Thursday, July 30, 2015

Some Birthday Pictures

Three of the four July birthdays.  Just a quick recap.

 First up, Jedidiah's Minecraft birthday.  Here is his Creeper cake.

The birthday boy, and look at that *nine* candle.  Wow!  How did that happen?

 Flannery was in charge of the birthday party plans.  She did a great job. Here is the Ghast pinata.

 Everyone had a turn, even the big kids :-)

Jedidiah was truly excited with his homemade birthday cards.  He looked them over carefully and really enjoyed them!

 Second up, Jonah's birthday.  The poor boy got short changed on an actual party.  But, that happens.  Here is his "red" TNT cake.  The liquid food coloring doesn't do a very good job of 'red'.  Oh well.

The happy birthday boy.  The poor guy still hasn't gotten a birthday sign!!  How sad is that?!?

 Moira's 16th birthday.  Um, no, Moira is not in this picture.  Oh, well.  There were only 142 pictures or more of all the girls taking turns in big and small groups at the 'photo booth'.  This was a big hit!

 Homemade decorations.  These turned out really nice.  Moira now has them hanging in her bedroom for a permanent decor.

 There's the birthday girl.  Thankfully not all the pictures turned out blurry.  I just can't tell from the small clip, and I'm too lazy to find a better one.

 Moira's birthday sign.  Now I just have to get all the birthday kids photos in front of their signs.

 More homemade birthday decor.

Last, but not least, the birthday cakes.  Yum.

Outside time

Just some cute pictures of our outside time the other day.  Not a lot of time to write words.  So pictures will have to do.

 Merida loves Isabella's new pony, Olaf.  I'm not sure if he is fond of her though!

 Our new chickens, 4 of the 40.

 Country water park :-)

 The boys did this themselves.

 Merida LOVES the swing.  Swing, swing.  She is now fond of doing the "One for the money, two for the show...."

 One of our cat's new kittens.  This one was not happy to be picked up.

 So cute.

 Aubrey's turn.

 Merida's first braids.  This is the first girl, at this young of an age, that will let me do her hair.  It only took 5!  So if you are only on girl number 1 or 2, don't give up :-)

 More kitten and boy cuteness.

 "No, Merida, *smell* the flower, don't eat it!"

 Merida loves helping to feed and water the animals.

Woah! From this angle she looks like she is 3 years old!  Not so fast there little one.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Life is going along

Well, for starters, we are all still alive.  A good thing.

So you know my post where I rant about the verse, 'my people perish for a lack of knowledge'?  Well, a week or so before that I saw an email about a Bible study some women were doing from a past church we had gone to.  It sounded like something I should do.  I asked Moira if she would like to join me.  She said yes, though she asked if we could skip the first one as it was on her birthday.  However the study is only 4 weeks long, so I told her no.

The study is on 'how to study the Bible', and the very first passage that you study in the book?  It contains the verse, 'my people perish for a lack of knowledge'!!!!!  I think God was trying to get my attention!  Moira was bummed that we were going on her birthday, but she told me later that she was very glad we went.  The scriptures really seemed to relate to what our family was going through at the moment (this is coming from Moira).  She was amazed to see the relation between what the scripture says will happen when there is a lack of knowledge (and this knowledge is of God's ways/laws) and the state of our family that relates right to what the scripture says will happen.  Amazing!

I thought I would share that and a few phone pictures of some past events.  They are not the best, but I thought it would be more pleasant to share something positive :-)

 One wee picture of Jed's birthday getting set up. All of the 'real' pictures are on my camera, which I can't download since we don't have a working card reader at the moment.  Jed had a Minecraft themed birthday party, and these were the potions (colored lemonade).

 July 4th started with some red, white and blue pancakes for breakfast.  Jonah freaked out at the sight of them and refused to eat them, saying they would taste horrid.  I had to explain, and re-explain that it was the same as the green colored cake that he ate for Jed's birthday.  The taste was the same, just the colors different.  He finally at them.

 Moira's 16th birthday.  She will be having a birthday party soon, but this was part of her birthday dinner...a day late.  The boys made the cakes, can you tell?  I LOVE the leaning candles!

 Did anyone else 'celebrate' cow appreciation day at Chick-fil-a?  We did!!  If you dressed like a cow you got a free meal.  I thought it was just a simple meal like a chicken sandwich, but it was *any* meal that they had!  Wow!  Here is our youngest calf.

