Friday, October 30, 2009

I know!

I know. I should blog. Maybe soon. I don't feel like it right now.

Breathe your life anyway!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Okay. Confession time.

In case there are any of you out there who have a disillusioned view of me and my parenting - I now will confess how imperfect I am.

*(If you are easily grossed out or have a sensitive gag reflex, please stop reading now)*

Here's the story. Tyson gave Zac a bowl of cereal for breakfast this morning and then went to take a shower. I was in bed for most of this. Tyson went to clean Zac up and help him down from the table.
I came by later during my normal cleaning routine. The table needed cleaning after breakfast, so I sprayed it down and washed it. Next, I decided that since some of that sticky cereal was on the seat of the booster seat (which Eden usually uses, not Zac), I would take it to the kitchen and dismantle it and clean it out well. (I really do this every once in a while - not often enough - keep reading.)
When I removed that blue part from that white part, I was met with many crumbs and bits of spaghetti noodles etc. I was expecting that. What I did NOT expect was to see movement within the crumbs. Yes, movement. Upon closer look I see that the movement was...wait for it... some sort of worm. I'm guessing it was a maggot. Sick.
I hurriedly cleaned said booster - very well. Then I realized that I could have taken a picture of the grossness to blog about it. Then a little voice inside my head warned me that there are some out there who would see this as some sort of child abuse and call CPS. And you would have picture proof.
Now you know the truth. I am not perfect. Now go about your day, no comments necessary.

Breathe your life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September....WHAT?!?! (and the baby)

I know, I know. It has been FAR too long since you all have heard from me. Well, I took a bit of a hiatus - about two months of a hiatus. As you will read over the next couple of weeks (hopefully) it was a much needed break. Here is why:

  • Birthing a baby is hard
  • Malea had a birthday
  • Hannah had a birthday
  • planning a school year is time consuming
  • Birthing a baby is hard
  • not sleeping through the night for 8 weeks is hard
  • I love summer
  • We've been BBQ-ing instead of blogging
  • and, you guessed, birthing a baby is hard
So, tonight, I will tell you about the birth of Jubilee Amira Lash. We'll get to the rest of it later.

This is Jubilee about a month or so before the due date. I wish I had a just-before-birth photo, but I don't.

It all started (well not ALL - we won't go into the ALL of it) on July 5th at about 7am. Stuff started happening. I won't go into details about this part as I have mixed company reading my blog. Tyson was already at church, so I called and told him that "stuff" was happening. Of course, at this point, he has no plans to get someone else to preach as these baby things take time.

I started having contractions as I am getting the kids and myself ready for church. I'm thinking that I'll just labor through service, no problem. Better than being at home, bored - right? We arrived at church, I had one good contraction, then everything stopped. It was like Jubilee knew that Dad needed to get through the service before her arrival.

Church finished and we went home. I had a couple more good contractions. Actually at this point they were coming about every 10 minutes. Then Dad had to leave for a softball game (seriously). So all signs of baby coming stopped. Again. I called my mom anyway so she could be on her way up from Oregon. Plus, she had Malea's new ITouch that Malea wanted bad.

Tyson got home and for some reason this part is kind of fuzzy two months later. Contractions started up again, but they were pretty inconsistent. Labor with Luke was rather inconsistent as well, so I knew this wasn't too abnormal...for me.

Mom got here. I am mostly just walking around the house, trying to stay busy. We get the kids all in bed except for Malea and Hannah who want to stay up for the party. And I say "party" quite loosely, you will understand why in a moment.

Contractions really start up nicely and I called my amazing midwife at about 10:15. She wants to know if I want her to come at this point. I REALLY don't know! She is the professional. I tell her yes. Midwife arrives and checks me. I'm only dilated to a 5. Dang. I thought I was much further along. I labor and walk and stop and have a painful contraction. Repeat. Repeat....for about another hour or so. Mom, midwife, and hubby are all sleeping on and off at this point. Malea and Hannah go to bed, they are tired and this is taking too long.

