Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Just stopping in to wish everyone a happy new year.  We decided to spend the day at a park that we haven't been to in a couple of years.  I had totally forgotten about this park!  Moira brought it up while we were thinking out loud as to where we should head for the day. 

It was so much fun to see the older two boys running ALL over the park.  The last time we went Jonah was a baby, and Jed was still on a feeding tube.  Wow!  They were both big enough to really, REALLY have fun.  They plain tuckered themselves out with all the running they did today. 

Aubrey walked around with a big smile plastered on his face the whole time.  Although he had to take things much more slowly (the park has a *massive* wooden play structure that has a ton of steps and platforms), he had no less fun then the big boys.

The girls, as big as they are getting, had a ton of fun as well.  Jeremiah remarked how wonderful it was that our 13 and 10 year olds still loved being pushed on the tire swing by Dad.  When I related this statement to Moira (13 yro), she said, "Well, yeah!!!  Of course it's fun when you have DAD pushing you!!"  When Jeremiah pushes them on the tire swing it is more like being on an amusement park ride than just a plain ol' tire swing.  I'm pretty sure there are many parents there that get a bit freaked out when they see Jeremiah pushing our kids on the tire swing.  I'm not kidding.  I'm also pretty sure no other children there scream like mine do while on the tire swing.  Come to think of it, I've never heard any other children *screaming* while on the tire swing....unless of course they got on the tire swing with my children :-)

We ate some bagels and cream cheese for lunch at the park.  Totally GAPS legal.  JOKING!  Hmmmm, let's say an intro stage re-do is in order!  That's ok, because I have NO regrets of our little sneaks here and there.  But it is time to get serious. The sugar, as infrequent as it's been around here, is indeed wreaking havoc with some of us.  A new year, a new day, a fresh start.  Looking forward to it.

After some more playing we headed down to the small pond to see the three ducks, that we saw from afar, up close.  From far away we could see that one duck was sporting a red head!  I've never seen this type of duck before, not in person, nor in any of the many nature books we have had come through our home.  The ducks were not interested in the left over bagels that we had, but the small little minnows and polliwogs were!  Our children were totally enthralled with watching the little fish nibble on the pieces of bread. ALL of the children.  Even the big, teenage ones :-)  I say this with thankfulness after we had just witnessed the ill behavior of a few teen boys at the park just minutes before.  Can we say......Hmmm, trying to search for a decent word to use.....nope, can't find a suitable, all ages approved word..... These boys were using inappropriate words, to the point that Jeremiah asked them to stop using such language.  He told them that they were an influence on the younger children at the park.  At that point the boys jumped up on the back of one of the park benches and jumped up on TOP of the picnic shelter's roof.  Oh, why yes, that is totally appropriate behavior at a public park.  Let's get 4 or 5 teen boys on top of thin metal roofing and see what happens.  Insert rolling eyes. 

We drove home, but had to stop at a few stores along the way.  We arrived home all tuckered out!  Poor Aubrey wailed all the way home from our last stop.  That's 15 minutes of non stop wailing.  ugh.  I promptly put him to bed. He was begging to go to bed.  He couldn't get his shoes off fast enough to get into bed!  Seriously, I don't ever remember him being so eager to go to bed.  That was one seriously tired little boy.  Bless his heart.

Dinner was ice cream.  Well, yes and no.  We put chicken on to cook, but that takes one and half hours to cook.  So everyone decided to eat their dessert first.  Funny thing...we had a bunch of left over chicken :-)

This year we made sure to get the live stream of the NYC new year's celebration up and running way in advanced.  Last year we actually 'missed' new years by 5 or 10 minutes due to a delayed stream time issue on our computer!  We shook our coins, clinked our glasses of sparkling grape juice and then ran outside with our pots and pans.  On the count of three we shouted as loud as we could and banged as hard as we could on our pots.  Lot's of fun.  This year Jedidiah joined us.  He was a little bewildered by all this wacky celebrating :-)

Each new year brings the sound of guns going off by our neighbors.  I have to seriously say I've never, NEVER heard soooooo many guns going off before in the six years we've lived here.  It almost sounded like the grand finale of a fire works show.  But it wasn't.  Just our whole 'neighborhood' celebrating loudly! 

Tomorrow, er,, we will put our Christmas decorations and tree back in the attic.  We will also sit down to write our goals for 2013.  We will help Saoirse with her list.  Then we will share our lists, encourage each other in their goals by lending any ideas we may have to help them reach their goals. We'll help them prioritize their lists, letting them know which items may need to wait (until proper funding is available).  Everyone is looking forward to this exercise.  I started mine today while driving to the park.  I figured I needed a head start, since I will likely be helping others to make their lists. 

We took some pictures at the park, but I will have to share those later.  They are on Isabella's camera, and I currently do not know where her camera is. Isabella promptly went to bed after our pot banging, so pictures will have to wait until later today :-)  I'll try to share some of our goals for the new year as well.

Praying for a blessed new year for each of you!

