Family Fun

Family Fun

Friday, December 28, 2012

  I have been baking up a storm each day. Not because of the holidays...just because there are a lot of us and we like to eat good food. I made a wreath challah and six strand braid challah today.I like how easy it is to make, and it seems more filling than my other main bread recipe. Plus Griffon can eat it and that is always a plus! Other foods on the baking list have been giant chewy chocolate chip cookies, banana bread(another allergy friendly recipe), swirled sugar cookies, artisan bread(I need to go throw a batch together before bed). I know there are more but I can't think of them. I blame/thank Pinterest for the yummy inspiration.
We are starting a unit study on the Hobbit. The goal is to read/study it for a few months and then see it when it hits the dollar theater.The children are really into it(the Lego sets they got from their aunt don't hurt :P ) and I am enjoying it a lot more than when I was a kid.I did go see the movie already with Brian(and LOVED it). We got a Kindle for Christmas as a family gift and I have downloaded three Hobbit resource guides to use. I also am playing the Misty Mountain song on Youtube. We had big mugs of hot cocoa (a tradition for the first snow of the season, but it also seemed rather hobbity). It was nice.
I am soooo loving babywearing lately. Luke is a hefty 25 pounds and I have no problem holding him on my back while I cook or better yet on my front so I can just wrap my arms around him for a little snuggle while I work. In this picture he fell asleep in the wrap so I sat down and just snuggled him for a while. I adore this baby!!!
Pippi and Lucian in the morning. I mean, how could I not love my life with these cute smiley babies around?!?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Around noon I got a phone call from one of the neighbors up the road a bit. She told me there was a dead owl on the side of the road(a little further up) in case we wanted to go see it and try to identify it. She added that it wasn't bloody or otherwise injured looking. I was so glad she called!  She is a homeschool graduate and from her facebook posts I think her "geeky" side is right up our alley.
  Anyhow...I scrambled to get everyone in matching shoes and to find our two favorite bird identifying books and we hopped in the van.

