Thursday, January 22, 2015

Two birthdays!

So our two youngest have their birthdays right smack in the beginning of the year.  This year we had a bit of an issue going on around here.  I've made mention of it in the past post or two, and we thought we were over the issue, but such is not the case. I have a post coming all about it, but it has to do with the 'bugs' we have been dealing with.  Needless to say, that had put a damper on the festivities.  I was finally able to come to peace over the situation on Merida's birthday.  I determined that I would NOT let this situation steal my joy over celebrating my child's special day!

Aubrey wanted to have a strawberry cake, with orange and blue frosting!  And that is just what he got.  He also had the privilege of having a friend over to celebrate with.  It was a sweet evening of fun for him.  We got him a bunch of dinosaur things.  A mug, t-shirt and some books.  His friend got him some hot wheel cars.  A hit all around.

Merida's special day was spent readying the house to be 'bombed'  No small task for our size family.  We spent some time at the mall (we had to kill a total of 4 hours out of the house...on a Sunday).  So the mall it was.  I think we have been to the mall twice in 10 years, and that was just to run in and get a girl's ear pierced each time.  The escalator was a big hit with the boys :-)  We drove home to open the windows to the house.  Then we headed back out to get something to eat and run to the store.  After all of that is was 8 PM when we got home and had to give everyone baths and fresh bedding.  Needless to say we didn't celebrate her birthday until the following morning.  But when we did, she loved her cake and present (a ride/walking toy).

We remembered to play the 'fortune' game that we have done with all of our children on their 1st birthday.  We set out four items: a shot glass (we used a kids medicine cup), a piece of fruit, a coin and a cross necklace.  The idea is that the first item they pick up is what their future will be.  Please note this is all done in fun, and to carry on a tradition that my parents did with me and my siblings.  Merida chose the necklace.  The idea of the necklace would be that she would be going into the ministry :-)  The coin represents wealth, the shot glass...well I think you can figure that one out, and the fruit is for becoming a farmer.

Merida loved her cake.  I have a picture of her taking a bite out of the side of her cake.  So cute.  I only have pictures of the birthday kiddos with their birthday signs at the present moment.  The other birthday pictures are on the other computer.  I'll have to upload those later.  But for now these will do:

 Aubrey wouldn't keep his hands out of his face.  He kept posing in funny positions.  Ah.  The life of a four year old :-)

I love his look here.  Too cute.  He had a dinosaur theme for his sign, with some plants vs. zombies items thrown in, compliments of Jedidiah.  Both Jed and Jonah really wanted to help out with the birthday sign, and making the cake. I can say that proved to be a daunting task, trying to wrangle the fun of cake making from their sisters.

 Lots of kitty cats for Merida's sign.  One of her first words was 'kitty'.  This little miss took her first steps just a couple of days before her birthday.  Now she is a walking machine.  She still falls all the time, but she is starting to prefer walking over crawling.

Here she is with her new ride on toy.  We had one of these for Isabella, many moons ago. I think it bit the dust after Saoirse.  I don't remember having it around for Jed.  So a new one was in order.  She really loves it. do her brothers!!  They try to take over and ride on it.  Many a fight has been had over this toy in the past few days.  Ha! I think they have finally gotten it out of their system as there has been less fighting today about it.

Please pray for our family as we continue our battle to stay strong in the Lord.  Between the bugs, and all the work that is going into killing them, and upping our immune system, and the vacuuming and laundry to keep the bugs from multiplying has been a bit taxing.  And, not just two minutes ago Jonah came to me saying his head is hurting.  Not a good sign.  He's not a child to just have a headache.  Sigh.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Wrapping up the new year

The new year has begun, but I wanted to take just a moment...or five, to close out the old year.  It has been an amazing year, and it has been a difficult year all rolled into one.  We started with a 'bang' with Aubrey's birthday, all of us sick, and only days away before baby Merida joined the family.  I am ever, EVER, so very grateful for the wonderful birth that I had.  Had it not been on the spectrum of miraculous (though all births are miraculous!), I think that what had happened just a couple of weeks after would have done me in.  God made His presence known.  I will say that recently I have "felt" alone, in the wild, out in the ocean without a rescue boat kinda thing.  So it was a good thing to have that 'God tank' filled up in the beginning of the year.

I have come to realize that whether it is spiritual, hormonal, or dietary related (most probably a combination of the three), I have been depressed for most of this year.  As in 'real' depression.  Not the kind of, 'yeah, today was a bad day, it was so depressing'.  The kind where you feel hopeless.  Utterly and completely hopeless.  Where you realize, months later, that you haven't partaken in the things that you would normaly do and enjoy.  When you realize that the thoughts you had about how horrible the day was, how horrible you are feeling, how useless my life must be, etc had become an every day blanket that I felt wrapped up in, but unable to take off.  Where was the corner of this blanket?  The more I struggled, the tighter it had become.

We ended this year with some sickness, though not as horrid as last  year.  BUT, that being said, although the sickness wasn't bad, we had some sort of lice on top of it all!  I believe it must be from our animals.  I have spent the past 3 weeks doing laundry, vacuuming, applying oils/herbs/essential oils multiple times a day, laundry, applying diatomaceous earth to everything, more laundry, more oils, more, more, more.  My every waking moment has been spent on battling the bugs.  I am exhausted by it all.  We haven't done school this whole time, we've eaten noodles for multiple meals a day, we've missed out on church and get togethers.  It has been a very isolating time.

