Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent Activity

This morning I explained all about Advent to Jonah. I told him how we wait the days until Christmas and remember the world waiting for the birth of the Savior. To help us count the waiting days, we made an advent chain.

I drew lines on red and green pieces of paper and Jonah cut out the strips. This was very good cutting practice for him-- something he's had trouble with.

When the strips were all cut...

I showed him how to make a chain with them.

This part got very tedious, but I think it's good for him to learn to keep going through a repetitive task.

He was very proud to end up with a fancy advent chain!

He can't wait to take the links off every day, one by one, counting the days until we get to the special white link on the end for Christmas.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Doogie Jonah

Jonah was playing on the living room floor when his Oma (Nathan's Mom) laid down on the floor to stretch out her back. Jonah thought this was an invitation to play, but Oma informed him that her back was too old for horsie rides.

So he gave her a back massage instead.

When she got up, she thanked him for the nice massage. He looked up from the picture he was coloring and said, "Good. If it starts to hurt again..."

"...You'll fix it for me?" she asked.

"Yeah, just come back." he answered in a very authoritative voice.

"Okay, I'll remember that."

We all chuckled about how "he never spends any time in a chiropractor's office."

Then he said, with that informed and assertive tone, still looking at the picture he was working on, "Yep. There's something happening with your brain."

"You could tell that from my back? Well... that's been going on a looong time." she giggled.

"Well. There is. It's in your brain."

"Well, what is it?" she inquired.

"Here..." he picked up his paper "I'll show you in this picture."

And much hilarity ensued.

Friday, November 27, 2009

There's Just This...

I made three pies to follow our Thanksgiving feast. Apple, Pumpkin, and Pear. I made them on Wednesday afternoon.

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, my sweet husband had a piece of pumpkin pie.

"Ummm... honey?" he said, "Uh... I think you forgot the sugar in this pie..."




I served plain pumpkin quiche to my guests. I ate apple pie, so I didn't even know.

Until today.

I made sure to get all the important things in there-- Eggs, cream, pumpkin.

What needs sugar?

There's really only one word that's appropriate for this situation.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Going Up?

Jonah: "Mom, is your baby naked?"

Me: "Uh, yeah."

J: "Why?"

M: "Because there are no clothes in there."

J: "We'll have to dress it?"

M: "Yeah, after he's born."

J: "She..."

M: "Oh. Okay."

J: "I'm just gonna call her 'Elevator'"

M: Giggle, "Uh... okay."

Thanksgiving Yummy

My Mom has posted a couple of good Thanksgiving recipes over at her blog: Apple Pie and Cracked Wheat Dinner Rolls. They're excellent!

I'm making Thanksgiving dinner for 14 this year. I'm planning to do Mom's apple pie tomorrow, and probably a pumpkin pie or two as well. I always make those dinner rolls as well because they really are extraordinary. I was toying with the idea of a sourdough version of them this year, though. But the fact is... I'm tired. Really, really tired. Besides pregnancy fatigue, there's insomnia to compound it. I've always been an insomniac in the first trimester... so I'm tired.

So this morning, when a lady from church called to confirm that she and her granddaughter will be coming for Thanksgiving dinner and she asked what she could bring, I took a deep breath --deeper, deeper-- and asked her to take care of dinner rolls. Make them or buy them, I said, just so I don't have to do them. That took courage, people. I mean... I make bread. It's what I do. Always. I made sourdough hamburger buns for Nathan's birthday supper last night.

I make bread.

How could I not make the dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner? Well, this year I'm not. And it'll be fine, of course.

Thanksgiving is the one big family/friend dinner party that I do every year, and usually, I like to make everything from scratch myself because I enjoy it. It's fun, really! I like to feed people yummy food. But now I am tired. I'm going to allow it and not make myself do everything.

So several dishes are being brought by guests, including the signature, but time-consuming, dinner rolls. But I have freshly butchered, 26-pound turkey cooling it's heals in my spare fridge, a house waiting to be cleaned, and plenty of food to make myself, including the most wonderful stuffing ever, if-I-do-say-so-myself.

But for today, I thought I would share this which I made yesterday: Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Compote. I've developed this over the last couple of years and I always like to make it a couple days ahead to get it out of the way allow the flavors to meld for a while before serving.

