Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Accomplishment

I have had a very stressful week...well more than a week and there were times when I needed a real break and this has been my escape. This is the first real complete set I have knitted and it helped me get through some tough days to focus on something positive. It just needs some cute buttons and it will be complete. I am feeling very accomplished! It does not belong to Helen's Charlie doll....not sure who will be needing a warm cuddly set for their baby yet....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bliss....


I hung up my referee hat yesterday. I never realized what an absolute delight it would be when three little ones went off to school, leaving me with just one precious four year old for such a short time before she will join the others in the education system. It has been such a delight to spend these hours with my daughter getting a true sense of her incredible desire to help me. She is incredibly funny and clever.....she NEVER stops talking and I love to just listen to her. I am amazed at what we were able to accomplish yesterday without the distractions of another child, and the other three enjoyed those benefits when they returned home from school. I think I am going to enjoy this year!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Power of Giving

In my life I have been blessed with so much that I feel compelled to give. Especially in times of need, where even I have but little. Since I tend to hold on to things FAR longer than I should I just happen to have a few items that others are in desperate need of....and though I know that I could have traded those things for things that I am in need of, but, I know that those that are really in need probably can't even afford a trade. I know that when we chose to bless the lives of others, we in turn are also blessed, and this was made tangible when I stumbled upon someone else who was giving away for free the very items I am in need of! Thank you for your giving hearts and kind deeds, they will always come back to you, just when you need them....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A wish....


Ethan has been approved to have a wish "granted" from the Make A Wish Foundation. He is incredibly excited, and is having a little trouble making up his mind....he actually is changing his mind at least once or twice a day as he wants his wish to be the very best wish ever. He would like to know what everyone else would wish for....not grown up wishes, but wishes from the child in all of us. Some great ones that he thought of so far are: To see a West End Musical in London, to go on a Safari in Africa, go to the the beach in Hawaii, take a cruise to Alaska. He also likes the idea of wishing for some "thing" like a toy, which we can't figure out what is at the moment. He has read all the wishes on the Make-A-Wish website and like the one where a little boy wished for the perfect Christmas for his family. But he really would like to hear what everyone else would wish for before he makes up his mind, So please share your childhood dreams.....
I wish to be....
I wish to meet....
I wish to go....
I wish to have....

Close your eyes and count....
ONE
TWO
THREE

I WISH....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting ready for school....

With three starting school in just a couple weeks it has been crazy busy and I have had little time even for my own sanity! I have noticed that the "back to school" sales just aren't like the way they have been in previous years, I suppose effects of the poor economy, so we are only buying absolute essentials. I am happy that Mark will be going to school with his dad and he is so excited about starting kindergarten. I am hoping that it will be easier with just Chloe home and that maybe I can get some work done and hopefully supplement our income a little so we can move closer and closer to getting up to our land.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Make way for the goats.....


In a matter of hours the goats will be here! This is a lot sooner than I anticipated as I THOUGHT we wouldn't find any until we had our first animal enclosures up on our property....however, when opportunity knocks...you answer the door. The kids and I have been busy readjusting everything and doing a bit of clean up so that we can give them a temporary home until a safe enclosure can be built in Holbrook for them. They are Nigerian Dwarf goats so they are quite small and should be very easy for the kids to handle and when we are ready, they should be great milkers!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Working the land


Trips up to our land are becoming extremely important in my life. When I am there I feel so at peace and that dreams are achievable. Even though at the moment it is just a barren expanse of desert, to me, it is a blank canvass waiting for an artist to bring it to life. This was a very short over night weekend trip, but it was the first time I was able to bring my tiller and I cleared a large ring around the area that will be a temporary fire pit and a path from the camper. Next time I will clear a bit further because the grass and brush is so dry and there is so much wind that wild fire is a very realistic risk and has to be closely monitored and contained. We won't need a night time fire for some weeks yet as it is still quite warm, though it hasn't really gotten much over 95 during the day and cools down several hours after dark after we have gone to bed. We are looking forward to our up coming projects of fencing and enclosures so that we can move animals up there, building an "adobe" oven and putting in a raised bed garden....already working on ways to amend the sandy soil so that it will retain water and provide the nutrients needed for the vegetables. We will have to keep things on a small scale until we are able to spend a good deal more time up there.....sooner rather than later I hope!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Refreshed and motivated

We enjoyed a week of vacation in the mountains and up on our land. There was virtually NO fighting as the kids freely roamed the woods playing and exploring and finally I was able to relax and reflect on where I want to be and how to get there. In addition we were actually able to get out trailer on to our land, thanks to a back road we had not previously seen. I can't wait to get back up there and take my tiller to start working on getting ready to build animal enclosures and plant a garden. Now that the trailer is up there, we can pretty much go up at any time and get things ready for "homesteading" which I am over the moon about....not an easy life, but certainly less stressful and more healthy. I hope to take some pictures when we go back later in the week as I forgot the camera this trip.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A better day!

