This is my Wildflowerdays Blog. Here you will find slices of my life. They may be served up in the form of a recipe, a new technique for surviving the wild, delightful days of motherhood, or simply a broken prayer to my Father. I am a daughter of God, working on growing up. I am a stay-at-home chef on a budget. I make soap.
Welcome to my humble space.
Please pray for us.
That’s all. Just pray for us please.
Thing’s ain’t easy right now.
You can pray for the roofing job too. At this point, we are stalled and unable to continue until further notice. A lot of things had to happen to make the roofing job happen. And those things are now hanging here and there. An enormous amount of grace and faith are needed. I feel very empty of those things right now.
Other spiritual battles happening right now too.
Thanks for your support and love.
It’s been a brutal week. Just not gonna’ mince any words. Last week, my stomach crashed. Again. In trying to figure out why the pain was so high again, I realized that I had taken a lot of Vitamin C, forgetting that it can really do a bad deal on my gut. I was fighting another cold, thus the Vitamin C.
I decided to ignore the gut and I went and did my first interview/photo shoot for Ulrich. I’m doing some of Craig’s work while he does roofing. I really enjoyed it. It was easy and fun! It’s pretty simple. Nothing dramatic. You go and take pics and chat with people who have bought sheds from Ulrich. Then you write it up and post it on Facebook.
That night, while Craig was showing me the social media ropes, I was feeling really awful. And by the next day, I was down. This was no stomach ulcer. This was something entirely different. Extreme nausea, horrible stomach cramps that I had to breathe through, and extreme diarrhea. While nursing a great, big baby. He eats no food yet. Doesn’t think it’s worth his time…
Friday evening we went to the ER. To rule out appendicitis. If you know me, you know how much I did not want to do this. I highly respect medical professionals, and am very, very grateful for them and to them. But it’s so hard to know what I really should and what I should not put into my body. I declined all the meds they were going to put into my IV drip. They were all for symptoms only. And while we were there, the cramping calmed down a lot. So we also declined the CAT scan. We went home. The nausea and pain were so terrible again that night that I felt myself nearly panicking. That’s when I realized that there was a lot of fear going on. So I kicked it out. The pain went down several notches immediately.
On Saturday our friend from church, Julia came over. She is a mom and midwife and was grandma to my kids and mom to me. She gave me all sorts of things to drink and take, and there was no way I was going to be dehydrated with Julia here to take care of me! She did laundry and cooked food. She truly was Jesus’ hands and feet to me that day. And no, she didn’t have time to come spend that precious chunk of the day at my house.
I was finally convinced that I was getting well. But was still feeling weak and needed to be careful to rest a lot.
Sometime that day, I realized that Saucy, our dog, was not eating her food. I had this vague memory of not seeing her running around like usual. Sunday I stayed home with the kids and rested. Monday I realized that Saucy was truly sick. She was not eating, and sat around drooping. It looked enormous for me to take her to a vet, and Craig was working crazily to get his roofing job humming along. We are also back to being a one car (van) family, so most of the time, I don’t have a vehicle.
We got some worm medicine from our friend, Kathy, who raises dogs and was helping us try to diagnose Saucy.
Today I went outside to give Saucy more honey, to try and up her blood sugar and stimulate her appetite. I noticed with alarm that she would not open her mouth or respond to me. She was sitting up. I came inside, grabbed my phone, ran back outside, and called Craig.
And watched her die.
The afternoon has been really hard. We loved her so much. She was full of energy and spark and protected us with her life. (Remember the rabid skunk story?) I felt so horrible. I totally failed her. Yes, I was sick last week, but I should have…taken her to a vet this week. I should have…something.
And then, all the questions from the kids…
So that has been the week. Don’t pity me. I’m blessed. Just shaken and sore.
Your prayers for the next week are deeply appreciated as I work through some spiritual stuff.
Blessings and love~
We got the job. After two weeks of waiting and answering questions~they finally said YES!
If you have never seen Craig Miller jazzed…come visit us.
If you have never seen his wife with a strange mixture of jazzed and dread, come visit us.
We are so grateful. Really, so grateful to God. Amen.
So…in case you want to keep praying!
Craig is going to be busier than busy. We are both going to do as much work as possible on his Ulrich social media job. So I will be busier than busy too. But not as busier than busy as Craig will be. Practically, this means that in the evenings/cold/rainy days, Craig will be working hard on his Ulrich job. It means that I will possibly be going out and doing some photo shoots/interviews of shed/cabin customers and their buildings, editing photos, and creating something that hopefully sound professional.
I am heading into this next month…tired. We are fighting virus’ that keep coming at us. Craig was gone on Saturday returning our borrowed truck to KS, so I didn’t have that break/fun day with him as usual. And there will be no more of those for a while.
