Blessed Samhain!

The Celtic year was separated in to two halves, the Dark and the Light. The Celtic New Year, Samhain (pronounced Sow-wen) takes place on October 31st or November 1st and marked the beginning of the Dark half of the year. Beltane, which takes place on May 1st, marks the beginning of the Light Half. While Beltane was a huge festival, most believe that Samhain was the more important of the two as it marked the beginning of an entire new year cycle. While our days are ruled by set hours and times, the Celts measured days starting at sundown and going through to the light until it was dark again. It was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Whereas Beltane welcomes in the summer with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of this festival is November's Eve, known today as Halloween.

The word Samhain, comes from the Scots Gaelic word Samhuinn, which litterally translated means "summer's end."  In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oiche Shamhna, in Wales it's Nos Calan Gaeaf, or the eve of the winter's calendar.  With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saint's Day to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year. So, the night before this celebration became known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve or Hallantide. November 2nd, became All Souls Day, a day when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who departed and those who were awaiting entry to Heaven in Purgatory. Throughout time the Pagan and Christian traditions inevitably became intertwined and celebrations have been known to extend from October 31st through November 5th...

In the country, Samhain marked the first day of winter, when the herders led the cattle and sheep down from their summer hillside pastures to the shelter of the stable. The hay that would feed them during the winter must be stored in sturdy thatched ricks, tied down securely against storms. Those destined for the table were slaughtered, after being ritually devoted to the gods in pagan times. By this point, all the harvest must be gathered in -- barley, oats, wheat, turnips, and apples -- for come November and winter to follow. Popular belief was that the faeries would blast every growing plant with their breath, blighting any nuts and berries remaining on the hedgerows. Peat and wood for winter fires were stacked high by the hearth. It was a joyous time for family reunion after a long year of working the flocks and fields. The family would now come together together baking, salting meat, making preserves and readying for the winter to come.

In early Ireland, the people of the different gathered at their ritual centers, for Samhain was the first and most important calendar feast of the year.  The greatest assembly was the 'Feast of Tara,' focusing on the royal seat of the High King as the heart of the sacred land, the point of conception for the new year. In every household throughout the land, hearth-fires were put out as all waited for the Druids to light the new fire of the year -- not at Tara, but at Tlachtga, a hill twelve miles to the north-west. It marked the burial-place of Tlachtga, daughter of the great druid Mogh Ruith, who may have been seen as a goddess in her own right through past ages.

As with all the turning points of the Celtic year, the gods drew near to Earth at Samhain. So, many gifts would offered up in thanksgiving for the harvest.  Objects meant to symbolize the personal prayers & wishes of supplicants or ailments to be healed were cast into the high dancing flames and at the end of the ceremonies, brands were lit from the great fire of Tara to re-kindle all the hearth fires of the tribe. This was a time of renewal, new beginings, surely as people received the flame they felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come.

Through the centuries the Samhain fires continued to burn.  In the 1860s the Halloween bonfires were still so popular in Scotland that one traveler reported seeing thirty fires lighting up the hillsides all on one night, each surrounded by rings of dancing figures, a practice which continued at least up til World War One. Young people and servants lit brands from the fire and ran around the fields and hedges of house and farm, while community leaders surrounded parish boundaries with a magic circle of light. Afterward, the ashes from these fires were sprinkled over the fields to protect them during the winter months -- a practice which of course, also improved the quality the soil. The bonfire provided an island of light within the oncoming tide of winter darkness, keeping away cold, discomfort, and evil spirits long before electricity illumined our nights. When the last flame sank down, it was time to run as fast as you could for home, raising the cry, “The black sow without a tail take the hindmost!”

Even today, bonfires light up the skies in many parts of the British Isles and Ireland at this season, although in many areas of Britain their significance has been co-opted by Guy Fawkes Day, which falls on November 5th, and commemorates an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the English Houses of Parliament in the 17th century. In one Devonshire village, the extraordinary sight of both men and women running through the streets with blazing tar barrels on their backs can still be seen! Whatever the reason, there will probably always be a human need to make fires against the winter’s dark.

