The vacation that wasn’t…

Our plans to travel to Arizona this week and visit family and friends didn’t work out. :( My baby had a scary emergency room visit (she appears to be okay now) and my husband came down with a nasty flu two days before we were due to leave. We can take a hint, we shouldn’t go. Our trip was postponed.

I was pretty sad about it, but now I am pretty excited. It turns out we will be going on our vacation, just not as planned. We are in the market for a…
school bus. Yes I know, I am crazy. This has been a dream of mine for quiet some time.  We will be converting a school bus into an RV! I am in the clouds, my imagination is running wild. I feel like a little kid designing and planning a fort. Check out my Dreaming of an RV Bus Pinterest board for all my crazy dreams for our future RV!

A letter from the mother of the child, on the floor in the grocery store, screaming swear words at the top of his lungs…

I knew when my son was 10 months old, something was different about him. He would throw fits that would put a three year old to shame.  I had a 3 year old daughter, and I kept telling the doctor, something is wrong with my son. All I was given in response from the doctor and countless mothers who meant well was, “He is just a boy”. I tried to believe them. I wanted to believe them.

When he was 2, I cried to the doctor, telling him I didn’t know how to handle him, he was so out of control and nothing I did was helping. His advice “your hand is the perfect shape for spanking his bottom for a reason”. Later when I asked for for my son’s medical records, the doctor’s notes said that I was distraught and really overwhelmed as a mother. The notes didn’t say anything about my concerns that my son had some kind of disability. They also didn’t have any record about him telling me I should spank my son. This was just one of the many messages over the last 8 years that I have received telling me, it is just my flawed parenting. Just be more consistant, more strict, more patient, more kind, more calm, offer rewards, take away priveledges, lock  him in his room, spank him. Not to mention the dirty looks or outright insults that have been flung at me almost every time I have left my house. Why can’t I just discipline him. Even my own family has said things like “he only acts like that because you do not discipline him”.

I am hear to say enough is enough. I HAVE disciplined him. My poor son has spent his whole life being disciplined. One system to the next, trying to find something that works. Guess what, he is still hitting me, breaking things, swearing.  STOP judging me. I tell everyone that I struggle with my temper, that I struggle with patience. But, do I? Actually, is it possible that I show more patience on any given day, then the average mom shows in a month? I love my son dearly, I am his mom, and I show him love and tenderness, seconds after his behavior has ripped our world apart for 20th time that day.

So, if it isn’t my fault, who’s fault is it? It isn’t anyone’s fault and certainly not my son’s fault. My son was born with the inability to figure out how to handle difficult situations. It doesn’t matter how much I discipline him. He WANTS to be GOOD. He WANTS people to LOVE him. He WANTS people to be his FRIEND. He just doesn’t know how. I have to hold my son and listen to him cry because he wants friends. It is heartbreaking. Don’t you think that if he could, he would. Kids without these developmental problems, naturally learn how to function in the world through trial and error. Kids like my son need much more than trial and error, much more than discipline. They need it spelled out for them. They need to feel loved and understood. They need to be a part of the solution, so that they can see how that solution came to be.

Enough is enough, stop blaming me and all the other mothers out there in my shoes. Stop looking down your nose at us. More importantly stop blaming my son, stop blaming and hating the beautiful children like my son, who just want to feel and be loved.

Do me a favor. The next time you see a mother at church, at the grocery store, at the park, with a child that has completely gone off the deep end, offer her your support. Show her kindness and love. And please, don’t forget to show that sweet innocent child kindness and love too.

How to fit traditional food cooking methods into a very busy life…

I have received many questions about how I fit traditional foods into my life.  I have a secret. I have not made everything from scratch this last month since Londyn was born… gasp. :)  I am getting back on that bandwagon though, so I thought it would be fun to start writing down everything that I do each day in food preparation.  A blog post each day seemed a little much, so I came up with the plan to give a description of what I do each day on my Pioneer Journey facebook page instead.  Maybe I can handle a weekly recap blog post.  We will see. If you haven’t already, head on over to facebook and like my page so that you do not miss my updates.  I am not going to promise that I will not miss days, but I will do my best to keep up with it.  As time allows I will blog some recipes and tutorials on how I specifically do things.  I will not have enough time to do them all at once, so let me know if there is something in particular you are interested in me providing a recipe or doing a tutorial for.

