Thursday, October 28, 2010

Birth Control

Sure, I love kids, and might even want 3 or 4 of them! But I don't need another one in 9 months from now, which would put my two kids exactly 1 year apart. While if it happens, I will count it a huge blessing from God there's no doubt, but it wouldn't be something I would plan for. Although, as a Christian, talking about birth control can be a very controversial subject. Because in the Bible, God tells us:

Genesis 9:7
As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.

By controlling when I get pregnant (or at least when I DON'T get pregnant), am I playing God? But yet, isn't there a certain responsibility that comes with being a mom, and my ability to take care of my children, financially and physically and emotionally? What if I cannot afford to have 12 kids? What if physically my body cannot handle one pregnancy after another or the physical toll it takes on my body to care for multiple kids, one after another? As Ty's mom, I believe that I will be judged for how I raise him and so preventing pregnancy too close together in my opinion is not un-Christian or un-biblical. But what brings up the question as to if it's biblical or Christian is when you start to look at the types of birth control.

Without a doubt, the most convenient birth control is the Pill. And it is really pushed by doctors because it's the most effective. It is so common that women have stopped questioning it. It's just a given, that when you become sexually active, you've got to start taking it. I won't argue. It's the most effective and most convenient choice out there. What I want to challenge you other women with is to not just take it because the doctor prescribed it, but actually ask questions and research what you are putting in your body and what is effecting your hormones drastically. What about Abortifacient? Before reading anymore, please watch this YouTube video....

So how has The Pill changed over time and what are you putting in your body to prevent life from forming? Preventing ovulation and the egg from being released is one thing, but if you are telling me that it's possible for me to actually concieve a baby, a real human being, and then because of the hormone I'm taking everyday, it doesn't attach, so in essence I kill it, that just makes me sick. Not only am I missing out on a huge blessing from God, but that in my opinion is taking another life, one that God has created and one day I will be held responsible for that.

Now it's very important to realize that not every Birth Control Pill is like this. Some just prevent ovulation from taking place, and those pills I am fine with. This all started after Ty was born and I wanted to do something to prevent pregnancy for a while, so my doctor put me on the Pill, but it's a special pill, because I'm still nursing and so it does not contain any estrogen, just progestin. Of course, I started taking it because it was the only option for a Pill during nursing and I knew I for sure didn't want to get pregnant right away! And it was after a month or so that I started reading the product description sheet for the medication:

"This medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It is often referred to as the "mini-pill" because it does not contain any estrogen. Norethindrone (a form of progestin) is a hormone that prevents pregnancy by changing the womb and cervical mucus to make it more difficult for an egg to meet sperm or for the fertilized egg to attach to the wall of the womb (implantation). Regular use of the "mini-pill" prevents the release of an egg (ovulation) in about half of the women who use it. While the "mini-pill" is more effective than certain other methods of birth control (e.g., condoms, cervical cap, diaphragm), it is less effective than estrogen/progestin birth control because it is very important to take this medication exactly as prescribed. Using this medication does not protect you or your partner against sexually transmitted diseases. "

Key phrases for me:
- Changing the womb
- Prevents a FERTILZED EGG from attaching to the wall
- Prevents release of egg in 1/2 the women

I take the Pill to prevent the release of the egg, and if that only happens to 1/2 the women who use it, then there's a 50/50 chance I'm still releasing an egg every month! And if that egg does fertilize, then that's a baby in my book! And as long as there's a baby inside of me, I am going to do everything I can to fight for it to live.

I think it's safe to say, I have already stopped using this contraceptive. Will I ever use The Pill again? Sure, maybe. As long as I can find one that fits the standards I have set and not one that causes Abortifacient.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sun-dried Tomato & Pesto Pasta anyone?

Ah, "What's for supper?" The age old question every woman asks herself each day. And it usually ends up with the response, "well, what do I have in my kitchen?". Does it seem to anyone else that every time you try to find a recipe to make for supper, you NEVER have ALL the ingredients to actually make it. Not to mention if you must go to the store each day to make a different recipe, that adds up cost/meal drastically. I've started forgetting the recipes books for the everyday evening meals. It's easier to just go through the fridge and the cabinet and be creative! Now, if I'm super ambitious, I will plan out and get certain ingredients at the store for the next week or two. Hopefully I will get better at that. :) For dinner this evening, I had purchased sun-dried tomatoes and pesto and pasta several weeks ago knowing that someday I would want to attempt this yummy masterpiece. And after picking up a rotisserie chicken today, I knew today was the day to get creative.

