December 30, 2012

Season's Greetings, 2012


As another year draws to a close, our hearts overflow with gratitude and joy as we recall what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us.

While we were expecting our fourth baby, we needed to purchase a larger vehicle that could accommodate our growing family.  After months of searching, the Lord provided a Ford Traveler’s van that seats seven.  The second row inside this 12-passenger van has two bucket seats with a video deck between them on the floor and two video screens above.  The third row has a three-passenger bench and all the seats are leather.  The rear does not currently have a four-person bench, but one could be installed later.  It also has a tow package with low mileage and the price was within our budget.  Our big, green van has indeed been a huge blessing.

Likewise, we were having some leakage from the roof.  As you know, a new roof is expensive when paid out-of-pocket.  So we put off purchasing a new roof for as long as possible.  When late Spring came, we could not wait any longer.  After speaking with a building contractor and our insurance adjuster, we received a new roof for only the cost of our deductible!  We praise the Lord, yet again, for providing to meet our needs out of the abundance of His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

The birth of our fourth child was quickly approaching.  After an undesirable experience in the hospital at Shiphrah’s birth, I hired a professional midwife to deliver our baby at home.  Well, after 4 hours of mild labor, I was still not completely certain I was truly in labor.  I had been communicating with my midwife during this time but it wasn’t until my water broke 5 minutes before the birth that I was certain of my labor.  Needless to say, the midwife did not arrive in time to deliver the baby and (SURPRISE!) our first son was born in our master bathroom, caught by an unprepared Daddy!  It has been, and probably will remain, the most exciting birth story in our family!  Praise the Lord! What a marvelous blessing it was to give birth at home!

Joseph Wade is now 6 months old and growing quickly.  He is already wearing 12 month clothing, sleeping through the night and very happy.  He always has a smile and greeting for all.  The only time he is not content is when Momma doesn’t hold him while he’s awake.  He has brought a lot of joy to our home.

Moriah turned 5 years old last month and it’s hard to believe that so much time has already passed.  She loves to play with the baby and looks forward to having a family of her own when she grows up.  She is reading at a first grade level and loves to learn.  Lily is learning to read and loves to talk to Joseph, play with dolls, Legos and puzzles.  We will celebrate her 4th birthday in January.  Shiphrah celebrated her 2nd birthday this past August and is currently toilet training.  I think the “Terrible Twos” has hit her, but her smile and infectious laughter always light up our lives.  Our children keep our home busy and all three girls, even at their ages, love to help Momma.  They get excited when they assist me in various tasks.  They know that we love them and that they contribute something beyond value to our family.

We pray that this letter finds you well and that you similarly are filled with gratitude for all the wonderful ways God has blessed you this year and that, like our family, you seek to bless the Lord in your service to others in the year to come as we eagerly anticipate the return of our Lord.

Grace to you and yours!
The Andersons

P. S. Speaking of service to others, Jeramy and I will quickly finish a book we hope to self-publish by Spring 2013.  I am also preparing to record my first album entitled, Hymns on Violin.  Lord willing, it should be ready concurrently with the book.  We pray that these two contributions will bless and benefit many to the glory of God, our Father.

December 16, 2012

How I Wean

I always look forward to weaning with eager anticipation.  I know many other nursing mothers do not share in this excitement but the method in which I've weaned my babies has been effective and painless.

Step 1: Throughout the duration of breastfeeding, I usually have to pump because of painful engorgement.  I store this milk in the freezer for those "just in case" occasions and as I look forward to weaning.

Step 2: The baby is introduced to and becomes comfortable with drinking water and juice from a sippie cup.  This is usually when baby reaches around 8 or 9 months in age, at the mom's discretion.  Just as baby gets older and becomes more dependent on solid food and less on breast milk, mom nurses less often, maybe 2 or more times daily.  Continue to decrease the number of times you take baby to breast.

Step 3: The day arrives!  Baby does not return to the breast.  You give him or her breast milk in the cup at the same meal/snack time that he or she would be taken to the breast.  Use the milk that you have previously pumped.  Baby will taste the same milk in an easier to suck format and won't mind that it's not coming from your chest, especially if you hold baby while they eat.

Step 4: Cut your calories, increase the intensity of your exercise and pump any breast milk only to alleviate discomfort, giving baby this milk in the cup.  Eventually you will not have to pump any longer because you are not producing milk, maybe 2 or 3 days.

Step 5: When your breast milk stores run out, switch to cow's milk.  This is the most difficult step for baby because the taste and texture of the milk changes.  Warm it for a few seconds in the microwave until it reaches a comfortable temperature, like that of breast milk.  After baby becomes acclimated to the warm cow's milk, you can transition to giving baby/toddler cold milk.  Personally, I hate the taste of regular cow's milk and since childhood I only drink chocolate milk, if any at all.  This is what I give my girls to drink only at breakfast, and I only give them enough to wash down their meal.


December 11, 2012

The Fifth Time in Seven Years

I'm now counting my calories again, for the 5th time in 6 and 1/2 years.  This method of dieting has historically been successful to the degree that I remain committed to exercise self-control.  Losing weight while nursing is very rapid after the birth, but after the first month, weight loss (for me) goes very slowly, if at all.  So I resort to calorie counting.  It is difficult to find the balance between eating enough to support the nursing while not eating too much so that weight loss occurs.  It is possible, but I usually get tired of the math involved before I finally reach my goal.

After Jeramy and I were engaged, I lost 35 lbs. by counting my calories in addition to exercising 6 times every week.  I had always been overweight my entire life and that was the first time I achieved a pant size in the single digits.  It was very thrilling.  And then . . . I got pregnant our first month of marriage.

After Moriah was born, as soon as I left the hospital, I attempted to resume regular exercise and calorie counting.  I had committed to have however many children God would give us and I was determined not to be 500 pounds because of all the pregnancies.  I knew that I needed to lose the weight before getting pregnant again, and based on how quickly we got pregnant the first time, I knew I didn't have long to wait before pregnancy #2.  I lost the weight really quickly, by the time Moriah was 3 months I lost 23 pounds, only 5 lbs. more than I was at our wedding.  Then . . . I got pregnant again when she was 4 months old.

After Lily was born, I waited a while longer before counting my calories.  But, likewise, I lost 45 pounds and achieved my pre-pregnancy weight.  I maintained this weight for a few months, and then I got pregnant again when Lily was 11 months old.

