Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Starting Over - Week 1 Day 1 C25K

I took a couple months off from running to try to recover from my foot injury from July.  I just kept reaggrivating it.  I needed to let it heal.  So, on Monday I started over on C25K.  I don't see it as a step back, since I had made it to week 10 of the 10K Trainer.  I see it as a review. 

Day 1

It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  We started off faster, and it was great.  It was hard though.  My brain knew I should be able to go longer.  My body said no. I was sluggish. It felt good to get moving again. 

Day 2

Today was easier running.  I was a little sad when I had to start walking.  That is, until I got to run 6.  Then I was about done. It was a balmy 21° and windy.  I was so cold from my elbows to my hands.  They turned red from the cold. 
**Don't mind my nails.**

My view of my running partner/hubby. 

My smile when day 2 was done. I always try to keep a smile on my face when I run.  It keeps it fun. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Beginning's End

This last year has been one of the most amazing years.  So many new beginnings, and a few ends. 

All the birthdays for the year are over.  I turned 34 this year.  I was pregnant with my 9th baby, and excitedly awaiting his arrival in April.  Joy turned 1, Bekah turned 4, Zech was born, Abby 10, Moses 6, Sadie 16, Jake 2, Brent 40, Hannah 13, and Brigham 8. 

Hannah (purple jacket) was a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz in January.  She had a blast and hopes to get in this next play as well. 

We went to Branson over spring break and stayed in a house with Brent's parents and sister's family. They found out I was expecting baby Z at 37 weeks into the pregnancy. 

I had baby Z at home on April 25, at 40w5d.  His oldest sister caught him.  He's such a happy and sweet baby. 

Brent left to Arizona the first week of June.  He had a job with his friend and another to finish his sister's basement.  It was supposed to be 6 weeks. Sadie and Hannah went to Utah to visit Brent's family until he was finished and would take them home. I stayed home with the kids 10 yrs-newborn until they got back.  What a disaster.  I was overwhelmed.  Brent's job was delayed by weeks.  His sister never did get the loan for her basement. She didn't even apply until middle of July, when he was supposed to be coming home.  
His dad insisted while in Branson that we bring the family out and they would pay for gas. Come end of July, I hadn't seen Brent or the girls for almost 2 months.  There was no end in sight, as his sister was just getting around to applying for a loan for the basement. He talked to his parents about us coming out, and they could meet baby Z for the first time.  Brent said it was all planed, so I went out and bought $50 in snacks for the trip. It was going to be like a 50-60 hour round trip, and I needed something to keep 6 kids happy, plus baby (so I got a few baby things).  I was planning on my brother riding out with us, then flying back home.  When it came time to get my brother's ticket and finalizing when we would come out, his parents told Brent they never said they offered that.  Then they said they did, but instead we opted for the Branson trip (which was not something Brent and I were wanting to do). Things blew up between everyone.  I blocked his family temporarily on facebook because of all the junk going on.  A week went by and Jake turned 3.  They never called, texted, or even acknowledged his birthday at all.  The only child to be completely ignored by them for his birthday.  Well, other than Zechariah, that never had a welcome to the family acknowledgment from them.  That hurt me.  I never once mentioned it to Jacob.  I didn't want him to realize that his grandparents didn't care enough to even email a happy birthday note. 

That passed.  Brent said to forget the basement. He lost 2 1/2 months of Z's life, all our money was spent, and he wanted to come home.  He drive all night to go get the girls, slept 2 hours in the car,  picked the girls up, and drove home to Missouri.  Things again got ugly between his family, and we decided to just cut them from our lives.  Not forever, but a while.  

Then, good things began to happen. We got into several more festival last fall.  That was a huge blessing.  Come November, we had to make a choice with our water where we live.  Either sign up, and be stuck with a water bill forever, even if we don't use the water or disconnect it. Or, not sign up and lose our water service when the new system is installed.  We decided not to sign up.  Then, something good happened.  

The next day, we found a house, put in an offer, and it was accepted at $33,500.  It's needing work, so we are still not living there. It's 3000 sq ft, 5 bd, 2 bath. 

It's beautiful.  We can't wait to move in. 

Then, the end of a legacy. 

Hannah turned 13 on Dec 10.  We took her out to eat.  She came home and I was making her cake when I got the phone call. My grandfather, 94 years old, had fallen.  He said he was ready to go.  My aunt beeped in and my mom let me go.  She called back a few minutes later. Hesitant to answer because I just knew.  She said my grandfather had passed away. 

A strong man. He was buried with military honors.  