I started by feeding Ty and waiting for him to get sleepy so that I could cook uninterrupted. What a cutie! So sorry baby, I want to hold you so badly, but daddy needs a yummy supper!

Then I used a large skillet to cook the 100% Whole Wheat Penne pasta (gotta sneak in the fiber where I can, no one can tell the difference anyway!!).

While that's cooking, I shredded a whole rotisserie chicken...yum! What a delicious and EASY way to get some chicken for this pasta dish!

Then I cut up the sun-dried tomatoes...this is a very very key ingredient in the recipe. It gives it a little tang and super yumminess!!

After the pasta is done, drain it and return to skillet. Add a block of cream cheese (you can totally get away with 1/3rd less fat cream cheese, maybe not when you're baking, but if it's a little runnier, that's not going to matter for a creamy pasta dish.)

Then I added a different kind of cheese (a kind that I already had in the fridge), some mozzarella/provolone. You could use anything, parmesan would be really tasty too!

Then add the milk, I used Skim just to cut the fat where I could and it still turned out very creamy. Start with a smaller amount, you can always add more as it cooks.

Time to add the other super key ingredient, the pesto. Stir well, cause the oil separates to the top. And add about 2 heaping spoonfuls.

Then add the chicken and sun-dried tomatoes and some salt and pepper and put on a low heat to melt the cheeses, add more skim milk as needed until the creamy consistency you like.

Keep on a low heat and stir until ready to serve.

Then get in your freezer where you have a bag of frozen biscuits, and stick a few in the oven (why not carbo-load?!?!). This was a must when my sweet mother in law gave us fresh homemade peach jam...yum! Gotta have biscuits just for the jam!!

Serve up and enjoy! Yum!!! :)
Again, this could be altered as needed depending on what you have in your kitchen! Use different kinds of pasta & cheeses. Just remember the key ingredients: Pesto and sun-drided tomatoes! :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Homemade Fall Decorations

Nothing makes your HOME much sweeter than decorations for each of the seasons. I found one fall home decoration idea in a Martha Stewart Living magazine and just had to try it! It's perfect for any fall "event" you might be having, but not perfect for lasting 2 months through the fall season. This decoration is only good for about 4 days and then it goes bad. This weekend we had a special dinner at our house on Saturday evening in honor of Ty's Child dedication at church and so this was perfect for our one evening of entertaining. It gave me something small, but special to have set out to welcome our parents into our HOME and help it feel like fall and also help them feel special that we took the time to welcome them by making a decoration.

Here's how I did it:

I went to Dillons and purchased 7 perfect "fall colored" pears. They were $7.39, so about $1 a piece, not bad. Also I was worried when I bought them because they were very firm, I was afraid that would make this little project difficult, but it didn't at all. Infact, I wonder if that made them last longer because they were more firm. I will probably look for the firm ones next time.

Next, I wrote with a sharpie marker on the pears the word I wanted to spell. Which in this case happens to be "WELCOME". I wanted my guests to know that I did something specifically for them, to make them feel special, warm, loved and welcomed...hopefully they felt at HOME. You could also spell "FALL" or someones name or "HALLOWEEN", or whatever the reason for your celebration.

Then I used the cloves I bought at Dillons. For those of you super domestic women, you won't have to worry about this expense, but I did not seem to have any cloves on hand in my kitchen. They cost $6.99, with $2 off with a Dillons plus card. Bringing the total cost of my project to $12.38 + tax. Not bad, and then you can use the cloves for all sorts of holiday cooking and hot beverages (such as apple cider for your guests as they arrive!).

Then take the cloves and push them into the pears over the sharpie markings. This actually hurt my thumbs more than I thought it would, the cloves are a little sharp. I was ok with only 7 letters, but next time might consider some gloves just to make the process faster and painless. :)

Then display your beautiful fall decorations anywhere you desire! I chose right on my kitchen island where I was going to have the appetizers for my guests to see as soon as they arrived. But a fireplace mantel would also be perfect or maybe a guest bedroom where your houseguests might be sleeping for the weekend!

Hope you enjoy this little fall decoration idea to make your HOME even sweeter and welcoming and inviting this fall/holiday season!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A clean home?

