Author Archives: Melissa Clark

About Melissa Clark

Hi, I'm Melissa. I am humbled and happy that you found my family and me. We are a Christian family that believes in natural home birthing, holistic, well rounded lives while living for Christ. We are blogging our experience through my 3rd pregnancy and on.

The Blessing of My Husband

The Blessing of My Husband
Ken and Me

At the start of our marriage

Happy Anniversary to my love! 10 years ago today I married my best friend and the man of my dreams. He was, and still is, a man who lives by Biblical principles and is one of the most Godly men I know. I would never say anyone is perfect, but I know that no matter what life has thrown our way, my husband has always gone back to the Lord to get his bearings and strength.
This is the man who has supported me through 4 different pregnancies and the crazy and eventful births that followed. He is an absolutely amazing father who adores our children and has never hesitated to step up and help when I am not able to manage our home on my own.

During Labor of Miranda’s Birth

He has prayed with me almost every day of our marriage and strives to pray over each of our children every night. God has truly blessed me and given me a man after His heart. I thank Him for the gift of Ken every day!

In Baltimore

The trip we found out we were pregnant with Miranda

 

Our New No-Waste-Zone

Our New No-Waste-Zone

 

So….here we are in Maryland. Big changes. Big adjustments. Life is definitely different. Our house essentially has the same rooms. But they are all smaller than before and we have a fireplace and stairs…less to clean. But our budget has needed some vast overhauling. Due to unexpected circumstances we have had to cut and that has been mainly in our food…which is to say: we have really become a No-Waste-Zone!!!

Homemade Banana Bread

Brown bananas into banana bread (and their peels to the rose bush). Leftover green beans and rice into our soup from our roasted turkey breast shredded and broth from it’s bones. And oatmeal not eaten by the kids goes into a bag to throw into “porridge bread”. I almost feel like my new motto is “I have a bread for that!”

Which brings me to this morning. After visiting historic Colvin Mill yesterday and purchasing blue cornmeal and roasted yellow cornmeal, I was inspired! We made some cornmeal mush from the roasted yellow for breakfast (like cream of wheat but cornmeal instead).

My children rejected it. Even with honey to sweeten the buttered concoction, they were just not used to it and took an immediate disliking. Granted, they did eat some and made do with it, but there was definitely a fair amount left. So I ate mine and mulled what to do with the rest.

Cornmeal Mush Breakfast Bread

And then it hit me: just add the rest of the ingredients and make cornbread! So simple and no waste! It is sweet because of the added honey and it has butter and a bit of salt already. I just added the flour, leavening, and milk.

From Scratch Turkey Chili with Masa Cornbread

This has been a total shift in my thinking in the kitchen. Peels, skins, and ends of garlic, onion, and carrots go into the freezer as well as bones from our roasted poultry to make into the bone broth. I wait to eat lunch until my kids have finished and eat what they don’t. When I made a bit too much alfredo sauce and pasta for our casserole containing shredded turkey and broccoli, I just threw it in the fridge for a small lunch later.

Anything I am about to put in the garbage I look at wondering if there is another application or use. I cringe throwing out our apple cores knowing I could make apple cider vinegar. We just don’t have a way to do that yet. Our lack of storage means way less space to let it ferment.

So this is our life now…and it is great! A new appreciation for kitchen skills, frugality, and the ability to provide healthier options for our family’s diet.

 

So, what have you reused or stretched in the kitchen? Leave a comment below.

The Coming of Kaelan

The Coming of Kaelan

Kaelan

 

Our son was due on July 21st in 2011. He didn’t want to come. I should probably take a moment to mention that this was my most peaceful pregnancy. It just had a quality of quiet to it. My son is anything but quiet so I am not sure why. But anyways, he did flip breach between weeks 34 and 36 and I had a chiropractic technique done that had him flip back within the same week.

The due date came and went and we did all we could to induce labor ourselves. Walking, perineal massage, evening primrose oil, walking, pressure points. He stayed in and we got to 41 weeks. So…we needed to go to the hospital for a “non-stress test”. This was an ultrasound to check amniotic fluid and to see how he was doing. Usually, in other circumstances, immediately following the test, they sign you in and have an induction so you have the babyNewborn-Kaelan

We spoke extensively with the midwife and chose to have her try a form of natural induction called “stripping the membranes” which involves going in and massaging around the cervix to start the hormones flowing that starts labor. She did this the day before the hospital visit. Labor started but stayed within early labor contractions. So I was having contractions at the stress test with no progression. We went right to the birth center after the hospital and the midwife stripped the membranes again. There was still no progression as far as how close the contractions were to each other. So we stripped them again.

By this time the contractions were painful. They felt like active labor but were not close enough to be active labor. By this time, I had been having them for almost 48 hours. The midwife told me I was having prodromal labor. Which just means prolonged. I was sort of able to sleep during the second evening.
I cannot remember the way the labor moved from early to active. Suddenly the contractions were close enough to be active. Our midwife again was Alina. She came and let us labor through active for 12 hours. I needed someone to pour water down my back during contractions in the pool to help with the pain. At some point I noticed it was raining, which I thought was neat. There was not much pushing except that he still didn’t want to come out. He was close and my water had not broken yet. So Alina broke the water and he rushed out. One push and he came as quickly as his older sister.
He was born at 6:58pm and was 7 lbs 14 ozs and 21 ins long. After Alina examined him, took measurements and examined the placenta (which was on the smaller side) she told us that he might have stayed in another week more had we not induced with membrane stripping.

kaelan-years

So our lovely boy was with us finally!

Kaelan-Dad