The next week I got a call from the newspaper. They wanted me to contribute with a story about me on homebirth.  They saw this blog.  It was featured on the front page on the Christmas Eve edition. 

Since then, Brent's friend Sean has moved out here.  They are out today talking to people and pricing things to get their business started.  

Good Bye Grandpa

Wednesday (Dec 10) we took Hannah out for her 13th birthday.  We got the keys to our new house.  Then we went out to eat for a birthday lunch.  We spent all day out having fun.  I ran to the store and grabbed a few thing for dinner and got her a mango for a surprise snack (she's a mango fanatic).  She cut it up and was eating it.  As dinner was going I was just finishing up the cake batter and about to put it in the oven when my mom called.  I had Hannah answer it because it would be a birthday call for her.  After the happy birthday wishes my mom asked to talk to me. 

My grandpa (94) fell.  He had also been coming down with pneumonia and wasn't feeling good, but seemed to be doing better.  My mom had visited him Sunday and Monday and said he was doing better.  When she called she said hospice was there.  My aunt said he was dying.  My other aunt was calling her, so she let me go.  I put the cake in the oven and hubby asked what was going on.  He could see I was upset.  I said my grandpa wasn't doing good.  That they hoped he wouldn't pass away on Hannah's birthday. One of my kids asked if I meant Brigham's birthday (on the 20th).  I said no, Hannah's.  The phone rang.  He was gone.  Just like that.  No more grandparents.  He told them he was at peace and ready to go.  Then he was gone.  Now I'm getting my kids ready for a 5 hour trip to go to his funeral on Monday.  

I'm trying to be ok.  I cry periodically.  Hannah took it ok.  She was sad, but she wasn't close to him.  The kids are good.  They have lost all 4 of their great grandparents over the last 9 years.  It hit me harder because I spent my summers with them.  Now they're gone.  

Hubby said he thinks there was a significance to him dying on her birthday. That birth and death are close to one another.  He woke up singing this morning the song Closing Time, and said he kept thinking about the part where it goes "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end".

Tonight is Friday.  I was talking to Brigham about his and Abby's visit with their Great Grandpa.  Abby had sung Popcorn Popping On The Apricot Tree to him.  Brigham said "One morning, when Great Grandpa and I were the only ones up, he told me that he knew he was going to die soon because he was having trouble breathing".  Brent ask Brigham what he said to his Great Grandpa.  He said his reply was, "oh".  The words of a child.  I love him so.  

Here are some pictures of my grandpa during our visit Aug of 2010. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

A call from the press

Kind of half way freaking out. 

Phone rang. Hubby looked at it. It was the local paper. Ummmm? Ok. He answered it and talked for a few seconds, then says "Yes, she's here." and hand the phone to me. Cue question marks from both of us. 

It was the local paper wanting me to write up a piece for their Christmas edition about home birth. She's emailing me some questions. Things like how many home births vs hospital. Home many kids. What I would suggest to women who are looking to birth at home. 


I know I sounded super paranoid. I am when it comes to stuff like this in public.  There have been a few recent bad home birth articles lately in the national news.  Still, I get to write it up and decide what direction it goes, for the most part.  It can be a happy and good home birth piece.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

13 Years Ago - Happy Birthday Hannah

This night, 13 years ago, I was preparing for the birth of my second child. Although I had my dates for the doctor, they kept giving me different dates for her due date.  As the day got closer, the doctors asked about induction. We talked about it and decided to go ahead and induce. I was a couple weeks early according to my dates, but I figured we could go ahead and induce.  Brent's parents came down to Oklahoma to be with us and see the birth and their new grandbaby. They set the induction date for the 10th of December at 8am. I didn't realize until that night how hard it was to sleep when you knew the time labour would start. 

Brent was going to school at Spartan School of Aeronautics. He had school that day, but didn't want me to labour without him. I told him to go to school, and if things progressed faster than we thought they would, I'd call him. He hesitantly decided to go. It all worked out great, though. Labour went slow. He had plenty of time. I spent a lot of the day with Bill, Sandy and Sadie. They had a little play area that they would take Sadie to go play in to pass the time. They even got her a little toy car, that she just loved.

The doctor was good and the nurse during labor was great. I tried to go without an epidural, but being stuck in bed made it hard. I had some pain medication put into an IV, but it didn't help much. Brent said it was ok and that I didn't need to go through all the pain.  The nurse told me it would help me to relax and might speed things up.  I decided to ask for the epidural. Shortly after that, I was ready to push. 

We still hadn't decided on a name for our little girl. We had been going between Sophia and Hannah.  As I was getting ready to push, Brent said that it was up to me what we would name her. I took a quick moment to think, then decided I liked Hannah best.

