Monday, March 31, 2008

I have surrendered!

Yesterday I finally sent the DH to the store for saltine crackers. I couldn't stand the constant "sick" feeling any longer. I think today I should buy stock in Nabisco. The crackers have helped a lot. I also find that if I'm craving something and eat it, it doesn't make me sick. However, if I'm not craving something and eat it- sick. Fair enough... I should eat what I crave. Unfortunately that has been seafood. Salmon, crab, lobster, shrimp etc. Not exactly frugal items. My husband treated me to Red Lobster last night but that can't happen too often.

The DH is fishing today but it is a catch and release only river. Sigh... I would love fresh pan-fried trout for dinner. Why can't I be craving pickles? So much easier and cheaper! I know several of my readers out in blog land are pregnant too. Do/did you all have cravings? What are/were they?

Also, I have read that cravings usually mean your body is deficient in something. If I'm craving fish and seafood what do you all think my body is needing?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sooo... slow.... sooo... tired

I'm finding that the first trimester tireds have hit. It's 3:30 pm and I'm just spent. I wanted to make pizza dough in the bread machine- didn't happen. I was going to bake a pound cake for strawberry shortcake... no energy to do that. Even posting this blog post is zapping my strength. This was going to be dinner: Homemade pizza, salad, strawberry shortcake. Dinner now may be sandwiches, grapes and chocolate chip cookies. ( I made the cookies yesterday.) Somehow I have to muster strength to make it to church tonight. Okay... I'm going to take a nap.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Easter Egg hunt will be....

INSIDE! We had a spring storm blow through leaving us with about 4-6 inches on the ground. Sigh.

Egg Dying Day at the Lewis'

Friday, March 21, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

I just received a wonderful gift. A wall plaque for my kitchen: My Kitchen Prayer.

It's not too much to look at (neither is my kitchen) but the words expressed are exactly me. One does not usually get such a perfect gift. My pastor's wife, Jill, knows me well. Thanks Jill!
For more Show and Tell Fridays go to .

Frugal Fridays- Homemade Basket Filler

I don't know about you, but I hate spending money on Easter grass. I would much rather come up with my own version then shell out my husband's hard earned cash, paying for shredded paper.

Anyone with their own paper shredder (which is quite a few people these days) can make use of their shreds for Easter basket filling. It's frugal and "green".

Start with an empty basket. Fill it to your liking with regular shreds. Pick a matching or coordinating color of construction paper or tissue paper and shred it. Add the color to the top of the basket and there you have it, a basket ready to be filled with Easter goodies.

Have a great Easter. Praise be to God for his wonderful plan of Salvation through the death and ressurection of His son, Jesus Christ!
For more Frugal Fridays go to and see Crystal's blog.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Catch Up!

Sorry for going MIA this week. Monday and Wednesday were incredibly busy and the DH has been hoarding the computer more than usual. Tuesday... I just found I had nothing to say. Such things happen.

The first thing I want to post today is.... It's Spring! Today is the first day of Spring. I am getting so anxious to start my container garden, and go rock hunting on the beach, and eat outdoors. Of course we might get snow this weekend. I really hope the kids don't have to hunt eggs in the snow.

2nd item of business... Rachelle Gardner over at is holding a writing contest. There are two different parts to it and the prize is pretty awesome for those of us wanna be writers. You have until Saturday to enter. Check it out!

3rd item of business... I didn't get a scholarship to the writing conference I wanted to attend. I got REJECTED! But that's just the name of the game. Getting rejected is actually okay at this point. It shows that at least I'm out there trying. Now, 100-200 rejections later and I might be getting a bit more dejected about rejection.

Last item... Brenners over at holds Write it Out Wednesday. I seem to be bad at posting it on Wednesday but here is my take on this week's exercise.

Jane (Girl in left forefront): Can you believe it? Prince Harry just winked at me!

Candance (Girl middle) to herself: Of course he just winked at you... your dress is stuck in the backside of your knickers.

Susan (Girl on right): Jane, will you accompany me to the loo please. I have something important to show you.

To have the above make more sense to you, check out Brenner's blog. You can also get the next exercise. Cheers!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We have a girl name!

After proposing at least 100 different options for girl names, the DH has okayed one: Taylor Hazel! Hazel was one of my DH's grandmothers. Taylor is a girl I know at my children's Bible club.

