Thursday, July 29, 2010


This is a polyvore set I made a long time ago. Ever since Chris and Shannon's wedding it seems like anything is possible and I've been dreaming again. It reminds me of this family that the guys live with in Dharma Bums, and I love it.

Where I want to live...Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Where I want to live... by AddieLore featuring Manhattan Portage bags

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I am pretty sure I have posted about Emersonmade before, but I have one question; Can I be Emerson when I grow up?
Emersonmade Again
Make Grow Gather just had a post featuring her favorite summer day.

Her and her husband live on a farm in New Hampshire and she has the most amazing style.

Design Sponge just covered her in a Sneak Peek.

EmersonMade Great Style

You can check out her home made flowers and new line of clothing at her store here>

More EmersonMade

Or find even more images at her blog here>

Emerson PicnicFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Love these WWII food posters at the Smithsonian. Linked by Food Renegade, who just had a beautiful baby!

Children are a Blessing

I just wrote a long entry on here, that I couldn't post. When I am hurt it is so easy for me to act just as sinful and unloving as those who have hurt me.`

Lately I feel I am so surrounded by people who despise babies. Why is this so culturally acceptable? In a culture where almost any kind of -ism is detestable, where a person is shunned for disliking poor people, or people of a different color or sex than themselves, or old people, it is perfectly acceptable to be repulsed by small children, and to tell their parents so.

The other night we were at my sister's house with a large crowd for the birthday of a friend. Efrim is going through this phase where he plays with his food; putting it into, and spitting it out of his mouth. We are doing our best to teach him this is unacceptable, and progress is being made. Meanwhile, at this party, my husband is sitting on the couch with a young married couple. They grew up in a Christian private school together and were high school sweethearts, married a few months ago. The type of couple who everyone lauds for saving sex for marriage, because this is it's proper place. When Efrim spit out a mandarin orange offered to him by my sister, the young man literally gagged and said, "Let's not have one." As everyone in the room begins to laugh and agree with this, I am becoming more infuriated, when my sweet husband says, with no judgment, only as a testimony. Babies are fun, they are a blessing, you should have one."

Does anyone else face this? Do you have close friends putting off children until who knows when, or if they'll even be able to conceive, once they finally are "ready", because one or both of them find children repulsive, badly behaved, or just too inconvenient? Do you, no matter how you try, take it personally?

Over and over people act as if I am a saint for tolerating things like the drool of a teething six month old. They don't really think I am a saint. They think it is disgusting. My sweet child gives them shivers and makes them gag. But God says children are a blessing. He made them, and we all used to be one. Can we stop acting like this is a matter of personal preference, and say that it is rude and wrong?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Parenting- Still Thinking

I have been looking around a lot today and want to clarify where I am on this.

I do not hate James Dobson's methods. I do not think that Michael and Debi Pearl are responsible for those people beating their 2 year old little girl to death, and I don't think there is anything morally wrong with scheduling the sleep patterns of an infant or training them to sleep through the night early on. I do not find any scriptures which prohibit spanking in letter or in spirit. Rather I find that the spirit of the scriptures leans toward strict, albeit richly loving, parenting. I do not think it is wrong to let your child cry on occasion.

On the other hand:

While I did not lose trust in my Dobson style parents, I never felt like they trusted me. Although it is clear that Michael and Debi Pearl have a wonderful living relationship with their adult children, I wonder what this relationship was like when the children were 2 or 3.
I tried Babywise and my first son fought being scheduled in any shape or form tooth and nail, did not sleep through the night until he was 7 mos old, and still will not sit still/stay awake for a full feeding.

The children whose behavior I find pleasing have very strict, yet mostly very loving parents. The children whom I cannot stand to be around have parents who do not believe in spanking, or letting their children cry.

I believe that you can spank your children without what many Gentle Christian Mothering Forum users call a combative or us vs. them mentality. I believe that you can occasionally let a small child cry, especially when they are throwing a fit, without losing their trust. I do not agree with those who do not think a child has any reasoning capabilities until he is 8 or 9 months old. I have seen a ten month old intentionally manipulate his mother with my own eyes. While it may be nonsense to strictly "schedule" an infant, I certainly agree with the Ezzos that babies are happier when their parents show that they are in control of the situation, and are insecure and miserable when they are expected to set their own routines and anticipate their own needs. Again, I have seen it.

