Sunday, January 31, 2010

Love This Verse

Love this verse. I think all Christians would do well to memorize this verse.

2 Kings 18:3-5


He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.) Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.

Right beside this verse:

Matthew 27:37-38

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

The Moon


Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Week

It was a good week I think. I decided to "try" going Gluten Free this week. So far I'm still doing it. I'm doing it because this pregnancy most wheat products have made me feel badly.

My middle daughter is a Gluten Free girl. Even though she didn't test out for Celiac - it obviously makes a huge difference for her going gluten free in so many ways - including behavioral. But the clearest sign is that whenever we go back to wheat (more than just a tiny amount) she has tummy aches big time.

My oldest daughter had a horrible time with CVS (Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome) last year (and a few years before that). CVS is basically migraines in kids. One of her episodes she didn't eat or drink for a week and we had to get her hydrated at the ER. We had to get her hydrated more than once. Actually that time we went to the ER at about day four. So, we got some expensive medicine for the nausea. And we used it a few times. But, the really cool thing is for like the last nine months, she hasn't had a problem. She has gotten headaches - and one thing you can do for migraines is to catch them early and treat them with Advil. So doing that might have made a big difference. But, the big thing we did is cut out food additives as an entire family (for the most part - we still go out to eat). Anyhow, that's a huge praise report, and just to show you that real health issues come from sensitivities.

Interestingly enough, the girs' cousin just got a positive test back on Celiac - so it looks like that does run in the family (on my husband's side).

I've just had general health issues and largely anxiety and depression issues and allergies (asthma, hives, etc.). I don't know what I'll do with this experiment. If you have followed my blog much over the last year or two, you know I love making homemade whole grain bread. I would so hate to give that up. But, for now, during my pregnancy and especially while I feel sick, I'm avoiding wheat and wheat like products.

So, I was feeling better. I mean I still had morning sickness, but it wasn't so overwhelming and I had good hours this week. The girls had a lot of fun with their activities this week and we made it to every one. Outside of Natalie doing her math, we still haven't been back to school, but I figure I can make up for that during the summer. And certainly, their activities and Nat's violin practice are an education of a type all on their own. And, the girls love to read on their own. So, they aren't getting rusty.

We got the original Star Wars (4,5, and 6) and Jon told the girls if they cleaned the house, we would watch the first one. Oh, my gosh were they motivated. I've never seen them move so fast. And, even if I was at my tip top, I coudn't have cleaned it myself that fast.

My Abigail is just a cutie. She keeps us all wrapped around her finger. It was funny at violin this week, the teacher asked her to pick up a pencil. She stood back and acted shy. Soon, though, she started telling my eight year old to pick it up. And kept asking her over and over. And eventually, Natalie did pick it up. That little Abigal turkey. I ask her to pick up a toy and she says, "Dachel pick it up." Dachel is Rachel, my six year old. But, Abigail's very helpful too. You should see how she folds wash rags. And, I'm kind of particular that my wash rags are folded in the same direction so they make a neat stack. And she (Abigail - 2 1/2) does it that way! Oh, she's too cute for words.

Here are some pictures I took earlier this week when I braided Abigail's hair. Natalie got in on the action.




Monday, January 25, 2010

My Husband

Have I told you that my husband has been making dinner about three days out of four during this difficult part of my first trimester? Do you know that shortly after we were married, my husband told me he just didn't see how he could be one of those husbands that helps their wife in the kitchen. It was just not something that any of the men in his family did. But, he has learned to make Tacos, Hamburgers (from lean, pasture fed beef mind you), Oven-Fried Chicken, Steak/Potatoes/and a Vegetable. He also cuts up a mean salad. And makes great German Pancakes for breakfast - even making a gluten free version for our gluten free girl.

Jon isn't the most naturally sympathetic person. He doesn't just notice when I need help. But, as hard as everything has been during this first trimester...he pulls through. This morning I knew I needed extra sleep (ten or eleven rather than nine) to feel good today. It's been how it's been. I asked him to stay home a little and work from home and just let the girls play in their rooms. He said, "no way. It's a busy day." In the past, I would have gotten myself worked up about his lack of sympathy. But, we are both learning. I told him I wouldn't be able to get things done today because I wouldn't be feeling good not having enough sleep. And, I tried to go back to sleep. And, you know what, he stayed home and worked remotely. I didn't even know it. I just thought my children were being unusually quiet. I got up at eleven and then he went into work.