The cast of characters:

Fresh cranberries, pears, oranges, a chunk of ginger root, Sucanat (or brown sugar-- use what you have. And what's pictured, by the way, is not nearly enough), cinnamon, cloves, salt and the "secret" ingredient--Jalapeno peppers. Normally, I would use fresh peppers, but when I got out the peppers I knew I had in my vegetable drawer, I found they were... less than appetizing. So I broke out the peppers I had canned in the summer.

The "recipe" is pretty flexible and I always just make it to taste (I go through a whole pile of spoons--tasting all along.) and you could vary it according to what fruits and peppers you have available. I really like the particular flavor of Jalapenos in this dish, but Serranos might be good as well.

So, on to the destructions!

Break open the bag of gorgeous fresh cranberries and bask in their lovely redness.

Wow, those things are beautiful. Have I told you that that is my favorite color? Yes, that right there. The color of bright, fresh cranberries. I just love it and could feast my eyes on it all day.

Pick through them for bad berries, rinse them off, and toss them in a pot with some water, maybe about a cup.

Ugh. Lovely. Did I mention how much I love the color?

Cook them over medium heat until they soften and pop open.

Cranberries are very high in pectin, so the sauce will thicken very quickly. Watch carefully through the cooking and be ready to add more water so it doesn't scorch.

Add Sucanat (can get it at a health-food store-- it adds a lovely flavor and is higher in minerals than sugar) or sugar to taste. I think I used about a cup and a half. I don't like it to be overly sweet --it should be tart-- but it does take quite a bit of sugar to offset the sour cranberries. Minus 100 points to me for forgetting a picture of the sugar-adding. Lower the heat and allow it to gently simmer with some frequent stirring while you prepare the fruit.

Chop or dice the pears. I used two Bosc pears, which stay somewhat firm and keep their shape in the sauce. I had intended to peel them, but I forgot, and these pears are unsprayed anyway.

Remove the zest from the oranges (and if you want to be like the cool people, you'll use one of these awesome zesters that makes the oranges look all impressionistic), and then peel and chop the oranges.

Toss all the chopped fruit and zest into the sauce to start cooking. (And excuse the blown-out pictures-- my camera just doesn't always understand light.)

Usually, I like to put in a handful of raisins. I forgot to order raisins with my co-op order, so I don't have very many on hand and I need what I have for my stuffing. But that's just indicative of the flexibility of this sauce-- use what you have!

Add some cinnamon and cloves, to taste. I used probably a teaspoon of cinnamon and an 1/8th teaspoon of cloves. You can use more or less according to what you like. I add just a little shake of salt to bring out the sweetness as well.

Peel and grate the ginger root and stir it in. This works best if the root is frozen-- the grating will break up all those little fibers and prevent people from thinking there's hair in their cranberry sauce.

At this point, I just allow the sauce to slowly simmer until everything is cooked and well-blended. I added a little water once or twice to keep it from getting scorched.

After it's all cooked, I take out some of the sauce and put it in a separate jar. I have a lot of kids coming to my Thanksgiving dinner who don't appreciate their cranberry sauce causing them pain.

To the remaining sauce, I add some chopped Jalapenos. Like I said, I had to use canned, so they weren't quite as good as fresh, but they still brought the flavor and heat I was looking for.

I allow the peppers to cook in a for a while, and then put the sauce in a jar, labeled "Hot!".

Mmmm... yummy.

I make sure and make it clear to my guests which bowl of sauce is spicy and which is not. No need to cause unintended injury. Last year, however, the "hot" bowl was empty long before the mild.

It's just a condiment, so a quart of sauce should be plenty, but I'm actually considering making a little more. I like to spread it on my turkey sandwiches for the three or four days following thanksgiving.

Mmmm... I'm already craving those sandwiches. I think they might be my favorite part of Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In Which I Step on a Ledge

I'm going to step outside my blogging comfort zone a little here and write about a controversial topic. Then I'm going to click "publish post" and sit back and hope I don't get roasted.

I knew, earlier in the week, that Jonah had a little touch of something, as evidenced by the stuffy nose. No big deal, I figured. I later noticed the slight rash on his face, but thought absolutely nothing of it as he is prone to mild allergic skin reactions from time to time. I kinda runs in the family.