  We determined it to be a barred owl. They aren't very common here. The feet were stunning! This picture doesn't do justice to how large and perfect they were. I wouldn't let the kids touch it, and didn't want to set a bad example, so we didn't turn it over(oh, how I wanted to).We looked up the procedure for what department to notify of a dead raptor(health dept) and I called them but they weren't there. Apparantly they like to test them for West Nile virus.
I love owls. I am so sad this one died. It would have been awesome to see it alive.
I saw my first bald eagle of the season a couple days ago. I love spotting them all winter.
And...more bird news lol. We got to church Sunday morning and there was a large box by the nursery. Inside was a rooster for me! One of our friends had an extra that was getting picked on and gave him to me.His name is Elvis and he is a cochin/copper maran mix. Handsome boy!
He is the silver and black boy. Georgie,our delaware hen(the white with black speckles on her neck) was the dominant one but she has gladly stepped down to Elvis and they galavant about. It is so nice to look out back and see that big guy leading them around.
   Griffon rolled his foot while playing outside today. I have had him stay off it all day and will be taking him in tomorrow for x-rays if it still hurts like it does today. He is my most active boy and loves to flip/run/jump so sitting still has been a challenge for him.He keeps saying it doesn't hurt anymore and then he tries to walk and grimaces.
    Christian has a visit with the orthopedic surgeon next week to discuss his leg length discrepency from when he broke his femur at gymnastics. It has been 3 years and he has a hard time. I am very curious to see what the Dr. has to say.
   Luke has taken to standing for about 5 seconds, many times throughout the day. He also loves to bounce into a kneeling position. I love watching him find his balance.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My sister gave us an elf on the shelf. The funniest part about that is that we do not "do" Santa Claus. This is a little elf that is supposed to spy on kids and fly home to Santa each night to Mandi is doing it with my nephew and he so wanted his cousins to have an elf too. The moving it around and posing it funny part appeals to me so I am going to play along, minus the santa bit. This is her introducing herslef. Her name is Holly.
Tomorrow we have dentist appts for Christian, Griffon, and Pippi(her first one). Tuesday I have a dental appt. Trinity gets her braces off next week.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I decided to put Luke's birth story here, as I neglected my blog and never got it done 7 months ago. :P
Lucian Danger, born 18 April 2012 at 11:00 pm. 9lbs4ozs,21 3/4 in.
I began contracting regularly at 30-32 every 5 minutes. They were mostly painless, sometimes requiring some attention, but always there. This was nothing new, it has happened since my third pregnancy. On Tuesday the 10th they moved to two minutes apart, dropping me to my knees for several, very intense. I called Ruth(midwife) and said I still wasn't sure, but maybe something was going on. After 6 hours of this I realized it just wasn't making any change and went to bed dejected and still contracting. I woke up Wednesday morning to the same contractions that lasted all day at 2 minutes, but no show or any indication this was actually going to give me a baby.Thursday was back to 5 minutes apart and normal. Things continued like this until Tuesday the 17th. I had an appt with Ruth and then Brian and I had plans to go for sushi with some friends.Brandy(apprentice midwife) called and said they were at a birth and asked if I could come in Wednesday morning instead. I said no problem and went and had an awesome sushi lunch during which time I felt very emotional (in a good way) and I wondered again if this might be something starting. All day and evening Tuesday things stayed steady at 5 minutes. Wednesday morning I woke up to 4 minutes apart(I am guesstimating, I never actually timed these) and really did not want to drive the hour by myself to the appt. Ruth called and said she was at her 4th birth in 24 hrs and could we please reschedule. I replied that that suited me wonderfully as I was feeling worn out from all this "false" labor. She said to call her or Brandy if anything changed and she would see me Thursday morning regardless. I hung out at home all day, contracting in a 3-4 minute pattern like clockwork and losing mucous but nothing blood tinged(my marker for progress :P )I took the older two kids to Youth Group at 6:45 and felt like things were slowing down a bit...not time wise, but they just barely registered anymore in intensity.Several people from the church came out to chat and say that I would be having the baby soon and I politely laughed at them...I really felt like it was going to be another full week of this! I left church at 8:15 and drove the youth pastor home, told him I would call his wife in the am and chat(she wanted to be at the birth).I got home at 9ish and got the kids settled in for bed and laid down with the two littlest(Jubilee sleeps in her own bed in my room, Pippi sleeps with me. We were all laying in my bed this time). I was pretty resigned and really at peace with the realization that I would likely not have him anytime soon. I tried to doze off as the surges kept coming gently...enough for me to know they were happening, but really not painful in any way. At 10 on the dot I felt two strong kick/jerks that made me jump! They hurt and I could Hear my water break as they happened. There was no fluid and I wondered what had just happened. I ran to the toilet and water started gushing out of me. It was completely clear, leaving me wondering if it was actually waters or urine. I felt his head shift a bit and the water stopped. I got up, called Ruth at 10:02(gotta love cell phone records for timing purposes) and got hit by a freight train my body was screaming ,"Push!!!". She answered and I tried to speak and convey what was going on. She was out the door before I finished a sentence.She asked where Brian was and I said I didn't know...he may still be at work in Tulsa(an hour away) or he could be on the road home...I would call him as soon as I got off the phone with her. She said to get someone there and to call an ambulance if I felt like I needed it. I thought that was water broke but I had no bloody show or anything, so even though contractions were now 2 minutes apart and lasting 90 seconds and I was feeling my hips spreading I still had hours right? Lol...she knew better.I hung up, called Brian and found out he was a little over half an hour away. He made it home in 25 though ;) . After calling him I called Ginni(pastor's wife/good friend)and she hung up on me in her exxcitement.I moved Jubilee to her bed, still asleep, and Pippi jumped up wide awake. Trinity and CHristian were on the computer in the next room so I had Christian take Pip to watch tv and Trinity(who desperately has wanted to be in the room for one of my births but it has never panned out) asked if I wanted some water. I said no, and she just kinda hung back(exactly what I neededher to do)I yanked the blankets off my bed and lay two blue pads down. Ruth called back and asked me where Brian was. I said he was on his way and she said she was going to stay on the phone with me till someone got there. I kinda groaned as a contraction hit and she asked me to lay down. I tried and screeched that there was no way I could lay down. I got on all fours instead(my arms are still sore from doing this) and felt more water gusheverywhere. I asked how much the blue pads could hold. She assured me it should be fine, but I got off the bed and laid two more on the floor and knelt there instead. I looked down and saw the blood I knew meant rapid change/end is near. I was shaking like a leaf at this time. I was trying to remain coherent and polite on the phone, but also trying really hard not to push. Eventually Brian and Ginni arrived at the same time(10:40ish?) and when Brian walked in the room I threw the phone at him so he could talk to Ruth instead. I was literally fighting the urge to push at this time, and was starting to recognize it as a losing battle. I kept yelling, "Can't push can't push can't push ohhhh." Brian,Ginni, and Trinity stayed back as I fought this battle, and I climbed on the bed at some point trying to get higher than the pain. Then I got really quiet and I heard Ginni tell Brian that I was pushing. I was kneeling in the middle of the bed and just decided that I had to see if bearing down would help.(this was the first delivery I have been vocal for and it unnerved me how loud I was yelling). I felt his head coming out immediately and then time stopped as his shoulders just stayed there. I was pushing with all my might, one hand propping me on the bed, one hand holding his head(amazing!!!) and felt him start to move a bit. All my others have been deliver the head and they shoot out babies, I had three distinct sticky points with Luke...head, shoulders, and again at the chest. It still only took three minutes. Not even two contractions. At some point I know Brian came and tried to help but I yelled for him to get back( as I was trying to figure out how to move to make the shoulders dislodge, but I didn't say that, just yelled Get Back). I finally birthed him into my own two hands and brought him up to me and collapsed back on the bed in absolute shock. I saw the headlights of Ruth's car as he let out a little cry. She got in the room two minutes too late for the delivery(Brian missed Jubilee's birth by two minutes). He latched on beautifully, I delivered the placenta about 15 miutes later. He was pink and plump but I said he looked so much smaller than I had anticipated...probably not even 8 lbs. Ruth laughed good naturedly and said he was easily more than that. She weighed him and he was 9lbs 4 ozs, my biggest by almost a lb. 21 3/4 inches. 14.5 inch head, 14.5 inch chest. I am still in awe at how it all ended up. He is the spitting image of Gavin, my only redheaded son prior to Luke. We are sooo happy to have another ginger!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

