Tuesday, February 28, 2012


This was the week I had planned to get my house scrubbed from top to bottom. This was the week we took off from homeschool in order to do it. This was the week I was going to get all the baby items out, washed, and organized. It is this Friday both my doula and one of my midwives come for a home visit. What should I wake up Monday with?! A COLD! Of course! Thank you, God, I appreciate that one. But being the season of Lent and no other time in which to accomplish these cleaning tasks which must be accomplished, I pull myself up by bootstraps, offer it up to God, and clean anyways. In the words of Rambo, "I don't have time to bleed for a cold." So this week is dedicated to cleaning and nesting FINALLY! Only four weeks to go and I thought I'd never get to it. Leave it to the thought of home visits to a messy, chaotic, unorganized home to get the fires burning under you :) Yesterday I managed to scrub, top to bottom, my living room. I went cleaning-woman-crazy on it. Got inside my couch, under my couch, base boards, crown molding, dusted fans, wiped walls, steam mopped the wood floors--you name it, I got it. Mind you this all in between blowing my constantly running nose--thank you to my dear children for passing that along to me. I had four of my five daughters sick with a cold this weekend. My nesting experience isn't turning out exactly as I had in my mind. But the jobs getting done none the less. I can only hope as the days roll along and my cold lessens nesting will become less difficult, maybe even enjoyable because this means my little one will be arriving very shortly. It's starting to become real as I wash little clothes, and organize little cloth diapers, and the likes. And the not so quaint and cute chores of scrubbing the toilets and such, well it is all in the spirit of true nesting I do those things. This is not a nest I merely bring home a new baby to. This is a nest I will be birthing my new baby in!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Prayer and Discernment

Sorry, it's been a slow posting week. I've been in deep prayer and doing some discernment.

Lent is one of my of favorite seasons of the liturgical year. I like it even more so than Advent. It doesn't hold the same stress and strain of the material frivolousness and financial burden that Advent, sadly, does. In Lent I am able to enter deeper into prayer and reflection, and really connect with my faith. I hope each of you have had as  great a start to Lent as I've had!

I promise to be back next week with more new and exciting posts. I have so much to talk about, I can't wait :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Lent Preparation

These are words I'll be taking to heart this Lent. It states my sentiments on needing to take more time with nature--to have more quiet time, to just be. It's from a handout I received during an LMC retreat a few years ago.

The God of Silence

He said to them, "Come by yourselves to an out-of-the-way place and rest a little." Mark 6:31

Silence of the heart, not only of the mouth, is necessary. Then you can hear God everywhere; in the closing of the door, in the person who needs you, in the birds that sing, in the flowers, the animals--that silence which is wonder and praise. Why? Because God is everywhere, and you can see and hear him. That crow is praising God. That stupid crow! I can hear it. We can see and hear God in that  crow. . .
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in the noise and restlessness. See how nature, the trees, the flowers and the grass grow in perfect silence. See the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence . . . "God is the friend of silence. His language  is silence." Be still and know that I am God. He requires us to be silent to discover him. In the silence of the heart, God speaks to us. . . We need to be alone with God in silence to be renewed and to be transformed. Silence gives us a new outlook on life. In it we are filled the grace of God, which makes us do all things with joy.

                                                                                                                                  Mother Teresa

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Kind of Guy

So Lent kicks off this Wednesday, February 22, with Ash Wednesday. I've been doing some pre-Lent thinking and preparations-- mentally and spiritually trying to prepare myself for the Lenten season.

What am I going to give up this year? What sacrifice am I going to make?

I'm giving up TV. Not that I'm a huge fan of TV anyways, but what I do watch is a distraction--a time killer. I'm planning to use this freed up time for more quiet time, doing more reading (preferably spiritual), listening to more books on tape, spending more time with nature, and an overall being more in the moment.

After last weeks discovery and blog post, I've found my Lenten role model--the poster child for not being mainstream. My kind of guy--living off grid, eating from the land, making his own clothes, following his heart, doing what he does and not paying any mind to others.

It's my man, John the Baptist! He lives in the wilderness, lives off locusts and honey, and wears camel skin clothing and sandals. These are all characteristics I personally admire. I have gained a whole new level of appreciation of this guy; seen him in a new light. Taking him as my role model I will aspire to become simpler like him, become more detached from the material things (and social conformance *wink, wink*), spend more time in nature, and taking to heart what John is infamously quoted for, "Repentance!"