Some of the bigger cows!  Moira had some friends meet her there, so she sat at the 'cool' table :-)  Her friends are great actually!  They were all dressed up.  It was a HUGE, HUGE surprise to see Isabella show up!!  That was the first public place that she has been to in 9 months!!  She had stopped taking her remedies about 10 days prior (due to the stress of losing her job and horse), and the aggravations finally wore off.  Healing was taking place, we just couldn't see much of it due to the aggravations.  Anyways, this is a result of the remedies bringing healing.  She still has a LONG way to go, but that was soooooo encouraging to see!!

The younger cows.  They all had a ton of fun, and really loved the indoor playground as well.  It had been a very long time since we've eaten out.  So this was a real treat.

 Merida was trying to figure out how to use a straw.  She would put the straw in her mouth and tip the cup upside down...hence her wet face and shirt.  She eventually figured it out!  You should have seen her keeping up with her brothers on the indoor playground!!

Jonah getting in the van after our meal.  He looks so much older in this picture!  This is not his usual look, but handsome non-the-less.

That is it for now.  Hopefully one day I will have 'real' birthday pictures, Runner's Camp pics and whatever else is on my camera card!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Things went from Bad to Worse

Ah, that is when one must take notice...if for no other reason than it is hard NOT to notice that life was hard enough, and is now miserable.  Ugh.  But, in the midst of it all we do indeed see God at work.  As for my sinful self that would mean seeing God working in between my moments of name calling (to God).  Yes, pathetically sinful. The day after my last post went something like this:
  7:30 AM: Isabella leaves for work (at the horse barn), but returns a couple of minutes later...with a kitten in her hands.  The kitten looks fine, Bella says she only has a moment, but two things....One, something having to do with money.  Two, this kitten (she holds it up) was up under the car, and as she was driving up our dirt road she saw it fly out from under the car and land on the side of the road.  It couldn't walk with it's back legs.  Flannery and I took turns giving the kitten some remedies for shock and pain.  About 3 hours later the kitten was trying to move around.  By later that evening she was walking around!  Phew. But, boy was that stressful.  Someone was supposed to be coming by that afternoon to take her and another kitten home.  They ended up getting kittens from someone else, so we still have said kittens.

8:30 AM:  Jeremiah tries to play with Merdia and she gets hurt (minimally so).  Her reaction has me wondering if she is getting sick?  Hmmm.

10:30 AM:  Merida gets up on a chair in the dining room and falls backwards, flat on her back/head.  Sigh.

Lots more taking care of kitten and other small things I can not remember right now.

4:00 PM:  Jeremiah and I are walking out the door, literally, when the phone rings and one of the girls calls out that it's "L".  Hmmm, that's odd, she rarely calls, and only when I call her first.  "L" is Bella's horse trainer.  At soon as she starts talking I can tell something is wrong.  She goes on to say that there were things at the barn that went wrong that day and because of that Isabella is fired.  WHOA!!!  Now, there is a TON, TON, TON, TTTTTTTTOOOOOOOONNNNNNN, more that went on in this situation over the next 3 days.  It all boils down to this:  Mistakes had been made, in Bella's contract if that were to happen she loses her horse.  HER HORSE!  The one that saved her life.  And NO I am NOT exaggerating when I say it saved her life.  We do not go out, obviously, and spend all evening with Bella talking and praying.  I am leaving this in God's hands, for Him to bring the truth front and center.  The thing that got me upset was that this wasn't the first time there were mistakes made by Bella.  In the past "L" covered for her.  That isn't the upsetting part.  The upsetting part is that "L" has made plenty of mistakes on her part, that Bella has had to cover for.

6:30 PM:  Jeremiah takes off for a counseling meeting, but comes back two minutes later.  I sigh....this can't be good.  He calls me out of Bella's room, and in private tells me that he found a dead kitten on the side of our road.  Apparently the first kitty that was hurt that morning wasn't alone :-(  She made it, but her brother did not.  And to be fair, he was definitely dead right at the get go....there would have been no saving him should we have found him immediately after the accident.

That was the first day after my last post.  Since then we have had a goat stop eating.  Meds have not helped.  She is eating greens, which is good, but I have a bad feeling about this situation.  I am not sure I can handle a dead goat right now :-(  Our central AC stopped working.  So we are down to just one room that is cool (this little AC unit sometimes can not keep up with all the bodies in there, so we are doing good if the room is at least cool).  This means that little kitchen work is being done.  The heat along with the high humidity is brutal.  We weren't able to attend any fire works this year...ya know, due to the terrorist threats...sigh.  We did get to go to a friends July 4th party where we had a lot of fun, but not without trouble as well.  Though the actual reason for the stopped up toilet was not Jonah's fault, the fact that he flushed it and it over spilled was.  Talk about a mess!  Thankfully our friends take those kinds of things in stride! The baby finally, FINALLY kicked the bladder infection.  But only in time to get the horrid cough that everyone else had.  She is sick, sick, sick.  Poor thing keeps coming up to me and pointing to her eyes, and saying, "Eyes, ouchie."  She is extremely wrestles at night.  Medicine helps some.  But that does not stop her from feeling yuck throughout the day.

