Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We're Back (& Busy)

This past weekend we traveled 7 hours away for a family wedding. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip as we drove up Saturday for the Sunday afternoon wedding. We decided not to use our hotel room for the 2nd night and left after the reception on Sunday to arrive at home just before 3 a.m. Wow did my bed ever feel good after that! Ellie did not sleep the whole way home as we had hoped, so I sat in the back seat to entertain her for part of the way. Thankfully we all slept in the next morning and spent the day unpacking and recovering. We were able to visit with some of my extended family at the wedding (aunts, uncles, cousins, grand parents), some of whom I had not seen in a very long time (6 years!). It was a bit of a mini reunion, which was really nice.

Ellie's 2nd birthday is coming up quickly, so I am trying to get a few things together for that. I tried my hand at fondant for the first time, and I'll say right way that I'm not its biggest fan...I'm doing a really simple cake with butter cream icing and fondant flowers. Cake decorating takes a kind of creativity and patience that does not come natural to me. I'd much rather cook than bake. I'm trying to do as much ahead of time as possible to get ready for the birthday, but it is still taking WAY longer than I thought it would.

These are busy days for us, so blogging is sparse. It's all I can do to keep the house somewhat orderly. I think it's safe to say I've been feeling a little stressed lately thinking about all the things I would LIKE to get done before baby arrives in January. Yes, I know it's still 4 1/2 months away, but with my long project list I'll be lucky if I get half the things done I hope to. I'll probably post my list here one of these days when I need to clear my mind. It doesn't help that for some odd reason my nausea is back and so is the extreme pregnancy-related tiredness that left for awhile but has now returned. Oh well...it will all be worth it. I can hardly wait for this baby to come!

Oh and as for what we're eating this week in case anyone really cares, which you probably don't :-)...I am taking advantage of some freezer meals I had on hand, so we've already had chicken enchiladas and lazy cabbage rolls from the freezer. The rest of the week I plan on only having to make spaghetti and meat sauce (and freezing the leftovers of course!) and pizza.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ultrasound, Menu Plan, Etc.

First, a few tidbits for you:

*I had my ultrasound today, and we got an idea of whether we are having a boy or girl! Right now we don't plan on sharing the news with anyone unless we let it slip out by accident.

*Ellie was really cute at the ultrasound and was really excited to see "picture of baby!"

*We had a bit of potty training success earlier today, but as the day wore on we had a few more accidents.

*Oddly, my nausea has worsened quite a bit this week...even to the point of gagging! What's with that??

*8 Years ago today marked the start of me and my husband's blossoming romance as we had "the talk" at a camp staff party

*I don't remember meeting my husband before I met him at camp when I was 16. However, when he was a little boy, he came to my parents' farm with his dad for some farm-related business. My Dad gave him one of our farm pens with our/my phone number on it. When we started dating, he still had the pen!

*I need to experiment with making fondant (perhaps tonight) and hope to have Ellie's 2nd birthday cake pretty much ready by early next week. I'm baking the cake and freezing it. I'm making the fondant and buttercream ahead of time Then, I hope to only have to put the whole thing together a day or two before the party.

*I don't really know how I'm decorating the cake. I'm thinking of a flower theme right now.

*Hubs has been working extremely hard to get our doors and closet doors sanded and painted. I think after tonight, he will be totally done the sanding and painting!

*The next few weeks are going to be insanely busy with birthday parties & weddings galore.

*It's a clean-my-fridge-out kind of week. I need to use up whipping cream, peppers, and mushrooms. Here's what we had/are having this week:

Monday - Leftovers

Tuesday - Chicken Fingers (I tolerated one and then had leftover chili in the freezer), Tater Tots, Salad, and Carrot Sticks

Wednesday - Stuffed Peppers, Baked Potatoes, Roasted Veggies

Thursday - Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo, Veggies
Friday - Homemade Pizza

Saturday - Leftovers & Going Out to Eat

Monday, August 22, 2011

Good News Today!