Today many of these customs and traditions may seem moot. Thanks to electricity and central heat, the majority of people no longer have even a working fireplace, although some do continue to use them as a decorative piece or in addition to more modern heating units. But, because of this general lack of hearth, the practice of dowsing the flames and relighting from a central or ritual flame has all but died out. However,  these customs have been altered and "miniaturized" by many in order to allow them to be used by modern day Pagans. Bon Fires may not light up the skies as they did in olden days, but alter fires and candles continue to burn through the night on Samhain Night as a way to ward off the cold and welcome the Dark Half of the year.

For those who have gardens, this is the time of year to finish bringing in any final "harvest" and ashes from any alter fires are mixed with the soil in order to protect. Offerings and "Prayer Items" are made to the gods and the new year is ushered in with celebration and light. This is also the time of year used by modern Pagans, as it was for those of olden days, to honor the previous year and those who had passed. It's a time for remembrance and honor as well as a time for rebirth and renewal. In addition to small alter fires and offerings, common practices include divination, mute dinners, which often include place settings for those ancestors to be honored during ritual, and of course pumpkin carving, costumes and trick or treat are common day practices among both Pagans and non Pagans alike...

For Wiccans and similarly believing Pagans, this is also a time of year used to honor the Crone and the Dying or Dead God. Any of the deities which represent these aspects may be used for ritual purposes.

The secular world lists January 1st, as the "New Year" and for those of us who have to live in that world - which as far as I know, is all of us, it is. However, a growing number of Pagans use Samhain in many of the same ways that more secular persons use New Years Day to celebrate the rebirth of the year... Setting new years resolutions and offering them up in their fires. For children, I have found this to be a wonderful way to start the celebration, and also a good way to teach commitment by renewing those resolutions come the secular New Year in January...

Magickal Correspondences: Samhain

Other Names:  celtic ~ Summer’s End, pronounced “sow” (rhymes with now) “en” (Ireland), sow-een (Wales) – “mh” in the middle is a “w” sound – Greater Sabbat(High Holiday) – Fire Festival Oct 31-Nov 1(North Hemisphere) – Apr 30-May 1 – The Great Sabbat, Samhiunn, Samana, Samhuin, Sam-fuin, Samonios, Halloween, Hallomas, All Hallows Eve, All Saints/All Souls Day(Catholic), Day of the Dead (Mexican), Witches New Year, Trinoux Samonia, Celtic/ Druid New Year, Shadowfest (Strega), Martinmas or Old Hallowmas (Scotttish/Celtic) Lá Samhna (Modern Irish), Festival of the Dead, Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess), Hallowtide (Scottish Gaelis Dictionary), Feast of All Souls, Nos Galen-gae-of Night of the Winter Calends (Welsh), La Houney or Hollantide Day, Sauin or Souney ( Manx), oidhche na h-aimiléise-the night of mischief or confusion(Ireland), Oidhche Shamna (Scotland)

Rituals:  End of summer, honoring of the dead,scrying, divination, last harvest, meat harvest

Incense:  Copal, sandalwood, mastic resin, benzoin, sweetgrass, wormwood, mugwort, sage, myrrh or patchouli

Tools:  Besom, cauldron, tarot, obsidian ball, pendulum, runes, oghams, Ouija boards, black cauldron or bowl filled with black ink or water, or magick mirror

Stones/Gems:  Black obsidian, jasper, carnelian, onyx, smoky quartz, jet, bloodstone

Colors:  Black, orange, red

Symbols & Decorations:
  Apples, autumn flowers, acorns, bat, black cat, bones, corn stalks, colored leaves, crows, death/dying, divination and the tools associated with it, ghosts, gourds, Indian corn, jack-o-lantern, nuts , oak leaves, pomegranates, pumpkins, scarecrows, scythes, waning moon

Foods:  Apples, apple dishes, cider, meat (traditionally this is the meat harvest) especially pork, mulled cider with spices, nuts-representing resurrection and rebirth, nuts, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, squash.

