Monday, September 27, 2010


We got to have a short visit with cousins this past week! Always very fun! Kids running and playing all over the place :-)  It was sad to see them go.  My kiddos wanted to bring their cousins outside, which is a bad idea.  Bad, if you are not wanting to travel with three muddy children for the next five hours.  Ha, ha!  There was no lack of fun to be had inside though.  And play they did.  Then before they left we made up a smoothie to tie over those hungry tummies (well my kids tummy's anyways).  This time around I got some pictures.  It was hard to get everyone in the picture at any one time.  And harder still to get them to all act 'normal' for the picture.  Although I suppose for kids, silliness IS normal. I should know this by now. 

For the rest of our was spent in normal fall summer like fashion.  Soccer started out our Saturday.  It was picture day, which complicates things. Making sure each child got to their picture on time, and trying to watch another child's game in between.  The boys are very fond of the sand pile that is out front.  That's where they wanted to spend all their time. So I tried to let them spend some time there and still spend some time watching the games.  It was HOT out....again.  Seriously, it was over 90!  Thankfully I spent more time in the shade this time around so I wasn't burnt to a crisp.  That can't be said about some of the girls though.....little lobsters now.  Starting Sunday we are supposed to get cooler weather.  I can only hope that it sticks around.  So far the week looks good with low 80's and mid 70's.  Ahhhh, now that's more like it.  I just hope we have some of this fall like weather stick around.  The last couple of years we seem to have summer and then winter, then summer again.  Our spring and fall have seemingly disappeared. 

Sunday found ourselves in church.  The girls' S.S. classes are switching, at least for a couple of them, due to age.  So two of them move on up to the next class.  Everyone had a little party to end the 'year' with.  Then two of the girls went off to a birthday party.  The rest of us were treated to lunch out by another family.  It was a great time getting to know this family more.  Off to home to try to rest.  Insert mad maniacal laugh!  Jonah, in his toddler fashion, fell asleep for all of ten minutes.  Something he does multiple times a week due to having to be traveling around during nap time hours.  That makes it hard for him to deal with life come seven o'clock each evening.  Sigh. 

Alrighty, must be off.  We have cleaning, school, speech therapy, and I need to add in a new task, washing walls, as it looks like we will be getting our walls painted soon.  More on that amazing answer to prayer later.  Coming later this week is our big monthly shopping trip that I need to prepare for as well.  I am too worn out to make up a new menu, but getting tired of seeing the same things on our menu week after week.  I really NEED my energy back. It's been missing for the past few years now.  I miss it. 

Here are some pictures of the kiddos.

Most of the kiddos, minus my two little boys and oldest girl.  I know it's not good photography to be cutting off the tops of people's heads, but this was the only good shot of the group. 

Ah, now Isabella joined in. Almost a complete group.

The complete group, but the little boys were more interested in their smoothies at the moment.

Me and my most favoritest sister.  I think if I had more sisters she was still be my most favorite :-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

testing photos

I've been wantint to make rounded cornered photos.  Took me forever to find the 'right' tutorial.  I finally got it to work in Photoshop Elements, but now I need to see how it will appear on my blog....

Hey. looky, it worked!  By golly it only took me like over an hour to figure it all out.  Well, maybe not *that* long, but close!

I also tried my hand at a bit of editing.  I went from this:

To this:

A recipe to share

Sitting here waiting for some juice to take affect....low blood sugar.  Got a bunch of things done this morning, yeah!  And will be taking off soon for Jed's speech therapy.  I was thinking earlier that I hadn't shared the yummy cheesecake recipe that I had made for Jeremiah's birthday.  Cheesecake is Jeremiah's favorite.  We have the slight problem of the incorrect cook ware to make a proper cheesecakes.  Plus, personally, regular cheesecake makes it seem like my mouth is being glued shut due to it's dry nature.  So I hopped on my favorite recipe finding site (All Recipes) and found a no cook cheesecake.  I always make sure to read the reviews as other people will leave some great tips on making the recipe better.  I did make the adjustment of using one and a half packages of cream cheese as there were reported problems with the cake setting.  It says to let it cool in the fridge for at least five hours.  I didn't have that long, only three, but it still came out great!  It held together just fine, but instead of the dryness of regular cheesecake, this was nice and moist.  Oh, YUM!!  I used a cherry pie filling as a topping for one and a strawberry pie filling for the topping of the other.  Apparently no one cared that it wasn't authentic cheesecake because it was eaten up lickety split!  So is you are looking for a cheesecake recipe, check out this ONE.