It is drizzly and overcast today. Yay for water though...I am going to walk down to our humble attempt at a pond and see if the water level is up any. Seeing the footprints during this little first year is pretty inspiring. We have seen deer, cow(yeah...some rancher makes poor fences!), raccoon, oppossum, rabbit, dog,cat, and mountain lion! We also put a salt lick down there for the deer to lick on.
   Luke and I are having a very snotty day. :P I think a cold spell is moving in, so our noses are not happy, but after it is here we should be good again.Poor baby flinches when he sees me with toilet paper!
   We got the ornaments on the tree yesterday. Only the non breakable ones, and we have a tabletop tree this year since Luke is in love with pulling up on things and trees...a bad combo!
That is Jubilee looking slightly crazy next to the tree. She is a bit over the top excited with all the holiday happiness.
  We watched the Why Do We Call It Christmas Buck Denver show yesterday. It was fantastic, as are all of the videos in the series. I highly recomend it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We went to Rhema's lights last night, with Brian's mother. In priot years we have gone when it is so frigid that the wind stings your eyes and the lights are a pretty blur as you squint through the chilling pain. Last night was a balmy 45 degrees, and so much more enjoyable!

  Wee baby boy(who is really not so wee at 24 pounds) was strapped to me in the Mei tie. Here is a pic of the teething ginger boy earlier that day.

