Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Those Bunnies are Back; and they have some friends!

Emma, check out the neat video that we captured of the fuzzy little creatures lurking about our house. They love to dance, and they sure are trouble-makers...

An early birthday celebration

 We celebrated  Jedidiah's birthday early this year.  Moira is going to spend a week with her Nana.  We also invited Nana to spend Fourth of July with us.  So to make this a bit easier we decided to drop Moira off at Nana's house, then Nana bring her back here for the Fourth.  The plan was to stop by Nana's house to heat up some hot dogs then head to the pool to eat and swim.  However we were rained out!  Bummer.  The kids were looking forward to swimming in the pool.  Instead we hung out at Nana's house.  We ate out on her back porch.  Plus it worked out with the gift that Nana bought the boys (as a joint birthday present).  We left around 8PM or so.  I think I have mentioned that our gas gauge does not work. We figured that we can go at least 325 miles without having to worry about putting gas in the van.  I knew that the last time I saw the mileage we had gone about 90 miles.  I also knew that it got reset.  So we took that into account.  Well, apparently it was reset twice....and we found that out the hard way.  How very, very thankful we were after a lot of prayer and chugging along that we were able to get to a gas station (a few miles away from when we started sputtering).Phew!  A very eventful day.  I had a ton of problems uploading these pictures, so they are not in order.  I tried moving them around, and that wasn't working either.  Oy.  Friday is Jed's official birth day.  He turns five!!!  Wow, FIVE!!

 A favorite...coloring. 

 Jed picking out a picture to color.

 Jonah was asking me to take pictures of odd things, like his shirt, cup or mouth.  Jed wanted me to take pictures of those things as well.  Here is his 'mouth' picture.

 Eating on Nana;s back deck.

 Jonah's cup picture.

 His shirt picture.

 Setting up the birthday present.

 Lighting the candle.  Jed was sitting just out of sight.

 Just getting done blowing out his candle.

Showing off his super heroes.

Looking for the humming bird.

 The mouth picture.

 Sunglasses picture.

 Ah, this is what the girls were setting up....the boys new tent!

 Unwrapping time.

 Squishy looking tired.

Jed had a great time. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This one is just for Moira

Note:  Below you find a silly picture of Moira. I had originally wrote a caption saying, "Because Moira loves Blue's Clues soooooo much..."  Moira decided to go in and rewrite the caption :-)  So those are her words, with a little note to me.

Just because she HATES Blue's Clues sooooo much.
She also HATES fireman Sam, Bob the Builder, Strawberry Shortcake, and Angilina Balirina.
(nice try Mom ;-)

 Love Me

The last of the Bunny pictures

This may be the last of the pictures, but we do have one grand finale coming soon before we are through with our adventures. 

So you may remember a while back of some photos I took of your cousins at the park.  Well, as you know those bunnies are real hams!  They had to have their pictures taken as well.  And who can resist such cute pleas....with those wee bunny eyes and big bunny ears?

We used this window to take a few pictures of the girls. 

The bunnies hopped right on up to have their picture taken.  Ok, bunnies, let's try to get all your ears pointing up.  That would  make a much more professional photograph.

Well, that's a bit better, but bunny in the middle you need to put your ears up....

Bunny in the middle?  Can you hear me?  Oy, never mind.  Ok, let's move on.

Next we went to the rock wall.  You can see Moira getting ready for a picture here.  Bunnies, it's your turn.

It's a bit of a climb for them.  So I waited a while.  White bunny made it! 

Yeah, brown bunny made it as well.  But poor multicolor bunny didn't have it in him to make it to the top.  Well that's ok.  We'll find a more easily accessible location for our next photo.

There is a small garden at the walking park, with a wonderful brick path.  Perfect for pictures!  Here I am explaining to my kiddos how I wanted them to hold hands for their picture.

Hmmm, I'm not sure if my kids are listening any better than the bunnies :-)  Ok, bunnies, let's see you do it now....

