What if tomorrow never came?

IMG_0117What if tomorrow never came? In my reading today, the first verse stopped me in my tracks and I ended up reading it multiple times and thinking on the many results of “boasting thyself of tomorrow”.

The verse says

“Boast not thyself of tomorrow;                                                                                       for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

If I knew that, how would I change today?

What would I do differently?

I would shout from the housetops how we need Christ- how we were designed to have God as a daily and constant part of our lives. I would share this video to help them grasp this concept and understand what the Bible is truly about:

I would appreciate my boys more and hug and kiss them heaps…

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In between kisses and cuddles, I would keep telling my friends about God’s goodness and their need of him. These are the verses that God impressed on my heart today…

Proverbs 27-

1. “Boast not thyself of tomorrow;                                                                                      for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

8. “As a bird that wandereth from her nest,                                                                  so is a man that wandereth from his place.”

9. “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart:                                                               so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.”

12. “A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself;                                      but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

17. “Iron sharpeneth iron;                                                                                                        so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

20. “Hell and destruction are never full;                                                                        so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

My friend, you may not think about what happens after today, after your God-given moments are over. I plead with you to spend 11 minutes watching the video above- 11 minutes that could change how you spend eternity.

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On Using Soap Nuts

“What on earth are soap nuts?!” you ask.

I wondered as well after I won some at a cloth nappy gathering I attended during Cloth Nappy Week .

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This is what they look like.
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They are super versatile!

So, my first try at using them was that day,  I think (endless cloth nappy and child laundry!) I didn’t have a great experience with them, though, and my clothes stunk. :/ Not ideal! I stopped using them and there they sat.

As I was nearing the end of my cloth nappy detergent, I started researching how I could avoid the smell and I came across a couple helpful blogs (here and here) and comments that made me keen to try it as a liquid rather than the soap nuts straight in the bag in the washing machine.

So, one day while mom was visiting, I got out the saucepan, popped 6 shells into the cotton bag, tied it shut,  added 4 cups of water, and turned the element on and started the process!

I then let it get to boil, mashed the bag a little to release more suds, and then turned it down to simmer for thirty sixty minutes. Then I prodded it a few more times, and it then sat in the pan for a couple hours overnight before I poured it into a plastic container.

I was also out of shampoo by this point, so I HAD to make it. I have been trying to replace things with stuff I already have around the house. See my Baking Soda and Coconut toothpaste post coming soon.

Here’s how it’s been going…

As a shampoo-

I’ve only used it twice so far, so the jury is still out on it. I did learn the first time that I needed less than I used, but it’s hard to gauge as it’s not sudsy like “normal” shampoo. I poured a little into my hands, put it onto my head, massaged it through my hair (kinda guessing because you can’t really feel it!) and did a little in my hands and added that to the ends of my hair. Then I stuck my head under the water and massaged it all in a heap more, trying to make sure that it spread out evenly.

My hair definitely felt different (probably because it’s not full of chemicals!), but afterwards seemed super heavy and greasy, but felt clean and soft within an hour of drying it. I tried it again this morning and used half as much or less and it still came out appearing greasy, but now (14hrs later) actually looks even better than it did when I got out and dried it. Weird. I’ll have to do an update after using it a bit longer!

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As laundry detergent-

I love it as a liquid- especially once I learned that it helps to add it to warm water first and then pour it in. Absolutely no smell problems now, and they definitely seem cleaner than ever. You use only a tablespoon or two of the liquid, so it’s super duper economical! See here for a price comparison.

IMG_0116As a dish soap-

I didn’t intend to try it out like this, but after I made the liquid, I had the bag sitting by the sink and it was turning a bit brown from the wet soap nuts, so I went to rinse it out and got heaps of suds! So, I set it aside again and with the next lot of dishes, I just squeezed the bag a few times and had my dish soap! AWESOME! Dishes came out as clean as usual and I am quite keen to carry on doing that.

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So as you can see, it’s a very versatile product and I’m excited to see how we go over the coming months! I’ll be sure to update this or link back to it as my uses continue to vary and I see the longer term results- pros and cons.

Please do share your experiences and tips on how they’ve worked for you!