Goddesses:  The Crone, Hecate(Greek), Cerridwen(Welsh-Scottish), Arianrhod(Welsh), Caillech (Irish-Scottish), Baba Yaga (Russian), Al-Ilat(persian), Bast (Egyptian), Persephone (Greek), Hel(Norse), Kali(Hindu), all Death & Otherworld Goddesses

Gods:  Horned Hunter(European), Cernnunos(Greco-Celtic), Osiris(Egyptian), Hades (Greek), Gwynn ap Nudd (British), Anubis(Egyptian), Coyote Brother (Native American), Loki (Norse), Dis (Roman), Arawn (Welsh), acrificial/Dying/Aging Gods, Death and Otherworld Gods

Herbs and Flowers:  Almond, apple leaf , autumn joy sedum, bay leaf, calendula, Cinnamon, Cloves cosmos, garlic, ginger , hazelnut, hemlock cones, mandrake root, marigold, mums, mugwort (to aid in divination), mullein seeds, nettle, passionflower, pine needles, pumpkin seeds, rosemary (for remembrance of our ancestors), rue, sage, sunflower petals and seeds, tarragon, wild ginseng, wormwood

Animals:  Stag, cat, bat, owl, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion, heron, crow, robin

Mythical Beings:  Pooka, goblin, medusa, beansidhe, harpies

Essence:  Magick, plenty; knowledge, the night, death & rebirth, success, protection; rest, new beginning; ancestors; lifting of the veil, mundane laws in abeyance, return, change

Dynamics/Meaning:  Death & transformation, Wiccan new year,wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, honoring, thinning of the veil between worlds, death of the year, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, begin new projects, end old projects

Work:  Sex magick, release of bad habits, banishing, fairy magick, divination of any kind, candle magick, astral projection, past life work, dark moon mysteries, mirror spells (reflection), casting protection , inner work, propitiation, clearing obstacles, uncrossing, inspiration, workings of transition or culmination, manifesting transformation,creative visualization, contacting those who have departed this plane

Purpose:  Honoring the dead, especially departed ancestors, knowing we will not be forgotten; clear knowledge of our path; guidance, protection, celebrating reincarnation

Rituals/Magicks:  Foreseeing future, honoring/consulting ancestors, releasing the old, power, understanding death and rebirth, entering the underworld, divination, dance of the dead, fire calling, past life recall

Customs:  Ancestor altar, costumes, divination, carving jack-o-lanterns, spirit plate, the Feast of the Dead, feasting, paying debts, fairs, drying winter herbs, masks, bonfires, apple games, tricks, washing clothes

Element:  Water

Gender:  Male

Threshold:  Midnight

B&W Kitchen Floors

A few years ago we lived in a townhouse with really unfortunate kitchen floors. One day I reached my limit and couldn't take the ugly floors any more. Even though it was a rental I bought two boxes each of black and white peel and stick laminate tiles, and put down a classic checkerboard pattern. Instant (and very inexpensive) fix!

(not my kitchen, sadly I can't find any photos) image via D*S

While I love a good checkerboard, there are some really ideas out there for twists on the classic black and white kitchen or bath floors.

Kelley Proxmire


Peel and stick tiles are pretty easy to cut and I think it would be cool to try an intricate pattern some time.

via At Home in Arkansas

Peak of Chic

In unrelated news, Happy Halloween! It's taken all of my willpower to prevent my kids from wearing their costumes early! Have a wonderful and safe weekend. xx

Gallery Walls: Another Method

So, you want to hang a gallery wall, you say? But you don't want to put a million holes in your wall through trial and error. And you don't have eight years to cut out kraft paper templates, ala Martha. Maybe you want something a little more... technical than my approach?