My honey is a gem isn't he? I love him anyhow, whether he were to do that or not. But, when he does things like that I feel loved by him.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pregnancy Struggles

I had a day the other day where I felt good (almost normal) for about five or six hours. Then, the day after it, I didn't feel like I could move from the couch all day. I think a lot of it is related to how much sleep I got. And every time I tried to take a nap that day, I was awoken by a phone or  fighting children...or after my dear husband took the children...this stop watch thing went off.

This pregnancy, according to my memory is up there with the morning sickness of my first pregnancy. But, so far I do get over "morning" sickness by thirteen weeks every time. So, I'm looking forward to that date. As far as what doctor's recommend...pretty much they tell me this is the first trimester and that's how you feel, have you tried eating saltines? Last time when I was getting real desperate they offered me some anti-nausea medicine, but that made me so out of it, it really wouldn't be worth it unless I literally could sleep all day. Plus, no need to add extra medicine. A couple weeks after that point last time, I was feeling better. I just hope the baby is OK. I love getting that 18 week ultrasound and finding out everything looks basically OK.

Enough of that. We have not been doing hardly any school. That's OK. Learning is lifelong and we can do school in the summer. We have been doing the activities we're signed up for, but I've been skipping about one a week. I'm really signed up for about one too many things, but I just don't want to get rid of one of them right now. We are doing Violin (Natalie only), Art (Natalie only), Swimming (both older girls), and Dance (both older girls).

The dance is during a hard time of day for "morning sickness" and four and five and that's when my evening edition of morning sickness tends to pop back up. But, it's real close to home and to work. I wish I could talk my husband into dropping off and picking up the girls for this...but he's not too fond of hanging out with a bunch of girls and women. So...we'll see.

Natalie is just LOVING being back in violin. I don't think I realized how important it was to her.

Swimming...well my girls are six and eight and still don't swim. They need to learn. I could pay for it myself in summer, but then you go every day and that's a big committment and they've never had much success from Summer lessons. I just need to stick out this first trimester a couple of weeks.

Art. Natalie loves it. I guess I wouldn't have started it if I had had the presence of mind for how quickly I would become pregnant and for how much morning sickness I would have. But, I just can't take it away from her now having just been in it since mid-November. It's close to violin and last week I got her Dad to pick her up from art. I put a couple hours in at work in exchange though...

I've been trying to take picture here and there. I have one here to show you. Today it is pouring down rain and dark, so I'm not sure I'll get any taken today. It's a real outlet for me to take pictures. I can get lost in it.



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tredding Water

I just feel the need to write...not that I have much new to say. I'm almost to nine weeks in my pregnancy. I'm feeling really tired, sick, and achey despite getting lots of sleep last night and today.

It's funny what I like to eat this pregnancy. I mean it's different than other pregnancies. I want strawberries and steak and water. And, I don't like bread or milk (homemade whole wheat or white). That's annoying. Hopefully, that will settle out after the first trimester. I've been doing oranges in the middle of the night. But, I'm getting quite tired of that. And, basically I'm hungry a lot. Then, it seems the only thing to curb that is some meat. But, I'm not so fond of the smell of meat. Being pregnant is crazy. Oh, and of course I like salads. I always like those.

We had another calf since I wrote on Homeschool Blogger last. This is number three for the season. Unfortuneately, we aren't sure if it will make it. It's a bad combination.

