Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Granola Bar of My Very Own

As a mother of three kids 3 and under, very few things in this house are truly my very own. All the kids like to eat and drink what's on my plate or in my glass. Toby thinks our bed belongs to him--not just any part of the bed--the prime center of the bed. Three feet of it. How can one so small take up so much room? He has been sleeping better though now that he has cut some of his teeth, but he usually ends up in the bed around 5:00. (Last night it was 3:00) I have to share the computer with Nathan when he works from home 2 days a week, but I really don't mind that so much because he gets to be home all day. I always have to share my seat, my lap, even my clothes! Isaiah and Lydia wear my shoes around and Toby loves to roll around with my bra around his head. I attribute that to the breastfeeding. The point being that we share LOTS of things. Except one thing. I DO NOT share my free samples. Yes, I know I'm a loser for ordering free samples, but I do almost weekly. Some of them are hair products, face wash, diapers(I do share those:)...I have a small bucket under the sink in the back bathroom full of goodies (mostly useless). However, occasionally, there is a free food sample, usually a cereal in the tiny one serving size boxes. Or, one time I got some of those little flavor things you put in your water bottle to make it fruit punch, or green tea, or some other beverage. This time I got a granola bar. A really yummy, all natural, full sized Quaker Simple Harvest granola bar. I ate the whole thing by myself. I did not share it even though I was asked repeatedly by my eldest for a bite, and as he persuasively told me it was his favorite (although he has never had one of these particular granola bars) I was tempted to give him a bite, but just decided not to. I felt a little bit selfish/guilty, but it was really yummy and it was mine. Now you know my secret--Hands off the granola bar!

Friday, October 24, 2008


I was dressing Toby tonight and I chose this warm, comfortable, cozy outfit that Isaiah used to wear. It turns out that it is a Colts outfit. Who knew? SO whan your little one gets big enough, Jamie, this outift is for you. (I actually looked up the Colts on Wikipedia to make sure that this was their symbol... Nathan and I don't watch a lot of sports:)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Laundry. AAAHH!

Why, oh, why do we have this many clothes? Five people times four seasons makes for a lot of clothes I know, but really? Mountains upon mountains of clothes? For what purpose? I know we all need a couple of pairs of jeans, but does everyone need their own dresser full--each season? As you can tell it is now full on fall here and the shorts are being put away until next year. I dread the changing of the clothes every season, but the big changes happen when it's too cold for short sleeves and too hot for pants. We have now reached the too cold for short sleeves time of year so each child's wardrobe has to be almost completely changed out. I am so thankful for all the hand-me-downs the kids get from their cousins because they save us all kinds of money, but they do sometimes make it a bit more difficult to separate the kids clothes out. For instance, we get a lot of clothes from Hanah and Ella, two of our cousins who were born in September. Lydia was born in March. Warm clothes are off in size by about 6 months. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of overlapping in sizes to more than adequately dress my little girl, but there is a lot of weeding through. Every season. Also, some of the clothes we get from Samantha are from 9 years ago, so you know how fashionable some of them are. (I really hope I don't sound ungrateful or complain-y, but I am just trying to show you that it's not an easy job.) On the bright side, it gets easier as they get older and boys clothes are easier (and fewer!) than girls. So, what's the excuse for the adults in the house? We have too many clothes that no longer fit, or that fit but we don't wear, or that we wouldn't wear if we only had a few clothes that we really love and really fit. Instead of having a few clothes that we love and are really well made, we buy cheap clothes that we have to replace often. Or people buy them for us. Have you ever tried to get rid of a brand new really cute shirt that doesn't fit? Or even a brand new ugly shirt that fits? It took me three years to get rid of a brand new really cute shirt that my granny got for me. It never fit. I still have a pair of pants more than one size too small, just waiting for the day I see my pre-pregnancies weight. At least Nathan and I don't change our wardrobes out every season, as we aren't continually growing like the kids are. We just cram everything into our closet and two dressers. And a little in the kids closet. And a lot more in the laundry room. If it's all clean at the same time (It has been, about twice:) all our clothes so do not fit.

My dining room table covered in clean clothes.

The kitchen counter ALSO covered in clean clothes. Note that this is in addition to the clothes on the table--not before and after. Plus there are clean clothes all over the couch, and about 4 more dirty loads to do. Maybe five.

And all our closets and dressers are full.

Camera Happy

I have rediscovered my camera and learned that I like to take pictures of things that don't move. As much as I love my kids, they are very hard to photograph. Here are a few of my favorites.

Our eggs make me happy.

A half-eaten brownie.

A rare clear shot of Toby. He looks so serious!

Nathan says my favorite pictures are the weirdest ones. This is one of my very favorites of Lydia and I'm not really sure why.

This picture captures Isaiah pretty well and it makes me laugh.

These last two pictures are from a couple months ago. I haven't caught them still since!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Crazy Maze

We have had such a busy weekend (for us). I worked until 4 on Saturday and as soon as I got off I came home and showered and Nathan and I went out to do something cool and new. Without the kids! We met a couple of friends that Nathan knows from work in Lexington to go to a corn maze. Take a look at the coolness of this maze. We had fun getting lost and finding our way out. We had a little map to help us find our way around. It was really neat to be up in the letters at the top of the maze. We could actually tell when we were in the "A". After that we got some cider and a funnel cake and had a pretty good night out without the kids.

Today we went to church and ended up keeping the 4 year old class during the service. That was the first time we ever had that class and it was pretty fun. The kids were old enough to play short games and actually pay attention. It wasn't just crazy running around for an hour. After church we had lunch at Nathan's sister Rachel's house. The cousins all had fun playing together since it had been a few weeks since they were all together. I love Nathan's sisters. Also, Nathan's mom was there today and it was nice to see her.

