October 31, 2011

October 30, 2011


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a day at the zoo

here's a cute little video of my boys at the zoo a couple of months ago. enjoy. :)

October 29, 2011

keeping them close

this is a post i've wanted to share for a while... attachment parenting!!! before you assume we're just weird hippy types, which we aren't at all (well maybe a little), please read on. :)

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deuteronomy 6:6-7  if the Lord has commanded us to teach our children ALL THE TIME then we should probably keep them close. (which is one reason why we're going to homeschool, but that's for another time. ;) )

most of you know that we lean toward the side of natural things. we had a home birth, we're basically vegans, we take weird herbs ;), etc, etc. before we had caroline i had done some reading on attachment parenting vs. the whole baby wise method, but i didn't really have a ton of things that i knew i wanted to do as far at physical parenting techniques. when we had jude i wanted him close ALL THE TIME! we were going to have him sleep in a bassinet next to our bed, but after the 2nd night of waking up & getting him out of bed to feed him & trying for forever to get him to go back to sleep & being exhausted all day long... i did some reading on co-sleeping here. (btw, i love Dr. Sears!) & so jude slept with us for the next 8-10 months. it was amazing for numerous reasons.
*when he was hungry i would just lay there & feed him & fall right back to sleep & SO WOULD HE! no more of this awake for hours thing. i was getting better sleep, so was he & so was mike.
*there have been studies done that show that co-sleeping actually reduces the risk of SIDs because baby & mommy get on the same breathing cycle & so babies are less likely to stop breathing.
*also, i was so aware of him all night. if he moved or made a funny noise... i was right there & able to take care of him.
we co-slept with sammy as well & plan to do so with the rest of our little ones.
i also STRONGLY disagree with sticking a baby in a crib in another room & making them cry themselves to sleep.
*they can barely see very far away, so when mommy leaves them in a room by themselves they have no idea where they are & if mommy is ever going to come back.
*they went from being in mommy's belly, all warm & cozy, to a bright, loud, uncomfortable world. they need to be kept close & know they are safe.
*the only thing they know is your voice & your smell & so when they don't have those 2 things they feel very unsafe.
*if a baby is left to "cry it out" they are spending all their energy on crying & not enough on resting & growing.
*attachment parenting/co-sleeping makes for happier & more secure adults in the future. (we have noticed with jude & sammy that they are quite happy & confident little boys already.)
here's some more great information on attachment parenting by Dr. Sears. he also has a book about it (i haven't read it, but i have his Baby Book that has a lot of info in it as well).
other things we do with attachment parenting...
*baby wearing- in a sling, carrier or just holding them A LOT.
*breastfeeding & nursing on demand- feeding that baby WHENEVER they are hungry/fussy. newborns will not over eat. again, they went from being inside your belly & getting whatever they needed whenever they needed it. give them the nourishment/comfort they need.
*let the baby decide their own schedule- let them eat when they want & sleep when they want. with co-sleeping they learn from an early age to sleep at night because you are sleeping right next to them. our boys decided their own schedule & it was always different for the first year of their lives, it was always changing. eventually they got to where their feedings were at the same times & their naps were at the same times. they put themselves on their on routine... we didn't have to train them. so many parents want their baby to be convenient for them & get on their routine... you can't expect a baby to do that. keep everyone happy & go with your baby's signals... they know what they want/need.
*we also used this dvd to learn how to calm & comfort our boys.
*a lot of parents that co-sleep & nurse believe in doing it for years & years... we do not. we believe as followers of the Lord we also need to teach our children how to be more independent of mommy & daddy & trust the Lord. (they make a transition from knowing what they need as brand new babies to mommy & daddy knowing what they need as toddlers.) when they are at an age that we think they are ready (around 8-10 months for our boys) we start transitioning them to sleep in their crib (here's some info). this process takes a few months. first, we start with mommy feeding the baby & then passing them to daddy so the baby doesn't just smell mommy & want to nurse. they start to stretch out their feedings this way. after they get to the point of sleeping most of the night with daddy we start putting them to bed in their crib. when they wake up during the night mommy goes in & feeds them & puts them back to bed in the crib. all of this takes awhile & it's definitely a process... but so worth it.

there is not a lot that's convenient about having children... but they are a such a joy & a blessing from the Lord & it's worth all the extra time it takes to figure them out & help them as they grow. enjoy your children. listen to them. & do your best to seek the Father on what is best for your family.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalm 127:3

October 28, 2011

healthy kids

a few tips for raising kids that love to eat healthy food...