Needless to say, I found myself contemplating about this past year and the new year before me.  I realized that for far to long, much, much longer than just this year, I have let a certain situation dominate my life, steal my joy, and pretty much held me in 'survival' mode.  With my oldest bound and determined to move out on her 18th birthday, reality that I spent her whole life living in this state brought me to my knees.  I was grieved.  Just tonight Isabella was sitting off to my left, hanging out on the computer eating her dinner.  I had Merida, almost 1 years old, in front of me standing, holding onto my knees, as I fed her her dinner.  I could see my oldest and youngest at the same time.  It was sort of like a time warp.  Merida very much has a large portion of Isabella's personality.  With Isabella we messed up big time in the parenting department.  Big. Time.

I sat there with tears in my eyes begging God to give us a second chance with our first, and asking for Him to lead our youngest in the right direction.  If I had only known then what I know now. But as much as I wish I could start over, turn back the hands of time, I can't.  I can't change my daughters determination to move out.  I can't heal her wounded heart.  I can't make her see that I love her so much that it tears me up inside with a physical pain.  But.  BUT.

But, God can.  He CAN heal her heart.  He can draw her to Him.  He can help her to see that she is cherished and loved for who she is.  He can help her avoid the possible pitfalls that may be awaiting her.

This is why I started searching for some books I had.  Books that are filled with God working.  I felt like I couldn't face life with two failed relationships.  I couldn't open my eyes to another day of hopelessness.  I was being consumed by the darkness.  It has come to the point of either giving up and falling into that darkness, or to grab hold to God with all of my might.  Because it is going to take God to get me out of this.  If there is any change, any restoration, it will ONLY be because God.

Usually I write up these wonderfully long lists of things I want to do or accomplish for the new year.  I am really good at making lists, but very bad at actually accomplishing anything!  So this time I made a short list.  My book list has 6 books on it for the year.  Gardening comprises of pruning the fruit trees and tending to the 4 garden beds that we threw together at the end of this gardening season.  Photography, I decided to do Project 365 to keep up my learning.  One picture a day.  That's pretty much it.  Short.

In the meantime I need to completely rid our house of these bugs (I believe they are gone, but I want to put down all the protection that I can for my sanity).  The house is really chaotic, having lived in a fog for the past year.  So I am doing a 'spring' cleaning of sorts.  If I have to I will just stuff things in the attic so we can get back to living.  I want to be enjoying life with my children.  I want to do crafts with them, play games, learn with them, explore, make memories, make some new traditions.  I want to enjoy my children.  I want them to know how much I love them with my words, actions, my time.  I don't want to waste any more time in this darkness.  I know I will still have bad days to come, but I want my focus to be on LIVING.  I want it to be on THE LIVING God.  I want so badly to be living in the light, His light.

Here is to a new year.  A year filled with love and light.

The following pictures are just some of the pictures I had from the last few weeks of the year.

 With all of the oil needed to eradicate the bugs, my dreads came undone :-(  Sigh.  Not sure if I have the oomph to put them in again.  It was a lot of work.  I will take my time to decide.  I have enough on my plate right now, I think I may get a hair cut, and use that 'time' while it grows out again to decide what to do.

A messy face, but oh my goodness, too cute not to take a picture of.  She was eating applesauce, and crawled under the Christmas tree to the opposite side that I was on.  She thought she was pretty clever.

 We just put our Christmas things away.  I have to say I was very relieved to put it all back up.  I know, that sounds horrible, but I just wanted that clean slate.  I wanted to move on to other things.  This Christmas was nice.  It was just us, which proved to be a good things since half of us were ill for Christmas day!  It still proved to be a very nice day.

 Three of the four garden beds that I want to focus on this year.  I would like to dig these up and fill them up with a bunch of compost.  Then we will need to make a fence barrier to keep the chickens out.  Keep it small.  Keep it small.  Heck, if I have to we will just do 2 beds.  But I want to at least try my hand at actually being successful.  With 4 failed years of gardening, we need some success to lift the spirits.

 A peach tree in great need of pruning!

Some outside time.  We've had crazy weather.  Cold, really warm, chilly, freezing, warm, chilly, warm, freezing.  Crazy I tell ya!

 For some reason this picture kind of summed up how I have been feeling lately.  Bare.  Bleak.  Dark.  Our winters can be crazy with temps, but it usually is filled with lots of sun.  Not so this year!  I can't remember so many cloudy days in all the 20 years we've lived here!  Very depressing.

 This is Spartan.  Or Smartan, or Martin, depending on who you ask.  The younger boys can not say his name properly, so Spartan, comes out as Martin.  Oh well.  This is a new addition.  He's very smart.  But he's a puppy, and that makes him annoying as well.  Can we say, 'whinning'?  It even drives the kids batty.

 This is Moira's new goat.  She sold her first goat, Elenor.  Elenor had horns.  Not a good idea for multiple reasons.  This here is Mocha.  She is very skittish.  We've had many people comment on how friendly our goats are.  When we sell baby goats people really can't believe how interactive they are.  Well, they got that way from being handled from the very first minutes of their lives.  We never really thought about it much.  My kids love animals, and they spend a lot of time with them.  Well, Mocha is what you get when you don't spend much time with your goats.  She is very fearful, and runs from us.  She freaks out over our other animals as well.  Poor thing.  Moira is doing a great job at trying to desensitize her, and gain her trust.  Mocha is a very pretty goat, though this picture doesn't do her justice.

 A bird house that the boys painted.  Jonah has really been into birds lately.  We have Jed into bugs, Aubrey into dinosaurs and Jonah is into birds.  For Christmas we got Jed a new bug book.  It is a book he already had, but he used to death.  We bought a bird book for Jonah.  Aubrey was very, very upset that his book was not about dinosaurs.  Bad me.  We are making up for it for his birthday...which is tomorrow!!!  He's turning four!

 Nothing like ringing out the old year with some cute baby toes.

Not the best pictures, but I always love my babies' toes.  I can't get enough of them.  Tell me I'm not crazy :-)
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