Babies and Spring on the Way!

Yes, I know technically it is spring already. But when I’m waking up to a lot of snow still as well as a forecast of -25 w/ wind chill and flurries in the morning… I refuse to call that spring. It’s supposed to get up to 0 on Monday and keep warming up. Then we can talk about it being spring 😉

I am so excited that spring weather is almost here though! I love being outside, but being a very cold-blooded person I find it hard to be outside for very long during the winter! Not to mention that at this point in my pregnancy none of my warm clothes fit anymore! So spring will be a very welcome relief from being stuck inside all winter.

This spring we have a lot to look forward to!

First and foremost baby #5! The baby was due yesterday. But we are leaning towards it being this weekend before it comes. I had somehow miscalculated my due date when I put it on the calendar and had thought I was due on the 9th, till I got my prenatal record and realized that I was due 5 days earlier! So anything before the 9th will feel early and I have been scrambling to get all the last minute baby prep stuff that I have been putting off done!

Belly PicIMG_20180224_192023

35wks. In the hotel bathroom after a long weekend at the homeschool conference! Having two nights of good nights sleep without kids was amazing! Thanks, mom and dad for watching the kids!

 

37/38ish wks. Excuse the mess the and the paint can! Getting rooms put back together after gutting mold has been a slow process with everything else going on right now, my husband’s work being insane and me being so sick this pregnancy!

 

What else says spring like baby chicks!? Sadly, our first attempt at hatching eggs wasn’t super successful and we had only 2 chicks out of 3doz hatch and the one promptly drowned its self in the waterer the next day 😦 which was a little traumatic for the boys… The remaining chick, however, is bringing much joy to the boys, and overall it’s still been a good learning experience for us all.

I have yet to learn how to sex chicks, So I am really hoping that it’s a pullet and not a cockerel, as it’s very much becoming a pet and starting to run to the side of its Rubbermaid when it see’s us. So hopefully it will end up being able to produce a couple eggs someday instead of just purely being a pet!

 

 

 

Baby lambs!

These guys were born back in Jan already but I thought I’d include them in with the spring babies anyways! These are our bottle babies Cookies and Cream (ram lamb), and Bambi (ewe lamb).

 

Baby plants!

The boys and I started a few plants a couple of weeks ago and man did it feel good to get my hands in the dirt again! I can not wait until summer to plant a big garden and start sprucing up the yard with plants and flowers! Some woman spend too much money on shoes, clothes, and makeup etc! I can spend way too much on plants! (and animals!)  I am also trying really hard to pay down debt this year though, so I’m trying really hard to only stick with stuff I already have seeds for.

 

 

Sorry for the darkness. My phone does not take good pictures at all!

 

Well, that is a little peek into what spring is like at our place! What are you most excited for this spring?

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Biblical Sexuality Pt. 1 -Teaching our Kids

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a passion for and a lack of shyness when it comes to talking about biblical sexuality and that we need to be teaching our kids about it.

The reality is that we live in a very sexualized world and if we don’t teach our kids about sex and sexuality starting at a young age (and in an age-appropriate way), the world is more then ready to teach them for us.  Is the world who we want to be teaching our kids about what sex and sexuality is?

Over the years I have done a lot of reading, studying and soul-searching on this subject.  In my reading and research, I have come across some amazing resources that I would like to share with you.  These resources have helped me to begin teaching my kids about the wonderful gift God has given us of sex and sexuality from a biblical standpoint as well as teaching them how to guard themselves against the harm that comes from sexual abuse, exposure, and addiction to pornography etc.  Just as importantly we need to teach our kids about grace and forgiveness when they stumble instead of being stuck in the cycle of shame that many times comes with sexual sin.

I hope you will find these resources helpful and a blessing.

 

Talking to Kids about Sex-

Great blog posts:

Keep Kids Safe: 9 Ways Porn and Predators will Target Kids in 2018

Police Mom Reveals Secret Weapon to Protect Kids from Porn

Yes, Christians Need to Start Telling Their Daughters About Sex

A word to my sons about porn

Are we teaching Purity Wrong?

