Tag Archives: family

More fun times for EJ

E is now just shy of 2 1/2 and things have changed a bit from last year.  We recently allowed him to eat too much soy, without realizing it.  When he gets bits of it in his diet over a period of time, then he doesn’t sleep.  We’ve known this from the beginning.  What’s new is that we have finally figured out the link.  Why do his food intolerances make him not sleep?  He doesn’t seem in a lot of pain.  Sometimes we can still hear him refluxing, we know that dairy and soy make that worse.  We always thought that the reflux made it hard for him to sleep.  But in the back of my mind, I knew there was something more.  He was too fidgety for it to be just that.  Almost hyperactive and on those nights, he adamantly will not sleep.  Hates laying down.  This lasts three hours or more, sometimes all night long.

On normal nights, though, he goes down perfectly.  Says his prayer, says, “goodnight, sweet dreams Mommy” and rolls onto his side and goes to sleep.

The link?  RLS.

I finally tried laying down with him during his most recent stint of not sleeping (it lasted about a week).  During that time, he wouldn’t stop moving around.  He finally fell asleep, and I could feel the bed shaking.  His legs were still moving, twitching, bouncing.  I couldn’t believe it.  I put my hands on them, and they still didn’t stop.  He stayed asleep though.

Every night when I put him down, I hold him and sing a song while pacing around.  It’s part of his routine, and it is the only thing that has ever worked for him.  Only this song and only a swinging motion.  Even while falling asleep or getting sleepy on me, he is kicking his legs.  I can’t remember when it started.  A long time ago.

When a child has food intolerances or allergies, their bodies don’t absorb nutrients efficiently.  Even when they eat well.  There is a very strong link between restless leg syndrome and nutrient deficiency.  I was shocked to find that out.  I don’t know why.

I know our food can have a tremendous impact on our health.  You eat to live, or you eat to die.

He is growing.  I think back two years ago, and I can’t believe we survived it.  It was awful.  Now, I believe he is catching up.  His height is closer to 50% than ever before.  He keeps getting taller, and his pants keep getting shorter, yet he’s so skinny they still fall off his hips.  I love that he is finally outgrowing clothes.  I thought he was going to be in 18-24 month clothes until he graduated high school.

Just kidding.  Mostly.

On top of the RLS stuff, a doctor thinks that E’s soy reactions sound more like allergies.  I don’t know about the dairy, it doesn’t seem to be worsening and I let him eat things with butter sometimes.  The soy is definitely getting worse.  He breaks out around his mouth now if he eats something with it, like eczema.  Bright red and irritated.  No hives though.  It only takes one consumption of it to mess up his sleep patterns.

He also still has the nastiest diapers ever.  I don’t know if he could fully potty train just because of that.

Prayers for this are always appreciated.  He is a healthy boy, and such a joy to us.  He is hilarious and loves to laugh.  It could be so much worse, it has been worse, and we can tackle these issues.

And you know what?  I’m still grateful.  I hate that he has gone through so much already in his life, but at the same time, his issues have had a huge impact on the health of all of us.  We have cut out all processed foods from our diets.  We don’t use refined sugar, only coconut sugar, raw honey, and grade B maple syrup.  We are in the process of cutting out wheat and many grains because of our gluten problems (it’s mostly me, but it affects us all).  We eat lots of good protein, veggies, good fats, and we are training our bodies to burn fat instead of carbs for energy.

It’s all because of E.

Then again, his problems probably come from the horrible food I was eating before he was born.  It’s a vicious cycle, but I’m glad to be awakened to it.

 

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Unschool // Houseschool // Homeschool

Huh?  Yeah.  Apparently, there are a million ways to homeschool your children.  And it’s confusing, because each one is like a different community with different beliefs on how to do it the “right” way.

