Friday, May 31, 2013

Breakfast... Second Breakfast... Elevnsies

 *Finally* I can post this. (: Been sitting in my drafts box for 2 months, waiting to be posted, waiting for Samuel and I to announce online we're expecting our first precious little one!  So without further ado:


Yes, it is a Hobbit's life for me!  Truly.  Ever since finding out I was pregnant, I have felt like a hobbit.  My way to combat nausea (the dreaded "morning sickness"-not just in the morning after all!), was to eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies intentionally, take all my supplements and prenatals, drink at least one cup of raspberry leaf tea each day, a cup of milk with molasses, have my ginger candy at the ready, and, of course, eat every couple hours.  Literally.

So I began joking that I was having "second breakfast".  And "Second dinner".  But then I decided to look up the official mealtimes of Hobbit's, and their respective names.  So without further ado:

Breakfast (seven a.m.),
Second breakfast (nine a.m.),
Elevensies (eleven a.m.),
Luncheon (one p.m.),
Afternoon tea (four p.m.), |
Dinner (six p.m.), and, later in the evening,
Supper (eight p.m.) (only approximate times of day)

I feel this sums up pregnancy eating very well.  I'll munch on some nuts, cheese, fruit, veggies, caviar, etc.  But those meal times, breakfast, second breakfast, luncheon, dinner, and supper, those are real meals, just slightly smaller portions than normal to be spread out.

I'm happy to report, that I've only had one horrible sick day (pukey included) where I could not keep anything down.  My hypothesis is that I ate out twice the day before, and thus, did not eat as well as I have been.  The milder sick day was the evening where I had a small snack BEFORE dinner (around 5:30) and then dinner was postponed until 9:30.  Oh, what a rough 4 hours that was!  I didn't even get supper.  I was ready to crash.  Sleep also helps.  The fuller I am before bed and the earlier I get to sleep, the better I feel in the morning.

I think what strikes me the most (besides living a Hobbit's life as of late), is that I do not crave sweets or sugar, in fact, it rather repulses me!-then makes me feel sickly.  Which is good.  Fruit is borderline too sweet, but I don't ever feel bad after eating it. 

A lot of my new found knowledge about nutrition (and where I go to, to get snack/meal ideas) is from Mommypotamus, Foodrenegade, Weston A Price Foundation, and the best primer to date, the book "Beautiful Babies" by Kristen Michaelis.  I HIGHLY recommend that book, not just to those wanting to be pregnant or already are pregnant, but people in general!  Everything she says is tailored to nutrition for fertility and pregnancy, but it is so much more than that.  It is an excellent book to read if you are wanting to transition to a better diet, but would like more insight.  You know what I found intriguing about her suggestions?-  She lists organic veggies and fruits as the LAST thing to change in your diet.  I know right?  Don't sweat the small stuff, but change the things that will make the most impact on your health in your diet.

But I can't complain.  Having a half Hobbit's life is not so bad. (:  Especially when I know it is full of nutritious delicious food for baby Allison and I.  I might even be tempted to call my growing baby my little Hobbit (;  My very own halfling!

But in all, I am praising the Lord for this unborn life within me!  It is amazing to think that there is a little life inside me, and my first instinct is to nurture and protect him or her.  I'm very thankful that He has opened my eyes to His wondrous truth, that I have a fear for the Lord, a respect for life, and desire to love my child.  There are many who are not so.  They believe there is nothing wrong with the murdering of innocent life... a tragedy indeed!

We are so excited for November to get here!  Prayers are very much appreciated during this time.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Redeeming the Time

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" Ephesians 5:15-16

Sometimes I think about this and realize how often I fail at redeeming my time.  Part of it is that I lack the self-discipline, and part of that is because it seems most of my life my time was dictated by another.  Such as, co-op classes, then community college classes, work, then college classes, then more work.  It is easy to be productive when someone else expects it of you, but it is something else entirely to be the manager of our home and I am the only one expecting much of my time!-though Samuel too, but in a smaller way (and I must say, he is the most patient man I know!-I am a blessed woman that he does not criticize me, but rather lovingly encourages me).  So I am constantly learning and growing in this area.