And I suppose you could make it healthy, and probiotic, if you use yogurt cheese to make it with.  Can't vouch for how it will turn out, but hey...I might try it sometime.  After all someone needs to find out if it will work ;-)  Either that or I am just looking for an excuse to make this again.  I'm not saying.

A blog to share

I think I mentioned that I've been feeling crafty as of late. I have this really big itch to DO some crafty things. I have a list of about a gazillion things that I want to make. Ok, maybe only three or four things, but I think with all the other things I am *supposed* to do it does seem like a gazillion :-) On the one hand January seems so very far away, but then on the other hand when I think about all I want to accomplish before baby comes, it seems like there is definitely not enough time in the day or weeks left to get it all done. But I know I feel this way with every pregnancy, so I just need to do what I can, and once the baby comes I'll forget about all the other things I wanted to do :-)

I had another bad day, physically speaking, on Saturday. I seriously wish I could figure out what is going on. I made it to the girls' soccer games, but was feeling really worn out and 'funky'. I took a long break to sit in the shade, while trying to still watch Flannery's game and at the same time the boys play in a big sand pile. I think all the sun just added to me being worn out and by the time I got home I could not move! Dinner? Um, yeah...not happening. So I set out to Walmart to buy something....quick. Which translates into something not healthy. Actually I didn't make out too, too bad. I bought some hamburgers and fries to bake up. I was supposed to go to a local park to walk the trails and that did not happen. I was supposed to go the following day, and that still did not happen (although I did get out and walk in the near by neighborhood down the road).

So I've been sitting and doing a lot of reading. To the boys, and for myself. I've come across some old and new crafty ideas that I want to get a start on. On the smaller scale I want to make some Birdies, Flowers, and Stars to hang up around the house to make it more peppy in here. Then I've been holding off on continuing with Jonah's blanket as I just can't get into the color scheme that I had going on his hexagon blanket. I love the pattern, but the colors I had to work with....well they're just not doing it for me. So I'm not sure if I will just get different colors or tackle a different design. I am really wanting to give the Granny Stripe pattern a go. If I don't make it for Jonah I think I will make it for the new baby. But I'll need to wait for a trip to the craft store to pick up some new yarn. And then I came across a new to me blog that has some really neat crafty ideas for decorating and clothing/accessories. I was thinking that I might need a new diaper bag. The one we have is four years old and has been used and abused. It still functions, but a lot of things have started to disappear into the deep recesses of the lining (the lining has ripped away from the main bag areas). I thought about sewing it back up, and still might, but those linings are always so flimsy...why is that? Anyways this blog's newest post is on making a 2-in-1 messenger/stroller bag. Very cool! I love the 3-D butterfly wall hanging, and ....well too many to list! Have a look see for yourselves. Lots of fun!

Today I am hoping to get on top of some things that we've been behind in. Like cooking. I really need to cook up large batches of soaked grain items. Part of my energy problem may be that we've been eating too many non soaked grain items since I haven't had the time to prepare them properly. And before I head off... I thought it was funny that the other day I was reading a blog that I visit every once in a while and the last time I was there was about two weeks ago. At that time their children were wearing summer clothing. Then I visited the other day to see her kids playing outside with pants, sweaters/long sleeves, and one had a hat on! I thought maybe it was a recycled post, but nope....they live in Canada. Ha! Here I am dealing with some minor heat exhaustion (from the soccer game, both Flannery and I got it) and these kids are getting bundled up. Too weird! Another blog- health blog- was talking about preparing for the rainy season. They live in Washington state. Here I was bemoaning this coming week, seeing that temps are supposed to hit 96 degrees for a few days later this week (with low 90's) for the rest of the week. Now, I am thankful for our weather :-) At least our mornings are now cool and pleasant!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A new montage