Friday, December 28, 2012

a little crazy

Every once in a while it seems the balance of my emotions gets out of hand.  No, I'm not talking pregnancy, although they certainly run waaaaaayyyyyy off balance then :-)  I suppose this time around it had to do with diet changes, getting the flu and my cycle all in one.  Lovely combination to be sure.

This evening a run to the library was in order.  Jeremiah was just going to take the children with him, leaving me home, all by myself.  Ooohh, that did sound wonderful, BUT so did getting out.  We haven't been out in a very long while since we were sick.  I figured that a trip to the library sounded pretty safe.  I was caught unaware that my emotions were still finicky.  The details?

I was sitting in one of the wee baby chairs at a wee baby table, reading Aubrey a book.  After the first one, a very safe book, about tractors he handed me his second choice, Puff the Magic Dragon. It was a new board book. A board book people.  It had some very nice illustrations, and I managed to see that it was a celebration of the 50th year anniversary of Puff.  Ahhh, how nice I thought....totally unaware as to what was about to take place.

Besides the very cute illustrations are the lyrics to the Puff the Magic Dragon song.  I only remembered the course, which is why I found myself...almost in a puddle.  Do you know how utterly sad that song is?  It tells of the wonderful adventures of Puff and little Jackie Paper, only at the end Jackie grows up and no longer comes to visit Puff.  Puff is so broken hearted that he can no longer fight in adventures, and his scales drop off.  In the book it shows poor Puff laying in cave as Jackie's back is turned towards him, climbing out of Honalee.  It talks of Jackie finding other things to do.  In other words his childhood is over.  I cried.  Oh. Yes. I. Did.  Right there in the library.  Thankfully at this point Jonah came up to me and wanted to show me a book he had picked out.  I was able to take a break from the Puff book.  But Aubrey wasn't so easily distracted and wanted me to finish the book.  So I hastily read a few words here and there.  I was actually cheering up when in one of the last few scenes you see a little girl come on the scene to befriend Puff.  But I lost it all over again, when on the last page, you see the girl playing with Puff, and from behind a tree you see a grown man watching.  I realized that the grown man was the grown Jackie, and the little girl was his daughter.  Commence crying. 

Now, I've known for some time that my oldest two are indeed past childhood.  But every once in a while that reality, and all the mistakes I've made along the way, just come crashing down on me.  And I wish with all my might I can go back and re-do things.  But there is no going back, and I need to make sure to live now with no regrets.  But it seems after a few years pass, I look back and by golly I have regrets.  Ugh.  Keep pressing on, one foot in front of the other.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


We all managed to be healthy by Christmas.  I am thankful for that.  There was much to be thankful for, unfortunately it's been a challenge to focus on those good things and not the bad.  This by far was a most difficult Christmas for myself.  Everyone else had a wonderful time. 

Christmas Eve is what my family (growing up) made a deal about.  That was when everyone got together and we had a big dinner with all the usual Christmas foods.  Christmas day was a time for just our family to hang out.  Over the years I've tried to keep a bit of Christmas Eve going for my own family.  It has been many years since we've gone North to be with family.  This year things were looking like a flop in trying to so *something*, anything, on Christmas Eve.  We managed to make some cut out cookies to decorate and munch on.  That was a lot of fun.

Christmas day turned out a bit different.  Since we had been sick we were not able to celebrate Christmas with Jeremiah's mom.  So it was just us this Christmas day, a first in many, many years.

One of the gifts the kids received from my Dad and Mom was pre-baked gingerbread cookies that needed decorating.  So we broke that open last night and had some fun with decorating cookies once again.  Last night we also had our Christmas dinner, a day late.  On Christmas itself we had eggs, and then around 10 PM we had apple pie. Like I said, nothing quite went like I had imagined it would :-)

I leave you with some pictures of our cookie times.

Cut outs decorated by Flannery.  I only doubled the recipe as I didn't want 50 gazillion cookies left over hanging out...needing to be eaten :-)

The boys had a blast decorating cookies, and eating them.  Clothing is optional it seems :-)

Jonah showing off his cookies.

It also looks like chairs were optional as well.  Nothing quite like getting up on the work surface to be closer to your cookies!  I spy Moira sampling the frosting.

This year the boys actually helped me make the cookie batter and cut them out.  Let's say that computers will be banned from future holidays.  The frosting though, was strong enough to pull the girls away from the computer.  Flannery, as always, really enjoyed decorating her cookies.

This ended up sideways.  Here is Isabella decking the tree.

Despite his look, Jed was very much excited about seeing what was in the box (from my Dad and Mom).

Aubrey really loved his new clothing.  No, really, he did.  He was all excited about trying some out.  He chose to wear the shirt with the dog on it.  Really cute!

This was the night we decorated the gingerbread cookies.  Jed asked for some sunglasses on his (they had some samples on the box, one which had sunglasses on it).  He was very patient about waiting his turn for me to cut out the fondant. 

 I just realized how involved Jonah gets with crafts.  He really takes his time with them! 

 Moira started eating hers before I could get a picture of it.  She couldn't stop laughing about it.