*teach them FROM THE BEGINNING what is good to eat. (we use this book for introducing foods & making all their food... great resource, i pretty much use it all the time).
*give them a wide variety of healthy food so they don't get tired of the same thing all the time.
*when they are young let them eat as much as they want... they won't overfeed themselves.
*as they get older & they say they don't want to eat something tell them that's all they get... & you will leave it at the table for them to come back & eat when they're ready. (jude ends up eating his dinner before bed when he realizes he's really hungry & we're not going to give them anything else.)
*as they get older help them know how to listen to their body when they're hungry or full.
*make healthy snacks in advance so it's easy to grab them when your little one is hungry. cut up fruit or veggies, make hummus, bake some homemade granola bars, etc. so when they're super hungry you don't just reach for chips or something that's "easy".
*keep the kiddos snacks on the lower shelf  in the fridge or the lower shelf of the pantry so it's easy for them to grab.
*when they are younger teach them to like water... it's all jude drinks now!
*stay away from sweets... they don't need them & they don't really know what they're missing if you don't give it to them.
*give them vitamins (read my post here).
*if they're going through a picky stage & you're teaching them to eat what you serve them... make them smoothies for breakfast with some pea protein green zone in it. also, this cookbook is so great for sneaking in veggies & your kids can't even tell.

if your kids are older & already picky... you just HAVE to train them now so they don't end up overweight & unhealthy. it's so worth it!

this website has some great ideas. :)

raising healthy eaters,

thinking differently about food

we've all heard the saying, "eat to live, don't live to eat"... our family is learning this more & more. recently mike & i did a juice fast because of this documentary. mike lost 35 lbs in 6 weeks! amazing! i'm so so proud of him! i only did the fast for a week & i lost 5 lbs. (just want to get rid of the rest of this baby weight before our life gets super busy again with another little one.) it's crazy how when you start losing weight & feeling better you're more motivated to be healthy & workout. mike & i both are working on being able to do 100 pushups in one sitting, thanks to a handy app we found. :) i'm also doing this workout to help get my belly flat again (seriously mommies... BUY THIS DVD!!!). we've also been on a few bike rides lately... i'm sad that it's getting colder out.
we're also changing our portion sizes!!! now that our stomachs have shrunk from the juicing we get fuller faster. we eat A LOT less! saves money & lbs. ;) we aren't going to eat anything after 7:30pm. i'm going to start making our own coconut milk yogurt, bread, salsa, granola, granola bars, applesauce, tomato sauce (most of which can be made in our super cool vitamix).
NO MORE SUGAR FOR THE BARKERS! wow, i'm learning more how bad refined sugar is for u. here's a great article (she has a TON of good info on her site). we will not be eating refined sugars like granulated white sugar, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. instead we will use honey, maple syrup, sucanat, etc. i'm also going to start using coconut oil for cooking... article here. i'm going to soak our flours before i make baked goods so our bodies can digest the wheat easier, read this. we're going to cut way back on our soy intake. also, not going to drink coffee... maybe like rarely. ;)
so grateful for the things the Lord has led our family to. looking forward to better health & being faithful with our bodies.

a few of our favorite resources:
this documentary made us decide to be vegans
super great documentary
great book