So the other day, while still feeling sick, the kiddos all wanted to go outside.  The girls had asked fist, and I sent them out.  But upon seeing the girls race outside the boys then started in chorus their desire to go out.  I had to pull myself together to get up off my chair and take them out.  I am glad I did.  I think I needed the fresh air too.  When I got out there I needed to find a chair to sit in.  Yes, I was really feeling worn out.  Obtained one chair, check.  I sat watching children playing.  Then I got the idea to go grab my camera.  After all the only lens I have is the zoomable one (is that a word?).  Went and got camera, check.  Then I remembered recently reading some tutorials on photography.  It's been a long while since I've done that due to my depression.  This particular tutorial was more of an encouragement to use the full manual setting on your camera.  She showed the difference in pictures with the exposure when doing so.  She talked about using your spot meter, something I had not used as of yet.  So I had to go back inside to find my manual to find out how to use my spot meter.  Obtained manual, check.  Alrighty, I think I am ready to sit and relax now :-)  All the pictures you see in the montage, save one, was taken from my chair sitting in the middle of the yard.  It was a lot of fun experimenting with the spot meter.  I will say being in the lighting we were, with lots of passing shade due to trees, was a bit tricky.  One second subject is in full sun, the very next second (due to a breeze) they are in partial shade.  Then I noticed about a three quarters way through my time outside that I had mistaken my ISO number with another displayed number.  I had it set to 800!  Which was way too high for being outside.  Oh, well, live and learn :-)  I hope this montage gets displayed properly.  I had a rough time making it.  First the computer locked up when I had all but two more pictures to caption, making me lose the whole file.  Next I couldn't figure out how to save it in the right format.  I was about to upload a new montage to One True Media, but took another look at it in Windows Movie Maker and saw a tutorial on saving your movie in the correct format.  So I am trying out another server to see how it does, as uploading anything to Blogger directly seems to take forever!  Oh,'s taken me several tries, but I think I got it this time.  I chose the music that does not fit the montage.  Oh, well.  I really need to get on with my day and not keep messing with silly computers!  Ha!

Check out this giveaway

Some of you may know that I am in search of natural ways to help stabilize my adrenals.  I have only looked up "natural remedies for adrenal fatigue" one time.  I read a great article on the subject.  And then the very next day I got an email from a blog I subscribe to on another article for adrenal fatigue.  The very following day, I looked in my Yahoo RSS feed reader (trying to use that on a daily basis) to see there is a giveaway for an acupressure mat.  It looks very intriguing, and it might be something you might want to check out if you are in the market for ways to reduce stress and muscle fatigue.  I'm all for it!  Please stop by Keeper of the Home to see about the giveaway. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Soccer is now in full swing around here. The first game day festivities were a lot of fun. I have a feeling the boys will be bummed when we go next week only to see that there is no fun stuff to do! On the first game day they had pony rides, a jump house, a huge slide and a fire truck to check out. I was surprised that we didn’t have to wait long for any one ride. For some reason I remember the first day being really hectic. Maybe it’s just because everyone is getting older, making it easier on me? Either way I found myself actually enjoying the day rather than being totally stressed out.

I only got to see Saoirse and Flannery’s games as I had to take off immediately afterwards to get Moira to a birthday party. Moira chose to skip out on her first game to go to the party. I can’t say I blame her, with going horseback riding, then off to a hotel to enjoy swimming, cake, pizza and a movie. I was pretty impressed with the girls’ improvements from last year. I know a lot of that comes with age. Last year pretty much all but one or two of Saoirse’s team mates just followed the ball with the other two actually trying to get the ball and trying to score. They were like flocks of birds that would all shift with the lead bird. Seriously it’s pretty funny. But this year I noticed that most of the team at least for some part of the game were actually going after the ball or actually trying to defend their goal. Not all the time mind you, but definite improvements. The biggest difference in play was with Flannery. I was very surprised to see how much better she was playing. The funny thing is that she is one of the fastest players, although not as agile. Last year if the ball was kicked out ahead of the pack, she could outrun the pack, but then she would just stop to look at the ball to see if anyone else was going to get it! Her coach had her on defense the whole time, which she did very well in. She actually saved two goals from being scored on her team. She actually went after the ball. You could still see that hesitation before going after it sometimes, but much improved from last year.