 Flannery, in her element again.  It wouldn't surprise me if she grew up to be a chef.

 Still decorating.  Aubrey just kept tasting everything.  We would help him put some decorations on and he promptly ate them off :-)  So his cookie ended with two white marks, left over from the frosting.  That was it.  Ha, ha!

 Flannery's creation.

 Isabealla and Saoirse working on their cookies.  The kit only came with one frosting bag, so I made another out of a ziplock baggy.  I think I should have made a few more!  That was one item we didn't have enough of to go around in quick enough fashion (as per children's perception that is!).

 This was the cookie that I decorated.  For some reason Jonah wanted to eat my cookie, and gave me  his cookie to eat.

 Aubrey thought this fondant stuff was pretty cool.  He enjoyed eating the scraps that were left behind after we cut something out.

 Saoirse with her finished cookie.  She did a great job!

 Isabella's finished cookie.  Hers by far was the most intricately designed.

 Flannery's cookie was in the process of being eaten, when she had a change of design...

Flannery's cookie, on the right, transformed into Santa.  They were just messing around with the left over frosting.  You know you can't have left over frosting, that would be a sin :-) So she put it to good use.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New finds

We're hanging in here.  Although the boys are still feeling under the weather, they're over the worst of it.  Though they generally come down with a fever come evening time.  Jeremiah headed back to work.  The doctor told him that he could go back when he was fever free.  He's fever free now, but not pain free.  Still has all over body aches.  For the most part I'm able to be up and about, but I've been trying to rest as much as I can.  My biggest concern are my sinuses.  Very painful.  I know that the flu is an upper respiratory infection, so I expected lots of swelling and gunk.  I wasn't expecting very painful sinuses 24 hours into the flu.  I am praying that my sinuses don't get a secondary infection on top of the flu.  I've changed homeopathic remedies to see if I can address the sinus issue.  Time will tell.

When everyone was coming down with the flu I ran to the herbal store to get a bunch more elderberries to make some elderberry syrup.  I had a few plastic medicine cups that I was using to give the kids the syrup.  I only had 4 of the cups, but there are 9 of us in all.  That meant washing them, dosing the next few, washing again and dosing up the last one.  At the time some of them were a day or so away from coming down with it, but not knowing that, I certainly didn't want to infect anyone 'knowingly'.  The multiple washings, well it was getting old fast.  Take into account when you actually are sick, or you know you've been exposed to something you are supposed to take the elderberry syrup every hour. 

I was at Walmart, can't remember why, but decided to look for any little cup I could use for our medicinal syrup purposes.  I remember seeing plastic 'shot glasses' in the past.  I figured that they might be a bit too breakable.  I didn't find them, but found a much better option.  They are condiment containers.  They are metal (way better than breakable plastic!), and 2 ounces (1/4 cup), just perfect for little hands.  A four pack sold for $0.97.  Silly me only bought 2 packages.  After using them for days now I will make sure to pick up a couple more packages for any future needs.

I gave the cups their own photo shoot.  Um, yeah....what that means was I had 1 minute without a little boy trying to 'help' me to take a picture of our new found loves.  Oh, and I also picked up a measuring spoon that goes from 1/2 teaspoon all the way up to a tablespoon.  Ah, wonderful.  The boys only needed 1 tsp of the syrup.  The younger girls needed 2 tsp, and the oldest girls and adults needed a TBS.  One spoon to fit us all :-)  I'm telling you, it's the small things in life.

All lined up.  Four of these darling little cups.

The markings are already starting to smear, I'm sure constant use has something to do with it.

 Forgot to make a plug for these little bottles.  I was in desperate need of some new remedy bottles for use with our homeopathic remedies.  These are the same size as my brown bottles.  I was able to get these at Whole Foods for around $1.50 each.  The bottles I get from the homeopath are $2 each, and that was the cheapest that I found in the past.  These bottles do not have the glass dropper, those bottles were more expensive.  I figured we would be mostly doing olfactory doses (smelling the remedy) and if a need arose that we needed an oral dose I could just 'pour' some in :-)

Off for some more resting. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

The flu....officially

So, it's official....we have the flu.  By we, I mean 7 of us.  Moira was number 8, but she just got over it.  And me?  Hmmm, let's just say I have a funny tickle in my throat, a bit of the sniffles, and some sneezing.  I've been downing our elderberry syrup, and guzzling (alright, sipping, really) the immune-tea.  I plan on taking a hot bath and wrapping up head to toe and getting under the covers to hopefully get a head start in kicking the dreaded flu. 

Flannery and Saoirse are over the worst of it.  They are still feeling ill, weak and coughing, but they are able to get up and get around.  All three boys came down with it with in a few hours of each other.  Leaving Isabella the most current sufferer, coming down with it this morning. 

For those who know, Isabella always does things to the max.  Even when sick.  I mean if everyone else has a 101* fever, she has a 104.  If others have a bit of a cough, she's hacking a lung up.  So it didn't come as a surprise that if I had taken a picture of her a few hours ago that you wouldn't have even recognized her.  I'm totally serious.  Her eyes were so red and swollen they were almost swollen shut.  They were just tearing water non stop.  Non. Stop.  Most of her face was all red from the non stop water.

