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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My right hand little lady...

Maddie's face says very well how the first few months of
life went with the twins.
I have said it once and I will probably continue to say it for the rest of her life, I have no idea how I would do twins without Maddie!  I am so thankful God sent me Maddie before he sent me twins! Naomi is potty trained in part because Maddie took her to the bathroom half the time. Today the twins had their three year old check ups. While I went with Titus to get his eyes checked, Maddie went with Naomi to get her hearing checked. Then we switched, I stayed with Titus for his hearing checked and Maddie went with Naomi to get her eyes checked. Naomi happily followed Maddie and let her help her.  She often helps Naomi get dressed and shoes put on while I'm helping Titus with his.

Big sister hold Titus for the first time.
Maddie is a leader in among our kiddo's, although interestingly enough, she is not a leader by nature. It is interesting to watch the dynamics in my children's birth order. Although Maddie is not a natural leader, God has put her in a position in which she leads everyday. The twins watch Maddie's actions and words like a hawk. Maddie imitates Mark and I, the twins imitate Maddie. It's an interesting umbrella affect. Naomi, is my leader, yet God has placed her in the middle were without knowing it she is learning to be a follower. Daily she is learning to follow, listen, and take orders from her older sister. Titus is a leader simply because people enjoy being around him. He's smiley and bubbly, he's genuinely concerned for others, he is empathetic, and funny. Titus is a hard work content to work along side those he's working with, he's quick to complement but is also tender when he corrects someone. Titus tries to befriend everyone. Titus is the kind of guy you want on your time.

Sweet rewards of being the big sister!
But, back to Maddie, I am thankful that God put her in the role in our house that he has. With great responsibility comes great reward. We are working with Maddie with something called initiative. In our house our kids do not get an allowance. We do not think we should pay our kids for something that needs to be done simply to live and be a part of a family. However, we will pay and reward initiative. We have explained to our kids that initiative is "seeing something that needs to be done and doing it without being told or expecting a reward". But, when I see Maddie helping Naomi or Titus without being told, dusting when she notices it needs to be done, picking up toys without being asked. Going above and beyond is a life skill, a skill that will set Maddie apart when she goes into the work place and begins to work for a living.

3 years old, Maddie was already
occupying the twins for me!
I am in awe of the young lady Maddie is becoming. She is tender hearted, often gives up her own way for the benefit of another, she often shows initiative, she loves God and is learning more and more how to have a relationship with Jesus her Savior.

Thank you Maddie for making this mommies job so much easier! I love you so much!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jumping up and down...

I have a picture in my head of Titus jumping up and down because he hears the garage door open and he knows that means daddy is home! Titus is seriously bummed when he sees Mark get his brief case because he knows he's not going to get to play with daddy all day long. Titus is pretty sure Mark hung the moon!

When I go to die, I pray that I am jumping up and down because I know I am going home to my heavenly father. I want to know that as I am leaving my earthly body the "garage door" is opening and I will soon see Jesus my savior who will bring me to the throne of my Abba Father, the creator of all things.

I want to long for my heavenly Father as Titus waits for his daddy!


There is one theme God has shown throughout my life, the theme is faithful. My God is faithful God, he is a God who cares about the big stuff in my life, but he also cares deeply about the little things in my life. How do I know? Because, I cry out to Him, and he hears me, he not only hears me, he either carries me through the stuff or he takes it away. Sometimes he requires me to go through it, such as cleaning my house. This morning I looked around my house and you would have thought a tornado came through and dropped things where ever it wanted to. My kiddo's are sick and I know the best things for them are not found on the shelves of wal-mart, which means I need to spend time in my kitchen. I also knew that laundry had piled up and needed to be delt with. load had gotten to heavy and I could not carry it. So I did what any self respecting overwhelmed woman would do. I sat myself down and had a good ole cry! Crying does something amazing that nothing else releases. I can sit down, have a good cry, dry my eyes, go to the throne of God, and come out ready with a plan. After a good cry and a good chat with my Lord and Savior life usually looks amazing after that.

So I started with the bedrooms, then found myself in my office, laundry had gotten started, the stove had been turned on and my concoctions were brewing. I was also blessed with my hubby and kids pitching in to help me.  God was faithful to pull me through today, he didn't make the laundry disappear, I still needed to do the work, but God changed my heart attitude, and little by little, the work has been chipped away.

God is faithful to bring me through it! One by one the do to list gets smaller and smaller. So thankful God cares about overwhelmed mommies like me! Praise be to the Lord!

Elder Berry Syrup and Chicken broth our multivitamin!

Allergy season has kicked in at our house. Our kids have everything from runny noses, sore throats, and itchy eyes. Maddie's eyes are swollen and puffy and Titus is already sounding pre-pneumonia. I should know by know to start all my remedies a week early so I actually have them on hand as start them even before allergy season. Lesson learned, I'll start preparing a head next year.

There are three basic go to remedies I try to keep stocked. The first is raw local honey, I am thankful that our natural store just down the road carries delicious local honey! The second is chicken broth, I will start using this in almost everything! I will make sure to have either warm broth to drink at meals, make rice with the chicken broth, or soups. This is a sure way to get nutrients into my families bodies. The third remedy is elderberry syrup. I learned of this syrup from a friend of mine who had made it for her family. All three of my kids, as well as my husband and I suffer from weak immune systems. You can used dried or fresh elderberries, either work fine. I will post recipes for all three of my go to remedies.