We got some new cows and this cow is CRAZY - so with a problem calf, she's hard to work with. Her calf was being born with one leg out and one leg in, which caused it to be stuck. She was crazy during labor and my husband was kind of scared to get in there and work with her - she actually tried to run at him a time or two. We determined that she had that problem going on of one leg stuck inside and that if we didn't do something the calf would not be born alive (it had already been a bit long). My husband paneled the cow and pushed the head back in, grabbed the leg and pulled it out. Then, he wanted me to help pull. I asked if he was sure it was safe and he said she (the Momma) couldn't do anything right then. I helped pull it out. It's funny I felt perfectly unsick for about an hour (all the adrenaline). We were excited to have saved the calf. But, the calf was REALLY weak and couldn't stand  and our local farm store was closed till morning and we couldn't get the colostrum till about 12 hours (pretty long for a calf). It's still been weak. We've electrolyted it and my husband has actually milked the CRAZY cow by headgating her (her head in stuck in a contraption). Then he tubed the calf the milk. The cow doesn't seem to have a lot of maternal instinct. And, now we just wonder if the calf does get stronger if it will know to go to Momma.

If the calf doesn't live, we are thinking we won't keep this cow as she doesn't seem tamable. And even if the calf does live - we won't keep her longer than weaning. The continuing saga of raising cows. These cows we just bought were supposed to be "EASY CALVING" cows.

Not too much else to say. We actually did a half day of school today. I am so achy and tired and sick feeling right now and just want to be unconcious. It's all about the baby. There really is a baby in there and I'm going to feel good again.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another New Calf

We had another new calf born today. However, it's Momma (a new Momma) wouldn't let it nurse. She kept walking away from it. We recently worked at changing our herd of cows to move in the direction of Red Angus. Previously, we had one Red Angus and we liked her. She's pretty. She calved wonderfully. We bought four Red Angus from a big ranch. This is the second of them to calve. The first did great. He's a spunky fellow. Scroll down to see his picture.

This girl, however, had to be tubed today to give her the colostrum. My husband and his friend will have to hobble her (put her in a headgate and tie up her leg) to get the calf to nurse tomorrow. With our "good genetics" we were hoping for no challenging situations this year. But, it happens, especially with new Mommas. Because these cows came from a big ranch they are pretty wild, which make it hard to work with them with problem calving.

Well, fortuneately I was feeling a tad bit better today and I was able to help my husband hold the calf to give her the colostrum. I hope she does ok. Our calf that this happened to last year did all right. It's hard to believe it's been about a year since then.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our Life Right Now

Did I scare you away from my blog yet with all my emotions?

It's been a challenging couple of weeks between first trimester stuff and all the regular and non-regular life that goes on. I've been challenged with anxiety again since getting pregnant, although not as bad as in the past. I'm having trouble keeping up with the house. Smells are a big deal and the sick to my stomach feeling that goes along with them, as well as a general achiness. I remember this passes after first trimester - although the tiredness and achiness has sometimes resumed for me at the end of my pregnancy. I think that has had to do with iron - even though I wasn't officially anemic, but was right on the line. I wonder if I am that way now? Do you know how much extra blood your body produces in a really short period of time? Yet, I'm hesitant to take much extra iron (any in addition to my prenatal) because of the side effects that are so strong first trimester. I've read that the liquid irons are better, but I can't stomach them (even when I'm not pregnant).

I really am excited to have another baby. It doesn't seem real yet. Plus, I just keep wanting to see that ultrasound and hear it's mostly free and clear. We had one that had a startling result at the ultra-sound. She had one non-working kidney and they said she might be downs, but she was not. We took out her kidney at one year and her other one is fine and does the work of two. She is my really rambunctious child - we (her kidney doctor and her Dad and I) joked before she was born that she would be that way - after all she "COULDN'T" lose her kidney - because she only had one good one.

Recently...last December...I added things to our schedule. We were already taking dance. And, we added art (for Natalie) and swimming (for both the bigger girls). Natalie is an ARTEEST and it is one of her greatest joys and I'm glad for her to be taking art. Both girls NEED to learn to swim.

Now, I have added Orchestra for Natalie. I know I'm crazy. But, just a few more weeks and I'll be feeling better.