**Update April 2015- So I didn’t end up using it as a shampoo for long. I am sure it was cleaning well enough, but I wasn’t quite there in my crunchy journey to give up my sudsy, luxurious feeling shampoo. I still used it as a laundry soap until just the other day, but only because I was trying something new with the cloth nappies. The soap nuts weren’t the problem- I think it is more of my routine that is the problem. 😉 (laziness!)

I would still highly recommend using them for laundry and dish soap!**

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They are all these good things…natural, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, biodegradable- but my favourite part is the “up to 90 loads thing!”
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Obviously, since I won these, it’s the only brand I’ve tried, but I am happy with them!

I enjoy visiting…

There are a few websites that I have saved to view in my stolen moments here and there. Here’s a list that I will add to over time, I’m sure!

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I loooove ereadergirl.com! My mom and I share an Amazon account for our kindles, so we have downloaded most of our free books through this awesome site. I check it regularly and it has led us to many lovely series that we likely wouldn’t have found otherwise.

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One of our favourite authors- found through ereadergirl– is Chautona Havig. We started reading random, free episodes of her series Past Forward and have since read and bought many of her other books. We have found it difficult to put them down, and multiple times my kindle has told me how late mom stayed up reading a certain book and vice versa (if we end up on the same book at the same time.) Super Duper recommend her- you will not be disappointed!

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One  of my girl friends has a beautiful blog that she has started and I love her perspective and beautiful things! She is super clever and talented and I want to be able to be that handy dandy with a sewing machine one day (when I grow up! 😉 )

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This awesome blog is full of wonderful resources for me as a mum with young children! Countless hours of inspirational ideas! She has HEAPS of articles to help with homeschooling (toddlers and up!), sensory bins, printables, etc… Definitely worth a look!

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I often visit my website because I get excited over the money I am making while being a stay at home mama to my boys!! Also, because I’m selling these awesome cosmetics, I generally look tidier on a daily basis so that when I do go out, I am a good advertisement for the product! Making the effort to look lovely helps me in several ways:

– I feel more alert! (I know that I look less tired than I feel. )

– My husband appreciates it! (a lot! And he’s generally always preferred me without make up!)

– My boys enjoy a happier mama (because I feel more alert!)

Image– I get more done throughout the day because I’m ready to leave the house spur of the moment.

– I feel more upbeat and productive and generally increase my productivity by 100%!

– I am excited daily since the royalties get put into my account within four hours of every sale! Woohoo!!

 

 

Anyway, there are a few of my most visited links! Please share some of your favourites in the comments so I can enjoy them as well!

Three Ingredient Gluten Free Banana Pancakes!

So I have seen these easy banana pancakes posted on Facebook several times and finally got around to making them this morning as a Sunday morning treat. YUM!

As I cooked, we were encouraged as we listened to the lovely cd “God of Our Praise” and started preparing our hearts for church. I love having good music filling our home!

I googled easy banana pancakes and this awesome blog came up and I perused it and headed back into the kitchen. I think I’ll visit her site regularly!

Anyway, so I get into the kitchen and get my bananas ready…

IMG_0106I go to crack the eggs and realise- DUH– have to whisk the eggs first. (I may have realised this after cracking the first egg over the bananas…)

So-

STEP ONE- Whisk the eggs!

STEP TWO- Mash the bananas.

STEP THREE- Add some baking powder.

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STEP FOUR- Turn on the correct element.

STEP FIVE- Cook them small and leave them longer than you think you should- turning them over too soon is messy!

STEP SIX- Put toppings on and enjoy!

STEP SEVEN- Go to the awesome original blog  and follow her instructions and find the exact recipe details there. 😉

I doubled the recipe, but in the end, I didn’t really need to as it was just JJ and I (Hubby left for work early). We had them served with strawberry yoghurt and raspberries. Mmmmmm!!

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JJ loved them too!!!
JJ loved them too!!!

Our Home Birth

Master E’s birth story! (Warning! Fairly detailed birth story ahead!)