All this right when I am cracking down on behavior/attitudes/issues with the big three kids.
I don’t want pity or even sympathy! Just your happiness and your prayers.
Thank you so much for caring and praying with us for this job!!! We are so grateful and really excited!
P.S. Did you see that I got some technical help online and fixed almost every bug in my blog?!! Now…just that ultra weird footer thing to figure out yet…
One of my dreams?
To publish a cookbook!
I am very particular about my cookbooks. I use any that give me the recipes I need, want, and love. But every now and then I come across a cookbook that SINGS…
And I say to myself, someday I am going to create a cookbook just like this!!
Every recipe will tell you what it is: Whole30, Paleo, Vegan, GAPS, etc.
There will be gorgeous, amazing pictures, covering whole pages.
It will feel, on the front cover, like this recipe book I am about to break into your life. (below)
Friends, get this cookbook!! Hurry! I am so excited–I want to live in my kitchen and make everything I see on it’s pages!
Today my stomach pain has been at a low 1 or a 0. Earlier this week, it was pretty much constant. That’s when I say, “I can’t do this anymore.” And I either crash in some way, or try something new. I was really hoping that by now the silver treatment would have cured me! My guess is that there is a lot of gut healing that needs to take place yet. And the other day, instead of crashing, Craig and I decided to dive into the GAPS thing.
I ordered two books. They are fantastic. I need a week of solid reading time!
I’ve also been starting back into lactofermentation. This time, I am doing it right, with the airlock lids! I found them for the lowest price on ebay. But they came with no rubber ring to ensure a tight seal. So I ordered a dozen or so rings off Amazon. Now I can make some hay! I started with purple cabbage…
I taped it while waiting for the rubber rings to arrive. It turned out amazing, with that fantastic, acquired flavor of lactofermented vegetables. The kids all like it…the twins love it. Especially that wild, purple color…
The two on the left are this recipe: Cultured Veggies for Flu Prevention. The purple on top is the whey I added from my first batch of sauerkraut to jump start it. The one on the right? My favorite version: open fridge door. Pull out whatever veggies are there. Chop them in the ninja. Add salt. Squish into jar. Cover with airlock.
There’s some cabbage, peppers, onion, spinach, an apple…no recipe. My style. Bad style, but it’s mine.
Honestly, I thought…do I have time to do this lactofermentation thing? Truth is, it saves time. The veggies prepare themselves! I don’t need to fix a veggie for every meal–we have them, ready to go, all tart and delicious, in the fridge! And the fermentation process does so much to make the nutrients available, and add so many amazing probiotics to your gut.
I’m also going wild with broth. I went to Burgundy Beef, where you can spend your life savings and walk out with two grocery bags of meat. I got some real chickens. Four pounds of chicken feet. Their beef broth package, which is a decent, large amount of bones of various styles to make broth. I also got some real, beef gelatin. It is so healing for the holes in my gut. I try to make sure I take something with gelatin several times a day, at least once. I can put it into tea, if my tea is highly flavorful, like creamy pumpkin pie tea. It is nice and smooth and you don’t know it’s there. Of course, it’s fantastic in soups as well.
Below: chicken foot broth. Okay, so there was a chicken carcass in there too…and about a half a dozen feet. It was a wild feeling to open the lid of the crock pot and see chicken toenails sticking up at me…
That broth is yellow, real, and amazing. You don’t even need to add turmeric to mimic the color. I made rice with it today. Yum.
And so I will need to give up a few things like rice and oats…and sourdough bread. For now. Not sure when we will start. But we’re gearing up!
May your day be blessed.
We joined a Homeschool Coop. This is a fantastic answer to my many prayers for my children. I am so grateful!
Coop is held in a church back in the sticks of Alvarado. It’s only about 15 or 20 minutes from home!
The little kids do fun stuff like this to start with, while the older kids split into boys and girls groups. Bomani goes with the boys. This last coop, the boys were taught how to start a fire with flint. One or two of the dads takes the boys group for the first slot.
After that is lunch. I really wish I would have taken a picture of the three, clutching their wrinkled paper bags of lunch as we were leaving for the coop. On Wednesday we had a picnic outside for lunch. A real win for my kids!
After lunch we do crafts or projects of some sort. As it is nearing Thanksgiving, they made these things…
They looove the time just playing outside with the kids too.
Thank You, Jesus.
Craig has been working on this concept for himself, and then…it spills over to me, which is so cool.
Does God want to bless you?
Are you comfortable with asking for His blessing in a certain thing…?
Today we are presenting a roofing bid to a very large company. This job would most likely pay for our equipment and a truck. We really…really want it.
We are lifting our hands…for His blessing. Asking Him for it.
Working to keep our hearts open and soft…trusting His good heart.