This afternoon I got some fantastic news. I got on with a midwife! Turns out our area just got a new midwife so now we have 2 working in our area instead of just 1. This put a serious spring in my step today! :-)

When I was pregnant with Ellie, I wanted to see a midwife rather than a family doctor or specialist. At the time, however, the midwife who had come from the UK and was living in our area was not licensed yet for Canada so there was absolutely no way to see a midwife then. I knew I wanted to get on with the midwife this time around, so the day I found out I was pregnant I phoned the clinic only to find out that the midwife was already booked up for January 2012! I was very disappointed but have kept praying and trusting that the Lord knows best. You can imagine how excited I was today when I received the call that I could get on with the midwife program now that they have another midwife! I'm not sure which one I'll be seeing yet but am excited for my first appointment (more or less just an information session). From what I understand, if all goes well with that and I'm a good candidate for the program, I'll be able to start seeing the midwife for my pregnancy and delivery.

Also, I'm having my ultrasound VERY soon and we are SO excited to find out whether we are having a boy or girl. We plan on keeping it a secret from everyone, though, so I don't plan on sharing the news here until the little one arrives.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Links I'm Lovin'

Here are some things I'm really loving right now, and thanks to Pinterest I can quickly bookmark and categorize neat things I find on the internet. This is saving me loads of time as before I'd copy the link and put in in my blog somewhere or on a word document where it would take me forever to find it again. I'm planning on putting a link to my Pinterest boards soon; I just haven't had the time yet.

Oh yeah, none of these are affiliate links or anything like that just so ya know. They are just things I'm digging lately and wanted to share.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars

-Oh yum! Definitely want to try these SOON. And I wonder why I've already gained 20 pounds this pregnancy...:-S

Charlotte Mason Scripture Memorization System (with FREE printable index cards!)
-I've been wanting to work more on Bible memorization. I recently started teaching Ellie Ephesians 6:1 using words and actions and she pretty much has it memorized already. I think this system will be perfect for our family as it's easy and systematic!

Scripture Lullabies - Hidden in My Heart
-I'm looking for more good music to fill our home. I stumbled across this one day, heard their samples, and already ordered myself a copy. Ellie is big into music and still listens to it while going to sleep. This cd is very relaxing and soothing and I love that all the songs are scripture based.

Free Homeschool Printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler
-She's got tons of great free printables!

Free Printables for Encouraging Children to listen in church
-I printed off a few of the sheets for younger children (the link at the bottom of article), but Ellie is a little too little to understand the concept yet. I really like this idea and we are STRUGGLING to teach her to be quiet and sit still in church. I am trying to do "practice church" at home a few times a week, but real church is another story. However, as she gets older, I'd like to try these.

Modest Undershirts
-Love the idea of these and hope to order some soon to try. Most of my tanks to go under my lower shirts are still pretty loose, but these are supposed to be fitted to fix the problem of gaping when bending over.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Looks like I'm feeling adventurous this week. Indian one night, Mexican another night, and tons of new recipes. For some reason, these recipes just caught my attention, and I am craving some delicious food, so I'm trying a few new things this week if it all works out. My husband absolutely loves chicken curry and naan bread, so I'm trying out a new recipe to see if it comes close to his favourite restaurant dish.

Leftover roast beef, garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted veggies

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry (NEW) with Rice, Homemade Naan Bread (NEW) Veggies


Steak Fajitas (NEW), Corn on the Cob

Company Meatloaf (trying another new one), Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes (NEW), Tossed Salad


Something Simple (maybe homemade mac n' cheese or this cauliflower soup)

*For more great meal ideas visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by orgjunkie.com*

Friday, August 12, 2011

Because I Want the World to Know...

just. how. much. I. love. him.

Celebrating 6 years of of wedded bliss,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Feelings about My C-Section & Trusting the Lord

