A Little About Me:

I am a true believer of FAMILY! I am a mother of six beautiful children ranging in ages from three to seventeen! A wife, of twenty years, to my high school sweetheart and love of my life. I truly enjoy my job as wife and mother. I also enjoy cooking, gardening and researching almost anything. As a family we have been on a personal transformation to live a life that respects our earth and hope to share our adventures with others, in hopes of keeping our world healthy for many, many generations to come.

Words To Live By and a Shout Out For Signazon!

Every once in awhile I see a quote that means so very much to me … something that I want to remember. A reminder that I need hanging on my wall to be read each day! Recently I came across this quote:

“People where created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.” Author Unknown

It meant so very much to me, like a light bulb going off! I mean it makes perfect sense and I think in general I live this way but the little package of words seemed to sum up so very much to me. I shared it with my kids, I shared in my Facebook page … I wanted to share it with everyone … maybe if everyone could think about this for just a moment we could step away from our commercialized world for a moment and gain some clarity.

Around my house when I want to remember something like this, it goes on the wall! I had been offered an opportunity to do a product review with Signazon … so I thought this would be a great opportunity. So I clicked on over to their website and started creating my custom banner … it was so easy … I found a picture that my daughter had taken, that I loved (and wanted on my wall), uploaded it, added the text and submitted … all done in just a few minutes.  A little later that day I received a confirmation and I within the week I had my new banner hanging on my wall!

I don’t know about you but for me, CUSTOMER SERVICE is truly a beautiful thing. It seems more and more these days GOOD customer service has become less and less! So I was just thrilled to find this process so very simple, accurate, high quality and friendly! A true pleasure to work with them. Which is why I am so happy to share with you a little about them … you should click over and check them out … Signazon … they offer so much from vinyl banner, custom signs, car magnets, lettering perfect for any storefront, etc…  Great for businesses, churches, home, etc… all at a very reasonable price and EXCELLENT customer service! So go check them out!

I wanted to post a picture of my banner (which I like very much) but my camera and I are not agreeing on anything this week! So instead I am posting a proof that was sent to me, so you can at least see what I had put on it! The Signazon logo is not on the banner!

Peace, Love and Kindness, Amy

My Herb Garden!

Here is the herb garden in May, it had been in for a couple of weeks! Everything seems to be doing really well!

We planted lots of things in there, over 30 plants, including: spearmint, peppermint, curled peppermint, sweet mint, oregano, dill, cilantro, sage, dwarf lavender, roman chamomile, basil, Italian basil, lemon balm, french tarragon, wormwood, cinnamon basil, penny royal, rosemary, stevia, catmint, hyssop, lemon grass, basil, St. Johns wort, lemon mint, American blue basil, thyme, German chamomile, catnip, lavender, and echinacea!

I have waiting and waiting and waiting for things to really get going. The reality is that this is the first year for our garden space … we literally just tilled up spots of lawn area! And the soil is not perfect by any means so things are moving along slowly but they are moving along!

Here is another snap shot of the herb garden taken the first of June … see things are growing!

Even the catnip and  German camomile that I started from seeds are growing! I also planted lavender and echinacea seeds but I have not yet been able to determine the plant from the weeds … so we will see what happens with them.

I’ve been doing a little research on the best ways to harvest and store herbs … I do like grabbing them fresh but my ultimate goal is to preserve them for a years worth of use! So I borrowed (from wonderful friends) a dehydrator and I am going to see how that works! My hope is to harvest and dry enough to last through the winter months!

Today I went out and weeded and pinched flowers and even harvested some oregano, St. Johns wort, spearmint, sage, sweet mint, German camomile and catmint!

See who was super happy about the catmint! I was literally in the house for about 30 seconds when from all corners of the house, four cats arrived at my feet! Crazy cats!

As I am no expert at gardening and this is my first herb garden … any and all ideas are welcomed and appreciated!

With Peace, Love and Kindness,

Amy

Slow …

This is kind of how my blogging is going right now!

Beautiful pictures taken by my son, Jacob!

Peace, Love and Kindness,

Amy

Hey Out There!

So it has been forever … several times in the past year or so I have started to log again and fizzled out … I like blogging! I like sharing and it is kind of like a journal for me BUT I have a hard time taking time from my schedule to do it! So once again I am seeking a purpose I suppose … does anyone read this?

HEY OUT THERE?

Would you drop me a quick comment if you read this and let me know why you are still around … inspire me … what would you like to see here?

Thanks so much!

Peace, love and kindness,

 

 

 

 

CoSleeping!

