Monday, February 8, 2016

Slowing Down

Do we ever think about slowing down? 
I get that question a lot.
I truly can't imagine just being still and slowing down.
I hear stories about great missionaries like Elisabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael and it spurs me on to be busy about my work.

Doing the Next thing

I used to be guilty of saying I'm working myself out of a job but if I'm honest my job has really just begun.

I'm a wife to Scott and I will always be his wife. Serving him and loving him. We've been married for 24 years in April and I'm still working on being his wife. Still learning how to be a better wife even when I would rather not. Learning to die to myself and put him first.. I don't think I'll ever be able to slow down in that department. Some days two steps forward others 10 steps back. I will be Scott's wife until I die and like Sherry Lee once said after Tom died "I will do him good all the days of MY life'. That changed me in a lot ways. Tom was gone, how could she do him good now? By loving his Lord more and loving his children. Teaching them about the things he loved.
 Lots of work still to be done even after he had gone to glory.
Not slowing down as his wife 

 Hows that going for us? Our marriages are being attacked and we are not doing our husbands good.
We must remember our mission.
If we're married, our husbands are our mission field.

I'm a mother to two adult married children and seven still at home.
I told a friend, I'm finding out that mothering gets harder when they leave your home. You can't fix all their problems for them like you can when they're under your roof.  Taylor still calls me for advice and encouragement and I'm so grateful she seeks me out when times are tough and I pray I never slow down and not be around for her.

The Magnificent Seven ( as their daddy calls them ) need us not to slow down. We're busy training and loving these guys. We're busy pouring God's love into their heart and soul. Scott and I are having daily talks on how we can teach them better and encourage their gifts. They're all so different and there is no time for slowing down.
We must be diligent in not growing weary and frustrated in parenting.  Oh believe I get weary and frustrated but as I've gotten older I realize sometimes the training of our children is God's way to bring out the areas He wants to train us in.

 I have had to learn to let go of petty frustrations, I realized I was getting frustrated because of my own selfishness or sin.
"I bet you have this parenting thing figured out"
No, just because you have a lot of kids doesn't mean you have anything figured out.  Sometimes it just means you have alot of kids.

God's grace and mercy follows you just like it did when you had only one.

Now I'm a birdie and boy that holds huge responsibility.
This precious little girl who reaches out to me and says bir-bir,
My heart is flooded with my role in her life.
Being there for her and teaching her. Helping John and Taylor in anyway we can.
Not slowing down
Not just trying to get to retirement

I heard a story about a missionary woman who was on the same mission field for 60 years. The day she died she taught her bible class and then made supper.
She died doing what she had done for 60 years
talk about not slowing down.
I want to die doing what I have been called to do.
Never slowing down and never working myself out of a job.

We all gathered at the courthouse in our little small town to stand before Judge Chris Green and have him sign a piece of paper saying her last name had official been changed to ours.
So many of our friends and family showed up that they had to open up a bigger courtroom for us   
I cried
Because slowing down would have meant I would have missed the out-pouring of love and support from our community.

The judge said he had done a lot of adoptions but had never had so many people been in his courtroom!

Our lawyer cried when our pastor came and stood behind us and prayed a beautiful pray of blessing for   
Isabella and her birth parents.

 So many people that said that day 
we've got your back White family. We are forever grateful for their love and support because when you vow not to slow down you need people.

Believe it or not everyone needs people 
Yeah, you can do it alone but not very well.
Surround yourself with people who love you and believe in you but most of all surround yourself with people who love the Lord.

I think one thing I want to teach all of our children is 

Never Slow Down

God's work requires action and if you're comfortable then you probably need to ask yourself what else can you be doing.

Learning that at the end of the day when you crawl between the sheets and you're so tired that you don't know how you can possibly do it all again tomorrow and realizing that was a very, very good day.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Sick Room

She wakes up with a fever and a sore throat.
 She gives me the look that reminds me of how little she still is and I put the things on my to-do-list away for the day, realizing that if they all get sick it might be a while before I can pick it up again. Sure enough before the hour ends two more are sick.  I make my bed and room as comfortable as possible. I love the beauty of the 'sick room' with the sun shining down on all of them. I think it's so important to keep the room pleasant and clutter free. I have to clean it several times during the day because of the clutter they bring in to occupy the time of laying around.

