Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some new babies here on the homestead

Wow, what a whirlwind of an evening. We got "the call"...that our chicks were in :-) The lady at the Tractor Supply Co. (TSC) thought they would be in this past Monday. But Monday came and went, leaving behind it four disappointed girls. Tuesday..ditto. Wednesday wasn't looking too promising as it was getting to be evening. Then the phone rang. The girls raced over to see that it was "the call". Of course it is always a good thing if none of the girls have left the van door opened......can anyone say, "Dead battery?" Get the extension cord, plug in our battery charger (I love that thing!!! This isn't the first time I've been in this position) wait a bit and THEN drive off. Before we picked them up we had to run to the library to pick up some books on hold. Then we ran by the TSC to pick up some goat milk formula. The lady who works at the TSC had the chicks waiting for us at her house. She was very nice to do this. She said that the store literally runs out of the chicks in under two hours! So she said she would set some aside for us. We picked up our five, very cute, Rhode Island Red chicks. Then off to the store to pick up something quick for dinner as I hadn't expected to be out this evening. We got home and had to accomplish the following (all at the same time :-), OK, that was impossible, but I did feel like I was in triage mode):

put chicks in box

set up lamp, which was set up, but we needed to bring in the extension cord that was used for the van (see above)

give chicks their food and water
hook up Jedidiah's feeding
preheat oven
put Jonah to bed
cook pizza (yes, this goes against our diet, but hey....I was in triage mode)
make formula for goats
feed goats
The above post was written a few days ago. I am happy to say that I got everything done on my list. Today we had a busy day. We went out on an unexpected trip today. We had to get some goat's milk (for Jed's formula), and we can only get that at the health food store. We had been telling the girls that we would take them to this certain park. And this park happens to be close to a health food store. So we packed everyone up and off we went. I have pictures of the new babies and of our park day. It is late and there are quite a few things still left to be done.

Five reds. They all have names. They all escape me right now. Each of the girls got to name three chickens each. I named three as well. Don't forget we are getting another ten chicks any day now. I'll have to ask each girl what names they picked. I know there is a Rosie, Banana, Buscuit.....hmmm....I'll have to get back to you. The girls each know which chick is theirs. Each one has some defining feature. The names of my chickens are (will be) Petunia, Beatrice and Julia. The initials are PB&J :-)

A close up of cuteness.

No chick's cuteness can match this cuteness! Here are the girls all very eager to go on the carousel. It was a bit chilly today, but after running around for a bit all their sweatshirts were put to the wayside.

Daddy and Jedidiah enjoying a ride. Jedidiah thoroughly enjoyed himself. So much so that he didn't want to leave. I do have to say that Jedidiah is finally acting more like a two year old. Normally he wouldn't care if we left somewhere or not. But today he was upset. That is a good thing :-)
Jedidiah was VERY excited to be riding in a boat. Our camera was running out of battery power, so I wasn't able to get a video of him on his ride. He thought it was amazing.

Saoirse, our camera ham, asked me to take a picture of her on the swing. She is learning to swing herself. That makes things a lot easier on me!

We were hanging out at the train when a lady saw me taking pictures of everyone else. She stopped and asked if we would like for her to take our picture. She said since we had so many in our family we probably didn't get too many pictures of all of us together. How sweet!! I am so thankful for her offer. This picture Jonah was looking away, but the other one she took had Jonah looking, but Jed looking away. Ya just can't win :-)

That ends are fun time at the park. Off we went to the kid hating, I mean....Whole Foods. We got the goat's milk and were off to home.

For our wee homestead we are still working on a few things. Jeremiah is building the goat/chicken house. We are in touch with some people about buying some Guinea hens and a possible guard dog. Yes, we have two dogs already, and they may help to keep some of the predators away, but because they want to eat the goats themselves they are separated by fencing. So we are not sure how effective they will be if a predator comes buy to swipe a chicken or two. Plus we still have to dig up some more plots for a garden. Lots of work. But I have to say it has been wonderful! There is such a satisfaction in knowing we are trying to make a way for us to be more self sufficient. It is exciting and 'scary' all at the same time. Scary only in the sense that we don't know what we are doing and we would hate for any of our animals to suffer because of our lack of knowledge. We are so thankful that we know others who have gone before us and are willing to lend their knowledge when we need it.

Ok, off to finish up some work and then to bed. Have a blessed Lord's day!

Rights of the Child

I had copied another person's post, with permission, about the UN Rights of the Child. It was rather long. I will instead link you all to the petition site. Please take a moment to read over it and sign. This is a slippery slope that we should not start down!!!!

Parental Rights

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Just some ramblings

Well nothing too new has been going on here at the home front. I thought I would pop in and just say "hi". I am on our back computer so I do not have access to any photos, so no new photos to share just yet. If I get time later I may just put a post up with a montage of our recent pics. We have been busy here tying to get things in better order. As I have written recently, we are trying to get back into a deeper level of homeschooling. I finally received the school books I needed to start Spell to Write and Read (SWR) with the three older girls. Saoirse was highly disappointed that she didn't get a red book like her sisters.

