Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Page

Hi all! I don't know if you've noticed, but I have a new page to my blog. You can click on the link to the right of my blog posts where it says Food Storage Resources. I've been impressed lately to do a better job of getting our food storage and emergency supplies organized. We've had a little bit here and there, but I really feel like we need to be better prepared for emergency situations. I have a first aid kit, I bottle my own meat, I love to do canning, but it just isn't quite enough. We've started storing water in a couple different ways. I've begun to fill up my canning jars with water when they aren't being used to store food. Rather than just have a bunch of empty jars on my shelves, now I can use them for water storage. When I need them for canning, I can just use the water for the garden, or anything I need. We've also started filling the heavy plastic apple juice containers with water and storing them underneath our extra bed. We don't have the recommended two week supply, but we are getting there, slowly.
I've always been a little intimidated by the popular form of food storage, where you buy 30 lb buckets of wheat, oats, rice, sugar, etc, because it just seems like a lot. We also don't have a lot of room to store large buckets like that. So, my idea of food storage has begun to change. Rather than thinking I need huge buckets of bulk food (I do have some buckets of wheat and oats, but I am using them for making bread, and other everyday things), I've started to stock up on the foods we eat all the time. Smiths grocery store just had another case lot sale, and it seems that they have one at least twice a year. When the case sale comes around, I make sure to buy a few cases of things we use all the time: cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, honey, canned tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, mandarin oranges, canned vegetables, etc. These are things I regularly use in our dinner meals, and won't require a lot of preparation. If necessary, a lot of them could be eaten right out of the can without needing to be cooked. When I combine these case items with my bottled meat, jams, jellies, canned beans, and other fruit of bottled, our food storage doesn't seem to be so lacking. Rather than having buckets of stuff I don't know what to do with, I can store the food we actually eat and I can rotate it better knowing that we will eat it before it goes bad.
I hope you check out the new food storage page, suggest any resources you like that I don't have, and I'll keep adding new links so that we can all be better prepared for those unexpected disasters and emergency situations!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dollar Store Fall Wreath

Our front entryway has been severely lacking in any sort of decoration because I just haven't know what to do with it. Since I am hoping Fall will be coming soon, I decided to give it a little jump start by making a fall wreath to hang on the front door. I went to the Dollar Tree and found an 18" plain wreath. I also bought bunches of leaves in varying tones of fall, and a couple bunches of fall color flowers and berries. I think I only used about 4 bunches total, though I bought a few more than that. I simply hot glued the leaves and flowers to wreath, so it's a very easy project. All-in-all this wreath only cost about $5 and it looks great in it's new home on our front door!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Was she really that small?

Since it was Sharon's birthday, and I recovered all our pictures of her from my parents' computer while we were visiting, I've been taking some time to look through all of our pictures from her 3-month stay at the hospital. Looking at these pictures, I can hardly believe that she was really that small. It's hard to remember sometimes that she had such a rough start at life since she is now doing so well, and seems so normal. I count myself extremely blessed to have her in my life. She constantly makes me laugh and she is so smart, and cute, and inquisitive, and determined, and stubborn (not at all like her mother), and she is such a huge part of my life! I never would have guessed that one of the trials of my life would be to have a premature baby the size of Sharon, and it's still hard to believe it's only been a year, but I wouldn't change one bit of the experience. Yes, it was stressful. Yes, I had many emotional breakdowns, usually about once a week, or if Sharon was having a bad day. BUT I also had so many blessings throughout the whole experience. Seeing such a tiny little person (yes, she was a person, even being that small, with her own personality and attitude) fight to survive even though everything was so hard has given me a small glimpse into the wonderful miracle that life is. There is no way that we are simply an accident!
Anyway. These pictures were taken on September 15, 2009. Sharon was starting to look a little better by this time, as her eyes were finally opened (since they were still fused shut when she was born), the bruising on her head was going away, she didn't look so much like she'd been socked in both eyes, and she'd gained a little bit of weight, so she didn't look quite so alien. I can't get over how teenie tiny her hand is. I mean, do you see that! Her whole hand was as big as the first joint of my thumb! She even has finger nails on those tiny fingers. I love these two pictures! I'm not even sure why because they certainly aren't the most darling, or the most glamorous. Maybe it's because that even though she was covered in tubes, wires and tape, all I could see was my amazing little girl, her cute little nose, her Wilhelm chin, and her many amazing expressions.
I was sitting next to a woman at church today who has a fairly new baby. She was sleeping, but every now and then would make little squeaking sounds. Then at the end of the meeting she started to cry, the newborn cry, because she was hungry and I couldn't help but smile and feel a twinge of envy. I remember sitting in the delivery room after they'd taken Sharon out and hearing a baby screaming in the other room. What I would have given to have a beautiful new baby screaming in my arms. And for the next 2 months we couldn't hear anything from Sharon because of the breathing tubes. When we finally heard a tiny cry from her it was such a welcome sound, and pretty emotional for me as well! I love to hear her cry (I prefer laughing now) because her crying just makes me realize how blessed I am that she was able to stick around and be our little girl! I love you, Sharon!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Now and Then

I just thought it would be fun to do a couple of pictures of Sharon from now and then. The first one is from our most recent family photo shoot last weekend. The second one is the first time I got to hold Sharon in the hospital on September 7th, 2009 at 10:56 AM. You'll notice I scheduled this post for that exact time on the exact day a year later. I know, I'm weird. I'm just excited to see just how far she's come!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Family Pictures 2010

Since it is Sharon's first birthday and our five year wedding anniversary, I figured we should probably take some new family pictures. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.
Thanks to my brother, David, for taking our family pictures for us! Edited by me.