I was still worn out even though I enjoyed myself. We had to stop by Walmart to grab some wrapping for the birthday present plus a couple of things for the following day. When we got to the check out I saw we were LATE for the party. I was really nervous for Moira to think that she might miss out on the horseback riding. She was looking forward to it all week long. Thankfully, even though were an hour late, they had only just started with the rides. They were just going around a ring, not off on a trail, where we would have missed them. Phew! Moira had a blast. Jeremiah took Isabella and Flannery to a soccer game (local team), and then they drove up to pick Moira up from the party. Me and the rest of the kiddos were well into dreamland by the time they got home. As a matter of fact poor Jonah was so tired that he *asked* to go to sleep at 7 PM, a whole two hours earlier than normal. He caught Jed’s lovely little cold. The actual cold symptoms are light, but they are miserable! Jonah was not himself all day long. He didn’t really enjoy a lot of the fun festivities at the soccer field. He seems much improved today. But I did have Saoirse start sniffling last night, and Moira came into my room last night to say her nose was stuffed up and was feeling achy. So most of us stayed home from church. I took the sickies out to get some fresh air and sun. That of course meant that baths were needed. The boys can not go out to play without getting incredibly dirty.

It is early evening now, with some time to spare before Jeremiah and Isa leave for a soccer game. With sick kiddos we can’t go anywhere, but we all want to get out and do something. Maybe a little walk will do us good. As long as we don’t spread the germs. Speaking of germs, is it just me or are the People that Be really going gung ho this year with the flu shot campaign? Seriously, I don’t ever remember seeing signs left and right this early in the year for flu shots. They are EVERYWHERE! I want to go around with my own signs that read something like: DANGER, you are putting your health in jeopardy by getting the flu shot…..Of course make it snappy, but somehow I don’t think that would go over too well.

Jed really enjoyed to fire truck.  He was sitting in the back at first but asked to go up front to 'drive'.  He was loving it up there!

Jonah finally decided to join in.  He didn't want to leave my arms when we got to the truck.  But after a while he warmed up to the idea.

He even decided to accept a token fire fighters hat, which he declined at first.  This was one of only a few times he smiled for the day! 

Jonah was brave enough to go up the big slide by himself.  Seemed to have a blast on the way down, but refused to go again for a long time.  The second time he went I had to send Isabella up after him as he refused to come down.  I think part of that was that a bigger boy came up after him and started to jump around up at the top just when Jonah was going to head down.  That freaked him out and he crawled into the corner to feel safe from falling I suppose.  So I had Isabella go up and help him slide down. He wouldn't go up again after that.  And it was a bummer for him as there were no other people in line for a wait, or for anyone to follow him up to the top.

Saoirse backing up.  Her team name is "Storm".

Ok, not the best picture, but I can only spend so much time with my eyes off the boys.  Anyways, here is Flannery after defending the goal.  Her team name is "Fire".  Isabella and Moira are on the same team again this year, with the same team name as last year, "Portsmouth".  They have the same color jerseys as well, orange. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

a hard day

Still not *the* post! Sorry.  Although I had a WONDERFUL conversation with my oldest that really helped sort out my thoughts and what I want to write.  But for now I thought I would just say that between the emotional weariness (draining) and maybe fighting something (?)  I'm just to tired to write anything of substance.  Seriously I don't know what was up with me today.  I woke up feeling VERY worn out, and just funky.  I figured that it might take me a few hours to get over.  But I've felt that way all day long!  That makes it very hard to get anything done. We did some cleaning (the basics), but the cooking I was supposed to get done didn't get done.  I really need to make some granola bars for the girls for their soccer games tomorrow.  Thankfully this year the first game we have is 10:15.  Which is much better than 9AM that we had last year.  Plus all three games will be one after the other as apposed to two that were one after the other and then a one hour or so wait till the last game.  Too short to go home, but too long to have to hang out.  I will have to give the girls one last pep talk tonight about how they can not eat the snacks that are given out after their games.  Not only were they doing that last time, but being a large family we were the lucky recipients of the left overs!  That translates into LOTS of junk food on Saturdays.  Something we really need to avoid all together and especially this year with the baby due in Jan.  Health is something that takes time to build, and I have to say so far this summer we have faired far better than last year as far as illnesses go.  We need to keep it that way!