But there is one area I've found that I do redeem the time wisely.  Back before I had this new occupation as wife, helpmeet, and manager of our home, I drove.  A lot.  It seems I was either driving to and from work, to and from church, or to and from a friend's house.  Always driving.  But I lacked free time, and what free time I had, I devoured books and online articles.  But here I had all this time whilst driving to and from so many places.  I don't precisely remember how long ago it dawned on me, but however many years ago it was, I discovered I can listen quite well while driving.  Not to music, but to sermons, lectures, and anything that I could learn from!  It was my one year at Texas A&M (Whoop!) that I began to enjoy listening to sermons when I discovered Sermonindex.  Prior to that, I listened to some things on Youtube.  But when I found a source to download from, it was a whole new world that opened up to me. But it wasn't until after I left college that I filled my driving time with sermons/etc. in the car.

But I don't drive nearly as much as I used to.  And I have generously donated my iPod to Samuel's work van and his pleasure to use while driving (he drives a LOT).  But immediately after we wed, I realized there were new tasks in life that I could actively listen to edifying teaching at the same time.  Things like, folding and hanging up the clothes, doing the dishes, cleaning around the house, during the prep and cooking of dinner, to name a few.  And I love it!-still love it!  In this small way, I can redeem the time from what could be mundane and monotonous tasks, to a time that I truly enjoy.  I don't dread these endless tasks (they just go on forever, you know, the rest of your life!), but see it as a time where I can listen and learn.  And sometimes I do just put on music to listen to.  (:  But the important thing is that I can constantly learn, even when it seems there is no time to read (but I do get plenty of time to read in this season of life).

A few of my favorite resources are:

Generations With Vision - A web radio show that airs Monday-Friday that weighs in on a myriad of topics and issues from a biblical worldview.  A newsource of sorts that isn't filled with the despair, but hope we have in Christ. It's generally about 30 minutes long, so I'll listen to a few in a row.

Ligonier Ministries - Essentially the teachings of R.C. Sproul Sr.  One of my favorite teachers.  There are so many different series you can find on this site to download or listen to on your web browser.

Sermon Audio - Like sermonindex, but I just like this one better now.  You can find plenty of Ligonier teachings on here as well.  Kevin Swanson (host of generations radio) is also a pastor, and I love listening to some of his sermons.  Paul Washer is great too.  Dr. Joe Morecraft III too.

Monergism - A website with more than just audio teachings.  But they do have some free MP3's to download that I have benefited from.  They also have great discounts from time to time too. (:

My Church Library - Lately I've listened to "A Critique of Modern Education lecture by R. J. Rushdoony; "Raising Godly Children In and Ungodly World" lecture(s) by Michael and Susan Bradrick.  Our church has a lot from the Chalcedon Foundation.

Sometimes I like to put on documentaries while I'm folding clothes. So many great ones out there, especially on youtube.  I recently watched Food Matters because a friend let me borrow their dvd, but it's on youtube.

I love discovering new resources, and the above mentioned are just a few that I utilize.  What/who do you like to listen to?  Do you have any suggestions?  Also, what are some ways that you have found to redeem your time wisely?

Friday, May 3, 2013

In Review: 3 Again

These three books were vastly different, yet brought much pleasure to read.  The first was the most laborious, the second, a borrowed book that was a page turner, and the third, a gift from a friend and very informative.  I enjoy reading any chance I can get and I'm pleased that I've been able to consume 3 times as many books as I anticipated this month.

The Harsh Truth About Public Schools by Bruce Shortt

I think the title of this book accurately sums up what the contents inside hold.  I read a few reviews on it and one lady was quite put off by his harshness.  Um, did you even read the title, lady?  He is unapologetic about his findings, his views, and presents a plethora of research, studies, and statistics just to drive home his point on {almost} every single page.  About 90 pages at the end of the book are just endnotes to source his facts and findings.  You could not ask for a better reference guide to how awful the government schools are doing in every area for some ammunition against the defenders of a sinking ship.