Jeremiah thought he was heading down the pneumonia path, and I took him into the urgent care.  That's how we learned that he has the flu.  And since he has what the rest of everyone else has....flu all around.  He started Tamaflu in hopes of getting back into work in a timely manner.

I always try natural means first when we are ill, if possible.  This time around was no different.  But, I also do not hesitate to resort to modern meds when the natural remedies are not strong enough.  With Moira, I was pretty sure she needed Belladonna (a homeopathic remedy).  I was correct.  However, I failed to take into account that she is very sensitive to remedies.  Not to mention that I failed to remember that our wireless was on.  This means that the Belladonna didn't do what I needed it to do.  She was getting worse by the minute.  This was probably due to the fact that the Belladonna was aggravating her condition since I gave her the remedy by mouth, instead of having her sniff it.  She had a bursting headache and was getting very weak.  So I brought out the Motrin.  After two hours she still had a bursting headache AND her temp was holding at 103!  This is when I called our homeopath.  We were able to get her heading in the right direction after a few tries. 

Everyone else has been able to tolerate the symptoms.  I try to let their fevers run for as long as they can stand it.  Actually it's not the fever that bothers them, it's the horrid headache.  So between our elderberry syrup, and immune-tea, I also give Motrin or Tylenol when needed.

Jeremiah and I will be interviewed on a survivalist radio show coming up.  This has me thinking about what we do, how we do it, and what our plans for the future are.  One of the things we are trying to do is to incorporate the 'old ways' into our everyday life.  That means getting back to real, whole foods.  That means learning to do more on less energy.  That also means using natural means to overcome illness.  Thankfully though, we are able to fall back on modern meds when needed.  Of course I pray that a day will never come when we don't have that option, case it does I want to know how to use these natural methods in a time of need.  Each year I try to find a couple of more remedies that I can dabble with, and see how they work for us. 

Alrighty, I need to get off and get a few things done before I try to artificially simulate a fever :-)  I think tomorrow, if I'm in good shape, I will show you a neat little 'gadget' that I found to help us with our natural remedy taking :-)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Giving a rain check

We've got some kind of yuck....flu maybe?  Four kiddos down with it.  Moira is on day 4, two are on day 2 and one just started today.  The baby is starting a runny nose, so maybe he is next.  This has been a hard hitter.  We used homeopathy for Moira, she was really struggling with this illness.  It got her over the hump.  I believe she needs another remedy, but with it being the weekend, and the fact that she is holding her own, I may just wait to call the homeopath back on Monday.

This means that I don't have time to type up a thought provoking post.  Someone is always needing me.  Currently I have some elderberries and other stuff brewing to make some elderberry syrup.  I didn't have any on hand for when they first started coming down with the yuck.  But I read it should still help them to get over it a bit faster. 

We were on a great roll around here, and like usual, we are sideswiped by sickness.  Always, always happens.  Every. Single. Time.

Off to cuddle with sick kiddos, or get them food, or drink, or do their chores (like feed animals, which is important!), etc.  Be back when I am able.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Things going on....

Looks like my blog has been a bit quiet :-)  All is well, mostly.  We've just been trying to catch up on schooling that we got behind on weeks ago.  We will be ready to go into our second semester as planned, which is after the new year.

We participated in our annual tradition of Christmas light viewing.  I have to remember to prepare a bit ahead of time.  Our little trip wouldn't be complete without hot chocolate, and this year I made two versions.  One GAPS legal, the other, not so much.  No worries, I plan on getting strict with GAPS after the new year.  Making the cocoa took a bit longer than anticipated, and we got a late start.  The baby only saw two places before he conked out for the night.  We know of a few neighborhoods that have a bunch of houses that really deck the halls!  Ha, ha!  Everywhere that we drove and saw any lights at all the kids would yell out, "X-MAS!!!"  We determined that saying X-Mas was even more accurate than, "Christmas".  I am sure you would like to hear why :-)  You see the word for Christ in the ancient Greek is, Xristos (pronounced 'hree-stos'), thus X-mas is OK!  Ahem...

We all had a wonderful time.  The girls were singing Christmas hymns all along the way (you know, when they were not yelling, "X-MAS!!!")  We were looking forward to seeing one house in particular, but by the time we got there they had turned their lights off.  Boo hoo.  But it was made up for in another house who had the entire front of their house outlined along every edge.  All of the lights blinked along to Christmas music that they had playing. 

We arrived home with all the boys sleeping. 

Our tradition of doing the Jesse tree continues as well.  I originally made the ornaments with small snaps on the back, to be fastened onto a large felt piece that had the other half of the snap on it.  Six years later and quite a few of the snaps have broken.  I am sure a large part of that is due to the extremes in temperature that the disks reside in (up in the attic) for most of the year.  I'm rethinking of how best to remedy the situation.  I really love the felt disks that I made, so I don't want to remake the whole lot.  I may take off the snaps and add little hooks on them.  The kind you may find on delicate clothing.

