Sunday, September 27, 2009

Our Weekend

Just checking in.

The weekend has been a pretty good one.

Emily's birthday was today. She had a friend over for lasagna & bread sticks (Amber makes awesome bread sticks!) and cake & ice cream. Then they played for a little while until friend's dad came and picked her up. I'll share her pics when I get my camera's batteries charged.

Steve & I went for a long walk this evening. The course we follow is a paved road up to the foothills and then follow 4 wheelers' tracks from there. We had a nice time talking about theology, science theories, careers, books, and goals. It is always nice to get away from civilization and into nature.

Yesterday we went shopping for Emily's birthday dinner and cake choices. I still make boxed cakes. I've tried lots of recipes, but no cake I've made from scratch could ever compare with Betty Crocker or Pillsbury's. I've heard the difference is the cake flour. I'll have to try some next time, but boxes are just so easy!

Michael got stage fright today for the first time ever. It was the children's program at our church. His line was: "Heavenly Father loves me." He's practiced it lots of times...but never with a congregation. I led him to the microphone up front, he stepped up on the stool, looked at all those PEOPLE and when I said, "Say, Heavenly Father loves me." he said, "No, Mommy." I smiled at him and told him reassuringly to say it and he did, then he looked up at me and said, "I love you, Mommy." He is a sweet boy. Matt did really well and said his lines perfectly and stood up there and sang just like he should. I've got such great kids!

Friday was Jared's diabetic doctor's appt. More confrontation. He mentioned to the diabetic specialist (yes, the one we had at the beginning that undermined everything I said) how he needed to start charting better how much insulin he takes and at what time, and he'd like to chart his food better so that he could see patterns of what spikes blood sugar and what doesn't and she replied that he might not want to do all of that because he'll just burn out. How in the world can I help my kid if he doesn't chart?!

Then we saw a new nurse practitioner. He told her about his blood sugar of 455 after the football game on Friday. He then told her that after that incident I suggested he eat lower glycemic foods. She told him that he shouldn't give up carbs; he needs them. I said that was true, but that on Friday he'd been eating candy and drinking soda and I mentioned maybe he shouldn't be eating all of that garbage but maybe should be eating healthier stuff. She said the equivalent of "kids will be kids" and told him to not stress changing his diet as much as controlling his blood sugar with insulin.

I'm afraid that he already disregards a lot of what I say because I am *mom* and not a nurse or a diabetic educator etc. I really wish they would teach him to have a healthy lifestyle. I'm thinking of taking him to the diabetic educator that pushes eating healthy and whole foods and perhaps the dietitian as well just for reinforcement for what I've told him. It sure is hard to raise a kid when people contradict what I try to teach.


My mom has gone on to the long term nursing care at her nursing home, meaning that it will be her permanant residence. She will just keep working on therapy to try to get strong, with hopes of returning to her own home someday. What that means for my sister and I is that we will be boxing up her things from her apartment and storing them for her. If by Spring she hasn't regained her strength, she will divie out her stuff to her kids and resign herself to the nursing home for good. I've determined that growing old stinks.

On a lighter note, Matt got a way cute jester hat for Halloween. We bought it on Saturday at a thrift store. I'll have to post pics of it! It is wonderful! He wore it throughout the store the entire time. :-)

That was our weekend. It was nice to spend it with the people I love most! I'm so glad that Emily is part of our family; she is such a sweetie!

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend too! Tomorrow we are headed for the movies for a field trip. I've promised them field trips once a month. I just hope Michael will sit through it! Wish me luck!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cute Baby Belly!

Isn't her baby belly adorable?! I'm having so much fun watching this baby grow! Karen is feeling really good right now, and she and Josh will start parenting classes soon. :-)

After I took Karen's picture Michael insisted I take his picture too. He sat down and posed himself really cute and then said, "Cheese!" and made this face. So funny!!

Have a great day! I'm off to play with uploading a new header and bottom pic and change the background. I can't believe that Autumn is here! Where did the summer go?!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Down Memory Lane - Sept. 23rd

I found these pics in an old folder labeled: Halloween 2007. I love old pics!

We went to a local nursery that decorates every year with a corn maze and these cute cut outs.

Amber gave me a "heart attack" and stuck hearts all over my computer and work area. :-)

Have you ever seen such a tangled mess of cats?!