Thank you for caring and praying and trusting with us.
I have this thing…where I stand at the check-out counter at HEB and feel a slight sense of panic and a large sense of guilt as I survey the belt completely loaded with fruit, veggies, and the occasional Greek yogurt and almond meal.
Why? Because I know that I am about to put over $100 on our already loaded credit card. Just sayin’. Why can’t I bring home large bags of groceries and spend under $40?
It’s partly because I don’t shop at Aldi. But mostly, it’s because of what we eat.
And then there are the times I look at my kids and realize that they are having a deprived childhood. They barely know what candy is. (By the way, it is the height of respect to ask the mother before offering a child candy. The child may have a problem with sugar, food colors, or there is always the possibility that the mom will simply recoil in horror at the thought of her child eating that stuff.)
They get tic tacs and smarties at church on Sunday. The get the occasional chocolate chip from me. Okay, handful of chips. Juice is to them, what candy is to other kids. They think orange juice to be a sip of heaven.
They don’t get doughnuts. Cookies. They rarely get bread.
For their snacks, they get fruit. Granola. Or something mom has baked and approved.
I am, I realize, making my life busy and full, and keeping them from eating things that most normal children enjoy!
I can be a really mean mom.
Oh, you don’t want to eat your rice and beans?
“Just be hungry then.”
I get tired.
All this is what goes on in my mind.
And then, someone comes out of the blue, speaks truth into my soul, and in the process, gives me a depth of encouragement and life beyond anything I could ask or imagine.
I emailed a friend for some help on lacto-fermentation. This particular friend has really hard health stuff to deal with. She answered my questions, then at the end of the email, this is what she wrote:
I am seriously so amazed at you and the GIFT you are giving your kids of healthy eating at such a young age. It is seriously a huge, huge gift! So many times I’ve wished I would’ve had that for myself.
And so I sit here and cry.
Because so often I feel like a mean monster, making my kids eat their healthy food. So often I feel awful because I spend so much on groceries. So often I feel like I’m spinning my wheels trying to know how and what we should eat.
And in three sentences God tells me that I’m okay. In fact, I’m blessing my children! He tells me to relax. To keep on. To enjoy…
Thank You, Jesus.
So yes, as I told you…I was sick on Monday.
Tuesday I woke up much better! Weak…a bit shaky, but better! So I worked. Too hard. But Jennifer did come help me clean my house! Around 3:30 or so, Craig’s parents arrived! And the party was on…
They brought some flowers from the Rose Garden. Gorgeous…
Wednesday morning Craig went to measure a prospective roof. This roof is, more or less, 40,000 square feet. The roof we’ve been waiting on. Your prayers are quite welcome. Neither of us could sleep for a while Tuesday night because we were so keyed up about it! We pray to land the job. But God is over all. Amen.
After Craig returned…we set off on an adventure to the Fort Worth Zoo! It was fantastic. Okay. So, it would have been even more fantastic had my head not been hurting and my neck tight…but you just gotta’ live anyway. So we did.
And then we ate at Jack in the Box. It was our choice. I guess I wasn’t quite strong enough to handle that sort of food because I got pretty sick on the way home. But I didn’t throw up. After a shower, a rest, and some real food, I felt better. We had a more relaxing evening…as relaxing as an evening is with a hundred kids. And then we went to bed. It was a lovely day!
Dads left early this morning.
Before they came, my sister-in-law in Kansas had asked if I want her extra tomatoes. I said yes! I mean, organic, fresh tomatoes? Who in their right mind wouldn’t say yes?!
This morning I was so tired. I looked at them. They looked at me. I finally just got to work. I pureed them in my Ninja. Then I pushed them all through my plastic strainer to take out the seeds. This is because I read that the seeds give some bitterness. I wanted to try it without!
And then, because I’m a weird, all-or-none kind of person, instead of reducing it for days in my slow cookers into a thick, concentrated paste, I didn’t cook it at all. It smelled so fresh. Like a bowl of heaven. Then I put glucomannan in and stick blended it to thicken it. It was perfect…
All this sounds smooth and like I had my act together. Insert laughter with tears here. I didn’t know how I was going to process this puree. So I went to Raquel’s house and got her heavy duty pressure canner. Came home. Realized that I cannot use it on my glasstop stove. Texted my neighbor. She also has a glasstop stove. Decided that I will need to put my hundred kids into the van and pile all my stuff into the back and drive to church and do it there.
Nearly cried at the thought.
Considered what lovely compost this would make.
Took a half hour rest.
I had put the stuff into my fridge before it started to lactoferment on my counter. On second thought, lactofermenting may have been a really good idea…
Other people were saying that they just water bath their tomato stuff. So I filled all the empty pint jars I had. Water bathed them. Gave the rest of the puree to my neighbor.