We've had some round of sickness going around in the house.  Some viral upper respiratory gunk.  For the most part it's been a non issue.  Poor Moira though, her throat is severely swollen, and it makes it feel as if she can not breathe.  Motirn has helped with that.  In the mean time I am giving her all the herbals I can think of.  I would much prefer homeopathy, but there isn't enough for me to go on to pick the right remedy.  I've been telling them this was all due to the sugar they indulged in last week :-)  Yes, I am evil.  (Insert evil laugh)

On top of that two amazing things have come about here on the homestead.  One far superior than the other, but amazing non the less.  I'll share the not so superior one now, the other deserves a post of it's own.

Ready for it? 

Whipped topping.

I can hear most of you say, "But Kerri, whipped topping is NOT gaps legal."  You would be correct.  But this type of whipped topping is gaps legal, and I believe I wrote briefly about it when I talked about Thanksgiving.  This is whipped coconut cream.  And it is divine.  I made it for our gaps legal apple crisp on Thanksgiving.  The consensus went something like this: "Mom, WHAT is this? (not said in a giddy, happy, pleasant voice) "This is NOT whipped topping!"  "Yuck!"  "Why did you make this?"  It seems that I was the only one who liked the coconut whipped topping. That was fine by me, as that would leave all the left overs (and there were lots) for me :-) But you see, something mysterious happened.  Leaving the whipped coconut cream in the fridge overnight made it taste even better the following day!  Since it is our custom to put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, and it is also our custom to do so with a cup of hot cocoa at our side....well that gave me a good reason to pull the cream back out. I put some in my hot cocoa.  Oh. My. Goodness. It was super duper yummy.  The children, seeing that I was thoroughly enjoying my cocoa, asked to try some.  Well, wouldn't you know, before I could have known what had happened, my 'stockpile' of leftover whipped coconut cream was reduced to a spoonful!  Apparently they thought it tasted much better the day after as well.

With one spoonful left I wanted to put it to good use.  So I decided to make up some chocolate yogurt and top it with the cream.  Super duper yummo!!!!

There were two obstacles facing me when I was trying to jump back into gaps.  The first was the amount of cooking and planning that goes into it.  The other was the idea of being on such a limited diet.  Due to limited time and funds, we kept eating the same few handful of meals, day after day, week after week.  Let's just say it was getting old.  Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of recipes out there.  But we don't have the means for exotic type ingredients, or the time to cook something "fancy".  So I made it my mission to try to find some small, easy, extras that would enhance our gaps experience.  I have to say that this whipped coconut cream fit the bill.  This time around I also found some suitable bacon that we use very sparingly in our salad or scrambled eggs.  Those two things, though on the expensive side, when used sparingly give that extra 'something' to our food.

The next amazing thing is much more serious, in a good way!  I'll share that next time.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oh no, not again!!!!!!

I'm not 100% sure if we are dealing with 'buggies' again, but something is very, very fishy.  Aubrey spent a few nights not sleeping ALL.  Lots and lots of lost sleep.  He then popped up with a rash on his tummy.  Chalked it up to a virus.  Goodness my kids are known for viral rashes.  Isabella popped up with an itchy rash on her tummy.  She had the same small rash last year during the fall.  Could be an eczema type of thing.  Could be.  Saoirse has been complaining of an itchy rash on her legs.  I've looked her over and there is no noticeable rash.  This morning she says the itching has spread.  Oh wonder of wonders.  The problem with Aubrey's rash?  It's gotten worse over the past week, not better.  It is small raised pink bumps.  But now I am seeing the old bumps (smaller and no longer pink) and a bunch more newer ones.  This is looking all too familiar.  Very much like the rash the DREADED scabies leaves behind.  I'm really trying to pretend this isn't happening.  I had the dreaded scabies last Sept.-Oct.  Now, a year later, we may be dealing with it again.  Really? 

On top of that poor Saoirse has one of her super sinus infections.  This happened last year as well.  It started last year and was going on for months (she wasn't having what one would call a normal sinus infection that would lead a person to go to the doctors).  Then, we started GAPS, and it got a LOT worse very quickly.  Which is very odd seeing as how there is not wheat, sugar (except honey) and hardly any dairy in the beginning.  Any dairy at all is all fermented.  Our alternative practitioner had seen her last year when things got out of hand. She told me that it was probably hard to believe, but that Saoirse was 'very clean'.  She's one out of 2 people she's ever seen so 'clean'.  By clean, she meant that down deep she was very healthy.  Our practitioner is very, VERY confident that her remedies and suggestions work.  But last year she cautioned me that her stuff and the natural remedy suggestions may not be enough and we may have to take her into see our family doctor!  That was almost scary! 

