Monday, August 31, 2009

End of Summer

Today Nathan headed back to work. As you can imagine I get ridiculously spoiled every summer with him at home. The morning started with the famous "Where's Daddy?" questions and my answer and then repeated explanations of why Daddy had to go back to work. This was all followed with confusion when Nate came home for lunch. Layla just looked at him and asked "Why is Daddy home?" More explaining occurred and I encouraged her and Julius to be excited that Daddy would be having lunch with us everyday this week until students returned to school next Tuesday. Kids are so funny.

At the breakfast table we started talking about what we were thankful for this summer. Layla enjoyed her time playing in the kiddie pools and sprinklers. She also enjoyed the strawberry, cherry and blueberry picking we did this summer. Julius also expressed he liked the same things. Layla said she enjoyed visiting with family and friends, and she really liked the parks we played at. I reminded them of all the fun we had camping a few weeks ago with grandma and grandpa. The kids also both said they loved having Daddy home for the summer. I agree!

Every fall I adjust back to parenting most of the day on my own. The luxury of handing the baby off while I shower or prepare a meal is gone. Today it was back to sticking Gunnar in my baby k'tan and fixing lunch. I was at least wise enough this time around to shower the night before and lay my clothes out. That definitely was a life saver today! So, thank you Nate for all your help this summer. I am missing it already. Thank goodness you are home by 4:00 most days!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tomatoes, Zucchini and Summer Squash, Oh My!

If your like me, at this time of the year you are blessed with an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash. We recently were recently given a nice bag full from Nate's grandfather. If your looking for a simple dish to use up your bounty of summer vegetables, here's an easy one.

Juicy Chicken and Summer Vegetables

Chicken (your choice, but we used legs)
Summer Squash
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil (or oil of your choice)

In a skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken on all sides until golden. Place chicken in a baking dish. Chop up tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash and place in bowl. Add several whole garlic cloves. Toss with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables around chicken in baking dish. Squeeze lemon juice all over chicken and vegetables. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees, or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Goodbye Tree

Yesterday we had a very large tree in our side yard cut down. It was a huge maple tree that had become somewhat of a feasting place for carpenter ants. The tree was still pretty stable, but our neighbors next door had become very concerned with the tree, worrying that it would fall on their house. Our neighbors have always been very good to us and we did not want to let a tree come between our neighborly relationship, so we bit the bullet and had it cut down. Thankfully, Nate has an extended relative in the tree trimming business (I knew Nate was a great catch from the start, but these helpful and money-saving connections just reconfirm things for me!).

It was a wonderful tree that shaded our house through the hot summers and gave us an abundance of golden leaves to rake and jump into in the autumn season. It also provided some privacy to our second story windows. All in all, the tree will be missed.

But, to look at things more optimistically, the tree will continue to bless others. Friends and family are taking the wood for fire pits and wood burning stoves. I'm thankful that we can bless others this way. My husband was saying that the increased sun exposure may help the house feel a little warmer through the winter. That's always a good thing for us Michiganders! I'm not even that worried about a shortage of fall leaves for the kids to play in, as we still have several trees on our lot and our yard amazingly seems to suck in all the leaves from the entire block each October.

So, good tree. Thank you for your shade. Thank you for your beautiful autumn leaves. We are missing you already, as our side yard seem awkwardly bare and open. I think our house looked better with you next to it. Goodbye tree. May you keep our friends and family warm and cozy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Abnormal pap smears, biopsies and other fun stuff

Yeah, I know, great title. I apologize in advance to any men reading this, but one of the benefits of blogging is to share information that is helpful to others. In this case it is more helpful for the ladies (but guys don't hesitate because it may benefit the lovely ladies in your life).

Some of my closest friends and family know that I have struggled with abnormal pap smears since I was 25 years old. Today I had a biopsy of two small areas of my cervix and will be getting the results in a few weeks. I appreciate the prayers of everyone, but that is not the reason for this blog post.

As I do with most anything these days, I came home from the doctor's office to do a little research. I know many doctors cringe when they hear their patients are "researching" online, but hey, this is one of the things that I love about the Internet! In relation to medical issues, my favorite things to research are causes, treatment options and most importantly natural remedies. I love to see how food, diet, lifestyle and supplements can impact areas that doctors routinely treat with medical methods.

One of the tidbits that I saw was that 67% of women with abnormal pap smears were nutritionally deficient. With the ever growing food and nutrition problems we have in our culture, this was not a shocker. But this did motivate me to want more information on the foods, vitamins and minerals that could impact my situation. My hubby, Nate was so kind to do all sorts of research today to find more information on natural treatments, supplements and food lists that are sorted by vitamin and mineral content (thanks, babe:).

Nate found one study that was particularly interesting. Dr. Tori Hudson of Portland, Oregon conducted a study of 43 women with varying types of cervical abnormalities, including 10 with cancer. They led the women through a 6 week course of vitamin and mineral supplementation. In the end, 38 of the 43 women had completely normal pap smears, 3 had partial improvement and 2 stayed the same. Pretty impressive!

Gary Null, author of The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, stated that women who have low levels of vitamin C are seven times more likely to develop cervical cancer than women with adequate levels of vitamin C.

So needless to say, I am compelled to make some more dietary changes in my life! Those who know us too well know that we have had our fair share of dietary changes in the past few years, but I'll save that for another post. I will also be considering the advice and recommendations of my doctor as well(don't worry;). I just figure if some of these changes will impact my future health for the better, then it is all worth the fuss!

Stay tuned for future post on the vitamin and mineral regiment from the above study and lots of yummy info on the world's healthiest food!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Christian Motherhood

Recently I have been reading and enjoying a series on Christian Motherhood at one of my favorite blogs. It has been very convicting and helpful to me. Some of her writings were the inspiration for the title of my blog. If this is an area that interests you, I encourage you to head on over to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and give

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A new journey

Well, I don't exactly know what pushed me to finally create my own blog, but here it is. I have to admit I am quite nervous. It might have to do with the fact that I have been a blog reader for the past year, but never a blogger myself. I have technically always been in the "lurking" category. In the bloggy world that means you read other people's blogs but you never comment on their blogs and you do not blog yourself. I don't know if I will be commenting much on my favorite blogs, but I am at least taking the blogging challenge. For you few lone family members and friends who may actually read this from time to time, I hope you enjoy! Now the challenge will be what to post next!