There has been some media about co-sleeping lately … some craziness in my opinion. I am not saying that everyone has to co-sleep but I do believe that if you choose to it is just fine. Yes, there are certain precautions to be taken, especially with newborns and infants but otherwise I find it to be perfectly safe. Matter a fact, in my opinion it has been a VERY positive thing in our family. I get to sleep … the littlest always sleeps near me so I can snuggle and nurse them as needed. We always have a pile of things close by that may be need throughout the night … diapers, water bottle, headlamp, chap stick, tinctures (if needed), etc… which means that I am not up all night being mom. It works for us!

This is our family bedroom … It is small and it houses a bunk bed with twin on top and queen on bottom and a king size mattress on the floor.  Right now we all have a place but that could change at anytime, as we like to rotate around depending on our moods! Actually, it is when the littles decide they want to snuggle someone else!

This week we decided to let our puppies join us … they love to cuddle and the kids and daddy are always teasing to let them in to the bedroom so I finally gave in! This morning I snap this picture because I thought it was cute, I wish I could have gotten the whole room better but as the room is so small it is impossible!

Bottom line is this little room is shared by mom, dad, four boys, two puppies and a cat or two (depending on the night)!

Peace, love and kindness,

 

Questioning Life … In December!

Do you ever find yourself questioning why you do the things that you do? It seems that as I get older I find myself questioning things more and more. I am not sure if it is my age, the more I learn or the fact that I find myself lost for words when I try to explain things to my children.

December seems to be one big question mark for me right now. Over the past few years my children have questioned and questioned WHY we do the things we do throughout December … referring to the holidays. I grew up celebrating Christmas … I have many very fond memories of the decorating a tree, wrapping presents and dreaming of Santa. But as I became a parent I felt like I needed more meaning for my children … I wanted to be able to explain why we did the things we did! This became difficult. For a time I was able to even convince myself that there was hidden meaning to Christmas that gave it a purpose in my life … but the reality is there is not!

We are not Christian, we do not attend church, we have a very different belief system that does not include one God or the great celebrations around Jesus Christ … so what were we celebrating? We do not believe in Santa … I have always had a rule to NOT lie to my children, so the belief that a man dressed in red with flying reindeer came into our house one night a year to leave gifts was soon known to be not true! So again I question, what we are celebrating. Over the past couple of years we have tried to form our own traditions … incorporating some Christmas and Winter Solstice celebrations but we are still working on these traditions.

This year my children have asked: “Why do we celebrate Christmas?” My older children have even expressed that they have no desire to celebrate Christmas. In many, many ways I agree with them … so here I am writing about all my confusion. I like the idea of celebrating the Winter Solstice but feel like over the past few years of trying to implement this, we have just been celebrating the same way we always did, just a few days early … not really the changes that we have been looking for.

This year it seems even more clear that the extreme ‘craziness’ in December is something that I just want to scoop up my family and run and hide from. Is anyone else concerned about the crazy Black Friday Sale injuries that happen each year … do you really want a gift that someone had to push, shove and fight to get a good deal on? I surely do not! Last week as we ventured into the big store to get a few things, I noticed very long lines, cranky people and rude sale associates … why? All in the name of Jesus Christ and the celebration of Christmas? Is it really worth it all?

Over the years I have tried really hard to be kind and live a life of caring. Over the past year I have become even more serious about the fact that the only way to find peace on Earth is to live peacefully … set peaceful examples and spread peace to EVERYONE, EVERYDAY! This is not always easy but I am trying.  I feel I have to try extra hard … my children are watching and I want them to grow up to be kind … I do believe that peace comes from kindness!

So here I sit in early December … wondering how to proceed … when I say out loud: “I do not celebrate Christmas”  … it is refreshing to me but then I start to feel guilt … to my family? To my children? I am just not even sure what it is all about … but I know that I have to find peace with it because I can not continue to be a part of the crazy, unkind season we are upon. Even my children are asking me to question our intentions and reasons.

Now having said all of the above … kind of a spill of my thoughts … I want to follow up with I know that many people do have deep meaning with the Christmas Holiday. I love the fact that holidays bring families closer and we share things like cards and stories and pictures … I would like to do more of this through out the year … but I am asking … do you ever question your reasons for doing things? What are your traditions? Do you remember to be kind to even the cranky sales person at the store? Life is crazy and I am just a rambling now!

Peace, love and kindness,

 

Gluten Free Apple Cake

This morning I made breakfast cake! And it came out quite yummy! No bells and whistles but a good easy addition to breakfast!

1/2 cup Oil (any kind you feel is healthiest)

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup apple sauce

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

3 1/2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

4 cups chopped apples or pears

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased pan. Bake at 350 until tooth pick is clean. About 50 minutes.

It received Willy’s smile of approval!

Peace, love and kindness,

Little Things!