On a good note the kids are enjoying Runners Camp.  Though it was made apparent that Jed still needs a 'shadow' (a person devoted to keeping an eye on him).  He 'lost' his team multiple times the first two days!!  Flannery is a volunteer at one of the game stations and yesterday they had more helpers than needed.  She was asked to help elsewhere, and it happened to be on Jed's team!!!  Phew!  He did much better!!!  No getting lost.  Jed is still having auditory processing issues!  That means he needs time to process one command. So if the coach says, "Ok team, after this event we are going to take a bathroom break and head over to the snack station..."  Well, you lost Jed on the "after this event" part.  The other day Jed was standing two feet from the table.  He asked me where I put his bowl of oatmeal (sometimes it is up on the counter, other times it's on the table).  I told him I put it on the table. the table was on his right hand side.  Jed turns to the left, and is about to take a step in that direction when I call out, "Jed, stop....(wait)...your food is on the TABLE....(wait).....(he turns to the table)....the bowl is in my spot on the table...(he looks and sees his food)".  Besides those issues he was still having fun.

Aubrey, who turned 4 at the beginning of the year, is not happy with the fact that he can not attend Runner's Camp.  Not only can he not go this year, but he won't be able to go next year either!  The camp is for 6-12 year olds.  Poor little guy.

It is times like this that make me afraid to wake up the next day!!  I worry about what other major issue will come up.  The Bible says don't worry about tomorrow because today has enough troubles of it's own.  Sad, but true.  But day after day of  troubles gets exhausting.  I worry about Jeremiah taking Flannery and Saoirse to Breyer Fest in Kentucky.  Will they stay safe?  Will they get lost?  It comes to a point that I want everyone to sit in a chair and not move....for the next week.  Ha, ha!  Do you think that would help?

Ok, on to getting some work done, if I can muster it.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

When Life is Hard

Before I begin I want to give a little disclaimer.  As a Christian I *know* who is in charge of everything.  I know what the Bible says (obviously not perfectly, but I have a working knowledge).  What I am going to write is how I FEEL right now.  Things are hard and dare I say raw right now.  What I am going to write will be a mixer of whining, fear, despair and other not so 'christian' things to write.  I write this in hopes that one day there may be a happy ending.  Until then, this is how it looks....and don't say I didn't warn you... it's not pretty.  Please KNOW that I am very, very well aware that there are people out in the world who are *truly* suffering.  By comparison what I am going through is a walk in the park.  But, that being said, that doesn't mean what I am going through isn't painful, or chaotic for me.  I do realize that I am blessed. 

I think we can all agree that on the bigger picture front things do not look good.  I am thinking of giving up on reading anything on the internet as it seems we are being assaulted from all sides.  People being persecuted (and I mean REAL persecution, running for their lives), damaging earthquakes and weather, and other horrors.  On the home front we are facing a degradation in our society.  Our Constitutional rights are being taken from us.  Parental rights are being taken away from us.  Our food supply chain is in the hands of the greedy.  Our medical options are being attacked (anyone see the article on 3 alternative doctors dead in FL? Two murdered, the other dead of unknown causes at this time.)  The powers that be are pitting us against each other.  They try to deny the public of actual truth and facts.  What we have read about other 'evil' countries of the past in history class, we are walking in right now.  I am truly afraid of the day that the government *will* take homeschooling away.  I am truly afraid that we *will* be in civil war.  This time it won't be the North versus the South.  It will be the Government versus the citizens.  But I think they will skew things enough that we will be fighting amongst ourselves until we get a clue as to who the real enemy is.

I am grateful for those who are wise, and hopeful.  Hopeful that love and the love of Christ will prevail.  This does not have to be the end of America.  I'm just not sure how many others out there have that same perspective.

As if all of that was not enough.  There is I guess what you could call a civil war in our own home.  I obviously can not go into details, but suffice it to say that it is bad.  Very bad.  I think after 20 years I have just numbed myself.  I have found myself slipping again and again into depression.  These times of depression seem to be coming closer and closer together.  I am tired.  Very, very tired.  And not the kind of tired that I need a nap (though I wouldn't turn one down!).  That tiredness of not wanting to go on.  Deep down to the bones.