Hannah Marie Hartman was born at 5:01pm, on December 10, 2001. She was 7lb 9oz and 19 inches long.  Our smallest baby. 

She was a sweet little bug.  I kept her in my room almost all the time.  I would occasionally fall asleep with her in my bed, but I never slept much while there because I was afraid of the nurses getting upset seeing me asleep with her.  She was our thumb sucker from day 1.  Always had her thumb to comfort her.  Such a smart little girl, who is now a smart young woman.  How the time flies by.  

Happy Birthday to my little Hannah. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

How to track your ovulation to get pregnant

If you are needing to track your ovulation in order to improve your chances of getting pregnant, a basal body thermometer is a great way to do so. A basal body thermometer is a special thermometer that measures temperature to a very detailed degree. You can buy them online or at your local drug store, and they are a great way to help you track your ovulation dates. It is important to remember that basal body temperature is the temperature of your body at rest, so you will always want to take your temperature with a basal body thermometer first thing in the morning before even getting out of bed.

Each day, take your temperature with the basal body thermometer first thing in the morning, and write your temperature down on a chart. Do this every single day. It might take a few months to get to the point where you will be able to see a pattern, but eventually, you will notice a slight spike in your temperature on a certain day of the month. This is the surge of the LH hormone in your body, and means ovulation will be occurring very soon. To find out great pregnancy tips, make sure to check out

Friday, December 5, 2014

He fixed what was broken

Last night I was awake before the sun.  Zech has a little croup, and last night he couldn't sleep.  I propped pillows up against the wall, put him on my chest, and sat up with him.  He sang to me.  "Whoooooo" is what he says.  I sat in the dark holding my sweet baby.  7 months old and not feeling good, but he's singing his hoot owl song to me.  I discovered yesterday that when he starts to get fussy, I put his head on my shoulder and make his sing song noise.  Whoooooo

During my time of loving my baby through the dark, sleepless night, I listened to him sing with his little on my shoulder.  I thought about how much had changed since I found myself pregnant with him. 

I was broken spiritually and mentally after Joy's birth.  I was done.  When the 2 lines appeared on the pregnancy test, I cried.  The pregnancy, no matter how much I pretended it was good, it was a burden.  I wasn't happy.  When I was in labor, I just wanted it to be over.  When he was born, I didn't care to hold him. I just draped myself over the box I was leaning over to birth him.  It was done.  That was all. 

Over the next few days I stared at him.  I nursed him.  I snuggled him.  He reminded me of someone.  An old man.  He also reminded me of someone I knew.  I still don't know who.  Zechariah was a stranger to me in spirit.  My other children were familiar.  Some I saw in dreams before birth.  Even today, 7 months later, he's a stranger. 

As I sat in the dark last night, I knew I loved him more than anything I could imagine.  His singing brought me to a thought I'd never had.  Something that healed my broken spirit.  

When I was in labor, I was vocal.  I made a noise that Hannah said sounded like I was singing opera. 

As I listened to him, I realized that was the noise I made.  It was the same song. The same noise. It was a connection to me from his birth.  He was singing my song to him.  A song of birth.  A song of a new beginning.  A time where he fixed what was broken within me. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

A new house, a new life

The past year has been a lifetime of changes. 

Over the last year we have been fighting a battle with our village board.  We live in a village with about 100 people.  They are enacting new ordinances, and will be enforced by an ordinance officer.  You can be fined up to $500 per offense.  There are other issues we have with this as well. 

There is an issue with the water system.  The water is awful. However, the new system is under contract to where if you sign up, you pay a minimum $10 a month fee for 35 years to pay back the loan.  This is as long as they have 65 households signed up.  If less, you pay more.  You also pay a minimum $20 month fee per month for water service no matter if you use it or not.  So $30 per month without using any water, minimum. We had to decide if we would sign up by Nov 5, or pay $1500 later to get hooked up. 

We didn't sign up.  

Things fell through with the house we were looking at getting in town. 

On Nov 5, we decided to not sign up for water at our house we were currently in.  We also decided it was time to move.  Brent contacted his friend Jeff, who is a realtor.  The next day we were going to look at Jeff's dad's house (possible 7 bedroom). He was asking $49,000, we after talking to him, he said he would take $45,000. Before we left on Wednesday to look at the house, Jeff called and asked if we would come look at another house first.  The lady's husband was a lawyer, and they were fixing it up before he passed.  

