3

It has been forever since I have written here. So this may be long, seeing as a certain little man is not here to interrupt, nor are the other men in my life, nor my daughter.... I have taken advantage of my husband and son being away at a conference to ask our dear sweet neighbor to take my little one for several hours today so that I could have some 'me' time. And what I miss the most about 'me' time is being able to just read or write uninterrupted. I catch a little reading time here and there, so at this moment I'm going to make a cup of tea and WRITE. It's not enough time to start any fiction writing.... but I can at least start catching up here.

So..... Where to begin??

HOMESCHOOL

My daughter is not here this year. She is at IUP doing incredibly well. I am really proud of her. She seems to be adjusting well and enjoying college life for the most part. I am happy with that she still texts and calls home sometimes though sometimes I feel horribly guilty for not being able to talk to her the way I'd like when she calls because, unfortunately, life goes on here at home....

My son has started his 9th grade year, his first year of high school here at home. He is having a hard time adjusting to all the reading required and balancing that between scouts, hunting, and all the things he likes to do (distractions) through the day but still doing very well. We've made some adjustments. I will be reading his history lessons to him for awhile and verbally doing the questions with him to help save time in the day and my husband downloaded his biology onto his Audible account ( I got the account for my husband for his birthday and he LOVES it.... has been 'reading' a lot!) so that he can listen to it as he reads, enabling him to go faster. He's a good reader as far as comprehension goes, but is a bit slow. So hopefully, these two adaptations will help shorten his school days.

My smallest is too young for official school. He's only 3 1/2 but is incredibly smart. I have been investigating the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling for him. We spend LOTS of time reading. He knows his alphabet (has known it since before age 2) and a lot of sounds and about 7 'sight' words. He can count to over 50, including one to one correspondance, and has an incredible imagination. (I just wish it would turn off at 7 when bedtime arrives!)
I'm having fun with him.... just wish I had more time in the day to give him more attention.

FOOD

Food is a big part of our lives. Really, it's not about food but about HEALTH.
We gave up artificial ingredients a long time ago.... things like MSG (total poison), artificial dyes, flavors, preservatives, etc. We moved closer to more whole foods and more natural ingredients. Though the more I studied the more I realized that even a lot of those things we were trying to convince ourselves were natural, just weren't. So lately, my husband and I (and kids much to their dismay) have been getting further and further away from those processed, so called 'natural' food items...even the organic ones and coming closer and closer to real food... truly what God created. Most of what we eat falls under the Paleo diet plan, which isn't really a diet but a way of life. Some call it Primal. Whatever one calls it, it gets one away from the grains that causes inflamation leading to so much horrible disease (probably if you are reading this and suffer from anything thats not 100% health, grains play a really big factor in that whether you realize it or not). I admit, I started looking into it because of my hairdresser. (strange that I've even started seeing a hairdresser that I actually talk to.... still a bit of an introvert here) But she and I started talking about her lifestyle and I thought...hmmm... wonder if this would work for my DH to lose weight? So I started reading..... and reading... and wow, read some more. So the first books she recommended was The Paleo Diet by Robb Wolf and the Omni Diet by Tana Amen. I don't know if I'd recommend Robb Wolfs book to anyone.... he came off as rather super sarcastic and I'm not sure that if I wasn't really really super interested by the things I heard and read about Paleo eating that I would have kept up with it. I wasn't really offended by Mr. Wolf's writing, but could imagine that others might be.... Anyway, the book was very informative if you could get past his higher than mighty attitude. I really liked the Omini Diet book. It was very informative as well. But then I stumbled upon IT STARTS WITH FOOD by the creaters of the Whole9 website, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.
WOW. Great book. I'm sure to read it again and again. It's a wonderful book and program that has truly cured many many many people from all sorts of illnesses, including diabetes, bipolar and immune disorders and so many others. And I want to do the Whole30 program... just not yet. It may drive my son bonkers. Anyway, the food plan addresses the importance of really good animal protein, stressing to strive towards as organic as possible and understanding that some people can't so explaining what to eat if one can't get the best quality meat sources. The Whole30 program also addresses what to do if you are vegan though they state outright that they don't feel one can achieve total health if vegan. But they were not cocky about it at all. So we are eating a lot of meat, lots and lots of veggies, a little fruit and avoiding grains and most legumes. We are not there 100%. I still have quite a few perogies out there in the freezer and I am not willing, at least at this point, to make life any more difficult for friends and family that like to feed us. We already have to ask these people to cook without artificial stuff that actually causes us allergic reactions now... I can't further complicate and say, Oh, by the way, we won't eat your bread, your rice, your lasagne, your...... yeah, you get it, right? So we are eating it a little here and there... a couple times a month in smaller quanitities, to make sure if we can, that we can tolerate small portions without getting sick. At least that's the plan.