I know that God is a very strict God, with very particular rules and high standards for our behavior. I also know that he is infinitely loving and tender; never breaking our spirits or breaking our wills, and forgiving to the point of suffering our punishment in our stead.

A terrific resource, at last

Efrim eats so much! He eats constantly and yet remains in the lowest size bracket for his age. You would think he was starving.

On the other hand, they say that a baby's stomach is the size of their hand, and they shouldn't eat more than that at a sitting. Oops. He usually eat way more than a baby fist size.

Since my June WIC meeting was about portion control I have been looking for information on changing portion sizes and dietary needs of young children. WIC gave me a plate with children's portion sizes explained on it, but I was pretty sure that they were different than what my 10 month old should be eating, and I figured these amounts change pretty often at such a young age when they are growing so fast.

Saturday I finally sat down and looked on BabyCenter. This website is so amazing as a comprehensive resource. I almost always start here when I have a question. After a search I finally found one community forum entry asking for resources on infant/toddler portion sizes and one mother responded with this link:

USDA Food and Nutrition Service Child and Adult Care Meal Program Meal Patterns

Sounds complicated, but it's just the guidelines for what day cares, nursing homes, and other care providers should include in meals in order to meet proper dietary guidelines and get government reimbursement if they qualify. This was so helpful!

I copied down a simplified version of the information and made a chart to record what I feed Efrim for the next three weeks (until his birthday) just to get in the habit of being more aware, and to see how his diet actually measures up. Like I said in the previous post; I like to be super organized and methodical. Usually though this only applies to the planning process and our reality is much more organic and messy.

Creative Photo Ideas

With Efrim our photo-journalism has been very random and sporadic. We have lots of pictures of some times and few of others. I have tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to at least get a picture of him on every month birthday.

Those of you that know me, however, know that I am a very methodical person and like to always have a plan. I have worked little by little on developing more organized systems of recording our families growth in photos.

All this to introduce these two cute ideas for recording a baby's monthly growth in the first year.

I love basically everything that Ruby Ellen Bratcher does on Cakies. Their family is the most adorable and creative.

Soul and Boogie: 7 months
. I presume Boogie is the name of the chair.

This I found while researching birthday party ideas for Efrim on PartyPerfect. What a cute little boy with his little numbered ties. Of course RJ would prefer bow ties.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Discipling Your Children

As I have been reading parenting books the last year or so, I feel I end up with more questions than answers.

I have read To Train Up A Child and Home Grown Kids, skimmed James Dobson's Answer Book, and started Parenting Isn't for Cowards.

The James Dobson books were given to me by my mother. I won't go into all of the reasons why I read his work skeptically here, but I have not been bothered by anything I have read so far in these books.

This is my dilemma: I love to be around families where older children are respectful and obedient. I am inspired to be around teenagers who are so much more godly than many adults I know. I crave this for my children. However, in the books I have read where this is the goal of parenting, so much focus is placed on a child's strong will, quest for power, and sinful nature. While I don't dispute that these are facts, I dislike the attitude that this builds between my child and I.

Efrim is 11 mos. old. Can anyone tell me how to train him to follow God and grow in godliness without regarding our relationship as a battlefield? Efrim is very strong willed, already, and so often I find discipline taking over our whole life together. I had a relationship with my mother that looked very much like this, and while I have grown and been blessed by the things she taught me, and we have a good relationship now, I don't want that for my family. I want to have joy in our relationship now, not only in 20 years.

Can anyone tell me how this is possible? I know it has to be, because I know the way that God loves us, and I believe he wants this for us.

Baby Wise

I wanted to post a little note on a couple of the links.

I was really encouraged by reading Jessica's post on using the Babywise system with her newest little boy, Moses.