Londyn’s Birth Story

Warning: Contains details you may not want to read. :) Also I am not one hundred percent sure that I got the exact order of things correct, it is a little blurry in my head. :)

March 31st, 2014 @ 1:30 pm: I was laying in my bed nursing Xanthe to sleep for her nap and I felt a pop in my stomach.  For a second I thought “that was weird, that wasn’t a kick, what was that?”.  Then I remembered the pop during Nathan’s birth and I realized that my water just broke.  I stayed laying down and called for Rylee to bring me a towel.  She brought a towel just in time.  I called my husband, midwives, mother in law, mama, and my doula.  Charlene- one of my midwives was out of town, so she couldn’t be there.   Then I took a shower and put on a comfy dress.  Rylee helped me clean up the house some.  Tim came home.  Not much happened for a while.  My doula Lisa came over and hung out for awhile.  She helped me make my bed for birthing.  She helped my husband get the birthing pool up and ready.  My mother in law came over.

At about 4:00 I started getting uncomfortable contractions.  Tim made me a smoothie.  One of my the assistant midwives Glennin came over and started monitoring me.  At about 5:30 the contractions really started hurting. My mother in law took my oldest two kids.  My midwife Charlotte came over with another assistant.  By now my contractions were pretty painful.  Charlotte checked me and I was only at a 3.  I think it was about 7:00?? I have always done all the work in the last two hours, so this didn’t overly concern me.  Tim ordered pizza for everyone.  As my contractions continued to get worse, I really wanted to get in the birthing pool.  Charlotte encouraged me to stay laying down because the water might slow me down.  I nursed Xanthe until she fell asleep. I wanted to get it over with so I listened to her advice.  My contractions continued to get more and more painful.  I tried to eat a slice of pizza but as soon as I had my next contraction, I felt like I was going to throw up so I stopped eating.  My husband rubbed my back each time I had one.  I kept thinking they are really bad now, maybe I can get in the birthing pool now.  But then I would talk myself out of it and decide to try to wait it out a little longer.  Lisa kept adding hot water to the tub one pot at a time so that it would be ready for me.

I ended up just staying in the same place on the end of my bed laying down the whole time.  Tim’s mom came back with Nathan and Rylee.  Xanthe was still sleeping.  Rylee wanted to stay for the birth, but she was planning on taking Nathan and Xanthe (if she ever woke up) out again.  I continued to have very painful contractions. I had a really horrible contraction and I was trying to tell them that it was time to get in the water, but it wouldn’t stop and all of a sudden I remembered that same sensation from Xanthe’s birth.  I could only get out “Maybe I am farther along than I thought” and  then I just started pushing.  I knew immediately that it was time.  I gasped for Tim to get the kids out of the room.  Charlotte checked me and realized that I was pushing the baby out.  Rylee stayed and encouraged me and rubbed my forehead.  I pushed and pushed, it was the longest five minutes of my life, but apparently it was five minutes.  Finally, I felt the baby come out.  They put the baby on my chest and as soon as I saw her face I said, “It’s a girl”.  They looked and sure enough, it was a girl.  She looked exactly like Xanthe to me.  She was healthy.  About that time,  the total euphoria kicked in and I felt so overwhelmed with it.  I felt like I had been given some drug that hasn’t been invented yet.  I think I said something to the effect of ” I love having babies, I wish I could have 30 in a row”.  I was able to nurse her right away.  She latched on so fast, she nursed for a long time.  She nursed on both sides. I delivered the placenta and Tim cut the cord. Nathan saw the baby and then my mother in law took him to her house to spend the night. Xanthe finally woke up from her nap and was very excited to meet the baby.  After a long time, I gave my husband the baby, and the midwife did her newborn check up. The midwife assistants pushed on my stomach and tortured me in all those ways that they do. :)  I tried to get up to go to the bathroom, but I had to lay back down because I was so dizzy.  Tim brought me a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich that Rylee had made for me earlier.  I ate like 3/4 of it in about two minutes.  I didn’t realize how hungry I was.  Then Tim brought me a smoothie.  I drank some of that.  They helped me into the bathroom.  After awhile I managed to pee, but I got really dizzy again, so they helped me back to bed quickly.



