Monthly Archives: November 2010

Showing Off Two of My Loves

I love these two.  More than I could ever say.

What to Do with Holidays

I am still loving blog hops and this week I am hopping back to We Are That Family for Works for Me Wednesday.

What Works for Me this Wednesday?

My 5? Friday post led into a bit of a discussion on holidays and how we as  Christian parents “handle” them.  I thought I knew, before I had kids, what I was going to do if I ever had children.  I was NOT going to celebrate Halloween.  No Santa Claus and no Easter Bunny.

Here, I am 3 kids later, so how has that worked out for me?

My kids go trick or treating.  They want to know what Santa is bringing them.  So far so good on the Easter bunny though we do hunt for eggs.  We just don’t refer to how they got there.

Why may you ask have I gone back on everything?  Partly because I can not control every influence over my kids.  They have friends who celebrate all of those things.  They watch TV where all of those things come up and even books they see cover these topics as well.

So instead of banning things, we choose items within them that need addressed.  For example, we do not watch shows with witches at Halloween nor do the girls dress up as witches.  And this year we figured out a very basic, understandable explanation for them.  We don’t watch or celebrate witches because witches don’t love Jesus.

As for Santa Claus, we consider him something fun at Christmas time, but not the focus.  As I commented in my post on Friday, we have found a cute board book to help us explain Saint Nicholas was a real person, but Jesus is who we celebrate at Christmas.  I included a link to the book on for those who might find this resource useful.

I found a similar book for my girls called What is Easter by Michelle Medlock Adams.  It talks in simple kid language about all of the things we see at Easter, the bunny, the pretty clothes, and gives them their place, but focusses on Jesus as the real reason.  This one is not currently available on, but many amazing resources are.  In case I have you thinking about Spring, here is a place to search for items you might find useful.

Easter Search

In looking for the Easter Books, I found a couple I might have to get my hands on for Thanksgiving.

But that is what Works for Me this Wednesday. Hop, pun intended, on over to We Are That Family to see what works for others this Wednesday.  Really, you have got to see her WFMW post.  You will thank me.

Love in Any Language

I just finished reading a great post on another one of my current favorite blogs, We Are That Family.  She is doing a giveaway, but really, I just loved the idea of her post.  Check it out.

It got me to thinking about how we show each other love.  Recently my hubby has been amazing at showing me his love.  He has shown it very practically and very softly.

One such example was this last weekend.  I couldn’t sleep one night so I cleaned the house, all except our room.  I cleaned as the family slept.  Insomnia with a baby in the house is weird.  Being a mom of three kids has done some strange things to me.  So I clean.  And the other day my husband let me know he respected me and appreciated my hard work and how much he loved me.  He made our bed.  And the love it showed me was amazing.

Tonight he showed his love in another very practical way.  He kept all three girls safe and happy while I went running.  It was awesome.  And I am proud to say at 14 weeks postpartum I was able to run 3+ miles tonight.  I am so excited to be back to running a 5k.  Thank you my dear for showing your love to me in just the way I need right now.

Our little Patrice is a smiler.  She is the smiliest of any of our babies at this age.  And she is recently adding squeals and kicks when she sees us.  It is such a joy to see her face, truly her whole body, light up for us.

Recently my older two girls have been showering me with their love as well.  I don’t know how many times Sue has run to me and said, “I love you mommy.” Or “I have to tell you something, I love you mommy.” Or “I need to give you a hug mommy.”  Oh the sweetness she and Caitlyn show me.

Caitlyn is also such an amazing bundle of love.  Her hugs and kisses are magical.  And I am even seeing her love in her fits.  Bear with me.  Reallly, love in fits.  One such example, Sunday night she had a complete meltdown on the way home from Awana.  Daddy and I were both puzzled by the fit; when all other efforts failed, we were ready to send her to her room when we got home.

Things changed a bit as we got out of the car, she climbed up to me and said, “I am so mad at myself.” 
“Because I thought when I got to be 4 I could be good.”  And I have seen amazing strides in her in the last 14 1/2 weeks. 