We have decided to delay the camping a few days to avoid the 4th of July rush and also for better weather for early next week. We have begun sorting through issues and feel better about our whole situation regarding Ethan's needs and care and knowing now that we will not be fighting on our own. And this brightens my spirit tremendously.


On the farm....we learned today that BOTH our Turkeys are boys....so no eggs will be laid, but this means I won't feel in the least bit cheated if we eat Turkey Lurkey before Thanksgiving. At 4.5 months he already weighs about 25-30 pounds so he will make a nice meal.


The kids are learning not to be so intimidated by the geese, with the exception of Chloe who still runs as soon as the enclosure gate opens! Mark is getting particularly brave and I think he just might be able to help with them pretty soon.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When it rains it pours....

It has been an incredibly trying week for me, one thing after another, and I am drained to the point of breaking down. I am beginning to loose faith in human kind and it is becoming very clear what a selfish and hard-hearted world we live in. And I really need to get away from it all and relax and slow down and have some family time so I can teach my children that this (these things we have experienced) as not what life is suppose to be about. Then perhaps I can come back with a fresh perspective and renewed energies to accomplish the tasks that are now before me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Naughty Turkey Lurkey....


....your days are numbered!

Yummy Mummy......


I have been really enjoying summer vacation with my kids home from school. The easy laid back pace lets me do some special things with my kids that I don't get to do when they are rushing to get ready for school in the mornings....like cooking and baking. I love to makes cakes and candies with my kids, and when they are good, they get to eat some and we share with friends and neighbors and when they are naughty, we take ALL the treats to our friends! This morning we made yummy apple cinnamon muffins with cinnamon crumble topping for breakfast.
Of course, they HAD to turn this lovely breakfast into a big drama, fighting over who got to pick first....

since Mark was being nasty, he got to pick last, and as you can see he was not happy.

I can see it is going to be one of those days....perhaps we should just start with time out and they have to earn the right to play be being nice?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Small Blessings for a Big Goal...

After coming home from Holbrook with a quote for a road and being very happy and excited, I had started looking in to ways of bringing the money in faster to complete the job....this is one instance I am happy to live my life in fast forward as my goals that not so long ago seemed unattainable in the foreseeable future are now just moments from my grasp. Well, I found that a doll show was being held just 3 miles from my house and there were still tables available!!!!! The catch....it was only 1 week away! Just 7 days to get ready, an impossible task any other time in my life, but it just so happens that I have dolls as I had not been selling everything I make because the economy is so down.....AND most of them are small, and I can reasonably put them in an affordable price range and maybe bring in a good chunk towards our road....AND the table fees benefit on of our favorite charities, the Child Crisis Center. Even if no one buys anything, what happened next should make up for that! In preparation for the show I set out to find some small doll eyes so I can maybe just sculpt a couple more dolls to take to the show. I went into a doll shop that I had never been in (after all I am not a collector!) and got to talking with the owner and it turns out that she was wanting to employ someone who would teach a class for skills I have! So perhaps this contact will be beneficial for us, in getting a road and the shop in getting additional revenue from offering a class in painting and rooting dolls (re-borning). I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! Looks like the chores I was going to do this week will just have to wait a bit longer....and I better get off this BLOG!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers....

Growing up, I was raised by my step father....we didn't see eye to eye, and probably didn't get along the best, but as I grew up I learned to respect him and as an adult became aware just how proud he is of me. I would like to think that now I have a good relationship with my dad, and am thankful for his role in making me the person that I am today. He is a wonderful and loving husband to my mother, which has set a great example to me for relationships, loyalty and responsibility. He is a builder, and that is probably why I have no fear of taking on a project and doing it myself. He is also there when I need advice, and he is a loving grandfather and has blessed all my children since my husband is not a member of the church.

The other father in my life is my husband, who is a wonderful father to our children. Most marriages don't survive the trials of having a child with significant brain damage. But it brought us closer together and helped my husband to become the incredible, loving father he is....don't get me wrong, he is not a softy, he rules his kids with an iron fist, and they love and respect him for it. Even after disciplining, our children are fiercely aware of daddy's love for them, and even though they are very hardheaded (like dad) they are eager to please him and love to receive his affections. Our daddy is the leader of the house, but he is also our best friend. You're super duper dad! We LOVE you!!!!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

YEAH! We are getting a road!!!!!!

