Archive for the ‘Homemaking’ Category

America is about the only country that treats a natural birth as an emergency. It is often helpful to remember that women have been doing this for thousands of years. So far, they have repopulated the earth just fine.


I have experienced both a hospital birth and a home birth. The hospital birth was a nightmare. I obtained issues that could have been avoided, but now must be dealt with for the rest of my life. If only I had known these twelve simple truths. I am not against doctors. If it weren’t for doctors I wouldn’t be here today, several times over. But as I said before, “Having a natural birth is not an emergency.” I understand that sometimes, things just don’t work out to have a home birth. Hopefully you will find this useful. Keep in mind that these twelve “things to know” are written for a normal, non emergency birth. 


1. Ask your doctor about your test results at your regular checkups. When you have a blood test; ask what your iron level is. It should be a 12. When you have a urine test; ask how your hydration is. Do you need to be drinking more water? 

2. Some birthing centers will have a jetted bathtub. Take advantage of this until you are ready to push.

3. You don’t have to deliver on your back. It is more natural to stand up or squat. Even being on your hands and knees is easier. Let gravity help. 

4. Only push when you feel the need. Let your body do the work when it wants to.

*Occasionally a doctor will not let you push until you are dilated to at least a 9. When your body is ready to push, they will tell you not to push.         They will suggest that if you push, you will have to have a Cesarean. Try not to be bullied into doing something that is not natural or can even be       impossible for you to do. If your body is pushing; you are ready. 

* There can be an opposite effect too; where the doctor and nurses walk into your room and tell you to start pushing when you obviously don’t       have the urge to. Listen to your body. No worries. When it is time to push, you will know and your body will do it for you on it’s own. 

5. There is no need for the doctor to break your water or give you drugs to speed up the birthing process. It is perfectly normal for a first birth to take as long as 36 hours.  Another technique that is used is called “sweeping membranes.” This is done by your doctor separating your water bag (amniotic membrane) from the lower part of your uterus (cervix). This releases hormones into your body that cause labor. There are side effects to this in the healing of your vagina after birth. It rips much needed muscles. 

6. If your doctor cuts your vagina, even a little, it will tear. (Not just a little, but all of the way.) Your doctor will then have to sew you up; stitches inside of stitches. You will then tear again during any future births, even if you are not cut. Women were made to stretch. You will need to inform your doctor if you wish to not be cut. 

7. You need food and drink during labor. You are working very hard. For an added boost of energy; take a spoonful or stick of honey just before you feel the urge to push the first time. Then drink Recharge and/or coconut water in between pushes. 

8. It is very beneficial (for your baby) to allow the umbilical cord to stay connected for a little while after birth. If this is your wish, you will have to notify your doctor. Also, if there is no emergency, then there is no need for the nurses to whisk your baby away. You can ask them to give you your baby right after it is born and let it start sucking when those important instincts are active (right after birth). Otherwise those special sucking instincts will not return until hours later.

9. You don’t have to let the hospital give your baby any shots or drops in it’s eyes. You will have to sign a document stating that you decline this. They will not be happy. Be firm if this is what you and your spouse have decided. 

* They will give your baby a hearing test and a Pediatrician will look your baby over.

10. Do not let your doctor pull out your placenta. You should push it out on your own. If some considerable time has gone by; they will give you a shot to release the placenta. Try sitting on the toilet for a while first. Pulling out your placenta causes scar tissue to form on the inside of your uterus. This creates problems with future periods and can cause fibroid tumors later in life. It also causes you to receive your babies blood into your blood. This could result in antibodies (although this is rare)  Apparently not rare enough; it happened to me. 

11. Eat some nourishing food soon after birth.

12. Have someone help you to the toilet for your first time. You could pass out from loss of blood. 

In all this, remember that you can always hire a Doula. She is a person that is qualified to be an ambassador for you during birth. The mother giving birth (you) are not always listened to as you should be. Thus a Doula is helpful in making sure that all your wishes are met. She can communicate with your doctor, nurses and hospital staff. 