We tried this system with Efrim and it went terribly for us. Efrim never would nurse for more than 15 minutes or so, and always wanted to eat again immediately. He would always fall asleep while nursing and if we woke him up he wouldn't go down for a nap later.

I think we will try again with Julian, but Jessica's perspective helped me realize that it is the order that is important, not having a schedule.

We also will have to figure out how this fits in with the Ecological Breastfeeding model described in Natural Family Planning literature, since this is something we really want to try. While we trust God with the spacing of our children and are open to having many little ones around, I would really like to be unpregnant longer than 6 months this time. It is not the babies, but the pregnancy that wears me out.

So pray for us as we weigh all of these important decisions about our newborn's care and our family, and I will keep you posted about our thought processes and the results.

Mothering Links

This blog has so many interesting posts. Most of them are ahead of where I am right now, but the food for thought is fantastic. After all, it is best to know how to live with 3 or 4 little children BEFORE you have them all.

Large Family Mothering:
Life with little kids
The Herding Principle
Pregnant Life

I have been reading Jessica's blog for over a year now, and am always so encouraged by her practical how to posts with lots of little ones. This latest entry makes me so ready to meet Julian, but I can wait 4 months until he is ready.

Making Home:
Preparing for Baby #4
Preparing for Baby #5
Chronicling Babywise

This is a blog my friend referred me to recently. This is the kind of post you want to take your time with.

Passionate Homemaking:
Training Little Disciples

Life is more important than food

I want to close this series by giving some perspective on where I am in this process personally. All of this stems from my belief that every decision we make, no matter how mundane, has spiritual meaning, even how we eat. In 1 Corinthians that if we are a believer, our body is a temple of God. A large portion of the Old Testament is a law that was laid out for the children of Israel, I believe mostly for the purpose of showing them and us that everything we do is important to God, and also that we can never do enough right. So I do my best to make choices in every part of my life that honor God, that fulfill his true purpose for me, and that bring glory to him and spread his kingdom, but I do all of this knowing that I can never get everything right. Christ came adn died so that I have freedom from the impossible standard of being all that God created me to be as long as I live on this earth. So here are two important things I have been learning on this journey:

1. Ultimately we have to understand that God is in control.With so many varying opinions, among experts and scientists even, about what is the best nutrition, The best any of us can do is make the choice that seems best withthe knowledge and wisdom we have been entrusted with, and follow it to the best of our ability, trusting that God's grace is enough to bring good from our efforts. At the end of the day it is God who gives us health and sustains us, and it is our hearts that he judges.

2. In Matthew 6 and Luke 12 Jesus tells us not to be anxious about our bodies. "Life is more important that food", he says.Although we all understand that food is necessary for life, and keeping in mind the principles of stewardship listed above, we need to remember that we honor God by living abundant and joyful lives, enjoying his creation, not by doing everything right to the letter. This means that while I should definitely do my best to provide nutrition for my family, even bringing food from far away, like the Proverbs 31 woman, Our diet should never overwhelm or burden me. If I ever become a slave to our nutrition, instead of to God and his kingdom, something is very wrong in my spirit, even if we are doing everything right.

Raw and Lacto-Fermented Foods

I have very little to say here. I guess that most of you are aware of what a raw food is, and are aware that more nutrients are available in fresh fruits and veggies before they are cooked than after. It is just a matter of the effort to find a source for organic varieties and incorporate more of them into your diet.

As far as lacto-fermenting is concerned, all of the "real food" and "nourishing" websites have me sold that they are tremendous for your health, and a terrific alternative to modern canning methods, but until I can afford to buy Nourishing Traditions I have very little information about what exactly this means or how the process works.