You're in luck! The adorable Marissa from Roost Home figured out a quick, easy and exact method for hanging a gallery wall. Go here for in-depth instructions, but the gist is...

1. Trace your arrangement on wax paper, making sure to mark the hanging mechanism.

2. Tape the wax paper template on the wall and tap in your nails.

3. Hang up your art and tear down your wax paper (which ever you feel comfortable doing first)

Voila! Easy and exact! Thanks, Marissa!

Happy "Birth" Day

Today we celebrate our sweet baby girl's birthday - she is 7 months old today! Happy Birthday Evy. I am so looking forward to holding her in a few weeks!

We are also excited and anticipating the birth of Baby Jack - our good friend Amanda and Dennis' baby. I know it's been a long wait for them, and they're super excited to meet their baby boy. We are thinking and praying for you guys throughout today!

I want to be friends with Kate Schintzius

Please tell me you guys enjoyed this Sneak Peek as much as I did. This woman is the absolute QUEEN of color and pattern! I love it all.

PS Did you enter this week's Give Away for $100 of L&S fabrics? cause you totally should.

So you want to be a Paranormal Investigator?

Over the past few years there has been an explosion of "Paranormal Investigative" shows and videos come out. The interest this has raised in the general public is without question higher now than it has ever been in the past. I personally find many of these shows to be very entertaining, my husband and I watch them a good bit. However, because of the experiences I have doing investigations myself, and my own education about subjects such as spirits, ghosts, demons, angels, energy, hauntings and so forth I tend to see as much fiction in these shows as I do possible fact.

Please do not take this to mean I don't believe some of these people are experiencing things of a paranormal nature, because I don't see it as impossible. However, I tend to see many of these shows as to quick to jump to a paranormal explanation rather than willing to look for a more mundane answer to what they are feeling, seeing or hearing. But since many of these shows take place in places where activity is documented over a number of years from a large number of people, it's understandable that there very easily could be actual experiences by some of these people. SO I don't generally discount them as frauds, but at the same time, I don't like to simply accept everything these people claim as paranormal to be such.

As I touched on I do have some experience doing investigation, I did some with a local group and a few on my own. Now, none of what I ever did was nearly as "professional" as what you'll see on these shows. We didn't have $10,000 cameras or audio equipment, but what we did have saw enough to give us a basic understanding of what was going on in these places (usually homes) which we were investigating. The basic tools needed for any investigation as a simply "dollar store" flash light, an audio recorder, and some form of video recorder. Beyond that, there are some great things like night vision cameras, EMF detectors and whatnot which can be used, but they are far from necessities.

Your first goal as an investigator is not to be a "Ghost Hunter" but to be a "Ghost Buster." There is an old saying of "If you go looking for trouble, you just might find it." And the same can be said for the paranormal. When we start out looking to find paranormal, it's easy to find it, even when there is nothing there... Your first goal is to debunk, it's only after all mundane explanations have been explored and dis-proven should a paranormal answer be explored.

Now, why do I say this? Why can't we simply explain things as paranormal without ruling out other possibilities? Well, it's fairly simple. Any good investigation rules out all possible answers before deciding on one as fact. When people jump to paranormal explanations over the mundane, it tends to induce fear rather than understanding. As an investigator it's your job to find truth, and answers rather than to reinforce fear and misunderstandings.

The majority of those looking for investigators help are those who are living with experiences they can't explain. It could be those in homes or work environments they feel are "haunted" or it could be those who are trying to disprove the beliefs or stories they have encountered since becoming involved with a place. Either way, you'll find the majority of places have more normal than paranormal to them.