Thankfully with a lot of attention and being very strict with following all the natural remedy suggestions Saoirse was able to overcome the sinus infection without antibiotics.  Now we are seeing an almost repeat.  Almost.  Saoirse started to come down with her 'not normal' sinus infection symptoms.  I really didn't catch them in the beginning.  We started GAPS and within a week....BOOM!!! Sinus infection overload.  She started crying over e.v.e.r.y. t.h.i.n.g.  I mean every. single. thing.  That was my clue.  Not to mention the red/purple circles under her eyes, and finally she started complaining of sinus pain.  She's very much like me, I can have a raging sinus infection with absolutely no pain.  My doctor was incredulous that that could be true until he saw it for himself.  He was pressing on my sinus area and I was just sitting there.  He was waiting for me to jump off the table.  He kept asking me again and again, "Are you sure you can't feel any, ANY pain?"  Um, nope.  Saoirse, a girl after my own heart  er...sinuses. 

I've started Saoirse on Oil of Oregano, and an ACV 'coctail'.  The ACV (apple cider vinegar) cocktail contains: 1 tsp ACV, a pinch of baking soda, honey, 5 drops of grapefruit seed extract, and 5 drops of an ecinachea tincture.  I had her breathing in the steam of thieves oil plus lavender essential oil.  She wasn't handling that well, so I persuaded her to do a sinus rinse.  To my surprise she accepted the 'challenge' and did very well with it!  This should speed things up to recovery.  As it was, when she awoke today, after 48 hours of the natural supplements she said she can stand up without pain and pressure in her head.  So we are making progress!  Slow as it may be.  The very, VERY important thing about doing natural remedies is that you really, REALLY have to keep on top of them.  If you forget a dose or two, you can literally undo all the work you have done, making any future efforts more difficult. 

I may start everyone on the anti-scabies protocol.  Which, if you had read that post I made about it a few months ago, you know is quite involved.  I may try the sulfur method this time around, as it is supposed to give much faster results.  I just need to talk to the pharmacist about the ratio of sulfur to coconut oil.  And then the fun begins!!  Lots, lots, LOTS, L.O.T.S., and lots of laundry.  Everybody's bedding washed every day.  Fun times, fun times.  (Please read that last sentence with lots of sarcasm dripping off of it.)

Today is a cleaning day.  With tomorrow being shopping day we need to clean out the fridges, take stoke of needed items, clean out the van and keep up with schooling.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The day after Thanksgiving

We were supposed to have more company today, but with some of us still feeling sick, they played it safe and stuck to home.  I'm glad they did, because three days later and I am still feeling yucky.  Nothing that is making life stop in its tracks, but enough to slow things down. 

We spent the day catching up on some schooling.  I had to switch around some of our vacation days since we 'ate' into some of them with all the horse stuff that was going on a couple of weeks ago.  After that we headed outside into the sunny warm air.  The temps were in the high 60's!  It was beautiful.  So glad we got out as today is on the cold side and windy.  I think the high for today is only supposed to be 49*.  I am trying to put into practice some things that are going to benefit our little homestead.  One of those things is hanging laundry outside to dry.  I only put one or two loads out there as they really do not get completely dry.  But instead of 1 hours and 45 minutes in the drier, it only took 30 minutes.  This is helping to get more laundry washed, as we got behind, and save a wee little (little, little) bit on energy usage.  We'll have to rethink our line setup, but for now by keeping the goats in the goat area, it is working. 

After our time outside, and schooling under our belt, it was time to put up the Christmas tree.  We traditionally put it up the day after Thanksgiving, along with a cup of hot cocoa (which seems odd when it is almost 70* outside!).  Last year I had not been able to make up a hot cocoa recipe that the kids really enjoyed (GAPS legal that is).  This year, I hit the nail on the head!  There were many requests for more, more, more :-)  I used a blend of my improved almond milk recipe and a can of coconut milk.  By making up a mixture of cocoa powder and honey first, all the chocolate gets incorporated thoroughly.  I put a dab of our leftover coconut 'whipped' cream, and OH MY!  Yum! 

Oh my goodness, something sooooo cute just happened!  We have a whole bunch of Christmas lights that do not work.  We haven't gotten around to putting them up yet.  Aubrey just took of two of the lights (on different points of the string) and put them in his ears and kept saying, "hello!".  Too funny.  I wish I had a video of that!

Here are some photos from our day.

Saoirse found a feather that she wanted to show off.
 Hanging out on the trampoline.  The kids asked me to join them.  NO WAY!  Upset tummy and a trampoline, I don't think so :-)

 Our laundry all hung up.  I forgot to mention a very important detail about our laundry.  I did NOT hang up this laundry.  One of my very eager helpers did it for me.  As a matter of fact he *insisted* that I did not help.

 Here is my big helper.  Except for the bed sheet he did everything!
 I asked him to pose with his work.  This is what I got.

 After the laundry it was time to do a bunch of boy type things, like look for big rocks...