In a nutshell: Simplicity~Detachment~Repentance~Nature

How's this for exciting to think about, by the time Lent is over with I will have given birth to my newest little baby- due March 27th! Another incentive to use this time I have remaining to get centered and get out with nature while I still can :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Sorry guys I don't have a post for you today. This may seem silly, but I just discovered I'm not mainstream. I was reading a yahoo group post the other day for a Waldorf education group I recently joined. I was agreeing with the writer all the way, nodding my head and grinning all the way, when it got to the end and it made the statement that we are not mainstream. Huh? Say what?!

I guess it never dawned me. I never looked at myself that way. I mean I knew I wasn't like everyone else around me. I always felt a little odd--well, now I know why. I have just been doing what I do and following what I like or what my conscience tells me. I wasn't really paying attention, just living in my little bubble--I suppose somewhere along the way I must have veered off the mainstream up a creek! Not that it's a bad thing (probably even a good thing--better land out here for that future little homestead I dream about anyway *wink, wink* :). I just never planned on being here. I never, with purpose, meant to go countercultural. It just happened. Through a series of events that have happened in my life and following my heart and following what I like-- I found myself  here.

So in my befuddlement I have no post today. With Buddha-like tranquility I just sit here taking it in, accepting it as neither good, nor bad--it just is. . . .I am not mainstream.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Making This Mama Proud

Let's hear a big WOO-HOO for my daughter A!!! Back in Decemeber for her birthday she joined the MaryJaneFarm Sisterhood as a Young Cultivator. She just earned her very first merit badge!

The requirements for the Let’s Go To Town (Beginner Level) were to:

  • Visit your local library to sign up for a library card of your own.
  • Request a schedule of activities the library has for people your age.

While Anna already had her library card (we are a homeschooling afterall and a library card is a homeschoolers best friend~also, my A is a librophile, the library is one of her favorite places to visit :) However, when we set up her account intially we forgot to jot down the password for her card. She's been without access to the online features like placing books on hold or having the ability to renew them online, ect. We've just let it slide in the past--using my own or one of her sister's cards if she wanted to put a book on hold. Well, we straightened that out with a new password!

Next we spoke with the librarian in charge of the children programs and got the scoop on the programs they offer for children her age. We found out, as of right now, they offer 3 programs for her age group--2 which she is interested in. We'll be checking more into them and visiting the libraries web site for dates and times :)

I love a public library. What a great community resource they are: free books, free movies, free music, free Internet, free workshops!!! Unlimited and free access to knowledge! A library is a beautiful thing :)
“I cannot live without books.”
- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sweet Tooth Fix: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Oh yeah, I have a sweet tooth. I'll admit it. Knowing that about myself, I realize if I want to eat healthy and organic I'm going to need to find some healthy healthier, sweet tooth friendly recipes. After my family's Christmas cookie baking craze, I was plum burnt out with the kitchen. I haven't done anything exciting in there since. And with being burned out with home cooking and living in a state of habitual pregnancy fatigue, my diet has made a turn for the worst--I have turned to easy, less nutritious, convenience foods and processed foods. Time to get back on track!

After scouring my cookbooks and making our recent trip to the Amish Market to stock up on ingredients, my first back-to-the-kitchen recipe is a Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin. My recipe came from Bob's Red Mill Baking Book, page 120--one of my favs!

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest from one lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil/butter a 12-cup muffin tin or line with muffin tin liners.

Whisk together the flours, wheat germ, poppy seeds, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and zest in  a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together with the oil, milk, and lemon juice, then combine with the dry ingredients until moistened.

Spoon the batter in the prepared muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the muffins rest for 5 minutes before serving warm, right from the pan.

Simple and delicious :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, and Placentas Part 2

As I promised, Part 2 to my post--placenta encapsulation!! Now why would I want to talk about that? I had never heard of it before this pregnancy. My midwives offer this service at a discounted rate ($75) to their moms, which typically runs about $150.  I have an acquaintance who is a doula but offers a placenta encapsulation service as well. She has offered to do mine for me. Since I didn't really know much about this I wanted to research more into it and it's benefits. Initially, when I heard about placenta encapsulation it seemed a little barbaric--maybe even cannibalistic. Even if I could have my placenta encapsulated for no monetary charge, would I be able to stomach it?