Dr. Price discovered that in traditional cultures, people ate 60-80% of their diet from raw and lacto-fermented foods. Start with what is a reasonable goal for you and work your way up.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grass fed, Pastured, and/or Wild caught Meats

This may be where we start getting more controversial. the majority of diets in our current culture will tell you that most meat is bad for you and too high in fat. Eat chicken if you must, but certainly not beef or pork. Fish is also considered okay if you call it a meat (I'm not sure why so many people don't). However, research shows that on the contrary to many popular ideas we do need the nutrients that are in meat. What is killing us is all of the unnatural ingredients given to animals to keep them "healthy" outside of their natural environment so that they can produce an enormous amount of meat at the most efficient rate. Just like toxins in the human body animals store these growth hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides in the large fat reserves that result from a mostly grain diet. That is why traditional research will show that high fat meat is so dangerous to us. It's not the fat itself, although I am sure we could all use less of it, but the chemical poisons in the fat. We need meat, but we are eating the wrong kind of meat. I know it is not easy to come buy in certain areas (erhem, central Texas) but what we need is a moderate amount of beef, chicken, pork, and especially wish that is not only raised, but finished in a natural habitat. Grass fed beef, free range chicken, pastured pork, and wild caught, short life span fish. (short life span relates to how much mercury is built up). Also in most of Dr. Price's healthy cultures people ate at least 10% of their protein from organ meat. This will take me some getting used to, but it surely something I can handle.

This is not to discredit legumes and nuts as a source of protein, since they are excellent, only to say that we do need meat too as long as we are careful of it's source.

Dairy. Dairy too has gotten a bad reputation in modern diet trends, and we try to substitute for it or at least cut out all the fat we can. Here I could repeat most of what I said about meat, only that with dairy there is, in addition to how the animals are raised, an issue of pasteurization. Pasteurization, or rapid heating to kill dangerous micro organisms, hardly seems like a bad thing. In fact, at the time it was invented, before knowledge of infectious disease and sanitation was widespread, it was a lifesaver. However, in our present age, of high sanitation standards, pasteurization is only necessary to kill pathogens resulting from poor living conditions in highly industrialized over packed dairies. Raw milk from organic dairies is consumed safely all over the world. Unfortunately this is even harder to come by than pastured meat, since there are still a lot of misunderstandings. Work to find a source for raw dairy products and eggs, and campaign to make them more available in your area, but if this is unavailable to you at least make the switch to organic. The health of your family is more than worth it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Tent Revival Supply Co. News Flash:

My materials are in the mail and I did a scale drawing of my patterns last night, which I will cut out today from poster board. I am SO excited! (that exact sentence is in my journal entry at least three times.)

I have set four goals for myself.

August 1
Have tester kits together for Cheri (boy, small), Rebekah (1 boy, 1 girl, smalls), and Melissa (girl large). Include Instructions page and survey.

September 1
Have Julian's stash together with 6 neutral and 6 bright covers, plus 2 dozen inserts. Also make 12 doublers for Efrim.

November 1
Have Etsy shop up and running with the following products.

1. Organic Knit Cover
2. Bright Cover
3. Tester Kit
4. Complete Kit
5. Dozen Inserts
6. 3 Doublers

February 1
Add to shop.

1. Dozen Wipes
2. Wet Bag
3. Pail Liner
4. Diaper Bag

5. Stroller Bag/Changing Pad Clutch
6. Pouch Sling
7. Travel High Chair Ties
8. Diaper Shirts

This is going to require a realignment of my weekly chore rotation.

Refined Sugar and Flour

This is a huge one for me. You can do your own research and find out that basically refined white sugar and refined white flour are poison. They are so high on the glycemic index that they create a huge blood sugar spike and through all of our endocrine system (hormones that regulate all of your internal functions and equilibrium) into chaos. No wonder we all feel like crap all the time. These are are both, at least for me, the most important and most difficult to change.

Sugar. When we start talking about eliminating sugar from our diet everyone's first thought is to what we are going to replace it with. There are some options, but if you are thinking this way I think you are setting yourself up for failure. We are way too dependent on sweets in the US (and I am the worst) and what we call a sweet tooth is actually an addiction, where our bodies will require more and more to be satisfied. It may be like getting off drugs for some people, but we have to break our addiction before we do anything else. In the end most of your sugars should come from plain raw fruit, with a little bit from whole cane products for a treat. I can go into a choice by choice explanation of what's wrong with other options, but you can find it a hundred other places. Basically anything that is modified using high heat or enzymes is something your body doesn't need. Honey is the most popular substitute, but it is 96% simple sugars, so while it is a natural product it will still cause your blood sugar to spike and fall.