Saoirse went over to give the bunnies some pointers and it appears that brown bunny had other plans.  Um, brown bunny, it's not time to play!  Stop attacking Saoire's foot, I'm not sure if she appreciates that.

Now, now, let's not get all dramatic.  I'm just asking for you guys to hold ears and walk around the garden.

When we found this red bench I thought it would be a great place to take pictures.  The bench has the "Blue's Clues" stamp on it.  I put it on there.  Just because Jed and Jonah really love Blue's Clues.  Ok, moving on.....:-)

Um, bunnies, that's not what I had in mind.  I was thinking more like what Moira was doing above....sitting on the bench, not climbing it!  Oh, silly, silly bunnies!

I say we call it a wrap.  Group hug!  Maybe Emma will have better luck with getting some good portraits :-)
The other day I received an email to become 'friends' with someone on youtube. (Not sure if that is what they call it, friends, maybe that's just Facebook.)  I quickly took a look to see who it was, sure that it was like any other I got, spam in nature.  I was wrong.  It was by a sixteen year old girl who has apraxia.  I visited her site.  She had this poem, that she got off of the Apraxia Kids facebook page, which you can read below.  I cried.  Not every point is true for Jed, but most is.  I am so grateful of the strides that Jed has made.  Like I've said in the past he is at a two year old level in speech.  Basically we can pretty much understand him, but anyone outside our family can not (except for some words here and there).  We went to the park yesterday after going to the doctors to get Moira's cast off.  (She's cast free!!!!  Yeah!!!!)  As we were walking up to the play set I heard a little boy say, "Hi, Jedidiah!"  So far I haven't come across anyone else in real life with Jed's same name, so I was supposing that he was speaking to our Jed.  And he was.  I'm not sure if Jed heard him or not, but he didn't respond.  So I told Jed to say, "Hi", and he did.  He ran off to play, by himself.  Later in the day I had to go pick up our produce box and Jedidiah was with me.  Usually it's a fast in and out.  The family has one or more of their older children help you load up your box, so it takes just a minute before you take off again.  This time there were two other families there at the same time that I knew.  So I got out to chat.  Jed asked to get out.  He saw the kids playing, but he asked, "Where are the toys?"  I realized this morning that Jedidiah rarely interacts with the other children.  He's more interested in the toys.  It's not that he's never played with other children.  He will play pretend, or games with his siblings.  But I am thinking it has to do with his inability to communicate with children outside our family that holds him back from playing with them.  It just makes me realize that he still has a ways to go. 

This 16 yo girl wrote something very interesting.  She said that although she knew from a young age that she had a speech problem, it was only because of being told by her parents or speech therapist.  She said, that for her, she hears herself talking normally!  I realized that this is the same case for me when I mumble.  I seriously hear myself say the words clearly.  Others have gotten impatient with me for not repeating myself, without being asked, as they assume that I know I am mumbling.  But I don't know!  Otherwise I would have repeated myself immediately.  Maybe that is true for Jed?  Some day we may know.

Here is the poem:

~I Am the Child

I am the child who cannot talk. You often pity me, I see it in your eyes. You wonder how much I am aware of. I see that as well. I am aware of much....whether you are happy or sad or fearful, patient or impatient, full of love and desire, or if you are just doing your duty by me. I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater, for I cannot express myself or my needs as you do.

You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times. I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated. I do not give you answers to your everyday questions, responses over my well being, sharing my needs, or comments about the world about me. I do not give you rewards as defined by the world's standards...great strides in development that you can credit yourself; I do not give you understanding as you know it.

What I give you is so much more valuable... I give you instead opportunities. Opportunities to discover the depth of your character, not mine; the depth of your love, your commitment, your patience, your abilities; the opportunity to explore your spirit more deeply than you imagined possible. I drive you further than you would ever go on your own, working harder, seeking answers to your many questions with no answers. I am the child who cannot talk. ~

Monday, June 20, 2011

So that explains it!!

