Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Surprise in the Mail from a Sweet Sister



OK, as a reward for staying up with an awake baby after everyone else got to go to bed, I get to blog. He was asleep before everyone else and if I had been mean and left everyone else to their own devices, as in no bedtime stories, then I would have been asleep too. But as others got ready for bed they woke him up. Grrr. The result is that I get to write this. I wonder what mothers did to stay sane with babies before the Internet.

A few weeks ago, I got a delightful surprise in the mail. A package addressed to me from an unfamiliar return address in Ohio. What could it be? Money? Jewelry? Tickets to a cruise? It turns out it was something fun and a total surprise, the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. My sister had mentioned this book to me just a week prior. There was no message or card so I figured she was the sender. A telephone call confirmed my suspicion. It wasn't even my birthday, what a nice treat from her! This is a picture of her and her darling family.

If I hadn't have been so greedy I would have stopped to take the picture of the gorgeous artisan bread she made using one of the recipes. She sent this bread home to me the week before when my husband and kids went to visit her. But no, I saw that bread and had to dive right in and eat some. It looked like something straight out of Martha Stewart's magazine.



So now Emily, my sister, makes all her own bread and it takes only five minutes a day. She is a busy young mom of four little children ages 6 and under, so if she can do this, anyone can. The authors of this book met at their children's Kindermusik class- I love it! They have designed a recipe that teaches you how to mix up bread dough, keep it in the fridge, and then whenever you want fresh bread you cut off a hunk of dough and bake it. Sounds heavenly!

You can check it out at artisanbreadinfive.com. The authors have a new book out called Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. So I guess we can have either artisan or healthy but not both at the same time? Either way I love their concept. Why didn't someone think of this before? Why has homemade bread always been such a chore, unless you used a breadmachine? It's kind of like suitcases on wheels. It's amazing they just came out in the past decade. Our society just keeps getting better and better, it makes me giddy wondering what great advancement will happen next.

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

I have so much to write about! Last week I finished three books: They Loved to Laugh, Paradise Vue, and Anatomy of Peace. I will give a review of each later. I got my camera back two days ago, all fixed and ready to go so I will be able to put more pictures on this site. It has been hard to be without a camera for over a month! Especially with a brand new baby. Two of my children broke it because I let them use it to take pictures. (Note to self, don't let them touch it, ever.) My son is working on a new web site for me, a sister site to this blog, that I am so thrilled about it. When it's done I will have ebooks for sale about natural mothering as well as the audio and video files for sale from my Christ-centered natural family living conference that I held last spring.

I saw in the Chinaberry catalog a new book called The Gift of An Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison. I read Katrina's other book, Mitten Strings for God, eight years ago and LOVED it. This book looks like a sequel, with her kids as teens. I can't wait to read it. I have been thinking about the idea from her title. Yesterday was an ordinary day and what a gift it was. The night before that, we took our baby to the hospital to get his blood drawn. He's eight weeks old and had a fever on Monday and Tuesday.

I don't normally rush off to the doctor when my kids have fevers, thanks to what I've read in How to Keep Your Child Healthy In Spite of Your Doctor by
Dr. Robert Mendelsohn. But I've heard that fevers in young babies warrant action. Dr. Sears says that if a baby seven weeks to four months old has a fever over 101 degrees to take him to the doctor. So off we went on Tuesday after a miserable Monday night of my baby sleeping in my arms most of the night. The doctor wanted to test the baby's blood to rule out a bacterial infection such as meningitis.

So Tuesday night after the appointment with the doctor we went to the hospital. It's not so easy to draw an eight-week old baby's blood, we found out. The phlebotomists worked for over an hour with my screaming baby. They poked him three times in his arm but could not get the vein to bleed enough to get blood. It was so heart-wrenching to watch my crying baby. Finally they poked him in the heel and were able to get enough after milking it for over half an hour. I was able to nurse him through the heel poke and that helped. What an ordeal the whole night was..

So yesterday, with the fever gone and the results in from the lab saying that his blood looked normal, I reveled in the ordinariness of the day. No one sick, no appliances were broken, the baby was sleeping with regular naps, the kids didn't fight too much, and I could actually work on processing some apples and fix dinner, instead of going to the doctor and then the hospital. So thank you God, for the gift of an ordinary day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Done Any Family History Lately? It's Actually Fun!

So, to follow up on a previous post about family history, I found out that the temple work has been done for my great-grandmother, who was orphaned at age 12. This was a painless procedure. I didn't have to leave my home to go to a family history center or even finish taking the family history course at church or read the accompanying booklet from cover to cover.

I simply went to the new family history website for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is new.familysearch.org. This site is sooooo cool! You can sign in and in a jiffy you can see what ancestors of yours are in the Church's database as well as what temple work needs to be done for your people. From what I can tell, the old family history website doesn't show what temple work needs to be done very clearly. I am a novice to family history and even I could use this site very easily! It is totally user-friendly.