Grains. Most of us know we should be eating whole grains instead of white flour, but we probably aren't very good at it, especially for deserts or when eating out. What we also don't know is that whole grains come with their own set of problems. In the Bran of the grain are "anti-nutrients" which keep us from getting the whole benefit from this food. The solution is to soak or sprout flours (I hadn't ever heard of this either) like people have been doing for centuries. This turns the grain into something like a vegetable which our body digests much more easily. There is a wealth of information on how to do this yourself, or if you can afford it there are grain products available (like Ezekiel Bread) that are made with sprouted grains. However for most of us, this is going to be a really long process of transition and experimenting. In the mean time please eat whole grains. They are still so much better for you than white. I think the biggest part of this whole type of diet is to quit compromising on the things we already know. We can't start trying unusual things until we are willing to commit to what we already know is best for us, and make use of the good nutrition that is already available to us.

Did I mention that many people who have trouble digesting grains, and resultant health conditions like Celiac Disease, often have no trouble eating sprouted grains?! This is enough good news to convince me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Market Research

Without going into boring ad nauseam detail, or giving away too much about our product, I wanted to share with you a few exciting products I found this week while perusing the cloth diapering world for Market Research.


This is a really amazing company. I am intrigued more by their business model than by their product although the design is really cute. These ladies give $2 from the sale of each all-in-one diaper to a specific cause which is incorporated into the design of that diaper. Their bright solid colors and simple velcro symbols create a really neat look, and I love that they took something practical (the lap velcro to fit a smaller baby) and incorporated it intentionally into a great design. They also make covers, and for every one purchased, they donate one to a mom in need. They have really incorporated the giving back lifestyle very holistically into their product line in a very innovative way. These look pretty bulky, and I'm not a fan of one-size diapers or all-in-ones, but I think they are definitely worth a try.

Tiny gPants

You have all heard on here how we had so many problems with this company initially. After further reflection, a lot of our problems did result from having a seriously deficient stash. In any case, there are some things I really like about this new product. This newborn diaper has fabric sewn to the nylon waterproof liner, which should eliminate the issue of the crummy elastic. Because gDiapers uses nylon instead of PUL, this should be a very trim option for tiny babies, and while they still use velcro I really don't know of another option for newborns. Snaps would just be too bulky. The awesome thing is that these still use the inserts for a small gPant, so if you invest in gCloth, the really expensive part of their system, or if you make your own like I did, they will still fit in a small cover. The deciding factor will be their affordability. Right now tiny gPants are only available in the large gift pack which includes 12 pair. When they finally become available individually we will see whether this is a reasonable price for a product you will only use for about 6 weeks.


Every time I search for cloth diapers I find a new online store and more companies I have never heard of. There are so many different options and some are only carried by one or two stores. These unique one-size diapers are supposed to be very slim, and they adjust with a hidden drawstring instead of fold over snap layers, which I like a lot. They are called an all-in-two system, but I find that most people who use this name are actually just an all-in-one with a removable insert, because the cover is cloth inside and will get wet or dirty and not be reusable. This is another brand I think is worth trying though. Their covers come with three inserts and a doubler a piece, which makes a lot more sense than covers that come with one, so they obviously believe that their cover can be re-used.


The only company I have found with more options than CottonBabies. In addition to all-in-one, cover and insert, and hybrid varieties, this company also manufactures a bio-disposable. There are a few other things that set this company apart though. They have very high standards of production and incorporate more organic fabrics in their products. It is always strange to me that so few cloth diapering companies are organic/sustainable. I guess it just shows that most people are in this for economic more than ecological reasons. I really love a company that offers both. When most companies offer higher ecological standards, it comes with a steep price tag, but this is not true of GroVia. Each of their diapering systems is priced competitively with other brands on the market. Finally, GroVia stands out to me because their branding and website are designed so well. This seems like a small thing, but so many diaper websites are created for such a niche market. I like a company that sets themselves on equal footing in the marketplace, it makes their product more appealing to those who aren't already looking for cloth diapers.

