Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Our April

We are having a home school vacation week once again and so I have found time for blogging! :) I schedule in 16 weeks of vacations into our school year, like the public schools do. We school year round but take a longer break during the summer, usually 4 weeks, before the new school year begins. I really enjoy year round schooling because I schedule in our vacation breaks every 3-5 weeks which helps me greatly with avoiding burn out!

Our sweet, fat Baby T turned one April 19th. A whole entire year already has passed since his crazy birth. I set his cake slice on the table in front of him and here was his reaction, LOL!

We celebrate each child's birthday with a family celebration at home. I bake a cake, decorate with streamers and balloons, serve their favorite meal and just generally make a big deal out of the birthday child all day long, :) We let them pick what they would like to do most that day- play games, have water balloons, watch a movie, color pictures with mom & dad...... We eat the cake with ice cream, open presents and laugh a lot. Oh, and the birthday child isn't expected to do any chores that day. :)

 A few times in the past I've combined birthdays and had one party for more than one child. But I decided that for now we'll let them each have their very own day since they share everything else so much!

Easter was a great day! Besides beginning with such fun, fantastic news , it was an all around good, good day. We started with our traditional "Easter egg pancakes". This time with honey and butter melted together on top...major yum. 

My teen son hid the eggs with me- some goody-filled plastic ones, some of our dyed ones.

How cute is this little French chicken dress?! I found it at a thrift store waaay back 5 babies ago, who were all boys except Little Farmgirl! I finally got a chance to put the super cute dress ON somebody! And then I snapped about 52 pictures of course.

Here Teen Son hangs out with Grendal while the kids wait anxiously in the doorway for us to tell them that we're done hiding the eggs and they are free to find them. 

This year I ordered Resurrection Eggs online. I just kept hearing them recommended over & over & I finally fell for the peer pressure. ;)  I loved them! Love love! I used them after all the egg searching festivities and candy gobbling. I randomly handed two eggs to each child around the table, and to myself. Then I'd read the Easter story (that comes with the eggs) and as I got to each number I'd ask the child with that egg to open theirs and share what was in it. Like, we read about how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey for the Passover feast. Then we're instructed to open the light purple egg. When the child with that one opened it they found a little plastic donkey and showed everybody. It was really fun and all the kids enjoyed it. 

You know, on that note, someday I would enjoy sharing the story of my own faith journey if I can ever manage to get it put into words. It's such a personal thing of course, and has been something growing and changing for several years now..... But I do hope to write about it one day. :)

Farmgirl enjoying a game of Uno with her big brother.

We have geese! We've never yet raised geese on our homestead. We seem to love just jumping into all sorts of animals and projects and crazy things we've never experienced before, and so, we ordered a boxful of goslings from a hatchery. We also jumped out of super city living and moved to Idaho before ever visiting it, close to 3 years ago now. And then bought a milk cow and sheep and a goat and ducks and turkeys and meat rabbits....mostly before unpacking our moving boxes. Oh plus we bought our dog before our move. Neither my husband or I had ever had a dog in our adult lives so what do we do? Run out and buy one of the largest breeds there are out there, a Leonberger. Oh and hey! I quit my job and moved in with my now-husband exactly 4 months after meeting him for the first time. But then, since he was made perfectly by God just for me, why wait?

But anyway. Back to geese. Aren't they cute!

My husband spent 2 whole days having adventures with 3 of the boys recently. He took them into town twice in a row and they went to a playground, a museum, roller skating, a restaurant, the lake, a pet store, a relative's home (fun with cousins!) and a funeral. And then he took them fishing. And he listened to Veggie Tales CDs through out the entire trip. He says he's quite done with listening to Veggie Tales now. 

