived at 4:05am. ‘Covered in her beauty cream’, as my midwife put it. (None of my boys ever had that much vernix on them. She was white with it!!) I was shocked to say the least at the amount of dark hair she had!! My babies were coming every other one, blond & dark, she was to be blond!! And not to mention, none had as much hair as she did!! It was a prayer answered. I had wanted a little girl with a bunch of dark hair.

k6I think I was living in a dream the next few days, no, make that longer, I’m still living in a dream. I was given such a gift, and I felt so very blessed and it seemed a bit unreal. I was putting pink on my newborn baby, my very own daughter!! And seeing the smile on her father’s face, brought joy to my heart.

It was interesting observing the response in each of the boys…

Collin , 10.5 yrs, had went to the barn at 3:30am, and we couldn’t find him then when things had settled down in the house after Kianna was born. He was hiding out in the barn office. But he was delighted to meet her!!

Jevan (almost 8 at the time) – he was a bit of a different story. He did not want to see her. Or have anything to do with her. So he went to church with my parents without being introduced to his little sister. He waited until he was home again. Then he looked at her, but would not hold her. Later he finally held her. Now- It’s a totally different story!!! He is the one who takes most interest in her.

Rylen (6.5yrs) – he had been waiting on her for forever!!! He was so excited!! And happily chatted with anyone who would listen at church to him talk about her.

Karson (she came 1 wk before his 2nd birthday!!) – He didn’t really know what it was all about, but he was right away possessive of her. And delightfully calls her ‘Kia Ro’e’.

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Here are some of his 2 yr old pictures. He is such a fun, lovable guy!!!k8  k11 We are delightfully enjoying our little princess. And it’s hard to believe she’s been delighting our lives and home for 3 mths. I’ll do another post in a day or two with more updated pictures. This will have to do for now.

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The Root Cause of Fungus

11988424_10206424748231049_3851978390642144499_nWho loves SCIENCE?!? and biology? and biochemistry? Well, have you ever heard me or someone else say this: “fungus overgrowth is the #1 root cause of our diseases today” and wonder, “WHY so? what exactly does this statement mean?  I love people who ask the right questions…..while the asking of “WHY” can get annoying in a hurry when your toddler is about 2 or 3 years old and it’s the only word they know, this age-old question is actually pure genius!!! I wish more people would ask the question WHY when their health starts to come apart at the seams. Thankfully, there ARE actually answers!! Though there are obviously more then just one main root cause to all the different diseases (probably between 5-10, but no more; I will speak of the others in another article), the experts in health today all agree that fungus overgrowth ranks as #1. The more I research, the more I agree. (Note: we are speaking of PHYSICAL root causes here, I believe MENTAL issues are more powerful then physical, but that’s a whole other article…..or book:)

Here is the BEST explanation I’ve heard to date of what “gut health” really is…..for the sciency, nerdy types that ask WHY, lol!!! My friend Jessica Hoogendoorn (Naturopathic Doctor, Master Herbalist, Certified Nutritional Counselor) gives a fantastic visual of fungus/candida. She says:

