A wife of noble character who can find?...She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:10, 26 & 28

Monday, October 29, 2012

Making Your Own Muesli

I don't know about your household but in this household certain people have their favourite breakfast cereals and others have ones that they won't touch. My eldest boy hates porridge yet 3 of the younger ones LOVE it and ask for it every morning and while I'm making the porridge they bring me a snack cup to put some rolled oats in so they can just eat that. Another of my children hates Wheat Biscuits and mostly eats Cornflakes for breakfast.

It's not just the children, though. My husband loves his muesli but is very fussy about what kind he eats, he hates too many seeds like sunflower seeds, and the muesli that is his favourite is sooo expensive (more that $5 for a 1kg box). No-one is allowed to eat 'his' muesli because it is a little box and costs so much so we've decided to try our hand at making our own and it has been a huge hit.

2kg of rolled oats (I used quick oats but most bought muesli's have ordinary oats)
1kg of sultanas
500gms dried apples
250gms dried apricots (Updated to 500g)
small packet of slivered almonds
1kg Bran (like Kellogg's All Bran only I bought the generic stuff)

I actually put a little less than 1kg of sultanas in but was told I should have used the whole bag and the same with the dried apricots, I used 1/2 of a 500g packet and the kids told me I should have used the whole packet. I chopped the dried apple and dried apricots up really well in my little Tupperware hand chopper but I think next time I'll try the food processor as it was pretty hard on my hands, or you could just use a knife but I don't like big chunks of dried apricot. Personally I would like sunflower seeds and Pepita's in my muesli but Tim hates them so I'll leave them out for now.

I can't believe that I made this on Friday and now it's Monday and there's less than 1/2 of what I made left (and Tim wasn't even home this weekend). I'd take a photo but all there are are empty bowls :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tim Inglis Ministries

I just wanted to take a moment to brag about my husbands weekly newsletter. I've been getting so much out of it, I hope you do too.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Attachment Parenting or Self-settling: a Mother on the Battlefield

I haven't been writing very often lately. A lot of it's because homeschooling eight children and trying to run a Cake Decorating Business doesn't leave me with a lot of time but also because I feel that I haven't really got anything to say that other people might like to read. Especially as a mother of a baby, I feel like I've gone back to brand new motherhood status. As I'm writing this, at 1am, I'm listening to my little nine month old bubba cry her little eyes out (actually it's more a temper tantrum) and she's been doing it for over 1/2 an hour.

When I was pregnant with baby number 7 I was all set to write a post on settling a baby, the way I remember settling most of my previous 6 children, but I didn't get around to it and then Emily was born and didn't fit into that mold. She only slept in my arms, or in our second oldest son's arms, and if you put her down in her bed she would be awake within 5 minutes. I wrote a previous post about how hard it was with her here. Grace hasn't been much better and now that she's nine months old and I'm still pacing the bedroom floor several times a night to get her settled I'm blaming it squarely on the fact that I've bought into 'attachment parenting'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for some aspects of attachment parenting. I personally think that little babies need to put their energy into growing rather than crying and I LOVE my baby carriers. I feel so sad for little babies who are left to cry in their prams while their Mum's push them around the shops. I just want to walk up to the Mother and give her my own baby carrier. I also believe that it helps both mother and baby to bond with each other and get a breast feeding routine happening and I love snuggling with my baby in bed.

But when does it go from being attachment parenting to torture from sleep deprivation? I have seven other children and a husband who need me to be stable, well rested and able to carry on, not grumpy and lethargic from lack of sleep, I don't have the time to be cuddling a nine month old off to sleep, plus she's grumpy because she's not sleeping enough both during the day and during the night. She's also getting heavy, some days my arms feel like I've been to the gym but all I've done is hold Grace.

I think with attachment parenting you need to be in it for the long haul and not have many other children. Or I could just be doing it wrong. I look at little Emily, Rose and Christian and wish that I had more time to cuddle them and that I was less tired and could invest more emotionally into them and I'm sure the older kids wish that my arms weren't full with a baby so I could take some of the housekeeping load off their shoulders.