Jon and I have decided to homeschool our kids.  It wasn’t an easy decision.  It’s something that I always thought I’d be good at, and that I would love my kids to get to have that.  There is a big homeschool group here, and they are active.  They have get togethers.  I think there are over 60 people in it, each with kids.  So pretty big.  But.  The challenge of it seemed overwhelming.  I’ve been saying for awhile that I am not made to be a stay at home mom.  I have tried so many things, wanted so badly to work from home.  After moving here, I have tried to rebuild my photography business, to no avail.  There’s just a very small market on the coast and over saturation everywhere else in Oregon.  Not that it is impossible.  It’s just a competition that I’m not that interested in.  I’ve never been a business-minded person.  I’d much rather use my creative skills to further God’s Kingdom.  To increase awareness for missionaries and causes that have that same aim.

While that stews in me, Charlie is ready for pre-school.  And she is really smart.  In fact, Emry is probably ready for a little pre-preschool as well.

Planning is easy.  I really enjoy the organizing and planning stages.  Love it.  And God is changing me.  I am enjoying my days with my kids a lot more, even though I have less actual work to do.  I have a job, I am the worship pastor.  I do have duties to do throughout the week for it, and it is very fulfilling.  For now, it is a part-time commitment.  Unlike Jon, who is working two full-time jobs (our positions at the church are missional at this time).  Eventually, I’d love to see a more formal group be developed.  A homeschool cooperative that keeps it Christ-centered, but doesn’t take away from the home teaching.

It’s amazing how fast children change.  It seems like they stay the same for awhile, and then, when you’re not looking, they quickly morph.  They become butterflies, and you missed the cocoon.  They flutter around in a new kind of beauty, and it’s fascinating.

Starting in September, Charlie will begin school.

Now we just have to get the teacher grandparents out here to help!  Granny for math and science and Nana for English and Grampa Craig for nature walks and theology and more science and Poppy for playing and learning about who God is, faith, and joy.  Consider this your official job offer!  Ha!

Prayer Requests:

  • Funds for school supplies
  • Fall clothes for the kids, especially long-sleeve shirts for both and jeans for E (he’s finally growing like a weed!)
  • Additional income through lessons and photography
  • Emry now has RLS symptoms and his reactions to soy and dairy have been a lot more severe
  • Phyiscally, Jon’s been worn down and sick and stressed, but in good spirits
  • Our church would continue to grow and we need a building

 

And some praises too!  We are so blessed here!  Our church family is wonderful and supportive.  We are all pretty healthy, especially in comparison to the past couple of years.  We know without a doubt we are where God wants us, and are lives are filled with a deep peace because of that.  Even when storms rage, the peace is inside.  Spiritually, we are being fed and growing as well.  We love our pastors.  And God is so good.  So very good.

godisgood

 

visitations // part one

I can’t really process the last two weeks, so instead I’m just going to blog.

After four days of traveling through the plains, the sandhills, the Rockies, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, desert, high desert, the Cascades, and the Coastal mountains….they finally got here.  My mom and stepdad, the first to come visit us in Oregon.  Hopefully the first of many trips for them, and the first of many friends and family.  We’ve made it both hard and easy…we live in one of the most amazingly beautiful places in the country, but it’s also remote and takes quite an effort to get to.

Southern Oregon

Crater Lake on their way to Brookings

They arrived around 2 and we said our joyful hellos, a little incredulous that they were actually here.  We got in the car so I could show them around Brookings, had some dinner, and then they headed to the Bluff House where they stayed for half of their time here.  I felt so full.  I wanted to show them so much, and impress them with the magnitude of awesome things in the area.  Because there are a lot…I don’t even know that much!

Katie Dommel

all decked out walking to the store

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showing their booty…bags full of toys from the money that Gigi sent

The next day, Jon was off of work, and we started the morning with Bible study with some ladies from The Rock, then all piled into the car and went to Harris Beach.  It was a beautiful day, but not quite sunny.  There was a marine layer hanging about, above our heads and just offshore.  It made everything ethereal, as though we were in a different world where the sky moved like smoke.  It was beautiful.