After Shiphrah was born, I think I lost most all the weight again, some 40 pounds or so, by counting my calories.  And now, 5 months after Joseph's birth, I'm at it again.  Since his birth I've lost 25 pounds.  The frustrating part for me, especially after being overweight my whole life, is that my size has gone from big to small to big to small so many times in the past 6.5 years.  It has literally been like a yo-yo.  However, when I consider that my married, child-bearing years are few in comparison to the total number of years of life I may have and the "reward, gift, blessing," etc of the children that it has produced, I am content.  I know that I'll be 50 before I know it and maintaining a healthy figure will no longer be such a battle because of pregnancy.


November 5, 2012

Target

Jeramy won a $50 Target gift card and gave it to me.  I was instructed to use it toward items that we would normally purchase at our usual shopping stores (ALDI, Sam's Club & Walmart).  So, off I went.  Everyone loves free money, right?!

Buying a few items was a no-brainer.  I bought several hair care products and some much needed toddler spoons, toddler toothbrushes and toddler underwear.  However, after a few minutes looking around, I found myself in quite a predicament.  All the exact same items (except the spoons) could be found at my local Walmart for a significant difference in price.  How could I buy Item X for $16 when I could get the exact same thing at Walmart for $11?

And because of this I now found it extremely difficult to use the remainder of the "free" money in Target.  I see now the deception.  People pay more for these items thinking they are getting a better quality product, when in fact, it is the same quality as at Walmart (or ALDI or Sam's).  Why pay more if you're not getting more?  For the same amount of money, I could have purchased more items at Walmart than at Target.  I'm ruined.  I can no longer pay more for anything if I know I can get it cheaper somewhere else.  Ethically, I view it as a waste of money.  Jeramy works too hard to bring home what he does and I work too hard to stretch what he brings home to spend more than is necessary.  I don't think I'll ever buy anything at Target again.

Don't get me wrong, Target provides a nice, quiet, clean environment in which to shop.  But I just can't buy anything there.  I'll deal with lines and crowds to save $10.  As Jeramy would say, "It's all about the bottom line."


October 16, 2012

The Homeschool Mom's Most Valued Assets

  1. The Bible.
  2. A good night's sleep.
  3. The rod.
  4. A hard-working husband who provides.
  5. A free public library card.
  6. A working vehicle with gas.
  7. A big cooking pot or Crock Pot.
  8. A kitchen timer.
  9. Comfortable shoes.
  10. An apron.
  11. Puzzles.
  12. An automatic dishwasher.
  13. An automatic laundry washer & dryer.
  14. Baskets & shelves to organize toys & clutter.
  15. Grandma to occasionally babysit.
  16. And a generous helping of chocolate in some form. 
What could you other homeschool Moms add to this list?

October 14, 2012

Christ: Our Friend in Prayer

Oftentimes I very strongly and urgently desire to talk to someone.  Whatever my burdens are, I am seeking godly, Biblical counsel from someone I can trust who will be able to understand what I'm trying to communicate even if my language is deficient.  This person must be trustworthy because many times my burdens involve individuals whom I do not wish to defame, myself included.  I'm looking for someone who understands me without rushing to judgements or incomplete conclusions who will empathize, offer solutions, and intercession to God on my behalf.  But I feel like I don't know such a person.

Perhaps it is because I'm an only child that I have always felt like I've never had a best friend, someone who fits this description.  My entire life, I've been looking for someone who could meet these requirements, for whom I could reciprocate this same level of trusted friendship.  But I still feel alienated and alone.  I scan through the list of names in my Contacts list on my phone and there is no one on whom I feel comfortable unloading the weight of my burdens.

But there is always Christ.  He meets all of these requirements, just as the Scriptures testify.  No matter what our burdens are, or whom they involve, no matter how deficient our ability to communicate the problem, Christ is there.  He understands our burdens and intercedes for us.  We can go to Him as often as we need and not burden Him with our constant requests.  It doesn't matter where we are or whether our phones are charged, He is always there.  Christ desires that we go to Him first and that we listen to the counsel He gives us in His sufficient Word. 

"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Just as it is written,
For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:31-39 

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7

This past week as my children's health began to decline, I prayed earnestly for three specific things while I laid in my bed one sleepless night.  Moriah and Joseph had been vomiting with a loss of appetite, lethargy and fever, Joseph was also congested, all the children were coughing and sneezing and I was becoming suspiciously anxious that they might have walking pneumonia.  I had to wait until morning before I could take them to the doctor's office.  Several times that night I brought my anxiety to the Lord.  Specifically I prayed that God would grant the children grace to survive the night without dying.  I prayed that all of the children could be seen by the doctor, as their usual policy only allows me to bring two of my children at a time.  I prayed that I could get at least a little sleep to be alert enough to handle the busyness of the next day.  The Lord graciously granted all three requests.  Sometimes when we pray general prayers, it is difficult to see how and when God answers them.  But, as He has reminded me in this case, as I pray for specific things, I can see how He answers them specifically.

So, let us all be encouraged to pray to God for all things, no matter how big or how small.  Let's pray generally and specifically, taking our burdens to Him first and seeking His counsel from His Word knowing that we can trust Him with anything and everything.  To God be the glory.


October 10, 2012

Lashes


Shiphrah has the longest, fullest eyelashes I've ever seen.  Hers look like the fake ones in the beauty supply stores but God gave her these naturally!  I wonder if she will keep them as she ages - she's had them since birth.

Thanks to Leah Catherine photography for capturing God's glory in her beauty so wonderfully.

October 5, 2012

Art for Aimee Copeland

HERE is another video clip from CBS 11 Atlanta of the Art for Aimee event in Norcross that took place last Saturday.  If you missed the live event it's not too late to buy a piece of art work that will benefit Aimee's medical expenses or you can donate directly at the Welcome Center in downtown Norcross.

This clip has a close up of both myself and the wonderful jazz band that performed after me.  The art work is really lovely, full of color and scenes for everyone's taste.

October 1, 2012

Aimee Copeland Benefit in Norcross


HERE is the story on Channel 2 News, WSBTV.

Aimee is a very thankful happy lady with big dreams and goals to help others.  I had a wonderful opportunity to provide some background music and to meet her briefly.  She is just as inspiring in person as you see in the news.  I pray the Lord blesses her as she continues to transition.

September 30, 2012

Professional Gig Demo Recording

Access the link below to listen to Classical, Hymn & Romantic melody samples.

Click HERE.