The results? Well, we've done this for about 6 weeks. My DH has lost, last checked, about 16 pounds or more 🙂 and is feeling a lot better! I've lost about 6.... I don't really care if I lose... I just don't want to gain anymore. But I feel really good. I have energy! I have started exercising again and actually have the energy to do it. I'm sleeping better. I feel less achy. There's no swelling in places I was starting to feel some, like my fingers, etc. I could go on but this is pretty long already. I'll save it for another day when I update this again... hopefully it will be a LOT sooner!!!

By the way.... this is not another LOW CARB DIET!!!!! I can't stand when people count calories, carbs, fat, etc. It's not about that!!! It's about eating good quality food that gives the body nutrients and doesn't cause inflamation or other problems. We don't count carbs. We don't care what vegetables we eat or stay away from fruit. While we try not to make white potatoes a staple anymore and know that berries are the better fruit, we will not say no to those things or worry about counting the carbs if we do. We eat a large variety of vegetables! I tried parsnipst the other day....mashed... we prefer mashed cauliflower...but hey, they weren't bad.

Anyway, enough about that for now... other than if this continues working, and I highly suspect it will, I have no idea what to do about fasting and Great Lent!!!!

FAITH

In Eastern Orthodoxy, we fast from animal products for the entire duration of LENT. This means most of our protein comes from legumes! Which is one major thing we avoid now.... hmmmmm..... well, we are not there yet. The Fast is not supposed to center so much on the food as growing spirtiually so maybe our Spiritual Father will give us some guidance if we sit and talk with him. Though my spiritual father is different than my husband's who is our parish priest.... but we'll probably just talk to him. We can use seafood.... but I know that a varied animal protein diet is important.... but I can't drive myself crazy about that yet. For now, we use fish and seafoods on Wed and Friday which are days we always fast all year.

I'm doing better spiritually. I had a really really hard time with it spiritually after the miscarriage last year. It's been a year. It's been a really long year. It's been such a very very incredibly long year. Full of struggles in so many ways. But things are better. I can at least pray now with my heart in it. I'm not where I was before that... or maybe I'm stronger in some areas and weaker in others? I don't know... but it's a day to day challenge but I guess that's what it is supposed to be.

Miscellaneous

Well, what else is new? My DH thinks I'm paranoid. (Wait? Is that new? lol) There was a murder that took place about ten miles from our home a few weeks ago. This brought back lots of old feelings of 'paranoia' or nervousness about being home alone (without husband), locking doors, safety, etc. that I know stem from an experience I had as a young college student in my home one summer. Without going into details, let's just suffice it to say that I think waking up with a strange man in your room once is enough to call this extreme caution and not paranoia. Okay, maybe the first week of the murder was paranoia.... but I have moved back into a much calmer sense of mind now and I would just call it cautious. They may have the lady in custody now...not for murder though (yet) for something else... but it wasn't really ever about just thinking that particular lady was going to come and kill me too.... it was about awareness. It was "oh, yeah, just because we live in this beautiful low crime area does NOT mean it can't happen and yes, we really should lock all the doors and windows at night and we should take precautions". My DH thinks locking the dog door at night is overdoing it. (though he thinks we need a handgun... which I have considered but can't get past the saftey issues regarding the little guy). So yes, I lock the dog door. Sue me.

Let's see... what else? I'm trying to keep up with my gratitude journal. My goal is to write two things in there each day. I don't always get to it but I am keeping up with it much better than I was. Recent entried have included : My Godmother, Nutrients of abundance in the foods God has created for us, A smile on the face of a friend that's been down, A friend who calls me cautious rather than paranoid and A sunny October morning! Writing in my gratitude journal is one of my 5 goals I set to create better healthy habits. Gratitude is a wonderful habit!

Well for someone that hasn't written anything at all for months (aside from in the gratitdue journal) I'd say I did pretty well here. Now if only I can keep it going! I need to pick at least one evening a week to try and do that. I just always hate saying no to my older son who always wants to play a game or watch something with me. Who else has a 14 year old that wants to spend quality time with their parent(s)??? Not many, I'm sure.... so it's hard to say no. But once a week shouldn't be awful...

Well, wish me luck with that!
Have a wonderful blessed day and go start a gratitude journal if you haven't already!

🙂

First, though they may not all follow me here...I wish to say a word of thanks to my friends who continue to pray for me...my family and I have been through a very rough month or two and are trying desperatly to regain a sense of peace.
This weekend was very beneficial for many reasons. My husband and I (and small toddler) took my 17 year old daughter to IUP to tour the campus. It seems to be her first choice and she, at this point, wants to major in Criminology. IUP has a great program for that but also has many other wonderful programs should she decide to change her mind at any point. She already knows some people there and they seem to be willing to work well with her dietary needs.
IUP is also where my husband and I met. So this was a great way for he and I to reconnect on many levels. The campus has changed so much but there was also so much that was the same and brought back so many wonderful memories...and memories that were sad but we could laugh at now. We sat on the same bench he broke up with me on....(the first time) and he asked for forgivenss! Our dorms have been torn down but the apartment building I lived in for two years was still there. We even met up with some very dear friends and that time spent with them did us both a world of good. There presence in our lives is very meaningful and I hope we strive to make visits occur more often! My husband and I did have some alone time (well, alone if you count a toddler) to discuss a lot of things we haven't had a chance to and that was very important.