Jeremiah and I had a night out last night with some friends of ours. We went out to dinner and had some wonderful fellowship! We brought the baby along and he cooperated by falling asleep before our food arrived. We had a wonderful older girl come over to help Isabella man the troops. What a blessing it was to go out for a cooking and NO cleaning up :-)

Jedidiah is not doing too well at this time :-( He seemed to have it two weeks ago when I did. However he has thrown up every day now for about 6 days. On top of that he has missed a few feedings due to clearly "telling" us that his tummy was not up to food. Something tells me that he doesn't have the tummy bug, but it seems that the bug he did have has left him unbalanced. He is having issues with bowel movements, which is causing him pain and discomfort. On top of that he started to press on his throat (something he hasn't done in over two months), pressing on his cheek (again two months without) AND yesterday he spent about 10 minutes grinding his teeth. Now the teeth grinding may have to do with introducing a new homeopathic remedy that same morning. That has happened to him in the past. For now we wait and see. We were able to pick up some raw goats milk yesterday so we will start that today. It is possible that the tummy bug has wiped his intestinal tract "clean" from the good bacteria and the raw milk may help. Although his formula does contain good bacteria. This is where I commence banging my head against a wall :-) I am afraid to weigh him at this moment since I am certain he has lost weight. Alas, we shall persevere in prayer and wait for the Lord's healing.

We finally have the goat fencing in and the dog fencing. And get this.....Kala has been tied up for a month and Shiloh about 4 months. Our electric fence went out and they figured it out. Now they are "free"....and do you know what they do now?????Anyone want to take a guess? They sit in ONE spot or pace in ONE spot starring (and drooling) at the goats! HELLO!?!

The baby is awake so I must take off, but before I do Isabella wanted me to give her blog a plug :-) She asks me daily to check her blog for comments...... hint, hint.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The results of our first "month" of the new diet

The reason I have the word month in quotes is because when I took our first measurements and logged our list of health complaints I did so in mid Jan. We only changed everything totally over on the first of Feb. I have to say that I am VERY pleased with the results so far! We have tried many a different diet. And please note that my use of the word diet is not in the idea of "let's try this and loose weight and get back to our regular way of eating". I use the word diet in the sense of having a permanent change in our eating habits. My husband can attest to the fact that we have tried many things :-) I will say up front that going all raw will give you absolutely incredible results, the problem is that I couldn't get the kids to eat most of it, not to mention it wasn't my hubbies or my favorites either. So for those of you who have been reading here you know we have embarked on a mostly vegetarian diet. The children are eating it (most of it anyways) and are getting used to the tastes and differences. The health results have been wonderful. [Here's a funny: I made our regular brocolli/potatoe soup last week. The kids were all raving about it! They wanted to know what I changed in the recipe because it was the best they ever tasted. I kept telling them that I didn't change anything. Then I realized that although I didn't change anything about the recipe there were the 'extras' that we were leaving out. We would normally top our soup with sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon bits. But all those extras are out of the picture now. What they were tasting was the actual soup!! Too funny!]

Our list of improvements are:

No tummy pains for the two youngest girls.

Moira's allergies/snoring are gone.

My stomach pain is gone.

The four oldest people in the house lost weight. Jeremiah:6 lbs , Me: 5 lbs, Isabella: 8 lbs, Moira: 6 lbs. With the oldest two girls they have quite a bit to lose. Just to cover my bases, the girls are not going hungry, they still eat frequently, but what they eat has changed. Instead of snacking on muffins, eggs, or leftovers they are eating fruit or veggies and dip. I do set limits on certain foods, mostly any kind of special snacks we have. Otherwise they eat till they are no longer hungry.

The younger two girls stayed the same with weight, which is what I was looking for. They need to keep gaining, but at that slow and steady pace.

Jedidiah is still gaining, I weighed him yesterday and he was 22 lbs, 8 oz.

And Jonah man is still gaining like a pro! He was 19lbs 12 oz!!! Whoa!

I think there were a few other changes, but I wrote about them in a previous post.

I am so thankful that we are finally seeing results. I have been concerned now for the past couple of years, even before things got more noticeable to others. Good things come to those who 'weight' :-) I am hoping that with the new animals and with some chickens to come that the girls will get plenty of exercise. Right now they are out back in the new goat 'pasture' chasing and getting chased by goats. My girls are goo-goo over chickens and I am sure there will be plenty of chicken chasing as well! Add to that some gardening chores and we should be good to go!

I have a bunch of pictures of our big snow, our new goat pasture, and the kids playing, plus life through the eyes of a four year old (she took a lot of pictures the other day and I thought I would post them as well). BUT you will all have to wait :-) We have a busy day here. Yesterday we went to the doctors to check Jed's blood sugar level as GI called saying it was low when they drew blood at our last visit (almost a month ago!). They pricked his finger and when they went to get the reading....the batteries were dead on the glucometer! So we have to go back again today. Plus Jed has speech therapy. On top of that I am really trying hard to work on their homeschooling AND learning about goats. I have been re-reading the Bluedorn's book, "Teaching the Trivium". It's only 600 pages long! Granted I won't have to read all of it, but I still have a lot to go. Plus I have been looking into starting up in earnest "Spell to Write and Read"(STWR). I already have it, and have used it, but I kind of dropped it. But I think that the girls need that intensive phonics for their future success with spelling. The down side was that there didn't seem to be a lot of practice for their spelling, but we got them some spelling workbooks that have really helped. But I think they need the STWR. Especially after the reading I have been doing in the Trivium book. Plus I am trying to map our their other course of studies as well. Jeremiah has history handled. I have their phonics/reading/spelling handled. I have a bunch of science books to dive into with them as well. But for now I think we will take the real living approach. I will have them keep a notebook on all the gardening/animals that we are learning about. Maybe throw in a science book here or there on a rainy day. I need to tackle literature. I need to add in copy work, dictation, and narration. That is something I have always wanted to do, and have done so here or there, but never can seem to keep up with! But my goal here is to get more organized. Re-reading the Trivium book has really sparked a fire in me, especially in light of current events in our nation. Our land first and foremost needs a of which we need to be calling out the the Lord for. The Lord uses means, and on that end of things I find myself seeing where I have failed to be diligent in our schooling, among other things! I would love to write more about this but time is getting away from me. I will make it the topic of another post.
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