October 13, 2011

be healthy

ok, so lately i've been feeling tired & irritable... i think i could have adrenal fatigue. (here's a great article about it.) men & women can both have this. it's usually caused by stress, eating too much sugar, not getting enough vitamins, etc.
basically a lot of people have adrenal fatigue & don't even know it. if you wake up after 8 hours of sleep & still feel tired... you could have this. i am a STRONG believer in vitamins & herbal supplements! i don't think your body can get all it needs from your diet, especially if you eat a lot of junk! THE best herbs you can buy are from nature's sunshine (let me know if you want to become a member, you can sign up under me ;) ). they are a Christian company & have the highest quality control, here's an article they are going to run in USA today.
these are the herbs i take every day: multi vitamin, red raspberry, spirulina, b complex, b6, calcium-magnesium, omega-3, iodine (we order the iodine from here), vitamin d (carlson brand), probiotic eleven & alj. mike takes ALMOST the same stuff. jude takes the sunshine heroes (from nature's sunshine) vitamins, calcium with d3, omega 3, whole foods antioxidant, probiotics & i give him the elderberry when he's sick. sammy just takes this once a day until he can chew all those vitamins. i know all of this can seem overwhelming & like it's going to be expensive, but the same is true with your diet... if you aren't willing to spend money, time & energy on what goes into your body then you're going to end up spending a lot of money, time & energy recovering from the effects of the cheap/crappy stuff you put in your body.
so here are some things that help with adrenal fatigue...
*good quality water, not just tap water
*no caffeine
*no dairy (it weakens your immune system)
*vitamins a, b, c, e & zinc
*no wheat or spelt (sprouted wheat is a good option)
*fish & eggs (we will be adding more fish to our diet, beans & nuts are also great protein)
*whole grains- brown rice, quinoa
*only use olive oil & coconut oil (stay away from vegetable oil)
*stay away from as much soy as possible
*eat lots of greens & keep your diet with a huge variety of veggies!
*get 8-10 hours of sleep a night... GO TO SLEEP EARLY!

anyways, just a few thoughts. :) hope you find this helpful.


seriously... try this yummy soup!!! 
i LOVED it & it's so good for you & super easy to make & it's on my friend's cute blog. :)
thanks britney!

October 11, 2011

missing my mommy

this beautiful woman, my mother... 
today would've been her 59th birthday & she's been home with the Lord for 3 1/2 years now. i've been missing her so much lately. there are so many things i miss about her! 
i miss how she would call me often & we'd just talk. i miss how she cared so much about my life, her kids lives, she was so invested in us. i miss how she had so much joy for life. i miss how she made me laugh, a lot. i miss her hands, they were so caring. i miss how she could have a conversation with ANYONE & they would leave feeling loved. i miss hugging her... i hugged her AS MUCH AS I COULD! i miss her trust in the Lord & His plans, but that has become apart of me... i know He is faithful, i know He has good for us. i cry for me, not for my mom... she is whole & healthy & worshipping our great Savior! 
i wish she lived just a few minutes from me & i wish she could spend time with her grand babies all the time. i wish i could ask her advice on raising kids, on marriage, etc. there's so much i wish i could talk to her about. those things weren't part of the Lord's plan for our family... He saw fit to take her home. i will rest in Him. cling to Him when i miss her so much that i feel like i can't breathe, that it feels like life isn't right. HE IS GOOD!!!!!!!! i know this to be true! He is rich in mercy! 
i miss her & i have so much respect for her. she was the best mom EVER, no really! ;) 
here are some pictures of her beautiful face!


the night before she had her brain surgery. God is faithful.

our rehearsal dinner. God is faithful.


i loved her heart for the Father. we were praying on the way to my wedding. God is faithful.

she adored this guy... my sweet brother nick. God is faithful.



the beach, we were pregnant with caroline. God is faithful.

disney world with the whole family a month before she passed away. God is faithful.








this is right after we told her we were pregnant with jude. we called my aunt to let her know. God is faithful.

i will miss this beautiful lady for the rest of my days. i cannot wait to see her & hug her surrounded by the glory of the Lord! God IS faithful!


i ADORE my 3 guys & i love spending time with them on little adventures. i enjoy exploring new things & planning fun family outings. here are some photos from our recent trip to the pumpkin patch! enjoy...


















