Saturday, December 08, 2007

Update, finally!

(I wrote this Friday but couldn't get Blogger to work all day long.)

I was so tired yesterday (Thursday) that I went to bed early and ended up being wide awake at 4 today thinking of all the things I need to do before the goat show tomorrow! I thought I better double check on the date of that show because I've had a lot on my mind lately and didn't want to mess up. Whew, it's a good thing I checked! The show is not until next Saturday. What a relief.
Kris has a dentist appointment today and we need have a lot of errands (not Erinns) to run because I did not get everything done yesterday despite being gone from 6AM until 5PM.
Kris took Erinn to GB's house on his way to work, and Mooky and I left home just 20 minutes after they left. We stopped in Fredericksburg to get fruit and a couple frozen "Amy's" gluten free dinners. We left Freds at 7:15 and got to Whole Foods in Austin before 9:30! The traffic was bad in one area, but we still got there way too early and had to wait an hour and a half for his doctor appt.

The appointment went well, but we know nothing more than before since we have to wait on test results. I liked the doctor, and she really seemed to listen and asked lots of good questions. They took some blood there, and sent us to the hospital in Fredericksburg for an ultrasound of his stomach. He had to fast for 6 hours before the ultrasound so he didn't eat from 10 until 4, which is a world record for him. It was SO HARD. He felt so awful and wasn't sure he'd live until 4! It ended up being about 4:30 before he could actually eat. After we left the hospital I went to the closest gas station and asked if they'd let me warm up his food. They were very nice about it, even though I hadn't bought it there, so he was relieved! We won't know any test results until mid next week. We discussed Dalton's hurt arm and prayed for him on the way home.

When we got home, Mooky unloaded the groceries, and I started feeding the animals. You'd think those Broilers would learn that every night they are supposed to go back in the pen from whence they came... but no! They must be herded in, and they go into a panic, and waddle around with their wings out screaming "Run! Run! It's a chicken eating monster with a long stick!" It must have been pretty windy while we were gone because the roof blew right off one of the pens and landed on a chicken, killing it. So, now we are down to 48 since we lost one a week or so ago due to leg problems. Butchering starts next week, when and if I ever recover from this week! :o) So, if you want a (not so brilliant) healthy home grown chicken, speak up now.

Ultrasound UPDATE!! Everything looked normal, praise the Lord!

Happy Birthday to HALCYON!!!!!! and Uncle Jack!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Being thankful. (edited)

Legendaryabundance, I am SO glad that you left a link to your blog! I really enjoyed reading it. Do you mind if I put up a link to it on the sidebar? I think, to answer your question, that God has a different plan for every family. We often desire things that may or may not be a part of God's plan for our lives. Those things that we desire may be "good" but that doesn't mean that it's right in our particular circumstance. It's so easy to get "crazy-busy" that we drift apart from the Lord. My focus must remain on seeking His will for this family or I tend to "get in over my head" with projects. I'd LIKE to do more sewing, but I just don't have time. Something more important would get neglected. I'd LIKE to milk 16 goats again and provide healthy milk for families in need to supplement the feed bill, but nowadays it's all I can do to milk 4. I'd LIKE to go to the library on a regular basis and check out 4 to 10 fiction books just for me, plus whatever the kids want, but I can't because I have sworn off reading fiction. Family and chores get neglected if there is a book in the house. I am an addict, and I admit it! I do read the Bible and various homeschooling type magazines, and I read aloud to the kids, but that is it!
I'd LIKE to do a lot of things that I just don't have time for. That doesn't mean that I never waste time doing something I want to do rather than something I should be doing. I just don't have much time for that. LOL

I would NEVER have thought that I could manage to raise this many animals, and a large garden, and home school the kids, without being crazy out of my mind insanely busy. It does get hectic at times, but we try to not let it get that way. We get breaks from milking and gardening in the winter and that is a nice rest. The housework often gets neglected for outside work, but I am working on training the kids to be more helpful in that area as it will benefit them greatly later in life. Mooky actually does a lot more housework than Erinn. It is less physically demanding and he doesn't have to do as much walking as he would outside. Erinn is very good with the animals and loves to help me with them. The kids are a great asset to us. Kris does a lot of outside work on the weekends and enjoys it.

Putting God first in our lives helps me to keep things on a nice even keel around here.

I went to the store with Kris on Saturday. He needed some feeder parts from Gibson's and I figured that if he was going to town we could go ahead and get groceries and save gas by just making the one trip. He was HUNGRY when we were at the grocery store.... uh-oh. In fact, I think Mooky gets his "always hungry" thing from Kris! I had to buy eggs because the chickens just aren't laying very well. It felt so weird to BUY those pale runny store bought eggs. Kris was so shocked that he said in his normal loud voice "I can't believe you're buying eggs! That is so weird!" We got a couple strange looks when I explained that the chickens just quit laying after that Thanksgiving cold front.