She is a good girl.  I reminded her what a good girl she is and how we all have times we are not good.  Mommy and Daddy both have times we do not make good choices, and that is when we have to ask Jesus to help us, calm down and try again.  And many times, apologize to whomever we hurt with our words or actions.  We’re not sure why recently we are seeing a few more fits, but what I am pleased to see is she is calming herself down quickly and coming to us to make it right.  That to me shows she sees our love and is learning how to reflect it, and many other emotions back. 

All love is a work in progress, and it is our privilege to help my girls through it.

How have you shown love lately?  How has it been shown to you?

A Deal to Share

I follow a couple deal websites, my current favorite being Crazy Coupon Mommy.  She sends out great stuff!  She has found deals for just about everything.  Pampers gift to grow codes (thank you mommy, I got a bunch off your master list this weekend), on-line deal websites, like Groupon where I also got some great deals this weekend thanks to Crazy Coupon Mommy and info on how to match up coupons with current deals at stores to get even more savings, like matching up a diaper coupon with the store who has them on the best sale.  She really is amazing, I don’t know where she finds them all.  And today I have found one to share with you…drumroll please…

Snapfish is offering 365 free prints if you purchase $10 in products by November 20, 11:59 Pacific Standard Time.  The catch is, you have to order all 365 prints (4×6 size) when you make your $10 purchase.  To get the deal use coupon code 2010MY365 at checkout.  If you don’t need that many you can choose 100 prints (code 2010MY100) or 50 prints (2010MY50).

This is an awesome deal for scrapbookers.  I’m scheming for some things I can do with that number of prints…hmmmm…I’ve got the girls ABC books to fill, maybe this year we could do our Christmas card as a 4×6.  So many things to think about between now and November 20th!

What can you do with a deal like this?  What pictures do you have tucked away in the digital world that need to come forth to have and to hold?  Let me know if you can use this deal and how it worked out for you.  Did you have all 365, 100, or 50?

I think this one needs to be printed

And most likely this one too!

Snapping to Blog

Are there any recovering or addicted scrapbookers out there? Do you, or do you remember, taking pictures in order to fill a page you envision? I did. And found it very amusing. While time no longer allows me to do paper scrapbooking, I do find blogging to be another form of scrapbooking. And found myself, this week, taking pictures specifically to put on my blog. I didn’t want to miss

So here is what I found in my life to photograph this week.
Remember the cloth diapering that I am so proud of?  Here she is sporting one!

Everyone slept last night while mama cleaned the house

and folded laundry

Even the dog.

Not being able to sleep with a baby in the house is not fun, but my house is clean, so I guess that is good. Oh wait, it is only clean ’til these ones wake up.

Last night Miss Patrice was a champion sleeper. She slept from 7 pm to 4:30 am and then until 8:30 am.  Good thing I pumped at 10.  I was worried it would mess up feeding her.  Ahhh, the times I have wasted worrying about that during my 42 months of nursing babies.  And has it messed up a single feeding?  Nope.  I think I am starting to learn that lesson.  I think.  No promises.

And now that mama has done her Saturday Snapshots post, we are off to our adventures.  Will it be back to the farmers market, where we got this bounty last week, a local craft show, it is that time or the year, or one last afternoon at the park before our world becomes a frozen mitten…much as An Ordinary Mom’s world has returned to it’s frozen tundra state…ah the possibilities.

If your day affords you some computer time, might I suggest heading over to An Ordinary Mom’s site and checking out her snapshot saturday blog hop!  See what others are up to!

Christmas on the brain–5 ? Friday

Here are my thoughts on Mama M’s 5 Question Friday.  Check out her blog hop for more fun!

1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?