We met at the house.  A pretty blue, with a porch that wraps around the front. 
When we walked in the house, I was blown away.  A gorgeous kitchen. Jeff said it was a $15,000 kitchen remodel.  Beautiful.  The formal dining room was huge.  The family room was the same size.  There was a room on the main level that had damage.  The skylights upstairs leaked, which ran down and caused part of the ceiling to fall in on the bedroom.  There's also a cute little room between the bedroom and stairs.  

We went upstairs.  The 2 bedrooms that the kids could share are amazing!  So much room!  Then, the master bedroom.  It's got the space in there as what our whole trailer is.  Plus, an enclosed porch with a jacuzzi tub.  2914 sq ft house.  It also has a full basement!  

She was asking $39,000!  We decided that night to put in an offer. We offered $25,000.  She countered with $35,000.  Then we met at $32,500!  

We handed Jeff the contract today!  We just need 20% down and get the financing.  

Trying not to get excited.  Trying not to get excited.  

I'm so excited!!!!

The house was built in 1906.  It had a feeling of peace and love.  It was a warm house.  I walked in.  I felt like I was at home.  

We went inside and got some good pictures. 

Dining room

Room we call the 'ballroom'.  I can do my Salsa and Ballroom Dancing in here. 

Front Room

Sadie's cute room of her own and closet under the stairs. 

Going upstairs

Girls room

Boys Room

Me and Brent's room

Back downstairs... My favorite piece in the house.  The mirror in the ballroom. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My first attempt at henna

It took me half the day to get the nerve up to get my henna practice in.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to practice on my foot first.  

I filled my cones this morning, then I set them to the side. I pulled up YouTube and found myself watching henna tutorial videos for a couple hours. 

Finally, I got baby Z in bed, and I decided to go for it. How bad could it look?  Right?

I decided it didn't look finished, so I continued on.  

I finally decided to stop before I reached my knees.  Ha ha!

The finished version of my first henna. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

WHY Did I Say Yes?!

So, I jumped into a fall themed gift swap. 

What am I going to make?!?!


I'm thinking of making cinnamon/spice scented hot pads.  They are fun, and they smell super good!

I have another idea in the works.  I'll keep you posted.  

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

I'm doing a recipe someone I know shared. My batch is smaller than hers, though. She had 3 gallons.  I only have 1. 

I had a gallon of peels and cores. Put them in a clean jar. I had kimchi in my gallon jar, so I had to use 2 half gallon jars. 

Add 1/3 cup sugar to each 1/2 gallon (2/3 cup per gallon). 

Fill with water about 1-2 inches over the top of the peels. 

Cover with a cloth to keep bugs/dust out, but allow to breathe. 

Stir daily for 2 weeks. 

Once the alcohol smell starts to go away, strain it. The apple will be pretty broken up at this point. 

Bottle, but it still needs to breathe to avoid exploding. Leave the jar lid loose with cloth between the lid and ring to allow it to release the gas/alcohol. 

Wait 12 weeks. Then take the cloth out, recap and done. 

We will see how it goes. I'll blog it as it goes. 

Here's Day 1. I'll be updating on my recipe blog linked below. 

For this recipe, as well as many others:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New Diapers

I'm so excited.  I sat down the other day and cut out some diapers from some new fabric.  I love fabric.  I have so many plans for it.  I hate to cut it out, though.  It's final at that point. 

I forced myself to cut it out.  I got the top fabric that I had cut... 3 years ago for when Jacob was a baby.  Yeah.  It's been a while since I made a diaper. 

I did it!  2 diapers in 2 days!

The puzzle diaper (enigma) was a good night diaper.  One more insert and it will be great.  He seemed to like them.  I put him in them and he was happy.  No complaints from the 5 month old.  Ha ha!

Now, it's time to plan another diaper.  Maybe a night diaper for Joy.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Week 2 Day1

Day 1

The positive of day 1 is that there are only 6 runs, instead of the 8 in week 1.  I love that.  

It was a test of willpower.  On my 4th run I was really wanting to stop.  It didn't help that it was all uphill.  At least I timed it to where I would walk as soon as it got flat. Ha ha!  I didn't find it that amusing at the time.  I almost got sick on that run.  I also lost a little muscle control in my hands after the second to last run. They were spazzing a bit and I felt like crap.  One run left.  The song 'Stayin Alive' came on.  Found that fitting.  It was all flat ground for that run, thankfully.  

I did it! I didn't stop, even though I wanted to!  

Oh.  I weighed myself this morning.  145

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Free Day

Today I got to run to town and load up on my free stuff.  I waited at home until UPS came to drop off my Houseparty box.  I got the Hasbro Simon Swipe Game Night party!