I do feel that things happen for a reason and they happen in their own time. We got a notice from the city that our Travel trailer (which is parked on the side of our house) needed to be moved....even though a few neighbors have had theirs in similar locations for years....so we started looking for storage facilities, availability and cost....knowing that our intent and purpose was to put the trailer on our land so that we could have a place to stay so we could start working on our land....but without a road, knowing it would not be possible to get the trailer to the land. Well, I started calling the city of Holbrook to find out how we go about getting a road, and got a major run around and finally hit a dead end. So just on a whim I decided to start looking for someone on craigslist to see if anyone posted that they can do this kind of work....I did find a couple of ads but it was late at night and they only had phone numbers and no email addresses so I just forwarded them to my husband to look into the following day....WELL I got up early yesterday morning and thought I would just take one more quick look, and found one brand new ad, just posted that morning and it had a website and an estemate request form which I filled out, fully anticipating a quote that was miles out of our price range. Not long after, my phone was ringing to get a little more information and location of our property, after another phone call, my husband asked the business owner if it would be better (and more acurate...the quote was very low!) if we paid for him to take a drive up there and have a look at the actual job! As it turns out, his job that was already set for that day would cancel! He called us back and said he had some time that afternoon and he would love to go up and have a look and get a better idea of what the job would take.....we quickly desided it would be best if we also made the three hour dive up there, to make sure they were able to find the location easily and better explain what we had in mind. Just 15 minutes later we were meeting with David who my husband had immediate trust and confidence in (which is a rare thing!) I thought to my self...I bet he is LDS. He relayed that he would be picking up his wide and dropping the kids at a sitter and that he would meet us up there. So we made out way up through the mountains and accross the high desert to get and estemate for putting in our road....While David and Terry walked over the the property from the end of the existing road, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to David's wife who was very interested in what we were planning for our 5 acre property and was quickly excited about what we had planned....I also found out that they were in fact LDS as I had thought when we had met David earlier in the day. I feel that our paths met for a reason....needless to say, the quote we received was fair and within our reach, so we are having our road put in!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sharing the bounty of our labors....

Some call it being neighbors, being part of a community, some would say it is paying it forward, some call it service....I have found it is a lost practice. In a world that has grown more and more self centered I have found that it has become more and more important to share our blessings with those around us. Sometimes we have no idea how this may touch other lives, if we are blessing lives that are truly in need. Service blesses our lives as much as the lives we touch while we serve....perhaps we are God's hands here on earth, lifting others when in need and lifting our own troubled hearts while doing this work. Before we moved into our current home, we were lucky to even know one of our neighbor's names....people just are not as open and friendly as they once were in a day and time long since past. But here, we have met and befriended many people and families in our neighborhood, and I finally have a small sense of community, everyone of which is welcome to anything I have to give.

Service has always been a huge part of my life, my outlet or release from the stresses of daily life. For years I dedicated many hours to sewing for premature and sick newborns, but since becoming a mother myself, I found less and less time available to dedicate to this, so I am glad I am able to share produce from my garden and fresh eggs from my chickens with several families. It has helped me to feel like I am doing a small part to help others, and it has fostered friendships, friendships that I sincerely need and I hope they are blessing the lives of those that receive them. I have been blessed and I hope to always share my blessings!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When will they learn!????

....that when they fight and argue they get less not more.....For the third day in a row Mark and Chloe are sitting in time out....still arguing and fighting and blaming each other rather than taking responsibility for their part in the disagreement. The noise level in our house right now is deafening even to my partially deaf ears and even a call to dad did not put an immediate end to the bickering....so now they sit in time out. What privilege can I take away now that they have already lost so many. What can I do to help them get along?

Herbs....


I am sure that the sight of my very dead AeroGarden does not inspire confidence in my horticultural proficiency and someday soon I will just have to rectify that, however, I am going to tell you today that everyone who cooks should at least attempt to grow some very basic culinary herbs. NOTHING tastes better than fresh ingrediants, and nothing helps store bought produce more than home grown herbs, and ANYONE can grow them. A few must haves are Rosemary, Sage and Thyme, but if you can handle more, might I suggest a varety of Basil, Oregano, Chives and Mint (in a pot because it is very invasive!) and if that is not enough for you go with onions, garlic and ginger or just look into you cuisine and plant what you will use!