I, like Mama M, choose to birth all natural, so that hurts, like wow.  But it is an empowering pain.  Really.  So, I would say that is my most painful thing, but it is too rewarding to be considered truly painful.  So, I’ll chose pancreatitis as my really painful thing.  As some of you may know, last year I had an outpatient procedure that went all wrong.  Some of the dye got in to my pancreas and caused pancreatitis.  9 days I was in the hospital.  It was horrible.  Morphine and some more powerful drug took the edge off it, but it was bad.  And it made eating or drinking food painful for a long time!

2. How much sleep do you get at night?

Well little Miss Patrice is 3 months old.  My sleep comes in chunks, but I think if I add it together I get about 6 hours, but that is while I am still off work.  Once I go back, that number will likely be lower…uggghhh.

3. How long did you believe in Santa Claus? How did you find out that he does not exist?

I don’t remember.  Santa Claus used to come to my great grandma’s house on Christmas morning while all the family was there.  We all talked to him and sat on his lap.  Little did I know it was MY dad dressed up in there!!!  He would drop my mom and I off and then say he had to go back home to put wood in the furnace (at that time my whole family heated our homes with wood, so it was not unreasonable someone was often running home to put wood in a stove), change into his suit, get white make up in his beard and mustache and head back to delight us kids.  My mom did not tell me for several years it was my dad, and my dad was mad when she did.  How cool is that though?

Even after Santa Claus was out of the picture, my mom waited until I went to bed to put out my gifts.  One year I decided I wanted to be Santa.  So I set my alarm, that was incredibly loud, to go off at 1 in the morning.  I did not hear it.  It rang and rang.  Finally my mom came and woke me up so I could go put the gifts I had for my mom and dad under the tree!

Another year, money was really, really tight.  There wasn’t going to be much for Christmas.  My mom was great at finding lots of little things so my sisters and I had gifts to open.  We got toothpaste and toothbrushes, undies, one year pencils with our names on them and lots of yard sale treasures.  And normally a doll or something.  But this year was going to be smaller than any before.  But someone decided to be “Santa” that year.  My Little Ponies were popular and someone gave me a My Little Pony barn and ponies.  It was so cool.  No one has ever fessed up, so that year, I KNOW “Santa” came to my house.

4. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  It is my absolute favorite children’s book.  They did a good job with the movie!

5. What do you wear to bed?

Nursing pjs, of course!
Thanks, Mama M for bringing up some great family memories with your questions!

The above question about Santa started a conversation between a friend and I facebook. We both have young children. I asked how her family handles Santa Claus and focussing on Jesus at Christmas. I really appreciate her input as we navigate this same issue with out kids. I wish my kids could be oblivious to Santa, but we live in this world and even this morning they asked to watch a cartoon that includes Santa. We tell them Santa is a fun part of Christmas but what we celebrate is Jesus. Toward this end, I found a great book, Santa are you for Real? that gives a very simple, fun explanation of the history of Santa while talking about the importance of Jesus.  You can use the following link to find it and other great resources.

306299: Santa, Are You For Real? Board Book Santa, Are You For Real? Board Book

By Harold Myra / Thomas Nelson

In this book children will discover that there really was a Saint Nicholas. Through colorful illustrations and a heartwarming story, children and parents will learn who the real Saint Nick was, when he lived, and why he gave gifts. Most importantly, you’ll see how the original Saint Nick set an example for us today by keeping Christ at the heart of Christmas. Written by Harold Myra, President of Christianity Today, Inc., this trustworthy story is accompanied with fun, whimsical illustrations. For ages 2-5

Boycotts, Do They Work?

What do you think of boycotts?  Do you think it matters to companies if you don’t buy their products?  I do.  I remember learning in high school economics class that each dollar I spend it a vote.  A vote that I can give to one company or another, it is solely at my discretion.  And that is before e-mail, social networking and blogging became such a big part of our everyday culture. 

Yesterday, via Twitter, I heard about a grassroots effort to get to remove an offensive book for pedophiles from their website and sales.  Within a few minutes of originally hearing about the book and the proposed boycott, I saw probably 10 more “tweets” about it, including information on how to contact the CEO by snail mail and e-mail to let him know what I thought of selling books “for” pedophiles.  And believe me, I sent an e-mail right away.

