Painful Periods (and Question Marks)

I posted this about a year and a half ago…but many of you are new here, so I decided to update it a bit and repost, because I think it is that  important! 
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I’ve been wanting to have this discussion for a while. About  punctuation. Periods to be exact. 

I kind of thought I was the crazy one. The only one. Until I had a discussion with some girlfriends of mine several months ago about…punctuation. They were encountering the SAME issues I was.

I never really thought that the brand of “punctuation products” I used mattered very much so I would just use coupons and get regular ol’ Kotex at the store for a pretty good deal. (Yeah, we’re talking about that kind of period…and here you thought we were having a grammar lesson.)

Then I started developing a minor irritation which month after month turned into an incredibly horrible itchy miserable rash. And it wasn’t on my elbow if you know what I mean.

Not only that, but my uh…punctuation was lasting forever. Too long. Seemed to be longer each month.

I thought it was just me. Not so…according to some of the friends I talked to. Many of my friends had dealt with similar problems…UNTIL they switched to different and healthier punctuation products. Their periods were suddenly much less miserable. Well, slap me with a great big exclamation mark. 

I quickly ordered the Natracare brand to test it out for myself. They are chemical and additive free. They are biodegradable and contain organic materials.

I noticed a difference immediately.

First, the miserable rash went away. Hallelujah!

Second, the very first month I switched over, my punctuation was several days shorter and quite a bit lighter. The second month…same thing. Third month…same thing.

Uh-huh. Amazing. If at all possible I will NEVER use regular punctuation products from the store again. The Natracare products have made a huge difference for me each month and I love it. (Well, as much as you can love monthly punctuation that is.)

I don’t even care that they cost a little bit more. Actually…I bought a whole case at once and considering that I go through less of them each month…I’m actually not spending more. Hah!

Here’s what I got:

There are tons of other varieties…those just happen to be the ones that work best for me. (Wow, do you know way too much about me or what?)

Now, eventually I’d like to look into cloth cotton pads (Sckoon Organic Plus Cloth Menstrual Pads with Leak Resitant Sheet Mini Daisey) in order to save money in the long run and prevent waste. I’ve also heard great things about the Diva Cup. Anyone have any experience with these that they can share? 

I realize this sounds like an infomercial. Really it’s not. Natracare is not paying me to tell you these things. It’s just that they made a big difference for me and well…I like all of you an awful lot and wanted to tell you about it just in case they can help you too. 

Because it is not fun to have question marks about your periods.

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Here’s a post I wrote following this post entitled:  A Little Bit of Punctuation Follow-Up.  I recommend you clicking over for some more resources and ideas!

Menu Plan For the Week

We were gone for the weekend, having a wonderful Fourth of July weekend with our extended family. Now that we’re home, I’m excited to get back into the swing of things with a nice menu for the week. It’s fun to go on a trip…but it’s nice to be home and get everything back to normal. 

Early last week, I ordered and received several nice big chickens from a local farmer. I’m excited to cook one up tomorrow to have broth and cooked chicken to eat on this week. 

We also have a few things ready to harvest in our garden that I can’t WAIT to eat!! It does not get any better than fresh veggies from the garden!

Monday, July 7
Whole wheat waffles
Pizza casserole, watermelon
Chicken and rice with carrots

Tuesday, July 8
Fruit and yogurt smoothies
Shredded BBQ chicken, cottage cheese and peaches, tossed salad (from our garden!)
Lamb roast, new potatoes (from our garden!), peas (from our garden!)

Wednesday, July 9
Orange muffins, bananas
Hamburger patties, devilled eggs, strawberry/peach slushies
Beefy Enchilada Bake
, taco salad

Thursday, July 10
Crepes with jelly, yogurt
Chicken noodle skillet, green beans, carrots
Farmer’s market night – pack snacks

Friday, July 11
Blueberry muffins
Homemade chicken nuggets and fries, mixed veggies
Cheesy turkey sausage stromboli, fruit salad

Saturday, July 12
Homemade whole wheat donuts
Bean dip with chips, pineapple
Deer steak, corn on the cob (that I’m planning to buy at the farmer’s market)

This week, I’ll be sharing my recipe for Cheesy Turkey Sausage Stromboli…because you NEED this recipe! (You really, really do.)  :)

Stop on over at Organizing Junkie for many more menu ideas!

Celebrating Women ~ Friday

As we wrap up this week of honoring women…I have just a couple more emails to share with you!

This letter came from my precious friend Hannah who is one of the sweetest little girls on the face of the earth. It completely made my day…but I wasn’t planning to post it (just treasure it for myself). BUT, Hannah’s mom insisted that I share it…so share it I will… :)

My name is Hannah, and I am almost ten years old. I would like to tell you about a mom I know named Miss Laura. She’s someone I can go to because I feel safe with her. She’s really nice. She is my mama’s really good friend. I am a lot like her when she was young. I’m glad I have Miss Laura.