 ...or chase chickens around.
 Time to hang the ornaments.  I'm telling ya, having older children is pretty amazing.  This year not only did we not put the tree together, but they also hung the lights.  Moira is posing with one of the first ornaments that she received as a baby.
 Everyone wanted to show off the ornaments.
Someone really enjoyed that hot cocoa ;-)
A shot of the whole group.  Everyone helping to put the ornaments on.  Speaking of which I only put ONE on the tree this year!  I think we were done in record time!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A different Thanksgiving

I have to say I wish I had taken some pictures of our Thanksgiving day.  But I was a bit busy.  I had the usual Thanksgiving business of cooking, cleaning, cooking, getting kiddos ready, cooking, etc.  But this year we had a wee bit more work thrown into the mix...two boys...with the tummy bug.  How horrid to have the tummy bug on a feasting day!  Our guests, who were bringing the turkey, decided to play it safe and stay home.  Thankfully it was early enough to thaw out a couple of chicken roasters before dinner time. 

There was some question if Jed was going to be able to keep anything at all down that day.  But by around 3 o'clock he was finally able to keep stuff down.  He over did it a bit at dinner as he had tummy pain after eating, but he didn't get sick again.  Phew.  I was a bit concerned about who may awake in the middle of the night.  I prepared myself mentally before going to bed.  Imagine my surprise when *I* woke up sick.  For some reason that possibility didn't enter my head!  Ha! 

This Thanksgiving meal was a cross between traditional and GAPS.  I made the decision to keep any meal plans in place that we had before we started GAPS.  All food plans after that were made GAPS legal.  This meant we had roasted chicken, mashed potatoes (some had hashbrowns!), peas, jellied cranberry sauce, we used the cooking juices as the 'gravy' (didn't have the desire to make it more gravy like), gaps legal apple crisp and gaps legal pumpkin pie.  Jedidiah loved, loved, LOVED the pumpkin pie mix (before we cooked it), but when it came to eating the actual pie, he ate one bite!  Maybe he was all pumpkin'd out?  I think the apple crisp won out over the pumpkin pie.  I loved the pumpkin pie's consistancy, but it did need a little something else. That something else may have been the cloves, that I purchased in bulk during out last shopping trip, but couldn't find come baking day. 

After dinner, dessert and dishes we went outside for a small bonfire.  Jeremiah reads George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation each Thanksgiving.  This year he read it off of his laptop while sitting around the fire.  It was a nice way to end the evening.  We were able to keep up with the dishes and cleaning, so I was able to awake to a clean house.  This is a good thing since I'm still not feeling 100%.  We have company coming today...maybe, as I still need to call them to say we have the tummy bug making it's way around.  The older two girls have to help out at the stables for an hour this morning.  And then, I may try to get them to do a little school work.  We are behind and I've given them two weeks to catch up. They only have one week left to catch up of things.  After that they will have to forgo any 'extras' until they are caught up.  Those being: participating in the upcoming art contest, horse riding lessons, choir or computer time.  I'm such a mean mom :-)

Hoping everyone else had a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A little about nothing

Just had a few pictures to share that I snapped the other day when we were hanging outside.  November weather can be so fickle.  One day it's 48* the next it's 65*.  One day we are sporting our heavy sweatshirts or jackets, and the next we are in short sleeves and shorts.  This day happened to be on the cool side.  We were thinking of putting on an impromptu bonfire.  I would really like to make it a more regular feature here during the fall/winter months, having a weekly or bi-monthly bonfire.  Bring out the cast iron pot and put on some dinner as we all sit around the fire.  Maybe we will read, or tell stories.  Sounds good in theory :-)  This particular day the bonfire idea was put on hold.  I can't remember why at the moment, but sometimes life just gets busy with the every day things.

We took a little walk to grab the mail.  Hopping up into the back of Daddy's truck to look over the sales :-)

Wow, Mom, check out these awesome sales.  Ok, maybe he wasn't saying or even thinking that.  I do know that he and Jonah hung out in the truck for some time, looking at all the pictures in the adds.

This was our possible bonfire making day.  See, in the above pictures they are in sweatshirts, and in this one, short sleeves and shorts.  I think this was only one or two days after the above photos.  The girls and boys were collecting rocks to make a boundary for the fire.

This is as far as we got in the fire making.  Jonah was making his own little fire pit off to the side (not shown).  It was only about a foot or so wide, made with wee rocks.

While I was watching them gather rocks from the front I snapped this picture of our garlic sprouting.  This is our first attempt at growing garlic.  So far so good, the chickens didn't dig it up!

One of my high fashion photos :-)  These would be one of my favorite pair of pyjama pants.  I got these for my birthday last year.  My mom bought them for me when she came down to help out after I broke my knee.  So these pants have mixed memories.  Fond memories of the time spent with my mom, not so fond memories of the pain of a broken knee.  Regardless, these are some very comfy pants.  Don't worry, I don't wear them out in public, just outside my house.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Finally!! Some words for my inward feelings

These words, of course were not penned by me! Ha, ha.  I came across a new to me blog, that I found through the Barnyard Blog Hop (over at New Life on a Homestead).  There was an article there that really, really put the words to the feelings I've had over the past year.  Seeing the state of our country has let us to become more determined to provide for ourselves.  I read a small snippet of what someone wrote about how this lifestyle was the same lifestyle that was considered "NORMAL" not even 100 years ago.  This new to me website has a similar article.  But I just LOVE the terminology she uses to describe the 'self sufficient life', or what many are calling the prepper or survivalist movement:  self-contained household economies. 