Here is Kuzco the llama and Ms.Pacman, Metroid, and Frogger the goats. Also a one legged guinea boy who can apparantly survive any kind of attack and live to tell about it(loudly). He is the last guinea we have, though I plan on getting more*all together now* "in the spring". One pen over is the donkey, but I didn't take her picture because she is cranky and I couldn't get a decent angle.
   I made up a couple new batches of deoderant yesterday night. One scented with rose, one with sandelwood and lemon. I think the sandelwood one smells terrible, but it is for Brian and he likes it so yay! I am so glad that this deoderant works better than the chemical laden Secret I "had" to use before. My skin is a gazillion times softer , I do not sweat as much, and when I do it doesn't smell. Seriously, this stuff works! Brian is a convert also, and he is not nearly as hippy dippy as I am.
   I have on my to do list for today: make two loaves of bread, two loaves of banana bread, make granola, do history,science,and math with all kids, do spelling with 4, do phonics with 3, tea party tonight while the bigs are at youth group. Yikes...I better get off here and get to work!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lucian didn't want to stay put and kept crawling off. He is 7 months. Pippi is 3, Jubilee is 5, Griffon is 8, Logan is 10, Gavin is 12, Christian is 13, Trinity is 14. Right behind them is the snake enclosure...the one Copper(ball python) keeps escaping from. We found him(again), this time after a week plus of searching. We have plans to redo the cage(which started as an iguana hutch and worked well as that).
Luke has been mobile from very early on. He began rolling over at just a few weeks old, consistantly.He started scooting at 3 months, crawling on his belly at 4, full crawling at 5, standing at 6, and is cruising furniture at 7 months. He has no desire to stay still. His middle name is Danger and he seems determined to live life on the edge!
   I am doing research today on homeschooling with processing disorders. I sort of fumbled my way through with Christian and Gavin...managing to help them learn to read and write over time by using just about every trick I read about. Now I am getting ready to do it again, with Jubilee, but there are a lot more resources available even in just a few years. Maybe I can streamline the process and not have it take so much time and energy(which I am fine with using, but if it can be easier I am for it!).
  Life is turning back to that very simple(hard work and busy, but simple busy) way I love. We only go to town on Mondays for errands and violin, and maybe one other day a week for dr or dentist visits. Sunday is church. Everything else is being at home, learning,playing, being together. It is a soft and gentle rythem and I missed it for a season. Nursing(giant)Luke has forced me once again to slow it all down, and reminded me how much can be done when not doing too much.Ahhh.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I don't even know what my last post was...Blogger has changed since I was here last.Ha! It took me half an hour to get back in, I forgot my password even and had to do the whole email me a new one deal. So I am back, it is almost winter, so I will need to write to stay sane ;) .
  Lucian is 7 months now. He is a giant redhead! 22 lbs,28 inches long. He has 5 teeth with a few more poking through. He bit the heck out of me as the first top one came in(as in drew blood on three seperate occasions and made me crings at every latch) but we seem to be ok now. He is such a sweet baby, looking up at me while nursing and just grinning this heart melting smile as milk driblles out the corner of his mouth.Then he puts his attention back to eating lol, and he nurses quickly. 5 minutes per side and he is done. We haven't started any foods yet, though he will put anything he finds on the floor into his mouth.Ugg.
   Pippi is turning out to be a super smart girl. At 3 she knows all her letters and numbers,and can identify them on paper. She is doing Jubilee's kindergarten lessons with her and is actually mastering them faster than Jubilee...this should be a fun ride.She is also an extremely funny girl, full of sweet mischief and very exuberant in everything she does.
   Jubilee is being seen by a dr to try to identify her allergy/stomach issues. She has a pronounced sacral dimple too, so depending on what the blood tests show the next step is a neuro consult. She is still just the sweetest pixie girl. She really doesn't care a bit about schooling, but she loves her friends and family and is always full of smiles and laughter. I can not for the life of me figure out who thought it would be a good idea for her to turn 6 in 6ish weeks...too fast!!!
   Griffon is dealing with a major dairy allergy, as well as soy,cats,and dogs. We have to go for more testing because even with the elimination of those things from his life( much as possible on the animal front)and being on medication , he still has a bleeding rash covering him. I was opposed to putting him on meds, but the difference in him is significant so I feel better about it. He loves to draw his "Jane" books, a series he is creating that is full of spies and violence and large family drama lol...he said people need to be 9 to read the series(he is only 8) because it is so violent(it really isn't that bad, but we rather frown on most violence).He has also entered into an obsessive Legend of Zelda phase.
   Logan is quite the character. He is so LOUD at he doesn't have an indoor voice or an inkling of what that might be. Anywhere else and it is pulling teeth to get him to talk...he is shy! He prefers to stay home...he will choose that every time if it is an option. He has turned into a great reader and is ahead of the game for schoolwork.He seems to be intuitive in many things(which I am so thankful for!). He also thinks he is older than he is because he gets on so well with Christian.They are birds of a feather.
   Gavin is still a major daredevil...cracking ribs or scraping of his skin in crazy stunts outside far far too often!He is such a sensitive,sweet,caring individual. It is an odd Sunday if some parent or another doesn't come up to me at church to let me know something special or caring he did for someone. He has a heart to help, all the time. He still struggles terribly with reading and spelling. I have an appt for him and Christian to be seen to discuss a few things.
  Christian is in the tten years now and while I see the struggle he has with being a little moody, it is really so seldom and so minor, that I feel like I dodged a bullet. He is defintely an anxious person though and we are trying rescue remedy to see if that will help him. He loves to read and is soing so much better with that. He has online forums that he goes to that are helping him develop storywriting skills, and he is very thoughtful.
   Trintiy is 14 now and well on her way to independance. I pretty much let her regulate her day and she is up half the night doing her online persona thing. She has several forums she frequents and she does well with the contests and making (very guarded)internet friends. She has real life freinds too lol, and they all tell her(and me) how she is such a strong,different person and that she is unique. She is a major hippie(in spirit,she dresses pretty trendy to me!) . I am treasuring my time with her because I see that I have 3-4 years before she takes off for Colorado(that is her plan for now).
  We have been busy with the land. We have 3 goats right now, and the two females should be pregnant. I will keep watching them for signs of heat but so far I am thinking kids in March/April.I have a cage ready for rabbits but have hesitated for some reason...I am thinking of starting in spring. We just got two new hive setups given to us(english...I am a topbar hive kinda gal, so I don't know if I want to use them!) and are so reday for spring to get new bees.Our old hive was wiped out by wax moths.That is actually what happened to the people who just gave us the two hives as well. Ugg. We also have the winter crops in the garden, after a really great year of harvest. In spring we will be adding a second raised bed in.We will also be getting at least 3 turkeys next year. I am pretty excited for it.
   I need to get my camera set up with this new computer so I can dump a gazillion photos on here(including goats in trees!!! Like 15-25 feet up!) Right now I need to get going to pick up our meat from the butcher. :) 