I've contacted a professional homeopath as well. I am going to try homeopathy to treat the depression as well as some anxiety and sleep issues I've been having. Though this weekend was wonderful and I'm feeling a bit lifted from it, I still feel the depression lurking and know it's probably going to return, so I put in a call to make an appointment this morning. Hopefully she'll be able to get me in within a week or so. I've used homeopathy previously with our Naturopathic physician...but due to reasons I posted earlier on, I still can't bring myself to go see him. So he has referred me to a professional homeopath. She is further away (an hour and a half) but is willing to do phone visits occasionally after the first meeting. It will be expensive to get started but I'm certain it will be worth it.

I started reading a book about praying too. Well, It's called 'When God doesn't answer your prayers'. It's not by an orthodox author, but I listened to an interview with him on Ancient Faith Radio and he does have a rather Orthodox viewpoint on many things and quotes a lot of the Church Fathers in the book...so far (the Introduction and part of the first chapter) make a lot of sense to me..so I think this may help. I have not lost my faith... and I truly still believe that the Orthodox Faith is indeed the TRUE Faith... I just have a lot of questions about God's will, tradgedies, and prayer. So I am struggling, but find comfort in being a member of His church and having so many that are lifting me up in prayer.

Of course, I'm still taking the extra supplements and am trying to get into an exercise routine. And I'm trying to get back to our better eating habits. We still eat better, I think, than the average American with all the preservatives and artificial stuff we totally avoid, but I haven't been doing well in preparing the green smoothies, fresh juice and salads with our meals, etc.

Well, it's 12:30 and I've just gotten my morning routine finished...the same morning routine that I usually have done by 8:30...so needless to say I am anxious about all there is left to do today. My little one is napping and I wish I could do the same but I'm going to try to manage getting something done...if only I can figure out what I should do first...what's most important and what I can manage.... wish me luck!

5

My heart is aching. The anguish is unbearable.
It is hard to get out of bed in the morning.
I’m not hungry. Chocolate doesn’t even entice me.
Every thought I have somehow reminds me of the loss.
Things I look at around the house remind me of a dream that will no longer be.
Every baby I see is a reminder of life that is no longer there for me.
I go through the motions of tasks that, after two weeks, I can finally force myself to do. Laundry, cooking, checking homeschool papers for my children…. Playing, though not without a tug at my heart, with my youngest. Pressing on for the sake of the joys in my life I have…3 precious gifts from our Lord….3 precious lives I would do anything for.
Two weeks have gone by since finding out that the precious heartbeat we had witnessed just one week prior….full of life…full of hope…full of promise….was no longer there.

As I struggle through the day trying to find joy, I find myself strolling down the status updates of my friends and family on Facebook. I stop. I stare. I shudder.

How could anyone, anyone? How could anyone actually believe that it is the right of any woman to purposely snuff out the life of another living person? How is that a ‘choice’?? The idea simply nauseates me….as it did even before either of my miscarriages. How could anyone purposely end a life that is living within them? How could anyone think that a woman has more rights than the living body inside of her? How could anyone think murder under any circumstances is anything other than just that….MURDER?

Don’t talk to me about circumstances either….rape?? Look, I’m sorry. Really. No woman should have to endure the violence of rape. And I’m sure a pregnancy that is the result of one would be very difficult to deal with…..especially if one does not have the support and strength from friends of strong faith. But that child is still a living being…a life….a gift from our heavenly Father. It is not a choice. The only choice there is to keep the child to raise it yourself or give it to another loving person who desperately wants that child. And there are so many loving women out there that would do just that.

Abortion is not a right. It is not a choice. It is murder. It is the snuffing out of a life. A very, very precious life. A gift from above. It is not a right to take that gift and throw it away.

Now seriously, I don’t care to hear from any of you ‘Pro-Choice’ people. Don’t bother to post here if you are going to be ‘preaching’ your side here at all. Respect me. Respect my right to vent here without be harassed at a time of mourning. I don’t comment on your status updates. I don’t judge you as a person. I empathize with your life challenges and struggles. Right now I am struggling. I needed to vent. I needed to say a few things on my mind. Don’t come back at me with your pro-choice thoughts and ‘reasoning’. It will only make me gag and in my humanness, think less of you and judge you as a very selfish, uncaring individual…..and I would later feel guilty for judging you but where would you be? Certainly not better off as a person and you will not, over my dead body, get me to change my views. Just feel for my struggle please…. It would probably be too much for me to ask you to rethink your stance on this issue. But I will pray for it.