Shortly after midnight (July 6th!) midwife checks me again and I'm at 7 centimeters dilated. We choose to have her break my water. I mean, really, let's get the show on the road.

Wow. Now everything is intensely painful and contractions are one on top of another and I can't always see straight and I'm wondering what's taking so dang long and I don't want anyone to touch me and it really really hurts and I'm wondering why I didn't do this in a hospital with an epidural and I'm wondering why I'm doing this in the first place and I want to cry I'm in so much pain. You get the picture, right? I try pushing at some point, but it doesn't do any good. I labored on the chair and then on the toilet. For some reason the toilet was a bit better. When I say "better" I mean it VERY loosely.

My midwife was so great during this - and my mom and Tyson, too. They all pretty much left me alone and tried not to even look at me. I appreciate that. There was nothing they could do to make it better. Midwife checked Jubilee's heart rate periodically. All is well. Except this intense pain, of course.

It's finally time to push. My right leg will not do what I tell it to do. It is mostly stiff. It needs to not be stiff. It needs to move to the side. I literally had to will my right leg to move to the side. I need to get this baby out of my body. So, I push and push and her head comes out. Midwife gets a bit concerned because her shoulders are a bit stuck. I push her out anyway.

Don't get grossed out by the blood. It's really very minimal. And, yes, I birthed this beauty at home. In my bed. The IV is for fluids. I didn't have an IV with Zac. I'm glad I did this time.

Jubilee Amira was born at 3:22am on July 6th weighing in at 9lbs 14oz. and was 22inches tall.

That wet spot under my mouth is not drool. It's sweat. That was the most sweaty experience of my life. My shins were sweating. I know, gross.

On another note, isn't that a beautiful miracle of a baby? I've done this 7 times now and it is still completely amazing to me.

We woke only Malea to see Jubilee right after she was born. I thought my oldest should get first dibs on her new baby sister.

Incidentally, that towel was very warm. My mom kept blankets and towels going in the dryer and we rotated them on Jubilee and me. That was heaven!

Okay, last shot for now. Here's me and a couple other kids about 7am. They were all amazed to wake up to a new baby! They didn't hear any of it and never even saw the midwife! At this point, I'm working off of about 20 minutes of sleep in a 24 hour period. Not bad.

The only person I called to tell the news was my sweet dad. He and his wife came up the next day from Oregon to see us.

So, that's it! I still remember the event in fairly vivid detail. She is an amazing human. I love her. I am thrilled to see what incredible things she does with her life.

Thank you, Father, for a textbook labor and delivery, and for a healthy baby girl.

Breathe your life,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July and summer!

I was debating (with myself) whether or not to have a challenge this month and have decided to NOT have one. I'm still pregnant - hopefully not for long. After Jubilee is born I will have the challenge of working her into our family life, recovering from nine months of pregnancy, and trying to keep the house cool. That's plenty. But I did want to write about how the other challenges have affected me long term.

February's challenge was memorization. I have not memorized any more, but I have to say that the time spent on Matthew 5 and the following couple of chapters have gone a long way in my spiritual life which transcends into my practical life - as it does for everyone if you haven't noticed. God's word is truly bread and life to me. This sounds weird, but sometimes I really feel like I'm breathing the words I read. Can you relate?

March's challenge was to practice piano. Let's just say that I'm leaving the piano playing to my beautiful oldest daughter at this point.

April's challenge was to read this series of books I had been working on. I gave up on that one if you remember correctly. And to be honest, I haven't gotten back into the reading habit. I am naturally a very avid reader - I don't know what has changed. Right now, I am spending time reading the Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Very deep. That man makes you think in just about every sentence. But I feel like I haven't felt passionate about a book in a long time. Probably since reading Loving our Kids on Purpose. I'm very serious about everyone I know reading this book - parent or not. So if you haven't, there is your encouragement. Best parenting book I've ever read - and that says a lot since I've read so many!

