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Friday, September 28, 2012

Maybe You Ladies Can Help Me

This post is for my lady-friends, only, please...

Girls, I've really been struggling with something for a while, and I thought perhaps some of you may be able to shed some light on my issue for me.

I am 36 years old, and gave birth to my last child 2 1/2 years ago (he was a stillborn). Ever since Matthew's birth, my hormones have run amok in my body. My cycles seem to have returned to a teenage state - I am experiencing symptoms that are unusual for me during a menstrual cycle. They are more similar to my pregnancy symptoms, or my cycles as a teenager. The most major physical symptoms are acne and tender breasts (who has acne at 36 years old?).

 But worse than that, approximately two weeks before my cycle each month, I feel like a monster is raging inside of me, or like a pressure cooker ready to explode. I get completely overwhelmed about normal life. I have no desire to be around or talk to anybody. I feel powerless to get control of these emotions. I feel like everyone around me would be better off if I closed myself up in my room until it subsided. And it will subside, a few days after my cycle begins.

Several months ago, my OB/GYN put me on 10 mg of generic Prozac. She convinced me that many women experience changes in their cycles at my age, and feel this medication takes the edge off the symptoms. I was very hesitant to start medicating the problem, but didn't know any other immediate answers to my issue. I eat pretty healthy already, and am pretty active. So I went ahead and got the prescription.

Initially, I felt relief, just as the doctor said. I felt more in control of my emotions and feelings during those few weeks prior to my cycle.

However, the past few months, I feel like the medication has been less effective. I'm very frustrated. I feel most sorry for my family, whom I feel is robbed of their wife and mother for those days my hormones take over each month. It definitely interferes with my ability to perform daily functions as usual.

If, indeed, this is part of perimenopause, which my doctor did not think it was, do I have to live like this for the next 10 years? I do know that women in my family have struggled with strong hormones like me. I have already begun to pray that the Lord would just heal me.

Can anyone shed some light on what's happening with me? I am open to hearing anything, especially if you have discovered any natural ways to battle hormones. I appreciate any input you have.

Thank you, gals, for letting me share openly and safely with you. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced these kinds of things. Perhaps in me sharing, you will find answers you are looking for as well.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lots Happening in the Seiler Household

We've been members of a nearby large homeschooling group, CHIL (Christian Homeschoolers in Lodi) ever since we moved to the Galt/Lodi area. However, we've never participated in their Monday co-op classes. It just hadn't worked in our schedule. My children have begged to do them, as they know many of the kids who participate in CHIL from different homeschool events. These kids are fabulous! They're so polite, well-mannered, clean-cut, and for the most part, share our family values. But I just never could make it work.

Recently, however, I sensed my kids really needed to spend more time around good kids who share their values. I went ahead and signed the kids up for the Monday classes. My kids were thrilled! We started this past Monday, and I was actually very happy with it all. I enjoyed hanging out with Mom-friends of mine. The kids loved their individual classes and hanging out with friends. It went very well! I think it's going to be very good for everyone!
Hannah with her good friend, Sadie

Three of my boys having lunch with some of their friends

My two youngest boys in The Goldfish Gang class

I told you all before how I wasn't enjoying our state-adopted Language Arts curriculum. I returned it and ordered Pathways, and Amish-based Language Arts curriculum, for my three oldest. I started it today with my two boys, and we absolutely love it! I'm very happy right now!

In addition, we're really starting to get serious about getting our farm going. As we anticipate the possibility of economic collapse in America's future, we have made a few goals for ourselves:
1) We want to grow our own food for our family, and
2) We want to create sources of additional income for our family.

I'm looking forward to our next couple projects. This weekend, we want to stake out our future garden and begin soaking the ground. We want to get our fruit trees planted. And we also need to start preparing the future pig pen, which will be in an existing pen on the back of the property, but it needs much cleanup. So fun!!!!

I've been wanting to share some new pictures with you of the chickens and how big they've gotten, as well as our newly painted coop. But, as I shared with you before, my camera took a nose-dive. My in-laws have their camera with them this weekend, so pictures will have to wait.

There's so much more going on, and I'll let you know more wonderful transitions happening with us in future weeks.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekend Off

I made it to Friday!!! That's about how I feel after this week!

My husband left last Monday for a trip to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti with Convoy of Hope. He went with a group of pastors to tour the devastation and see the lingering needs there. He said he's never seen anything like it - not even when we went to India years ago. There are close to one million orphans living in their orphanages, and only a few actually adopt the children out - the rest are run with the intention that the children within their walls will live there until adulthood. Only 60% of Haitian children make it to age five because of malnutrition and disease. The average lifespan of a Haitian is 40-45 years old. Can you imagine an entire culture without grandparents? My pastor-husband was gripped with the needs and looks forward to doing what our church can to make a difference.

Meanwhile, back at home, I was on my own. Even my in-laws, who share our country property, were out of town. It was sometimes difficult dealing with behavioral issues without communication with my husband. Couple that with carting children from one part of town to the other for this and that...I was missing my life partner! But because he was gone, I spent more late nights with worship on my iPod pressing into my Heavenly Father for breakthroughs. God set me up! He's so good at that.

Also, while my hubby was gone, I finished inventory of all the children's clothing for fall/winter so I know what needs they have. That's always a big job, but I feel so blessed when it's completed, because I realize what provision my God has given us.

My hubby returned last night, and we all happily greeted him as he got off the plane. So nice to have Daddy back!

Now, today, my daughter and I leave in just an hour for the Girlfriend Conference, a women's retreat for all the women from our Real Life Family of Churches. It will be nice to get away and enjoy some time set aside with Jesus. It's my daughter's first year attending, and she will be staying in a cabin with some other teen girls from the three churches. She's very excited about that. I will sing on the combined worship team which is always fun. I am sharing a room with another pastor's wife who I adore, so that will be a blessing.

I pray you all have a wonderful weekend, worshiping God in your local churches. Be very blessed!

Friday, September 7, 2012

September Menu & Chore Chart

I was late getting my September menu completed this month - just finished it last night. But thought I'd share it with you anyways. We're trying to transition to all organic, and since we don't buy as much processed foods, and cutting down tremendously on snacking, the budget hasn't seen that much difference. This month, I've been shopping once per week, which is new for us, but necessary, as my husband does not get paid once monthly anymore, but every two weeks instead. I shopped exclusively at Sprout's this month, and I loved it!


Here's the kids' chore chart - ever changing, especially as we settle into the new house and routine.


And some pictures Holly (my sister-in-law) and I took of the kids before she left.