Thursday, December 1, 2011


Tess and me working on pumpkin carving :)
I can't believe I haven't blogged since August. I really honestly feel a bit rusty!This post started out as a "7 Quick Takes," but I soon realized there are neither 7 nor are they quick, so I'll spare you the cute framework and call it an update. :)

Tess patiently putting up with shopping on main st in Huntington Beach
1. My Gramma passed away in California on September 16th. She was only 72, and outlived my Grampa by only 18 months. My grandparents weren't perfect people, of course, but I have many fond memories of them. I miss them both. We drove out there with the kids for the funeral and were gone about 10 days. Overall the trip went well, and we got to see soooo many relatives and do some fun things, but there was no way to avoid eating out A LOT, and we ended up in a hotel for several days, which exposed Audrey to a lot of things that tend to irritate her, which leads me to:

23 of the 25 grandchildren, at Gramma's funeral
2. We had another big bout with Audrey's eczema in the past few months. She got home from CA in pretty bad shape - we haven't seen her that bad since before we started GAPS. About two solid weeks were more or less filled with caring for her. She was just that sick - covered in sores and crying most of the day, etc. After trying what had been working with no success, we took her to see Dr P (our naturopath) and she tested for candida overgrowth and aluminum toxicity. He gave her three different supplements that slowly brought her system back under control. Those issues were keeping her body from dealing properly with toxins. So, thankfully, we're back to the way things were before we left now - her food allergies are much better and her skin is more or less clear. We are believing for complete healing and strength for her body!

3. During that same time period, our wonderful Christian landlords called us up and told us that they are moving to Jordan to become missionaries and need to sell the house we're living in. Yay for missionaries. Boo for having to move again. This will be move number 8 for us, in 7 1/2 years of marriage. We decided to attempt to qualify for a home loan, in spite of the fact that almost no one is qualifying right now. Much to our surprise, we qualified! It seems that we fit into one little segment of the population - a particular income level, a particular credit score, first time homebuyers... So, we began our house search in the rural area near where we currently live. Through a process, God changed our hearts about how much we wanted to spend monthly and how far we were willing to be from Nick's work. We have loved living a bit more in the country, but it does cost more, Nick is away more because of drive time, and we are about to be raising four kids 7 and under. Sooo...we began searching in the city, mainly in a very desirable area of town that tends to have outdated houses that need a bit of fixing up.

4. We found a house! It is about 3 minutes from Nick's work. It's 4 bed/2 bath, on 1/3 acre (almost unheard of in that area-most lots are .16 of an acre), on a cul de sac. It desperately needs paint and probably carpet too, and the kitchen needs quite a bit of work. It has a huge fenced garden area and a storage shed with a dog door in it. Lots of lilacs in the backyard. It has a ton of potential, just needs TLC. So, we are currently under contract on it. However, this house is a foreclosure (which means it's a great deal!), and the selling bank is in no hurry (which totally makes no sense to me - wouldn't you expect them to want to get rid of the thing? It's just sitting there, vacant.) So we have dealt with many delays in the process. God brought 2 Chronicles 29:36 to mind for us as we prayed about this house, and we are trusting that He will carry us through the delays. "Thus Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, because of what God had prepared for the people, for it was done suddenly."

5. Baby number 4 is due January 17th! He/she is healthy and STRONG, and greatly enjoys jamming tiny toes and fingers into...interesting spots in my torso, as well as elbowing so hard I jump. My blood pressure has been perfect, no swelling at all, and as long as I don't eat weird stuff I haven't even had many aches or pains, even now at 33 1/2 weeks. I decided to go to the chiropractor this week, and he actually told me, "You don't have any major issues, I'd just like to see you twice in week 35 and twice in week 36, so you're ready to go by week 37." I can honestly say I've never been told that. NO MAJOR ISSUES. Seriously, getting my digestion working right has totally changed my life. I could barely walk by now in my pregnancy with Tessa because my back and hip hurt so badly. I've even been able to exercise - not as much as I'd like - but certainly more consistently than ever before.

6. Sickness - the stomach flu went through everyone but Audrey (seriously, how did she escape?) last month, and yesterday Hannah came down with what seems to be influenza. I HATE sickness. But, maybe if we get through both of those now, before the baby comes, we can have the rest of the winter be well for our infant? Here's hoping! Our kids always bounce back quickly with home remedies, but Hannah has to miss an event at church this weekend that she's SO been looking forward to. :( Poor kid!

7. Christmas - I don't know where to start, so I haven't. Heh. This year is going to be super simple, even more simple than the year Tess was born ON Christmas day, since we don't even know what house we'll be in yet. We are pretty much getting a house for Christmas, though we're thinking we will get the kids a Wii. I'm thinking we may get a tabletop tree or something too, just to have SOMETHING. Kinda sad to spend the whole month with no decor!

8. For the first time, Nick taught voice lessons for the School of Worship the past 2 1/2 months. He was so nervous but I knew he would be great, and it was a terrific experience. He has an uncanny ability to recognize voices and differentiate between all the different aspects of a person's voice to pinpoint what will improve the tone quality, not to mention all his years of taking voice lessons and choir! He came up from our little studio in the basement tired but excited every time he taught. It's so exciting to watch my husband doing things in which he is gifted. And hearing worship music through the house every Monday and Tuesday night felt so right with the culture of our home. The only thing that was tough was being on my own with the kids for those long days, but we did it.

9. Food - We have eaten out more in the past two months than I think we did in the past three years! Somehow, we don't seem that bad off for it. Eating grain free (not even strict GAPS, though we do try at home) and getting enough healthy fat has just made a massive difference for all of us. Many of my from-scratch projects went by the wayside for awhile while I dealt with sick kids, etc. I just started up my last batch of frozen water kefir grains this week. It's taking awhile to get them active, but I think they are well on their way. I also started a fresh kombucha scoby from a bottle of raw kombucha. We have more or less given up on using dairy for the time being. I buy about 5 oz of raw goat milk cheddar each week, and that's about all we can handle. Mixed reviews on how we're doing with our egg sensitivity. I think after all the stress is over and things settle down we'll try again. Audrey and Nick are the only ones who eat eggs regularly. We have introduced occasional small amounts of soaked buckwheat porridge with our breakfast sausage, with good success. I think since we were coming from an already organic, gluten free diet, it maybe won't take us the recommended two years to heal on GAPS. Still hoping for the food sensitivities/sensitive digestion to clear completely though.

10. The ONLY way we are getting through this season is to remember that God knows us, loves us, and will take care of us. If you haven't heard much from me lately, this is why! :) There is even more going on than I've written here. I'm looking forward to, on the other side of this, having my own home, my sweet baby, my husband home more because of no commute, and a period of rest!

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