Harris Beach State Park, Brookings, Oregon

Heading to the water

E has to be watched like a hawk at the beach because he just wants to run headlong into the crashing waves.  Hasn’t gotten a mouthful of water yet, and hasn’t had a close call to scare him off.  Craig and Jon had their hands full.

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C and her daddy

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Grampa and E

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Jon and the kids

C, on the other hand, is obsessed with the sand.  Especially if it’s warm.  She lies down and swims in it.

Me and C after I got her up off her belly

Me and C after I got her up off her belly

We were all hungry afterwards, so we went out for pizza at Zola’s Pizzeria.  And wow, it was amazingly delicious!  Sitting on a picnic table outside the pizzeria right on the boardwalk…bliss.  I tried to soak it all up, the feelings and the joy…but it’s already hard to grasp and remember it all.

This was only the first two days, but it’s about all I want to relive right now.  It’s hard for me because I lived within an hour of my mom my entire life.  Really, I was always that close to most of my extended family.  On top of that, we spent a majority of the last year living with Jon’s parents, and so being here, 2,000 miles away from any of them….well, it’s different.  And it’s hard.  But it’s not too hard.

Having this visit from my mom and Craig was wonderful.  I can’t wait for more.  A few days in, I remember thinking, this isn’t flying by.  This isn’t going too fast.  I’m taking it all in, and I’m so grateful for it.  But then, the last few days did fly by, and now it feels like a dream, even though I just said goodbye two days ago.

Three of three

I grew up thinking that the Holy Spirit was our great enabler. The part of the trinity that was most mysterious to me. I thought of the Spirit as a tool used by God or Jesus to help me reach others.  And that’s it.

The Spirit is so much more. Think of it this way. God created the universe, and established relationship with His people. Jesus took on all of the world’s condemnation, died for everyone,ever, and then rose again. He performed miracles and gave people wisdom.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit form the Trinity. They are all personas of our living God, both separate and in complete unity at the same time. My view growing up belittled and diminished the Holy Spirit. Because of that, I was not able to grow much, and I wasn’t able to do much. Without that power residing in me and filling me to overflowing, I was an empty vessel. Despite my willingness and my desire to serve my God, I didn’t have the ability to do anything beyond my own power.

The Holy Spirit was given to us so that we would do greater works than Jesus, so that we would have the mind of Christ, and have the ability to be Christ-like and live out our lives the way we are commanded. On top of that, the Spirit makes the relationship with our Creator more accessible and personal. It’s the only way to truly know God.

We are our spirits, trapped in our fleshly bodies, but only for a time. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to work in the spiritual, to access the spiritual, and to enjoy the spiritual. I don’t think I would have understood the magnitude of the power and importance of the Holy Spirit before experiencing this. Still, I feel compelled to write about it, so I am.

The only way to combat the darkness that is spreading through our world is thought the power of the Holy Spirit and the message of Christ. Now is not the time to live our lives in apathy, and I think that in the western world, apathy is the evil one’s greatest asset. Especially amongst Christians. Now is the time to live in extreme faith, on the edge of what you know. Now is the time to be filled with the Holy Spirit, like the apostles, and to spread the gospel message like never before.

Honestly, I think it is much harder to live this out while still in the bonds of the world.  When Christians try to do both, to have what the flesh wants, but still serve God, they fail miserably, but not always obviously.  It’s easier for me to live my life this way because it is why I am here, and it is my mission.  Since serving Jesus has become the focus of our family and our lives, it’s easier to live in that identity.  What makes it hard is the flesh we are trapped in.  But the more you live in the Spirit, the more your priorities shift.  The more you live in the Spirit, the more you are transformed into who you were created to be.  There is nothing more personally fulfilling than that.

onthefly|photography

Something someone said.

Orphans don’t have choices.  As sons and daughters of God, we have infinite choices, knowing that God can take us anywhere and do anything through us.  What an amazing adventure life is with God!