Wow! Look at Josh's long hair and how little everyone looks!!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

What a day! and place your vote: question at the end

Today I'm emotionally exhausted. I've been chewed up and spit out. Run hard and put away wet. Any other idioms I've missed?

Today was a meeting at my mom's skilled nursing facility about whether she can stay or needs to be put in a permanent nursing home. Pleasant thought, huh? About 10 days ago the social worker called me and told me that the therapists thought she had just about reached a plateau that she'd never rise above. Funny, 'cause she'd been telling me about new skills she'd been gaining in therapy! So I told her to give her another week since she was now in a new room w/o a roommate where the lights were flipped on all night long so the nurse could work on both of them throughout the night and since she'd finally gotten some nutrition through a Boost (like Ensure or Carnation instant breakfast drink) since she didn't eat well. So they agreed: one more week.

So that was today. I was surprised to find out that even though there was a social worker, the head of nursing, administrator and who knows who else attending the meeting, the only opinion that counts is the therapists. I was told so by the administrator.

I asked for proof that she hasn't been getting better/stronger, asked what her goals were and if she helped set them. The therapist had gone to the meeting w/o any files at all! His word was all he showed up with! So the administrator went and got my mother's file.

The therapist told me that she did not help set the goals and I later found out that she hasn't even been *told* what the goals are. I asked him to please show her the goals so that she knows what she is supposed to be working toward. I also asked him if he kept records of all of her therapy days, marking improvements in strength. No, he didn't. And he ask "does it really make a difference if she is only doing 2 reps more every day at an exercise?" to which I responded with an absolute YES! Yes, it matters! It matters that when she was first admitted she needed 2 people to help pull her up and maneuver her body where it needed to be and then have her sit down and now she can pull herself up and stand for a minute and repeat that 4 times. Yes! It matters!

Anyway, he capitulated and gave her another week. He almost seemed resigned, like he was going against his better judgement. So I have to go do this all over again next week. Bozo.

So he is the judge, jury, and executioner. Wasn't that done away with in more intelligent cultures? Long live the King!

I think I need a massage and a long soak in the tub. But instead, I'm off to make dinner. Where is Alice when I need her?

Oh! I want to ask you a question before I sign off. I am trying to decide what to be when I grow up. I really want to go back to college, but I'm stumped as to what to go into. You all know me, at least my thoughts, pretty well, so I'd love to hear your opinion! Thanks in advance. :-)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Stillness

I have to tell you about this first picture:

We caught Meg napping in my clean clothes (the scoundrel!). I grabbed my camera and said I had to get a picture, so Michael shouted, "Smile, Meg!" The kid makes *me* smile!

.... and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...

except the one with the mouse. :-)

Hoping you're having a restful Sunday too! See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

USA Constitution Day

Happy Constitution Day (USA)! The Constitution has got to be my favorite political document, and the first 10 Amendments, or Bill of Rights are almost sacred to me. Free will is an important part of my religious beliefs, and I'm so thankful for the Founders for recognizing that liberties are given to us by God, not by men, and for preparing such an awesome document to secure those God-given rights.

How great are these?!:

1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

2. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

3. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

5. No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

7. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

It is interesting to note that many states wouldn't ratify the Constitution without the Bill of Rights because they were concerned that individual and state rights would be forgotten.

Back in the late 1700's government was looked at very differently than it is today. Imagine a triangle with it's base at the bottom. This triangle will demonstrate who has the "power", or rights, in the governance of our country. The base of the triangle was the individual, then families, communities came next, counties after that, states next, with the Federal Government being at the top of the triangle, having the smallest power, control, and rights.

If we look at how our country is run today, I'd say that you could directly invert the triangle, standing it on end, with the individual having the least amount of power/rights.

Our country has gone through many changes through the years, and though I'm not happy that many aspects of the Bill of Rights are no longer secured rights for the individual citizen and individual states, I still believe that our nation is a wonderful one. I love that it is a land regulated by the rule of law, rather than the rule of men.

May we always be aware of the freedoms the Constitution affords us and never take it for granted that they will always be around. I hope you will make it a goal this year to read, or re-read, and study the Constitution. This land was made to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. You *can* make a difference!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

sick day

I went to the doctor this morning. I am so thankful for amoxicillin! It is just what my aching sinuses and throat are needing. Now maybe with a tylenol I'll be able to sleep.