Sometimes I have no idea how to start writing a blog post. This is one of them. Anyway... almost 2 years ago I had an emergency C-section with Ellie, and let me tell you, I was SO not prepared for that. We went to prenatal classes to learn all about labour techniques and all the basics about birth, and when the part came to learn about C-sections, I totally tuned out. I NEVER thought I would have a C-section. The possibility didn't even cross my mind. Of course, I should have realized that it was a possibility, but for some reason I was absolutely convinced that I would not have to have one. I suppose then it shouldn't come as a shock to me when I feel a very strange sense of disappointment and even a tiny bit of anger when it comes to thinking about having a C-section. I know, I know... I should just be thankful everything turned out okay, and I am. Believe me, I am very thankful mama and baby ended up being all right. And I completely understand that had I not had a C-section, things could have possibly turned out much worse. I also understand that my C-section may have been unnecessary. Then again, it may have been completely necessary, and had I been living in a time when medicine was not as advanced, perhaps mama and/or baby would not have been all right. In hindsight I wish I would have asked a few more questions before agreeing to the C-section. I wish I would have stuck it out a bit more rather than getting an epidural when things weren't progressing during active labour. Yes, all the could have's, should have's, wish-I-would-have's, and might-have-been's. I will never know what would have happened otherwise, and I probably do not want to know. What I'm trying to say is when things don't turn out according to our expectations, we shouldn't be surprised to feel some disappointment. Part of me feels guilty and selfish for feeling disappointed when everything turned out okay in the end (other than the implications a c-section has on future pregnancies and births), but the other part of me feels like it's really quite normal given my unmet expectations. I should have not been so caught up in my expectations while pregnant because it set me up for feelings of disappointment. Of course having a c-section is not the end of the world, but this does not negate my feelings about the experience and the implications for future pregnancies and births. I hope I don't sound bitter or ungrateful. I truly am grateful for the miracle our little Ellie is. And in the end...whether a person has C-sections, natural labours, homebirths, etc. don't really matter if we are seeking the Lord in our decisions. I mean...look at our precious baby!

Do you want to know the biggest reason I am disappointed in having a c-section? It's because the number of biological children we can have might now be limited. The general consensus among most doctors is a maximum of 3 c-sections, although you might come across a doctor here or there who will say it totally depends on the person. As I was going through my discharge papers with the nurse before we left the hospital with our newborn, I asked, "Does this mean I have to always have c-sections from now on?" The answer I got was a sympathetic "yes, probably" from a nurse who had to have c-sections herself.

Before my husband and I got married, we discussed the common question, "How many children would you like to have?" Neither of us really had a concrete answer. We still don't have a concrete answer. We don't know. Maybe we would only have 3 even without having to have c-sections. Then again, maybe we'd have 4 or 5 or even more. We're trying to seek God as to how many children He would like us to have. The fact that having another c-section pretty much guarantees a maximum of 3 is what is disappointing for me.

Now here is where a lot of you might really think I've got issues...and I do (have issues, I mean. But really, who doesn't?) These days most people choose to have only 2 or 3 kids even though they could easily have more. As long as they are seeking the Lord's will, following Him, and do not have selfish motives, this is fine in my opinion. Nowhere in the Bible does it say we have to have a certain number of children. I realize that many fellow believers disagree with all forms of natural family planning and instead choose to trust the Lord's sovereignty over the womb, meaning taking no action to prevent pregnancy. I respect their convictions but do not necessarily believe it is sinful or showing a lack of faith to practice some forms of natural family planning. My husband and I personally believe we should seek the Lord's direction as to how many children He would like us to have, but we do not believe this means all forms of child planning are banned. I disagree with most forms of birth control, but I'm not going to get into that right now. The key is to ask ourselves if we are deciding this based on our own selfish desires or because we believe it's the Lord's will. Nowadays, many people view children as an inconvenience instead of a blessing. Now I'm going off on a tangent. Anyway, what I mean to say is that I find it difficult that here I am wanting the option of having more than 3 children when most people with the option to have more never choose to have more than 2 or 3. I know that sounds and is ridiculous, but it's kind of how I feel at times.

The irony is that in trusting the Lord to lead us in the number of children He wants to give us, I ought to realize that perhaps having to have c-sections IS the Lord's way of showing us His will. As in, it is possible that His will for us would be to have only 3 biological children should I end up needing all c-sections.
I should add that even if I do end up having all c-sections, it does not necessarily mean 3 is all God would like us to have. I heard of one lady who safely 9 safe C-sections! Besides, there is always adoption.

Okay, I need to wrap this up. Here's the thing. I am planning and praying for a VBAC this time around. I desperately tried to get on with the only midwife here and called the same day I found out I was pregnant, but she was already booked for that month. I have found a doctor here who is willing to let me try but is a bit apprehensive about VBACs. (When Ellie was born there was no one who was willing to do VBACs here.). Update: Our region hired a new midwife recently, so I was able to get on with the midwifery program when I was around 20 weeks pregnant, praise the Lord!