May's challenge was to apply some of the information in the Seven Pillars of Health into our families eating habits. Between the memorization challenge and this challenge - these have been the two that have most changed in my life. We are still working on applying the new eating habits that I established back then. We are trying new things, yes, but mostly just enjoying food the way it is supposed to be. Many more fruits and veggies in our diet, much more water, doing way better than I thought on not having white flour and the many forms of unhealthy sugar. Meals seem simpler, which is a plus for me as head chef. The kids have really gotten on board with it too. I just subscribed to Clean Eating magazine which follows much of our new way and gives many yummy recipes. As an aside, Tyson read the section on stress and got a lot out of it. I should encourage him to blog about it.

So that's that. I'm sure the next blog post will be much about a new blessing in our lives, complete with photos. If you are a person of prayer, please pray for us during this time of transition.

Blessings on you and yours.

Breathe your life.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June...lovely June.

So, in case you actually ARE following my blog, you have noticed that I've not put in a new challenge this month. Well, I forgot to tell all of you that June is a great month to NOT have a challenge...especially when one is 9 months pregnant and turning THIRTY-FIVE in the same month! I'm letting myself just be challenged by those two things. That is enough.

Here are some - almost - 35 year-old thoughts:

*35 is half of 70.

*I will be homeschooling until I'm 53 -assuming we take that route until Jubilee is out of the house.

*I have no fear or apprehension about what my life will be like after the 7 kids are grown. I'm looking forward to it. Others in my life think that I will NOT know what to do, that I should keep having babies as long as the Lord allows. That's nice.

*In this season of my life, I could have a self-centered attitude but I'm choosing to enjoy and love the life I've been given.

*All of the boys/men that I thought were hot when I was in middle school are either really old or not so hot anymore. (Think Don Johnson from Miami Vice)

*Twitter is kind of fun.

*I'm about ready to have another birthday...I LOVE my birthday!

*I'm about ready to have another baby! Jubilee Amira Lash - but if it were Amira Jubilee, then she would have my initials.

Choose to have a great day.

breathe your life,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May's challenge

So I read the book Seven Pillars of Health by Don Colbert. It was a good book. Here are the changes my family is or is working on instilling in our house.
  • Weed out the white flour, HFCS, white/brown sugar, MSG (and all the other names for it)
  • Drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, buy as much organic as money allows.
That's enough for now. His book goes in to great detail about supplements and things like that, but I feel we will be more successful with just working on a couple of things right now.

Really our family has been on a healthier eating path for many years. It seems that each time I read a book like this, we come another step or two closer to how I'd love to live. One thing I realized by reading this book (that wasn't even discussed in the book) is that for me, my husband, and my SEVEN children - good eating is something that I'm willing to spend more money on. For some people, food is a great place to save money. Not for us.

Also, here is how the changes are really fleshed out around here.
  • no more Mrs. Butterworths HFCS syrup - moving to pure maple syrup
  • no more white flour in stuff - replacing with whole wheat. This will affect the taste of dutch babies, obviously.
  • MSG (in it's various forms) is in way more stuff than I realized - like my Progresso bread crumbs. Weed that stuff out of the house and find a good alternative or make my own. Did you know that MSG can be included in stuff under the ingredient "spices"?
  • no more white or brown sugar...and less honey. Working on alternatives for this. Agave nectar has gone over well as has pure maple syrup.
  • We are already big water drinkers around here, but I'd like to invest in stainless steal water bottles like these. Anyone want to invest in some as gifts for us??
  • Cereal is pretty much out. Gross stuff in most of it. The healthy, organic options are just not cost worthy, so now we're coming up with other breakfast options like homemade granola - oatmeal is relatively cheap.
All in all, I think this has been a pretty productive challenge for me. I'm in charge of making great healthy food choices for my family, so I want to do all I can to instill good habits in my babies now.

What are you doing to become more healthy?

Breathe your life!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


So if you are following my husband's blog, you will know that he is putting a big plug in for signing up for Twitter. I've been a skeptic since I found out about it. Really, who actually wants to know when I'm changing a stinky diaper or showering for the first time this week? And really, do I want to know when YOU are doing those things? Do I really need to be hyper-connected with you?