I think it's so important to keep them warm when they're sick so that their bodies can fight the sickness and not add keeping warm to it's list. So I put my prettiest blanket over them and start the humidifier with some peppermint oil. I encourage them to rest and nap, telling them how hard their bodies are working right now. I put on our country hymns and just let the healing begin.
I  think in our over busy-ness we treat fevers so we can quickly get back to our to-do-list. 
I try not to rush the healing. Sometimes, our kids are just getting over one virus and we rush back to the race and they get something else and their bodies have to work twice as hard to recover from another virus.

I don't give ibuprofen for fevers unless it's over 102 or so
 God designed our bodies to get a fever to fight off the virus or infection and to slow us down.  So when we lower fevers our bodies can't work as well and it ends up working harder. I get nervous with fever though and I have friends who have special needs children who might have seizures and such if their fevers get too high, so I believe it's important to read up on things. 

Dr. Frank Lipman wrote

4 Reasons to Let a Fever Run Its Course

These are the reasons I don’t usually give medication when my kids have fevers:
  1. Medicine masks symptoms. When kids are feverish, they usually lie still, eat very little, and take frequent naps. When we treat a fever, the child feels better and will often run around, play, and eat. While of course it always heartens me to see my sons feeling better, intuition tells me that they should rest more and move about less while fighting a virus. Perhaps our bodies even know that digestion requires lots of energy, and the appetite is suppressed in an effort to conserve resources.  Moreover, if we artificially lower the fever, how can we know when a child can return to school? I recently was at the playground with a mother who said her daughter was “so sick an hour ago, but after Tylenol she wanted to come outside to play!” As this little girl coughed all over my son, I wished this mom had skipped the Tylenol, or at least kept the child inside after the medication took effect.
  2. No medication is without side effects. I worry about the long-term consequences of frequent doses of children’s pain and fever medication. Recalls have made parents skittish, and some studies suggest a possible link between acetaminophen and autismasthma, and—when taken during pregnancy–ADHD. In addition, these medications—whether in liquid or chewable candy form—are full of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives, ingredients that I try to avoid giving my children even when they are feeling well.
  3. The fever helps the body heal. As I’ve already said, I think fevers are great for forcing otherwise active kids to rest when they need it most. But it seems a fever’s role in fighting illness is even more direct: evidence shows that fever is beneficial to the healing process, triggering the immune response and preventing viruses and bacteria from replicating. One study showed that flu sufferers who suppressed their fevers with medications were sick for more than three days longer than those who took no medication.
  4. Fever reducers contribute to the spread of flu. Many well-meaning parents administer medication and then take their less symptomatic—but still highly contagious–kids out to public places, where they no doubt infect others. Moreover, recent studies suggest that artificially lowering a fever in flu patients increases viral shedding, meaning more flu is spread via infected coughs and sneezes. Researchers posit that in an average flu season, fever-reducing medications could lead to tens of thousands of extra flu cases, and at least a thousand flu deaths in North America alone.

When to Treat Fevers

Despite these very good reasons for letting a fever run its course, I do sometimes give my kids ibuprofen (for the reasons listed above, I no longer use acetaminophen).
If my son is feverish and can do little more than whimper, or if his throat or ears are so painful that he cannot swallow without crying out, I give them the lowest effective dose of Children’s Motrin.
Beyond the obvious goal of reducing my your child’s suffering (and of course your own), you might consider a fever-reducing medication to:
  1. Get some rest. If my child is too uncomfortable to sleep more than a few minutes at a stretch, I give him a fever-reducer so that we all can rest, which is of course crucial when fighting a nasty virus.
  2. Make sure it’s just a minor illness. If a fever lingers for more than a couple of days and I’m starting to worry that my son is really sick, my husband sometimes suggests giving some Motrin to see if his mood and behavior improves. It seems my kid always end up running around, playing, and eating after a dose, and we are assured that the distress was likely caused by the fever and not something more sinister. (Of course, I am not a doctor, and you should talk to your pediatrician if you think your kid has something more than a minor virus, even if they seem to feel better when their fever goes down.)