Modern Sex Ed Gone Crazy (and how Christian parents should respond)

 

Books/Courses for kids:

Biblical Sex-Ed Series

You can also order the series on Amazon

The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality

Changes: 7 Biblical Lessons to Make Sense of Puberty

Relationships: 11 Lessons to Give Kids a Greater Understanding of Biblical Sexuality

Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids

Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr.: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds

I Said No! a Kid-To-Kid Guide to Keeping Your Private Parts Private

Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality: A Biblical Approach to Preparing Them for Life

How God Makes Babies

The Squire And The Scroll: A Tale of the Rewards of a Pure Heart

Life Lessons From The Squire And The Scroll

Who Is Your Master?

The Whole Story: A Video-Based Course to help YOU give your daughter The Whole Story about Sex, Puberty, and Growing Up!

Use the coupon code gracerocks for $30 off the VIP version till Saturday, February 10 at midnight.

Filtering service:

Covenant Eyes Filtering Services

Seminars:

Seminars by Spoken Word Ministries

A great ministry offering free life-changing seminars on topics such as Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness, The Problem of Porn, and Biblical Sexuality in a Sexualized World (a great one for parents).

 

Stayed tuned for pt 2. Which will feature resources for biblical sexuality within marriage and help for those struggling with and/or affected by sexual sin.

 

 

Post contains affiliate links. 

Did I mention I love my Instant Pot!??

I have really been enjoying using my instant pot lately and I have really been grateful for the time, energy and stress it has been saving me on meals while trying to get the boy’s caught up on the schoolwork that slid while I was sick at the start of this pregnancy. So I thought I would share my favorite recipes and ways I use my instant pot with you!

Spaghetti Squash!

It’s so easy! I also used the same recipe the other day to cook pumpkin to freeze,  which worked super slick!  I’m really looking forward to using my instant pots next year to help preserve garden produce as with my fatigue this year and moving last year, a lot of my garden just went to waste with the amount of time and energy it takes to cook and preserve things in the oven and on the stovetop.

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/131794514903/pressure-cooker-spaghetti-squash

Meatloaf!

I made my own meatloaf recipe and used the cooking times below, but I did it on the wire rack in a glass bowl with a cup of water in the bottom of the instant pot, instead of using foil or just putting it on the rack. I served this with the spaghetti squash above and steamed veggies and it was the easiest meal I’ve ever made! 🙂

https://www.rebootedmom.com/2016/05/11/351/

Yogurt!

I have used my instant pot for this more than anything else! Soo easy!

http://wholenaturallife.com/instant-pot-yogurt/

Coconut Yogurt recipe if your dairy free.

https://healingautoimmune.com/instant-pot-coconut-yogurt-recipe/amp/

Recipe if you are using raw milk and want to keep it “raw”

https://traditionalcookingschool.com/food-preparation/raw-milk-yogurt-instant-pot/

Bone Broth!

So much faster and easier than making it on the stove!

https://www.mommypotamus.com/instant-pot-bone-broth-recipe/

Beans!

Great for cooking dry beans for chili (see below) in very little time!

https://detoxinista.com/how-to-cook-black-beans-in-the-instant-pot/

http://recipesforinstantpot.com/497-2/

Chili!

My husband makes great chili that he just makes up as he goes and I have tried a few different recipes including different lentil chili’s all with fairly good success! If your using ground beef just brown it with onions on the high saute feature, add the rest of the ingredients, put the lid on, make sure the pressure switch is closed and hit the chili button! Serve as is or over rice to make it go further.

Rice!

I like making it in the instant pot as I can set it and forget it. My husband on the other hand still maintains that it cooks better and faster in a pot on the stove. You will have to try it for yourself and see which works best for you.

https://instantpot.com/how-to-cook-perfect-rice-in-an-electric-pressure-cooker/

Unstuffed cabbage roll soup!