Hope you are well!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Musings - 9/14

This weekend I found myself pondering the fact that I have had children in my home for 19 years now. Josh will be 19 in December, but before him I had two other babies that I babysat for money. Steven was born in the winter and Jacob in the summer, both born during the year I was pregnant with Josh.

Lately I've been feeling that things are upside down. I'm thinking that maybe not having a baby or toddler or at least a child doing toddler-y things might have a part to play in this.

Michael is totally potty trained now. I do not have to remind him to "go", nor do I have to clean up any accidents (save the now and again wiping the toilet seat after he decides to stand up and misses the water.)

All of my children, except Michael, can make their own breakfast and a simple lunch. They can get themselves dressed, bathe themselves, brush their own teeth and hair, and tie their own shoes.

My homeschooled kids can get themselves busy doing their work, since they know what is expected. My public schooled kids take care of their own homework, lunches, snacks, and some of their laundry.

It is a strange place to be, really. It is a new season of life for me. I hadn't seen it happening, but it has happened and is here. For me it feels like late summer with fields full of sunflowers. When the sunshine feels nice as it warms you thoroughly without being overwhelming. It is a time that is almost more busy than in early summer when we hustle and bustle planting our gardens. It is harvest time for me: a time when some of my children are reaching full maturity while other are still a ways away.

It is a nice time, but I'm feeling a need to reevaluate my life and my role in the whole scheme of things, to revel in Steve's and my successful nurturing which has produced such great people, and to be thankful for all of those who've helped me to get my "crop" of children where they are right now. This is a good place to be.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Around the Backyard Farm

Here is the my garden. It is just finishing up.

Mostly I've gotten tomatoes: romas and cherries. My Early Girl plant didn't do well at all. The tomatoes that we did get off of her were awfully small, so I'm wondering if it is because I planted her by the cherry tomatoes and they cross pollinated. The pot you see in the pic is a cherry tomato plant I gave my mom for Mother's Day (she loves tomatoes!). Since it was getting neglected at her place, I brought it home so it could have company and regular watering.

There are a few green peppers in there, along with some onions that you can't see.

The strawberries produced a little, but mostly just sent runners and filled up their bed with new plants.

One of my mama mini lop rabbits had bunnies a couple weeks ago. Two of the babies survived: one was a torte color, the other just the picture of its mama. They have upright ears, which is a little strange. Maybe they'll flop over when they're a little older.

This is the one I'm most excited about. A torte baby doesn't come along very often on my farm!

This is Mary Ann. She is my year old French Lop. She is a sweetie! Pam gave her too me, along with 3 others, last year when I sold her some mini lops. Mary Ann and Mr. Nibles II are still alive. Poor Fred and Ginger died when they were still quite young.

And this is my Dutch rabbit, Flower. He is my favorite (but don't let the others know that!). He is sweet and gentle and loves people. He was Josh's rabbit that he sold to me a few years back. I'd love to find a female and breed them, but I've had no luck finding one yet.

Here are a few of my chickens and ducks in their new pen. I have found that I have too many chickens for the run I have. Either I need to make the run bigger or scale down a bit with my chickens. Meanwhile, many of them would rather spend time with the goats.

And here are Nina (Alpine and La Mancha mix) and Ellie (Sanaan, Nubian mix). My plans are to find a billy to breed them with in October and have babies (and milk!) in the spring. (Notice the chickens in their corral.)

My van is back in the shop today. It feels funny again, so I wonder if the emergency brake is rusted back together. Hopefully it will be a quick, cheap fix!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You gotta love'em!

My van is home after taking a trip to the van doctor.

I've been hearing some grating / grinding noises for the past couple of days so I made an appt for her. Come to find out the emergency brake had rusted into a slight "on" position, though it appeared to be off from the interior of the van. It caused my brake shoe to totally wear to the metal. No harm to the drum, though, which saved us a bundle!

And it seems that something-or-other was loose as far as my right wheel's ball bearings or maybe the tire was loose though the wheel was tight or something. Mechanics is *not* my forte, I just noticed that when the lady mechanic was telling me about it she grimaced like it was a very bad thing indeed. I just noticed it as a rubbing noise.

So, she is back (and I have learned new car vocabulary to boot!). My beloved behemoth van that can hold 12 passengers is back and mostly better. Now if I could just figure out why she groans as I turn the steering wheel! I need to make another appt to figure that one out soon. With the other scarier noises I forgot to mention it to the mechanic.