So now we wait 3 or 4 more months, until ultrasound time, to find out if we need the boy or girl name. Unless the baby decides not to let us know.

Don't ask me what I want because I'm not sure. I'll be good either way. We do have a lot more girl handme downs, but my son and DH need some more male blood in the house.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Frugal Fridays- Outing at Lake Michigan

I love living in Western Michigan. We are only 1/2 hour from Lake Michigan. It is fun to go to the lakeshore in all seasons. In Summer we swim and lounge, in Winter we awe at the ice formations on the lake, in Fall the forest foliage adds beauty to the beach. I will count today as early Spring.

We need to take my youngest to the doctor very near the lake shore and since we will be in the area we will stop by the county park. From Memorial Day to Labor Day there is a nominal charge but the rest of the year is free.

We will be bundled in winter coats but it is fun to explore the forest paths and see where spring is bursting forth. In a few more weeks we will be flying kites, and packing picnics.

For more Frugal Fridays go to Crystal's blog at .

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I have been tagged again...

Kara S. over at has tagged me so here goes...

1. What was I doing ten years ago? I was living in Renton, Washington (suburb of Seattle) and I was navigating my way through my first baby and being pregnant with a second. My husband worked a cushy coorporate office job and I was thrilled to be a stay at home mom.

2. Five things on my to-do list today. Get out of pjs, school kids, pick up house, laundry, go to Bible Club.

3. Snacks I enjoy? White Cheddar Popcorn, cookies, fritoes and cottage cheese, french fries, Hershey's kisses.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire. Travel, start a working guest farm, treat my family, help people struggling with mortgage payments, write, write, write.

5. Three bad habits. Nail biting, junk food consumption, lack of discipline.

6. Five places I have lived. Seattle, WA; Boise, ID; Fort Worth, TX; San Antonio, TX; Grand Rapids, MI

7. Five jobs I have had. Retail Cashier, wife, mother, homeschool teacher, writer.

I'm going to tag Dana over at . She was just tagged a while ago so I'm not sure she's up for another.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Write it out Wednesdays

This is what I worked on for this week. I think it needs more polishing if it were to become an actual poem but I'm pleased with it for the amount of time I was able to spend.

5 Senses On A Sandy Lake Michigan beach:

Stepping into the sand, my feet sink into the softness. The heat is not searing, but more like the comforting warmth of a grandmother’s quilt. A breeze brushes past, caressing my body with a cool whisper while the sun’s rays kiss my bare skin. The water tickles at my toes: an enticement to plunge into the chilly depths. I accept the invitation and then return to let remaining droplets creep down my arms and legs onto the plush of cotton.

My eyelids pull shut with a heavy droop and I notice the smell of baking sand mingling with suntan lotion and sweet dune grass. An occasional waft of lake water evaporates like the top note of a French perfume, while bottled water refreshes my taste buds like the burst of a plump grape.

Chatter, the boom of a faint bass rhythm, laughter and the whir of water craft creep past. The gulls sing their song until the sharp horn of a sailboat silences them. The slap of a football landing against skin and the squeak of unfolding beach chairs tell me I have neighbors.

My eyes open and a prism of color surrounds me; the red of the lighthouse, the orange of the sun’s rays bouncing off the golden sand, the green of the shallow water, the blue of the deep, the indigo of a passing speed boat and the violet flowers dancing across the bathing suit of a little girl.

Only the dark chill of advancing storm clouds will call an end to this day.

For next week's exercise and more Write it out Wednesdays check out

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A dying breed? (Oh, the luxury!)

Yesterday morning's hospital ER visit was interesting to say the least. I sadly surmise that we, the stay-at-home moms of America, are in fact, dying off quicker then I thought. The doctor that tended to my little one asked her if she went to day care. Of course my DD had no idea what day care was. She just stared at him blankly. I had to answer for her. "I stay at home with her." I couldn't gage the doctor's reaction.

Later as she was coming back from getting x-rays, the technition asked if I was going to be late to work. I answered I was a stay-at-home mother. Her reaction... "Oh, that's so nice. I don't meet many people who are able to do that anymore. It's quite a luxury!"