I Love Motrin!

The evening after I wrote this post, my one-year-old woke up screaming with what I can only assume was an earache, based on the thick nasal congestion that’s been lingering for weeks.
He didn’t have a fever and was in such obvious discomfort that I gave him a teaspoon of liquid Children’s Motrin—his first dose ever!
While I know my mother would have baked an onion for his ear and rocked him all night if he were her child, I found myself feeling less guilty than grateful—grateful that my baby’s pain can be eased by modern medicine, artificial colors and all.

We have to do what's best for our family but we also have to do some research.

  I keep my kids on Vit D but I up the amount when they're sick.
I usually give 400-500 a day
but when they're sick I give 500 2xdaily especially during the winter months when they're not outside in the sun as much.

One Doctor wrote:
Our bodies don’t make vitamin D, so we have to get it from our environment. The primary source of vitamin D is the sun, but we can also get it from some foods.
Lifestyle, race, age, and other factors can put you at risk for vitamin D deficiency. If you fit any of the following descriptions, you may need to consider getting more of the vitamin.
You shun the sun. The sun is the primary cause of premature aging on the skin, and it can also increase risk of skin cancer. It’s no surprise, then, that a lot of people try to stay out of it. We’ve all been advised to use sunscreen on a daily basis. While avoiding UV rays can help keep skin healthy and looking young, it can also deprive us of the primary source of vitamin D.
You live in northern latitudes. Those who live in the northern states (north of the 37th parallel) are more at risk of vitamin D deficiency, because of the angle of the sunlight in the winter months. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition concluded that it’s common for people in the northern half of the U.S. and Canada to have insufficient vitamin D in their blood. In the International Journal of Circumpolar Health, researchers also discussed the challenges of vitamin D deficiency in those living in northern latitudes. They determined people in northern latitudes should consider vitamin D supplements in winter months.
You eat a vegan diet. Few foods are good natural sources of vitamin D. The best options are animal foods, such as fatty fish and fish liver oils. Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks also contain small amounts. If you eat a vegan diet, you’re not consuming these foods, so you may be at greater risk of deficiency. You can eat fortified foods, such as cereals and orange juice, but these may not supply enough on a daily basis.
You have dark skin. The more melanin you have in your skin, the darker it is. Melanin reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamin D from the sun. One study found that African Americans were more at risk of vitamin D deficiency than other Americans. The researchers noted that pigmentation reduces vitamin D production in the skin.
When I started my journey with a natural MD my vit D level was in the 20's even though I was outside a lot on the farm.
For the past 7 years I've been able to keep my level around the 
75 mark. This is one area Dr. Bernui checks twice a year.This is a big marker for him so it became important to me for our children.

I even put a drop in Isabella's bottles. 
I encourage you to read up on Vit D and do your own research.

 I generally treat ear infections with olive oil and garlic drops. 

Wellness mama has a whole blog on the subject of natural treatments:
Traditional Garlic Olive Oil is a remedy that has been used for dozens, if not hundreds of years for ear infections. Unlike many other conventional remedies, garlic can work with the body and provide relief quickly with long-lasting results.
Antibiotics are often prescribed for ear infections, even though the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has not recommended this as a general practice since 2004. Many ear infections are caused by viruses, which are unaffected by antibiotics.
Thousands of children unnecessarily get antibiotics each year for ear infections when the antibiotics are not even effective for most infections. This has potential long-lasting side effects as antibiotics can permanently alter gut bacteria and many types of bacteria are becoming antibiotic resistant due to overuse of these drugs.
Additionally, research has shown that most children fight an ear infection on their own within 24-72 hours without the need for antibiotics or other intervention.
That said, just hearing that your child will be better in 1-3 days is not comforting to a mother who is holding her toddler as he or she screams from the pain of an aching ear. Fortunately, there are remedies, like this garlic ear oil, that our grandmothers and great-grandmothers used to ease the pain of ear infection and speed the healing process.
Why it Works:
Garlic is powerful on its own and olive oil is soothing to infection as well. Olive oil is often used as the base for healing salves and lotions because it contains potent polyphenols which reduce inflammation. Together, garlic and olive oil can help ease the pain of ear infection and reduce healing time.
Important Note:
This remedy is very effective, but it is important to make sure that the ear drum has not ruptured before using this or any other remedy in the ear. I have this Dr. Mom Otoscope on hand to check my child’s eardrum before using any remedy inside the ear canal. Typically, pain subsides if the ear drum bursts so the presence of pain can indicate that the ear drum is still intact, but I always like to check.
If one of my children does ever experience a ruptured eardrum, I would definitely get him or her checked my a doctor, though often not much can be done besides keeping the ear dry and letting it heal naturally.