It's funny, maybe not funny, more disgusting really, how all the sudden, the second you switch over from being a single woman to a married woman, there becomes all these unspoken expectations. When you're still single, but engaged to be married, you are just beyond excited to finally get married and live with the man you love more than anyone, and wake up next to him each morning. Little do us naive women know, with that privledge of residing with the one we love come unspoken expectations! Funny thing is, usually (at least in my case), it's not expectations that our husbands put on us, we put them on ourselves and on each other as women!!! WHAT?!?! Why do we do that? Sure there are lots of them, having a meal cooked each evening, keeping up with the laundry, and most of all, keeping the house clean. All the sudden, the moment you say "I DO", these expecations become blarringly obvious to women. Josh has never once questioned where his dinner was, or why the house was so messy, or why I hadn't washed his clothes soon enough. Again, I'm married to the perfect man. :) As women we don't need husbands nagging at us to feel these pressures, we do that all by ourselves!

Why is it, that anytime I go to another woman's home, it's always spotless and a candle burning and fresh baked bread in the oven and everything in it's place? Or it sure seems that way from the outside.

Now don't get me wrong, this is our HOME we are talking about. And it's very important to keep it clean and picked up and appealing for guests to come inside and feel welcome and want to stay. As I talked about in a past Blog about making church our HOME and treating church as you would your own HOME when you have guests over....I still think there is an importance to keeping a clean HOME, and that is not just to show off to the other women who stop by. But to create an environment appealing to anyone who comes over to come in, stay awhile and be a part of your life in your HOME.

But what about those times when life happens and other things take priority? Will guests understand? Will I be judged? Is a spotless HOME always an expecation?

Ty is 9 weeks old today and for some reason, taking care of the house work has really taken some extra attention in order to find time to get done since his birth. And today it just so happens that my little man got his shots! :( It was such a sad day for us both. But now he's sleeping on me and I'm going to let him cuddle as much as he needs to today. I'm not going to force him to sleep in his own bed just so I can get some housework done. I want him to know that mommy's here and I will keep him safe and protect him and will not leave him alone. So all of our friends coming over tonight for supper and small group hopefully will not mind if the bathroom isn't spotless, and the carpet hasn't been swept and living room dusted. Because today, Ty needs his mommy (and mommy needs her Ty :) ) and for this once, just this once, I'm going to try to not stress out about the expectations I as a woman put on myself to keep a clean home. Might drive me crazy....and I'll be honest, I hope he allows me 15 min to clean a little at least, but I know I'm not less of a woman by putting Ty 1st today. Right?

Thankfully I've got some pretty stellar friends who I know will love me no matter what my house looks like. Again, it's these darn expectations we put on ourselves!

So for any woman out there feeling the stress of a dirty home, uncooked meal, and dirty clothes, my advice for you to do today:

As soon as you and your husband are home from work, leave your dirty house (and don't think about it when you're gone- out of site out of mind:) ), go out to eat, and go buy some new clothes since all of your others are dirty! Sure this might be an expensive option, so maybe don't do this too often, but definitely DO do it! And don't feel guilty for it. As as woman you deserve it and the expectations will be there waiting for you another day. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I love BOYS!

That's right, I love boys, but not just any boys, my 2 boys! Josh and Ty...they are the coolest, most amazing, & most attractive boys I've ever seen. :)

There's something a mom cannot explain to have a son as her 1st born. This little life, with all his physical characteristics that look just like my husband! I love my husband more than anyone in the world, and think he is more handsome than anyone and so loving and patient. So naturally my heart overflows with happiness when I see my son with all the exact same physical characteristics as my husband. I love looking at Ty and being able to see Josh. Ty has no idea how lucky he is, or how much more lucky he will be if he has the same personality as his daddy!

You tell me....does he look like his daddy or what?

Not that I wouldn't have been happy with a girl first, but I love that we had a boy! I grew up with 2 older brothers and loved it. There's just something right about having a boy as the oldest child in a family. There to protect, and experience life 1st, to help the younger sisters out. I couldn't have asked for 2 better brothers. I was such a loved little girl and now as adults, I'm blessed beyond measure to still have 2 awesome brothers, and now 2 amazing sisters, to bring so much joy to our lives! Josh and I are so thankful for the relationship we can have with them, even though we are many many miles apart!

Brett and Blake playing with me! I think I had some pretty fun rides, what do you think?

Ah, cuddle time with my brothers!

I love that we get to have baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls, legos, trucks & tractors filling our house. I love that we get to throw him around and "toughen him up". The dynamics of families with boys as the oldest, are just fun! I can't wait to have a fun HOME! I love that boys eat a lot of food....I will get to cook as much as I want and Ty will eat it all because he'll be young and have a fast metabolism. :) His haircuts will be cheap, especially if I can do them like I do Josh's! I can't wait to see what his interests and abilities are. Will he be a soccer player like his daddy? A basketball player like his uncles? A John Deere lover like his daddy?