For example of the most common "paranormal" complaints is foot steps being heard, yet, the sound of footsteps is easily explained in most situations simply by taking a look at the building itself. Older homes and buildings have a tendency to "settle" at night as the temperature lowers and activity in the home slows down. Those which are close to a busy road, railway or highway have to absorb vibrations all day and need a chance to settle so they don't break apart... In fact if you're seeing damage to the foundation of the building or cracks forming in the walls there is a good chance the house is not sitting on a very sturdy foundation and could be shifting, which will produced creeks and pops in the house which easily sound like footsteps... If steps are being heard above the floor you are on or "coming from the attic" mice or birds should be looked in to. If all these very normal things are ruled out, then there is the possibility of a more paranormal explanation...

Examples like this can be listed over and over... Because of this you'll want to make a point to look for things such as rodents, birds, insects, drafts from outside and of course things like settling property or buildings FIRST...

Now, there are obviously experiences which are not and can not be explained by the "normal." Many times things such as voices, moving objects, energy balls and of course personal experiences are impossible to prove one way or another as normal or paranormal because they tend to be one time things. However, that doesn't mean they should automatically be discredited either. There is simply no such thing as a black and white answer; a Yes or No, when it comes to the paranormal. And while it may seem easy to simply list these things as to fantastic to be true, or to say "There is no proof so it didn't happen" the entire point of being a Paranormal investigator is to take the experiences of others and try to give them some kind of answer. My advice is even if you can not give someone a flat out yes or no - NEVER discredit someone experience as real. NEVER!  While there are those who will try to give you truly fantastic stories, the vast majority of those who are willing to share their stories simply want to share.

One thing however that does need to be taken in to account is that emotion expands experience... That means that when we are frightened, when people are emotional, they tend to see things as "larger" or scarier than they truly are. Crime investigators see this all the time with eye witnesses to crimes and Monster Investigators see this as well. Someone witnessing a violent crime for example, is more likely to see the perpetrator as taller, stronger or more powerful than they actually are, this is why eye witness accounts simply aren't as trustworthy as detectives wish they were...  Nothing changes when we are talking paranormal over normal.

Now, at the same time, while you should never discredit someone's experience you also can't allow it to interfere with your own experiences. Looking back to those shows I was talking about in the beginning, we see this kind of thing happening A LOT! They tend to start the show out by gathering stories from those who already have experiences, and then, throughout the show, you'll hear or see them doing their best to prove these experiences. When they do hear a voice or they do see something, they automatically jump to "Remember what Jimmy said? He said this guy did this..." and they just assume they are experiencing the same thing rather than trying to have their own experiences. I call this the "14 year old girl sleep over affect." If you ever were a 14 year old girl at a sleep over watching ghost stories, you know exactly why I call it that. They spend hours getting themselves all riled up and guessing and hoping what they will see and experience, and then when they get in there, they hear and see things which comply with those hopes - really, a large part of it is in their head...  It's nearly impossible to prove or disprove the experiences of others, especially when those things happened long before we got there. They do make for interesting points and serve as a good way to determine where you may have your own experiences, but beyond that they need to be largely ignored during your investigation.

In an effort to best be able to explain what you do or may experience it's very important that you have at least a basic understanding of hauntings, ghosts, energy, spirits and so on. This can be done easily by doing some research - just do yourself a favor and make sure you are doing this research through legitimate sources rather than random internet sites. You can also contact and preferably work with local paranormal groups to gain some experience before going out on your own. - And please note, when I say "on your own" I don't mean alone! NEVER attempt to do an investigation alone, the buddy system is always best when you are going to be in a place - any place haunted or not - where you are unfamiliar.

The last thing that I want to cover is respect. Again, going back to these shows, I am continually appalled at the basic lack of respect these so called Investigators have for the places and beings they encounter. Remember, regardless of whether or not you feel you are experiencing honest to goodness ghosts or other spirits, energies or other things you need to have at least a basic respect for them. Do NOT taunt or tease! Do NOT show anger or hostility! Sure, these actions will elicit more activity, but they also put you in possible danger and can endanger those who have to survive in this space on a day to day basis. Remember that many of the actual ghosts which are in these places are there because of negative or violent experiences, and just as you wouldn't want someone to come in to your home and speak to you as if you were less than worthy of respect, you shouldn't do it to them either. So even though it may be tempting to rile up the energies with angry words, violent imagery or by reenacting possible experiences that they may have had, these things should be generally avoided out of basic respect for them.