Herbs can fit in with just about any garden. I nestle herbs in flower beds as well as my vegetable gardens and they often become a show peice in addition to adding flavor to our foods! AND the aroma from herbs is every bit as delightful in the garden as the flowers. Herbs also tend to be a bit more tollerant and forgiving than other plants, standing up to heat, being drought tollerant and thriving in poor soil conditions. Herbs are so easy to grow that I am always trying new ones to find the best for my cooking ventures or even for their healing properties!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Farm Life....

I learned that you really do need heavy denim jeans when working "on a farm"....the hard way, I snaged my pants on one of the feed hoppers and sliced my knee open and completely destroyed my pants and left me with a big open gash....also, kids had used every band-aid in the house so keeping the wound closed was not an easy task.

We also butchered our first chicken, which will be our Sunday dinner. I had already dispatched (cut the throat) her when our neighbor arrived to walk me through the process, which I had never done or even seen done before. The kids elected to watch and were very calm and not upset at all and I am quite confident I can do it by myself next time. I had explained to the kids before starting that Heavenly Father created these particular animals to help sustain us and that this was her (Jeremy Chicken's) purpose. I really thought they would have a more difficult time with it and am proud at how grown up they were. They were actually very interested when our neighbor was cleaning her out to see the developing egg inside her. Now lets just see what they think when they are actually eating her. I will go out and pick some Rosemary and Sage to season her with and some onions to put in the stuffing so I am sure she will be delicious!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A year of progress

Ethan has taken every opportunity this week to remind me that it is his birthday tomorrow. He will be eight years old. As you can see from the above photo he is growing up....and he has the cheekiest smile ever. He is a prankster and loves to tease me every chance he gets. His favorite color is yellow. He loves computers. He loves to garden. His goal in school this year was to learn to read, and because Ethan has extreme difficulty with verbal articulation it is hard to gauge how much he knows, but near the end of the school year, he spelled both teeth and mom on his communication device. This is quite an accomplishment for him. For his birthday, he has asked for computer classes, and he wants his dad to teach him. It has always been hard to find an appropriate gift considering Ethan's physical limitations and I am so grateful that he is getting better at communicating his wants and needs, it certainly has taken some pressure off of me. I am just hoping for a quiet uneventful day for his birthday....last year Helen was in emergency surgery on his birthday for a ruptured appendix, so Ethan had to spend his birthday at grandma's without mom or dad. Happy Birthday Ethan, I love you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cock-a-doodle-do Good Morning to you!


I was up extra early today....because someone convinced me to camp out in the "man cave" (camper) last night. It is just as well because I have a very busy day today and need to get a head start on looking after all the animals so I can be at the other side of two to pick up a couple cages at 9:30 this morning. Then come home and get them set up so that I can get a doe settled in before she gives birth to yet another large litter of kit. Then I have the problem named Turkey Lurkey to figure out....our big male turkey, who is only just coming to four months old has become a bit of a bully and it is time to make a choice....do we wait until Thanksgiving when he will be bigger than our oven and build a separate enclosure for him or is he going to be Sunday dinner? He is a handsome bird for a turkey and would make a lovely fair entry and we are hoping that he might try to breed with our hen before he becomes a meal....but he can get really nasty with the ducks. I guess we could have duck for dinner??? Not sure how the kids would feel about eating Quackers though, they are much more fond of the ducks than the turkey who I can still just about manage.

I must remember to get a dinner on early in the slow cooker too. It is enrichment night and dad will have to take care of the kids. So if I let them pick vegetables from the garden I am sure they would love to have a stew. It is truely a treat to have a night out with grown-ups....it is a very rare occassion, so I better get started with my day!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Babies day out....


Some of you may know that my son Ethan shows rabbits. He purchased his first beautiful rare breed show rabbit, a fiery red Thrianta, this past January, and has since won three "Best of Breed" a "Best Opposite Sex of Breed" and several blue first place ribbons with his rabbit, who he named Prince Lucian Fire Sky. Well in April, we finally got our two Thrianta does, the older one already bred to a grand champion. Unfortunately, she was clueless to mothering, and May 15th she had four little babies in her pen, placentas still attached, cold and wet. We managed to save two....though the first week was pretty rough, with having to force feed the tiny, furless, blind babies, until our Lionhead gave birth and happily adopted the two rowdy bunnies. They are now three and a half weeks old, and still nameless, because although we are pretty sure one is a girl, they have been difficult to confirm for sure as yet. Today they had their first outing into the grass in the back yard and loved every minute of it. We can't wait to show these two little beauties in the fall!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Flora at the farm

