Thursday, December 30, 2010

1 Timothy 5:10 GNB "She must have a reputation for good deeds: a woman who brought up her children well, received strangers in her home, performed humble duties for fellow Christians, helped people in trouble, and devoted herself to doing good."

As 2010 comes to an end I sit back and replay all of Gods amazing works through my head. Wow this year has been full of amazing blessings. The good memories definitely out weigh the bad and for that I am grateful. Plus it's always better to find the positive in things rather than the negative.  

~My Uncle Robert was called home to the promise-land.  He was an awesome man with a heart consumed full of love for Jesus. We miss you Robert.

~Julie Ducey married the man of her dreams Daniel Smith. I am now one brother in law richer. Congrats to the happy newly weds.

~Our family has been blessed with work all year long. This is fully God's hand on our lives. We are all so thankful!!!!!!

~Violet Riley Rivera made her way into the world. Thank you God for a sweet little girl who is happy, healthy, and turned us into a family of four.

~Jason has stepped into a leadership roll at our church and has been leading worship on Saturday's and some Sunday's. This is something his heart has longed for, for quite sometime. It's a lot of work and dedication but he feels this is something the Lord has called him to do.  

~Two of our best friends became husband and wife. Here's to new beginnings for them.

~DEBT FREE. Thanks to the Dave Ramsey course that we took almost two years ago we worked really hard and it payed off.  It was not easy by any means. We sold lots of things, budgeted our money, cut up our credit cards, payed stuff off, budgeted our money again, didn't eat out, canceled a trip to Maui, used change to buy white mochas:) And now we get to enjoy the feeling of not having debt, that is besides our home but it sure feels good. Now to start saving.

~Violet is blessed with a cousin, Gracie Rae Vondrak. Violet has many cousins but Gracie will probably be one of her favorite playmates considering they are only 6 months apart.

~My Dad's health takes a turn for the worst but ends up being a turn for the best. After working out a few much needed changes he feels better than he has in ten years. This is a good thing cause I need you around to teach your Grandkids all of your favorite sports. I Love you DAD.

These are just a few of the things that stick out in my mind for 2010 along with lots of great memories and moments spent with family and friends. I am so thankful for everyone in my life and couldn't feel more blessed. As we enter 2011 I just hope and pray I can continue to live a life for God and do what he has called me to do. As I enter 2011 this verse sits heavy on my heart.

1 Timothy 5:10 GNB "She must have a reputation for good deeds: a woman who brought up her children well, received strangers in her home, performed humble duties for fellow Christians, helped people in trouble, and devoted herself to doing good."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Homebase" May the Lord give you understanding in all things. 2 Timothy 2:7

The last three weeks have kind of been a whirl wind around our home. Traveling up and down to Twain Harte is where most of our time was focused and it was starting to wear on us. We live about 25-30 minutes from our church depending on the traffic not to mention our gas guzzling trucks. My husband and I started thinking maybe we were in the wrong location and even talked about putting our home up for sale.  It wasn't until Sunday afternoon when a fellow church sister sent me a message that I realized God has put us where we are for a reason.  She gave me encouraging words of wisdom and I began to think about how our house has kind of been home-base the past three weeks.

It all started when my sister in law was sent into the hospital to be induced four weeks early. We may live 25 minutes from our church but we only live 5 minutes from the hospital. It is a quick trip to make visits, bring supplies, and coffees:) Following the induction of sweet Gracie a snow storm decided to hit our higher elevations pretty hard causing thousands to lose power for days.  It just so happens our family again is centrally located in town and out of the snow, we never lost power once.  On the other hand my sister in law, her husband, and their four day old baby had no power or heat.  To home base the Vondraks came; they ending up crashing at our place for 5 days and we relocated Thanksgiving to our home. Oh wait the story doesn't end yet. Just when I thought things were about to settle down my Dad gets admitted to the hospital and has to have an emergency surgery. Again I am only five minutes from him which seems pretty handy as my sisters and I can take turns watching the kids at my house (home base) and visiting my Dad. So the moral of my story is God has put us exactly where he wants us no matter what I may think. He is an awesome God and I can't thank him enough for all the blessings he has brought into my life. Everyday he shows me his love more and more. Today I am thankful for healthy family, and our HOME BASE.