Notice I said "I" am planning a VBAC. The Lord may have other plans. And you know what? I am okay with that. After all, His plans are ALWAYS better than our own.

This is where I just need to trust Him.

Growing Home

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Lazy Cabbage Rolls - serves 6

1 pound ground beef

2 cups chopped onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can condensed tomato soup

1 cup water

1/2 cup rice

1 teaspoon beef bouillon mix

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

8 cups shredded or chopped cabbage (can also use prepackaged coleslaw mix)

sour cream to garnish

In a large skillet or saucepan, brown beef, onions and garlic until ground beef is cooked. Drain off fat. Add next 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is thickened.

Sprinkle half of cabbage over bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spoon half of beef mixture over cabbage. Sprinkle with remaining cabbage.Spread remaining beef mixture over top. Bake, covered, at 350 F for 1 hour or until bubbly and heated through.

Serve with sour cream to garnish.

NOTE: Tomato sauce can be subbed for the soup. If using sauce, increase water to 1 3/4 cup.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I haven't been following my menu plans as closely these days...mostly because some days certain foods totally turn me off and other days I just "have" to have something. Pregnancy is a funny thing that way. With Ellie I was horribly sick but didn't have as many cravings as I have this pregnancy. The other day my husband asked me when we would eat the big box of chicken fingers we have in the freezer. I told him that I could make them for him if he wanted but I just couldn't eat them. I don't know why, but the thought of eating those chicken fingers just makes my stomach turn.

Here's the simple plan this week...although it's very subject to change according to what I'm craving or having an aversion to at any given moment.


Homemade Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

Chili, Cornbread Muffins, Salad


Homemade Pizza & Salad


Some kind of pasta with veggies...not sure yet!

*For more great meal ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by orgjunkie.com*

Friday, August 5, 2011

Easy Focaccia Bread

This is an easy and delicious recipe for homemade focaccia bread that goes very well with pasta.

Easy Focaccia Bread - recipe adapted from here

2 3/4 c. flour

1 c. warm water

2 Tbsp. instant (quick-rising) yeast

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Mix yeast with flour, sugar, salt, garlic powder, and oregano. Add oil and water and mix until all flour is mixed in. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about 30 minutes (a little less if pressed for time). Lightly punch down and press into a greased 9 x 9 inch baking pan. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Poke holes in it with your fingers. Brush with oil and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and additional herbs if desired. Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a plate of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Revamped Menu Plan

So I am totally ditching this week's menu plan. The only thing I've actually made so far is the lazy cabbage rolls. I will be posting the recipe for them soon. Yesterday I went grocery shopping and decided to pick up one of those rotisserie chickens to turn into some new meals instead. So, yesterday we had easy chicken tostadas and today we had creamy spaghetti casserole with homemade focaccia bread & Caesar salad, and tomorrow we aren't having pizza; we are having leftovers. There you have it. Sometimes I follow a menu plan and other times this pregnant body is just craving something else. Thankfully, I could whip all that up with stuff I already had in hand and didn't have to buy any extras other than the rotisserie chicken, which looks like it will be giving us at least 6 chicken meals. I already threw the leftover chicken in the freezer for another day. I hope to get a bunch of recipes posted up soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Oops. I forgot to plan my menu on Friday (which is my usual menu planning day...or Saturday...or Sunday), so I spent today working on my menu. No, it didn't take me all day to come up with the menu if you were wondering. Well, not really. Although, I discovered Pinterest today, which has seriously changed my world-wide-webbing for the better, so uhhh...I did spend a decent amount of time snooping around new recipes and pinning them to my board, which greatly increased the amount of time used to plan this week's menu. P.S. If you want to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon but don't feel comfortable using your Facebook to sign up with, you can sign up using Twitter, which is what I did. But just for the record, I don't Twitter...or tweet, or whatever it's called. I just have an account that I never use for the explicit purpose of signing up for Pinterest. Umm..yeah, nevermind. I have gone off on my tangent for long enough. Here's the plan for this week:

Picked up subs for lunch
Visiting family for supper

Frozen Pizza for lunch
Lazy Cabbage Rolls (recipe to come), Tossed Salad, Steamed Veggies

Leftover Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Easy Curry Chicken, Rice, Salad

BLT's, Potato Wedges

Homemade Pizza, Caesar Salad


*For more great meal ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday hosted by orgjunkie.com*

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