So now, at half past one in the morning and after crying for over an hour, Grace has finally given up and gone to sleep. Kahlia has gotten up with her quilt and gone to sleep on the couch, I've got to get up in a few hours and drive Tim and Josiah to Bible College and I can't help but think that it would have been much easier to start getting Grace to settle herself a lot earlier, but how much earlier I don't know.

And now I'm off to bed for at least an hours sleep, hopefully, before she wakes up for a feed and we start all over again.

*EDITED: She slept until 5:30am and went back to her own bed with barely a sook. It's so important to me to get her sleep sorted out is not just for me, but for her as well. When she was younger she would go back to sleep while she was having a feed but now she gets very restless and wants me to pace the floor rocking her several time during the night. She needs good long sleeps to for growing development and her happiness (as well as ours ;)).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Children are Blessings

This post, written by the Jeub Family, pretty much says what has been on my heart.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spring (Autumn) Cleaning

Grace, the little cutie, is 5 months old now so I guess it's time to get on top of the housework. We keep it tidy at a certain level but as we've offered to have a connect group in our home we should probably set the bar a bit higher. The way I'm going to attack it is one room at a time and as I have Mother's Day cakes to make and places to go this afternoon I'm starting off with an easy one, the Entry Hall.



To start with I put on some good music, in this case Casting Crowns, it makes housework so much more palatable. You can even see the wipe marks on the walls. I wasn't going to wash these walls as they weren't so bad but once I started it was hard to stop. I also LOVE my steam mop. Tim's Mum and Dad bought it for me and I am so appreciative of it. They were probably sick of me whining about the other mops I had been using.

I wonder how long it will look like this, though.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Who's Influencing Our Children?

Warning: This is a bit of a rant

As my children have gotten older I've become very aware of how little time we have left to influence anything in their life, which in turn has made me be extemely thankful that we started homeschooling and are able to spend more time with our children, being role models and guiding them in their walk as Christians into adulthood. As any Christian parent does I worry that they will choose not to walk in Christ's footsteps, fall away and become enamoured with the worldly way of living.

Going back a little while, I remember when I was a teenager and starting to try and think for myself I believe I was very blessed to have firm roots in our church and youth group so that I had other Christian young people to model myself after and to support me when I was confused and troubled.

When we moved back to Victoria our choice of Church to attend was influenced greatly by their youth program as we wanted our children to have Christian friends to influence them as most of their friends at that time were not. Also we wanted to have other positive role models in place for when our children inevitably go through the stage of thinking they know better than their parents and start listening to other people more. We also started to attend a 'Connect Group', known as Homefellowship group when I was growing up. This particular group was held on a Friday night while the older kids were at their youth group and so we'd drop them off and take the younger children with us. These groups are important to bond with other like-minded Christian's, they become friends and even family and are a great support but also allow you to be a support to them. For reasons that are unimportant we needed to find a new Connect Group to attend and the way our church do this is rather than have you jump around from group to group trying to find the right one they find one for you.

But finding the right group for us is not easy, apparently. It seems the trend is for husbands and wives to attend separately so the man goes one week and the woman the next and whoever does not go stays home with the kids. Tim and I don't want to do this. We want to attend as a family, letting our children see how we interact with other Christian adults, allowing them to interact with other Christian children and maybe learn something about what it is to be a Christian from others. But people hear that we have eight children and just assume that it's too hard. What emphasized this for me was how rudely we were spoken to after church, by a prospective connect group leader telling us that it was just too hard and he and his wife had family issues and that it was unfair to his wife and again that it was just too hard.

This attitude is rife throughout the church and I believe that it is wrong. It is Satan's influence and he is laughing his head off at how many young people are lost because of this. We say that children are a blessing but our way of living shows that it is just lip service. I've said tongue in cheek that having a larger family with many children is my silent protest at our attitude toward protest but I guess I'm getting more and more serious about it.