Meggan Anderson can provide music to suit a variety of occasions to make the ordinary extraordinary.  Solo violin is ideal for weddings, dinner parties, luncheons, brunch gatherings, anniversary dinners, retirement celebrations, Christmas parties, etc.

Indoor or outdoor, public or private, the violin will add a taste of class & elegance to any event, large or small, casual or fancy.

Surprise and impress your spouse with live solo violin music at an affordable, competitive price and make your anniversary extra special.

Church luncheons or garden brunches, a live musician is just as portable as a CD player and brings an exciting conversation piece for your guests.

Contact Meggan for a price quote and/or to book an event, large or small.
Comment on this post, email andersonmusicstudio@ymail.com or call 770.841.5547.

September 26, 2012

Black Hair

Sometimes I get questions about how to daily care for black hair.  All of the following is from personal experience.

Most girls and women desire to have long hair because it is a mark of our femininity in the current culture and has been, probably since Creation.  The best way, and for many the only way, black females are able to grow their hair is to let it remain natural.  By natural I mean without chemical additives that permanently damage the hair.  She would always wear it as an afro.  As soon as she begins to process her hair with chemicals and heat, the strength is compromised, it becomes very fragile and breaks very easily.  If a black woman keeps her hair natural, then it is actually very easy to maintain on a daily basis.  Using a wide-toothed comb she might part her hair into sections, comb or brush each section and braid them individually or style into afro puffs.  She might like cornrows, twists, dreds or even braided extensions.  These former styles can last up to several weeks or years (dreds) if washed carefully.  Daily apply some grease (it's like a translucent solid oil, like see-through Crisco or petroleum jelly) or braid oil spray and style as desired.

Do not wash black hair daily.  This robs the hair of essential oils as the texture is dry and brittle.  Once a week is sufficient but no more than twice a week.  Rinsing the hair might be okay if no cleansers are applied (I don't have a beautician's license, so ask a professional if you have further questions.)

Once the black woman begins to chemically treat her hair, then much more maintenance is required so that it will not break off.  I have a permanent relaxer that I apply to my roots every 6 weeks or so.  When I wash my hair, no more than twice weekly, I use a moisturizing shampoo for treated/damaged hair.  I follow that with a deep penetrating conditioning reconstructor that I rinse out after 5 - 10 minutes, then I use a leave-in conditioner.  Before blow drying my hair I apply an oil moisturizer while it's still a little damp so that the oil can have more even coverage.  I let my hair air dry for a while for two reasons: 1. From start to finish, it takes a lot of time that a busy momma just can't risk leaving her small children unattended for so long if they're awake; and 2. To minimize the amount of heat applied to the hair.  After blow drying I will use a hot curling iron to turn the ends under.  At night I will cover my head with a silk scarf to prevent elastic bands from further breaking my hair.  The curls will stay intact if I avoid humidity until it's next washing.  Daily I apply an oil moisturizer before combing to my desired style.

It sounds like a lot of work.  Maintaining a relaxed style is a lot of work especially when I touch up my roots and when I wash it.  But my natural texture is a very thick afro that I affectionately call my "rat's nest."  To me, I really enjoy being able to comb my hair.  With a natural head of hair, combing is not possible.  As soon as I comb or brush the knots out of a section of hair, it just gets knotted back up in less than ten seconds unless I cornrow or braid it.  Plus, my husband prefers to be able to run his fingers through my hair, which would be impossible if I maintained an afro.  Maybe one day, when I reach 50, I'll forsake the perm and go natural with a feminine afro and accent with some flowers, jewels or large gold hoop earrings.  If you do see a black woman with a beautifully shaped afro, be kind and don't go poke a hole in it or scrunch it with your hands.  It probably took her 20 minutes to get it to look that way.

September 21, 2012

Beans Are Cheap, Beano Is Not

This has been an interesting observation as I've passed through the grocery store.  Beans are beneficial because they are high in protein and are a vegetable.  They are high in fiber, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese.  Read my source article HERE.   They help lower cholesterol and reduce your risks for coronary disease and heart attacks.  Some beans, like black beans, have many antioxidants that reduce your risk for developing some types of cancer and help you fight illnesses.  Beans do not have the steroids and hormones that many meats are pumped with and, therefore, will not react negatively to growing children's bodies or those who struggle with mood swings (like me).  These are some of the reasons why I've tried to add more beans to our family's diet.  Here are some bean recipes I really enjoy.

Neli's Puerto Rican Garbanzos
1 lb. dry garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs Sofrito Red Tomato Base
2 links smoked or breakfast sausage (about hot dog size)
3 or 4 Tbs Tomato Sauce
1 packet Sazon Goya con culantro y achiote (that's coriander & annatto)
one of the following vegetables, chopped:
2 potatoes, 1 spanish squash, 1 large carrot or 1/2 yellow ripe plaintain

Soak the beans overnight.  Rinse the beans and boil about 1 hour until softened.  In a separate pot or skillet combine the oil, sofrito, sausage, tomato sauce and sazon cooking over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the beans & vegetable and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 20 - 25 minutes.  Add water for desired consistency.  Serve over rice.
*Variation: use any dried bean - pink, pinto, white navy, black beans.
 from Nelida Rivera

-----------------------------------------------------------
Cuban Black Beans
1 lb. dry black beans
1 green bell pepper
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz. of tomato sauce
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight.  Rinse.  In a large pot, place beans and cover with 2 inches of water.  Add green bell pepper, bay leaves, tomato sauce, salt & pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a skillet saute the onion, garlic & cumin in olive oil until translucent then add to the beans.   Reduce heat to simmer & cover until thickened, about 1 hour.  Add the vinegar and simmer another 30 minutes.  Serve over rice.
from Dr. Jorge Campana 
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Sausage Lentil Soup
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
1 lb. dry lentils, rinsed
1 cup ham, diced
1 medium onion, minced
1 small green bell pepper
1 medium carrot
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
30 oz beef broth
30 oz chicken broth
2 cups spinach

Combine all ingredients except for the spinach in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours or until the lentils are tender.  Add the spinach and let stand 5 - 10 minutes until the spinach wilts.  Remove the bay leaf and enjoy.
from Menus for Moms
---------------------------------------------------------

White Chicken Chili
5 - 6 cups Great White Northern beans (I use 1 lb. dry beans, soaked & rinsed)
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 cups minced onions
1 Tbs olive oil
8 oz chopped green chiles
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cloves
4 cups cooked chicken
1 hot pepper, seeded & minced *optional