Cooler weather is upon us, FINALLY!!  The days have still been warm, in the upper 80's but lacking the summer humidity, which makes it much more tolerable.  The mornings have been cool, enough for the girls to wear sweat shirts.  Funny thing, the girls took the boys out this morning to play, I was sitting feeling yuck.  I told them to make sure they got dressed to go outside (for them to dress the boys).  They all run out there, I was helping Saoirse find something.  I look out to see Jonah in a diaper and Jed in a diaper and t-shirt.  Granted it really wasn't cold out, I felt comfortable in a t-shirt and skirt, however it was cool enough to be chilly if you didn't have any clothes on (at least I thought so).  So I took out some clothing for the girls to put on them, since I already told *them* to do it.  I watched to see that it was done, check.  Well not five minutes later there's Jed in only a diaper!  Ugh!  He refused to wear clothing.  He didn't stay out long after that :-)  Silly boy.  All my children seem to have issues with clothing at some point in their lives.  As if clothing is optional.  Go figure. 

Alrighty, off to rest, it's almost bed time for the boys.  I'm looking forward to that.  They have both been handfuls today.  Usually it's one or the other.  But Jed got in on the action.  Between dumping out my Balsamic vinegar, pouring out some grain, pouring out some liquid soap onto the floor, and climbing up on the bookshelf only to fall and bang his head.....I'm seriously ready for that boy to go to bed!  Jed usually gives me 'problems' with his screaming, so this was totally out of character for him.  Jonah does a perfectly good job keeping me on my toes already, no need to help him out :-) 

I am anxiously awaiting the homecoming of the girls.  Jeremiah took them with him to pick up their soccer jersies and to finish up on securing the soccer goals (Jeremiah's job as safety coordinator this year).  However it is almost 9 PM and they are still not home yet.  They left around 7:30.  I hate when they stay out much later than I anticipate.  Granted the work that they did on the other goals took longer than anticipated the last time, so I suppose it's just taking longer, but it's completely dark out, and unless they brought a flashlight I'm not sure how they are getting any work done.  It wouldn't be so bad if it was just Jeremiah and the older two girls. But with Flannery and I start to worry.  (Worry should have been my middle name!)  Flannery is bold, and Saoirse is a cross between Moira and Flannery.....she's a dreamer, but bold at the same time.  Not a good mix.  Especially if they get bored of the 'work' they are to be doing and try to go off and play. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Savvy Teas and Herbs

This is not "the" post I was alluding to in my previous post.  I think that post may take me a few days to put together.  This is still fresh, and I want to word things appropriately.  But until then I would LOVE to tell you about a friend of mine who has a wonderful online tea and herbal store.  I just met up with her to pick up my 'goods' this past week.  This store is new, at least to me.  I only had her probiotic cultures site.  I mentioned wanting to make my own Super Green Drink mix, which takes a lot (LOT) of herbs to make.  I wasn't sure if they were safe for pregnancy.  She did the work for me, as she is knowledgeable about herbal contraindications during pregnancy. She had all but I think one of the herbs, which she said she could get a hold of for me.  And on top of it all they are all organic!  Another feature I like is that you have the choice of three different amounts to buy, 4 oz, 8 oz and 1 pound.  When I was thinking of making my own green drink mix there was just no way to afford up front buying 1 pound of each herb!  So if you are looking for some great organic teas or herbs please do check her out:

Savvy Teas and Herbs

And if you are in the market for some probiotic cultures you can visit her ebay page here:

Nick's Natural Nook

She has milk and water kefir grains, kombucha and four different yogurt starters.  I've had great success with mine (when I get to doing it!!!) and she sends very detailed instructions with them so that you know how to care for them.  Right now I have my water kefir grains brewing, and we had our first batch of milk kefir this afternoon in our smoothies.  I have not gotten around to making my greek yogurt yet.  I really need to get that started!  We go through yogurt quickly around here and it is SO much more economical to make my own. 

Monday, September 06, 2010

So this entry will be a sort of introduction to my next post.  Trust me, my next post NEEDS an introduction.  And for the sake of trying to make this less weighty I threw in some pictures below.  Pictures always help, don't they?  My next post is going to be VERY long.  No really, it is.  At least it's really, really long in my head.  And for that matter most of the post will be rather depressing.  However a happier ending has been made possible due to the perfect timing of a sermon and Sunday School lesson we had yesterday.  If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't even fathom writing my next post, as it would have ended by seeping you all in knee deep depression.  As a matter of fact my post will be on my depression.  At least that is what I am calling it, depression.  I suppose one could get all theological and just call it sin, or lack of faith, or any number of spiritual failings (and they would be correct).  But for simplicity I will call it depression.  I will indeed address the spiritual matters in that post though.