And it is now tonight. I promised the kids I would have Bible study with them yet. And look at pictures of yesterday. And give them orange juice.
Yesterday at church I told one of the ladies that I don’t get sick anymore. It’s been so long, I don’t remember when I was last sick! That is a huge “praise the Lord”. Something has changed for me, stomach pain or not.
I am still praising the Lord, but ironically, I got sick yesterday. By afternoon I knew I was on the brink, and by evening I was miserable with a head cold. Today I am chilled, achy, and yes…miserable. And a mom. I can’t call in sick. I am “in”. This is my job. There’s no one else to do it. Amen.
If you are achy and have a head cold, you don’t want to go to bed. Because as soon as you lie down, everything in your body stuffs itself into the top half of your head. Just sayin’. I did sleep for five minutes or so while Enzo sat up and waved his arms around and played next to me. Moms have skills.
I’m thinking of how this teaches me gratefulness all over again. So grateful when I am not sick! So grateful that my immune system is better. So grateful for the Vitamin D the kids and I take. It has cut their sicknesses into…an eighth maybe? Somehow, they still picked this thing up. One gets it, finally the other two succumb. Enzo and I held out for a week. Or more. Then we both crashed at the same time. Only, he’s barely sick. Little sniffles, but not much. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy, cuz the kids don’t sleep well so I lose sleep so I get overtired so I…get sick.
Just thinkin’ it’s time to stop talking about me. Ha ha! Believe it or not, that is not what this blog is for!
I’m in a bit of a strange mood. Beware.
I have posted a few more recipes. They are in one of the above tabs. Just search randomly until you find them. Someday my blog will be so gorgeously organized that you won’t recognize it. For now, it has stumped my mommy brain. So I’m waiting on technical help. Until then, enjoy the chaos…
Now…for some pics of what we’ve been doing…
I am the receptionist for CLM Commercial Roofing. I moved my office into the master bathroom so that in case of a call, I can race in, lock the bedroom door, close the bathroom door, and be mostly free of background noise. I moved it back out because no calls were coming in worth mentioning.
I’m going to be honest, I’m prayed out for our business. I just can’t pray anymore. So I’ll need to rely on you, my friends, to pray. Thank you.
Sourdough, baked pancakes. Amazing. Beyond delectable. Soft, moist, barely chewy, and just…so nutty and delicious. Amen.
I still have my starter in my fridge, but I quit baking bread because the kids didn’t eat it much, and I loved it, and Craig knew better than to eat it (weight control)…and I was getting fat. So I quit. Sad but true. I love using the sourdough in other baked products, however!
We painted it! No longer a very, bright, sunshine yellow…it is now a lovely green. It’s a different green than the sage in our living room. It’s more true. And it looks fantastic with the dark gray. I’m really happy! This will be the boys’ room. The girls will have the plum room. This will happen once our business is singing and we can buy an outdoor office for CLM. When we told the kids that, Bomani went outside and prayed to God for this to happen! Beware of upcoming miracle! (I am speaking mostly to myself. And yes, it will be a miracle for us. We have worked terribly hard and prayed our eyes out that this thing will get some traction and take off. God is good. Always.)
The day we painted the room, I found this cradle for $5. Very happy for a nice place to put the dolls!
You can even put chocolate chips into the sourdough pancakes…
Enzo loves being surrounded with my other 99 kids.
I knew what I wanted. So I created the recipe out of nothing. I’ll post it. It was sort of cheesecake like, but has black beans in it.
We joined a homeschool coop! I am thrilled. The kids are thrilled. Such nice, awesome families for my kids to learn to play and work with. Thank You, God!
Sourdough pumpkin bread. It was beyond fantastic.
Paprika Spice Soap. I infused paprika into the oils and scented it with cinnamon essential oil. Not sure if it will retain much scent as I read that cinnamon can be an irritant, and used only a very little. But it will retain an earthy, burnt orange color!
I made sunblock for people who I love and I want them to live long.
I am struggling with my breakfast now. The kids love granola. Craig eats a big bowl of cooked oatmeal. I read somewhere that you should have protein, fiber, and fat. These cookies have all of the above!!
He is so much fun to get out of bed. He usually plays quietly with his blue teddy until I check on him and find him awake. If I wait too long, he lets out a yell or two. As soon as you open the door, he smiles, even before he sees you. Then you walk over, and he waves his arms and legs wildly, pumps his tummy up and down, and chuckles and looks at you excitedly, begging with more than words to pick him up! And of course, you do. Then he puts his tubby, little arms around your neck, finds any skin possible, and pinches a handful as hard as he can! That’s my Enzo.
Now he is sleeping. I’m going to put Octonauts on for the kids and go take a nap.