Well, apparently the answer is yes. I've been convinced because of the reasons Tyson pointed out in his blog post and because we were just in Oklahoma City visited a friend who is hyper-connected to like a bagillion people. Because of his connections via Twitter, he has personally connected and met with over 30 people in his city that he would have not had the opportunity to otherwise.

So for someone like me - who is at home most always during the day and at church with mainly the same people weekly - how cool would it be to meet someone at, say, Safeway that I "know" because we follow each other on Twitter?

I'm still not on Facebook, but I've been told numerous times that I should be. Apparently, I'll be glad I did because then I can see pictures of people I knew in 5th grade. (Still trying to figure out the benefit of that. Seriously, that was 25 years ago!)

Anyway, if you want to "follow" me on Twitter, just look up my name in about 10 minutes. I guess I'll be there telling you all of the great details of my life.

Breathe your life,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May - half way into it now...

So this month is our Eden's birthday. She turned 4 and here is a picture of her and her wink.

I will have to get the picture of her in her birthday outfit up soon, but right now the batteries are dead in the camera and our next Costco trip (where we purchase said batteries) is not until early next week.

Eden is full of life and is working on learning that - no - the world does not actually revolve around her. Eden Bailee means "delightful administrator"and that she is. We often joke that everyone just does what she wants (administrator) because she IS so delightful. It really is hard to say no to this one.
Not really sure what she is up to in this picture. Probably showing us her angry face....

April's challenge was a bust - I must say. I'm giving all of the books back. I give up. I need to read something different. I did get through 2 more in April, but that is really all I can manage right now.

So I just read Going Home by Wanda Brunstetter. I don't really recommend it. It was a quick read about and Amish lady who went to find fame with the "Englishers" then came home for a visit. I won't give the rest away in case any of you are set on reading it. You will know what happens at the end by reading the first three pages though. My daughter, Malea, is reading it now and she had the same feeling as I did about it: too much repitition (like actually saying the same things over and over and over) and the author (though I'm sure she is a wonderful lady) leaves nothing to the imagination. The reading is TOLD everything, leaving nothing to the imagination. Anyway, I'd rate it a 1 out of 5.

I'm also reading the Seven Pillars of Health by Don Colbert, MD. He breaks up the "seven pillars" into 50 days of nice bite-sized chunks. So far, I've read about the importance of drinking water, how much to drink, and what type to drink. My monthly challenge for May is to read two-days worth per day (I'm such a rebel) and impliment the suggestions for better health. It's a very good read and very informational.

One more thing before I go change another stinky diaper: Tyson allowed me to speak on Sunday, Mother's Day. It was a great church service and you can check out my message called Finding Myself HERE .

Have an excellent day. (I don't know why I'm in underline mode right now)

Breathe your life.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

APRIL!!!! (the challenge, the activities, etc. etc.)

Wow! April definitely crept up on me...probably because this morning it was SNOWING....AGAIN! I woke Malea up with an April fools joke that it was snowing and about 2 hours later, it really was snowing. I'm challenging myself to be thankful for the weather. Maybe that should be my hard thing to do this month? Sounds kind of shallow.

Last month's challenge was to practice piano for 20 minutes a day five days a week. I did pretty well with that one. I picked up my Alfred piano book for adults that I finished about six years ago and got about 2/3 through that. I would like to keep it up and finish the second book that I only made a little progress with when I was taking lessons.


This month I also read The Chosen by Chaim Potok. There was so much to glean from this thought-provoking book. The author was amazing at captivating and drawing the reader into the story, even a female in an all-male story. I appreciated learning about the Jewish culture in New York during and shortly after WWII. What struck me the most though was the involvement the fathers had in the lives of their sons education and personal lives and the fathers dedication to religious instruction in their sons. Those boys knew and memorized an amazing amount of scripture and commentary. I also just loved the interaction - not just teaching and telling the son, but really interacting with opinions and thoughts being valued.


This next week is special because of two young mens' birthdays!!!