Additives and Modified Foods

The first, most basic, and most urgent step is to get rid of chemically modified foods that have permeated our diet. These are unnatural ingredients that our bodies do not recognize or process as food, especially in the large quantities in which we have come to consume them. Specifically this means eating no hydrogenated oils, nothing high fructose, and no MSG, but the basic idea is to quit eating food with ingredients on the label you don't recognize and foods preserved with high amounts of sodium. Kristen at Food Renegade says you should ask yourself whether this food is something your great grandmother would recognize.

Healthy Natural Fats

This is related to the previous point, but worth expanding on. Any type of vegetable based oil is a modified food. It is a Polyunsaturated fat which your body does not recognize or know how to digest, so it just stores it as fat. Stick to butter, ghee, olive oil and other saturated or mono-unsaturated fats. More on why butter is okay later. But just trust me and quit eating fake fats.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tent Revival Supply Co.

For a long time I have been wanting to post about this dream that God has given me. For as long as I can remember I have been designing clothes and furnishings. When I was 9 I started actually labeling my work as fashion design, and when I was 11 my Granny got me a subscription to Vogue, and my education began.

Since going to college, my worldview has widened and my interests become more deep and complex, but my love of design has only grown. Through studying economics and aesthetics in Interdisciplinary Christian Thought, and reading The Beauty of Life by William Morris in Victorian Literature, my hobbies have taken on meaning. Design is about giving people an opportunity to participate in creativity in their everyday lives. It's about how beauty and creation draw us all nearer to God. And it's about the way that our lifestyle choices have spiritual meaning, and effect the lives of people around the world.

During my senior year in college, I took a course in Entrepreneurship, and wrote a business plan for a clothing company using organic and sustainable materials, and fair trade practices to make clothes for the mainstream culture. My idea was that ecological and human rights responsibility shouldn't be only for hippies.

Also at that time an idea began to grow as RJ and I learned more about a biblical theme of simplicity. We were reading works by Shane Claiborne and other New Monastics, but so much of their lifestyle seemed out of reach. While I believe that following Christ should always be radical, I also think it should be simple. That's when a phrase came to mind that I have heard my father say a thousand times. When he is talking about parenting, he refers to a horse trainer friend who says his job is to "Make the right thing easy, and the wrong thing hard." This is where everything starts to make sense for me.

While I don't think it's my job to make life heard for anyone, I believe that the easier it becomes to make the socially and ecologically responsible decision, the harder it becomes to ignore or make excuses for living the way of the ungodly world.

For now I am starting with cloth diapers. This is really practical since I am cloth diapering Efrim and will be adding another shortly, and I am dissatisfied with a lot of the products available to us. We will expand slowly to include a wider product range, making all of the things RJ and I enjoy creating and want to share with others. There are so many great opportunities that I dream of with this that one post cannot hold them all, but I hope to share with you my hopes and dreams, as well as some of the companies that inspire me, in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned. For now here is our companies mission statement, or to the business world our "elevator pitch"

Beginning with a comprehensive range of cloth diapering products, Tent Revival Supply Co. seeks to make a simpler, more responsible lifestyle accessible to young families from all backgrounds.


Over the past few years RJ and I have wrestled with the concept of Stability, as in the vows of St. Benedict. It seems that the most effective ministries take place when a missionary, a pastor, or a family makes a commitment to a community, and fully invests their lives there. At first this was hard for me because I grew up moving a lot and traveling constantly. I don't really like to stay in one place. But as I have been more convinced of the merit of investing one's self this way, and especially as my family grows, I find myself wanting to find a place to stay for a little while.

This is where so many questions begin to arise, mostly "where". It seems like so many things keep holding us in Brownwood. I wanted to stay until this baby comes, so we could stay with Betsy, and then this opportunity to minister from the Nexus Community Home (parsonage) has been such a blessing. But after being here for 6 years I still feel no attachment for this place. Nothing about it makes me want to stay here forever.