“Think of your gut like a walled castle, a fortress. If it is sealed like its supposed to be, then it keeps toxins out, they go from the gut to the liver and the liver filters the junk and sends it OUT and we are healthy;) Full of life and energy. Bouncing out of bed. Well, lets say we get vaccinated, take even 1 round of antibiotics, go on birth control, have a poor diet, etc. When we do that, what happens is this, little bad bacteria that we are all born with in the gut (called candida albicans or fungus; its what decomposes us when we die, turns us back to dust) starts to grow and feed out of control on all these dead bacteria that the birth control, antibiotics, vaccines, etc cause. Candida/fungus is like an octopus with long decomposing fingers. When candida/fungus starts to grow and feed on the junk in our gut caused by poor diet, or die off from antibiotics or drugs, or sugar and carbs that we eat…..it upsets the balance ratio of good bacteria in the gut, turning it to bad bacteria now ruling. You have to understand: 70-80% of our immune system resides in our guts, which basically means that our health almost entirely depends on the ratio of good to bad bacteria ruling our guts. To be healthy, our gut should be approximately 80% good bacteria to 20% bad bacteria/candida/fungus. Now its roles are literally reversed. So the candida starts to flourish and has octopus like fingers that grow and grow and start to decompose and eat holes in the lining of the gut. Our fort has now been compromised. Toxins, food particles, etc then start to leak out of these tiny holes in our intestines into our blood stream/body and start wreaking havoc!! If they settle in the joints, we start to get achy joints/arthritis etc…..If they settle in the female organ area, we have PCOS, ENDO, PMS, etc…..If they settle in the thyroid, we have hypo thyroid/hashimotos and gain weight for no reason….If they settle in the brain, we have depression etc…..If they settle in the bladder, we struggle with chronic bladder infections/UTI. Food particles get into the blood stream/body and we all of a sudden have food allergies, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, or environmental allergies. If it hits our Nervous system, we have MS…..If it hits our lungs, we develop asthma…..and so on it goes. So, we go to the doctor and they give us antibiotics, pain killers, medication drugs, inhalers, etc….but neither we nor the Dr. ever get to “WHY DO WE HAVE THIS ISSUE?” In fact, we’ve been going back home to use all these different medications and antibiotics, and we’ve unknowingly/unintentionally ended up just making the root cause WORSE. Its really all so simple…..it started with an imbalance in our gut flora, leading to candida/fungus taking over and compromising our gut lining. The solution? You heal/rebalance the gut and heal those holes…..VIOLA!!! We got to the root of it all, instead of just accepting it and masking symptoms the rest of our lives with drugs.

When your body has an overload of toxins that never should be there in the first place…..everything slows to a halt and your body does just what is has to to survive. It is like an army that has been overrun and they are running for their lives. Exhausted and just trying to stay alive. Fatigue is the first step towards a disease I was taught in school! The body is saying, “hey something is wrong, HELP!” Well, Plexus put together a protocol that #1 heals the gut, cleanses out those toxins, balances the hormones, balances blood sugar, reduces inflammation and FLOODS you with nutrients and oxygen that make you loaded with energy:) SO, instead of masking symptoms, we are now getting at the ROOT OF IT ALL:)

I thought this was a great visual for what’s going on in our guts!! Right? So yes, fungus overgrowth seems to be the #1 root cause of stuff going wrong in our bodies. As Jessica said, we are all born with a small amount of fungus/candida, which is OK and normal in these small amounts. Why? Because fungus does actually have ONE purpose, but ONE only. That is to decompose all organic matter (humans, animals, plants, living things). Except that’s supposed to happen after that “organic matter” dies, LOL!! And YES, that’s exactly what’s happening to us (when the gut lining is compromised as Jessica explained, and when the fungus is now setting up camp anywhere in the body)……we are actually starting to decompose to some level WHILE STILL ALIVE!!! Does it make sense now why organs/systems of the body start to fail when infested with fungus? Yup.

So what helps address these issues? How about balancing your blood sugars, a probiotic, and detoxing? A good supply of oxygen, and enzymes that break down the bad guys.

I’m telling you guys, there is soooooo much to be said and to be understood on this topic of fungus overgrowth/gut health. There have been answers all along!!

I wrote this tonight for 2 reasons: #1 is for my friends and family who are trying to fully understand what’s all at play here what what will help. Specifically for those who actually ask WHY and have been searching, possibly for years, for the answers as to what is causing certain symptoms in their bodies. GOOD NEWS!! There are answers! Never quit searching.
#2 is for people who are beginning to understand, and are seeing their mom or dad or sibling or friend suffering from poor health, and they would love to help out and share their new-found knowledge but they are not really sure just yet where to start. Or how to explain this “complicated thing” that really is so simple in the end. Well, here’s your article, this is for YOU then!!! I did all the heavy lifting for you, just use this info.

This is my main message and has become my motto:
“DON’T MERELY TREAT SYMPTOMS…..RATHER FIX ROOT PROBLEMS AND THE SYMPTOMS JUST TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES!” ~Jennifer Loewen.

Thanks to my good friend Rebekah Engelbretson in compiling this awesome explanation.