May the Lord give you understanding in all things. 2 Timothy 2:7

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the word "nurse" means "nourisher" in the Greek.

As I hold Violet in my arms and nurse her to sleep I cherish the moments more and more. Lately I have realized this is one of the rewarding things God has called me to do; be a Mommy. The Lord has put a role upon me to be The Nurturer, The Nourisher, and The Nest builder of our home. I feel it is my duty to keep my family healthy and do everything in power to provide them with healthy nourishing foods.  Violet is my second and I am a little different now than I was with Ryden. 

You see with Ryden my pregnancy wasn't exactly easy which is a whole other story in its self, but because of that hard pregnancy I did Violet a lot different and got tons of different results. When I say different I mean the way I eat now and how I ate during Violet's pregnancy. My diet was made up of whole foods all of which were organic plus the big one (cod liver oil combined with raw butter oil). I found many helpful things in the book Healing our Children, I can honestly say it changed my way of thinking and opened my eyes.

Now that Violet is here I have continued to study what and when I should be feeding her. She is six months old and I continually get asked  "is she is eating solids yet or rice cereal?" Well the answer to that question is no. Yes I realize I can be giving her rice cereal and other foods but from doing my homework the most nourishing food I can give her is breast milk. That is all a baby needs until the are a year old or longer, that is how God intended it. The doctors recommend rice cereal as the babies first foods only because it is bland. As I have researched it I have found that it is actually one of the worst foods we can give our infant. Rice cereal is a type of grain, one of the hardest foods for our bodies to break down. Violet's digestive system isn't even fully developed until she is a year why are we being told to give them something that is going to make their little bodies work so hard to digest?  Yes Violet has sucked on a banana here and there but for the most part it's my milk.  As she gets older or goes through growth sperts she will be more demanding in her nursing. That is only because she needs more milk and in order for my body to produce more milk she eats more until the demand is supplied.  Violet will be introduced to foods but they will be whole, organic, nourishing foods. I find it so interesting researching stuff like this and it is my duty to keep my family healthy. Another uplifting website which truly touched me was 
www.Above The breastfeeding articles are awesome. Check them out.

I hope this helps some of you or any of you that may read this.  I encourage everyone to do a little of their own homework. Its amazing what we can find in books and on the internet these days. Happy nursing, bonding, healthy living.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

As the seasons change so do our hobbies.

Dirt bike season has finally come as fall begins to make it way here. This past weekend we were all fortunate enough to make a quick trip to one of our families favorite riding spots; Sand Mountain. It was a weekend full of yummy food, riding, camp fires, and time spent with Grammie and Papa.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cousin Love


There's a special kind of closeness
that only families know,
That begins with childhood trust
and deepens as you grow.

There's a special kind of happiness
in sharing little things,
The laughter, smiles, and quiet talks
that daily living brings.

There's a special kind of comfort
in knowing your family's there,
To back you up, to cheer you up
to understand and care.

Of all the treasures life may bring,
your family means the most,
And whether near or far apart,
That love will hold you close.
                                                          Author: (by Glenda Campbell)

Friday, September 10, 2010

No sew flower girl dress.

If there is one thing I wished I knew how to do it would be to sew. My grandmother gave me her sewing machine and now the challange is learning how to sew while putting use to that dusty kenmore. So in the mean time the glue gun and paint will be my best friend when it comes to Do it you self projects. The project I did this evening included some tulle, ribbon, fancy ribbon with flowers, elastic, and my new best friend; the hot glue gun. We have a love hate relationship, I can do almost anything I need to with him but he often leaves some nice little burns on my figures. You would think my finger tips would be use to hot things by now considering  my two recent jobs were carrying hot plates and using curling irons and flat irons. Oh no that glue hit my figure tips and I bite my lip while jumping up and down until it cools. Some day I wont have to deal with this because I swear I'm going to sew sooner than later.

The project we did tonight, the glue gun and I, was a trial run for a tutu flower girl dress. In a week an a half my sweet little family will be vacationing in Maui while some of our good friends get married there. Myself, husband, and son are all in the wedding while my daughter is not officially in it due to her age. The bride doesn't have a flower girl and probaby would have asked my daughhter but you see she is only three months old. Anyways the bride was thinking of having her wear a onsie and tutu, I decided to try and make a tutu flower girl dress. It turned out okay but is a little see through, we don't have many fabric options here in our small town so ivory is the only coordinating color I could find. For my first try I think it turned out okay besides the see through part. I may or may not put her in this but it was a fun project for my Friday evening:) I would have taken a picture of her in it but she is already asleep. Happy weekend all!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

3 months old.