That comment, was like nails on a chalk board to me. I was able to hold my tongue but I was thinking of the oh so many things I could say. After all, I knew she was trying to be nice.

Let's look at the definition of luxury: something enjoyed as an addition to the ordinary necessities and comforts of life.

Correct me if I'm wrong, and I'm not complaining here, but how many of us SAHMs have given up what most of the world feels are necessities and comforts of life in order to be where we are? Staying at home for most of us isn't a luxury. It is a choice and usually a sacrifice of material goods for the greater good of raising our children as God called us to.

I really feel more families could obtain the "luxury" of a one income family if they were willing to cut out the real luxuries in their life. Forget the new, stylish car. Go with an old, reliable one. Forget the mall clothes, you can dress fine for much less. Movies, vacations, gadgets, junk food, hobbies, video games, cable tv, lessons of all sorts... when did these things cease to be luxuries and become things people think they have to have?

We should start making commercials like v-8 does- hitting people on the forhead when they choose luxury over children.

Reasons why I didn't post yesterday...

1. Bad insomnia

2. After I finally fell asleep, I was awoken at 5:30 am by crying. My littlest had fallen off the couch where she had been sleeping.

3. Littlest continues to cry, complains that her shoulder is hurting

4. Husband and I decide she should go to doctor, I drive to urgent care with her. ($25 co-pay)

5. Urgent care doesn't open for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

6. Back track 20 minutes to the hospital ER ($50 co-pay)

7. Littlest has broken collar bone

8. Arrange specialist visit

9. Go to Dentist appt.

10. Go grocery shopping and pick up some treats for the hurt child. (A color book and 101 Dalmations DVD)

11. Put groceries away, nap, make dinner

12. Clean up dinner, take bath, help hurt girl to bed

13. Sleep in bits, inbetween hurt girl's pain

Praise God the DH was off of work yesterday!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Are we losing liberty?

"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissove the politcal bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which compel them to the separation. "

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness- that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that when any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

I don't usually get too vocal about issues. I generally keep my life and blog pretty light and fluffy but this, folks, is the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. These are the ideas our great nation is founded on. It is these ideas that are currently being trampled. There are judges in California who have ruled that it is not legal to homeschool in that state because 99% of homeschooling families/teachers are not accredited to California standards. Its public school or become a criminal for most homeschool families. Imagine, "What is that guy/gal in for?" "Oh, you don't want to step in his/her path. He/she is a hardened homeschooler."

What starts in California seeps into the rest of the states. It sets precident. If California has its way, all children will be wards of the state school system. All children will be indoctinated into whatever thought system the state deems best and its not Godly values, folks. Its evolution, homosexuality, feminist and humanist thought.

President Clinton signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which essentially gives the UN rights over our parental rights. (Congress has yet to approve this.) How long until we are no longer allowed to teach our children about God at all?

We are losing our liberties one little piece at a time! At what point do the remnant of God fearing people in the USA say enough! Is the time coming when we will need to cite the Declaration of Independence to our own country?

Think about it. Go to to sign a petition about the Californian homeschool situation. From time to time the tree of liberty must be refreshed by the blood of patriots and tyrants. No... don't go killing anybody, just don't volunteer to lay down in your own grave. We must be prepared to stand firm on the statutes of God. A family should have a right to choose how their own child is educated and what they learn.

Stepping off soap box now (and hoping this post doesn't get me a file in the CIA or FBI).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Today I continued the raid of my linen closet.

I inherited two sets of embroidered dish towels. One set from each of my Grandmothers. One set shows a different bird for each day of the week and the other set show a different chicken and chore for each day of the week. (Okay, I'm partial to the chickens but I love both sets.)

There are 14 in all but I only had 4 available for photographs today. (Some are packed- we move a lot, and some are in the laundry)
I use them on a daily basis. They dry dishes, keep bread warm and serve as table art.

I plan to give each of my girls a hope chest. While I'm not ready to part with these towels yet, I do plan on embroidering a set of towels for each daughter. I can only hope they'll treasure the ones I make as much as I treasure the ones my grandmothers made.

For more Show and Tell Fridays go to .

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Write it out Wed...uh... Thursday

Brenners (Brenda) over at hosts a Write It Out Wednesday. Each Wednesday you get a writing start/idea and then you have a week to work on it. The next Wed. you post your writing on your blog. I think this is a great idea.