On Friday afternoon he was sleeping an awful lot, to the extent that we couldn't even wake him up. He only sleeps that way when his little body is fighting something off. I noticed that the rash, albeit barely noticeable, had spread all over his body. I started to put the pieces together, remembering several days ago when he mentioned that his ears hurt a little and rubbed around then and below down into his neck. Like swollen lymph nodes, maybe. I got out my Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child book and did some reading and came to the conclusion that he probably has Rubella, otherwise known as German Measles. No, it has not been diagnosed and no, I'm not taking him to a doctor. But I'm pretty sure that's what it is though who knows where he got it.

Obviously, it's a mild case, as Rubella almost always is in children, to the extent that we didn't even know he was sick.

No, he has not had the shot.

I refuse to get him the MMR vaccine, but that decision is not made lightly. I've done plenty of reading and research about it. I'm not saying this is what everyone should do, I'm just saying it's what we've chosen. Jonah is, praise God, very healthy and always gets over his illnesses with very little incident. I believe that the common childhood diseases are beneficial for the immune system, not generally dangerous (yes, I know there are exceptions!), and grant lifelong immunity, unlike many vaccinations. The diseases are also far less poisonous (in fact, probably the opposite, as illness frequently has a detox effect on a body) than vaccinations. Now, I would possibly make exception for certain things, especially tetanus (which is not an infection, but a poisoning), if I could find a way to be the one in charge and get only the shot I request without a fight. But so far, I'm not sure if that's possible.

The whole debate over "to vax or not to vax" is complicated and involved and filled with individual circumstances. I'm not going to get into all of it here and now. The main point of this post is to vent my irritation over a few subpoints.

From what I have read, Rubella is usually mild in children (I said "usually!" Yes, some kids get very ill. But that's also true of the common cold). However, it can be quite serious in adults, and devastating for pregnant women in which case a Rubella infection can cause serious birth defects on the developing baby. (In case you're wondering, my Mom is quite sure that I had it as a child, so I'm praying it won't be an issue for me. It's out of my hands, in any case.) Also, a childhood vaccination does not guarantee adult immunity.

Hm. Let's think about this a little here. Mild illness for children, serious in adults, sure immunity comes only with illness.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Doesn't it seem that it would make sense to just let kids get the disease? It's so highly contagious that it spreads easily and every unvaccinated kid is sure to get it. Most kids don't even realize they're sick with it. And then it's over. Immune for life, and fairly painless. I also strongly believe in the benefits of herbs, homopathy, and nutritional support for a sick child-- not to "cure" an illness, but rather to support the body in it's own healing efforts. I have personally experienced and witnessed some amazing cases of such supportive treatments. But our modern society has the mindset that we should be able to completely avoid pain and suffering (an idea that a Christian knows well how to refute, but that's another post) rather than deal with it and minimize as possible and simply support healing. We have immune systems, people!

And the same thing goes for chicken pox which benefits the person by giving resistance to shingles in later years (which cannot be said for the shot), not to mention forgoing the horrible possibility of getting the chicken pox in adulthood.

It just seems so insane that we should have to even run the risk of adult infection with these things that should be guaranteed in childhood. Rubella and chicken pox are becoming more rare now with the widespread use of the vaccines, so those of us who prefer not to vaccinate are backed into a corner with the risk of possibly not being able to expose our children to these illnesses at a time when they can easily recover. After all, it's not that we don't want immunity, we're just not afraid of dealing with a little discomfort for a good cause.

To me, this just shows the power of money. Near as I can tell, the medical establishment is not actually as concerned with our well-being as it is with the well-being of it's bank accounts. They can't make money from natural immunity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I've been making a lot of food the last couple of days. Maybe I'm just warming up for the holiday baking that starts in approximately 3.75 days. Or maybe it has something to do with this sudden and terrible need I seem to have to eat all the time. (Seriously? How can one tiny little person possibly need so much food? And why does my body, in trying to make me eat enough and frequently, make me feel so much like not eating. I mean really? Nausea? That makes me want to eat? Um. No.)

Some of the things I'm making are for a fun little get-together we're having over the next couple of days with some friends in Indiana. We're going to head down there tomorrow morning, and I'm going to be packing some yummy treats for everyone.

Treats like jalapeno cheese sourdough bread.

And super yummy cinnamon rolls!