But next, though, is Steve's car. It is up for repairs tomorrow. Gotta love those vehicles!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I haven't nothing new for you! I'm sorry. I need to take some pictures or remember cute stories through the day to share.

But, for now, I just have old stuff. I looked through my old pics from 2005 and found some cute ones:

Look at how little Emily is! I remember her wanting this picture to be taken so that she could have a picture with her and me in it. Awwwww!

And Michael. I love sleeping children. For many reasons, actually! But mostly because I think they are just so adorable! How could I have ever been frustrated at any point during the day with this sweet little angel?

I love this one! He was so chubby and cuddly and cute! And that shirt that he was wearing was soooo soft and snuggly. The combination between his cuteness and the snuggly shirt made him absolutely irresistable!

And my baby goats. They are just so cute when they are little! And a nursing baby, of any kind, has got to be the most precious thing in the world.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Thoughts on the Depression Article

Okay, so I'm ready to talk about my insights on the article I posted the other day.

Do me a favor though, and read through the next 5 paragraphs which recap the main ideas of the article and will also serve as the springboard for my ideas:

1. There is another possibility: that, in most instances, depression should not be thought of as a disorder at all. In an article recently published in Psychological Review, we argue that depression is in fact an adaptation, a state of mind which brings real costs, but also brings real benefits.

2. So what could be so useful about depression? Depressed people often think intensely about their problems. These thoughts are called ruminations; they are persistent and depressed people have difficulty thinking about anything else. Numerous studies have also shown that this thinking style is often highly analytical. They dwell on a complex problem, breaking it down into smaller components, which are considered one at a time.

3. But is there any evidence that depression is useful in analyzing complex problems? For one thing, if depressive rumination were harmful, as most clinicians and researchers assume, then bouts of depression should be slower to resolve when people are given interventions that encourage rumination, such as having them write about their strongest thoughts and feelings. However, the opposite appears to be true. Several studies have found that expressive writing promotes quicker resolution of depression, and they suggest that this is because depressed people gain insight into their problems.

4. But depression is nature’s way of telling you that you’ve got complex social problems that the mind is intent on solving. Therapies should try to encourage depressive rumination rather than try to stop it, and they should focus on trying to help people solve the problems that trigger their bouts of depression. (There are several effective therapies that focus on just this.) It is also essential, in instances where there is resistance to discussing ruminations, that the therapist try to identify and dismantle those barriers.

5. When one considers all the evidence, depression seems less like a disorder where the brain is operating in a haphazard way, or malfunctioning. Instead, depression seems more like the vertebrate eye—an intricate, highly organized piece of machinery that performs a specific function.

Okay, are you ready? Here goes:

I have a personality that really, really *likes* to analyze everything. I like to find patterns. I like to know *why* to everything (and I always have, much to my poor mother's dismay. "Because I'm your mother and I said so" would be her reply after I argued with all of her reasons.)

Because of my analyzing preference, I feel that my dwelling on things and thinking and rethinking helps me to makes sense of my world. It helped me to realize that my serotonin levels were probably at their all time low and to research what naturally builds serotonin. It was also that same analytic preference that helped me last year to discover how to heal my ulcers w/o medication.

I realize that not everyone likes to pull apart and dissect every thought to make sense of *why* they feel that way or *why* they do the things they do. Some people would like to tell me to quit analyzing them, too. My mother was one of those people ("Mom, why do you feel that way?" "I don't know, Melody, I just do." "But why do you *think* you feel that way?" and so on. Poor Mom!)

My help also came in friends' responses to my dilemmas. Their insights were so valuable to help me see something that I couldn't because I was close to the problem. You know, the old "can't see the forest because of the trees" problem. Thank heaven for good friends!

For some people, though, I think medication is a great way to go. If I hadn't pulled out of my terrible funk from a few weeks ago, I would have scheduled myself an appointment with my doc and asked for something. Thankfully. thankfully. I pulled out of it. I have been myself more in the past week or two than I have been in months. I feel so much better. I hope I don't fall back into that abyss again, but if I do, being the dwelling, analytical, ruminator I am, you will be one of the first people to know.

If any of you feel like I did, I hope that you will meditate and pray to know what to do for yourself. Every body is different. No one deals with things the same way. Everyone is a complex person and everyone's help will come in different ways. I just hope that you *will* get help, because life is a beautiful thing and should be lived, not just endured.