So why the introduction?  Well, first off I wanted to explain why I am writing about my depression.  There are a few reasons.  One being that for a very long time I was either reading about families or was actually surrounded by families that appeared to being near perfect.  There were a few families that seemed to have some of the same struggles that I was having.  But it seemed that I wasn't getting anywhere as to how to fix the problems we were having.  I started to feel that I was just a looser wife, mother and Christian.  I couldn't seem to get out of the never ending circle of failure.  At least that is how I saw it.  And it was a few comments from my sister that made me double think on how I write things on my blog.  Granted no one needs nor wants to read all about the low points of someone.  However, I did not want to come across as having it all together.  Because that is so far from the truth.  But this being a journal of sorts, I wanted to make sure to record the *good* things in life, not all the depressing things.  But I've been battling this depression for a good six months now. and one could reckon it's really been going on for years.  But it's been really bad these past few months.  And for one posts worth I plan on sharing those low points with you all.

So my next entry will take you through some of what has been going on.  Due to obvious privacy reasons I won't be giving detail on a lot of things.  But at the same time just saying "I've been feeling depressed", or "Things have been chaotic around here" really don't give the bigger picture.  So I will try the middle of the road approach.  There will not be blame placed on anyone or anything, just the facts of how I have been 'seeing' things and handling them.

I had wanted to put up a prayer list of "things" (physical things) that I am praying for.  It seems so much easier to say, oh look, the Lord sent us 'x,y,z".  It is concrete.  Much easier than trying to declare that I am no longer fearful, or worried, or depressed.  As those can't as easily be quantified.  But I wanted to give it a try.  Although my post will be rather depressing and dark, it was this light that I saw yesterday that is giving me the confidence to go through with writing this mess all out in words.  I will share those lessons in my next post at the end.  It will be what I will be putting my focus on for the near future.  I can't vouch for how successful I will be.  And that can be a bit scary.  Although the work will be up the the Lord, it does indeed take ME to lean into Him, my prayers, and my willingness to make this all work as well.  I can assure you that me sitting here day after day, week after week, month after month of waiting for God to 'magically' do something in my life is NOT WORKING.  And I knew that from past experience.  But truthfully I have been so depressed that I haven't even wanted to pray.  I don't want the work that all this will entail.  I don't want to learn all the lessons I need to learn to change my ways.  I am tired of living in this state and I want out.  Ah, but God doesn't leave us all alone to ourselves, thankfully.  Although it does seem like it at times.  And by golly I'll be so bold and truthful to say that I might just feel that way *tomorrow*, but right now, here and today I see the hope.  Why did God wait for years to show that hope to me?  Was it my own blindness, my own unwillingness?  It could be all of that and more.  I suppose I will never know. 

So that is my introduction.  I can only pray that the Lord will use this truthfulness to help someone else.  I'm not there yet, but I do hope to get "there".  I really want to be on the other side of all of this.  It reminds me of labor.  I hate being on the side of impending labor, of knowing all the work and pain that is ahead of me. It can be scary, and makes me lie awake at night wondering if I will make it through.  BUT, when it's all over, ahhhhhh, that joy of knowing it is done, it is finished, I made it and the pain was all worth it.  But no matter how many times I have been down this road (with labor) I still get scared before hand.  And that is how I am feeling now, facing this depression.  Will I make it through to the other side?  How much is it going to hurt?

Ok, enough of all the heavy stuff.  Here are some pictures I took the other day.  We are finally having agreeable weather around here for me to want to spend more than five minutes outside.  I even have the windows open this morning.  I think I will try to do without the AC for the rest of the season.  Night time temps are supposed to be just below 70.  That will help to cool things off at night.  I tried editing my pictures with photoshop elements due to the dark nature of my pictures.  It was evening and the sun was behind the trees.  For some odd reason I couldn't get the program to work properly.  It seems to be working this morning, go figure.  I was able to lighten up the pictures with Picnik though.