I do believe we've found the reason for all this sickness going on over here.  It also explains why we were sick last summer as well.  And it's NOT a good thing!!  Don't get me wrong I am very thankful that we know the source of our problem, but it is very overwhelming. I was starting to get flash backs of our time that we lived in the rental house before this house.  We were constantly sick with really, really weird things.  For the past six weeks one or more (usually 'more') of us have been sick at all times.  It has been very draining on me, especially since I was being brought down by my allergies.  Those yeast pills really did wonders, but my cough still did not go away.  And coughing for three months isn't something to brush off.  So I decided to go to our natural care practitioner to see what was 'wrong' with me.  The verdict.....


Oh, how my heart sank.  Although it seemed like the obvious reason, as I know we have a mold problem under our bathroom tub.  For some reason I figured it wasn't that bad.  Apparently it is.  She gave me a long list of things to do to get rid of it.  Let me assure you I had a bunch of other things planned this summer, and one of them was not to spend all day for weeks trying to get rid of mold!!  I looked online for other thoughts on the matter and we'll be looking at our options.

On the one hand I am VERY grateful to know the root of the problem, but on the other I am upset that it has been left to run amok in our home.  At this point we don't know if it's spread, but it sounds like even if it;s not behind the walls and such, then it is probably in our carpet, clothing and mattresses.  No small matter to tackle. 

Between taking care of sick children, being ill myself and the girls having Runner's Camp, I've been busy, busy, busy.  I was really hoping to use this week to get on track to start my plans for the summer.  We'll see.  Right now it is soooooo VERY hard to get up in the morning.  Granted I've never been much of a morning person, but this goes beyond that.  I wake up all cramped up and aching.  I dread having to pick up the baby.  NOT because of him, but because of how awful I feel.  I love to hold the baby, but it has been very hard to do so lately.  The yeast pills help with that, but I really can't see spending $80 a month for a supply of them until we take care of this issue.

Jeremiah says he will pull out the tub to get at the rest of the mold (he can only reach so far back behind the tub).  I know we will find a way to make this all work out.  Hopefully with getting rid of the mold, and then starting GAPS we should see some quick improvements for all of us. 

The girls had a blast at camp.  On Friday they put on a track meet.  That is a lot of fun, and a lot of work.  The poor babe was sick and not feeling well.  He made it through :-)  Flannery and Jed have seemed to handle this cold/horrid cough well, without any meds.  Jonah had a high fever for three days with his, but he drinks so much fluids that I wasn't concerned about him too much.  Although they are still coughing, they are not acting sick.  The baby, well he is a different story.  He has been Miserable (yes, with a capital "M").  I've had to sleep propped up, with him in my arms so that he could get some sort of sleep.  He was feverish as well.  My only concern was that he was so stuffed up that he found nursing hard.  So out came the Motrin for the night time.  I also made up a concoction of olive oil, garlic and Oregano oil.  Maybe it's just a coincidence, but he has improved since rubbing the oil on his feet, chest and cheeks.  He's still sick, but he was able to sleep last night lying down, and he took a decent nap this morning.  I will keep up the oil and nurse frequently.  Hopefully he will be back to himself soon.

Here are a few pictures from our week:

The boys have been taking lots of naps, sometimes two a day, since becoming ill.  Here Jed was so tired he didn't even finish his snack :-)

Having fun with Jonah (read the green cards).

It was hard to get him to stay still though!

The start of the track meet.  Each age group is a different color, which are represented by the above flags.

Jedidiah looking on.  He didn't stay there for long.  With a whole side of the stadium bleachers to ourselves, he was running around more than watching.

On your mark, get set, go!

The boys loved climbing to the top.  The great thing about these bleachers were that they were built into a hill, so there were no holes for little legs to slip through.  Plus they couldn't fall off of them (at the top) as that was the top of the hill and it was flat ground up there.  Granted they could have fallen *down* the steps or benches, but thankfully that didn't happen.

