Thursday, June 28, 2012

Baby's HALF Birthday!

Today baby Jeremiah is 6 months old!!!
Trying to photograph a moving target...
Click any picture to enlarge it.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back to "the old diet"

I think it has been 10 weeks since I radically changed my diet by cutting out: caffeine, sodas, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and then grains and dairy.

In that time I lost 20 pounds from sheer self-control and determination. Then I got sick and lost another 8 or so pounds. I am down 28 pounds!

So - now what? Well, I have reintroduced grains and dairy... and sugar in moderation.

The Primary reason that I reintroduced grains and dairy was/is because I cannot afford the diet of 50-75% fruits/veggies that I was on before!!! We tried it. I worked hard to try to make it work. But, in the end - wheat, oats, and corn MUST be a cheap staple in my home!!! So, we have gone back to our meatless diet of rice, beans, potatoes, lentils, breads, etc. And, I am okay with that! in fact, since the grocery bill dropped so much I am elated with this  change!

I enjoyed my organic juices. I just cannot afford organic fruit on a regular basis. I can't really afford to do the juicing either. When we started this diet we kept saying "this is just for mommy," or "mommy needs her juice." But, what mommy in her right mind can deny healthy food when her kids ask for it?! So, I just don't do the juicing anymore. (And, my brand new juicer broke. Hence my removal of the affiliate link. I withdraw my endorsement until I know that the company will stand by their product and fix it or return our money.)

I like rice and beans... maybe not so much as my "morning juice." But, I like it. And, I like lentils. They are good. And, my garden will be producing soon... we have gotten a few zucchinis. And, the tomatoes should turn eventually. So, I am not complaining. This post is about informing, not complaining.

This is the right course of action. The General of the House let me try the new diet for as long as he could without going bankrupt to buy organic veggies. 

This is not a big deal... just a little information for anyone who might care.

And, because NYLass asked, here is a recent picture of me - after 28 pounds lost!
I have lost 14% of my total body weight! That sounds more impressive than "28 pounds," doesn't it?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blackberry Bonanza

Paul saw a deer at the edge of our yard browsing. By the time I was in place with the camera the deer was gone. Then, I saw what she (the deer) was eating! Blackberries!

Hooray, what a lovely surprise! I thought those three-leaved vines were just more poison ivy.

There are still  many berries to be picked in the coming days!

I plan to make a cobbler tonight. What is your favorite way to prepare blackberries? Jam? Raw? Pancakes?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I think I am well

Thank you for all of your prayers!

I think I am finally well!

I am eating real foods again!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Focus for 2012-2013 School Year

Before I could plan for the new year I needed to get my focus. The following represents the areas that I feel that we need to hit the hardest in the coming school year. (In MO, we track hours from July 1st - June 30th).

Rebecca (entering 5th grade):
* math
* spelling
begin Latin

Nelson (entering 3rd grade):
* math
* reading/spelling
begin cursive

Lydia (entering 2nd grade):
* reading
* penmanship
* math
begin cursive

Joshua (Kindergarten):
* reading
* writing
* math

We will still do science and history, but we will not emphasize those subjects any more than usual. The * sign means this is an area of great focus next year. Each child will be working on character traits that they helped to identify as lacking. I will not embarrass the children by sharing those areas. What is your focus for next year?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Unusual update

I am still a sick lady. (Though I am some better) But, we have had some news that (sort of) puts our minds at ease.

There was NO bacteria in my stool sample OR white blood cells that would indicate any kind of bacterial infection!

First of all - relief - I am SO glad that I did not take the antibiotic that would have forced me to quit nursing the baby for three days (at least) while I was waiting for these results. And, I am more relieved than words can say that this is not c. diff which can become life-threatening. And, I am so glad that this is not a food-born illness that would have made the health department investigate all of my friends at the farmer's market.

Secondly - this is a little disconcerting. There does not seem to be any medical reason for my sickness.

So - I am inclined to think that this physiological issue is a spiritual attack. I could be wrong. And, I will keep working with both of my doctors! I have a phone consult at 1:30 with my naturopath.

I will also be seeking out prayer from everyone I know.

I was able to eat a total of three pieces of toast yesterday! And, this morning I ate oatmeal. Let me tell you, after three days of eating almost nothing - oatmeal actually tastes good!

Baby Jeremiah is (understandably) not himself. He is whimpering and spitting up (vomiting?). BUT, it could be worse!!! I could be on antibiotics!!!

Thanks for all of your prayers. I will keep you posted. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Update on my health

Starting in late May I had terrible, terrible abdominal pains. I thought maybe it was a feminine issue and I wrote it off. After a short time I began having diarrhea with my abdominal pain. I thought this was some kind of virus and I did not worry too much. But, each day the symptoms worsened. And, each day the amount of time I spent in the bathroom lengthened. A few nights ago the pain was at its worst. I was literally on the toilet for hours. Paul was scared that I was having some kind of problem with my internal organs. All of my symptoms (I did not write them all here) fitted perfectly with appendicitis. So, that night Paul took me to ER.

In the ER I was put through a CT scan, which happens to be the best diagnostic tool for abdominal issues. They also did a stool sample. The CT looked fantastic! Nothing at all is wrong with my appendix, liver, spleen, kidneys, or colon. We were able to rule out MANY life-threatening issues!

They now assume that the problem is intestinal bacteria. It takes 3 days to get the culture. I should hear results of what bacteria we are dealing with tomorrow.

The doctor in ER wanted me to take 2 different antibiotics. I took the scripts home and refused to receive a dose at the time. I spoke to both my naturopath and my primary care physician (as well as the pharmacist!) and neither wants me to take the meds while breastfeeding. (One of them is contraindicated while breastfeeding.) My naturopath recommended some homeopathic remedies for the diarrhea as well as the bacteria. My primary care physician is not opposed to me trying this method first.