Here is a shot of our cucumbers in their cages.  Isabella was supposed to put the cages over the tomatoes, which are next to the cucumbers.  Oh well, I suppose they will have to climb up from the outside.  That is if we have enough warm weather left to produce the fruits.

Isabella playing horsey with the boys.  They were having a blast!  And if you look closely enough you can see how nicely Jed's tube site has healed up.  It's the pink mark on his tummy.

Saoirse being Saoirse :-)  She's such a ham for the camera, always wanting me to take pictures of her.

Jonah is still obsessed with holding the chickens, even though they are huge now.  He needed a bit of help with this one as it kept flapping it's wings.  But he does pretty good with catching them on his own! 

Just a random shot of what our well looks like at the moment.  Which is much better looking than a lot of the yard.  I liked the way the sticks were leaning up against the wall.  The following day would have been better to get the shot as there were interesting shadows being made from the sun being out.  Oh well.  I only have my big lens for the camera as my 50 mm is broken!  And that just makes the camera bulky and heavy to carry around.  So I don't take it out as much.  Not to mention the kids kept coming up to me, wanting me to take a picture of something and I had to keep telling them to step back, waaaaayyyyy back as the lens I have is for long distance shots. 

Ok, I think that is enough rambling for the day! 

Thursday, September 02, 2010

chicken woes

Thankfully it's only chicken and not chickens.  One of the girls came in this morning to say that 'Daisy' was sick.  Supposedly she was throwing up.  Oh, lovely.  Quick, separate her from the rest of the flock.  I went online to see what she could have.  Funny thing was as I was scanning Googles results, one result popped out, that being a prolapse.  I thought how silly to even look at that as the chicken is throwing up.  Couldn't find any related symptoms on the other sites, so decided to try to make a homeopathic mix that I saw on another site.  We had to take off and when we came back Isabella went out to check on her.  She said that the chicken was up and walking around and looked fine.  She hadn't given the chicken another dose of the remedy so I sent her out to do so.  In order to give Daisy the remedy she had to pick her up.  It was then that she saw the protruding bulge from her bottom (a *prolapse*!!).  She came running in with the chicken to show me.  I got online to see what could/should be done.  Not a pleasant idea to be sure, but you need to wash the area, and then apply honey to help shrink the protrusion, and then push it back in.  Sorry if that is too much information for some, but it's what I was supposed to do.  So out I go with my supplies.  And I was VERY thankful to see that the protrusion had already gone back in where it belonged!  Still, I washed the area and applied honey to the outside, to hopefully help keep it in :-)  Now we have to wait and see.  The good news is, if it is a prolapse only (and not being caused by some illness) then the rest of the flock will be ok.  Time will tell if Daisy will be ok.  One website suggested surgery if home remedies didn't work. But people, this chicken only cost us two dollars and I really can't see paying a vet bill for her!  Sorry to all you animal lovers out there if you think I'm horrible to think such a way.  The bad news is that the prolapse could be a sign of a calcium deficiency.  That's not horrible, it just means that the overall health of our flock isn't where it should be if that is the case.  Maybe it's just the one hen that has a deficiency, I don't know.  I think I may add a Bioplasma cell salt to their water to make sure they are getting what they need.  When I was making up their homemade feed I was actually crushing their egg shells to put in it.  Egg shells are high in calcium.  So it is odd that this would happen after days of doing so.  But maybe the feed on the whole was low in calcium?  Who knows. 

So for now Daisy is in the storage room in the barn, the place to herself.  We'll keep checking on her to see how she does. 

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A work day

So last night was a BAD night.  So today was a day off of school for us.  I slept in, since I did not get hardly any sleep that night.  We had a late breakfast, and for most of the mid morning I did nothing :-)  Hey, it happens!  Ok, I did something, we were watching the homesteading DVD's.  Awesome stuff!!!  Afterwards the girls were getting antsy so they went outside.  I decided to make it an outside work day for them.  They really appreciated that.....not!  But it was neat to see that Isabella was inspired by the homesteading videos to use up some of our chicken wire fencing to make tomato cages for our growing tomato plants.  She did it all on her own! 