I woke up to a painful contraction just before 6am on Wednesday, March 12th. I wasn’t sure if it was the real deal or not, but it hurt enough that I had to get out of bed, get onto my knees, and lean over the bed swaying. I got back into bed but another one came a few minutes later. I was feeling a lot of pressure down low, so I kept trying to go to the toilet, thinking maybe that was causing the pain. The second or third contraction, I saw some blood and was starting to think it was the real deal. At that point I went and got into bed with my husband and told him that I thought it might be starting, but there was no need to get up yet. A minute or so later I was out of bed swaying through a contraction again and he got up and excitedly got dressed.

At this point the contractions were about five minutes apart, so I text the midwife that things were happening and she said to keep in touch over the next hour. JJ woke up around this time and my husband got him ready with breakfast while I was working through the painful front and back contractions. I poured a bowl of muesli, knowing I would need as much energy as I could get, but I only managed a couple of bites between contractions before they were too close together. At this point, my husband was already filling up the pool and I went into the lounge trying to survive the pain. (wondering why on earth I had been excited for labour!!)

Home water birth is awesome! (I felt like I was going to die at this point! lol)
Home water birth is awesome! (I felt like I was going to die at this point! lol)

Around 7, I think, I told my husband to text the midwife and tell her to come, because they were much closer now, less than three min apart, I’m sure, and progressing quickly. We also called our pastor’s wife and she made her way over to help with  JJ while I laboured. As soon as the pool was filled, I got in, and the relief was immediate! The contractions still hurt super badly, but they were lessened by the heat. I couldn’t wait for our pastor’s wife to get there to watch JJ, because I was eager to have my husband in the pool to apply pressure and heat to my back during contractions. At one point, while hubby was doing one of many small jobs he needed to get done, JJ had a leg over trying to get into the pool fully clothed. Haha. He was a good distraction at the beginning, but at this point I was needing to concentrate fully on the breathing!

My midwife arrived at 7:50am and saw that things were progressing well based on my contractions, breathing, etc. You know, I realised afterwards that I never had an internal examination from her the entire pregnancy. Ah, I love midwives! (I had internals the two times I went into hospital with suspected early labour, but thankfully both times it was a false alarm) Anyway, the second and third midwives arrived in the next ten minutes or so, and one of them would check baby’s heartbeat between contractions. They had a probe that could go into the water, so I never needed to move from wherever I was most comfortable.

I tried several positions in the pool, but with the intense back pain, the only way I was handling the contractions was by leaning over the side of the pool, breathing deeply and exhaling into the towel that was there. (I was exhaling into the side of the pool, but you can imagine what kinda sounds that made, haha. I didn’t do that for long! Lol) As soon as our pastor’s wife got there, she and JJ went to his room to play “airport” and there they stayed until seconds after E was born. My husband was a HUGE help in the pool, pressing the super hot hot water bottle against my back, first with his hands, and eventually holding it there with his foot while leaning back against the pool. (I found that out later!) The back pain didn’t stop between contractions, so he must have had a good workout holding the pressure there for about an hour! I must have looked out of it between contractions because my arms hung limply over the sides as I rested completely between contractions. Every second or third contraction, my midwife would help me drink from my water bottle or I’d grab it myself, but I was feeling pretty weak about now. She was sitting beside the pool by my head and she would hold my hand through the contractions which was a huge help. My waters finally broke about 8:45am and it was so exciting! I knew then that it wouldn’t be much longer. Apparently I was good about telling the midwives what was happening, and because there were three of them, one was taking notes minute by minute so I have a very detailed record of it all!

Around 8:53, I told them I could feel baby moving down and once baby was in the birth canal, I just pushed until he was out! I wish now I would have done it a bit more slowly as I ended up with a tear, but at the time I was so tired and knew that pushing would get it over with! My midwife could see the head with a little mirror underneath me at 9:05 and I had him at 9:08. She had been supporting my perineum to try to reduce tearing, and she helped me with the pushing/panting right at the end, so when he came out, she caught him and handed him up through my legs into my arms as I let out a cry of relief and joy! I turned around immediately and sat next to my darling husband in the pool and they put a towel over our little boy as he laid on my chest in the warm water. E let out a 30 second (or less!) cry, then he promptly fell asleep on me, so amazing! The notes say that I said

“Mama and Daddy love you so much. Welcome to the world!”