Yeah... you know you want a cinnamon roll now.

For a breakfast change-of-pace, I made some sourdough English muffins yesterday. I finally found a pretty good recipe and wow, are they yummy. I love English muffins.

Can't figure out why they're called "muffins" though. Jonah was confused all day, poor kid. They're really more like a yeasted biscuit. If the English call these "muffins", what do they call... um... you know... muffins?

I'm actually dying to know.

I had a few small Chinese cabbages out in the garden still and the chickens were just mowing them down. It was time to get them in and do something with them before there was nothing left.

Instead of Kim Chee or Tsukemono this time, though, I decided to try making them into apple-cranberry kraut. I shredded the cabbages, grated some apples, and added a handful of dried cranberries (and then remembered that I have fresh cranberries in my fridge! Doh!)

Jonah helped. He had to make sure the cranberries tasted okay.

Hmmm... I wonder how this might taste with turkey?

I also made that Faux Pumpkin Pie (made with a super-sweet squash, but you wouldn't know the difference). Do you know that pumpkin pie makes an excellent breakfast? It does. Eggs, cream, pumpkin-- perfectly legal breakfast foods. Especially on stumbling down the stairs in the morning needing food now! Or else!

I have a cast iron pot of Beef Burgundy simmering away on the woodstove for supper. (Hey, why run the propane when I have a built-in slow cooker right there in the living room?) If you have never made Beef Burgundy and only made plain ol' beef stew-- you just have no idea what you're missing. Red wine makes ALL the difference in a pot of stew. Oh, and the bacon helps. A lot.

Yes. I'm definitely either gearing up for holiday food, or a long, plump winter. Or both.

Jonah's Day: Made

They're combining corn in the field across the road from our house.

To this little boy, that's pretty much a perfect day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

There Might Be Tears...

It's setting in already. Here it is, November 16, and I'm starting to feel cabin fever creep up on me. Actually, we had some truly gorgeous days and unseasonably warm weather last week, which was a real blessing, but today it's rainy and chilly, and they (and by "they", I mean my Amish neighbors, who always seem to be right about the weather) are talking snow soon.

I don't know how I'll get through the next five months.

Oh, I know! I'll complain about it on my blog all winter!



How's that for a start?

It could get ugly around here real fast, folks. I was not made for Northern Winter.

Part of the problem is being trapped in the house and not just that, cuz I could probably sleep and read books all winter, but being trapped with a bored child who would rather be out running barefoot and climbing trees and digging in dirt. How many times today --just today-- have I fielded these questions?

"What can we do?"
"Can I have a snack?"
"Can I watch a mooooovie?"
"Can I play computer games?"
"Will you read this to meeee?"
"What can I make?"
"Can I have a snack?"
"Where can we go?"
"Will you play with me?"
"Can I have a snack?"

And that's not even counting all the usual interrogation that goes on about every thing, small or big, that comes up all day. (Case in point: every time we talk about the new baby, we have to talk about how it comes out. Yeah.) And the "whys". Oh, lubme, the "whys". "Why is the sky blue?" pales in comparison to the bizarre and utterly pointless "whys" around here.

"Why does my biplane have wings?"
"Why are the dishes dirty?"
"Why are fairies naked?"
"Why is the milk cold?"
"Why is this crayon green?"
"Why can we not eat bad guys?"
"Why do Indians sometimes not wear shirts?"
"Why do we eat breakfast in the morning?"

"...Mommy... why are you sitting in a corner rocking and painting on yourself?"

The point is that this kid is bored. It's probably a good thing we don't have money to burn, or I'd buy a pile of toys and other paraphernalia for him for Christmas in hopes of making it through till spring. I know it's good for him to be bored, and an excess of toys would be very, very bad. Charlotte Mason writes of how good it is for a child to be bored in order to develop their imaginations and resourcefulness. However, it seems that she fails to mention the insanity factor for the mother.

But then, I guess that just comes with the territory of "Mother", right? Insanity.