I liken it to a house that has a very faulty foundation.  And after a while you are going to get doors that do not shut properly, or windows falling out of their tracks.  There will be holes in the walls, and cracks in the ceiling.  Given enough storms the house is going to start to lean.  And eventually it will fall.  Right now I think our house is falling.  It's not that we didn't know the foundation was faulty.  Heck we 'bought' the house knowing the foundation was faulty.  And all these years we keep fixing those doors and windows, plastering the walls, etc.  But the damage is deep.  As we've 'added' on, more is at stake.  There have been small attempts through the years to fix the foundation.  But each time was short lived and small in it's scope of effect.              

And if that wasn't enough I am wrestling with my faith.  Not as to whether I believe or not.  But kind of 'what's the point'?  I mean if we die and things are supposed to be glorious and perfect afterwards, then why the heck am I even still playing this game?  Again, I realize I am not suffering like others.  It is hard though to think that somehow we in America will be spared from the horrors that others face in the world.  But one can hope.

Then there is this scripture that has me in a tizzy.  The one that says, "my people parish for the lack of knowledge",  My physical body is suffering because of an earlier lack of knowledge.  What I thought was an act of glorifying God (leaving our fertility up to Him) seems to be more of a curse.  Suffering the effects of my lack of knowledge of how to properly sit, stand, give birth, etc.  And now I have the 'privilege' of dealing with some very uncomfortable ailments.  And I think to wrong as it is....'thanks God'.  I spend a lot of time trying to do the best in caring for my family.  And we are 'blessed' with sickness, sickness, sickness.  I know that when I have been walking closely with God that things 'feel' better, but actually more bad things happen.  It takes a lot of time for that kind of relationship, and it is one riddled with constant, constant battle.  The fellowship was sweet, but at this time in my life I am wondering if I have anything in me to rise to that kind of battle.  I'm done with battling. And of course life is supposed to be one big battle, which brings me back to why, why bother? Get it all over now!  Please note I am not suicidal, these are just my raw and angry thoughts that I dare say I am sinful enough to yell to God. As if I could hide them from Him anyways.

I try to focus on other areas of my life, but it only brings me more depression.  I was reading a post on the wonderful calling of homemaking.  The beauty of it.  How to make a house a home, etc.  And I sigh, and click off the page.  Our house, besides the fact that it is falling (not physically, but spiritually), is physically one big yuck ball.  I can not get on top of getting things organized.  After nine years living here the main living areas are painted, along with one bathroom.  That all happened to be a gift from one of our small groups at a church we were once attending.  As it stands now that paint job needs touching up, and forget the fact that the other rooms still remain unpainted.  I am not one for big time decorations.  I am practical, but even the thrown together furniture from all sources at the cheapest we could get...well I'm not sure I am that practical.  I think back to what I wanted our home to be like (in the physical sense), and it is disappointing that it isn't anything close.  It is supposed to be my job to take care of the home, but that has been robbed.  Robbed by what I believe has been misguided teaching.  God gave me the desire to create.  He gave me the desire for simple beauty.  I actually went to school for Fine Arts.  I wonder why God gave those desires and gifts when I can't actually use them.  It seems silly.  Again, what's the point?

Homeschooling is a joke right now.  We need to catch up on some things.  I have fallen into the trap of just getting by for the past year and a half.  I admit I have given up on trying to keep my children's minds well fed.  They all pine to be entertained, and to be lazy in mind (and dare I say body on many days).  It is always, always a constant, constant battle of keeping the computer usage at bay, the movie time at bay, etc.  I am trying to formulate a plan to have an 'old fashion' summer.  Like actually spending lots of time outside.  Playing physical games.  Being creative.  Reading.  Using our minds.  I know...novel right?  Sad.  Not sure how it will all pan out.  I'm not exactly high on energy right now.  But my children's minds are growing very weak and lazy.  I already know that they will go through withdrawal.  And I am being serious about that.

Life is a mess.  I'm a mess. My family is a mess.  Although God is supposed to be in the business of cleaning....that has yet to happen.  Definitely the fault is on our side....but that doesn't change the mess.  So something HAS to change.  Many things HAVE to change.  And change they will.  Not sure if it will be in the right direction or not, but change has to occur.  Staying in my current state of affairs is just no longer an option.

So, as I wrote in the beginning....I can only pray that there will be a happy ending. I would ask that if you are so led, that you would pray for one too.
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