By late afternoon I started to come to.  And looking around was not too impressed with the state of the inside of the house.  However that will have to wait as I do not have the energy to do it myself or to 'encourage' the girls to.  So I worked on other things that really needed to be prep.  Lots of food prep.  Having a rotating menu really helps with planning ahead.  And this month I have a lot of home baked wheat products and other things that need to be made up ahead of time to make the rest of the month go smoother.  I really do not like having to make tortillas a couple of times a week, then bread two days a week, then cereal, then......I would much rather get it done in bulk and freeze the extras.  That way come dinner time our prep time is cut in half at least!  So sitting on my counters right now are:

a dehydrator full of cut up apples to be put into our granola bars
three pots of different beans soaking until we can cook them tomorrow
one pot of almonds soaking to be dehydrated tomorrow or the next day
20 cups of oats soaking to be dehydrated tomorrow for our granola bars
4 quarts of milk that will be buttermilk by tomorrow
a glass bowl with sweetened black tea waiting to cool enough to put our kombucha mushroom in it to ferment
my crockpot filled with beef bones that should become beef broth by tomorrow or the next day

I also double ground a bunch of wheat in preparation for making tortillas and pita bread tonight.  The tortillas I have to make for dinner.  Not sure if I will get to the pita bread.  Both take a while to make as you can only make one at a time with the tortillas and about three at a time for the pita bread.  Hopefully I will have enough ground flour to start soaking tomorrow to make the cereal I made a couple of weeks ago.  This time I want to make two batches.  One with a gingerbread flavor and the other a pumpkin spice flavor.  Ooohh I can't wait.  The original recipe reminded the girls of gingerbread as it is.  I think with a wee bit of molasses and a couple more spices it will the the real thing.  With the pumpkin one I think I will try to decrease some of the liquids and put in a half can of pumpkin, and some spices.

Before the weekend I need to make up the ravioli.  This way while Isabella and I are having our mother/daughter time the crew at home will have plenty of food to eat and make their meal times go much more smoothly.  At least that is the plan! 

Tomorrow or Friday I should have my fresh batches of probiotics to start up.  I am getting milk and water kefir and a greek yogurt starter.  My kombucha lived through it's neglect :-)  I'm really excited to get them as I feel that between the vitamins I am taking and the probiotics are what has helped me to feel much better.  I was reading/and watching about making the super green drink from the homesteading videos.  We bought some to try.  The person I am getting the cultures from knows a lot about herbs and is going to tell me (after she looks through the list of herbs) if it will be safe for me during pregnancy.  It is supposed to save money on supplements.  Although right now I am a little worried about switching over due to my iron levels.  Although they are coming up, I want to make sure they stay up. 

I was also able to order the homeopathic cell salts.  It's a homeopathic minerals.  At this point I'm willing to try everything to get myself back on track.  As I've mentioned before I've had a lot of concern how I will be able to handle labor and recovery due to a lack of health this past year. 

I'm also excited to try out Molly's Herbal Wormer for our goats.  We had some concern this past week about them looking ill.  I dewormed them....again just a couple of months since the last time.  It ends up that it was probably more due to them getting into the dog food than worms.  But, the problem is that for a whole week we can not consume their milk.  And seeing as how they will probably dry up by the end of this month, we are really missing out!  I think if they don't dry up on their own (they are already making less milk compared to a few weeks ago) I will dry them up at the end of the month.  That way it will give them a couple of months before we mate them. 

And lastly we ordered some gamma seals.  I'm really excited about that!  I just put the open bags of grains into the new pails I got (from Walmart).  And I needed to pry off a few lids to see the levels of grain in the other bins.  I can't wait for when all I will need to do is screw off a lid! 

Jeremiah talked with the 'meat man' the other day.  He has about 40 or 45 pounds worth of meat to sell right now.  He slaughters his cows twice a year, in Oct. and March (or May, I can't recall).  There is no way to come up with the money for next months slaughter, so we will have to wait till the spring to get our half cow.  But at least we will get to try out his meat (organic, grass fed) this coming week.  I think we will be getting 40 pounds of ground beef and three roasts.  I'm excited to try it out. 

Phew, that was much more writing than I anticipated!  I plan on taking it easy until I have to take the older girls to soccer.  Then when I get home I will have to start making tortillas.  We were supposed to have the pizza burritos this afternoon, but with such a late breakfast I moved that meal to our dinner slot. 
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