This is a big favorite in our house! Even my soup-hating child asks for seconds!

https://glutenfreehomemaker.com/instant-pot-unstuffed-cabbage/

Roast! 

I haven’t made this one myself yet. But my mom made it for my birthday and it was soo yummy! My son is corn free so she subbed the cornstarch for Arrowroot ( you could use tapioca as well) and left out the fish sauce.

https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/pressure-cooker-pot-roast/

Frozen ground beef!

Forgot to thaw your frozen ground beef? This is so slick and easy!

https://www.kitchenstewardship.com/cook-frozen-ground-beef-instant-pot/

These are our family’s favorites! I hope you got some new recipes and ideas to try!

Let me know in the comments what your favorite Instant Pot recipes are or what you’re most excited to try in your Instant Pot!

 

Don’t have an instant pot yet? Check it out here –

The 7 in 1 that I have which comes in 3,5,6 and 8qt  http://amzn.to/2j50SXI 

The newer 9 in 1 http://amzn.to/2AEQv0Y which only comes in 6qt, but has new sterilizing, cake, and egg settings!

I have a 6 and 8qt and I love them! They tend to go on sale on Black Friday and on Amazon on Prime Day. So if you’re on a budget and can wait, those are good times to buy. They may go on sale sooner for Boxing Day as well, so keep your eyes out! If they do I will try to post the sale link on the blogs Facebook page found here https://www.facebook.com/Amazing-Grace-over-Perfection-144799609408809/

 

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Check out Parenting Scripts!

I am very excited to be part of the launch group for a book called Parenting Scripts that launched today!

 

I was very much looking forward to reading this book as soon as I heard it was coming out as it is the follow up to an awesome book called Triggers!  I went through Triggers as a bible study with some friends of mine last year, and it has had a big impact on how I deal with my kids. It has helped me change how I deal with the anger and attitudes I’ve found myself having towards my kids, that are all too easy to slip into when dealing with all the stressors that come with raising kids and with life!

Parenting Scripts has not disappointed as a followup!  It is challenging me to think about the “scripts” I use with my kids, and where I need to be rewriting and replacing them with scripts that encourage and build my kids up, rather than tearing my kids down with discouraging words about what they have done wrong or are doing wrong. As a mom of 4 boys (Maybe 5!??) with a perfectionist personality, I find it much easier to be a drill sergeant than an encourager, and this book has further challenged me in the conviction I have been feeling this year about changing the way I speak to and encourage my kids.

Amber and Wendy have a huge heart for God and for the parents reading their books, that passion and love really shine through in what they write.

I haven’t made it through the whole book yet, but what I have read has greatly encouraged and convicted me. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book. I am praying that it will be the push I need to change some old scripts in my life that aren’t benefiting me or my kids, and that I will be able to replace them with ones that are more God-honoring and encouraging.

 

You can check out both books here –

Triggers http://amzn.to/2hYBdvI

Parenting Scripts http://amzn.to/2j01gnk

 

 

I AM A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR ME TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON AND AFFILIATED SITES. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT. 

 

 

4 Boy’s and ???

A baby!!! 🙂

So for the first time with our soon to be 5 children, we decided to have a 20wk ultrasound due to the state of my health and my mold exposure etc before, and early in my pregnancy along with feeling the need to make sure everything is developing as expected as a result.  In the past, we have had none – two quick early ultrasounds based on what the pros and cons were in each pregnancy as there are possible side effects on the baby from the ultrasound ( I will post a link below if you wish to look into it some more for yourself). I only mention this as to explain why we haven’t had a 20wk ultrasound in the past and not as a judgment on anyone else either way as I believe we all have to weigh the risks/benefits of all things and decide what is the best choice for our families.