 I encourage you to read her article HERE.  This has been my goal.  Seeing that our great economy, our massive, though frail, infrastructure and all our modern conveniences in danger of being able to continue on as we have always known them, I set out to find a way (the old or *normal* way as it would be) to provide for my family.  To be, as the Granny Miller would say, the (then) common American housewife.  To learn the forgotten skills.  To make connections with those who have the skills I lack.  To me, I'm in this for the long haul, as a way of life, whether our economy fairs well or not. 

I would like to write more, but little boys need to get outside :-)  I've only read one article on that blog site, but I'm pretty excited to dive in and read about her experiences of being the (then) typical American housewife! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Almond milk....improved!

Not sure if I mentioned that we went back on GAPS.  Being that we are still in the beginning stages my brain is a bit foggy. 

The kids were put on full GAPS from the beginning (except Moira who joined us for intro, and Isabella who is a vegetarian).  Since I just received my kefir grains last week they are not big enough to culture more than just 1/2 to 1 cup of milk at a time. This means that I needed to find another ingredient to make their smoothies with.  I've used homemade almond milk in the past many, many times, but it does not get rave reviews here at home :-)  Too watery.  I can't bring myself to use any more nuts to make it thicker, because that adds up to some serious money.  Then I had an ah-ha moment.

I suppose the moment was brought on by a conversation I recently had with Flannery.  We were not sure if we had enough eggs for a recipe.  I told her that we could always use some flax seeds in water to substitute.  Flax seeds become gelatinous after a short soak in water.  Here I was pouring in the almonds to make my regular almond milk, all the while knowing it was going to be met with grumblings.  Well, if flax seeds can thicken, maybe I could throw some in there and see what happens.  I don't have exact measurements because I just don't measure this kind of recipe.  But here is what I did:

I poured into my blender enough almonds to cover the blade.
I added a small handful of flax seeds.
I poured about 4 cups of water in the blender (I wanted to add ice cubes afterwards to cool it quickly)
I processed for about 2 or 3 minutes.
Strained the milk in a bowl.
Added a bit of vanilla and honey to taste.

For the first time ever NO ONE complained!  They all went back for more.  We were using the milk on gaps legal granola, and in the past they would either forgo the granola or eat it plain, without milk.  I would say that going back for seconds, for the granola and milk, is a success.

This milk has a very nice consistency, definitely thicker than water.  I suppose you can control the thickness depending on how much flax you add.  So play around with it until you get it right for your family.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

These will have to do...

Finally getting the pictures off the cameras.  Today seems to be a bad computer day as I've been having one issue after another dealing with the camera and computer.  Oy.

These are the pictures from the Open Barn event that the girls had spent the week helping out with.  And all their hard work paid off.  It was a great event, and they did very well.

Most of the pictures that we have of our girls riding turned out very poorly.  The angle of the sun was hard to get around.  But I think you get the idea :-)  I'm sure we'll have more to come in the future.

BTW, Isabella had her first day of driving on the road!!  I have to say I really don't like that it has to be some other adult teaching her, as if we are incompetent.  But, state laws are state laws.  She only has to do the driving with the teacher for 3 days.  After that I am still unsure how we are to exactly go about getting her permit.  Does she get a temporary one since she finished the whole course, or does she need to wait till we get all the needed paper work before she can drive again?  I am non too pleased that it was nearly impossible to find the information I needed to get this ball rolling.  If it hadn't been for a "chance" meeting with someone who just happened to finish a driving class I think I may still be trying to find the needed info.  And, this was *months* ago. 

 Flannery waiting for the demo to begin.  We had a little wait, which was a wee bit hard for these guys....

 Those bleachers were a little boy magnet!  Not a fun thing to try to keep them off of.  Between the bleachers, the cars that would drive right behind us, the two fire ant hills 3 feet away from us, and the boys trying to climb up on the ring's fence to get a better look, my nerves were undone.

 Not sure what he had found while he was under the bleachers.  I think he was mostly looking for flowers and leaves.  He had found this one skinny little leaf that he was pretty obsessed about.

 Isabella waiting her turn.  There were more riders than horses, so each horse had 5 riders assigned to it.  The first round would go in and demonstrate their skills, then the next round of kids would come in, help the others get off their horse, if needed, and readjust the stirrups for their turn.

 Moira, probably feeling nervous.  She was very excited for this day to come, in spite of what her expression says :-)  Isabella and Moira were in the last group for the demo.

 Isabella readjusting the stirrups before her turn.

 Moira waiting for all the riders to be ready to start.

 Isabella is off!

 Moira, just passing us.

 The girls had to do a turn.  I'm not sure if I could do that myself, let alone they were doing this turn (360*) at a trot.  I definitely know I couldn't even get in a trot, let alone do a 360 on the horse while it was trotting!  Ha!

Isabella coming towards us.  I wish we had more pictures, specifically of the girls riding, but the camera batteries died.  Ugh.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...