          I just love to teach my girls lessons using something or someone that they are excited about or interested in. Frozen is all the rage at our house and has been for quite some time. I hear them sing “Let It Go” for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; as well as any snacks in between. They have the hair, they have the cape, they have the voice…..well sort of. So I decided to take this opportunity, while it lasted, and teach something….anything! Right? So I chose to expound on Elsa’s powers. Just remember that I was speaking to little girls when I made this up.

          Like Elsa, we (my girls) have powers. And Like Elsa, we have to understand our powers in order not to be afraid of them or to make the wrong choices with our powers. God gave us power. And our power is to choose. We get to decide things. We get to choose paths. We get to choose the path of Love or Hate. Hate freezes everything. Its cold and its sad. It hurts and it kills. Its not very fun is it? When Elsa had the frozen world she was sad; she was afraid she did not understand that she was on that frozen path. When we take the path of hate it is the same way. People get hurt. We are sad. It doesn’t feel good when we are hateful. It spreads like nasty poison, just like the ice in Frozen. It gets worse and worse. Eventually the ice would have killed everyone in Arendale, even Elsa. When she learned about the path of love she took that path right away. She said, “Love will thaw.” Love chases away hate and fear. Love chases away selfishness. Love chases away sorrow and sadness. Because Love is the path that is good. Love is the path that is God.

          So what path are you going to take? Elsa’s powers were not bad. She just needed to learn how to use them for good. Elsa was looking like a monster when she was pushing the man out of the ice castle. We all have a monster in us too. We can either choose to tame that monster (the lion that is inside us) and give it a fast crack with the whip saying, “down boy!!”; or we can allow it to raise it’s ugly head to growl and roar and do crazy, terrible things. The end results of hate are death and destruction. The end results of Love are life and grace.

           If this is helpful to just “one” person; it will have been worth my writing it. Choose Love!!    



What a fun day doing all the winter activities we love; inside and out! Our children are so blessed to have cousins living nearby. In all, there are eight cousins from the ages of eight and “on the way”. We have a tradition of getting together to bake Christmas cookies. Everyone brings ingredients for what they want to make. At the end of the day, we divide all the cookies. That way we can all have a variety of cookies; rather than just a lot of one kind of cookie.

This year we had our baking day at Dusty’s new house. It worked out great. 

  We had already made lots of gingerbread dough, so the kids could start cutting out right away.

Then they were off to sled. Matt (Dusty’s husband) was such a blessing. He took care of them so we could work on other cookies.

It is a tradition in our family to make Italian cookies for Christmas. “Grandma” has an old pizzelle iron. These are a medium, sweet treat; like a thin, crispy waffle. We expect her to make them every year. (note the pizzelle iron)


Lady Fingers are also on the wanted list. These are “finger” shaped cakes that get frosted with a lemon glaze. 

Just in time for lunch, in come all the children. They are rosy cheeked and excited about their sledding hill. We filled up their round tummies with hot “Cheeseburger Soup, Sourdough Biscuits, and Caesar Salad”.

Now it was time to decorate the Christmas Cookies.  I tried very hard to make them without food coloring.

White was easy.

Green was made out of liquid chlorophyll.

Pink/Red was made out of beet juice.

Yellow was made out of liquid vitamin B-complex.

I bought some squeezable bottles in the cooking area at Target and filled them with the different colored icings. 

This worked so well. No mess, and the kids could decorate easier with the fine tips.

They had a blast and that is the most important thing. 

After decorating all of their cookies, the kids headed outside to sled again.

All of us mothers were busy mixing and rolling with the warm aromas swirling around and Celtic Christmas music filling our ears; when suddenly Matt bursts in the door carrying one of our children. She was soaking wet. It took us a few minutes to realize what was going on. Then we immediately took action, stripping off her clothes and putting her in the bathtub. She didn’t start crying until we told her she was done sledding for the day. 

The story was, she was sledding down the hill so fast that she sledded right into the creek. Thankfully she was the only victim of the day.

We had a holly, jolly time! 


