January 20, 2013

:: i had an epiphany this week, despite having a degree in this stuff, working for years with kids that primarily grew up in highly dysfunctional, chaotic environments: children speak what they hear. they learn what they hear.  it was a regular day around here, and once again josiah blew us away with something he said … and we realized: he heard US saying that. he hears US saying so much to each other, so much sharing of ideas and discussion and talking throughout our days. and he speaks from that “database” of rich language … so basic and so true. my heart breaks for the babies that are hearing violence and profanity and scary.

:: i have had a major cleaning project hanging over my head for a couple of weeks: i *need* to get this big archaic space-taking, eye-sore desk out of our room. the drawers are overflowing with sentimental keepsakes; the top piled high with baskets overflowing, papers and bills spewing everywhere.   i need to make that corner of our room a sleeping space for baby caleb, who now pretty much only sleeps in our bed … he’s outgrown the bassinet, and there’s really no other place. and nights are beyond uncomfortable for this mama – back aching, neck craning through the night. SO, the cleaning project. i started last weekend and thought i would work on it during the week. but i realized …

:: i can barely keep up with basics of day-to-day living during the week … simply do not have the time to spend a few hours on a project. i was grumpy about it for a while, longing simply for a few uninterrupted hours (maybe in a few years?). but i decided to accept it, not stress over the project mid-way done … and work hard this weekend. so it’s now saturday and when i had a great window (caleb napping, josiah hanging with daddy) i did a tear up deep clean in our bathroom! it needed it so bad and i just jumped in … and feel so good about it. but needless to say, it took a chunk of energy and time … next was time to prepare lunch, and now it’s almost naptime. maybe i’ll tackle the project then? because now my energy is low, i’d love to shower and enjoy this glorious sunny cold day with my family. we shall see!

:: i made a pinky pact with 2 other mama’s doing this whole9 cleanse, that we would get out and take a good walk every day. i have made this happen most days, which i am glad about … the impact of being in the fresh air and moving my body is so real and good for me. i am a fresh air girl, period. confession: i cracked my kitchen window yesterday despite the freezing temps outside – just had to feel the cool fresh air. SO, the coolest thing is that many afternoons have been crystal clear, blue skies during my walk … absolutely glorious. i am walking farther, extending by a block or a hill each time. last week i invited hubby to join and ohmyword, one would have thought that man was in a fast walking competition, LOL. i could barely keep up! ha. but it felt good.

daddy walk



:: so, whole 9 … as i type this (it’s now sunday) we are on day 20!!! twenty days of no sugar, bread, rice, pasta, grains, dairy, fake anything. i am down 10 lbs which rocks! and mostly, i do feel pretty darn good. steady. even keel. no bloat at all. i am SO proud of my family and especially my daughter, who has not wavered once … no complaining, no asking to cheat, not once. amazing.  i will say that the work involved in eating like this is crazy. i spend hours prepping and cooking each day. there are no “convenience” options. lunch is a fully cooked meal, no heating up something from the freezer. the biggest bummer/challenge continues to be breakfast. we can’t do eggs, of course no other traditional grain/bread/oats options – so we are left with … chicken sausage. turkey bacon.  repeat. sure, i eat leftovers but maddie and hubby are not on board with eating, say, a bowl of leftover soup for breakfast. i MISS a bowl of hot steel cut oats with coconut milk, honey and cinnamon … a plate of hot pancakes with butter and maple syrup … ok, enough of that. suffice to say, i am going to be figuring out what foods i will be bringing back in to our diet, especially including breakfast options.

ok, a few pictures of my precious babies …

maddie bjorn

sweet big sis wanted to try wearing caleb in the bjorn!


amazing how much josiah loves his baby brother. he is always wanting to hold his hand, help put a paci back in, help him when he's crying. precious.

amazing how much josiah loves his baby brother. he is always wanting to hold his hand, help put a paci back in, help him when he’s crying. precious.



darling hat made by our dear friend jessica!

darling hat made by our dear friend jessica!




my dear friend, lori, gave us the sweetest holiday gift: ingredients and directions for making homemade laundry detergent.

i’ve been wanting to try this but hadn’t gotten around to doing it … now, no excuses, with everything i needed given so generously to me!

it was super easy to make and has already lasted several weeks. we have used maybe half of what we made. how frugal and wonderful is that!? what a money saver. i am so thankful!