Saute the onions & garlic in olive oil.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer until the beans are soft (if using dried beans) about 1 1/2 hours.  Garnish with sour cream, jack cheese & onions.  Dip with tortilla chips, also good over rice.
 from Wanda Jackson
---------------------------------------------------------

Our Best Baked Beans
5 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
32 oz canned baked beans, drained
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup hickory-smoke bbq sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover & cook on Low setting for 8 to 12 hours (on High for 2 - 3 hours).  Makes about 1 1/2 quarts, 6 - 8 servings.
 by Marilyn Neill
-------------------------------------------------------------

Bowman Black-eyed Pea Stew
Combine in a pot:
1 lb. dry black-eyed peas, soaked & rinsed
1/4 head cabbage, chopped
16 oz can tomatoes
3 potatoes, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 onion, sliced
9 or 10 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Add sliced yellow squash and zucchini to make it even nicer.  Simmer until beans are soft.
from Madia Bowman 
---------------------------------------------------

September 18, 2012

Black Christians Waver Over Vote

THIS is a very interesting article.  It explains that black Christians are having a difficult time reconciling the upcoming vote because of Obama's new position on homosexuality and Romney's Mormonism.  They cannot in good faith vote for Obama while he supports homosexuality nor can they vote for Romney in good confidence because Mormonism has always been a racist cult.  So many black preachers are telling their congregants to stay home on election day.

As a Reformed black conservative Christian woman, I considered sharing my reactions to this article.  First I was amazed that black churches are so concerned about the problem of Obama's position on gay marriage conflicting with his claim of being a Christian, and yet are completely unconcerned about his position on abortion. His positions on financial stewardship (fiscal responsibility) or just war (righteous war) or any number of values are not consistent with an orthodox Biblical worldview. He is a communist who hates America's history, economic success, and worldwide influence.

Secondly I was amazed that black pastors are openly advocating certain political candidates without threats to remove their tax-exempt, non-profit status.  Pastors in Canada, and soon in the US, are threatened to remove this status by preaching that homosexuality is a sin, as the Bible teaches.  Many pastors are already feeling this heat.  Most of these black pastors advocate liberal Democratic politicians, so preaching politics from the pulpit (where most of their congregants vote according to their pastors) is okay.  You have got to love the hypocrisy from the liberal left.

Thirdly I considered the work of the Empowerment Network, "a national coalition of about 30 denominations working to register congregants and provide them with background on health care, the economy, education and other policy issues."  These policy issues are not the most important crises facing our nation now.  These polices are social issues, government programs.  They have nothing to do with the national debt or foreign relations.  These policies cater to the individual and do not reflect on the principal reasons why we have a federal government, namely national protection and economy.

Truthfully I don't fully agree with either candidate.  I would never vote for Obama because his claims of being a Christian and his policies are completely juxtaposed and he is a communist who hates economic freedom.  I hesitantly give my vote to Romney because I have issues with his Mormonism, but he is more conservative fiscally, he's a capitalist and he's a family man.  To vote for a third party will not put any man in office, so a vote for Romney is a vote against Obama.


September 14, 2012

A Legacy

While nursing yesterday I spoke with Jeramy on the phone while he was at work.  Moriah and Lily were sitting on the floor opposite me waiting patiently for me to finish.  When I hung up the phone Moriah asked me where Daddy was and I told her that he was at work.  Then she said, "When I grow up I'm not going to work."  I was a little curious at first and didn't respond immediately.  Then she quickly said, "I'm going to stay home and breastfeed babies."  Then Lily looked at me and said the same thing.  The conversation then turned to how many babies they were each going to have - how many boys and how many girls.  

This unprompted conversation really gave me a lot of encouragement.  As you can imagine, it is very difficult to stay home and raise four children four years old and younger.  I find it especially difficult because I was raised for a career, not motherhood.  Christ has redeemed me from that misplaced priority and brought me home with my children.  Feminism is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In the Gospel we find eternality and we raise the next generation with generations ahead in mind.  Feminism and the post-modern worldview of our day tells us to look out only for ourselves in our own lifetime.  The goals of personal peace and affluence die with you.  But God calls us to raise the next generation to love and fear Him so that for generations, people might love and fear Him.  Those expressed goals of my daughters let's me know that, although I fail often to exercise the fruits of the Spirit, there is something honorable and God-glorifying that I'm imparting to my children.

May Christ be praised!

September 2, 2012

Look Who's Two!


Happy Birthday Shiphrah!

She turned two years on August 17th.  She has blessed us with many smiles and laughs.  I'm so glad God gave her to us.

August 9, 2012

DIY Laundry Detergent

You can save a ton of money on laundry soap.  At Sam's Club we could pay $25 for 180 loads worth of Tide but making this recipe only costs about $3 for 5 gallons!  Making it takes about 10 - 15 minutes and it's not complicated.  HERE is a video of the Duggars making their laundry soap and saving lots of money in other ways.  HERE is a thorough video of the process.

You will need these three ingredients and a 5 gallon bucket, a long stirring stick or spoon, a pot, a whisk and a measuring cup.  At Walmart each bar of Fels is $1 and the Soda and Borax might be $3 - $4 each, but you only use a little for every 5 gallon bucket.  Because the Fels is only $1, I buy a few bars so that I never run out of detergent at the last minute.

 Grate the bar of soap.  From what I understand, you can use any bar of soap.


 
 Melt down the soap in hot water on the stove over medium heat stirring constantly until no chunks remain.  If the temp is too high or you neglect to stir, then the soap will boil over.


Add diluted soap, 1/2 cup of borax & 1 cup of washing soda to a 5 gallon bucket.  Some recipes use different amounts of borax & washing soda but all are fine and good.  Fill the remainder of the bucket with hot water. If you like to add scented oils, now is probably the time to do it.


 Stir.  Place the lid on top and allow to rest overnight.


 In the morning, stir again to break up the gel-like consistency.  You're done.  I use a cup for every wash load.  I've found that it works best in hot water washes.  It works just fine with our cloth diapers and doesn't seem to irritate Shiphrah's sensitive skin.


August 7, 2012

Joseph Update: 6 Weeks

Joseph is such a cute little baby.  I've noticed he's darkened up a little bit since birth so that now he's beginning to look a little more like Moriah.  He's been smiling a lot more and now he's started cooing at me!  :-D  It's so precious; I love it!

At his one month checkup he was 9 lbs. 10 oz., a gain of 2 lbs. 10 oz., and 22 inches in length, a gain of 1.5 inches.  He's already outgrown his newborn clothes, but he doesn't quite fit into 3 months just yet.