I didn't have time to come up with something original this week. I was busy completing a personal essay for a writing scholarship to a writer's conference. Boy was that nerve wracking. I understand that writing is an industry that one needs tough skin for... to handle the rejections, but it is harder to have tough skin when you are writing about yourself.

If I had had time to do Brenda's writing exercise, I would have had to do "D"... spy, modern day, Paris. So I'm going to post something I wrote a while ago. It's spy, future day, Pacific North West.

Arriana watched the torrents of water rage the rapids at her feet and then plunge, freefalling, into a mass of white foam a hundred feet below. Fear of death coursed through her veins, though she took care to show no outward display of emotion. The crowds would feed on it. They would love it. The morbidity of watching a body flap, without control, over the drop and then be crushed under the water's weight wasn't enough. There must be fear, shame and drama. Even now the crowd jeered and taunted. But Arriana would give them no more satifaction then her death.

"What Arianna? No tears, no begging? Don't I even get an apology." Theodore whispered in her ear and tightened the ropes that bound her wrists.

He was a short, fat little man with dark hair that fell in clumps around his thick face. His eyes were squinted into tiny black beads. His plump lips sneered with victory.

"I can't believe I married you and your moralistic ideals. You never fooled me. I always suspected you to be a traitor and a spy. But I never thought, even for a moment, that you were Christian. You know we'll flush our the rest of your network. There will come a time when your kind are extinct. The Great One will use genocide once more, if need be."

Arriana ignored her husband, the Governor of the Western North Americas. Her mind was full of things she could say but she pursed her lips and remained silent waiting for the throes of death.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My husband is a fish groupie!

Men can be so funny. My DH loves fly fishing. He goes often and has all the equipment needed. He has a group of fishing buddies too. Last night he and his buddies all went to a special showing of some independent fishing movie. Yes, that's right... a fishing movie.

The DH wore his fly fishing shirt (It's a special breathable fabric design to allow the fisherman to not get hot and sweaty.) and his fly fishing hat. I don't mean any ol' baseball cap. It's the Ross Reels USA cap. (It means something to fly fishermen- I just am not sure what. Maybe its a status thing?) I laughed when he came out of the bedroom ready to go. I asked him if he didn't want to wear his waders and bring his fishing rod along. He laughed with me in good humor.

When he got home he was all stoked about the movie (of guys fishing in different places). He chattered on about the size of the fish and how cool the movie was and how crowded the theater was. I guess people came from a couple of hours away to see the film. When I asked him if other people had worn their fishing shirts and hats, he puffed up and said, "They sure did."

LOL! These are grown men! And FISH! My DH was like a teenage girl who had just come home from her first boy band concert.

I love my husband, fishing quirks and all.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Lewis Household is expecting another kid...

I haven't confirmed it with my doctor yet but I have taken two tests.

The first test I took last week when I was pretty sure I was late. The result was inconclusive. My oldest daughter and I agreed I was pregnant. There was a very faint line in the section that was supposed to show the result. My husband (maybe it was denial) said that didn't count because it was barely showing and he felt the line should be bright blue like the control line.

Well, I waited a week. (Good thing the double test kit was cheaper then the single.) Today, it didn't even take a minute. Two very bright lines showed up on the test.

Here's a poll of the family: Dad thinks we need another boy and son thinks we need another boy. The three year old says she wants to be a big sister. The older girls think a girl is in order and I think a boy would be good for the men in the family but I think it will be a girl.

Before I was even dating my husband, we were hanging out in a group of friends, talking about the future and one girl said, "John's going to end up with five girls." John promptly replied, "And I'll love every one of them." Now, he doesn't recall saying that, but let me tell you, I remember. It was one of the first things that inclined my attention toward him- how many 21 year old guys say things like that? Well, we have three girls and we lost another little girl at 8 months into a pregnancy, so if this baby was a girl, that would be girl #5. Yes, I think crazy like that.