This picture makes me dizzy just looking at it.

This is our daughter, on the field, during the procession onto the track field.  Shy?  I think not!

They have a sibling fun run (about 50 yards long).  It's the second or third event of the night.  Jonah in particular was hassling me if it was their turn yet.  And he would start to cry every time I said, no.  When it finally came time for the run, Jonah freaked out and refused to do so.  Silly boy.  But Jed thought it was a lot of fun.  And he went around showing us his ribbon.

Saoirse all happy to start the meet.

I'm telling you I don't know what is up with Flannery and sports.  She is so excited about them, but once she's there she's all serious.

One way the boys stayed busy, playing in the long jump sand pit.

The rake was short lived, as a gentleman came by and took it away from them.

The poor sick baby.  He spent 95% of the time in the sling, which made for a very sore back.  My sling is awesome, but having a hunk of a baby in there for close to 4 hours is a lot.

Isabella was a volunteer this year as she aged out of being able to be a camper.  I think her whole mission was to get as many people to sign her shirt.

See, Flannery is all happy now that we are at  home.  Go figure.  We got home around 10 PM. It makes for a long evening!  But fun was had by all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Rough end of the Week

So it turns out that Jed had to miss his last day of speech therapy!  Thankfully I thought ahead and we made up a large chocolate chip cookie that Jedidiah decorated with colored frosting.  We also printed out a thank you card for him to color and give to Miss Bonnie.  We did drive over to give her those things, and he was bumming to have to miss out on a game she had planned to play with him.  In the picture below he looks totally fine, but that is only due to the Motrin running through him.  I was starting to get a bit concerned due to the painful headache he kept having the moment the medicine wore off.  I tried a few homeopathic remedies, but they were not working...until...For some reason as I was reading through my materia medica no one remedy seemed to fit the bill, so I mixed up a concoction.  I didn't want to put too many in one bottle so I made up two remedies, each with 7 different substances in them.  I used the first on for a few hours to see if there was any effect.  I didn't notice any.  During this time Moira said she wasn't feeling well.  Oy.  I gave her the remedy as well.  Same deal, no improvement.  So I started giving them the second remedy.  Jed had gone to bed and Moira was heading to bed when I decided to give her the remedy one more time.  For some reason the remedy "Pulsatilla" kept coming to my mind.  I wasn't sure why, especially since I had put it in the second bottle.  Just as I gave Moira the remedy it hit me....I also put Lycopodium in the bottle as well, and it is known to antidote Pulsatilla.  Hmmmm.  So I quickly made up a single remedy made of just Pulsatilla.  By morning Moira was fine.  I meant to give her another dose before I headed out to the barn to milk the goats, but I forgot.  When I came in she told me her tummy was just starting to hurt again.  She told me that she woke up pain free (the result of the Pulsatilla I was guessing), but now her tummy was starting to hurt again.  I gave her another dose and her pain was gone very soon after, not to have returned.  I figured I would give the remedy to Jed as well.  He would be feverish once the Motrin or Tylenol would wear off, not to mention the *very* painful headache.  Well, whether he was going to get better that day or the Pulsatilla was working, I'm not sure.  I just know that he has been fever and headache free since!  Phew! Now my only problem is that Flannery is now getting sick. For some reason I have a very hard time trying to find the correct remedies for her.  She may be exhibiting the same symptoms as her siblings but the chosen remedy doesn't do anything for her.  She always needs a different one.  So it will be back to the drawing board.  Especially since tomorrow is the first day of Runners Camp.

The girls are very excited to be attending their second year of Runners Camp (RC).  The program is for ages 6 to 12.  So this year Isabella is a volunteer helper.  Since she was the first to sign up, she got one of the most covetous spots as a water game helper.  :-)  Moira, Flannery and Saoirse will be runners this year.  Moira was happy to know that one of her friends is signed up for this week as well.  RC has two sessions, one in June and one in July.  We did the July one last year.  Not good.  Note to is HOT here in July!!!  Poor Flannery got heat exhaustion one day last year.  Thankfully the temps here are only going to be in the 80's, which is much better than the 90's we have been having for the past few weeks. 

