Friday, December 2, 2016

The Birth of Raylan Truong

Oh where do I begin. The birth of my grandson was amazing in so many ways. Birth.. in today's society we've stripped women of the spiritual experience that it really is. God has something to show us, to take us through, to accomplish in each and every baby that is born. We walk through more than we had thought we would and we deal with more than we ever, ever thought we'd deal with. To know you have a God that loves you and is there for you is how you grow. The answer today from the medical community is simple.. epidural.. take the pain away.. take the suffering away. But it comes at a cost for so many. Not for everyone, but it is known that induction, epidurals, and such lead to C section for many women. And more importantly it takes away from the growth that God has for you through the process of birth. It is an incredible time in life to see the hand of God and to walk away feeling empowered and see growth in so many ways you never thought were possible!

I have this amazing daughter that wanted a natural birth. She did not want it to be invaded by doctors time lines and schedules and intervention. Even before she hit her due date she was being pressured to schedule an induction.. just so she would know there would be an end date. The Bible says.. there is a time to be born. Is it really so bad to wait for His timing? For His plan? My other daughter, Hannah, went 43 weeks and 4 days.. waiting for God's time.. and it was a beautiful birth. Emily knew our family has a history of being late. So she was prepared for this. She ended up being 13 days late.

After walking through every minute of this with her I can only say that I have NOTHING but the most admiration for her. She is much stronger than she ever thought she was.

From the beginning I felt like God had a plan for this baby's birth. HE had something to accomplish in all of this. I felt a total peace about this. I told her.. while every woman walks through the same process.. every woman has a different story.. their birth story.. and God was writing her birth story and we needed to just move through this and take it all in. Don't think about all the contractions you've had, or how many more are coming.. just deal with this one.. the one you are having, right now.

My daughter had a very, very long and hard labor. It was, undeniably, hard on this mama to watch at times. I've had 8 babies, I've attended many of my friends births, I've been with most all of my children for their births, I've delivered 2 of my grandchildren. I'm no stranger to labor and birth. And this one took the prize for endurance from everyone, especially mama.

She was in labor for 48 hours. Yes, 48 hours. From the time we had time-able contractions until this little man was born was.. 48 hours. We had a trip to the hospital when we felt things were moving along only to be told she was at 1cm.. and sent back home.. to labor more.. we walked, we rested, we fed her, we held her, we cried with her, we took every step with her. I would not have missed this for the world.

I saw my son in law as the most amazing man ever.. never left her side, encouraged her and helped her through each and every contraction. At one point she could not talk or walk through her contractions and would just stand and put her arms on him and he would rock her back and forth .. and after 3 hours of this he said.. “I know this is the longest slow dance we've ever had”.. aww.. how that touched me.. I saw love, real, powerful love. You make a baby and then you bring them into the world. It's a complete cycle. And the sweetest thing to walk through but even more precious to watch your child walk through.

She pushed for an hour and half. When she, I'm sure, thought she had nothing left to give to this process it was time. And she gave it everything she had. And finally, we had a baby.. laid on her tummy.. the reward for all that work, for all that pain, for all that love... a baby.. the sweetest reward imaginable.

Little Raylan Troung weighed 7lbs 9oz and was 21 inches long.

He was born on Thanksgiving Day... what a blessing!! While Emily was in labor we got hungry and the guys (my hubby and Em's hubby) went to seek out some food for us. The only place open on Thanksgiving was McDonald's... and that was our dinner.. It will go down as one of the most memorable Thanksgiving's for all of us!

I was surprised once again that the nurses in the hospital were so in awe that she was having a natural birth. I remember when my daughter, Hannah, was was having one of her baby's in the hospital. There were 2 student nurses that came in to watch and see a normal unmedicated birth.. because it is such anomaly today.

In the end all I can say is that birth is an empowering and spiritual experience for women. It is robbed from SO many women today. God has a plan, He created this process, it is normal... it is God's plan. He has something to accomplish in each and every birth.. if we let Him. And to have the blessing of experiencing this myself and then to watch my children experience it... is nothing but amazing to me. My heart is overflowing with God's love and grace.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)

So Far This Week
As I shared on Monday our grandson made his arrival! Last week we had a wonderful week in Sacramento with my daughter, her husband, his family and the birth of our new grandson, Raylan. Next blog post on Friday will be his birth story.