I'm just not good at providing entertainment. I do try to have projects, lessons, books, crafts, etc. available for certain times, but that doesn't really take up that much time in our overall day. I also try to include him in what I'm doing whenever possible. But at this point, I'm very tired, and queasy quite often, so I'm just not into playing, or doing many "extras". (Aside: I just have to idea what kind of superhuman strength it must take for those Mamas who get really, horribly sick in pregnancy, but also have a bunch of little kids to care for. I think I would die.) My go-to answer for "I'm booooored." right now is "Go pick up your toys." It's actually quite amazing how quickly he finds something to play then. (Of course, once I say it, I have to enforce it... bummer. But at least once it's cleaned up, he can stay busy a while making a new mess.)

Today, I discovered that sending him outside with a compost bucket to dump doesn't work so well anymore because he's recently developed a horrific fear of our Wyandotte rooster, Cicero. Not that Cicero has ever hurt Jonah, he's just strutted in Jonah's general direction once or twice (and Jonah, of course, screamed and ran, aggravating the problem). So instead of sending him out and hoping he'll get distracted on the way back from the compost pile, I have to give him a pep talk about being the boss, shove him out the door, tears notwithstanding, and then stand on the porch and shout directions "Don't run! Just walk! Stop crying and walk! Swing your stick! He won't hurt you! He's afraid of YOU! Be the boss! Stop running! Walk! Be the boss!" Am I a mean Mommy? Of course. But I know he has to learn to be brave and a nearly-harmless rooster is just the ticket. But it also adds to my insanity factor.

Sigh. So I guess I just have to keep being Mean. Even when I'm tired and it makes me Insane.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kitchen Final

As I type this, I am waiting for the inspector to come and do the final inspection on our kitchen project. Can I just say? YAY. It is SO about time. More than three years on this project and we're finally gonna be able to take a breath again. Not, mind you, that this project is done. Cuz it's not. I still have a big, gaping hole of a corner that's waiting for cabinets and counter top, along with various odds and ends as well.

Do you hear that, Nathan? It's not done. Don't start feeling like it is, just because we've had a final!

Eh-hem. Just had to clarify that.

But I'm not hear to complain about what's not done! Nooooo! Far be it from me! In fact, I'm going to sing the praises of a few more things that ARE done! Yes! Done!

See, there are certain requirements to fill in order to be inspected and let off our permits.

Things like window trim!

Okay, well at least the inner part. The outer pieces will not ever happen until we sell this place, but at least the studs and insulation are covered up! It does look considerably neater.

Also, there's the little matter of my pantry door. For reference, let me explain my pantry situation. We have a very large mudroom/workroom/utility room, which is also our main entrance. The mudroom is not done, but when it is, it will be fantastic! We have big plans for it. The mudroom is situated right next to the kitchen, but to get to it from the kitchen, you go out into the living room to the mudroom door. A dear friend of mine made the brilliant suggestion when we were planning the kitchen that part of the mudroom be made into a pantry accessible from the kitchen. I love having such a clever friend. I would never have thought of that, but I absolutely love it!

So my pantry is part of the mudroom. Currently, it is only a small and temporary version of what it will one day become, but it's still great. The only problem is that it's had a non-functioning door for the last year or so. The very cute, old, wooden door didn't fit right for various reasons, and was nailed shut. So to get into my pantry, I have had to trot around to the mudroom, get what I need --hoping not to forget it by the time I get there-- and make my way back to the kitchen.

But no longer! A neighbor graciously offered another cute, old, wooden door that he had sitting around and Nathan installed it today! Never mind that the handle is not actually attached to anything and there is a piece of cardboard wedging it closed, I love it. Also, I think it's just... well... a-DOOR-able. Ba-dum-BUM.

Now to convince him to let me paint it red... Hm. Might not happen. But oh well. I have a door! To my pantry!

Will wonders never cease?

You know, I think that buying a house that's already "done" when you move in would be so terribly boring. As much as I look forward to having everything as we imagine it, it really does get addictive to have something new every so often!

And finally, the creme-de-la-creme, the part Nathan's been working his tail off, early mornings and late nights, frozen fingers notwithstanding-- the kitchen porch!

Yes, that's right, no longer does my kitchen door step out into a hole!

There is now a wonderful deck to walk onto.

I'm so excited about being able to use this next summer. To put the grill out here for cooking, maybe a couple chairs for eating breakfast, and being able to walk right out into my garden.

The posts are going to become a trellis for grapes and various other vining plants.

It's really nice and big because, while it didn't need to be so big, Nathan had the material around, so he decided to make the best of it. I think it's fabulous!