Growing so Fast!

I still can't believe that my little Ean is 2. I can still remember when he was born and how tiny he was holding him there in NICU. What a sweet blessing you are in our lives Ean. We are so thankful for your smile, your sense of humor, your energy, your stubbornness, and most of all your heart. We know that God has a special call on your life, and we are so priveleged to be your mommy and daddy. Indeed, "God is gracious."

Ean: meaning, "God is Gracious"

Look A Likes

Here is a pic of me as a newborn on my Dad's chest.  And I pasted some pics of Bracken on that.  Quite a resemblance in the nose and mouth, but Bracken has a lot more hair.

Mama's Breakfast

You gotta feed the Mama well.   Today for breakfast I made some lamb sausage with 1 1/2 pounds of free range grass fed lamb, mint leaves, sage, Italian seasonings, one egg, soy sauce, garlic and some smoke sauce. Then I put one of our chickens eggs over some home made brown rice sourdough caraway bread.  Then there was a piece of my home made cherry/applesauce date raisin sourdough rice bread spread with grass fed Ghee, and some home made elderberry applesauce and a half of a home made pickle.  (You know if you eat some fermented food with every Meat meal.... the meat goes down so happily )

Divination: Ouija Boards

With Halloween and Samhain coming up in a few weeks divination tends to be a big subject. Halloween Movies have featured the practice since the 70's and most people have used one at at least one Halloween party as a kid. But what is really going on with these things? Are they harmless toys as the Milton Bradley Toy company would have us think? Or are they evil tools by which demons and evil spirits can enter our homes and bodies as so many movies, and churches portray them as? Or are they something completely different?

Well, the answers aren't quite as black and white as I think we all wish. There are a few theories of how and why these boards work. The first theory of course is that they actually do allow a channel to the spiritual realm to be opened and allow the user to connect directly to it...  The second theory is that it's all a mind over matter thing, that it's the users subconscious which actually moves the eye. And of course there is the whole "the devil does it" idea... Which we are going to completely ignore being this is a Pagan Blog.

For the purpose of this blog we are going to approach this subject using the second Theory and simply assume that they do create a connection to the spirit realm. I've found this tends to be the majority belief of most Pagans.

The beauty of Ouija Boards is that they are easy to use, anyone who can ask a question can use one. The down side is - anyone can MISUSE them as well. Toy and Game companies sell millions of these boards each year, and many people treat them as little more than a game or entertainment. This isn't, however, quite what they are. Are they fun? Are they entertaining? Yes, of course they are, if they weren't they wouldn't sell the way they do. The entertainment value however is also why so many are misused and people see negative outcomes in the long run - which then gets the boards, rather than the users, labeled troublesome.

Are Ouija Boards outwardly dangerous? Well, they can be, in the hands of someone who has no respect for what they represent, or because someone is simply an idiot. I read a comparison on another blog once which I found to be wonderful and I'm going to share here. Look at Ouija Boards as the spiritual form of a chat room. We have all seen the dangers of chat rooms on Dateline and 20/20 over and over again, but when asked, most people wouldn't label chat rooms themselves as dangerous. It's the actions we take while using a chat room which makes them safe or dangerous, not the room itself. It's very much the same with boards.

At this point, we all know when we join a chatroom that it's more than possible that "Momof3boys" is really a 45 year old pedophile rapist, and so we take the proper precautions. What we tend not to remember is when we open up a Ouija Board it's really the same kind of danger. We are opening a direct line to the spirit realm and we are talking to someone we don't know, and who we have no real connection with.

Spirits come in all shapes and sizes, just like people do. Are spirits dangerous? Well, they CAN be, but like people the majority are not. Unfortunately, it's not possible to usually decide whether someone or something is dangerous or not until after they prove themselves to be.