This evening, my daughter and I did a bit of gardening. We re-arranged and planted the pots in our from garden. Then upon examining the vegetable gardens to see what needs to come out we discovered that we have about 4 anaheim chiles that are already a good 5 inches long....in a couple weeks we will be making chile rellanos, so we are very excited. It is time to put in the pumpkins for Halloween. I think we have a couple more weeks for our tomatoes, which we have gotten half to one pound of yummy yellow pear tomatoes from every week for the past 5 weeks. We also found 5 volunteer corn stalks have sprouted from seeds that must have fallen from last years crop. And I have to say, there is nothing like seeing your kids going in to the garden and picking and eating fresh vegetables first thing in the morning....no peas have actually made it into the house as they are eaten straight off the vines, and now they are eating the carrots after they rinse them in the hose and feed the tops to the rabbits. I seriously need to get some weeding done while it is cooler than normal though.....the worst part about gardening!

Reflections on the last 8 years


Every year this week is a difficult week for me as it marks the anniversary of the single most horrific event in my life, the birth of my son. I know that childbirth itself is painful, and the pain is meant to be quickly forgotten when you hold that tiny perfect creation in your arms, swimming in the sweetness of his innocence and marvel that I have created such a beautiful thing....but this is not how it went. Not everything goes as planned, and not all doctors and nurses know or do what is best in a frightening situation. But I am not going to reflect on the horror that I went through, but that beautiful and precious life we met eight years ago.


After 36 agonizing hours a silent and still body came into this world. They wouldn't let me see him, as they whisked his lifeless body away, franticly working to bring life back into his perfect little body....I did not hear him cry and saw only the worried faces of my husband and mother, who couldn't bare to tell me what they had seen. I was so full of hope, in that uphoric ecstacy that clouds every new mother's mind as they wait to hold their first born child. Then the neonatolgist came in...."your baby is very, very sick," those words came crashing through, stabbing at my heart, "we need to get him to another hospital that has the facilities to care for him as quickly as possible, and a helicopter is on it's way." then he handed me two polaroids, the first images I saw of my baby.
I don't think I quite understood, at that point, just how grave the situation was. Even those pictures could not have prepaired my for when they wheeled my little son into my room, selaed behind the glass of an incubator, a machine breathing for him and tube and wires running to and from his frail little body. I was shaken. I still wanted to believe that everything will be alright because I had done everything I possible could to grow a healthy and perfect child. I touched his soft little hand hoping beyonf hope that his tiny pink fingers would curl around my hand as newborn hands generally do, but they were still. I held back tears. I am not sure I slept that agonizing night, waiting for morning, when I could be released to go and join my son, not knowing if he would live through the night. The hospital was cold and empty like my broken heart and I was warmed only by my husband's comforting hand....he alone knew how much I had wanted this one thing in my life, to be a mother.
Ethan was little more than 12 hours when we arrived at the Level III NICU that was fighting to save his life. He had dozens of tiny probes stuck to his head, measuring brain activity...I swear he had half as much hair after they finished removing the probes, but he did not whince, nor did he cry, though I knew this must be painful.....a passing nurse mistakenly asked the nurse caring for my son if this was the baby that had "coded" twice lastnight...she saw us and quickly left regretting the words that we were not suppose to hear. Atleast he was breathing on his own now. The nurse finally asked me if I would like to hold my son....I felt as if I had waited a lifetime for this moment. When he was in my arms, the whole world and all the problems in it disappeared. In that moment, I held forever in my arms.
Slowly things got a little better, and tests were done to see just how severe the damage was. No mother should ever have to research what Hypoxic Ischemic Encephelopathy is, and doctors should never have to tell a parent "we will just have to wait and see". We left the hospital on day 11, with many unanswered questions, just happy to be leaving at all....living in the moment, because that was all we had.
Ethan was the happiest, most pleasent baby ever. He was quick to smile and rarely cried. I spent many days with therapist, working with Ethan as he dropped farther and farther behind his peers in development. We talked alot about weither or not to have another child, and ultimately desided Ethan needed a sibling to love him, and motivate him, and help him....we must have found out that I was pregnant within days of that discussion, even though we had planned on waiting a year or two before trying.
It is difficult to believe it has been 8 years. After surgeries, many MRI's, CT scans, swallow studies, wheelchair fittings, learning to change a g-tube, give nebulizer treatments....and many more unpleasent things, I find that I am incredibly blessed to have this precious child in my life, And I am totally certain that I live everyday in the pressance of an angel.