I had to go far back in the generations to find out where some temple work needs to be done. I am descended from the famous reverend John Lathrop like over half of Utah Mormons and I was surprised to see that for some of his family, temple work still needs to be done.

One of the amazing things about this site is that you can see who else is out there, working on the data and instantly connect with them to send questions if you see discrepancies arise over dates and names. Email and the Internet were just made for family history work, I'm telling you.

I feel more connected to my fourth great grandmother. i have this book about Sudweeks (my maiden name) family history but I never knew exactly how I was connected to the different people in it. It tells the story of Mica Martina Margretta Katrina Pedersen. She joined the LDS Church in Denmark back in the 1850s because she gained a testimony from hearing the missionaries. She was persecuted for this. She would walk down the street and get pelted by eggs and rocks for becoming a Mormon. Still, she persisted in her new faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. When she heard the Mormons were moving to Zion, she told her husband she wanted to go to. Her husband didn't want to go. She begged and pleaded. He refused. Finally she insisted that she go and he said he didn't want to be married to her anymore or be part of this new religion. She left, taking their baby. She gave up her homeland and her husband for her newfound faith in Jesus Christ.

By looking at the pedigree charts at new.familysearch.org I was able to quickly figure out that this rock of a woman was my fourth great grandmother. Wow! All these years and I never knew I had such amazing female heritage.

I encourage you to all set aside your excuses and go do some family history work. It's as close as your favorite blog or website. It's a huge blessing that we can do it right in our own homes now from our favorite entertainment device, the Internet. This is a prophecy fulfilled. My sister-in-law, the family history guru extraordinaire, showed me this prophetic quote from Archibald Bennett from decades ago. He remarked that someday there would be a system that we would all use that would connect people from across the globe and generations in order to do family history. That time has come and you can give up some of your blogging and gaming on the Internet to do it!

A great story in the Ensign appeared a few years ago. It told of a busy mom of a large family who took time every day during her youngest child's nap to do family history. She was extremely blessed for this. I'm not ready to give up naptime every day to do family history but I'm going to shoot for once a week and hopefully still get some blessings.

I Feel Humbled

After that last post I had a revealing thought. I realized that the woman who wrote the sickeningly sweet blog that I was complaining about (the wife of the classmate I had a crush on in sixth grade) was willing to share a problem on her blog that I've had and haven't been willing to publicize to the world, let alone my closest friends. So I feel humbled to know that and I will stop feeling harsh about her.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Somebody Slap Me

When I have the rare free moment, like in the middle of the night when my newborn won't go back to sleep, I take a peek at a blog written by the wife of the guy I had a crush on in sixth grade. I thought about giving you the link but that just seems so voyeuristic. I don't know about you all, but I don't like the typical mommy blogs, especially the "Molly Mormon Mommy" Blogs. They are disgustingly and annoyingly shallow. Brimming with pictures of perfectly groomed, smiling children at overly-commercialized birthday parties or outings, they present the scenario that life is all about what we look like and what we consume for parties, holidays, and outings.

Just once, I would like to read a blog that presents some problems. "The dishwasher is broken and it will be next month before we have the money to fix it. I couldn't afford a birthday present for Sally so we gave her homemade presents. Our Dad is out of work but we are fasting and praying that he will find something. I took our only queen-sized bedspread to the laundromat to wash since it won't fit into our washer at home and it got stolen. The dog ran away and after months of praying he came home, but was injured. We had to take him to the vet to get checked out and the bill came to be $800. The kids are constantly fighting and I can't get Jr. to stop picking his nose..."

OK, OK, so it's no fun to read a list of complaints. I agree. I guess I don't really want to read negative stuff either, but I would like to read more than just an entry about what people did or ate or got for presents. I would like to read more about what other mommies are thinking, what they are reading, and how they are connecting with their children so they see a sparkle in the child's eyes that doesn't come from something that was bought. If my life ever becomes so shallow that all I write about is my daughters' hairstyles, their clothes, or outings we go on, somebody please slap me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Become a Dr. Mom


Want to become a "Dr. Mom" in your own home?

Dr. Steve Doughty, naturopathic doctor from St. George, will be giving a natural healing webinar. Come learn with me!

With current trends of proposed legislation towards controlling healthcare along with growing virus concerns, it is time to become educated & prepared. This class is designed for people just like you and I - individuals who are ready to become self reliant in becoming our own doctors (or at least much more so). Specifically the course will cover:


* 30 herbs every home should have on hand & how to use them
* 6 skills of a natural herbalist (teas, tinctures, capsules, salves, poultice and jellies)
* Healing & Preventing (everything from the common cold to pandemic virusess)
*Crisis Cures bleeding, shock, fevers, blocked airways, etc.


Saturday mornings from 6:00-8:00 a.m. MST
October 10th - November 14th
Cost is $100 for the 12 hour class.

Please email me privately at celestia_shumway@yahoo.com and I will get you signed up.