1 of the 3 jugs that the mix made

the ingredients and instructions were simple:

{all the ingredients were in a darling little plastic bag tied with a ribbon}

:: 1/3 bar fells naptha

:: 1/2 c arm & hammer washing soda

:: 1/2 c borax

mix ingredients with 6 c water in pot over medium heat. whisk til dissolved. pour in to bucket with 2 gal plus 2 c water. let sit for 24 hours til gelled. mix before use.  use 1/2 c per load; may add essential oil for fragrance.

the little tag with ingredients and instructions

my new fave cleaner

December 9, 2011

honestly, i love this stuff so much. i’ve written about using castile soap before – so versatile, non-toxic and utterly useful as a cleaning agent. it’s one of those things that, upon discovering, you shake your head disbelieving that you lived without it for so long. it’s that good.

but this scent? it is incredible … i can’t get enough. i mix it in a spray bottle with lots of water and it’s the perfect cleaner for *all* things: kitchen and bathroom counters, spills, any surface.  dilute it in a sink and mop. put in a hand pump and use for hand soap. use in a pinch for cleaning anything, including people. 🙂

weekend piddling …

November 19, 2011

i am home this beautiful fall afternoon, with a sleeping baby, my girl gone on a sweet play date. i’ve been piddling – tackling chores and lists and projects that have been piling up. my focus: prepare for my hubbys’ return! tomorrow. i am so ready. it’s been a long 7 days … only one more to go.

when he left, in an attempt to set an update, positive tone for the week, i created a document for me and maddie: one column “work”, the other column “play.”  i listed some major chores that needed to be done, then we brainstormed together about “play” ideas that would help the time pass with activities to enjoy.

well, in reviewing our list today … we found that all the “play” items had been done, but we were lacking completion in the “work” category. lol. so she’s been a very hard worker this morning and i have floated in and out of many things (as mama’s do, right?). i have completed some of my list, and as my dear friend ernestine exemplifies and encourages: tackle one project. it will feel good to have it done. she is so right. so, the cabinet under our kitchen sink is no longer funkalicious (has it ever been cleaned?!) and the laundry room is looking so much better.

my thoughts are scattered so i have nothing super cogent to capture in this space … other than, we’ve experienced the faithfulness of our Father again, abundantly, this week. there were a few circumstances that threatened my peace and yet, even in the craziness, i had peace. i remembered the words of a friend, who said that perhaps the “worst-case” scenarios, if they came to fruition, wouldn’t be so catastrophic after all. wise words that i am experiencing. GOD is faithful.

a dear friend sent me this scripture this week and i’ve been encouraged by the words of David:

“then our sons in their youth

will be like well-nurtured plants,

and our daughters will be like pillars

carved to adorn a palace.

our barns will be filled

with every kind of provision.

our sheep will increase by tens of thousands,

be tens of thousands in our fields; our oxen will draw heavy loads.

there will be no breaching of walls,

no going in to captivity, 

no cry of distress in our streets.

blessed are the people of whom this 

is true;

blessed are the people whose GOD is

the LORD.”

psalm 144:12-15

frugal “air freshener”

November 10, 2011

the other day, i wanted to create a sweet smell in our home and i decided to try something using what i had on hand.

in a medium-sized pot on our stove, i boiled water and added chopped up apples and a generous amount of cinnamon. i brought the mixture to a boil and then simmered for the rest of the day (replenishing water as needed).

i loved it! it did create the smell of something delicious baking in the oven and the best part: it was free!

i love when there are free, simple things that we can do to improve our home environment.

{i know there are so many creative ideas for air freshening mixtures, and would love to hear yours!}

this inspired me

August 14, 2010


(i love her site always … so much inspiration and insight shared).

this morning, i tackled our laundry room – yay! i’ve made a list, posted on the fridge, with my “decluttering” goals. my plan is to tackle at least a room/week, over the next few weeks.

being home

April 22, 2010

… allows a focus and opportunity for nourishing and healing through intentional choices throughout a day.

being gone from home during the week (for a short season) has reinforced the magnitude of the GIFT that it is, to be in my home throughout the day ..

i find that being gone lends itself to shortcuts, hurriedness, food more on-the-go, less time for prep steps that increase good nourishment.

this resonates deeply for me as i have a heart and burden for working mama’s (having been one for so many years); the near-impossibility of being able to deeply, slowly, thoughtfully, dive in to the layers of preparation, planning, work and time to feed and nourish our families really well.

i am convinced that we can’t “do it all”; it’s a lie in our culture. something will give.

and i’m finding that even in my small-scale (relatively) venture of working back outside the home; what “gives” are the nourishing details …

forgot to blend that fruit smoothie with glyconutrients to start our day; no time to thoroughly clean up the kitchen after breakfast prep; grabbing more processed, packaged food while caring for baby D (that we don’t keep at home so that it’s not within reach and tempting!); did i defrost meat for dinner, and what am i fixing!?; did i leave something for my  hubby to eat while we are gone?;  etc.

what a contrast with the ease of moving through our mornings at home; lingering over a satisfying, whole foods breakfast; blending a smoothie later when we feel hungry; sipping water throughout; prepping for dinner during schooling breaks; soaking food needed for tomorrow; cleaning as i go so big messes (in the kitchen, at least!) don’t pile up; doing laundry and cleaning throughout the day; beginning a cooking project i’ve been wanting to try (like this granola bar recipe!)

i am thankful for this time of contrast; for this great reminder of how blessed i am to be a mama at home. i do not take it for granted.