My doula Lisa let Xanthe enjoy the birthing pool for a little while since I never used it.  :)

Rylee’s Birth Story Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Nathan’s Birth Story Part 1 Part 2

Xanthe’s Birth Story Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Nathan’s Lego Money Bank…

Nathan thinks he should get his own youtube channel. :)

Breaking out the birth stories…

Now that I am getting so close to having my sweet baby #4, I couldn’t help but reread my other birth stories.  Here they are (read at your own risk) :)

Rylee Part 1

Rylee Part 2

Rylee Part 3

Nathan Part 1 

Nathan Part 2

Xanthe Part 1

Xanthe Part 2

Xanthe Part 3

Story Time: I See Sam Books

Nathan has really loved reading these books.  They are similar to BOB Books except that they move along at a slower pace, and we think the stories are more interesting.  There are 52 books in total.  They are in the free domain.  You can look at them and print them for free.  The quality is pretty low though.  I would recommend signing up for a free 14 day trial to Reading Teacher.  It is an online reading program.  I am not recommending the program because I have never tried it, but they have redone all of the Sam books.  You can download them and print them.  They are great!  When I downloaded mine, the website was called and it was a completely free program.  It says that you will have total access to the program for 14 days.


Story Time: The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

The Golden Goblet

This seemed to be Rylee’s favorite out the books we read for Egypt this year.  It is from the perspective of the lower class in Egypt.  I think the ending has such a sweet lesson to be learned.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  I will receive a small percentage of any items you purchase through these links.  You do not need to purchase the item I am suggesting.  My family thanks you for using our links.

Story Time: Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Mara, Daughter of the Nile

I enjoyed this book, but I thought it was a little to old for Rylee (9).  It was heavy on the romance (nothing inappropriate).  There is a whipping of a woman that takes place that is pretty harsh as well.  I plan to let Rylee read it in a couple of years.  That being said,  it was an interesting story and held me captivated better than the others I read for this time period.  It is a little bit of a spy romance.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  I will receive a small percentage of any items you purchase through these links.  You do not need to purchase the item I am suggesting.  My family thanks you for using our links.

My favorite tools for use in a traditional kitchen…

I wrote about my favorite large equipment for a traditional kitchen yesterday, today I am going to list all of the smaller items that help my kitchen run smooth.


I use Cutco knives.  I love them.  I have a very large set, and I pretty much use all of them.  If I had to choose, I would get a medium sized serrated edge knife (like their medium trimmer), a paring knife, and either a chef  knife or a santoku knife (or both).  I have to admit I love their cheese knife and bread knife, I would have a pretty hard time letting those go as well.

Multiple Cutting Boards

Canning Jars and Lids

All sizes.  No amount would be to many.  I feel them up as fast as I buy them.  You can write on them with a sharpie and then wipe it off when you change what is in the jar.

Victorio Apple, Peeler, Corer, Suction Base

These are amazing.  So fast and easy to clean.  My kids love ours. You can use it for potatoes, but I prefer not to.

Candy and Deep Fry Stainless Steel Thermometer

I really like the one I linked to.  It is large and works really well for warming milk for yogurt.  It works well for cheese making too.

Digital Cooking Thermometer/Timer

What a great invention!  Perfect bread, perfect fish.  Where has this been all of my life.

Cast Iron Tortilla Press

Red Stoneware Tortilla Warmer

Hand Crank Pasta Machine

Pasta Drying Rack

Aprons, Oven mits, hand towels, and wash cloths

Cooking with my children is messy. Enough said.

Wooden spoons and spatulas

I can’t seem to have enough of these

Measuring cups and spoons

Both for liquids and dry ingredients.  Again I can’t seem to have enough of these either.

Stainless Steel spatulas and Utensils

Pyrex mixing bowls with lids and bakeware

I seriously never have enough!

Stainless Steel mixing bowls

I like these a lot, but mine do not have lids.  When I need a lid, I use the pyrex.


I use mine almost everyday.

1810 Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

I bought mine from Costco and couldn’t be happier with it.

Hand mixer


I have several and I use them all.

Potato Peelers

I love mine from Cutco.

Cheese grater

Kitchen Timer

Stainless Steel Strainer

Cuisinart Mesh Strainers, Set of 3

I have several sizes in stainless steel.

Plastic Sifter

I use this for cultures that do not like metal.


I can’t buy enough of this stuff.

Pizza cutter

Muffin and pie pans

Cookie sheets

flat ones and the ones with a ridge

Roasting Pan