Natalie took violin lessons for two and half years (really three years, but there were some breaks for me having a baby and for Natalie having a pendacitis). She was without lessons since last July. But a few months ago she broke a string. For some reason, for the longest time I put off fixing it - I thought the violin store would have the fix her string and that it would be a hefty price tage (they charge like $150 to restring and recalibrate violins). But, actually, when I called they said, a broken string they could just replace, no charge (except for the string). So, I told Nat this and she started to remind me daily to replace her string. After about the eighth time, I snapped at her. She started crying. And, I asked her if playing the violin was something very important to her. She cried more. To give you an idea...I got the string replaced one day...she practiced for about an hour that day (no pressure from me). The next day was the day before this Orchestra evaluation and she practiced for about an hour and a half that day (again no request from me). That morning of the Orchestra evaluation, she practice for about an hour. She was put into level two Orchestra at the evalution and asked to come to Orchestra the next day if she liked. We went today. The class was an hour long. She was all grins afterwards. When we got home after a long and exhausting day (she had art class today too), she wanted to practice some more. She practiced for about fourty-five minutes. I'd say the violin is something that is important to her and not just something I'm directing her in. So, for that reason, even in the middle of all of this, I felt like I needed to add that to our schedule. Next year, I'm going to have to do some serious evaluating. I'm guessing four outings a week may be a bit much for our family. But, for now, that's what we're doing.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Update

Not too much to report on. I've been feeling fully first trimester pregnant...where the nausea doesn't really ever seem to go away. I'm just over seven weeks. The worst is supposed to be nine weeks and then it gets easier from there.

I'm sure my improved nutrition and supplements have helped comparitively with the this pregnancy, but I've found reality hitting me hard. I had several days unable to sleep (in a really significant way) and I decided to take some medication I have in the past (including past pregnancies) for anxiety/depression, a very small dose...not the best thing to do, but when you have to, you really have to, and it is relatively safe.

I find the general public's perception about mental illness, and the church's in particular, to be somewhat frustrating. I agree that the overdosage of anti-depressants by doctors to a large number of people is unhelpful. Doctors are by in large treating the symptom, not the cause. But, I am hear to tell you that the most devout, committed person can suffer from depression that is not in their own control. It's like when the disciples asked Jesus why the man suffered, because of his own sin or that of his parents. Jesus answered, "neither, but that the Son of Man would be glorified." I don't always understand why I don't experience that full healing, but I think the point of Jesus is that some things just are. They are a part of our fallen world.

As a young person taken a theology course in college, I remember being struck by the discourse on Jesus healing the blind man. Jesus prayed for the blind man and he put mud in the blind man's eyes. The mud was thought at the time to have medicinal healing properties. Did Jesus need the mud to heal the blind man's eyes? No. He was the creator of Heaven and Earth and Healer of all who come to Him. But, with Compassion, Jesus came to the blind man and helped the man's faith along. I think this is a beautiful story. Then he prayed several times until the man's sight was completely restored. Here is a God - who is completely God, who is our Savior, who is same yesterday, today, and forever, but who went outside of our expectations to grant us healing. May I have a simple faith in my Savior that simply trusts in His total forgiveness and healing, without questioning the hows and whys.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's Official

It's official. I am feeling sick and I am feeling tired, and more than just transiently. I hope it doesn't last all the way until week thirteen.

I am also feeling full of grief/bothered over the church and over believers I know or have know that are going more and more the direction of no solid foundation. Have you heard of the "Emergent Church" - that, but not just that is bothering me, but just a lack of scripture guiding Christian's behavior. You expect that from non-believers, but not so much from believers. In some cases I'd rather wish I never set foot on facebook - I get to know more about a person, than maybe I wanted to know.

And my daughter, who is very tactile, has been having troubles stealing food. Stealing is stealing and it's not right. And, I have to get through to her. And I'm feeling very short-tempered in my efforts to do so. Which goes back to feeling sick. I think I need a nap.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


My daughter wants a milk goat. She's wanted it for several years. She's read Storey's Guide To Raising Goats through several times and can tell you most everything about taking care of a goat (she's 8). She wanted a Nubian. I talked her into Oberhasli, which is a milk goat that is quite pretty, but without the long ears, and with a much better temperament. I like the idea of a fiber goat - like the Pyroga. I think that would be better for showing at fair, and we'd get the angora like hair for fiber arts. You can milk them too, but they don't get as much milk.

I like this idea for a small animal barn.