It seems almost daily I receive an e-mail from a group asking me to boycott a particular company for what they do support or have refused to support.  Some of them I agree with wholeheartedly, others I decide to, for lack of a better word, ignore.

But this one is one I am not going to let pass.  I prefer to use other websites, including  Here is just one link you can use to search them right from my page:

keyword search


Others I have not let pass are when companies tell their employees not to say Merry Christmas or refer to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees. I mean, come on, that is just ridiculous.

I know from, not only that long ago economics class, but also from my job, that what we do and say with our money speaks to companies. And this is one area too where what I say matters. People hear your complaints about a company much more loudly than your compliments, though, they do hear both.

So let your voice be heard, write those letters, e-mails and tweets; and make sure you cast your economic vote. Let a company know you will not support what they are doing by writing, then follow through by spending elsewhere until you see a change.

You may not be able to change the “whole” world, but you can influence your corner of it!

Sharing life with Leah

Click here to view this photo book larger

WFMW–Calling Nursing Moms

I am finding blog hops to be very fun.  Today I am joining one over at We Are That Family–Works for Me Wednesday

I know I don’t hold any records here, but I am proud I have been pregnant and/or nursing a baby since November 2005.  I nursed my first baby for 11 months, until she weaned while I was pregnant with my second, who nursed until 28 months when she weaned herself during my pregnancy with my newest. 

Nursing and pumping for my first went okay, but I found a lot of great resources while nursing my second.  Here are a few of the things that Work For Me.

One great website is Kellymom.  It has great resources, including how to figure out the amount of milk baby will need when being bottle fed away from mama, info for caregivers of breastfed babies on how to not overfeed with the bottle and ideas on how to pump hands free without having to buy special bras.

I have done tons of hands free pumping. It allows me to type this blog :), play video games, read, hold my other kids, lots of things, all while pumping.  Here’s the instructions I put together on the hands free pumping:

“Hands-free pumping

You can buy bras and apparatus specially for hands-free pumping, and for some that may be the way to go, but after pumping 9 months with my oldest and 15 months for my youngest, I had to find something cheap and easy! Searching on-line I found two methods—a pumping bra and hand-free pumping with any nursing bra.

Pumping bra—buy a cheap sports bra, preferably one that latches in the front. Based on the size of your pump bottle flange, cut a hole in the bra where it needs to line up with the nipple. Make sure to make the hole smaller than the flange so the material hugs it and keeps it in place. This works well if you are home and are not needing to go out. You can tuck a nursing pad in the hole when you are not pumping so you don’t leak. You can also unhook the bra to nurse the baby.

Note: with a lot of movement the nursing pad will move around making odd shapes under your shirt and may even fall out, so I found it undesirable to wear to work, etc.

Hands-free with any nursing bra—this is even cheaper than the first. You need 4 regular size pony tail holders (not scrunchies). Take two, loop them together to form a figure 8. Put the bottle and breastshield through one loop so the loop is just at the bottom of the widest part of the breastshield. Hook the other end of the loop where the nursing bra unhooks from. Position at the nipples. You may have to lightly hold them in place at the beginning of pumping, mainly the let down mode on the pump-in-style advanced. Once the pump settles in rhythm or there is sufficient milk to weigh it down, it should stay in place well.

Hands-free pumping cuts down on neck and back pain and allows you to type, read, write, even pick up a small child while pumping. It also tends to lead to longer pumping sessions which will get you more milk in both the short and long-term due to the supply and demand principles that govern your supply.”

*As an item of disclosure, I need to let you know I am a Medela Mom Maven.  I do not receive any compensation from them, but do get info and newsletters from them in exchange for sharing my experience using their products when pumping for my kidlets.