According to Placenta Benefits.info the benefits to placentophagia (technical term for consuming the placenta) are that the placenta capsules:

contain your own natural hormones
 perfectly made for you
balance your system
replenish depleted iron
give you more energy
lessen bleeding postnatally
been shown to increase milk production
help you have a happier postpartum period
hasten return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state
be helpful during menopause
You can check out their web page for a plethora of information and articles on this subject. If you would like to see the process--in pictures--from start to finish you can visit here.

There are obviously many benefits to this and after learning more about it I am heavily leaning towards having it done. Some other moms I know who have taken placenta capsules rave about the positive effects. And considering how tired I am right now and the fact I've kind of been in a rut recently is all the more reason I'd like to give it a go. I'm going to have 6 little ones to keep up with so anything that can help get me, and keep me, in tip-top shape I'm willing to try. I'm going to need all the help I can get--vitamins, minerals, herbs, placentas!

Oh, and this is not something new--this idea of placentophagia--it's been around for centuries and practiced throughout the world by many cultures. Food for thought (no pun intended :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, and Placentas Part 1

As a pregnant woman, of course I've been taking my standard prenatal vitamin. Actually, to be totally honest with you, with all of my 6 pregnancies I have used Flintstones Multivitamins with Iron--taking two in the morning. When I was pregnant with my first baby my morning sickness was really bad. I couldn't keep down the regular prenatal vitamins so my OB/GYN told me to take the Flintstones. It helped! I had a healthy 7 lb 12oz baby girl. With each subsequent pregnancy I've just kept with that same method--each time resulting with a healthy baby. In the past my iron has never been low and blood levels have always checked out fine. My Flintstones were the extent of the supplements I'd take, with the exception of a few Tums to ward of heartburn and indigestion.

With this, my sixth pregnancy, I've been feeling much more fatigued than usual. It could be from a variety of reasons--one being I already have 5 other kids I'm trying to keep up with, two which I homeschool, and a house I must still maintain! (Whew, makes me tired just thinking about it!!!). I opted for random finger pricks to check my blood levels, rather than the full work-up. I was tested a little on the low side for my iron levels recently. I was recommended Floradix. I now take that (it's a liquid) twice a day. Also to help improve my energy levels I've been taking extra care of my diet, trying to eat more whole foods. My family just made a trip up to the Amish Market to stock up on some wholesome baking and cooking supplies. They had some awesome prices on their goods; my husband and I were impressed. So I will be posting more In the Kitchen posts from here forward as I get back to cooking and baking from scratch :)

Perhaps caused from all the pregnancy hormones or stemming from the habitual fatigue, I was beginning to get the blues. One of my midwives, Aimee, is trained in herbal medicine so I texted her to ask for a safe, herbal recommendation. She sent me this helpful link from Kathleen Kendall Tackett, a well respected author in the field. She also suggested St. John's Wart and fish oil. I picked both of these up. I take one St. John's Wart capsule three times a day and the fish oil gel capsule once a day. I have to say both my energy and my mood have improved tremendously. I am also adding outside time to my schedule now. Before I was always so tired that my housework was slacking. Then because my was house was in such a horrible state I didn't feel right abandoning it for other (funner) endeavors. Only I was too tired to clean so it never got done anyway. Ugg!!! A vicious cycle was beginning to form--neither the housework or getting out of the house for free time was getting accomplished. I was stuck in my home with no ground being made.  I have purposed to get out and take my girls to our nearby park for 30 minutes every day (that the weather affords it, that is)--getting some fresh air, sunlight (vitamin D) and letting the kids get some energy out.

A little side note, my midwives don't recommend Tums for heartburn, it's not so good for your placenta. One of their remedies if eating raw almonds. I picked some of those up at the Amish Market while we were there! This will be a good place to stop for today as this leads me into the topic of placenta encapsulation! I'll save that for tomorrow :)


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What I'm Reading: Montessori at Home

I've had my eye on this book for some time. It's actually an ebook called Montessori in the Home. I love the Montessori method and have implemented a few of the activities in my home already. Back in the day when I had fewer children and money flowed a little easier, two of my older daughters went to an actual Montessori preschool.

