Shutting Down (to recoup, rethink, renew, rebuild)

Every once in a while, I get the urge to disconnect from everything. A lot of times this means disconnecting from Facebook for a week or so, but it never really feels like enough.

The month of September is one that I’m hoping to spend focusing on some of my challenges, fears, desires, and goals.

Social media invades my mind constantly, so not only will I leave behind my Facebook but also Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and this blog.

In the mean time, I’ll be working on the renewed version of this blog, and it will no longer be “As We Grow Green”. I’ve been uncertain for sometime about the general direction I wanted to go with this blog, but I think I know now.

It stems from my own need for challenge, balance, and change. So consider this a teaser:

Will you take the dare to live?

Each month, we’ll take the time to delve into a topic and apply it to our lives – from food to fun to love to parenting. My first dare to myself is to disconnect from (most of) the Internet, and plug into a world without wires.

To find what will inspire me. To find what will challenge me. To find what will change me. To find what I want to be.

If you are interested in keeping in contact, my e-mail is

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Grace of God


It was a difficult Tuesday as I headed to Evansville to see a doctor about being sick. I’d hardly slept over the last two nights and I was not looking forward to spending two hours in the car. I spent some time with my sister afterwards, soaking up my first day without Aedan since he was born, even if it was just so I could rest my weary body.

Although I didn’t really want to, I agreed to go meet my dear husband and son at my in laws home so that Andrew could take care of a few things. Within hours I was thanking God for his protection. That despite how dreadful I’d been feeling, we were in a safe home as straight line winds ravished through our small town. Knocking down trees. Tearing off roofs. Crushing cars and houses and trailers. Hail the size of baseballs rained down knocking out windows all over town.

We’d recently had an issue with our home insurance, and so for this last week we had no insurance while we waited on a check to get a new company. The worst damage we experienced was a short in our microwave and losing half our tree, which easily could have taken out part of our roof and kitchen.

Thank God!




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Land Between the Lakes

Camping is one of my favorite things to do throughout the year.  We started a bit late because between moving and adjusting to our new home with a toddler, it’s been a bit crazy around here.

(Aedan was copying dad cooking corned beef in the dutch oven, except he had a bowl of water and a sponge.)

I recently had a guest post over at Random Recycling was about Sustainable Camping, you all should go check it out!  We employed a few techniques including using cast iron and our reusable plates and reusable forks, spoons, and knives.  The biggest thing I wish we did more of was use the water there instead of our water bottles.  It’s as bad as my bleach obsession!  I have to kick the habit soon.

(This was the view from our campsite.)

Aedan spent a lot of time in either just a diaper or totally naked.  It was a fun experience for him and I was reminded just how much he has grown up.  He also started swimming for the first time, which was such an amazing thing to see and experience with him.

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I Like Bleach

I can’t really justify it in any other way than to say it makes things feel clean to me.  It burns and it scours and it cleans.

What is bleach?  The answer is simple – it is a dangerous chemical found in most American households.

I’ll admit, I’m writing this after doing laundry.  In fact, a white load that was done last night contained a huge amount of bleach.  It occurred to me last night that maybe I should actually look into options that don’t involve a chemical that is known to be so bad for people and animals.

Vinegar (and more)

This is my most recent addition to my house cleaning arsenal.  There are many types of vinegar that can be used for many different reasons, but we mostly use apple cider vinegar.  Vinegar disinfects without being harsh on your lungs, your home, or the environment. Along with many other uses it can be coupled with another great cleaner (hydrogen peroxide) to “bleach” out clothes.  Also, don’t be afraid to use a bit of lemon juice.


It sound so simple that you may think it’s a practical joke.  Once I started using cloth diapers, I used this method for the first time.  It was amazing to watch dingy fabric become bright and stain-free again.  To make this even more effective, use your simple cleaner from above (vinegar, peroxide, or lemon juice) on a stain and then put it directly in the sun.

Retrain Your Senses

I think part of why I have always used bleach is because it is what I am used to.  It is a familiar smell and sensation.  It signals to my brain that things are clean and fresh.  Instead of a week long cough, wouldn’t it seem more practical to have a citrus fresh home?

What are some of your favorite natural home made cleaners?

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Nighttime Friends and Foes

Sometimes nighttime is my friend
It holds my tired soul so close
That all I feel is a warm embrace
Holding me as my dreams begin

Friends come and go like seasons
They love you, they move you
They hold you, they talk to you
Then suddenly they disappear with(out) reason

When it is good we say it is great
What do we say when it’s turned cold?
What do we say when it’s a push and a shove?
What do we say when it’s turned irate?

Sometimes I cry as they leave and go
It takes so little time for love to turn angry
It takes so little time for friends to become bitter
Somehow we join as sisters (brothers) and depart as foe

So it is with night time, who was once a friend
Instead of sleep she brings me worry
Instead of love she brings me discontent
Too bad I can’t just tell her to leave because this is the end

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Writing Again

I’ve actually started to follow through on my personal promise and the pen is striking the paper. Old notebooks that have been filled with tidbits and doodles are seeing use that is concentrated and decisive. The part of me that is a storyteller is coming out and I’m trying to embrace it.


In other news, I found a cute journal at Wal-Mart and I’ve started writing real thoughts in there already. Plans for life, vacations, children, family time. Next to my musings on choice, hope, Jesus, and change.

When I’m writing, I feel empowered and creative.