Another wonderful resource I found was a recipe for more milk cookies.  These are yummy and somewhat good for you and a great way to get the calories you need to keep up your supply.  I originally found this recipe on Babyfit and have modified it some for my tastes:

Housepoet’s Famous Lactation Boosting Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip & Flaxseed cookies ™

Ingredients :

* 1 cup butter or marg
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal*
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
* 1 cup or more chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast* (be generous)


Preheat oven at 375 degrees F. Mix together 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes. Cream (beat well) margarine and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well. Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the margarine mix. Beat until blended. Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips. Add to margarine mixture. Stir in oats then chips. Scoop or drop onto baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment or silpat. The dough is a little crumbly, so it helps to use a scoop.

Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies.

Serves: 6 dozen cookies

Preparation time: 15 minutes

*can be found at any local health food store.


You can substitute for carob chips, raisins, butterscotch chips, whatever.

Don’t cook too long or they are dry and too “healthy” tasting. Leave them a little moist and they are GREAT!

I hope what works for me will work for you too!

My first and current nursres

Purple Cauliflower, Kidlet Funnies and Turtles

I am getting back into the swing of things.  I am working on coming out of a turtle time in life…you know, those times you just don’t want to communicate as much as you normally do.  And I am coming out just in time to enjoy Indian Summer.  It is supposed to be 65 degrees today.  If Sue would get dressed, we would be outside right now, but she doesn’t seem interested.

While hanging out in my shell, I made a couple photo books of my girls.  I got a great deal on one from Shutterfly, so I made one for me to take to work when I go back.  Then Snapfish had a great deal, buy 1, get 2 free; I made one for me and two of my family members will get one for Christmas.  I love Snapfish.  They ship super quick and I love the option of pre-buying my photo prints.  Do you have a favorite photo website?

Here is one photo that made it into both photo books.  Way too cute to leave out!

The girls and I went shopping the other day.  I had a gift card and coupon for Macy’s.  They had a great sale and the jeans that fit me, so off we went.  I got a shirt and jeans for under $25 at Macy’s.  Yup, you read that right!  Anyway, as we were leaving, Caitlyn said, “I thought you were going to take us to JC Moneys!”  Can you guess the moneys are kids get the most often–pennies!!!!  See how that worked in a 4 year olds brain?

Yesterday I was starting a sewing project.  Caitlyn was visiting with me as I pinned out the pattern. 
She says, “I wish you could sew something for Patrice and the three boys.” 
“What 3 boys?” I asked.
“The 3 brothers I want,” she said.
“Umm, 3 at once?”
“Well babies usually come 1 at a time, sometimes 2, but not very often 3.”
“Oh.  Well I prayed and asked Jesus for them.”
“Umm, sometimes Jesus says yes, sometimes He says no, sometimes He says wait.”
Caitlyn is quiet for a short minute…then…
“I asked Jesus and He said Yes!”
Mama is thinking she needs to ask Jesus about this…

The other day the girls and I went to our local Farmers Market.  I have lived here over 6 years now and just went this weekend.  Yes, I know it is the end of the season, but ours is open year round and I did get some yummies.  My midwife passed on her mom’s acorn squash recipe.  It was yummy.  I had never had, nor cooked it before.  It was yummy, I also got a sweet dumpling squash (daughter loved it, mama and daddy, not so much).  And if you are wondering, purple cauliflower turns the water purple when you steam it.  It tastes great.  Tonight we are going to have acorn squash soup.  Wish me luck with that recipe.

I have a burning question…why will my daughter listen to what someone else tells her, but when daddy or I tell her something, it takes a million tellings to sink in?  Remember this post about Caitlyn’s first trip to the dentist?  At that visit, the hygentist told her not to eat sticky candy, like fruit chewies.  The child has not touched them since, not even once.  And she often asks me if the dentist said she can eat something or not. How do they have so much power and where do I get it?  Caitlyn went for her latest check up last week.  All is well!

So do you love my new website colors and design?  My wonderful friend, Lori over at Dollyoutfitters did the lovely makeover.  To celebrate, I am going to host my very first giveaway soon…be watching for my blog post about sewing…