Think about this, though. The average family sends their kids to school. They're up at 7am and are out the door around 8am, no later than 8:30am. You can't class that hour to hour and a half as a time of positively influencing your children in their walk with Christ and it's normally spent rushing around, getting ready for school and getting ready for work. Then the kids spend from 8:30am to 3:30pm or 4pm at school learning secular curriculum, playing with other children from various backgrounds. That's around 7 hours of influence by peers and other sources. Then in the afternoon they've got homework and playing until dinner. You might have some time around dinner, if you don't sit in front of the tv, to have some constructive conversations and role modelling and then it's bath and bed all ready for the same routine the next day. And that's not counting the numerous families who have both parents working and so the children are in before and after school care as well. When they're getting 7 hours of input from other sources and only a couple of hours from you a day it's not hard to see why so many children are choosing a worldly life. I'm not saying homeschooling is for every family but when you understand how little input you really are having on your children why wouldn't you want them to spend as much time with you as possible. And that is why we want our children to come with us to our connect group.

I want to point out that I think our church is fantastic and really cares for families, adults and children, and that this rant is in no way aimed at them in particular but churches and Christians in general and the insidious attitudes that satan has sneaked into the church.

For those who might be interested there is a great book by Paul O'Rourke called Why Satan Hates Our Kids. I'm about 1/2 way through it and it has really touched my heart.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Current Favourite Blog


I just wanted to share this family's blog. They say pretty much what I feel.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Round Heads Or Flat Heads?

My gorgeous baby girl is 4 months old, I can't believe how fast it goes (I know I say that every time). We went to the Maternal and Child Health Nurse for her 4 month check up last week and she commented how lovely and round Graces head is. I was so proud in that moment that someone in that profession had taken notice and hadn't come down on me. If you know me you know that I 'dance to the beat of a different drum' and am a little bit strange in my views and this is one of those things that I do differently. Don't drop dead of a heart attack (and please don't leave any negative comments, I don't have enough followers to warrant negative comments) but I don't lay my baby on her back when I put her down for her sleeps. I know, right? I'm such a bad mother but I can't help but wonder what will happen to all these poor babies brains when the back of their skulls are all flat and squashing what is naturally rounded. It feels like some strange experiment that they're doing on millions of babies with our ignorant consent. So I do what has been done for generations and lay my baby on her side when she has a sleep and change side so that one side of her head isn't flatter than the other. But! And there is a but for all those who think that I'm completely crazy and putting my baby at risk. I make sure that if she's going to roll over in her sleep then she will roll onto her back. We do have an acceptable sleeping arrangement for her, her bassinet has little mesh panels with air holes in the sides so she won't suffocate if she wriggles and plants her face into the side of it, but did you know that not very long ago the people in the know used to recommend that you lay your baby on her tummy to go to sleep! Wow! So who knows when they're going to turn around and say "I'm sorry but we were wrong about that." with laying a baby on her back.

As a side note: during the night I mostly co-sleep with her so she's consistently on a different side having a feed during the night.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Lead-Up to the Birth of Grace

First I'll give you some of the background story.

When I fell pregnant with Grace I didn't immediately rush to the doctors to have it confirmed as I'd already been there, done that and had my own idea of dates. I did eventually go though, and then got told that I should have gone in sooner as the hospitals liked people to book in earlier than they used to and I needed to go for an ultrasound to confirm my dates. I was happy with mid to late November as a date, the doctor estimated the 18th of November, a little more exact but still pretty much the same as my dates. The ultrasound place was horrible. They weren't rude exactly but they weren't friendly, I was in and out with barely a handful of words spoken to me. They said my due date was the 23rd November and gave me a disk to give to my doctor upon leaving. When I went back to my doctor and went to give him the disk he said that I was to keep it as they would send him a report.

After a couple of months I noticed that the doctor was still going on the date of the 18th and asked him about it as I was going on a later date. He said no that this was the date we had always been going by. I didn't question this and also thought that it was great that the baby would come earlier that I was expecting. I love my babies but hate being pregnant because I am always so sick and this time seemed even worse.