After getting home it has been all about regrouping and getting into the flow of things again. Laundry and grocery shopping were done and of course getting ready now to think ahead to Christmas. The tree is up and will be decorated this weekend. It is feeling very festive in my home.

On My To-Do List
Menu planning! :) I've kind of been working “on the fly” as they say. At these times I so appreciate my Instant Pot. Last minute meal ideas and frozen meats are no problem, ha, ha!!

Projects I'm Working On
The only projects I've been working on since I came home was getting reorganized and thinking about Christmas.  Gifts to purchase and the menu to plan for the family celebration.  I'm not sure if I'll really have time to make gifts this year, but I'd like to, we will see how the rest of the month goes.

One project I'd like to try is some Vietnamese pickled carrots & radishes. While visiting my daughter we had the best Vietnamese sandwiches I've ever had.  They had the pickled carrots in them and they tasted so good.  I found a recipe online and want to try it out.

Today's Weather
High of 50 today, clouds and rain.  Typical :)  but cooler temps are coming and snow levels are dropping.  We'll see if there is any white stuff in our future! 

The View from my Deck (or window)
It's a rainy morning here! Yesterday was dry and that was a nice break.  I guess we are back to the rain today.

What I'm Reading
I did not make any progress on my reading this last week while I was gone. I'm getting back in my groove and looking forward to making progress through the Bible and my current book, The Count of Monte Cristo

What I'm Listening To
This:    Tis the Season!  :)

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
It's about a 12 hour drive down to my daughters. I packed food and took it with us to avoid having to stop at fast food restaurants to eat. I like a treat like that now and again but food on the road is expensive and not that healthy and it is easy to tire of it very quickly.

Fitness for the Week
I had good days and not so good days which is to be expected when I'm out of my routine. However we did spend one day walking around downtown Sacramento (trying to get labor started ;) and lots of walking the halls of the hospital while she was in labor. Now that I'm back home, my inside walking (with Leslie Sansone DVD's) is what I've started doing. We are in our rainy season and I'm just not a fan of getting drenched while walking outside. I love the fact that with the DVD's I don't have to give up my fitness plans and goals due to the weather.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Menu Monday!!

Well here it is folks.. I have NO idea what we are eating this week!! Ha, ha!! :D .. Seriously.

We got home last night from a week in California and I have a beautiful new grandbaby boy and we are so in love!!!

I can not wait to post all about our trip and her birth. It was an experience and it was amazing to watch God's plan. I told my daughter.. This is your birth story, and God is in control. We live in a society that wants to take control of situations like this. We don't like this open ended, we don't know where this ends, or how this goes, type situations. We want to see the end, be comforted in the future.

The Bible says.. there is a time to be born. Not often today, if you go beyond the doctors and hospitals dates, you are able to experience this.

But this is just a preview of the story I'll share later this week. So stay tuned.

In the meantime today I'm going grocery shopping to see what kind of deals I can find and what I can pull together for the week.

So stay tuned...


Monday, November 21, 2016

On a Baby Break :)

We are heading to my daughter's and awaiting the arrival of baby boy grandson.  I'll be back to blogging soon!  :)  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Frugal & Easy: Homemade Liquid and Foaming Hand Soap

I love this stuff. So easy to make and what a great way to stretch my homemade soaps. You can make this with homemade soap or store bought soap. Either way it is a great money saver.

You know those slivers of soap that you either smoosh into the new bar of soap or toss because they are just to small to use? Well now you can save them and get extra miles from them.
The measurements for making liquid soap are simple..  1oz of soap to 1 cup of water.  You will have to weigh your soap bits or you can buy a bar of soap and the weight will be on it and add the water accordingly. 

I started by making liquid hand soap. I took the slivers of soap I had and chopped them into bits...

Added water and heated it up on the stove until the soap bits melted.

I had purchased a liquid soap bottle because I did not have any. This one I got at IKEA for $2.99. If you use liquid hand soap you can just save the bottle and reuse it.

I poured my soap into the bottle... and that was it! All done. I poured what did not fit into my bottle into a canning jar.

The soap thickens up a bit over the next day or so...