This much excitement in one weekend is almost too much for us to handle. I'm really tired!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Oh how much would I pay someone to do all my vaccine research for me... I guess part of me sort of, kind of, maybe believes in vaccines a little bit. After all, I was vaccinated. I was not, however vaccinated for chicken pox, and I suffered with those for -gasp- a whole week. Many times I sit down at the computer just checking email and I end up there for an hour reading about the horrors of vaccination.

We have decide not to have Toby vaccinated for many reasons, but I was struggling with getting religious exemption because I wasn't sure if our reasons were religious (whatever that means). Then yesterday I found a website that shows how aborted babies were used to create some of the vaccines. Every time I read something good about vaccines it is countered by something 10 times more horrible than the good. Also, I struggle with being mandated by the government to inject my kids with anything. I believe that as parents we should have full disclosure on the substances (food, medicine, etc..) that are entering our children because I am the one who has to answer for the way they are raised, their health and character until they are old enough to answer for themselves. Isaiah and Lydia were vaccinated on "schedule" but I really had no idea what I was doing or anything about non-medical health at that point (besides breastfeeding and lots of fruits and veggies). That was before our great friends Daniel and Kristin gave us a wonderful gift of chickens, and pen and food thus changing our diets and palates forever. I do know that our kids will probably not get any more vaccines unless I find some amazingly compelling evidence that it is unbelievably healthy and ethical. (I cannot get "Let's get Ethical" from The Office out of my brain!) Which means probably never. Lots of probablys. As you can see, I really don't want to mess my kids up, and I fear I already may have in so many ways. We just have to prayerfully consider our options and believe that whatever the Lord tells us to do is the best thing to do. Of course what He tells us to do is best, I could just use a much louder instruction sometimes. OR maybe I should become a better listener.

On a side note, I am just so grateful for my husband and children and the lifestyle we are striving for. God certainly has a direction for me that sometimes I couldn't/can't figure out, but, oh, how much better He knows than me.

I was telling Isaiah the other day, "I told you once and you didn't listen, so now you are gonna have to figure it out yourself!" And I had a thankful thought to Jesus for not being like me! How patient He is with me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Baby Food Day

My new project is making baby food. I can't stop. Our freezer is getting full of all these baby food cubes and I just keep making more and more. I love the freedom it gives me. We were almost out of baby food one day and my granny gave me a butternut squash, which I don't particularly like or know what to do with, so I found an easy recipe for baby food and it was over. Now I don't have to buy baby food (for fifty cents a pop) and I get to see exactly what is in the food I am feeding my infant. I feel like when we are growing all our own food that I will be able to provide for any baby that we may have or that may come visit. Just one more step on the way to being more self-sufficient. And it's really, really fun. Toby LOVES baby food making day. I usually make a few different kinds of food and all he does all day is try everything out. Yesterday and today I made peaches, plums, vanilla cinnamon peach oatmeal, and apple plum rice cereal. I already had apple blueberry oatmeal, butternut squash, and carrots in the freezer. Toby will not eat the carrots or squash unless applesauce or something sweet is mixed in. Come to think of it he will not eat anything that isn't sweet at all. He won't eat plain yogurt, green beans, or anything else unless it also has a fruit or some kind of sweet in it, unless sweet peas count. I'll keep working on that. Maybe he'll develop a savory tooth later. Speaking of teeth.. Toby just cut his third one and I am still nursing! The thought of breastfeeding after teeth was scary for me, because Lydia didn't cut hers until 8 or 9 months and by then she was weaning. (Poor Isaiah only nursed for 3 months, but, alas, I have made peace with that.)

SO, back to baby food. So easy to make and so very fun. Cut your fruit/vegetable in half put it face down in a baking dish and put in an inch or two of water. Bake at 400 degrees until the skin puckers and then peel and process or blend, adding water, juice, baking liquid, or breast milk or formula until you get the consistency your baby likes. Freeze it in ice cube trays and thaw as you need it. Also, there is a really easy recipe for apple oatmeal that Toby loves that I found on someone else's blog..somewhere..You just put your apples or other fruit of your choosing (about 4-5) all peeled and cut up in a pan with 1/2 cup of oatmeal and cover with water, cooking until tender. You can add vanilla and cinnamon or other spices, whatever your baby likes or is ready for, and then you just let it cool a bit and blend it up. I had to blend this one longer to get the oatmeal small enough for Toby, but I think it is the easiest recipe and Toby's favorite by far. Next I am going to do frozen peas, but not until some of what I have already made is gone! is a great website for any questions.

It's a quiet night at the Arnold homestead, and that's a good thing. A beautiful harvest moon tucks us in in Kentucky. What is a harvest moon anyway? That's what my mom called it and it sounded as pretty as it looked. Good night moon.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Today was a beautiful day! The sun was shining and the grass has somewhat greened up since the rain last week. We went to church and ate lunch out because the only meat in our house is tuna which we saved for supper. There have been too many meatless meals in our house lately. I can't wait until we have a deep freezer full of our own beef! Maybe next tax return...

We got a new homes book to look through and found a few new properties that we might take a look at, but it's really hard to make a decision. We still don't know how much the state is going to give us for the house, and we don't know if we should just buy as much land as possible in the middle of nowhere (because that's where all the land is) or to settle for less than we need to be closer to friends and family. I keep daydreaming about building our own cabin in the woods with all the animals we want and enough room to grow all their grain and ours. All our vegetables, meat, dairy, fresh from our own land and all the resources to make whatever we need. I can't wait to open the front door and send the kids out without the highway being right there. That will be so nice just to let them go outside while I fix supper or wash dishes.

Speaking of the kids... just look at how sweet they are! The one at the well at camp is for Daniel and Kristin. I MISS the water from camp!