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30 Weeks!!!…

that-moment-you-realize-you-have-10-weeks-to-finish-doing-what-you-have-been-putting-off-the-last-30-weeks-of-pregnancy--1d960Only 10 more to go… In many ways this pregnancy has flown by, while in other ways, I seem to be impatiently waiting!! I can’t wait to meet this little Miss that I’ve been carrying the past 30 weeks. And this just may be the first baby in which I will NOT be prepared when it’s D-Day!!

I’ve been wanting to do a pregnancy post/update, mostly for myself, but thought others who know my healthy journey, may be interested in hearing how much different this one is. And it has been so much different. So much BETTER in so many ways. But I can also tell I am not getting any younger either. I’m only 33, but I am getting older.ultrasound4d58

I’ll start with how I sleep… With each of my other 4, I would be dragging through my pregnancies. Slept a lot, but also had a hard time sleeping at night. This time, I sleep ALL night long. Rarely waking or even needing to get up to go to the bathroom. I have loved it to say the least. I weaned Karson, who still liked his night/early morning nursings all the way to the end, when I was about 8-10 wks pg. So being able to finally sleep through the night was a huge blessings, after 17mths of interrupted nights. And needing naps has been minimal. Sure that first trimester, I did more. But after I got over the first wks of feeling sick, I was good to go. Which reminds me, I should share on that… I was not as sick with this little one. Just that nauseated feeling, almost just wish you could upchuck, but can’t. And it would only last from about 10am-5pm. Then I was good to go. Crazy! And it only lasted about 12 wks. I never had it super bad with my others either. But I discovered with Karson and this time, that taking the proper supplements for my MTHFR helped with my morning sickness.

For those that know me well, know that I have experience incredible hip pain. With my first it was the last 6 wks or so. 2nd, it was at 6mths. 3rd, as soon as I knew I was pg. 4th, I managed to hold it off til the 3rd trimester. There was nothing I could do to relieve that pain!! Laying, sitting or standing, it hurt. I tried chiropractic, but nothing seemed to help. Then with Karson, I had switched to a midwife and she told me about 2 stretches to do from Spinning Babies. The forward-inversion, and side-lying release, they helped greatly. Also finally addressing inflammation with the Ease from Plexus, in dealing with my lyme also boosted it.

Round-Ligament1Well, this time, all was fine and rosy until one night! We were playing soft ball with family, and I was running bases. Yep, I did something wrong. And from there had been in pain. God led me, through 2 friends, to a new chiropractor who does the Webster Technique. This is a great blog post explaining it a bit more. You can search for one in your area here. And I soon learned, my round ligament that supports the uterus was being pulled on that right side. After 2wks, I was seeing a HUGE difference!! And now after about 5 adjustments, that pain is gone!!! I know doing the forward inversion helps so much, maintaining the adjustment and keeping it in proper alignment. I feel like with Karson, I had started it sooner, not realizing what it was doing for me, and it helped greatly with my pain. Now, I know!! And am so thankful to have WAY less pain than I ever had before. Right now I am dealing with some bunched up muscles in my rump. Not sure where that came from… But I sure it will go away before long. I was to my regular chiro yesterday and he works with the muscles, not just a ‘crack and pop’ doc.

I should probably mention, I have a really bad diastasis recti. So my stomach muscles are weak, and probably don’t support baby like they should either. I keep trying to heal them, but pregnancy is really hard on it. So I wear a support band most of the time.

20150806_164538As for gaining weight – Right now, as of this morning I have gained right at 10lbs. Which frankly does make me happy!!! I normally have gained quite a bit. I don’t know numbers, but I do know it’s more than is really needed!!! Especially my first pregnancy, that was a bad one!! Before I knew I was pregnant, I had decided to go gluten & dairy free. But knew it would not be so easy!! Trim Healthy Mama, is a book I’ve had for a while, and I do like some of the recipes as they fit my style of eating. I don’t really follow their plan of eating totally. But do eat that way probably more than I really mean to, just because of cutting so many foods out of my diet. And I love the smoothies (I get a different nondairy protein to add to them.) I was trying to figure out what was causing so itchy bumps, and a rash I just cannot get on top of. And near as I can tell, I can’t handle honey, or even the fruits with higher sugar content. So for the last 2 mths, I have greatly cut it out. (I will be honest, it’s hard to cut that stuff 100%, but I would say it’s about 90% out!!) I honestly think I was losing some weight as baby was growing. So, even though it doesn’t sound like I gained much, I probably gained right where I should be!!