I can’t read it without choking up. I love that girl. 

Thank you, Hannah, for always being such an encouragement to me and for just being such a delight.

Next, we’ve got a little “right back atcha” letter going on! If you recall on Monday, we surprised Charlene with a letter from her mother-in-law, Faye

Well, Faye…here’s one from Charlene that we’ve been waiting to surprise YOU with!!

I want to share with you a little about my mother-in-law, Faye. I’ve mentioned her several times on my various blogs, and I just need to say it all again. She has been a true God-send to me since I moved to Las Vegas almost four years ago. 
 
When Allan and I married, he moved out of his parent’s home for the first time, and I know it was a dramatic change and adjustment for everyone. His parents took it all in stride, and practically from day one, Faye has been available to help me with the kids (well, it was just one kiddo at first – I just kept increasing the workload by having more babies!), with business, and with friendship. 
 
She became instant Granma to Samuel from day one, with no hesitation whatsoever on her part, and for that I’ll always be thankful.   Through two difficult pregnancies, she was available to stay with the kids so Allan could go with me to all my appointments, and she was also to come over to help me get through the days when I just wasn’t well enough to mother on my own. (And she still does this!) Our children adore her and their faces light up when she walks through the door. 
 
Besides all the wonderful ways she helps me now, I’m also thankful for her, simply because she is my husband’s mother. Allan has so many fun and happy memories of his childhood, and I love to listen to him talk about the special things she would do for him when he was a little guy. Her favorite line as a grandmother is that she isn’t spoiling our children, but simply “accommodating” them. Well, she’s very good at accommodating them in special ways, and I know from Allan’s stories she did the same for him and his sister growing up. 
 
I told Allan recently that I never could have hoped to have as good a relationship with my in-laws as I have with my own parents. I am so blessed to have TWO moms who love me, and I thank God every day for that!

For all of you who sent me links and stories and letters, be watching your email for information about the promised gifts!

Thanks again to Kristy at Homemakers Cottage…and to Char at DigiScrapChat for their generous gift donations!

And, thank you so much, everyone, for sharing these wonderful women with all of us! It’s been a wonderful week of celebrating women!!

Celebrating Women ~ Thursday

Hope you’re enjoying these great articles about women! It’s wonderful to have great women around us who challenge us to be better! 

I received this email from Anne. Here’s what she wrote about a young mama named Jenny:

I would like to share with everyone a little something about a young mom I know. Jenny has three small children, and she, in my opinion, is one of the most humble, sweetest mamas I know. Like too many young ladies of our day and age, Jenny grew up with dysfunction that left her emotionally scarred. Rather than turn to the world for her answers, she turned to our Almighty Lord and Savior for guidance and healing. And God has been faithful to her.

What an inspiration she is to me, and countless others. She serves her husband and children selflessly every day, and God has blessed her for it. Whenever she struggles with insecurities that her past has left her with, and the worry of ‘breaking the cycle’ rears its ugly head, I will always point to her children and her wonderful marriage as testimony that she is, indeed, breaking the cycle.

Oh my! If you could see her babies! They are sweet, confident children without a care in the world. They are completely free to be children.

I guess the one word I would use to wrap this up is joy. They have a home full of the joy of the Lord, and I am truly blessed to have this family in my life.

Beautiful!

Be sure to stop back by tomorrow as we continue to celebrate women!

Celebrating Women ~ Wednesday

Here’s a great piece from Lenetta, who has one sweet baby girl (who is trying to learn to walk!).  Lenetta wrote this for…and about her mom.

Sometimes all you can do is love and pray. There frequently isn’t anything you can physically DO to alleviate the physical or emotional pain of someone you care about, but you can pray and you can love and you can walk with the one you love on their journey, for as long as they need you. And you can trail quietly behind when they think they don’t need you, just in case.
 
The birth of a child is meant to be a joyous occasion, and my daughter’s birth was, even though it didn’t happen at all like the natural birth that I’d planned. I ended up emotionally and physically drained, and to compound matters, I had quite a bit of anxiety about becoming a mother. Sure, I’d done my share of babysitting, but it was mostly older children. I’d changed my nieces’ diapers on occasion, but I’d never really been responsible for anything the way I was for this new being that God had entrusted to me.
 
Between my mother and my husband, I had around the clock help for nearly two weeks after my daughter’s birth. The hormone changes were like nothing I had ever experienced, and I found myself unable to sleep or nap even though I desperately needed it. My daughter had a spell most nights where she would fuss for about four hours. One particularly bad night, I knocked on my mom’s bedroom door at 3 AM, and handed her the baby. Of course, the little turkey went right to dreamland for Grandma.
 
My daughter has never been a particularly easy baby, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the phone with my mom, crying and wondering rhetorically how I can make things better. The truth is that there really isn’t much I can do beyond what I have done – feed her, keep her clean, safe, and warm. But most importantly, just as my mother has done for me over the past year, I can love her and I can pray. And I do.
 