Once camp is done I plan on starting our 'summer program'.  I was able to get away for an hour last night to do some planning.  I need longer than an hour, but it was a start.  We need to do some schooling through the summer, but just in a couple of subjects.  Plus, things have gotten a wee bit out of hand in a few areas around here.  For one, the girls have been really bad about getting to sleep at a decent hour.  We put them to bed around 9 or 9:30, but they have been staying up late reading, talking or what not.  This is becoming a problem in multiple ways.  The goats really need to be milked before 8 AM to keep close to milking 12 hours apart.  Then on top of it, I have had this policy that I will not make breakfast if the kitchen is a mess.  I hate messes.  And it really gets to me if I have to try to make breakfast with NO clean dishes or bowls and NO space on the counters.  And I don't do this myself, so it wasn't getting done until late in the morning and we have been eating breakfast at 10 or 11 AM.  So our summer program will focus on fixed wake up and retire times, plus fixed meal times.  Woe to those who miss the time slots :-)  I never finished my decluttering and spring cleaning I had wanted to during that last week in May.  Yesterday was a great work day and we got a lot done.  I was finally able to get most of the laundry room done.  It had been turned into a chicken hospital.  Anyone who has chickens knows what this means.  It's not pretty in more ways than one!  Lets just say that the shelving we put back there to put the folded laundry on has sat empty these past few weeks.  I could not use them.  Nothing like a chicken who decides to roost on your clean laundry.  Which of course is no longer clean by morning.  I got it all cleaned up.  Yeah!  Now all that is left is to clear the top of the washer and dryer.  I hate how all of our horizontal surfaces seem to attract clutter.  I need to find a way to de-magnetize all my horizontal surfaces :-)  Our summer program will also have lots of training time.  We are going to go back over the basics of how to do all the various chores.  Plus we will be training the boys to start doing some chores.  Then we will practice various activities like getting in and out of the van, putting our shoes away when we come inside, putting our dishes in the sink when we are done with them, etc. 

Along with our summer program I am hoping to start the GAPS Intro diet around July 20th.  That gives us time in the beginning of July to gather a few more needed things like probiotics and soup bones.  Plus I can try to bulk cook some things and start making some sauerkraut to be one step ahead.  I have written out some details but will need to do some further research.  I found some herbs and homeopathic solutions that I want to try to help with yeast and possible parasites.  Along with diet, the older two girls and I will be starting an exercising program.  We will start with walking and the short T-Tapp video.

I think the biggest area that I am most excited about is to truly concentrate on our spiritual lives.  I was very blessed by some things I have read from another family on GAPS and how God is working in their lives.  It was very motivating.  I am very blessed to have at times deep fellowship with the Lord.  Those have been very wonderful times in my life.  For some reason I start to think I can handle things on my own, and then my whole life starts to fall down a slippery slope :-(  I can't promise that this will be any different, but I do know that I am most excited to "walk with God in the cool of the garden".  And I am very excited to bring my children with me :-)  We all have some very, very (*VERY*) bad heart attitudes.  Each and every one of us.  Not pretty.  We have plans to also work more together as a family on things than each going on their own way.  I am sure things will become more clear as we pray more, so for now I only have a bit of a sketch of how I am going to go about this all.  My problem thus far is that because I haven't had a specific plan or that I didnt' have the perfect conditions I have put this off.  I know, I know, very silly.  My sister was saying, "What?  What are you waiting for?  Just do it, don't wait for this or that to be perfect before you start!"  Good idea. 

I am sure there is more.  But for now I will leave you with a picture of Jedidiah and his speech therapist on his last day.  I will hopefully be able to share more details as they fall into place!

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