I thought I had more to say on this, but maybe not. Over all, I have more energy, clearer brain to think, I actually FEEL like taking nearly daily walks (which with Karson I had to about force myself to go!!), and it just feels amazing to feel this way!! The last 2 weeks my sister has been helping me redo the baby room. We took the trim down, used liquid sander, and painted it all white. We painted the baby room, and have been working on decor. Nope, not gonna tell you much about it. I’ll post pics later… But while it was a lot added to my days to get everything done. And I was stressing out a bit having so much going… I was still going and NOT crashing!!! It was just amazing!!! I do know Plexus has also helped tremendously!! And I am really hoping that doing all that I am, we will not have to deal with candida issues as I have with each child. And look forward to what these last 10 wks hold!

Posted in Gluten Free/Sugar Free, Health, Lyme Journey | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Where Is My Security?

L11UPufHow many times do we look for our security in our husbands? I know, what a question to start with. But it was something I was dealing with only a yr ago! I didn’t understand what was in my heart or why I responded the way I did in many situations. I didn’t know I was seeking my security in my husband, instead of in God!! As I have watched other wives struggle, I can identify. I was there!!

What changed? Him or me? It is rather obvious, it was ME!!! He didn’t need to change. God made him just how he was suppose to be – PERFECT!! For ME!

Why could I not accept him, accept his love, the way he loved and the way he handled life? Why did I think I needed to change him? Why did I have to live in fear and doubt that this is where God wanted me?

Maybe I should start back at the beginning… To put it frankly – I lived in fear. It had a grip  on me I didn’t understand. The days leading up to our wedding were so full of fear. If someone would have offered an easy way out, I would taken them up on it. But with trembling heart, I committed my life to his. The only thing I held on to was the way God had brought us together. I knew deep down in my heart, I was to marry this man.

Our honeymoon was fraught with tears. I didn’t know what to do with his unconditional love. I craved it, yet feared it! It was all so bittersweet. We didn’t understand in the least bit what was happening in my heart & my emotions.

As the years sped by, we lost 2 babies & had 3 boys in 4 yrs. We poured ourselves into them. I was learning to love him. But still feared so many things about ‘us’.

As I watched other wives relate & interact with their husbands, I marveled at the carefreeness of their relationship. The way they interacted with each other and most of all the love that seemed to show for all to see. One thing I could never understand, was how a wife could go to the door after being apart for the day, and greet her hubby with a hug & kiss. Me? I would stay away, and let him come find me!! Oh, I would try it for a while. But that fear of love, of him, of myself, was so big!! I could never overcome it. At least not on my own!!

I didn’t understand my heart. I wanted to completely trust my husband. I wanted to freely love my husband and be able to love up on him, the way God intended. And many times I thought I was. But something would always come up. I was never completely free!! But what was it? I could never lay my finger on it.

DSC08272 smThings escalated and came crashing fall of ’12. I finally told him we either needed to go get help somewhere together or I was leaving to go find help. My heart was a mess. My relationship with God was a mess. I was ruining my relationship (what was left) with my husband, with those around me and with my boys. I knew things needed to change.

God brought about an amazing series of events in the next few yrs, that only HE could orchestrate!! A couple days being alone (for me), a slip-slop week of counseling that gave us a few tools to use to work on understanding each other. And then a pregnancy when we least expected it, (he was born fall ’13). Spring of ’14, I started renewing a friendship with an old friend from years ago. It was obviously God’s prompting!! A visit to their home began opening our eyes to the darkness around us and in which we were living.

The next 8 mths were rough as we tried to understand what they were showing us. I say rough, but in many ways it was better. We had a renewed hope for ‘us’. God was working in ways we had no idea of what all He had in-store for us.

ffc82cc26328fb3b35ed791a4167f142Then in Jan. of this year, we went to a conference of some intense teaching for 4 days. Little did I know just how BIG this weekend would be!! My eyes were being opened in ways I never had seen before. I realized for the first time, that my life was NOT surrendered to God. He was not LORD of my life like I thought. I was living in so much fear, hurt, pain, believing lies and burying so much stuff, I couldn’t let God into my life!! I realized I was not a Child Of God’s!! And one night I finally surrendered my whole life to Him!! Oh glorious freedom and victory!!!