It's a whole new adventure having a son.  The diaper changes are the most significant difference.  Instead of changing the diaper fast because I have other tasks to do, the change is now a race to see if I can finish before he pees everywhere.  :-)  He also belches identically to an adult man, deeply from the belly.  I'm excited about the other boy-ventures that may come along through the years: trucks & trains, tree-climbing, frogs & lizards, and building things with Daddy.

July 11, 2012

Birth @ Home vs. Hospital

Moriah, Lily and Shiphrah were all born in the hospital.  Each of their deliveries were different, but  my birth with Shiphrah was the complete opposite from what I was expecting and hoping.  Being in the hospital created more complications and stress than was needed and I felt that a lot of unnecessary medical intervention was pushed upon me.  As a result I felt like an object of labor and not an individual with thoughts, wishes and a free will.  So I considered other options and elected to give birth at home.  Here are the perks:

Personal Prenatal Care
I switched from an OB to a homebirth midwife.  Debbie Pulley and Kay Johnson at Atlanta Birth Care are excellent midwives with a combined 50+ years experience.  During my prenatal visits with them, I noticed that they were just as thorough as the doctor's staff, but much more personable towards me and individualistic in my care.  Each of my visits with them lasted at least an hour and they were excited about my pregnancy.  The OB doctor doesn't take too much interest in low-risk cases like mine and I felt like a number.

Doctors know about drugs and surgery.  The midwives know a lot of alternative, natural methods to aid your body to do what it's supposed to do.  They also administer drugs and do stitches too.  The home birth midwives in Britain can give intravenous drugs.  It seems to me as I research more and more, that midwives (being a traditional profession dating back to Moses and probably before) have a broader depth of knowledge than most doctors.  I have every reason to trust them with my gynecological care.

No Bureaucracy
I didn't have to worry about my pre-registration forms getting processed before I showed up in labor to the hospital.  Neither did I have to worry about signing legal waivers at 10 cm dilation.  A lot of the care received in the hospital is so they can cover their own rear ends from litigation.

Freedom to Labor
I didn't want to give birth on my back, pushing the baby uphill and be stitched up later because I couldn't push in a different position.  Being able to labor at home was such a HUGE benefit!  You are in a comfortable environment where you can do whatever you feel would help alleviate or distract you from the pain.  As a result of this, I never really felt like I was in labor until the last 5 minutes because everything I was doing, REALLY made all the progression bearable and the pain less severe.  When you're forced to lay in a bed without the ability to move the pain seems more intense.  At home I could participate in my labor, instead of letting labor happen to me.  I wasn't expecting that squatting in the shower or sitting on the toilet would effectively reduce my pain but it did, to the extent that my labor was more like an illusive hope rather than a stark reality. 

No Unnecessary Medical Interventions
I wanted to give birth naturally and vaginally.  I wanted to avoid a cesarean at all costs.  During my pitocin induced labor with Shiphrah, the OB threatened me with a Section, as I was not progressing.  As a result of the threat of C-section, I was coerced into receiving an epidural I didn't initially want.  A C-section is major abdominal surgery with serious risks involved, as with any major surgery, and I knew my body would never be the same afterwards.  The Doctors present C-section as though it were like cutting your nails, but it's not.  One in three births is now a c-section.  If your labor endures until 24 hours (which is typical for some, unfortunately) they will just cut you open to get the baby out, even if your water hasn't broken because, "It's time."  They are too impatient to let nature take it's God-ordained course.

If I did end up going to the hospital after attempting a home birth, it's because medical intervention was necessary because a complication arose during labor.  The hospital, doctors and nurses are there for emergency situations and women with real complications.  Preeclampsia, incompetent cervix, pre-term labor and other risky situations are why hospitals were originally created.  In 1900, 95% of all US births were delivered at home.  By 1955, 97% if all US births were delivered in the hospital.  Both of my parents have siblings born in the home and hospital. 

Better Bonding
In the hospital, they take the baby from you after the birth.  Some nursing staffs are more eager to take the baby than others, but they do this to perform a variety of tests and to bathe the babyAfter Moriah was born, I didn't get to hold her at all for several hours!  As soon as she came out of the birth canal, she was whisked by a nurse to the other side of the room where she remained until I had to ask to even see her.  They put her next to my head but not in my hands before taking her to the nursery.  After Lily and Shiphrah were born they placed them on my chest and cleaned them there and allowed me to nurse before taking them to the nursery.  Joseph and I have never been separated while he was awake which has allowed me to become better acquainted with my newborn and it has given us a stronger start at establishing his breastfeeding and sleeping patterns.

Real Rest and Recovery
I did NOT want to stay overnight in the hospital.  The nursing staff comes to take your vital signs at all hours of the day and night.  During the day, people want to visit you and during the night the nurses want to take all your vitals, so I never got any sleep.  I would come home from the hospital exhausted with baggy eyes.  I wanted to be able to rest and recover at home without the poking and prodding.  Real rest allows the body to recover much more rapidly.

No Worldview Confrontations
I hate how the nurses ask you, just hours after giving birth, about birth control methods.  "We don't want our babies too close together," a nurse said to me once.  "Fine.  These are not your babies!  This decision is between God, me and my husband."  


Safety
There are also so many safety reasons why I wanted to plan a home birth.  Occasionally you hear about babies being switched at birth or people trying to steal a newborn out of the hospital.  There are also many illnesses all nicely contained in the hospital. 

Self-Sufficiency
Also, giving birth at home is consistent with our efforts to live more self-sufficient lives.  The more you're "on the grid" (as Jeramy says) the easier it is to track you in the event that our country becomes more and more communistic.  Plus, if you're more self-sufficient, you're more prepared for missions in a lesser developed country.  You don't have to pay someone to do a skill that you are capable of doing yourself.
 
I commend you to watch the documentary by Ricki Lake, The Business of Being Born. It's filled with statistics, personal stories and birthing scenes.  They interview doctors, nurses, couples, and midwives.



July 10, 2012

Joseph's Birth Story

The due date was fast approaching and I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of our newest addition.  In the early morning hours on Tuesday the 19th (the due date) I had regular contractions and thought that I might be in labor.  However after several hours of clock watching and trips to the bathroom, the contractions were getting consistently farther apart and completely ceased after about 5 hours when I relieved myself.  That’s the last time I’ll eat two bowls of red chili and push a stroller uphill for a mile the day before I’m due! 