Counting your blessings is definitely something we should do every day; but around Thanksgiving it seems more meaningful. To inspire my children on this holiday, we make a Thanksgiving Tree. Their minds go wild trying to think of aaaallllll the things they can. I also draw swinging monkeys and let the kids color and cut them out. They love hanging them from the tree branches.



green and orange or brown construction paper

double sided sticky tape

clear packaging tape


black Sharpie

First, affix the cardboard to a wall or mirror using packaging tape. Cut it to look like a tree trunk. Cut strips and tape branches. Draw lines in the cardboard to look like a tree trunk. 

Next, cut out leaves and leaves and leaves. I cut the construction paper into strips first. This helped me be more thrifty with the paper. 

 While you cut out the leaves; have your children color and cut out their monkeys.


If your children are old enough, they can write their own blessings. Be sure that you write some too. Parent participation is important.


Tape the leaves to the tree. Enjoy! Add more as you think of them.


By Kasey

We are so blessed to have all our parents and brothers and sisters live within an easy driving distance. Most of our siblings are married and most have children. This makes for lots of fun with the cousins whenever we get together. We aren’t all that thrilled about Halloween, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a party. Lots of people don’t celebrate Jesus at Christmas, instead they celebrate Santa Clause. The same goes for us. We just celebrate Pumpkins. Thus we’ve come to calling this day Pumpkin Day!

The kids dress up in homemade costumes. This year we had a fairy, a cowboy, a cowgirl, a pirate, a princess and a mummy (who later turned into a cowboy).  


Everybody brings something to add to supper. We had chili, cornbread, salad, with hot apple cider and homemade doughnuts. The doughnuts are a tradition that everyone looks forward to each year. I did a blog on how I make them. Click the picture to get the recipe.

 All the families bring their pumpkins to carve. We had about 10 pumpkins to carve this year. It is a real fun time. 


It takes a while to get all of the pumpkins cleaned out. What a mess!


We had some pretty cool designs this year: a horse, a cowboy, a kitty, a honey bee, and some unique inventions. It is much more fun when the grandparents get involved and have fun too.  


Then we line up all the carved pumpkins and light them up. What an ambiance!


I like to share this book with my children every Pumpkin Day. Taking every opportunity possible to make a holiday as meaningful as I can is important to me. This board book is written in a poem by Crystal Bowman. She tells the story of a pumpkin (from seed to harvest). Then she uses the carving of the pumpkin to explain how God scoops out our sin and makes us like new. His light shines in us through our love to others. 


By Kasey

Turn ordinary Easter Eggs into something meaningful and special; a lesson about the true meaning of Easter they will never forget.  Your children will enjoy reenacting the Easter Story with these egg toys.

1. Make a list of all the Easter Bible characters that you would like to create.

2. Next, count out the eggs that you will hard boil, allowing extras in case of cracked eggs after boiling.







3. Tape shut a small box and cut a hole in the side large enough for an egg or a small hand to fit in.







3. Allow children (according to age) to color, paint, of glue rocks on the box. Whatever they want to do. My children are young, so we did something simple. Place a rock over the hole of the box so you can “roll the stone away.”







4. Wire sticks together to form crosses. Hot glue the sticks to a wide strip of cardboard so they can stand on their own.







5. Cut a 3 1/2 inch diameter circle out of cardboard. Cut that circle into fourths. Shoot a dab of hot glue onto the quarter of cardboard. 







6. Press egg into the glue. 







7. Repeat steps for all of the eggs.







8. These are the supplies that you will need. Add anything to this that you think might be interesting; googlie eyes, pipe cleaners, etc. 

9. Create characters using the supplies you have gathered. In the picture below we made two soldiers, Judas, a priest, Peter, and Jesus.







10.  Then we added the two thieves. 







11. Jesus in graves clothes to put in the tomb. 







12. Angel, Mary (Jesus’ Mother), Mary Magdalene, and Mary (Lazarus’ Sister)







13. Angel: I used the end of a bubble wand for the halo.







14. Mary Magdalene with Jesus in the Garden. He’s Alive!

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