I feel like it was just yesterday you entered this world and I held you for the first time as you made my heart melt. But now you are already three months old. Violet you are smiling, holding your head up nicely, and yes even rolling over. I love you more and more each day. Thanks to Jodi for taking these stunning photos

It's finally her turn

One of my all time favorite things to do is throw a good shower or party. I find it to be lots of fun to decorate for parties and spend some good quality time surrounded by loved ones. This particular party was a bridal shower for one of my dearest friends. The theme was a sassy, cocktail, lingerie party. It fit her personality perfect and turned out just as us bridesmaids had hoped. I'm truly honored to be your part of your wedding and couldn't ask for a better friend. I love you Melissa. These photos were taken by

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Four Years and Counting!

This picture was taken a little over four years ago, it was the night "My babe" asked me to marry him. That's right we are covered in mud and it's totally us. He took me up on his quad (back when I use to ride on the back of him) and we watched the sunset. It was Valentines day 2006 and he got on one knee, after asking my Dad's permission to have my hand in marriage. It was a pretty awesome being to a happy life to say the least.
That following summer is when I truly asked Jesus into my heart. As you can see this isn't the usual baptism in the church but once again this is us. The baptism took place at my in laws house with our Pastor and all the elders and wives gathered round. I really love this memory and the new beginning it created.No more riding on the back of you babe. A 2006 450 is now what I get to ride. I guess you can't be part of his Family and not have a bike. Thanks for the awesome gift wonderful in-laws. This will be part of many great family vacations.

"You may kiss the bride" or "kiss her" I forget how my father in law said it but this was the moment we became husband and wife. And for a little while it was just the two of us "honey and babe." That moment of just the two of us didn't last long though......Now Honey and Babe have created a family and are blessed with two beautiful babies. Thank you for the past four loving years of marriage BABE. On Thursday is our anniversary and I want you to know I couldn't have wished for a better husband and father to my children. I love you!!!!! Here's to many more amazing memories.

Friday, September 3, 2010

While you were napping I was crafting!

Today has been one of those stressful days where I just want to scream. My son is going through what you call the terrible twos and my darling little girl is acting like she is teething while dealing with a diaper rash. Needless to say there has been many tears around our house today and when nap time finally arrived I needed to de-stress. Laundry desperately needed my attention but this Momma needed to take a moment and do something fun. How about a little crafting:) I had some extra fabric laying around from Violets bumper for her crib and two plain pieces of canvas. And waaalaa. A fun little art piece to match Violets room and a happy Momma who is in a much better mood. I think I hear a baby waking up......tata

Friday, August 27, 2010



The past week my sister in law and I have been making use of all the hard work our family has put into the garden. It has been many months of getting the garden ready over at a "step of health" but it is finally paying off. The first part of the week we made what we thought was a big batch of salsa but to our surprise that was nothing compared to Thursdays project. My mother in law picked a huge bunch of tomatoes. We were trying to figure out how many pounds this would have been; we were thinking anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds of tomatoes. Next time we are going to weigh them before we make use of them just for the fun of it.

The work started at 11:00 after my sister in law was done teaching school to her younger brother. This was our first time canning and we had some interesting distractions along the way one of them being a small stove top fire with lots of salt to put it out. Going into this blind we luckily had the help of our Aunt and Mother who popped in and out to give us tips and steer us in the right direction. The result was 12 cans of tomato sauce and a crazy 5 gallons of salsa. Let me tell you I was in AHAHHHHH when we figured the salsa had come out to 5 gallons. We finished up at about 6:30 with lots of nourishing foods and a very dirty kitchen. Next week's project will probably be ketchup and pesto.

Thank you Lord for providing us with this amazing food. We are doing what we can to use our resources to the best of our ability and let no food go to waste. While trying to be obedient to the Lord I see his blessings just as he has promised.

"Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks." Deuteronomy 28:4

Friday, August 20, 2010

My first canning experience.