I love it.

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It’s Raining, It’s Pouring (Or is it?)

They say that when it rains, it pours.

Well, we are in a drought currently and going through a massive heatwave.

So I’m not really sure how I feel about that statement.

Who are they anyways?

I do not know and right now I can only care so much.

There are great things going on in our life and so I am accepting that God has not given me more than I can handle, but rather has taken away things that would distract me from my goals.  Right?

We had to get rid of our chickens.

Our dog, whom I love, and I fought for as much as I could is needing to be re-homed because she is no longer comfortable living in our home.

Also, we adopted a cat who subsequently passed away for reasons we aren’t quite sure of yet.

If I told you that I’ve cried a lot these past few weeks would you believe me?  Good because I am not lying and I’m getting worn out dealing with so much stuff.  When I told some friends about what was going on the only way I could describe my feeling was that my heart hurts, and it does.

I just have to trust this is an opening door.

Biggest lesson that I’m continuing to learn and despise? My reaction can’t action/reactions in my family and in my son.  My reactions to whatever things or situation I consider adversity have bigger consequences than just leaving me anxious-ridden.  They affect my family and how we function.

Our responses create responses.

Whether positive or negative.

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Some Advice On Investing

Every year it seems that I get the bug to keep writing the same worn out version of a novel that just doesn’t sit write anymore. Somehow it just doesn’t feel right pencilling the life of a teen obsessed with vampires without cringing.

I’m considering some writing workshops. Not the free kind.

the cheapskate in me just died a little

The kind where I pay money to communicate with people who are truly interested and passionate about what they do.

I’ve been thinking about the idea of “investing in myself”.

It’s rough.

Not only am I coming to terms with the idea that I don’t totally suck, but also that I have some worth. It’s hard to see it because I don’t feel like I do much with it. Sometimes I feel like an antique just sitting on a shelf, enjoyed by the few who appreciate it, but otherwise ignored. Maybe it is time to stop ignoring myself though?

“Invest in yourself” is a code of self love. For people like myself it is hard to accept and it is often confused with another word that invokes more negative inner dialogue. Selfishness.

The truth is that self love is not selfishness.

Selfishness is not caring about anyone but ourself.
Self love is caring about ourself so we can better care for others.

So I’m going to invest in myself a bit I think. This means time for myself more. This means money for myself occasionally.

Invest in myself so that I can reap some kind of personal abundance that can overflow to those around me. I don’t want my glass half empty or half full, I want it to be overflowing.

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Self-respect and inferiority complexes

I’ve always wished I could be an artist. I enjoy doodling, but even in elementary school I found that I couldn’t keep from comparing my works with the works of my peers and feeling inferior. I remember being told that if I joined band that I wouldn’t have to take art in middle school, it was a huge relief because then I could have something I was good at.

Instead it was one more thing that I found myself constantly comparing with my peers and I was still feeling inferior.

Inferiority is destructive and it can halt progress quicker than any other force in my experience. This ditch it way of living has left me a bit unfulfilled as a 23 year old. That isn’t even the worst part. It has left me bitter and encouraged me to constantly tear myself down and to tear others down.

It also has attributed to years of false humility.

You are not being humble just because you tear yourself down and beat yourself up. You are being a bully! A bully to yourself. To who you are. To who you want to be.

And more than likely this causes you to bully others. Maybe it is subtle, but still you find yourself lashing out.

Replace “you” and “yourself” with “I” and “myself”.


It is time to stop measuring my abilities based on the abilities of those around me. It is time to start loving what I do and start doing what I love.

It just feels like it is time for me to stop apologizing for not measuring up to standards that no one has put on place besides myself.

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This Year

It’s June.

This year has flown by and I blame that beautiful little boy that is sitting on the other side of the room.  What do I want out of this year?  The rest of this fast paced year.  I realized though that it would be best if I did a little reflecting on the awesome things that have happened this year first.

  • We moved into our own house.  This was such a blessing and so huge that sometimes I can’t even sit and dwell on it.  It’s so overwhelming.  We are so lucky.
  • Aedan went fishing with his dad.
  • I learned more about gardening and Andrew did it mostly, but I’ve helped a little here and there with it.
  • I’ve maintained about 1-2 blogs a month, which is a lot better than last year.
  • I learned more about being frugal and have actual taken steps towards being more frugal.
  • I have cooked more fresh and whole food in our home than any other year in our marriage.
  • My little brother got married and left for basic training, leaving a pretty cool sister-in-law here with us for a while until she leaves for basic training in a few months.
  • My new nephew was born and I love him so much.  I love seeing my beautiful sister in him and I love that my son gets to grow up with lots of cousins.
  • I shot a bow for the first time and I totally love it.
  • We started raising chickens.  We have six beauties who know their momma pretty well.

Let’s be honest, this is kind of a watered down short version of the many things that have taken place.  There is a lot more and will be a lot more.

What are things you’ve done this year so far?

So what do I wish for the rest of the year?

I wish to…

  • …cook from the garden.
  • …learn to weld.
  • …make soap.
  • …make a candle.
  • …paint my kitchen.
  • …organize my kitchen.
  • …knit a scarf.
  • …branch out and blog more.
  • …practice what I preach.
  • …practice what I preach.
  • …practice what I preach.
  • …embrace who I am and who I will be.
  • …enjoy my time and spend it well.

What are your wishes for the rest of the year?

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