We're old fashioned country sorts. We don't often (ever..) drive our family all the way to the city to go to restaurants and big playgrounds and pet stores and such. This adventure with dad was such a fun, memory making treat! It was so much fun for me to listen to them all gush about all the fun they had, just before collapsing early, and sweatily, into bed. ;)

Here is Oscar. He is an amazing mouser. He gobbles piles of mice down. Or he at least chews their head off and the chickens fight over the rest. The chickens LOVE eating dead things. But anyway, Oscar has apparently been hiking all the way down to our neighbor's house and peeing on his things! Naughty cat. So our neighbor let me know he was going to poison the cat. Hmm. Darn cat! So, I took him to town last week and had him neutered (the cat not the neighbor). Maybe just maybe it will keep him from wanting to wander so far away and spray pee everywhere. If not, well, I'll probably guess what happened to him if he goes missing. And I'll get a girl cat next time.

The piglets are out in the movable pig pen now having the time of their lives snuffling and snooting around in the dirt. And hey! My husband has begun building little rabbit pens, too! Rabbit feed is so, so expensive. We're going to try to keep some bunnies on grass during the grassy season to cut down on feed costs. And so far the rabbits seem to love it! And why wouldn't they prefer being on grass and digging in dirt to being in a boring old cage! I'll have to get some pictures of them to post. It makes me happy to see them on the grass!

We recently got another egg incubator in the mail. Here is where I found Miss Two and Mr Four year old just a bit later.... lol!

We're using a Draw Write Now book for some of our copywork this year. How do things like this get past editors? Lol! These are not a "flock of geese", they are a flock of male mallard ducks! They have no resemblance to geese. Silly. 


The children all enjoyed a fire and roasted marshmallows with dad the other evening. I love these long, spring time evenings!

I am feeling just as I should be- queasy and ohso very tired. I'm 6 weeks along now and happy as a clam. However, I have to take back what I said about planning to go through with surgical birth prevention.... Oh my goodness the scary things I read online about it (tubal ligation)! The risks of long term pain and menstrual problems and ectopic pregnancies and hormonal imbalance! Yikes. And sigh. I just want something easy (ha!) that will not potentially cause health problems and hormonal turmoil. But, that just does not exist! 

Much (all?) of my reasoning for wanting to prevent births is fear based! I'm afraid of miscarriages. I'm afraid of having a very premature baby such as Michelle Duggar has experienced. Her last 2 babies were an extremely preterm baby girl, and then a stillbirth at 20 weeks, so sad! I think about her and feel that preventing births is the only wise choice for me... but then I think of other women such as my own aunt who never experienced a single miscarriage, never prevented, and had her last, healthy, full term baby at 46! And I meditate on "fear is the opposite of faith". And I read the wonderful book I highly recommend, "Three Decades of Fertility" in which women just like me chose faith over birth prevention, with differing results but all very encouraging stories. 

Above and beyond all these things, I don't want to "mess with my stuff" in ways that I might regret. My mother's life was taken by ovarian cancer, and now my daughter has been diagnosed with endometriosis. Perhaps there is something genetic going on in my family? I hope not! But who knows... AND. It appears that I will be joining the Catholic Church during this pregnancy. So really, I shouldn't even be considering surgical birth control at all! Yes, this does make me roll my eyes and laugh at myself.

Being human is so un - easy!

Well I let the children cut open a watermelon while I was in here typing this. I'd better go inspect the damage and mop up the sticky watermelon juice that's most likely rained down through the house. ;)


  1. I love your blog, we too made the permanent decision and opted for vasectomy instead, cheaper, quicker and less invasive - Jane in the Uk xxx

    1. Thanks Jane. :)
      Has your husband had any pains or side effects?

  2. Ok, first of all... YAY! What wonderful, happy, exciting news! I missed your Easter post somehow. We too had a vasectomy (like your previous commentee) However after several years we really came to regret it (for personal and spiritual reasons, although there can be lots of bad side effects for men, just like there are for women who go the tubal route) So 6 years after the vasectomy my husband had it reversed. We've had 3 more children since the reversal! I wrote a bit about our choice to have a reversal on my blog back in 2010 when I wrote about our first reversal baby's birth story. We've been talking about whether or not this little on will be our last, but like you I'm having a hard time figuring out what if anything to do about babies. We seem very good at having them! ;-)

    I also wanted to say that we raised rabbits for years and for much of that time we had them on pasture in "bunny arks" that we moved around our yard. We found that the rabbits stayed much healthier and gained better when they had more weeds than regular grass to eat, and if they had wire flooring to jump up on off of the ground to dry off in case of rainy days (or rainy weeks around here!) If you want to know more about how we did it and what worked for us you can shoot me an email. When we were doing it it was so hard to find info from people who had actually done it for any length of time and could give us any info or advice about what didn't and did work for them over time!