I can't wait to teach him about Jesus. I can't wait to teach him how to be a kind and loving gentleman. I know my role as the women in his life is very short lived, but it's so very crucial. Because without me there to teach him about Jesus, he would not live a life as a man after God's heart. And he would not be prepared to be the man of his future wife's dreams. As a mom to this boy, I have a lot of responsibility, and probably won't get a lot of credit or attention for it, but someday when I see him loving Jesus and loving his wife and family, it will be worth it, and I will see the fruit of my efforts.

The hardest part about having a boy is knowing you will only be the women in his life for a short time. A friend on facebook talked about how her son asked her if she would marry him someday. Ah, the dream of every mom's heart. :) To be the only women in your son's life forever. But that's not the way God intended it to work. And so even now, at 8 weeks old, we begin the process of letting go. And I think I've decided the easiest way to begin that process is to begin thinking about what I'm preparing him for. His wife will be so thankful for the Godly man he is and thankful that I poured my life into him to prepare him for her and her alone. Oh how I love that woman already and I don't know her. I love her for how she's going to love my little Ty (who I know will someday no longer be "my Ty" but "her Ty", but I need to remember that really he's "God's Ty"). As I think about passing the baton on to that beautiful girl, my eyes fill with tears (perhaps because he's only 8 weeks old, but I don't think so, I'm not sure I'll feel any different in 20 more years:) ). You literally raise them so they will leave you. If they don't leave you, you haven't done your job. Being a mom is amazing, I hope that in 25 more years, I still feel that way, and won't be just saddened by the loss of the kids I've poured these next 25 years into. I don't think I will though. I think that Josh will be a huge part in helping me keep the right perspective. Josh will always be the man in my life, from now until the day we die, and that's why it will be so crucial to keep our relationship strong and make it a priority because someday soon, all we will have is each other. I don't say these things to sound negative or depressing, just to keep life in perspective and preparing myself as a mommy to let go, even now. I have a feeling the next 25 years will be one "letting go process" after another. :) And in the mean time, I am going to cherish these precious precious moments with Ty and cuddle as much as I can, kiss him, play with him, and laugh with him as much as I can, while I still can, while I am still the woman in his life!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Last year I talked about Holiday Traditions and how it is still possible to have them even as a newlywed couple, you don't need to have a bunch of kids to begin traditions! This year I want to touch a little more specifically on the Christmas holiday traditions. For anyone who knows me, you realize that mid-October is NOT too early for me to start talking about Christmas, listening to Christmas music, planning where to put the tree, when the family celebrations will take place and what Christmas food I'm going to try this year! This year is no different. Infact, now that our HOME has been transformed this year with our little T.N.T., those "family traditions" are taking on a completely different perspective!

Just this past weekend we traveled to Colorado to visit Blake, Carlin and Reece and it just so happened that we got to visit a year-round Christmas store, St. Nick's! Josh has it right when he said that if we ever move to Denver, I will be working there. :) It was breathtaking, an amazing Christmas-land! While we were there, we found the perfect addition to our family Christmas traditions, something I've been trying to find for a while now. An advent Calendar.

I have the most amazing memories as a child with our family's advent calendar. It was one my mom made and we got to put a new ornament on the tree each day in December. I still to this day love getting to be the person to put the ornament on the tree! I knew, especially once we had kids, that I wanted to find something like that. To really help create an excitement and anticipation of Christmas as it draws near and to give my kids the warm, fuzzy "HOME" feeling for the rest of their life as they remember it.

The advent calendar we found is perfect. It's a Gingerbread House Advent Calendar. It has doors that you open for each day in December approaching Christmas. This leaves it up to us to do anything we want for each day, as behind each door are empty boxes.

Our plan is to have some of the following things or instructions in the boxes:

- Frost Christmas Cookies today

- Have one Cocoa Dulce Chocolate for each person in the family to eat

- Make a Gingerbread house today

- Read "It was the Night Before Christmas"

- Read the Christmas Story from the Bible

- Have one mini candy cane for each person in the family to eat

- Drink Hot Chocolate today

- Open a new ornament from mom and dad and put on the tree

- Drive around and look at Christmas lights

- Listen to Christmas music all Day

- Go Christmas Caroling

- G0 buy Christmas gifts for an Angel Tree Child

- Write a letter to Santa

- Drink Apple Cider

- Play Monopoly

- Wear Santa Hats all day long, no matter where you go

- Take neighbors Christmas gifts

- Take cookies to someone who doesn't know Jesus


What are your ideas for more fun and creative things to put in our Advent Calendar?