This is someone else's small animal barn. But, they took a carport and added ends and stalls to it. How simple and waterproof.

We'll see if/when we get goats. My husband's been pondering getting one for our daughter come this summer, or maybe next year. He doesn't want to be responsible for the goat chores though. Plus we'd need facilities since our barn is taken up with Cows and hay.

It's nice to have dreams though.

Good Teaching Resource

I came across this website this evening:

This is great resource for short video clips and other media on a wide variety of academic subjects. Unlike UTube, you can mostly trust the content (outside of a few biased conclusions about global warming and evolution).

We looked up a video about the Gulf Stream and one about Shipwrecks and what they tell us about Ocean Currents. This related to a book Natalie was reading about Benjamin Franklin.

I love homeschooling.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ab O Gail

Abigail doesn't say "mine"...she says "Ab O Gails". She is such a cute little parrot. Today when we were at the Olive Garden, the waitress asked us if we wanted Ramono Cheese. She piped up, "Ramono" and pointed at her plate. Then, when the waitress was handing out plates for salad, she pointed to her bread plate and tried to hand it to her. I just adore this little girl. I must say except for the wanting to draw on everything thing, she is the most compliant, sweet little toddler I know.

Here is a picture of her today. Her Grandma and Grandpa got her a tricycle. A retro kind, mostly like the kind I rode as a child.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Calf

We had a surprise new calf this morning. Isn't he cute?


Friday, January 1, 2010

This New Year

This New Year I can't say I have many resolutions. We are expecting a new baby come late August. I'm doing well. I've had two colds this month, so I've been feeling under the weather in general, but only a little nauseaus. I hope it will continue to be an easy pregnancy. My pregnancy with Rachel (2nd of my 3) was easy like that in the sense that I wasn't too sick.

I'm at a really good place this pregnancy. I've discovered several natural supplements that really help my moods and everything so far has been good that way as well. I take a high quality cod liver oil (in capsule form) and a food based prenatal that doesn't bother me to take (even on an empty stomach when I wasn't pregnant. The prenatal is called New LIfe Pre-Natal (I get it through Organic Pharmacy). It is totally unlike chemical vitamins. I totally recommend the line (they have a regular multi-vitamin as well). The cod liver oil I take is called Quantum Cod Liver Oil. I also take a Calcium Citrate/Magnesium supplement. I really feel my depression and anxiety were related to deficiencies (and I had REALLY major depression and especially anxiety).

The Cod Liver Oil gives me Vitamin D3 and Vitamin A in a natural form. D3 is associated with winter depression and anxiety. Not all cod liver oils are the same. Most cod liver oil you buy from the local health food stores are actually chemically processed - the vitamin D is extracted and then added back in. You've probably read about the heart benefits of vitamin A, but have also heard of the dangers of vitamin A overdosage. Well, first of all Vitamin A and Vitamin D are meant to be taken synergistically together in their natural form. Otherwise Vitamin A can be toxic. I am also not taking a high dose. It is interesting to note though that many societies from northern latitudes have traditionally eaten fish oils in large amounts without any harm and much benefit.

Unfortuneately, I was unable to lose any significant weight before this pregnancy. My goal now is to keep my weight down during this pregnancy. My level of hunger during pregnancy is outrageous, but I am pretty determined. My main plan is to fill my hunger with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. That's my plan.

It looks like I'll probably get another c-section. Over the last two years I've had a lot of time to research shoulder dystocia. Basically, I'm one of the .6% of people who have a baby with shoulder dystocia. And, it affected my first two. The third one the doctor that was at the hospital recommended a c-section because of my history of shoulder dystocia and an ultrasound that said this baby was large as well (which she was). Within deliveries that have a shoulder dystocia, there is a 2% chance of death of the baby, plus added risks of temporary and permanent injuries. There are added risks to a c-section, but compared to shoulder dystocia it is much less of a risk. I wrote about it all here There is a part of me that would love to just have however many babies God gives me. But, the reality is this may just be our last baby. I have to balance the risk to myself and my baby, with my desire for more babies.

Well, that's my news. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and that God is at work in your lives in powerful and real way in the coming year.

In Him,