The new Second Edition of Montessori At Home! is a multimedia Ebook that guides you through the entire process of doing Montessori early learning activities at home. Complete background and how-to chapters are followed by clear directions for over 250 early learning materials and activities. Areas covered include:
  • Maria Montessori
  • How-To Guide for parents
  • Everyday Life Activities
  • Sensory Experiences
  • Digital Life
  • Art & Music
  • Science
  • Geography & Culture
  • Mathematics
  • Reading & Writing
  • Free Printable Materials
Every section is supported and expanded by the liberal use of links to web sites and videos you and your child can visit to learn more. Montessori At Home! is a complete, practical guide to home early learning, written just for parents.

A great website I get Montessori activity ideas from is called Chasing Cheerios.

I look forward to reading my new ebook and putting the ideas and activities into use--and of course sharing them with you along the way :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

WIP: Paper Roll Twisted Oak Tree

While perusing the Internet this weekend, I came across this awesome tree craft! It's a Paper Roll Twisted Oak Tree from the blog Childmade.

It is made from brown paper bags and paper towel/toilet paper rolls. This project is both "green"(reusing items) and frugal--who doesn't have already on hand (or can't easily get their hands on) some paper bags, paper towel rolls, and a little glue! Childmade offers an excellent, step-by-step, pictured tutorial. I am determined to make this this week. With baby number 6 on the way, I was thinking of making mine into a family tree wall hanging. I'll add each family member's picture or name or something along those lines. I just finished up a portrait drawing, you'd think my creative drive would be satisfied for just a bit. It's not. I need something crafty. I love doing my art, but sometimes it's a fun, creative craft that's required to do the trick :) I'll show you my finished product later this week!

Friday, February 3, 2012

This Moment: Over the hill and through the woods, to the midwives house we go . . .

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

My pregnancy is quickly approaching the end. My days of needing to visit my midwives' office are numbered. It is such a peaceful and serene trek through woods and back country roads--so different from your traditional OB/GYN experience. I wanted to memorialize it for the days I no longer need to make the trip.

The pictures are horrible, taken with my cell phone (again). Sometimes a Kodak moment strikes and your without your camera. You have to settle for what you have on hand. They're enough, I suppose, to jog my memory years down the road when I want to look back upon my pregnancy days and reminisce :)


You can't see them, but there are goats on that hill. My girls love spotting them each time we come for an appointment.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Birth Circle & Movie Night

My midwives hold a monthly Birth Circle. Last night they held a movie night! We watched Guerrilla Midwife on a projector screen, complete with popcorn and tea :)

I love documentaries. I am very happy my midwives shared this one, otherwise I may never have heard about it and had a chance to watch this beautiful documentary. Ibu Robin Lim, whom the film follows, was awarded CNN's 2011 Hero of the Year Award. You can read the article here. I have to say, I found both the movie and Ibu Robin Lim very inspiring!

A blurb from www.GuerrillaMidwife.org:

Healing the earth one baby at a time

Guerilla Midwife begins with an ancestral dream. In the dark before the dawn in Bali, the morning of the world, Ibu Robin Lim is awakened by a call to deliver a baby. What unfolds is the story of conflict, of one woman’s international battle to balance Science, Nature, and Culture in the protocols of birth.

The film captures the human rights issues of Maternal and Child survival, of how lives are sacrificed to poverty while the misuse of technology endangers our every humanity.
Following the day-to-day endeavors of a village midwife from the fragrance of her Balinese home, to Aceh, Indonesia. Visually the film moves us from the gentlest moment of first breath, to the horrific destruction of the Tsunami disaster.

Experts testifying to the importance of birth as the essential foundation for healing our planet include, French Obstetrician Michel Odent, Dr. Marshal Claus, and Midwife Mary Jackson. The facts are woven between the stories of women’s lives as they labor to bring forth the next generation. The generation that will either; live in harmony with nature or destroy it, wage war or create peace.
Guerrilla Midwife is a ninety-minute documentary film, depicting the courage of mothers and their midwives as they hold hands across barriers of language and culture, and guide us toward a reinvention of medical protocols. It is the story of a war waged gently in the belief that peace on earth can be achieved, one baby at a time.