How to Make Garlic Olive Oil for Ears

I’m grateful that ear infections are very rare in our family, but if one strikes, I immediately head to the kitchen to make this remedy…
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic (organic if possible), minced
  • 2 tablespoons of high quality olive oil or sesame oil
  1. There are two ways this remedy can be made, depending on how much time you have and your preference for heating olive oil or not.
  2. The fastest way is to heat the olive oil in a small pan or double boiler (preferred) and add the minced garlic. Then, keep on very low heat for about 20 minutes to let the beneficial properties of the garlic infuse into the oil. At this point, strain the garlic and remove. I let the garlic cool to just skin temperature and place about two drops in the ear. The warmth and the oil often offer fast relief. Since fresh garlic is used, I make a new batch of this mixture every 24 hours if needed rather than keeping the remaining oil, since bacteria can potentially grow from the garlic.
  3. If you prefer not to heat garlic, you can accomplish the same thing by mincing raw garlic and keeping in olive oil without heating for 2-3 hours before straining and using, though this option is not as helpful if you need immediate relief.
 It's so hard to decide to do these things when you have a crying child so do your research before anyone gets sick and have the things you need on hand so you can quickly make the drops or the soup. You don't want to be having to rush out when they get sick.
Find out the things you think you can do and 
 print off all the articles that show how to make certain things for ear pain and fevers and have them in a binder for quick reference.

By the next day fevers are gone but I still make them rest for another 24 hours or so. Giving them plenty of fluids and soups. This would be hard with a toddler but keeping them busy without exposing them to other virus is a win.  

I lay in bed with our sick ones and we watch a whole series of When Calls The Heart..We laugh and I do my best to encourage them and make it a place of healing, and hope that they will feel better in a day or two.
Teaching my daughters/sons to care for themselves and to care for others so when they have a sick room of their own one day they will know the sick room is a wonderful opportunity to serve.

Wishing you health from the Farm,

Thursday, February 4, 2016

adoption part 2

Dear Isabella,
The day you were born was a warm cloudy day.
Your birth-mom woke up with contractions but she didn't know if they were the real thing or not. She called her doctors, who happen to also be my doctors. They told her that she was "too calm" to be in labour and she was probably just having braxton hicks. They didn't know her very well because your birth-mom is more calm than just about anyone I have ever met.
She kept hurting and about 3:00 that afternoon she told her dad he had to take her to the hospital. He was so funny telling us how his arm knew it was the real thing becuase she squeezed it all the way to the hsopital. When she got there she was already 8cm.

In the mean-time I had no idea any of this was going on and we were getting ready for supper when the phone rang.
It was her dad saying "I don't think it's gonna be much longer" I was saying you mean it's going to be today? He laughed his deep laugh and said yeah I think y'all need to head this way."
I remember the emotions of complete and total happiness and nervousness
but the background noise of all of your brothers and sisters cheering and hollering and throwing all their things in the car and high fiving each other brought me back to the present quickly.

Your daddy had happend to take off work early and was almost home when I got to run out and tell him the news.
We were nervous!
 We dropped all the kids off at Taylor's house and took a very familiar drive to the hospital that has delivered every one of our babies. We were smiling this time though and the tears were tears of gratefulness and nervousness.
See, we knew that your birth-mom could change her mind and we knew that we would be okay if she did.
We had grown to love her and respect her so much over the past 6 weeks and we were just on her side regardless of what happend that night.
I think daddy and I prepared our hearts for the fact that we may not come home with you.
We felt peace
We got to the hospital and our attorneys and social workers had told us we had no rights there. None! We may get to see you we may not. We would just have to bascially wait on the birthmom, so believe me when I say we expected nothing at all. We were in the waiting room with your birthmom's dad and your birthdad's mom.
Time seemed to go so so slow in the next 5 hours.
I had to go the bathroom several times because I would just break down in tears for your birthmom because I knew the reality of giving up a baby (baby William) and I really knew that her heart would be hurting and my mama heart was breaking for her.