The day after came . . .

. . . and went.

Apparently I have a hard time waiting.

Two days after the due date, Thursday, I try to continue business as usual and keep my mind off of the fact that the baby is late.  My last midwife appointment was that morning and I had to ask Debbie, “So, the baby is going to come out, right?!”  And I was totally serious and somewhat discouraged as I asked her that question.  She looked at me and said, “You know, of all the expectant mothers we’ve had . . . they ALL have their babies.”  I just needed to hear that.  This was the first time I’ve ever reached and exceeded my baby’s due date.

That afternoon, I begin making dinner and notice an uncomfortable contraction at 5:18.  We sit down to eat dinner and at 6:18 I start timing my contractions as they are regular and I’m not really interested in eating.

After dinner, about 6:45, dinner is over and we decide to go outside to walk around and see if I’m in labor.  The whole family comes to cheer me on.  The neighbors across the street are outside and they begin talking with Jeramy about building an entertainment center.  So, we all go in their house and I’m still having regular contractions.  I’m distracted by the conversation, but I’m still pretty uncomfortable and tired of walking around.

We got back to our house at 7:30p.m. and I continue pacing the floor for another 30 minutes to see if the contractions intensify.  I call the midwife at 8p.m. and tell her what’s going on.  She could hear the uncertainty in my voice as to whether or not I was in labor.  I wanted to be sure of my labor before I had her come. 

I laid down for 30 minutes and my contractions were very erratic in frequency and intensity and I was almost completely convinced that it was NOT labor.  Jeramy called my Mom to tell her that there was some “activity”.  Mom decided to come over and sit for a while to see if anything was going to happen.  But I thought it would be a waste of her time. 

I got up from the sofa and as I walked to the toilet, I could not walk through my contraction.  If we were planning a hospital birth, that was the indicator to begin packing up to leave.  But, I decided to sit on the toilet for 30 more minutes to determine if I was in labor and then I called the midwife again to give her an update.  It was now 9p.m.  She and I agreed that I would call around 10 or 10:30 to let her know if my contractions stop or if they continue and I want them to come. 

Every time I moved, the contractions would reset themselves and change character.  And because of this, I was thrown off, thinking it was just flatulence, as it was before.  I know the character of real labor contractions and what I was enduring was far from it, so I considered that it wasn’t yet that serious.

After another 10 minutes, I thought it would be nice to get in the shower.  After washing off, I just stood there letting the water massage my lower back.  It was very therapeutic.  During each contraction I would tilt my hips and squat slightly, hoping that if I was truly in labor, my water might break.  But that never happened.  While I was in the shower, Mom popped in to ask about the girls’ shoes and decided to take them to her house.  By God’s providence she arrived just in time. 

Ten minutes before 10p.m. I get out and put on my robe.  Jeramy was laying on the bed, staying awake to see what would happen.  I kneel down next to him on the floor.  Then I have two really painful contractions about 3 minutes apart, that I endure with moaning.  This is it!  Then I feel something really peculiar and rush to get to the toilet.  My water breaks with a little cupful into the toilet bowl.  I call the midwife at 10:15p.m. and tell her that the pain is getting more intense, my water broke and I want her to come now.  I told her I thought she might have 10 minutes to get dressed and get to the house.  I tell Jeramy to get the birthing pool ready.  And no sooner had I said these words with great difficulty, I felt the need to push!  I called the midwife back and said, “Debbie, the baby is coming NOW!!”  I screamed for Jeramy, who had just barely reached the kitchen with the pool, to come catch the baby!  I threw the phone onto the counter and stood up.  I couldn’t have the baby in the toilet!  I couldn’t stand up either, so I just instinctively got down on my knees leaning on the bathtub.  Then Jeramy ran into the bathroom and yelled, “NO!!  You can’t do this to me!  Don’t push!  You have to wait until the midwife gets here!  You have to wait 10 minutes!”  I told him that I couldn’t wait and he must get down on the floor and catch the baby! 

With my right elbow on the tub and my left hand reached down between my legs, I felt the head coming out and screamed again for Jeramy to catch the baby.  He got behind me and as I pushed the baby out, I guided the head back so he could catch him.

After the baby came out, I was in shock for a minute as I realized what had just happened.  The midwife was still on the phone and Jeramy was freaking out.  Debbie spend several minutes calming Jeramy down.  Then I realized that we had a boy!  Jeramy did not want me to move or push anymore, so we just hung out in the bathroom, all of us covered in water and blood until the midwives arrived about 20 minutes after the birth.  They cleaned all our mess up, did all their checks and left around 1 or 1:30a.m.

All in all, it was the best birth ever!  We named our baby Joseph Wade.  We’ve had his name picked out for the last 5 years.

July 7, 2012

Introducing Joseph Wade!




Thursday June 21st @ 10:25p.m. 
7lbs. 5 oz 
20.5 inches

These pictures were taken at 10 days old by the lovely Leah.
I will post the birth story soon.

June 6, 2012

Free Studio Consultations

The Anderson Music Studio gives free one hour consultations if you or your child is interested in learning the violin or other musical skill (theory analysis or music literacy).  I would be more than happy to schedule a formal or informal time to sit with you and your prospective students and answer your questions.  In regards to the violin, we can discuss how the instrument works, what may be expected of you as a student, what you can expect of me as a teacher, what materials we might use, what style of music you're interested in learning and whether or not your child is ready for study.

The links in the right sidebar may begin to answer some of your questions, but I am always available to speak with you specifically at a time that is convenient for your schedule.  You can contact me by posting a comment to this post or any post.  You may also email me at andersonmusicstudio@ymail.com

Personal information will remain private and confidential.

June 5, 2012

Grandma Photos


June 4, 2012

Shiphrah & the Potty






The potty has been stowed in the basement for some time and last night, while digging out the remaining baby things, I saw it and took it out.  I knew that we would be using it sometime in the next couple of months as Shiphrah approaches her 2nd birthday.  

This morning after breakfast I changed her diaper.  Maybe 2 hours or more later, after lunch I went to change her again before laying her down for her nap and she was still clean and dry.  So, I sat her on the potty, "Maybe she'll go," I thought.  

Moriah, Lily and I were in the bathroom with her.  After the older girls showed her what to do by using the toilet themselves, we sat and sang to her while we waited to see if she would perform.  I had to leave the bathroom to take some muffins out of the oven when Moriah came to tell me that Shiphrah had pee peed.  And when I got back to the bathroom, she did indeed pee!  This is the first time she has sat on the potty at home and the first time with success!  Yay Shiphrah! 