I checked the mail and found my ductape I had won.   

I won 2 free pizzas from Dominos earlier this week.  One for me.  One for hubby.  We went and picked up those pizzas, plus one on special.  We also ran to Walmart and cashed in my coupons for a free frozen pizza, Breyers Indulgence ice cream, and Ritz cracker sandwiches.  Then grabbed a few need items milk and such. 

It was fun going out with the kids and getting everything. By hen coming home and having pizza and a movie.  Plus pizza left over for dinner.  :)

End of Week 1

Today was the end of Week 1 of C25K. As I was hoping, just like last year when I started C25K, day 3 was easier than the other 2 days.  I was even able to sing a little on my cool down walk.  I went a little slower than day 1 or 2.  I was about 5 ft behind my starting and stopping points.  My ankle is hurting quite a bit, so that wasn't helping.  

I'm so excited to see small changes already!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Starting Over - C25K Week 1 Days 1 & 2

It's been close to a year since I last ran.  Last Thursday I decided to start up C25K again.  I did day 2 of Focus T25 that morning, and then ran day 1 of C25K that evening.  It was hard, but I didn't stop!  I kept going!  I was so excited! I had done it!  Baby Z is 8 weeks, and I'm getting my body back!  

I weighed myself that morning.  I always weigh myself undressed, before eating, but after going to the bathroom.  148.4 pounds!  I am under 150!  I'm so thrilled!

This morning (Saturday) I got up, got dressed, and did my run.  It was harder than day 1.  My abs hurt.  My calves hurt.  I wanted to stop several times.  I couldn't stop.  I WOULDN'T stop!   I kept pushing.  I did all 8 runs!  I thought I was going to die, but I smiled and persevered!

Yay me!

Here is my starting picture. 

Weight - 148.4
Chest - 39.5
Waist - 36.75
Hips - 39.5
Arms - 12
Thighs - 24

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chocolate Placenta Truffles

I found a basic truffle recipe online.  I changed it up a little and added my placenta powder to it.  A definite way to go with this. 

Chocolate Placenta Truffles

8 ounces semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate morsels 
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
1/2 tsp dried or fresh mint leaves (if fresh, mince very small) *optional*
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 Tbsp dried placenta powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and chopped walnuts

1. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.

2. In a separate bowl, pour in your chocolate, 2 Tbsp powdered sugar, mint leaves, placenta powder, and vanilla extract.

3. Once the cream has come to a boil, pour it over the chocolate, and stir vigorously until the chocolate has melted.  Do not use a whisk.  

4. Put the chocolate in the refrigerator for several hours until it sets.  When you bring it back out, you will want to let it come to room temperature to form it into 1/2 to 1 inch balls.

5. Roll it lightly in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, or chopped nuts.  Eat one daily. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  

**Be sure to mark what these are so stray hands don't eat all your special mom chocolate.  It may be the only time you won't have others asking for your truffles.**

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Placenta Encapsulation

I had Zechariah on 4/25 at home. My dd put the placenta in the freezer for me before I even got out of the shower. LOL!

Anyway, have you ever seen your placenta? I think it's the most awesome thing! It's beautiful. It sustains life. It is fascinating. 

This is the third of my own placentas that I've encapsulated. It can help with baby blues/ppd, increase milk, replenish lost vitamins and minerals, increase energy, decrease postpartum bleeding, and more. These are my happy pills. They boost my mood when feeling depressed. They also help my milk supply. 

Some will say ick (which I understand), but I would rather take a pill from my and my baby's own placenta than a pharmaceutical drug made from... I'm not sure what, but it's loaded with side effects. :(


I finally got it thawed out and 'processed' it today. Basically, I say a prayer of thanks and health over it, cut off the cord, slice the placenta thin, and put it on the dehydrator to dry completely.  Then it's ground into a fine powder form and put in capsules. 

I also have a piece in alcohol (drinking alcohol) for a tincture. I also like to make the cord into a heart and dry it. :)

My last I made jerky, but I am skipping that this time. 

After 24-48 hours on the dehydrator the strips are ready.  You want them to be completely dry.  They should snap when bent.  

Then I break them into small pieces and grind them in small batches in my dedicated placenta grinder (cheap coffee grinder). 

My pile after making 100 capsules. 

Once ground into a fine powder I fill my capsules in the capsule maker (0 size or 00 size). 

After encapsulated, put them in an airtight container (bag or jar) and keep in a cool place or freezer. 

(My first 100 capsules from this batch)

I'm also doing something special with some powder.  Here's the link to the recipe.