Our marriage immediately began to heal!! It had NEVER in all our married life been like this!! It didn’t take days of counseling or weeks of working through things. It just took me surrendering my life to God to change things. I was FINALLY free of so many chains and so much bondage that had held me back. And I sit here weeping as I remember those days. Living in the bondage, and the roughness of our marriage. And marvel at how God has redeemed us!! Healing our relationship in ways we never even asked, as we never thought it possible! It is so beautiful!!!!

DSC08277Over the weeks and months, I kept noticing small things that changed. And it was not on my hubby’s part, but on my part. Or he was changing because I had changed? I didn’t keep track of who was changing where. But I no longer feared hearing his footsteps coming to the door.  I no longer resented his ‘coming from behind’ hugs that felt like he was asking for more later. I didn’t desire for him to change or to make changes. I could love him, in the bedroom, freely and without reserve. I was loving him for HIM!!!! We began the honeymoon we never had! And we were still living our day to day lives. We had 4 boys who got splashes from our love, and they were blossoming.

And in all of this, I freed my husband!!! I had put so much pressure on him to preform to please me, he was not himself. He worked so hard to keep me ‘happy’, but it was still never enough. He was so worn out emotionally, spiritually and physically. I was a very leaky, holey bucket into which he could never pour enough love, time, you name it… it all went right through. So yes, he did change. But not because I was asking him to.

6bba09b0047434b293706db50649cb50When my security was placed in God’s Hands, THEN is when I was no longer looking to my husband to be the perfect person to fill that void in me. God took away my fears – fear of man, fear of love, fear of hurts/being hurt, fear of rejection… this list goes on!!! In finding my freedom in Christ, I became free to love God, love others, trust others and let others be who God wants them to be!! I am blessing my husband without realizing how much love is splashing over onto him. It’s contagious and just keeps growing and multiplying!!!

And I need to share the BIGGEST God blessing’!! I am due with #5 in 11.5 wks, Oct 15th. God gave us this gift, right over my own New Birth!! And He is blessing us with a little girl after 4 boys. Many, many tears have been shed as I look back at the past. I feel so humbled, so unworthy of this gift God is placing in our arms!! Many times I have ‘demanded’ things of God. Then was upset when I didn’t receive them or felt guilty when I did. This time, I truly see this as a gift!!!

God is an awesome God!!! And I marvel at my relationship with Him, at how He never gave up on me, and I can finally see Him as a LOVING Father!!! I know there is more to this story, another side of it. I am only sharing the marriage side right now.

And for those who love a Love Story, you can find mine here, Part 1.

Photo credits – JT Photography  Summer ’14

Posted in Husband, Inspiration, Love, Marriage | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Bee Stings, Tears and Plexus Ease

Ease & Body Cream One Saturday evening we were at my parents house. While the boys were out playing, Rylen got stung by a wasp, right above his right eye. I promptly asked my mom for her ‘Ease’. (I had used it this spring on a sting on myself & knew it worked awesome!) She brought me her bottle, and Rylen didn’t want it! But mom knows best! (My boys never liked it because it makes your eyes water, & the cooling effect ‘scares’ them.) Well, I told him it was going on! It would help! And yes, within a minute he was done crying & listening to everyone around giving their advise of what to use. Like lavender essential oil, baking soda, and some other new things I never heard of. I finally asked him, ‘Does it even hurt anymore?’ He shook his head ‘No’. rylens bee sting

It swelled up a bit. I really wish I would have taken a picture before he went to bed. Everyone was expecting his eye to be swollen shut by morning. We put the Ease on a couple more times, & the picture is the Sunday morning, a tiny bit puffy! He was so happy to be able to see. He even asked me to put a bit more on just to be safe! And now he LOVES this stuff! He is convinced of it’s powers.

The Body Cream is great for sunburns and bug bites!! I have tried the Body Cream on mosquito bites and it works great!!!

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