Obviously some of these things are better to as a family with kids, but we are going to use it this year even though Ty isn't old enough to do a lot of these things. If we can't think of 25 things, we can always put chocolate in the boxes, can't complain about that, especially if it's Cocoa Dulce!!

It is extremely important for each family to make their own Holiday traditions, because traditions are HOME. It's very easy for newlywed couples to only continue to do their family traditions with their parents and sibilings, and race all around during the holidays to make sure both families are getting the attention they desire, to keep their family traditions going. It's important to remember what the Bible says:

Genesis 2:24

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh"

Now don't get me wrong, holidays are all about family and I am as excited as the next person to go back home and open presents from the stocking I've had my whole life, and drink egg nog and apple cider, and play monopoly for the entire 24 hour period that "A Christmas Story" plays on TV, and many other fun traditions. But it's important for Josh and I to not make Christmas only about our "family's Christmas' ". If holidays and traditions are HOME, and are essential to creating a HOME, then it's crucial that Josh and I do what is necessary to start our own family traditions, and not rely on our family. Now, am I saying that it's important to not be with each of our families for Christmas? No, all I'm saying is that effort must be made (especially as a young married couple, where families expect your presence to keep their Holiday Traditions in tact). You are a new family, even if it's just 2 of you, it's a family, that has left your mother and father and are clinging to one another and are creating your HOME, and so if that means saying "No" to your family in order to begin your own traditions, then I believe that is perfectly fine!

One tradition Josh and I have had since we've been engaged has been to go out the week before Christmas, we go out to eat, stop by Starbucks and then drive around Wichita looking at Christmas lights while listening to B98 FM continuous Christmas music! I look forward to this every year. And by doing this a week early, it has allowed us to stay a part of each of our family's traditions. Now that we have Ty, we hope to keep the few traditions we have already begun and now add MANY more! It will be interesting to see how our traditions evolve as Ty gets older and as more kids are added to our family. The sad part is knowing that someday....Ty will get married and leave our family, just as we did to our parents. And then our traditions will once again have to change. (but I'll save that topic for another blog post) :).

Let the Christmas traditions begin!!!

Where does time go?

Ok, I know it, do it, call me pathetic, I am. I haven't made time for blogging, why, I'm not sure. Well, I know why, it's this really little guy named Ty Nathaniel Turner. Somehow my days and nights all run together and before I realized it, 8 weeks had gone by! That's right, my little Ty, isn't so little anymore, he's already over 11 lbs! And I have no blog posts to show for it, not one. I'm disappointed in myself because it's something that I love, but it has been much much harder finding time to do ANYTHING for myself than I thought. Let's be honest, on days that I get a shower, makeup on, hair dried and curled and clothes on before noon, are REALLY good days! In fact, I think I could count on one hand the number of times that has happened in the last 8 weeks. :)

If there's one thing that has really surprised me is how all consuming this little guy could be. Don't get me wrong, I knew he would take all my time and attention, but I really never dreamed that an entire day would go by and when asked the question, "what did you do today?" my response would be, "uh, well, hmmm, went on a walk with Ty, feed Ty, changed his diaper, slept when he was sleeping, oh and I got in a shower a some point...". Sure, I expected that the 1st week or 2, but after 8 weeks!?!? :) I'm getting better at being more productive, but it's been much more challenging than I anticipated. Gotta be honest though, I'm not sure if I would have wanted everyday these last 8 weeks to look any different. They've been amazing. In fact, there's a part of me that would love for life to now stop and be able to live everyday around Ty, instead, as a mother I am forced to still try to maintain "normal life" with Ty just added into the mix. This new mommy-life is the biggest blessing I could have asked for. I've loved every moment getting to know this little human being that God created and entrusted to us. He's super cool, for those of you that don't know him (well, that's coming from his mom, take it with a grain of salt :) But he really is!).

My goal: to begin blogging. Maybe everyday? That would be a goal, I will try hard to meet, but no promises these days! I'll blog about motherhood, the ups and downs, the surprises, the expected, the challenges, the blessings and also just about life in our new HOME. Our HOME has drastically changed, but it was a change that we love. Don't worry, all you non-mothers out there, it won't only talk about motherhood, because while yes, my HOME is defined by my new role as a mommy, HOME is not now only secluded to being a mom. So I will try my best to keep that perspective.

This is how I blog with Ty...hope I can get all my thoughts in whatever time he allows! I've got the keyboard right behind him resting on the boppy...not sure what Deb Raney would say, but I think this is the perfect "writing environment"! Doesn't get much better than to have my baby cuddled up next to me while I write. :)

Alright, here we go. Goal of Day 1---success!