The other day while up at my in laws house the young boys came inside with baskets full of veggies. I was offered some and cheerfully excepted. My cucumbers didn't want to come up this summer but lucky for me there are rows of them at my mother in laws. I have been reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and have been trying out many of her recipes. The section I am enjoying very much right now is the Lacto-Fermented Vegetables. With the cucumbers I came home with I decided to try my first canning experience and it was a success well the canning part, they are still on the counter. I followed Sally Fallon's recipe for Pickled cucumbers.

4-5 pickling cucumbers
1 tbsp. mustard seeds
2 tbsp. fresh dill
1 tbsp. sea salt
4 tbsp. whey
1 cup filtered water or more to cover cucumbers

After adding all of the ingredients to the jar seal tightly and leave at room temperature for 2 days. By lacto fermenting veggies it is said to positively help with asthma, skin problems, and auto immune disorders. I believe not only does it help with these things but it is also an inexpensive, yummy, healthy way to eat and preserve veggies for fall and winter.

Yeaaa I'm so excited my first canning experience was easy and fun. I have plans to do many more recipes such as sauces and more. I never really realized how easy and beneficial this lacto fermented process was:) The Ginger ale and Beet Kvass in the picture are also lacto fermented beverages that I try and consume everyday. They have many of their own benefits which can be found in Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions as well.

Happy Canning;)

Cloth Diapers

Going back in time when they used cloth diapers and had diaper service. Well minus the pins and diaper service these are new and improved cloth diapers. I didn't do this with my first born but after making multiple trips to Wal-Mart just to spend 40$ on diapers I started to re think things. After having our second child I have decided to stay home with the kids as long as possible but in order to do this we have to do some serious budgeting. Every dime has a name and thanks to the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace classes we are able to make this work.

Bum Genius is the brand of diapers we have decided to go with and invest in, well kind of invest in. They were a very generous gift from Grammie and well appreciated. Not only did we purchase the organic bum genius diapers but we also ordered the sprayer for the bathroom. This sprayer comes in handy because it is right next to the toilet and you simply spray the dirty diaper into the toilet. This way you aren't having to deal with gross soiled diapers in your washing machine. This has been our first week using them and it seems to be going nice.

While researching whether I was going to make the switch to cloth diapers these are some of the interesting facts I discovered which gave me the incentive to switch over. First off cloth diapers in the long run are cheaper and environmental friendly. The average family spends about 2500$ on disposable diapers per child. To invest in the organic Bum Genius package it was any where from 350$ to 400$ with the sprayer; the package included 12 diapers. The non organic ones are a little cheaper. Disposable diapers take anywhere from 10 to 1000 years to degrade. Crazy to think about huh. Not only did the money and environment change my mind about disposable diapers but so did the fact that they contain toxic stuff. Some of the toxins are sodium polyacyslate which are in the gel beads that absorb the urine. This is the same material banned from woman's tampons in 1985 due to the cause of toxic shock syndrome. Another chemical found in disposable diapers is dioxin which is a highly dangerous chemical linked to cancer. Along with toxins there is also the interference with growth of the testicles in young boys. This happens because disposable diapers heat up the testicles and cause growth problems. Lastly disposable diapers are proven to increase diaper rash.

You may be reading this thinking wow this is really one sided but these are the things that helped me make my choice.Yes it may be a little harder to rinse the diaper and place in a pail to be washed but not much different then walking to the garbage to throw it away. I have many friends who think I am crazy and the thought of cloth diapers is gross but when it comes down to it its really a simple thing, a lot healthier for child and environment, and costly for the life I'm trying to live right now.

Happy diaper changing:) now we are on a mission to potty train our first born.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A little summer softball.

Softball has become one of our families favorite summer hobbies. The team I cheer for has lots of family members on it along with church family too. There is one player who is my all time favorite though............

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My first garden.

For Valentines Day this past February my amazing husband surprised me with raised garden beds. Now 6 months later we are enjoying our very first veggies. My mother in law is a pro at gardening and helped me plant the vegetables. There is just something so rewarding about watching seeds turn to food from just a little water and sunshine. Thank you Lord for these simple resources which give us these simple nourishing foods.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

April Showers Bring May Flowers.

After lots and lots of rain a quick spring came bringing flowers and green pastures. And as the sane goes "April Showers Bring May Flowers;" our sweet family of three got even sweeter and became four. Little Miss Violet joined us May 22nd.