Ouija Boards work by using a form of "voluntary possession" where you allow yourself to be used by the spirits you've contacted. You have to open yourself as you open the board, clear your mind and allow your body to be used to move that eye in order to get the answers to your questions. Sure, the spirit is moving they eye, but they are using YOUR hand to do it.

Because of this, I generally say if you have little experience dealing with spirits or if the idea of possession clearly frightens you - find a different form of divination. While the directions clearly state you need to enter each session stating the board can only be used for positive contact, generally, you can't control this aspect beyond stating it. And like that chatroom, you don't really know who is on the other end.

If you do choose to use a board there are a few simple rules you should use in order to keep your experience as positive as possible:
  1. Don't ask stupid questions!
    Asking questions such as "when will the world end" is going to get you no where and is likely to annoy both those with you and the spirits you are "communing" with. Plus, should you get an answer, it's likely not going to be the correct one and will only cause you extra stress.
  2. If you are in a group remember to have only ONE person in the group asking questions, this will help to stop contact with more than one spirit at a time.
  3. Always make sure that those with the most experience are the "medium" rather than those with the least.
  4. Be polite.
    Remember that who or whatever you may contact can get angry and annoyed, and rudeness will only quicken that response.
  5. DO NOT ask for a physical sign of a presence... 
  6. DO NOT believe everything said as fact...  Spirits aren't necessarily any more in tuned with these things that you are, if you don't know the answer, there isn't really any reason to think they would either...
  7. Lastly, remember to close the board at the end of each use, do this by pushing the eye to the "Goodbye" area of the board

Yummy Nutritious food for a New Mama

There isn't much better food than fresh caught Salmon for a pregnant or new Mama. Here I took some fresh salmon a friend of ours caught, chopped up a real home made pickle (actually fermented), four slices of free range grass fed bacon, some celery seed, some coriander, some parsely from the garden....and made a nice scramble...... with a little fresh home made organic apple/cherry sauce...
I love to cook.

Then I made two loaves of brown rice sourdough bread. ( We don't do Gluten...or sugar.) So  I make Brown rice sourdough bread. One loaf was regular bread with caraway seed, the other was a sweet bread with apple/cherry sauce, dates and raisins...OMG, it turned out so well.  We put a little grass fed Ghee on it then cover it in  organic Blueberries we picked this year... Yummy.
Here the bowls are waiting for blueberries and a little home made goats milk kefir.... Heaven on a plate.

More Pics of Bracken/ Bring in the Soul Quietly

What a lot of folks don't know is that babies are at birth the most aware beings on the planet.  This isn't common knowledge in the Western world where the majority of babies are born in hospitals.   And suddenly after going through the whole  previous death experience as pure consciousness attached to nothing but their soul, they are thrust...literally into a physical world and a physical body.
  But, their consciousness remains 
They can see your aura...
they know how you feel,
and even pretty much your life path......
They "see" a lot.

  Bracken is looking out of his Third eye as much as the other two...
that's how they can see so much, that we can not.
Usually when a baby is born in a Hospital, amid the hustle, bustle, the lights, the jabs and all the crazy astral  (emotional) activity going on all around them.... they Block, they shut down their third's just too much information, all at once.
We've all done that.... we all were born with a very pure consciousness, and the ability to see things the "grown-up's could not.  But we all slammed those doors mostly, or all the way shut, pretty darn quick after birth.  Too much .....sensory overload..... And we , or some of us...spend the rest of our lives regaining what we lost when we shut down.   Of course whenever we opened that door/window/"third eye" as children...or even as adults and saw something that the "grown-up's couldn't...... we were told it was just our imagination...
But I'm digressing...