Elderberry syrup:
Elderberry Syrup Recipe- 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried organic Elderberries (harvest blue or black, avoid poisonous reds)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup raw local honey
- 1 organic Cinnamon stick, 3 organic Cloves, and organic Ginger, (optional)
Place berries, water, and spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Smash the berries to release remaining juice and strain the mixture. Allow liquid to cool and stir in honey. Will last for 2-3 months stored in the fridge.

Chicken broth:
Chicken bones 
     I save the bones from the chickens I"ve roasted or grilled, once I have two or three whole carcasses I            start my broth)

     Carrots, celery, broccoli stems, onions. I often save the ends and scrapes of my raw veggies. It may not      look like much at first but by the time you go to make broth it will have added up. 

     Marjoram, sage, and oregano are all herbs that aide in helping sinuses. Dried or fresh work fine.

I can usually get two to three gallons of chicken broth from two to three chicken carcasses. 

To make broth:
Dump chicken bones, veggies, and herbs in a stock pot or the biggest pot you have. Add water. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Let set for an hourish. This will aide in breaking down the bones and getting the most nutrition our of them. After an hourish bring water to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover, and let simmer anywhere between 12 to 48 hours depending on what you have time for.

Local Raw Honey: 
This really is worth checking in your area to find a local source. It tastes ten times better than the store stuff and does wonders for allergy sufferers!

One more thing that helps my families sinuses is warm tea with honey, it soothes the throat, soothes the nasal passages, and tastes yummy. Given right before bed the honey helps with calming coughing attacks.

I pray this remedies bring relief to your allergy sufferers! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Legacy...

My life is different because of a young man, named Larry Wardrup,while in high school he had the guts to ask my mom out for coffee. As they were talking over coffee this young man presented the gospel to my mom, and she accepted Jesus into her heart and life.

I have always wanted to find this man and thank him in person. I have searched the internet, but have always walked away with no way to contact him. You see what Larry did not know was the deeply troubled home my mom came from. My mom grew up in a very abusive family, a family ran by fear and torment. When Larry shared the gospel with my mom he introduced her to the savior who would be the one to be able to bind and heal her wounds.

I have memories of my mom sitting on her bed reading her bible and getting to know her Jesus deeper. I have seen Jesus carry my mom through some of her darkest days walking this earth.  My mom is the one who helped me to ask Jesus into my heart. I have had the privilege of teaching and showing Jesus to my kiddo's, all three of my kids have asked Jesus into their hearts and lives.

What Larry gave my mom was a generational gift. It would be a gift that would be received by generations down the road. My life, my kid's lives are different because Larry shared the hope of Jesus Christ with my mom.

Larry Wardrup, where ever you are, thank you! Thank you for sharing Jesus with my family!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I use to want to...

Loving life for me looks like watching
my husband spending time with our kiddos!
I use to look at other people's lives and wonder why my life wasn't as fun filled as theirs. Wondered why I didn't have the awesome camper, the amazing diamond ring, or a thrilling adventurous life. I kept hearing my friends say how much they loved their lives and they truly meant it, they really did love their life. I would start crying, because I didn't love my life and I wanted to.

It occurred to me that if I was desiring something, if I wanted something, or if there was something missing in my life, then I needed to take these desires and wants to the Lord. I needed to align myself with Christ and get my attitude right.

Seeing sheer joy on Naomi's face...
is part of my loving life!
I went before the Lord and poured my heart out to him. I started with a pity party telling the Lord I see others have this, that, and the other thing. I then asked for forgiveness for having the pity party and then I could get to the heart of the matter. I told the Lord what I was really wanting was to love my life. I prayed continually for God to bring a love of life back into my life. 

As always, God hears, God cares, and God answered! First, God started with having me do a self evaluation. Why was I not loving life and was I responsible for the fact that I wasn't loving life. The answer was yes I was the one responsible for not loving my life. 

Loving life first begins with loving Jesus the savior and God the father. Real joy, lasting joy, can only come when one is abiding in Christ. Apart from Christ, apart from the vine (John 15:5) we can do nothing. Which means I cannot love life either. If I am not abiding in Christ then everything I am doing, every relationship I have is only meant to give me instant gratification, which will wear off after time. Some times with in minutes. My love of life first has to stem from a love of the father! The start of loving life was reconnecting to my "vine" and reconnecting to my savior. Allowing my savior to fill my cup to overflowing. The second thing was to being to pray for the Lord to bring into my life that which would bring me closer to him, but also fill my want of loving life.

My love of life also began by pouring out into others, spending time with friends. Having heart to heart conversations, mentoring young moms, and mentoring others. It has also looked like walking/running to get my body back into shape to have energy. This too has opened opportunities to go for walks with friends and again opening up time for conversation and time to deepen relationship with my friends. Loving life looks like holding my husbands hand and watching my kids ride their bike. Loving life looks like having great food, great friends, and great beer. Loving life looks like praying to either get back into horses or for the Lord to bring in a new passion. Loving life looks like me humbling myself and constant asking For more of Him and less of me. I seriously repeat this pretty much all day, every day. It's all I want in this world is to have more of God in me and less of myself.

watching Titus catch a fish for the first time
was a moment of loving life!
Loving life is a two fold process, it's asking God to open your eyes to the things your having pity parties about and then repenting of them. But, it's also looking around and seeing the things that already allow me to love my life. It's practicing thankfulness and gratitude.  Changing our perspective so that it radiates Christ back to us, allowing us to love life. 

If you don't know were to start, go to God the father and ask him. He is so faithful to his children! He loves us so much and he wants us to find joy abundantly. But, joy and a love of life will only ever come from Christ alone, from more of God and less of me!