Mom, thanks for walking with me as I’ve learned this lesson. While I hope my daughter has an easier time with her babies, I’m prepared to walk the same journey with her many years from now, praying and loving all the way.

I am SO enjoying everything you all are writing about the special women in your lives! 

If you haven’t already (or even if you already have!)…be sure to read these great posts about women that people have written about on their own blogs!

~ Read what Char wrote about her sister-in-law Sarah.

~Check out this AMAZING story written by Kristy at Homemaker’s Cottage about her friend Katy.

~And while you’re over at Kristy’s….READ THIS!! She just delivered a baby TUESDAY (yesterday) at her home….and he’s beautiful!

~Here’s what Donna wrote about here “Spiritual Mother”.

~Read this touching poem written by Teresa.

~Here’s a tribute from Ariane to her mother.

Thanks everyone for sharing! There will be more to share tomorrow! And, I’m still up for others in any of the rest of you have anything to share!

WooHoo for Women!!

Mother’s Day Breakfast…Chocolate Swirl Muffins

Daddy and the boys always make a great Mother’s Day lunch for me each year. This year, they’ll be making our breakfast too!

These muffins can be made ahead of time, so the kids will make a double batch of these on Saturday so that they’ll be ready to grab on Mother’s Day morning! 

And yes…I chose a Chocolate Swirl Muffin for them to make because it IS Mother’s Day after all…and a mama needs her chocolate…

Chocolate Swirl MuffinsYum

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1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 t. vanilla
2 t. cocoa powder
3-5 drops stevia

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in honey, egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Scoop out 1/2 cup of batter into a small bowl. To this small amount of batter, add cocoa and stevia.

Fill nine paper lined muffin tins about half full with plain batter. Put about 2 t. of chocolate batter on top of each. 
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 Use a butter knife to cut the chocolate into the muffin. 
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Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

I hope you’ll continue to join us this week for lots more Mother’s Day encouragement! Read about our Celebrating Women series here!

And be sure to check out Tammy’s Recipes for more kitchen tips!

Celebrating Women….Monday

I’m so excited to share this first story with you! 

I was thrilled to receive this email last week from Faye in Nevada.

Faye had this to say about her daughter-in-law Charlene…who just happens to also be one of my very wonderful friends…

I would like to mention Charlene. I know she doesn’t think she’s a great mom, but I think she is. Of course, you have known her much longer than I have, so I think you would share my opinion. I realize I am prejudiced because I am her mother-in-law. But from the first time I met her, I was impressed. She had adopted a baby boy after feeling (and being told) that she could not have children. Samuel was so well behaved. At such a young age, he was very polite, with his please, thank you, and your welcome. Then when she became part of our family, what a blessing. Then we all have been blessed with two more children.   And I think she is too hard on herself.   She is a Christian woman who has a husband, three children, and multiple businesses online.   AND she helps others with their online businesses.   She reads to the children and sings Bible songs to them; goes outside with them to play; comforts all of them when they get booboos; spends time with them when they are not having a good day, even though she may have multiple emails waiting for her attention.   So her house isn’t Better Homes and Garden, spit-polished clean!  So what! Her husband and her children, (and her in-laws), love her dearly. What more could one ask for?
 
Thanks for listening to my feelings about your friend.
 
Sincerely, Faye

Well…I just couldn’t help but start with that letter…

Faye, thank you for sharing these beautiful and oh-so-very-true words about Charlene!

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Everyone be sure to stop back by to read more! And…get right to work writing your own!! We want to hear more!

Gratituesday: My Nephew

Hey…can I tell you about my newest nephew? Thanks.

(Ah, the joy of being able to brag…and it being okay…)  :)

This little guy, Seth, belongs to Randy and Kari (Matt’s brother and his wife). They are in the process of adopting him….and really, really…the fact that God gave Seth to our family is one of the hugest blessings ever. You can read about their adoption journey on their blog.

See…just look at this sweet little boy. I LOVE all the rolls!! 

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Because we’re honoring mothers during the next several days…I’ll also add that Seth has a most wonderful mama! I LOVE how Kari loves Seth. It really is delightful to watch (and by watch…I mean listen to on the phone and read about on the blog and email…they live in CA…and that is not close to NE  :( ). 

My favorite thing about the way Kari mothers Seth is in the way she is ALREADY bringing God into his life. From the time he was born…Kari has been praying with him and talking to him about God. And THAT is the very best way to mother. 

Kari…I am amazed and challenged by your wonderful mothering skills. 

And I am SO GRATEFUL that God has given our family Seth.

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So…what did God do for YOU this week?! Leave us a comment….or…  Blog about it and come back and link up! Share with us how God is working in your life…even if it’s “just” a simple thing! Simple things are worth praising God about! Let’s encourage one another this Gratituesday!

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