People who don’t have God probably would think that we are crazy.  Thinking of moving across the country with no money and for an unpaid job.  We get advice like, you need to finish school, make some money, buy a house….all the things that are typical of the American mindset of security.  Letting roots dig into the ground.  Which is good…except….I know God has brought us to this point, to living where we are in Omaha because it is only at our poorest and with the least amount of earthly possessions we are completely willing to go at any moment and do whatever He asks.  I don’t think this is true of everyone, but for us, we were brought to this place to find contentment.  To know that we should be thankful and content no matter what is going on in our lives.  I also believe that God meets us where we are.  No matter if that means a millionaire with 22 cars or a homeless shelter or a village in Africa.  No matter if that means you’re a 16 year old high school student who grew up in a Christian home, or an 84 year old just now meeting God for the first time, or a drug abuser who’s struggle with God has had many ups and downs, or a 29 year old with two kids who desires God so much it hurts sometimes.  God meets us wherever we are.  We are his children, and he is our Father…the one who cares, provides, and allows.  We aren’t orphans, and we find our security in Him.

These verses have really been on my mind lately, so I will share them with you.
Psalm 48:8-10 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord Almighty, in the city of our God:  God makes her secure forever.  Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.  Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth, your right hand is filled with righteousness. 
48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

He is our guide, even to the end.

Whole30 in ONE WEEK. Oh crap.

I’m getting my mind in the right condition, and I’m kind of scared crapless about it.  I am usually one to impulsively jump into things, and so I wanted to make sure and know that this is something that we definitely want to do.  It will take a lot of commitment to stay on the Whole30 Program for a whole thirty days.  If you are wondering what it is…basically, it is a 30 day plan in which you cut out:

  • legumes (including peanuts, soy, and all beans)
  • all dairy
  • all grains (even quinoa and other nutritious grains)
  • all sugar and sugar substitutes (except naturally occurring sugars in fruits and veggies)
  • alcohol
  • white potatoes (basically your body treats it like starch and sugar, despite some good nutrients)
  • additives (duh) like MSG and sulfites

So what do you eat then?  Lean meats, lots of veggies, and fruits.  Cashews and seeds are okay.  There’s some fine print about what you can and can’t eat, and it can all be found on the Whole30 website.  There are free pdf’s of helpful information and guides for shopping and what to have on hand.  This is the free part.  There’s also a book, which I am halfway through reading.

Our family is addicted to sugar.  Totally addicted to grains and dairy (except E who drinks almond milk).  I know it will be a big adjustment.  Since E doesn’t eat soy or dairy, it won’t be too hard on him.  We still aren’t sure how we will still incorporate grains into our kids’ diets, because I don’t think we can cut it all out just like that for them.  And with C we are only going to give her organic milk to drink and let her have her cottage cheese, which she probably couldn’t live without.  She would eat it for every meal if we let her.  As for JD and I, we are going to have it rough, I know, for a couple weeks.  But it is so totally worth it.  This program isn’t about eating this way forever.  It’s 3o days.  A friend of mine says, “I can do anything for _____ amount of time.”  So we can do anything for 30 days.  And in the middle, we will start to get so much energy and feel really great and remember that it is JUST FOOD.  While it is nice to enjoy a meal and indulge sometimes, it is easy to start to do it all the time.  To get, basically, gluttonous.  For me, I need a challenge like this.  No cheating…not even one time, so our bodies can heal and our minds can focus.  No faking.  No pale0-desserts that are technically “okay.”  Because in reality, you are still in the old mindset of eating sweets after meals and thinking you need it or want it and it is ok to always indulge.  For us, this is about changing our mindset and really engaging in a healthy lifestyle.  We did really well for about 5 months eating whole foods and exercising.  But slowly, we got off track.  Our lives got more stressful and we let that distract us.  A healthy body and mind are linked, you can’t have one without the other.  So we are ready and willing, and next Monday, we start our new eating plan with the hopes that it will get us into the correct mindset for us, for eating well and thinking the right way about food and its place in our lives.

I would love to know if there is anyone else out there that has done this program or is doing it now.  Comment below!