This morning I am feeling very energized. My brain is racing a mile a minute but I have not been able to settle on one thing to write about … so I am going to start my week with just some little things … those indeed are the things that make up our world, right? All the little things … the ones that touch our hearts, the ones that make us smile … the ones that annoy us sometimes … so here are my random little things for today!

Exercising – today I did a two mile work out and my children joined me and I feel great. I feel like after just three days this morning routine gives me some energy that I was lacking! YEAH! A huge thanks to my friend, Amy J who is inspiring me and encouraging me!

Friends – Yesterday I spent a little time with one of my very bestest friends ever! I miss her so much, although we text, IM, or email almost everyday it is not the same to be right there so I can give her a hug, see her smile and watch her laugh … I treasure the times we have together, I have to make them more frequent!

My Wonderful Husband – who has been working so hard to complete our bathroom (look for details on that story coming soon) and did not even complain when I asked him last night if it would be okay if we change the layout completely … which means moving the toilet and the washer that he has already installed. But it really will be better in the long run!

Inspiration – I am always looking for new challenges and a friend just started her new blog, Being “Badia” and she has some inspiration on being frugal, go check it out! Her thoughts made me think of a blog that I use to read all the time, Life Without Plastic, so I clicked over and WOW, so many inspiring thoughts, you should look over there too!

My Back – I would like to call a truths with my back … okay you win, what do you want from me? It has been very painful for quite some time now … hope between the chiropractor and exercise that maybe we can become one again and work together!

My Children – I am thankful every day for having them in my life. They bring me inspiration and joy!

I could go on but right now I have lots of energy and I am going to go use it, crank the music , clean my house and play with my children. Just thinking of all the little things in my life that inspire me have energized me even more. I hope you all have the most wonderful Monday! Peace to you all!

Peace, love and kindness,

 

Exercise!

There will be no pictures in this post … today I started an exercise routine!

A very much needed addition to my day.

I have delivered eight babies (six mine and two as a surrogate)  in the past 16 years! I have nursed mine until they weaned themselves (mostly) which has varied from eighteen months to almost three years, and nursing has never helped me shed the pounds like some say! So basically for the past 16 years I have been a baby growing factory. Let me say that I am not complaining, I have enjoyed every little bit of it (mostly) and I treasure these years more than I could even imagine. But today I am starting a new chapter, with still a little lingering of the old (my littlest has not completely weaned yet) but that is okay, all in good time.

I am spreading the word of my new project so that maybe if enough people know I will have to hold myself accountable and actually follow through!

Do you have an exercise routine? How do you fit it into your busy day? How do you stay motivated? Believe me I can use all the help I can get, so thanks in advance for any advice!

Peace, love and kindness,

 

 

About 750 Square Feet

So this is our little house. It is all toll about 750 square feet. So just to help you paint a picture … six children (four rambunctious boys and to teenagers), two large dogs, five cats, a mom and a dad … we all live in this little space.  Some may ask why? So here is a little about our adventure.

For many years now we have been on a journey to figure out where we wanted to be, where we could afford to be and how we wanted to live our lives. One thing that keeps coming to the top of the list is community. We have looked at existing communities and have talked of starting our own but have yet to figure out all the details to make this work.

About four years ago our journey to find a home (sort of) started … we sold our big OLD house in Vermont that we could not afford and started thinking about where we wanted to be. After many hours of conversations, lists of pros and cons and even a big map and charts on the walls, we decided that we were trying to hard to make something work … if it is meant to be then it will happen. So that became our plan … see what happens! And life sure has taken us on an adventure. We moved 3 times in one year with the final move being 1000 miles from home to Tennessee but for once it seemed right … all the pieces fit together nicely and we were happy with our decisions. Then last year we were once again TRYING to figure out what our next step was … and again the puzzle pieces started falling into place. We met two wonderful families that are also interested in community. They inspired us to follow our hearts! Which brings us to our little house … we decided we wanted to move to the Allen County, KY area. So we found this little house on a little lot … not really our family dream house but livable and a perfect stepping stone because we could afford to buy it, YES that is right buy it with cash, no mortgage, no financing, no payments! So we did, February of 2011 we bought a house and there it sat until we could figure out the details to move there … jobs, etc!

This summer, once again the pieces came together. Dan found a job very close to our house and we moved. Let me say this move has not come without obstacles, but that is another post! But the reality is that looking back it has all worked out and we are continuing to work things out. For now our little house provides us everything we need with the added feature of being able to pay off all our other debt … something I NEVER thought would happen!

So 750 square feet … well it is small but it is all ours! And I hope to add to it soon but for now … we are indeed making it work. We do have a storage building outback and so only the necessities come into the house right now.

In looking for creative small space ideas, I have found some very cute little houses. And honestly my favorite thing is I can clean the whole house in a very short time. Which I should probably do! Hope you have a wonderful day.

Peace, love and kindness,