We have made a point of introducing Bracken to the world very gently.
  A home birth, quiet with candlelight...
and surrounded by nearly angelic vibes from the Midwives,
and overpowering love from his parents..... 
Tomorrow will be a week that Bracken has been here with us,
and we have maintained the gentleness.....
and Bracken hasn't yet slammed the Door/ Window/ "Third Eye" yet. 
But tomorrow the family starts coming.... 
the Bubble of gentle love gets bigger....
and he'll be riding in a car for the first time, 
and going Out. 
  I pray he can keep the Door open. 
The world is very sadly deficient in those who can truly "See". 
If you bring a child into this world, as much as you can..... bring it in Gently.....slowly.....
Family can wait, friends can wait.... bright lights, loud cacophonous sounds .... they can wait....... strongly emotional people..... can wait.   The baby that doesn't Block and shut down keeps their soul close.  After all it is every thing we do to "shut down" that stands between us, and direct communication, with our souls.

So Beautiful


Look at all that Hair

 We're living in a Blissful world here....

Waiting for Directions

I realized this morning that indeed our family is headed somewhere...I just don't know where yet. We have really been trying to let go of everything and let Him direct our steps. Some days it's very freeing other days it's down right scary.

Carlos sent me a link about a story of a young girl who took what I would consider to be a pretty radical step in her life. She was 18. Her parents dropped her at the airport with a backpack where she then headed for a remote village in Nepal (I can't imagine doing this with Ean!). Along the way, she meet a group of orphans and was so touched by their hardships that she took $5,000 she saved from babysitting to buy a piece of land to help given them a home. You can read her amazing story here: The award she won was the "Do Something Award" which I thought was so appropriately titled. Aren't we ALL called to do something? But, what is something?

This week someone also shared with me David Platt's new book called Radical. Just reading the back cover I realized, hmm, God is doing something. It states: "It's easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, and even family for him."

I'm not sure what the something is in our family, but I do know He's leading us somewhere.

The story of God putting His family back together...

We have this "tagline" (as I would call it with my "marketing hat" on) at our church..."we're about being a community of people helping each other as we experience the story of God putting His family back together." I've heard that week after week, until last Friday, it took a deeper meaning for me.

On Friday, we received the official relinquishment papers for our baby girl in Ethiopia. I was heart broken to read the accounts and details of her relinquishment to the orphanage. I was broken for her. I was broken for her mom. And, I questioned if I would be equipped to someday answer her tough questions for me about her parents.

As Carlos and I prayed throughout the weekend, and spent time with our friends from Ethiopia on Sunday - God revealed His bigger plan. That is, that He has chosen our family to help restore our daughter's family and to truly bring His together as One. What a powerful image.

It was very clear after our dinner last night. We asked our friends, Wegi and Tsion, to pray with us about a couple of specific needs as we prepare to bring our daughter home. It is, after all, His vision for us and His provision. Carlos asked them to pray in their native tongue. It was the most remarkable experience. As we held hands and they prayed over us, I could just sense us becoming One family. God has blessed us so much by bringing into our lives people from the very country we're adopting.

I have no idea what is ahead for us, but I know that He is doing mighty things, and He has a plan for our baby girl. I look forward to telling her "her story" and how God brought her to her new family....I just know He's going to use her testimony in mighty ways.

Bracken Lee Wilson

Bracken Lee Little Hawk Wilson

Here he looks like a little Tibetan Monk,

                                         in his Monk Colors

 Oh, yeah,
I'm pretty sure
he was one..

Hello and may Peace be in your soul,  
   he say's ~~~

         ~~~  with just a look

One of his favorite places is sitting on my chest...

And as much as that he loves being cradled in my arm, 
being carried around....
and sung to

" Dad, What's this all about? "

 " Love"

OH My God

Could there be anything more precious??


My heart's is singing

 Looks like a little Elven Baby here

Bracken Lee

Prince of Elves

Now you can see why it's taken me this long to post pics of our sweet new baby Bracken.

Because if I have any time these days,

apart from chores and the necessary and joyful duties of everyday Life.... 

       What could I rather be wanting to do..

                 But to be cherishing  this baby

                                 and my sweet wife too.