Friday, February 17, 2012

30 weeks. It is wonderful to feel Luke growing in strength and size. He has been breech throughout, so all the kicks I feel are down low, and his head bumps out at my right side ribs. It is kinda funny to be able to reach down and rub his head!We are all starting to get excited to see what he looks like(especially to see if he is a ginger) and it feels so imminent. Lent begins on Wednesday, and at the end of Lent I will be 37ish weeks! So soon!
We have been doing intensive schooling for awhile and feels great. The kids don't gripe because we still only school a few days a week and take plenty of time to do other things. It also helps that they love the curricula we use(Story of the World, God's Design for Science, Sonlight lists for read alouds, and a hodgepodge of internet things to fill us out.) Urg...I am using this time to print out the worksheets for the day and my printer is not eating the paper properly! It never acts up, this is really annoying.Finally...printing of the Samurai commences.
It is almost baby chick time, and we are getting goats soon too.We are keeping our eyes and ears open to see if we get a Kiko buck or Boer(we both are leaning heavily toward the Kiko)and will be raising meat goats this year. I do wish we were still getting pigs, but we aren't. I am much more of a pig person.
In order to not repeat the crazy squash bug issues we have had for 3 years running we are not doing vining plants this year. We will focus on tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.We have sprayed with Neem oil and hand picked squash bugs till we wanted to scream last year. Hopefully a year with nothing to feed on and the other organic methods we use will rid us of the pests.
We are ordering three large apple trees this year also. We will be fencing them in, as the deer have been stripping the trees worse than usual.I hate the fence intruding on our ideal scenery, but we need to keep the orchard safe.bah
I have been extremely active at church lately. Sunday mornings(in the nursery of course), followed by a Revelations study Sunday afternoon at a member's home. Tuesdays I lead a small group. Wednesday is Youth group. We have started a once a month community dinner on Fridays that will kick off next week. I attended a seminar with other leaders about beefing up the church(not expanding numbers, but enhancing things).It feels very good to be involved. I love my church family!
Ok...lots more prep work is calling me.