So my due date was coming up and I had been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, once I even thought it was the real thing. Every day I would wake up wondering if this would be the day our baby girl would make her appearance. And then I had a tooth-ache and during the night one of my glands started swelling and by the morning was the size of a small ball. I was in agony and immediately went to the dentist. The dentist took out the offending tooth after an x-ray showed that she could do so safely and sent me on to the hospital to get IV antibiotics for the abscess. When I first got to the hospital at 12pm the anesthetic was still working, by the time I got in to be seen (after 4pm) I was in agony. I hadn't eaten or drank anything since breakfast as the signs in the hospital say not to.

So 39 1/2 weeks pregnant with a tooth removed, huge abscess, starving and dehydrated and waiting on horribly uncomfortable chairs for over 4 hours and I finally get to go behind the mystery doors.....only to have to wait again. At least it was only for 1/2 an hour this time. The doctor took one look at me and immediately handed me off to the first doctor who walked past us. The second doctor took a brief history and said that because I was so pregnant that I really should go to Dandenong hospital, where I was booked in to have the baby, to be admitted and have the antibiotics overnight. He then promptly disappeared to find a bed for me. After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably closer to 1/2 an hour or so, I was in so much pain tears were pouring down my face and I begged Tim to get a nurse as it appeared that the doctor wasn't coming back. He managed to get a nurse's attention and she quickly moved me to a bed (no more uncomfortable chair!) and asked me how much pain was I in. I said that on a scale of 1-10 it was a 14, according to Tim the look on her face was that she didn't believe me, she asked some more questions and about my previous births. I guess she was assuming I was a bit of a cry-baby and asked about pain-killers I'd had during my births and when Tim told her that I don't have pain-killers and that I'd rather be giving birth now she straight-away went and sorted out some pain relief for me. Finally I was in less pain and someone gave me some kind of electrolyte icy pole and IV fluids. What surprised me about all this was that a)I didn't go into labour and b)my blood pressure barely changed. While in hospital they did an ultrasound to make sure the baby was okay and she was and the internal ultrasound showed that my body was not ready to give birth.

Fast forward a week and it's past my due date. I went to the doctors for my regular weekly checkup. I did not expect him to ring the hospital and book me in for an induction. With other babies we had talked about it but I'd never made it far enough past my date for it to actually happen. He did some kind of check and gave me a 'Bishop Score' of 3. I had to google that when I got home, but basically it meant that my chances of the induction working would be low. I walked out of there in shock. I knew that I didn't want or need an induction but could not say why. After the shock wore off I researched induction to find out the pro's and con's and quickly came to the conclusion that the con's outweighed the pro's, especially considering that both the baby and I were in good health, I mean I'd been through a tooth removal and an abscess and my blood pressure had barely changed. Because of my age and how many baby's I've already had every body is so quick to assume the worst is going to happen and think they need to intervene. I went and had another ultrasound and the baby was still healthy with plenty of fluid around her but I also remembered that first ultrasound and the different due date. What if the baby wasn't coming because we hadn't even reached the time for her to be born? I know that the medical profession say that a baby is 'term' when we reach 37 weeks but if we force her out when she's not ready what long term effects would that have? So while in the hospital having the ultrasound I asked the nurse if she could get the ultrasound place to fax them a couple of the original report. Sure enough I was only a day or two over not nearly 2 weeks. I went back to the doctor with this report and asked him to ring the hospital to cancel the induction, instead he only postponed it. I didn't make a fuss as I knew I wouldn't make it to that date anyway but I also figured if I did make the date I would find a way not to be induced.

As it was I didn't make it to the second date.

These articles and websites helped me with my decision not to be induced. I hope they might be helpful to others.

I think the last one is my favourite. Next time I'll be going for that early ultrasound to confirm dates as I don't want the stress of the confusion or the pressure to be induced again if I can help it. I am so grateful for Tim who stands by me even if I get a little crazy and insist on not being conventional. I'm also grateful for my friend Clare for all the information she shared with me and who is such an inspiration. And I'm also grateful for all the prayers during my pregnancy and labour.