In fact, I think the whole kitchen project as turned out so great, and I'm just head-over-heals about the whole thing! (Which, of course, you can tell just by the sheer volume of exclamation points in this post!)


Umm.... oops.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And Much Hilarity Ensued

Jonah loves to be read to. He always has, but lately he's had a greater appetite for books, and he can't even read yet! He would love for me to just sit and read to him all day. I've been somewhat at a loss for what to read to him now. I'm a little tired of all the picture books-- even though we have piles of them, I've read them all whakillion times. And Jonah is at the point where he can sit and listen to something and follow along pretty well. A friend came to my rescue by lending me a stack of chapter books that she's read to her kids, so we started on those.

Today we were reading a couple chapters of A House At Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. Oooooh the Pooh books! Why didn't I think of that! Those are just worlds better than the fluffy, Disney-licensed Pooh that we have now. Those things give me dental carries.

In the chapter we read today, Pooh and Piglet fall into a hole. They remember the Heffalump trap they made, and surmise that they are in a Pooh trap made by Heffalumps. They begin to plan what they'll do when they meet the Heffalump.

Piglet has a little daydream in his head in which he is very Brave and Eloquent and he scripts the whole thing. In his imaginings, the Heffalump finds him and says "Ho-ho!" repeatedly and Piglet just hums like nothing in the world is going on until the Heffalump becomes Completely Unsettled (I love the use of capitalization in this book-- it gives objects and feelings a sort of personality). Piglet then tricks the Heffalump into thinking he, himself is in a trap and Pooh and Piglet are saved.

That's all very well in his head, but when Piglet hears Christopher Robin and thinks it's a Heffalump, he tries to act out his script and it all falls apart rather quickly.

Our reading session fell apart rather quickly as well. I laughed so hard I thought I would have an aneurysm.

And being now Completely Unsettled, [Piglet] said very quickly and sqeakily: "This is a trap for Poohs, and I'm waiting to fall in it, ho-ho, what's all this, and then I say ho-ho again."

"What?" said Christopher Robin.

"A trap for ho-ho's," said Piglet huskily. "I've just made it, and I'm waiting for the ho-ho to come-come."

Okay so maybe you've have to have been there (and if you haven't read it-- you should find the nearest small child and start today!) but I just couldn't read any more! It was too much. Is it childish of me to be Completely Undone with laughter over Winnie-the-Pooh?

I'm not sure if Jonah quite saw the humor that I did, but he laughed right along with me, and we thus began feeding off of each other's hysteria in a way which I remember doing with my Mother from time to time and which often leads to Snorting.

Oh, the Good Times that come from Good Books.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shock and Awwwwww

Yeah, so about that last post. We are in shock.

I mean, wow. What an entrance! Here we're just going about our business-- nailing boards on the house here and there, shoveling manure, digging in the dirt, and giving each other wet willies-- and along comes this baby and says "SURPRIIIIIIIIISE!!!!!!"


Blink, blink.


I am just so out of this way of thinking. I mean, not to say I never think of babies, --I only practically start to lactate every time I see one (sorry, men)-- I just really try not to. I've learned that it's dangerous. I've been learning a lot about contentment over the last two and a half years.

So it's taking me a while to wrap my mind around this idea. Yesterday, as I struggled to eat my supper without gagging, I thought "Whoa... it's been so long that I don't even remember how to deal with this!" Not that I'm going to complain (well, not much, anyway). Nausea is a good sign, and it could be so much worse, anyway.

I will admit that I have a certain detachment this time. I keep saying, "Lord willing..." and "If..." and such. Miscarriage has never even been on my radar until it happened to me. And now... I think of it. I'm not afraid, I'm not worried-- God is in control. But I think of it. I feel like I can't really make plans yet. Not that that idea is rational-- lack of "plans" wouldn't make it any easier even if something were to happen, and we can't really plan anything anyway. Man proposes, God disposes, etc.

And is it silly of me to tell everyone right away? Oh well. It's so much fun to share it! Why would I keep such a fun secret to myself?

God is very, very good.

There's a fairly amazing element of timing to this as well. For one thing, I haven't done a single thing for my hormones or fertility lately. In the past I've used herbs, supplements, biofeedback and neurolink treatments. In fact, my first two pregnancies came soon after biofeedback sessions. So there was a huge temptation not to give God the glory, but this time, I have no choice but to see it very clearly.