June 3, 2012

A Song for Sunday: Great Is Thy Faithfulness




The prophet Jeremiah wrote this when he was sitting in the bottom of a pit.  It probably smelly like a septic tank with very little light and no idea when he might be lifted out of such a place.  But he knew that although his momentary circumstance was very bad, he still trusted in the Sovereign Lord of all creation and was thankful that he wasn't in a worse place: Hell, a fully conscious suffering for all eternity with no hope of escape, ease or even annihilation.  

This hymn was of particular encouragement this morning as the saints sang together in worship.  As physically I've been increasingly more restricted in my activities, I've also realized that I'm going to have to discipline my other children just as much if not more than I am now, but with a nursing newborn too.  Feelings of failure, thoughts of bitterness, anxiety and fatigue have overwhelmed and distracted me from remembering the faithfulness of Christ.  Even in the midst of all my domestic troubles God, who keeps his children by His grace, still provides for all my needs.  Even when I think I've let go of hope, there is nothing and no one that can separate me from the love (eternal commitment) of Christ.  No one can pluck me out of His hand, myself included.


May 31, 2012

May 29, 2012

Changes (Excuses, Really)

I have to apologize for my lack of activity on this blog.  Several factors have played into it and will probably change when the new baby comes, Lord willing.

Blogger has changed it's interface and it's much less user friendly.  I cannot write many posts at once and schedule them to appear every day, like I could before.

I have reached my limit on pictures and I must go back through and delete some if I'm to post any new ones.  Or I could pay to upgrade my subscription on Picasa web albums to include more storage.  I'm disinclined to pay for anything that I once had for free.  So I will have to be more selective about the pictures I post.

Coming to the end of this pregnancy, being so large and desiring more and more to lay down has made climbing stairs rather unappealing.  I've had plenty to say, but at the end of the day, I try to avoid climbing the stairs or staying awake another 20 minutes.  

Today, I'm 37 weeks exactly.  Only 3 more weeks to go until the due date, 19 June.  The girls all arrived on time: Moriah was 4 days early, Lily was one day early and Shiphrah was 15 minutes early.  My prayers concerning this baby are typical: a smooth labor and delivery, a baby that will nurse easily and sleep soundly.  The baby is moving all the time and I have Braxton-Hicks contractions very frequently too. 

Now that I don't have anything major between now and the delivery, I've begun to prepare for this next little person to enter our family.  I've started packing bags, organizing and washing things and I'll start baking additional bread loaves to store in the freezer as well as a few casserole meals.  I eagerly anticipate not walking around like a rhinoceros and meeting our new little baby.  Let the real countdown begin.


May 19, 2012

May 17, 2012

The Writing On The Wall, But They Can't Read It

I heard about this story on talk radio and considered addressing it briefly here.  The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is given to public school students as are similar tests in other government schools across the nation.  The results showed that only 27% of fourth grade students passed the written portion.  The state of Florida reacts to this by lowering the passing grade!

Everyone knows that the government schools badly need improving, but everyone also believes that their local school ranks higher than the average school.  The government schools are primarily in the business of propagating a socialist agenda by training young people not to think critically, but to become an ignorant mob of factory workers that will push the socialist agenda forward.  These test scores are proof that reading, writing and arithmetic are not taught in the public school, but that there is a greater emphasis on something other than skills needed to lead a responsible life.  If everyone knows that the government schools are failing, why do they continue to allow them to "educate" their children?

Read it HERE.




May 7, 2012

Are You Living Dangerously?

 

Dangerous housewives are those women who have chosen to stay home and make great financial sacrifices to do so.  Dangerous housewives are those who rear their own children and use their education to better educate their own children within the home forsaking a personal career.  We raise up the next generation of taxpayers and voters with conservative values and morals.  This "choice" is one that the Democrats and feminists don't want you to choose. 

Read Dangerous Housewives HERE.

May 1, 2012

Our New Van!

 2002 Ford E150 in excellent condition

The driver and front passenger seats.  All the seats, including the bench are leather.

From the rear, notice the two TV screens and cargo space.

Taken from the side door.  Notice the two bucket seats in the middle, under the TV screens.  The VHS player (with aux adapters) sits in between these two seats.

Getting Your Children Interested in Music

I consider that there are two scenarios when it comes to parents who want to encourage their children toward an appreciation for music.  The first is that of musical parents, like myself, and the second would be for non-musical parents.  Non-musical parents would be those who do not regularly play an instrument, including voice, within their home, whether they have formal training or not.  For this second group of parents there are a lot of practical and inexpensive things you can do that might spark an interest in your child.  One of the most common ways is to coerce them to begin an instrument or lessons on something they don't initially show inclination towards.  Some parents might wait until the child begins to show an interest in something specific before moving forward toward the research and acquisition of an instrument, lessons, etc.

In my personal experience and after teaching for more than 10 years, I have found that the best students are those who are self-motivated and not coerced.  They love violin (or whatever) because they love it, not because their parents make them take it.  These students practice on their own, they enjoy it, they want to learn, they want to improve and parents don't have to continually nag them to go practice or stand over their shoulder while they do so.

A great way to encourage your child is by exposure.  The more they see and hear music, live and recorded, the more of an interest they are likely to take.  You can purchase music anywhere.  You can listen and watch for free on YouTube or borrowing materials from your local library.  There are lots of movies also with musician/instrumental themes, Music from the Heart (G or PG) and The Red Violin (PG mostly, but there is an R scene) come immediately to mind.  The former is based on a true story and the latter is fictional.

To expose your children to live music, there are a lot of venues that are local and free.  The public school system teaches musical arts beginning in elementary school through high school.  You can check websites to see if those musical events are listed on a calendar where you and your family can attend for little or no cost.  Sometimes these groups may perform outside of a public school building (for those of us who would prefer never to step inside another building again).

Local churches are also a great source of live music.  The larger churches, like First Baptist Atlanta, will have a full orchestra and 4-part choir.  They'll probably have teen and children's choirs also.  They will typically do special programs during high church days, like Christmas and Easter.  These programs often fall on days that don't conflict with your own regular church attendance. 

Conduct a Google search to find out what community orchestras perform locally.  John's Creek Orchestra is located there near Roswell and performs musical concerts for a ticket price.  There are also youth orchestras, like the Atlanta Youth Orchestra, where the kids that play are 18 and younger performing serious orchestral works for cheaper than tickets to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  Many of the local community orchestras will charge for each adult and will usually discount for seniors and students.  They may admit children under a certain age for free.