Luke will be 7! He is amazing. Luke has a love for life that he will not let be ignored. Luke loves Legos and creatures of all kinds. He is a great big brother and little brother. He does VERY well with his school work and helps much around the house. Happy birthday, Bubba!

And Zachariah will be TWO! This is my baby. I delivered him at home which was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. He can tell you he is TWO as he holds up most of his fingers...I shoud get a picture of that one. He loves cars and books and dogs and guys (you know the Playmobil guys). And I'm so thankful that at times he still likes to cuddle. I'm sure this one will be a great big brother to his baby sister coming this summer! Happy Birthday, Mac!


And now for the moment you all have been waiting for! April's challenge is to read the rest of this Historical Fiction series on American History that I'm borrowing. I think I have six more books to read so that I can return them! I have a great motivation for this since I do NOT like clutter and the stack of books is sitting on the shelf at the top of the stairs and I just want to put them away! Maybe I'll blog about each as I read them. They are very interesting and I just love history anyway.


I would really like to blog on my thoughts to Tyson's Kingdom Matters sermon series. God has challenged my thinking and brought depth to my life through these messages. I just looked at the church web site...hummmm...I think I will need to gently encourage that sweet pastor to get the rest of the series on there!

Remember: Breathe your life.
Grace and Peace,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The big guy's birthay!!!

Our JJ is 5 today! He is such a sweet young man. His parents and siblings just adore him. JJ is quite unique in that he is not overly talkative (unless you take him out by himself) and he seems just fine taking it all in and not being noticed. I will post his birthday pictures tomorrow. Today he chose to lunch at the Olive Garden with Mom and Dad. He wore his "fancy" clothes and got several oohs and aahs from the teenage girls there!

Sweet man.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Memorization. A tricky thing, really. My 10 year old daughter can work on a memory piece for 15 minutes and she has it - even weeks later. My 34 year old brain is not as amazing for some reason. I think the main thing is that it is so very out of practice. That is sad.

But truthfully, in my adventure to memorize Matthew chapter 5 this month, I have been both disappointed AND quite surprised with myself. Disappointed because I'm only on verse 16 out of FORTY-EIGHT! Quite surprised because I have actually memorized SIXTEEN verses! I have stuck with the goal! I do plan on finishing the chapter even though the month may get away from me. And, I do still have 8 more days to work on it. So, if I memorized four verses per day.....

In my next post, I will go in to some detail of the benefits of memorizing such a long piece of scripture. The biggest benefit being that I am spending large amounts of concentrated time on one section. Great for meditation.

Also, next months challenge WILL be the practicing piano one since my piano is being delivered this Monday! I am so excited. It has been sitting in our old house (now a rental) since last April - waiting to have an obnoxious amount of money invested in it to have it professionally delivered to our house here in Gig Harbor. I'm hoping that it will not need much work (tuning) done to it. The instrument probably does deserve a good tuning though. It will have been through four moves come next week and I do not know when it was tuned before it was given to me.

Until then, take care and keep challenging yourself.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

the new year

Okay. The year 2009 is upon us. Whatever happened to "we're gonna party like it's 1999"???? Ten years later:
  • we did NOT have to prepare for Y2K
  • I have 4 more children and am pregnant with the 5th
  • we've moved FOUR times
  • Prince (or the artist formerly known as Prince) is a vegan and the man is STILL performing!
So this year I'm feeling ambitious. I'm going to start a challenge for myself. Every month I'm going to choose something hard to do for the month. I read about someone else doing this, like, two years ago and I thought it was a great idea. I'll post about my journey on this blog since I know it will be very interesting to so many people out there.

Here are some ideas I have so far:
  • Next month (February) I'm going to memorize chapter five of the book of Matthew.
  • Eat only fruits and veggies for lunch - then maybe for breakfast too.
  • practice piano for 20 minutes a day/five days a week
  • read "X" amount of books - or books on a certain topic - or some kind of reading challenge
  • Stay OFF of the internet except for this blog and my email
  • finish every project I've started and is waiting to be finished (like the stocking, Malea!)
Anyone have any other ideas?

have a blessed journey,