October 5, 2011

being busy at home... but not too busy

so i just had a good conversation with a sweet friend, who like me, is having a hard time with balancing her days. jude is almost 3 & i'm just now finding a good balance with my cleaning, projects, quiet times, laundry, etc. i am SUCH a neat freak & pretty much over the top about things being organized. i've relaxed A LOT since being married & even more since having kids... ask my husband. :) 
here's what my normal weekly schedule looks like (or at least what the plan for the week is it usually ends up changing quite a bit & i've learned to be ok with that)... 
  -wake up at 6 to workout for 30 mins, take a shower, choose my scripture for the day that i meditate on   throughout the day (read my post about that here), pray for my guys.
  -boys up between 6 & 7... i'm praying they start sleeping later!! :)
  -boys changed, breakfast, play time/quality time with the boys all morning!
  -snack around 9:30-10
  -lunch around 12
  -nap around 1 (while they nap i do whatever i wasn't able to get done before they got up that morning & spend time reading a book because i pretty much have no other time during my day to read)
  -up from naps around 3-4
  -snack when they wake up (my boys do better with food in their bellies... keeps their blood sugar up & they seem to be happier)
  -start making dinner around 4-4:30
  -dinner around 5-5:30
  -take oliver for a walk around 6:30
  -get the boys ready for bed at 7
  -family worship at 7:30
  -boys in bed at 8
  -prayer & scripture with michael after boys are in bed & house is picked up
  -in bed by 9:30!!!!!!! (i've ALWAYS needed at least 8 hours of sleep to feel rested... i NEED to get in bed early. doesn't look like that's happening tonight. ;) )
  -i do laundry in the morning & fold it during their naps & listen to a book on tape about parenting so i'm getting 2 things done at once!
  -between 9 & 10 jude & i work on art, colors & shapes
  -11-12:30 i meet with 2 friends for accountability
  -mike watches the boys from 7-9 so i can have some alone time at starbucks... AMAZING
  -between 9 & 10 jude & i work on letters, numbers & reading
  -small group 6-8
  -we usually go do something fun (i.e. the children's museum, story time, zoo, etc). i try to only be away from the house 2 mornings a week
  -i do laundry in the morning & fold it during their naps
  -jude & i do music or cook together

  -i usually do dishes while the boys are eating so i'm not wasting time doing that later in the day
  -i plan our menu at the beginning of the week & only buy the groceries i need to make those meals so we don't waste money on food that ends up sitting in the fridge & going bad
  -i put EVERYTHING in my calendar on my iPhone (& everything is color coded)! 
  -we do fun stuff together as a family on saturday & monday
  -mike & i have a date once a week on monday nights
  -i only clean the house every other week the rest of the time i just pick things up so it looks clean :)
  -i only clean when mike is home on his day off so the boys are happy
  -i only make phone calls during naps so i'm not taking time away from the boys
  -i limit my time on my phone for facebook & emails
  -i've learned to be ok with moving all my random little "to dos" to the next day. i currently have like 10 to dos that have piled up because i keep moving them. :) they'll get done eventually.

there are so many things competing for our attention... let our children ALWAYS win our attention & affection & love & time! we will never get these moments back with them! there are many days that i fail at all of this & spend way too much time looking at my phone or trying to organize the house, but God is gracious! there are many days i'm so frustrated with how messy the house is or how i can't have a moment alone, but God is gracious! He sustains me & He gives me grace to give to my children... it is none of my doing... i cannot boast in my own abilities. 

"so teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

sammy's b'day party... a month ago :-/

our sweet little sammy boy turned 1!!!!!! holy cow i cannot believe it! time flies by so much faster with the second one. i don't want to think about how fast time will go with the 3rd & 4th & 5th.....
anyways, i'm working on a video from the party below is a video from the party, but for now here are some photos. enjoy.




uncle nick is the coolest


his party was a monkey theme because he's definitely our little monkey. we had frozen chocolate covered banana bites, banana cupcakes with peanut butter icing, pumpkin cookies & lemonade.



big brother

he was quite excited


eatin' it up


i adore this little man

we are so so blessed







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