I am not being foolhardy. I will not risk my health further. I feel confident that between the care of these two physicians I will be well soon.

TODAY, I have been drinking a special "tea" of marshmallow root and slippery elm bark at meal times. And, I am drinking juices between meals. I really do feel stronger than I did when I woke up this morning! I am retaining most of my liquid food. Just so you know, I am drinking more veggies than fruits, so I am not expecting any kind of sugar spiking or anything like that. And, since someone in a comment on the previous post brought it up - I am not diabetic. My doctors are both aware of my recent dietary changes and they applaud them. This sickness is not related to juicing... unless I somehow picked up a bacteria from my produce. We just don't know where I picked up this "bug."

I tried toast an hour ago and I am not cramping... so I might be able to slowly introduce soft, light foods!

I would appreciate if you keep praying for me. I am still not moving around much. I will keep you posted on my convalescence. Thank you for your prayers!

Standing in the Need of Prayer

Friends, I am very sick. I have been to the doctor (ER, actually) and we have ruled out appendicitis, gall bladder troubles and about every other abdominal organ. It appears as though I have a bacterial infection (or a parasite) in my "gut." I am working with my naturopath to try some homeopathic remedies.

Please, please pray for me and my family. I am strong enough to sit and type. But, I cannot do ANY work. (I can barely stay out of the bathroom.)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Homeschool Astronomy in action

This past Tuesday was the last Transit of Venus across the sun until the year 2117. 
Our family viewed this amazing event from the roof of Laws Observatiory on the Mizzou Campus. 
This is our idea of homeschooling! 
The college had telescopes and binoculars (with protective lenses) and special solar viewing glasses available on the roof to view the transit. 
The first two pictures (taken with my cell phone) are of Nelson and Rebecca looking through the telescope. 
The bottom picture is our family (minus the photographer - me). 
While talking to one of the workers/volunteers we learned that every Wednesday night they have stargazing "parties" on the roof! 
We will definitely be going to a few of those this summer!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Know Your "Weeds"

I found this neat online book with pictures of broadleaved "weeds." I like it for it's pictures and written descriptions. (I am guessing the book is written for soy farmers who want to kill all such weeds...)

Like most people, I grew up pulling all weeds... so I don't actually know their names and uses.

These days - We like most weeds around our house (so long as they are not poisonous and/or killing our fruit trees). We are learning more every year how to use these "weeds."

I recommend books about companion planting for ideas of how to incorporate "weeds" into your yard/garden.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Taken by Bethany.

I saw the sun shining through the pods of these peas and I ran to get the camera. I shot this with our decent-but-not-great camera. (I have given up hope that we will ever find the missing camera charger.) Thankfully, this camera does good outdoor pictures.

I like how it turned out.

Does anyone know how other bloggers put their name on their photos? I would love to be able to see a pretty Covered By His Hand inscription (or something like that) on our blog pictures.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A thought about my little Lydia

I have very few readers... but those I do have, have been here for years. So, you already know that "once upon a time" (in 2007, 2008) our Lydia was very sick. She was tiny, failure to thrive, sleeping all the time, etc. We honestly thought we were going to lose her.

We took her to doctor after doctor... she even saw an oncologist.

In May of 2008 she was miraculously healed. Overnight. I praise God for that miracle daily! (See May 3, 2008 here. See May 17, 2008 here.)

Up to this point, I have been blaming her sickness/lack of growth on vaccinations. And, that remains a decent theory - because she went from 95% to <5% within months of a set of booster shots. But, I have a new theory.

We had her tested for Celiacs disease (gluten intolerance) many years ago. That test was negative. But, we never had her tested for milk allergy. I weaned her completely off of mommy milk at about the same time that she started losing weight. AND, these past few weeks (as I was cutting out milk and stopped buying it!) she has been stronger. Lydia has been able to get up earlier in the morning and not take naps most days. And, on days when we do indulge in dairy she gets gassy and seems lethargic that night or the next day.

Tomorrow I will be calling our family doctor, a D.O. I plan to *kindly* demand food allergy testing. I think I was selfish before. I did not want to test her for food allergies because I knew that it would dramatically change our family's diet/lifestyle. But, I am ready now. We can face this together.

Please pray for us as I attempt to get Lydia an appointment very soon. And, please pray that the doc will run the right tests to determine some answers.
Added 3-1-2013: We have recently gone gluten free and the whole family (especially Lydia) have experienced dramatic results. The blood tests for gluten intolerance have proved to be inaccurate for both Lydia and myself.

June 5 - Transit of Venus

Great homeschool project! Tomorrow will be the last Transit of Venus in front of the sun until the year 2117!

Our family will be viewing it through a hole in a piece of paper "projected" onto another piece of paper (just like we did with the recent eclipse!).

Happy Homeschooling!

Breakfast Smoothie

I just love the farmer's market! Where else (besides your own yard) can you get fresh fruit without pesticides and icky stuff? I felt very good about paying a somewhat astronomical amount of money for blueberries this past weekend! The money went to a family I actually know in real life! I know exactly how the berries were grown. And, I have been on their "farm" and seen their bushes. Yeah, I feel good about these berries!

Here is my morning concoction:

Makes about 5 cups
2 apples (I used one fuji, one golden delicious) 
1 orange (I used a Valencia) 
3 frozen bananas 
1 cup fresh blueberries chilled
1-2 cups fresh strawberries chilled

1) I juiced the apples and orange 
2) I poured the juice into my blender.
3) I put the fresh berries and the frozen bananas into the blender with the juice.
4) I blended until the drink was as smooth as desired. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Apple - by Rebecca

Posted by Rebecca

I used Grandma's camera to take this photo. 
My camera charger is still missing.