We also decided, as a result, to find out the gender for the first time ever as we wanted to have some time to adjust if it’s a girl, as after 4 boys a girl would be a huge change in our house!!! I’ve always been a tomboy and the thought of raising a girly girl scares me to death! 🙂 I also feel like its a bigger task to protect a girl in this world in a lot of ways and a big task to be an example of healthy body confidence and healthy self-worth in a world that wants to reduce a female’s worth to their sex appeal. So while I will be very happy and love a daughter if I have one. It will be a big adjustment for me to switch to being what a girl needs from me to grow to be a healthy woman as opposed to what my boys need from me to grow up to be healthy men. So having a daughter will be great if it happens but a bit scary as well!  That said despite what I’ve been told over and over by other people is what I want/feel. I actually don’t feel like I need a girl to be fulfilled as a mom and will be happy if this is another boy and I stay only a boy mom 🙂

So Monday we went for the ultrasound and everything looked good and the baby was wiggling like crazy! But as I should have known being a child of mine 😉 it was stubborn as could be and refused to move its one foot out of its crotch to give us a clear view,  and when it did move slightly it was to put it’s hand down in there as well so we could see even less! So I guess we will be getting a surprise come April after all and maybe having our world changed if we get a daughter this time which will honestly feel like a huge shock after 4 boy births and maybe just maybe this is another way God is teaching me to have patience 😉

 

 

Please share if you have any thoughts on ultrasounds, the difference in raising boys vs girls or anything else you wish to comment on!

 

Link about possible effects of ultrasound:

https://www.mommypotamus.com/prenatal-ultrasounds-peek-at-what-price/

Back to the land of the living.

I’m back! I hope… I’ve been sick beyond belief with morning sickness for the past few months, and now less than a week shy of the second trimester I’m just starting to feel like I’m half alive again.

I am still experiencing a lot of intense fatigue though, as well as allergies and candida flaring up, which I believe is still a reaction from the mold exposure.  So prayers for energy, and for wisdom on how to detox our home and bodies from the mold would be appreciated.

The last few months have been very hard on me physically as well as emotionally. I’ve never been good with sickness keeping me from getting things accomplished. I beyond suck at being inactive. My mom has been a huge blessing during this time as she gave a lot of her time making meals, watching kids, washing dishes and laundry as well as much much more. I am not sure how I would have survived without her help, especially when I had a houseful of sick kids and couldn’t get out of bed myself. It was really hard not to be able to be the one to look after my kids. But I couldn’t have asked for a better person to meet their needs during this time.

One thing I was able to do while I was sick was read a fair amount of books. So I’m hoping to write a post soon on some of the great books I’ve been reading.

I am very much mourning my lack of summer/fall this week and the fact that I don’t have enough energy to clean up the yard the way I’d like before winter, get my garden cleaned up and prepped the way I’d like, or ride my horses while it’s still nice, not to mention all the other projects I had hoped to accomplished this summer.  I’m trying to be at peace with that, and look at winter as a time of rest instead of something to dread. Someday’s I’m better at doing that than others. Today is beautiful, and I’m struggling with not having the energy to match my motivation for getting things done outside.

Yesterday my husband put together a wooden playhouse/fort for the boys that they plan on making into a Sukkah for Sukkot (I will post a link below explaining what Sukkot is for those who aren’t familiar with it) and after a fairly rough day with my boys fighting and not listening today. I’m enjoying watching the boys work together to figure out a roof for the Sukah. I will try to take and post pictures at some point once they are finished.

 

How is everyone else feeling about the coming winter? are you dreading it? or looking forward to a season of rest?

 

Link about Sukkot

http://messianicfamilyfellowship.com/sukkot-the-feast-of-tabernacles-bible-teaching/

 

Monday is Book Day (a few days late)

So Monday is a big day in our house. Why you might ask? Because it’s the day our request books come into the library! We are big book lovers in this house and the day our request’s come in is very often the highlight of our week.