It was amazing to hold him and relax together for the first forty minutes before we did anything else.
It was amazing to hold him and relax together for the first forty minutes before we did anything else.

It was such a special time and JJ came in seconds later. He knew exactly what had happened and said “baby, in the pool!” I was so glad to have shown him the waterbirth videos on youtube to get him used to labour and birth! I think next time I’d like to have the boys in the room when I am pushing so they can see the actually birth (you can’t see anything much in the pool anyway, but the baby coming out of the water has to be pretty cool!) We called our parents and siblings from the pool to tell them the news. Mom and dad were driving and about half-way here and Mum and Dad G were getting ready to fly up! They were all shocked that he came so quickly!

We laid there with him for around 40min, the pool getting topped up with hot water now and then. I was keen to cut the cord after birthing the placenta, but in the end we cut it so I could stand up and try to get it out with gravity’s help. No problems there, yay! I then moved to sit on the couch and they handed E to me for his first feed and he was a pro! It was all pretty relaxing from there. Mom and dad arrived at noon and Mum and Dad G got in around 1ish, I think. We had wonderful family time and I wouldn’t change it for the world! E was weighed at 8lb 3oz and he was/is perfect! He is a wonderful feeder and sleeper and we so delighted to have him in our family. JJ absolutely adores him and if I don’t get to baby fast enough when he’s crying, JJ is telling me “Hurry, mama! E crying!” (sometimes this is yelled from his room if he’s supposed to be napping or something!)

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We’ve had a family of four for just over three months now, and it’s going pretty well. 🙂 Please keep the prayers coming as we strive to raise Godly children! Thank you for all who were praying for us through the pregnancy and labour- God kept this baby in until 39 weeks which was astounding to us both! 🙂

A Pretty Clear Message

How could he be anything but a little angel?
How could he be anything but a little angel?

As I was reading Proverbs 17 today, based on the verses that spoke to my heart, the problem that needs to be dealt with is pretty clear. See if you can find a theme…

vs 1: “Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.”

vs. 14: ”The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water:therefore leave off contention before it be meddled with.”

vs. 22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

vs 25: “A foolish son is a grief to his father , and bitterness to her that bare him.

Vs 27-28“He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a food, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

Lately, I’ve been struggling to have patience with my two year old. TWO YEAR OLD. Some of you may have had an easy time of the two year old period, but I’ve not heard of many who have! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone, but sometimes, one can’t help but wish to avoid the conflicts that arise in the two year old training period! (From the looks of it, even after two, we’re not out of the woods yet!) I am so thankful that God made the days to be only 24 hours and then every day can begin ANEW.

 

I want to have a happy home, and often I try to do it in my own strength- without calling out to God and following His very clear directions given to me through His Word. It’s these days, the one’s when I’m not leaning on Him, that I fail as a godly mama. Those days happen too often. The six five am wake up. The go go go of family life with a very active toddler and three month old baby. The unpacking/housework/cooking. The time spent with my husband in the evenings. All of these things are things that are a big part of my life, but they can become my idols if God doesn’t come first.

It’s so easy to realise these things! Realising and changing are two very different things. Re-organising priorities and making good habits with God being foremost- those are the tough things!

I want to be the loving mama who doesn’t raise her voice in anger.

I want to be the mama who’s children know she is praying for them.

I want to be the mama God wants me to be- loving, kind, firm, Godly, consistent, and so much more.

This is my prayer. I am a real mama with real, daily struggles. I am not perfect! I struggle daily with my flesh as I fight the impatience, the temper that arises as my son and I clash. Please pray with me that I will be the right kind of mama to my boys.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

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A journey dreams are made of…

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Welcome to my journey as a mother and wife!

Please join me as I learn and share this life that I always dreamed of, and please, please contribute through your comments and feedback as I always strive to learn and grow!

As the blog name suggests, our home is full of kisses, cuddles, and aeroplanes! My wonderful husband has always had a love for aircraft and that has been passed on to our two year old, and no doubt our baby boy will soon love them as well!

I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I love writing them!

                           Kisses for J