Then it was time to try the foaming soap. I bought a small bottle of foaming hand soap at the store so I could have the bottle. It was a cheaper way to go. I looked on Amazon to see if I could buy and empty bottle but the cost was more than buying one at the store, so that worked for me and I did not have to wait for the bottle to be delivered. If you use foaming hand soap you can just save your bottle and reuse it.

I filled the bottle almost to the top with water.

Then I added a couple tablespoons of my liquid soap to it. The measurements are not that specific. My bottle was a 10oz bottle and these measurements worked just fine.

Make sure to add the water and then the soap otherwise you will have a soapy sudsy mess. :) Stir it up.. I used a chopstick to gently stir it.

And it is ready to go.. perfect foaming hand soap..

I'm excited about this because it stretches out my homemade soap for a very long time. An amazing cost savings. If you buy your soap.. same thing.. it will stretch out your soap, assuring you get every bit of benefit from your soap.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)

So Far This Week
I spent an enjoyable weekend at home. Got a few things done around here but mostly visited with my kids. My son came up for a visit as well and that is always great. Love to get caught up on his busy life.

Hubby and I went and got hay for the goats for the winter. Feels good to have that taken care of. I was almost out of last years hay. The two things that must happen on our little homestead before winter sets in... firewood and hay! :) Firewood has been in for a while now so we are ready for winter.

Still waiting for baby boy grandson to make his arrival. Due date has passed but we tend to be a family that runs late so we are all practicing our skills in being patient, especially my daughter..

On My To-Do List
Today is my oldest son's birthday so hubby and I will heading over to see him this afternoon/evening and wish him a happy birthday. He is 34 today. It kind of shocks me to know I'm old enough to have a 34 year old son!! Ha, ha!! :) He is an incredible man and we are so proud of him.

I won't get a whole lot more done today and that is fine! :)

Projects I'm Working On
A friend of mine sent me an apron pattern. I'm thinking of pulling out the sewing machine and making one. Looks like a super easy pattern to make and I'm in need of a new apron. Could be promising Christmas gifts depending on how it goes (and how my time goes over the next month or so).

Today's Weather

High of 52 for today with heavy showers later on.  I'll enjoy the little bit of sun for now! 

The View from my Deck (or window)
The sun is trying to peek through a bit!!  :)

What I'm Reading
I'm now in the book of Numbers. It is an interesting book with a lot to learn about God. And a lot to learn about human nature. I love the fact that the book shows in a very real way that God is always with us. He was with the Israelites day and night, a pillar of cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night. Yet the people doubted and complained. How often can we be like that was one of my thoughts. It also showed how God was to be worshiped and that He is a holy God. So much to learn from these first 5 books of the Bible!

I'm about halfway through The Count of Monte Cristo. I don't think I realized what a big book this is!! I'm reading it on my Kindle so I did not have a visual of the size. I looked it up, the paperback version has over 1000 pages. I'm enjoying it so much! There is a reason classic books are considered classics, amazing story telling and writing.

What I'm Listening To

The dishwasher and my ticking clock...  quiet morning..  my favorite..

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
I took my liquid hand soap that I made last week and took it one step farther. I used some of it to make foaming hand soap. It only takes a couple tablespoons of the liquid soap to make the foaming soap. What a way to stretch out my homemade soaps. I'm very happy with it.

Fitness for the Week
I did good this week, got my steps in 5 days this week. Had a couple days well over 10,000 steps. I can feel the difference in my day when I exercise. Walking is amazing!!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Menu Monday!

I ended up not making the turkey breast that I had planned on last week and instead made some bbq pork over the weekend. So tonight is the turkey breast and a few side dishes to go along with it. I also found cranberries are in the store when I went shopping and will make a batch of cranberry sauce as well.

The rest of my week is looking like this...

Not sure yet if they will be hamburger or chicken. But will be served with the typical trimmings.

Round Steak Subs
I have a smallish size package of round steak in my freezer. I'm planning on cooking it in my Instant Pot with some seasonings and then cutting/shredding it up. I'll serve this on sub sandwich rolls with sauteed onions & peppers. I'll also make a pot of tomato soup and a salad to go with this.

Lemon Butter Chicken
I made this a while back and it was very good. It is in Instant Pot recipe. You can find the recipe HERE. I'll serve this with rice and a veggie of some sort.. maybe broccoli or sautéed kale.

That should do it for the week!! How is your menu planning coming along?