 Summer is coming and many orchestras around the region may perform free summer concert series at smaller city downtown centers.  Norcross has an outdoor amphitheater at Thrasher Park and Lillian Webb Park and they will have local jazz, bluegrass, etc. bands play there on clear weekend nights and daytime festivals.  Some similar concerts take place in downtown Duluth and Suwanee also.  Oftentimes the concert schedules are posted online on the municipal websites.  Google is great search tool.

You might be able to arrange for a large group of several families to observe a rehearsal of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  Check their website to see if they host any free events too.  Local music teachers may occasionally host recitals as a public venue for their students to gain performance experience.  These will most likely be free too.  The Anderson Music Studio is hosting one such free recital Friday, May 25th at 7:30p.m. at Christ Reformed Church (2209 Sunny Hill Rd, Lawrenceville).

If you have friends who are musical, ask kindly if they wouldn't mind playing something at your next get together and showing your children how the instrument works and entertaining any questions they may have.  

The most important advice I could give as a parent, teacher and former/continuing student is to discover the specific instrument (or voice) your child is interested in and encourage him or her in that direction.  If they love piano, let them do piano.  If they want to try trumpet, don't give them the flute instead.  Sounds simple, but some parents do just that.



April 30, 2012

Alfalfa, For Balance

Medicago sativa

Active ingredients: iron, chlorophyll, Vitamins A, B6, E, D & K, beta-carotene, biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, fatty acids, saponins, copper

Actions: general tonic, alternative diuretic

Alfalfa has a history going back to ancient times, cherished for its nourishing abilities for people and their animals.  It has a deep tap root and grows in rich soils, making it very rich in trace minerals it that pulls up from deep below the surface.  It purifies the blood.  It balances the blood sugar, preventing the swings of hypoglycemia common in pregnancy.  It soothes the digestive tract and contains the enzyme betaine and the saponins balance the intestinal flora.

Compiled by Vickie Liguori, 2006

I was also told that Alfalfa can help increase platelet levels.

April 29, 2012

Red Raspberry Leaf, From of Old

Rubus idaeus

Active ingredients: volatile oils, pectin, citric acid, malic acid, tannin, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamins A, B, C & E.  It has the highest known herbal source of manganese.

Actions: Astringent, tonic, toning, pelvic & uterine relaxant.

Raspberry leaves have a long tradition of use in pregnancy to strengthen and tone the tissue of the womb, assisting contractions and preventing excessive bleeding.  Raspberry leaves also tone the mucous membranes through out the body and soothe the kidneys and urinary tract.  Raspberry works on the digestive tract to stabilize it.  It continues its good benefits after birth to aid in milk production and recovery.  The tonic and relaxant actions on the smooth muscles of the uterus act to reduce the pain of uterine contractions during childbirth and makes them more effective and productive, shortening the duration of labor.

Currently there is some controversy surrounding the use of Raspberry leaf during pregnancy, which is unfortunate since its use has been associated with pregnancy and birth since ancient times according to some writings.  The concern is early miscarriage.  For this reason, some midwives recommend use after 16 weeks gestation.  It also has been known to help with nausea during pregnancy.

Compiled by Vickie Liguori, 2006

April 27, 2012

Resurrection Sunday Centerpiece

This is a really late photo, but the girls and I created this centerpiece very frugally and look how attractive it is.  The jars are recycled from salsa and pepperoncinis.  I glued construction paper ribbons and shapes on them to remind us of the reason for our celebration.  I bought the rose, tulips and palms from Ingles for $4 and the girls picked the purple flowers out of our yard.  It doesn't take a lot of money to do something creative and beautiful, just time and ingenuity.  We gave both grandmas a tulip and some purple flowers in a vase to keep as a gift.

April 20, 2012

Oat Straw, Interesting . . .

Avena Sativa

Active Ingredients: 50% starch, proteins, alkaloids, saponins, flavones, sterols, Vitamin B, silica, calcium, magnesium, silicon, potassium & iron

Actions: Nervine tonic, anti-depressant, nutritive, demulcent, vulnery

Oats is one of the best remedies for "feeding" the nervous system.  It is useful for exhaustion and depression; it strengthens the whole nervous system, making it a preventative and protective herb to enhance the ability to cope with stress.  While being stimulating and energy-giving, they are also relaxing and an aid to sleep.  Oats are also a uterine tonic and works on strengthening the thyroid and balancing hormone production.  It can be helpful for high blood pressure, varicose veins and hemorrhoids.  It is also a soother for the digestive tract.  It lowers blood sugar and is useful for fluid retention.  It is one of the best sources for magnesium, helping irritability and calcium absorption.
Compiled by Vickie Liguori, 2006

April 16, 2012

Nettles, I'm So Glad I Found You . . .

Urtica Dioica

Active ingredients: histamine, tannin, saponins, acetylcholineformic acid, sterols, chlorophyll, glucoquinine, serotonin, iron, vitamins A, C, D and K in an absorbable form, very high in minerals including silicon.

Actions: astringent, diuretic, nutritive, detoxifier, glactagogue, decongestant, hypoglycemic & tonic.

Nettles is one of the most widely applicable plants we have. It strengthens and supports the whole body. It is one of the most powerful plants we have to deal with allergic rhinitis, or more commonly known as pollen allergy or hay fever. Studies are also showing that it has a broad range anti-inflammatory usage, so it useful with migraines, arthritis, lupus pain, etc. It is an extremely nutritive plant, high in vitamins and minerals, particularly iron, silica and potassium, and is showing broad anti-fungal effects as well. Through its diuretic effect it promotes detoxification and works to prevent bladder infections. it also strengthens the kidneys and adrenals. The readily assimilated high calcium content helps to diminish muscle pain in all areas of the body including the legs, round ligaments, and back. With its high Vitamin K content it helps prevent hemorrhages. Because it strengthens the blood vessels and maintains arterial elasticity it helps prevent hemorrhoids and varicose veins, helping to maintain a normal blood pressure also.

Compiled by Vickie Liguori, 2006

I've been drinking a tea containing nettles and the first day I noticed a significant difference in my reactions to outdoor pollen!

April 15, 2012

The Girls on Resurrection Sunday

Happy at home, before church

Standing outside G'Wanda's house after church

Just had to run around

Stopped running just long enough to assess the next move

Watching the sisters frolic