And then there's the dates. I found out about this baby last week, and last week on Friday was the due date two years ago for the baby that we lost. (Silly to remember? I can't help it.) And this baby is due in July, on the very same weekend when my parents and most/all of my siblings will be two hours south of here for a church convention (as opposed to on the other side of the country). Coincidence? I think not.

God is very good, and we are very blessed.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Two Things

I realize that it's been a little quiet around here the last few days. But you'll understand in a minute.

First, I will show you this:


Now, I will show you this:

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I just finished mucking out the goat barn.

And I use the term "I" very loosely, here.

After 45 minutes, 2 1/2 loads, and great drops of sweat, I was getting tired and cranky. And I had a looooong way to go. I yelled at my poor, sweet, innocent, faithful milkers. I think I hurt their feelings. They only wanted to help. Or at least see what I was doing and stand right in front of the wheelbarrow and beg me to scratch their ears. (I tried letting them out to roam while I worked, but they only wanted to eat my raspberries plants.)

So I yelled at them. I immediately regretted it, and contemplated throwing in the towel. I would just have to work on it more tomorrow.

Jonah apparently heard me yell, and went and told Daddy that "Mama needs help!"

Then my knight in shining armor appeared to rescue me.

I protested feebly, but he used his great strength and hoisted the gate off the hinges to make it easier to get the wheelbarrow through, tied up the naughtiest of the two goats and started shoveling. Shovel, haul. Shovel, haul. I lifted a few forkfuls of manure, too, and I told him how sweet it was of him to let me feel useful. But mainly I basked in his brawn and the job was done in 20 minutes.

Just like that.

I just batted my eyelashes at him as he doffed his cap and rode off into the sunset.

Um... maybe that was a bit of a mixed analogy...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

DIY Flu Shot!

Love Muffins

This morning, since Nathan had already had breakfast and left for his day's work, there was no hurry on breakfast. So Jonah and I decided that muffins would be a fun breakfast project.

The recipe for these yummy morning treats? As follows:

Joy of Cooking's basic muffins, with the addition of some apples, walnuts, and oats.


Some prepared muffin tins, including the fun little mini-muffin tin from Grandma
(Jonah's favorite!)


Careful counting


Plenty of spit


Cinnamon sugar


Adorable, pudgy, and slightly unsteady little hands


More spit


A yummy breakfast!

Okaaaaay... so maybe there are a few more ingredients, but those are the essential, and oft-forgotten components.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Five Stages of Grief; Insomnia Edition

I miss Sleep. I really do. We used to have good times, Sleep and I.

1. Denial
"Hm. Sure am tired this morning... I really should get to bed earlier. Maybe I woke up sore because my neck is out. Maybe I should see the chiropractor."

2. Anger
This morning, as I lay in bed awake again at some unearthly hour, I thought about getting up and vacuuming. I thought about turning on the light and reading. But I was too mad. I was angry. I just wanted some sleep, drat it! I won't give It the satisfaction of actually using this awake time when I SHOULD BE SLEEPING! Raffa-muffa-sniga-frigga! I thought about getting out my Reflexology book or my Homeopathy book to try to find a solution, but I was too mad. So I didn't. I just continued to lay there and seethe. (And that sure helped, let me tell you. Huff.)

3. Bargaining
This is where I'm at now. Drinking games, baby! I'll take a bottle of something cheap --whiskey, rum, vodka; doesn't matter. Anything'll do.-- to bed with me and every time I roll over, I take a shot! Be out in no time, I tell ya.

4. Depression
Okay, so I might be a little depressed about it as well.

5. Acceptance
This is where I remember my Dad being. He'd just get up and read all night long. He got lots of reading done that way. It was just what he did.

I may be there sooner than I thought. So instead of an "empty chair," I'll sit there and look at my empty pillow...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Old Fashioned

No, it's not sitting there as a rusty relic of the past. It's sitting there in that hay field because it was just recently used.

I just love this neighborhood.

(ETA: Dad suggested that I mention this machine's use. The Amish around here pull it around a hay field with horses for loading their hay wagons. You'd be amazed at how fast they can clear a field, as well as how much hay they can get on a wagon!)