So seeing I love to hear what other people are reading and finding interesting. I thought I would try to keep up with doing a weekly blog post on what we are enjoying reading at our house and what requests we get in each week. This week the morning sickness hit for real so I did not feel up to anything till today. But I will try to update every Monday from now on.

 

My last week’s requests. (click on any of the titles to learn more about them)

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Home Management: Plain and Simple 

LOVE this book! It’s so encouraging and has practical ideas for organizing and simplifying pretty much every area of your life as mom and homemaker.

My Mini Midwife: Everything You Need to Know about Pregnancy and Birth

I wasn’t super impressed with this book. Wasn’t info I was very interested in and was very opposed to anything holistic.

Finding Calm for the Expectant Mom: Tools for Reducing Stress, Anxiety, and Mood Swings During Your Pregnancy

I only just started this book. Having dealt with fairly bad anxiety for the first time in my life last year, and knowing that being worn out is a trigger for me, I wanted to know what my options are while pregnant to treat anxiety just in case. So far it has been an interesting book and seems to have some good stuff.

When His Secret Sin Breaks Your Heart: Letters to Hurting Wives

Not a request but my own book. I am rereading this book to see if what they teach to wives hurting from the pain of their husband’s sexual sin still lines up with my beliefs, and would be a book I would recommend to other wives. My views on sex, sexual sin, porn, purity etc have changed a lot over the years, and I am going back and rereading some of the ones that I would have recommended in the past, to make sure they still line up with what I believe. Some books such as Every Heart Restored that I used to think was a great book, I have come to realize can further wound the wives reading it, and I no longer agree with the Every Man’s Battle way of dealing with things. The verdict is still out on this book.

Autoimmune Cookbook

I requested this when I thought I would be doing an AIP diet next month so I haven’t looked at it too closely. Looks like it could have some good recipes though.

Modern Homesteading

This is an awesome book! Wasn’t really anything I didn’t know as I have read a lot of homesteading books. But it’s a great overview of pretty much everything homesteading and has great pictures which is something a lot of homesteading books are lacking. Would be a great first book for someone just starting out on their homesteading journey!

Healing Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide to Identifying, Foraging, and Using Medicinal Plants / More than 100 Remedies from 20 of the Most Healing Plants

I haven’t had a chance to look closely at this on yet. But it looks awesome! The boys are doing a kid’s herbal course for homeschooling this year, so I’m trying to brush up on my very limited knowledge. My second son is very skilled at and keen on identifying wild/medicinal plants already though, so I’m doubting I’m ever going to catch up with him.

Your Pregnancy, Your Way: Everything You Need to Know about Natural Pregnancy and Childbirth

I have just started this book. So far it has had really good info and is very supportive of natural health choices in pregnancy and birth.

Natural Pregnancy: Practical Medical Advice and Holistic Wisdom for a Healthy Pregnancy and Childbirth

Loved this one. Lots of good info and homeopathic remedies for any pregnancy problems you may encounter.

The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health-from Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years

I haven’t got the whole way through this one yet. But so far it seems to be a very balanced view on spacing, delaying and refusing the vaccines that don’t fit with your purpose for vaccinating. It also appears to be a good guide to what is in each brand of vaccines and how to choose the ones with the least harmful ingredients. He also takes into account your family history in choosing which vaccines you want to delay or forgo, and goes into detail about the risks vs benefit to each vaccine.

*Disclaimer – I am for vaccine choice and freedom for each family to decide what is best for their own family,  be that not vaxing, fully vaxing or delaying.  This review is in no way saying that this book is what everyone should follow.

The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Ignite Your Energy and Focus, Attack Illness and Aging, Transform Pain into Purpose

I have a huge interested in brain health and this guy really seems to know his stuff! Looking forward to trying some of the really yummy looking recipes in this cookbook once I’m feeling a little better!

 

More next week on this week’s requests

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Please feel free to comment on this post and let me know what you are enjoying reading these days! I love getting new ideas on what is out there to read!

 

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