I also have to confess to thinking girls are a lot easier, for me, then boys to raise. I can deal with all the emotional hoopla. It's the physical antics of my boy that tire me out. My mom (who had four boys and myself) once sent me a cartoon. A mom was asking her daughter what she planned to do that day. The girl answered that she was going to finish reading a book and then draw some pictures. Next the mom asked her son his plans. The little boy had two plungers and some rope in his hand and said, "I'm going to see if I can walk on the ceiling." That just sums up the difference in boys and girls to me.

We have a boy name- have had it for a long time. Winchester Alan Lewis.

We need to have a girl name. I like Eliza Jane but the husband wasn't too thrilled with it. I'll have to research more family names. We generally go with a more unique first name and a traditional middle name: Seven Louise, Andi Rose, Remington Carlyle, Reagan Catherine. (Louise, Carlyle, Catherine and also Alan are all names-first or middle- of grandparents.)

If you have suggestions let us know! It would appear that the baby will arrive sometime in November, God willing. If you are inclined, please pray for the health of the baby and myself as I am the dreaded "38" years old which put both of us in the "risky" pregnancy category.

I also will share that the DH and I don't plan pregnancies or use birth control. I was ready to have kids about a year before the DH but when he finally was ready (about three years into the marriage) he said that we should give our planning to the Lord. So ever since, God has been in control. This is to reassure people who are contemplating family planning that giving God control of your family doesn't have to mean 16 children- though it may. God knows exactly what everyone can handle and won't give you more than that.

I also want to give a shout out to my sister-in-law (DH's little sister). Angela and Grant Dilger are expecting their 7th baby. They got married about six years after us, so that just shows that God does different things in each family.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

On the publishing path...

Dana over at and Jendi over at had a couple of questions after I posted last week about learning how to get your writing published.

Dana wanted to know a bit about e-books, especially how to choose a topic. She also wanted to know if marketing for an e-book would be a harder or easier journey then going the traditional publishing route.

First, let me say thay I'm a newbie at this so don't take my answers as gospel. Crystal over at has been running a Monday series on e-books from concept to publishing. This is where I recommend you pick up some good information. She has quite a few successful e-books out there.

Deciding what to write (e-book wise) is just like writing anything else. Write what God puts in your heart, what you have a passion about, what you know, what you are good at AND, here's the clincher, what people want to read. E-books do well if they are non-fiction and how-to orientated. In Dana's case, I know she is a artistic and craft orientated person. I would suggest researching what other crafting e-books are out there and seeing if there is a hole you could fill. Beginning sewing instruction, art for kids, success at craft fairs, quick and easy doll quilts.

As for marketing... e-books/self-publishing will require just as much work, if not more, then traditional publishing. It's all you... no agent, no publishing company. You have to make every single contact. If you don't market or market correctly, you don't sell. Make sure you think about who is going to buy your product, why they'll buy it, where they'll hear about it and where they'll go to buy it. The upside to self publishing- you are working only for yourself. There is no agent or publishing company steering you in directions you may not wish to go. Your time is your own. Beware... once you self publish a work it is very hard to get the same product traditionally published.

Jendi was curious about children's books. I am assuming that she is thinking about illustrated picture books. If you have a niche market, I could see you doing okay in the e-book form, if you have a quality product. But part of the joy of picture books is holding the hardcover in your hands and reading it to your child. You lose some of the "romance" of the picture book by reading it on a computer or having a paper print out. By niche, I mean a small, distinct group of people who aren't being reached through traditional routes. I'm thinking of quiverfull families, homeschooling families, etc.- people who fall outside the mainstream.

If you want to go the regular publishing route be aware that you must be more than good. You must be excellent. The children's market right now is saturated and agents/publishers are being very choosy. Make sure your idea is unique and you have a solid book proposal to pitch. I have never approached this field so I'm afraid that is all I have on that subject.

If you're reading this, want to get into writing and publishing and don't know what some of the terms I used (agent, publisher, pitch, platform, proposal) mean, drop a comment and I'll post more on the topic in the future. Feel free to ask away. If I don't know the answer, I can find someone who does.

If you like to write and want to participate in some writing exercises, check out . Every Wednesday you can get writing prompts and join a Mr. Linky to have others read what you do with it.

We have a winner!

The winner of the Garlic Salt, as drawn out of a bowl by my oldest daughter, is Kara S! Yeah!!!! I will need to get your addy and get that off into the mail to you. I hope you enjoy it. You all can check out Kara's blog at .