"Research from the Nehemiah Institute shows that children from Christian homes who attend government schools are five times more likely to adopt such anti-christian dogmas as moral relativism than those who attend Christian schools." pp. 13

"The fact is that government schools are killing our children spiritually, morally, and intellectually.  But most of us don't even see the problem;" pp. 14

And it's true.  On these three grounds the government funded education is failing your children by a Christian standard.  It's no hidden fact that children raised in Christian homes and who attended church are leaving the faith of their parents behind.  This is the fundamental reason: parents don't think it is their responsibility to educate their children!-academically or spiritually.  It's the highly trained professional teachers who are responsible for making sure my child gets a good education; it's the Sunday school teachers and youth pastors who are responsible for teaching my children about God.  He doesn't go into the latter, but definitely the former.

Each chapter is fascinating and a bit horrifying to read.  I think chapter two was the hardest to read because it was so explicit in the perversion and morally bankrupt culture in the schools.  It’s true, I never attended a public school, but most of my church friends did, and I was invited to go to school events including homecomings.  It was through that small window I can attest to the grotesque nature of the schools, so it doesn’t shock me to hear what Mr. Shortt says in his book, though it does make me sick.

In this book you get an understanding of the history behind education in America, how the schools were started and how they ended up where they are today.  You get a sense of the political agenda and driving force behind modern education as well as see the painful reality of the failing academic side of the failure.  He doesn’t leave out the disciplinary failures as well as complete lack of any standard for morality.  And yes, he even points his finger at you [the parent] who says, Yeah, well my kid’s school is different.  Above all, I appreciated his research about the very early education in this country and those of reformed protestants influence in education for everyone.  At the end of his book he offers a chapter of helpful information for parents who are looking for either a private Christian school to send their children, or the resources to learn about home education.

So what is his point?  “A Christian education must impart a Christian worldview in which the sovereignty of God and the central role of Jesus Christ in human history and affairs are understood by every Christian child.” Pp. 315-316.  But clearly, this is not the case for public schools.

This gets a 4 Star. 4) being, a really great book, useful to instruct, thought provoking/good entertainment, very challenging, growth as a reader, way more good than bad, would recommend. Worth reading again.  With the caveat that not every Christian parents needs to read this, but every Christian parent with children in the public schools, or planning to put their children IN the public schools needs to read this.

The Last Sacrifice by Hank HaneGraaff & Sigmund Brouwer
This is the second book in this series, fictionally set in the persecution early believers might have endured during the tribulation set in Revelation.  I think it’s fascinating that they included the disciple John in this fictional series.  The previous book was more about him, but his character is more prominent in this second book.  They have a cast of characters all interwoven, including zealous Jews, Jewish Christians, and a myriad of Romans.  Some of the perversions in this book are hinted at, but not as explicit as the last book, in my opinion.  So in that sense I liked it better.

Again, I think this is way better than the left behind series.  The history in it fascinates me.  The Christian culture is much more vivid, vibrant, and full of life than in the LB series.  Plus, this is an eschatology of hope, as opposed to the bleak and hopeless one of LB.

This gets a 4 ½ Stars. 4) being, a really great book, useful to instruct, thought provoking/good entertainment, very challenging, growth as a reader, way more good than bad, would recommend. Worth reading again.

Beautiful Babies by Kristen Michaelis
This is the book given to me by a friend from church.  What an excellent book!  This is not just for those women pregnant or wanting to be pregnant. This is an excellent resource for traditional nutrition in general. As well as a great navigational tool to wade the waters of "food" in our modern culture. What is good to eat and why. I appreciated her being a Christian, though I differed with her on a few points. Overall, a great book I would recommend to anyone wanting a great introduction, refresher, or more information on healthy, whole, and real foods.

She includes recipes in the back of the book, some great charts and lists for navigating the waters of GMO’s, MSG, oils, and tips on how to manage your kitchen, even on a budget.  A very practical book for starting changes in your diet.  Yes, it has some wonderful information on breastfeeding, what foods young children should eat, and what to avoid, as well as things to eat for fertility, and things to eat while pregnant.  But, it is in general, a great health foods book.  The Foreword was written by Joel Salatin!  All in all, I am glad I read this, and I use it as a reference guide now.  I would highly recommend this to any woman married, with children, or no children but want children.  In fact, it may even be a gift choice. (:  I appreciate the friend who gave this to me as a gift!

This gets a 4 Star. 4) being, a really great book, useful to instruct, thought provoking/good entertainment, very challenging, growth as a reader, way more good than bad, would recommend. Worth reading again.