  3. Speaking on behalf of someone (me) who lost their uterus at the delivery of their 6th child, and who would have had 6 more if she still had said uterus (but I know none of it was a surprise to God-and I have much peace that 6 bio children is all He meant for me to have), I say ditch the fear and walk in faith. I let fear run my life for too long and I came *this* close to not trying for our 6th/last child, even though I felt as sure as the others that he was missing. I wrestled with fear for over a year and only by the grace of God did I find enough peace/faith to go for it. It was a terrible, life threatening pregnancy and its a miracle we are both here. BUT we are and four years later, I still tear up when I think about if I had let fear win instead of faith. We would be missing out on the dessert of our family.....people stop me and tell me there is something special about my youngest and I want to say "he is just happy to be here!!!" bc truly, he almost wasn't. Fear is NOT heaven sent.....its meant to paralyze us/deter us from God's best. Going through a terrible 5th pregnancy and losing my uterus turned out to be God's best for me. It truly was. It may sound insane but I would not be the person I am today if I hadn't gone through all that. Faith brings you places you never thought possible. Our children are the only earthly treasures we have that we get to bring to Heaven with us. THat doesn't mean I think everyone should have 30 children, but I think a lot of times we base our reasons to have or not have children based on *this world* thinking vs Kingdom thinking. He knew what was best for me anyways; I have such great peace knowing I had all the children He meant for me to have. <3

  4. P.S. I am seriously considering your homeschool schedule bc I go full steam ahead September to December, then crash January on. I am CRAWLING to the finish line here!!!!!! lol

  5. I love love love your posts! You are truly blessed and I know God will guide you to the right decision for your family. Thank you for having this blog to display your joy!

  6. I'm still reading and appreciating after all these years. And I'd love to hear your spiritual journey! ~Flaneuse in DC

  7. I love Three Decades of Fertility! I'm only pregnant with my second, due in July, and the fear almost kept me from trying for her. I had a lot of anxiety after my last pregnancy and birth, even though everything went very well, and I was concerned about all of that coming back again. But I was very young then and facing different issues.

    Love your farm and your family and I'm looking forward to hearing about your faith journey. We have taken a break from farm animals for a couple of years while I work on the garden, but I think when we decide to get more we will definitely try geese.


  8. Loved Three Decades of Fertility so much! And so happy to hear you are joining the church! Welcome home!

  9. Hello!
    Where are you? I hope everything is well and the pregnancy is progressing well.
    Hope you can post something again soon and let us know how you are!

  10. Hi there, I'm Lindsey! I have a question about your blog and would love to speak with you. Please email me when you have a chance, thanks so much! lindsey(dot)caldwell(at)recallcenter(dot)com

  11. are you all ok aubs? auntie debilyn. I am very concerned about you. please let us know you guys are doing well. sending you lots of love.

  12. oops put who I was then wanted to say more. I check here every day. It's not like you to be so quiet. please aubies let us hear from you!! auntie debilyn

  13. I too love your blog and miss your posts ❤️Hope all is well with you and your beautiful family

  14. Have you considered using the Lady Comp? I found out about it while researching non-hormonal forms of birth control. it's a little pricey, but since you only have to buy it once, it pays for itself. right around ovulation there's a temperature spike, so you use the lady comp to take your temperature every day and let it know when you're menstruating. it's programmed using a combination of science and math to tell you which days are fertile days and which are not.

    if it's a fertile day, you either don't have sex (as a Catholic, I would guess this is the option you'd choose) or you use a barrier method (condom, sponge, foam, diaphragm, or whatever). The Lady Comp has a Pearl Index rating of 99.3% so it's as effective as the pill. Anyway, if you want to research it more, their website is lady-comp.com