Your birthparents were in the delivery room when you were born. Your birthdad was so protective of her and I came to love him that night as I watched him be with her and never leave her side.
The text finally came through that you had been born at 10:23 at night.
Your grandfather went back first and he came out teary eyed and couldn't really talk to anyone. He did manage to say that you had a head full of dark hair.

It was our time...Our time

We opend the double doors leading to where you were.
Scott and I grabbed hands and I remember looking up at him and saying what if she changed her mind?  He kissed my hand and said we're better because of all of this but I don't think she's going to.

I knew he didn't know just like I didn't know but sometimes even when you don't know you keep walking down that hallway, God will reveal His plan soon enough.

We got to her room and tapped on the door
and we went in and the room was filled with such peace.
I mean it was tangible peace. The kind that passes all understanding. Your birthparents were holding each other and you were being cleaned up and they were just watching you and their eyes were filled with so much love and tenderness.
I hugged her and I hugged him and I told them both how very, very proud I was of them.
They had made decisions that would forever change their life and forever change your life.
Hard choices to do the right thing for the love of you.

I didn't want to just run to you because I was trying so hard to be careful of my place. I slowly made my way to your little self and I honestly caught my breath when I saw you.
You were so beautiful!

You were perfect in every way.
Your skin was so pink
Your lungs worked great
but you had the craziest hair I had ever seen.
The nurse said "you're the adopted mom" and my hearts bottom fell out because I knew she hadn't changed her mind. She had told her nurse all about us and our big family.

I said yes I am and she said do you want to hold her? I remember looking back at your birth-mom and asking if it was okay and she said yes course..
I held you for the first time and you fit perfectly in my arms.
I walked over to where daddy was and I handed you to him and he was shaking. We both were in awe at your perfection and while they both watched us we took you in.

We gave you back to your birth dad and I leaned over the bed to kiss your birth mom and I told her that we would be in the waiting room if she needed us for anything. She looked up at me and said
 "why don't y'all stay in my room with us?"

I have been shown great hospitality in my life but nothing could have prepared me for those words.

Y'all stay with us
I am forever changed by those words
In her hardest of times she invited us to stay

Lord help me to be more like her.

We went back in the waiting room and I was saying Scott can you believe she offered us a couch in her room?
We both knew what a gift it was

We got a text a few minutes later and we took the walk up to her little room. 
Her and your birthdad were holding you in her small bed.
her dad was sitting in the recliner
and Scott and I had the couch. It was so surreal for me watching everything going on around me.
They gave you your fist bath and I got to take your picture.
Every click of my camera I had to wipe tears away.
So much happiness So much Pain in one little room.

I'm sure the fire marshal would not have approved because we were crammed in for sure.The nurses were so sweet and they all looked the other way.They knew the situation and I think they were trying to help.

That first night your birthmom needed help going to the restroom and I helped her and then she asked me to braid her hair and I sat on the end of her bed and combed her hair and braided it and  I listened in that wee morning hour her tell me every detail of your birth.
She kept telling me over and over again thank you for anything I would do.
She was every single one of the nurses favorite patient because she was calm and thankful.
 Sweet and refreshing

They would often find us side by side in her bed holding you.

We were laughing at your hair and your cry.
We would dress you up and take a millon pictures.
Your daddy would go get coffee and food for anyone that needed it. Or he would nap on the couch.
You never left that small room
the room filled with the people who loved you most.
You were surrounded in those first days with all of our love in a very tangible way. You will always be loved by all of them and there is hardly a day that I don't text some cute picture of you and she text back saying
"please kiss her and tell her how much I love her."
I always do and I will always remind you of her
great love for you.
when we had no where to stay she gave us a place
even though it would of been easier to say no
she gave
She gave you life Isabella and she adores you...
I will never let you forget how much you have to be thankful for.
and my prayer
is that you will be a life giver just like her..
With Thankfulness,


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