As I start to think about what we do like her, and what would make me and RJ want to stay some place, it really is all about the people who live there. More than anything else RJ and I want to live near the people we care about. We want to invest our lives in particular people.

What does that look like at our age when most of our friends are not settling down anywhere yet, and when they do they are more and more scattered? I guess only time will tell. We will stay here until God sets us free from the ties that bind us here, and then who knows? Maybe we will pack up all of our belongings and go on a trip like in Away We Go. We can prayerfully visit the cities of those dearest to us until, like Abraham, God tells us to stay.

Until then we will continue to build the relationships that God has given us, and see what doors he opens us. Ultimately I think the lesson is that, for us the opportunities to follow will be relationships, not jobs, even though that can be a little scary.

For the next few months I would like to have some of the people we hold most dear over to share a meal, and then I will share with you about the time we spent together, and even more importantly what inspires us about who these people are and what hey are passionate about.

Congratulations Chris & Shannon Taylor!

Last weekend RJ and I along with many friends had the privilege of attending the "family union" of some of our best friends Chris Taylor and Shannon Kelly, in Denton, Texas. Their wedding ceremony was possibly the most beautiful event I have ever experienced, but more than that, the entire weekend was just overflowing with the Spirit of God, as we joined many wonderful friends to share in the love that Chris and Shannon have for one another and for God. It was one of those times when I could truly say, "My cup runneth over."

Chris has been one of our closest friends all throughout college, and as we have come to know Shannon more, I have fallen more in love with her beautiful spirit every time I see her. I cannot wait to share life with this beautiful family for many years to come.

Real Food/Nourishing Traditions

I have been doing a lot of research lately on diet and nutrition. There is so much subjective information; So many PhDs in Nutrition and Professional dietitians have varying opinions on what is truly healthy. I think we all just have to find out what we believe makes the most sense in regards to stewardship of our family's health, and trust God with the outcome.

What makes the most sense to me is what some people call real food, others call slow food, and some call a nourishing lifestyle. Mostly it stems from the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, and the cookbook Nourishing Traditions, but there is oodles of scientific information to back it up. Basically Price got sick of his patients having more and more disease and went to research the cultures around the world where there was no diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. There are many around the world. What he found was that in these cultures the people ate for the most part the same diet as their ancestors had for generations. They had not added all of our modern convenience foods to their diet. He took note of what these diets looked like and Sally Fallon wrote a cookbook called, Nourishing Traditions, that pretty much encapsulates what this looks like. Over the next few days I will be posting about the main aspects of this type of diet. I hope you will find it informative and helpful. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I may not have the answer, but I would love to find it with you. If you find yourself offended or discouraged by the information presented, please know that that is not the intention and hang on until the end where I will sum up what God has been teaching me about what it looks like to care for our bodies out of faithfulness and devotion to him.

It's a BOY!

This is just a little post to say: we had a sonogram on Friday and baby #2 is another boy. Julian Russell Barnett will be the sixth great grandson (with no granddaughters) on my mom's side of the family. Every one was really hoping it would finally be a girl this time, but I have a feeling that everyone is going to love this special little boy so much.


So we moved again! This has been a process, but it has been so long since I've posted it may come as a surprise.

The little apartment we were living in is owned by our friends Tristan and Melissa who are selling their place to move to Austin. We were looking for a new place and around the same time our pastor at Nexus resigned. Shane & Katy felt like it was time to move onto new things. When the parsonage became available the lead team at our church started thinking of things to do with it. We could rent it, but it has been a really good resource for the church to have a place for our ministers to live when they were in transition or needed a place. Also RJ and I have been doing our best to have our home always open to the congregation, but at our little apartment it was always very crowded. Since there is a new baby on the way we had been looking at two bedroom apartments, but it was going to be nearly impossible to afford.

All that to say, the lead team proposed to the church that RJ and I live here to make this resource available for the church to do ministry and to share life together, the church voted yes, and here we are! In a three bedroom house, with guests in the spares. Efrim will finally have a real room. We have so much space, and once we fix up some things (something we haven't been able to do in rented spaces) it is going to be so beautiful. We are so blessed.