I've been thinking about how thankful I am for various things lately, and how to raise thankful children. Then, I got Laine's Letter telling all the things she loves. And today I read legendaryabundance's blog and there was a post about giving thanks for all our blessings.
I'm sure thankful that Mooky's Story of The World CDs didn't get here in time for his birthday! Having them arrive yesterday instead was SUCH a blessing. He rested on his bed and listened to them off and on throughout the afternoon. It was so good for him as he needs the rest and diversion to help him get through this latest glutening. I asked him to use the four wheeler to take 4 bags of feed from the barn to the milkroom and it KILLED his back. All he had to do was plop them down onto the back of the four wheeler, then drive to the barn and put them in the big wooden feed box. Poor kid - his muscles are so out of shape...

I'm thankful for the various reasons that got us started eating so much healthier. Finances and gluten intolerance are two very difficult things to deal with if you don't look at them from a thankful perspective! I am just naturally a lazy person so I doubt that I would go to such efforts to produce natural healthy food for my family if it wasn't cheaper and healthier! It is NOT easier to grow a lot of your own food than it is to buy it at the store. It is not even necessarily cheaper to raise your own meat, but the Lord has always provided the money we need to feed "all natural." It is cheaper to produce our own milk, and lot more healthy and delicious as well! It is a well known fact that I can not keep a house plant alive, no matter what! And yet, the Lord has greatly blessed our gardening efforts.

When we lived in Kerrville, people used to ask us why our kids weren't in school, so I am thankful each and every day that our kids can play outside without being asked that question! It's nice that they can even be loud in their outdoor play if they want and I don't have to shush them for fear of complaining neighbors.

I am thankful that we home school for a thousand reasons, but the latest one is because of Mooky's health problems. We can do school work whenever he feels good enough, whether it's Monday evening or early Saturday morning! I so enjoy spending so much time with our kids. They are a pleasure to be around. Most of the time. :o) We aren't perfect.

I am thankful for such wonderful in-laws, and so is Kris. We do not have the fighting and discord that so often goes on among families.

I am thankful for my beloved niece Alexandra who looks incredibly exhausted in this photo. She is so UNteenybopperish!! How many 17 year olds do you know who love the Lord and love their families, giving of their time and talents to be a blessing to others in many ways? She is not concerned with the latest fashions and boys, and she is a wonderful example to her cousins and siblings. I am also thankful for ALL my family and friends, so don't start feeling left out if I didnt mention you by name. :o)

The kids have always enjoyed the dairy goats more than the meat goats, but in our county 4-H show dairy goats are not allowed. Once a year in December there is a dairy goat show in Bandera. Erinn in particular really looks forward to it. It snuck up on me this year, although I did manage to get the entry forms into the mail in time to avoid paying twice as much in LATE entry fees! So, that means Erinn and I have to clip goats today or tomorrow, after preparing goat coats to keep them warm. We are searching for the old goat coats, which will need to have some rips and tears sewn up.

I also need to print up a map to the doctor's office in Austin and figure out if I need to give myself 3 hours of travelling time, or 4 just to be on the safe side in case of accidents, flat tires, etc. I need to plan meals and snacks for Thursday so that Mooky can have safe food to eat throughout the trip. I need to cook up Thursday's supper in hopes that we will be home in time to eat it!

I need.... to get off the computer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Uncle Gabe with Sophie and Deet.

Dalton's Birthday Gift from Tana

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Grand Plan

I've hit upon a grand plan to keep Aileas from nursing through the fence.
I put Mad Cow down in the back pasture and only bring her up to the barn at milking time. Aileas stays up here and gets locked into the barn pen while I am milking MC. MC does NOT hang out by the fence anymore, which leaves Aileas a little on the lonely side. :o( But, OTOH, Aileas gets LOTS more attention from us, so she is getting even tamer. Mad Cow goes off and eats grass and visits with the cow that is WAY back there in the neighbor's pasture.
There is lots more grass back there, so rather than feeding MC extra, I am feeding Aileas extra. And that is a LOT less hay and pellets. This "grand plan" is working so far - I am back to getting a gallon of milk a day from Lily (MC), and a half gallon from Dana. (Dana's kid spends the night away from her.)
The only draw back to this plan, is the part where I have to actually convince MC to go nicely through the gate without head butting me 20 feet into the air. And, not only that, but I have to get her going through the gate quickly enough so that no goats get in, and no goats get out. Our buck Danny is on one side of that gate with all the pregnant does and wethers, while the 4 doe kids are on the other side. There is often a mad scramble to see who can squeeze through with Lily, but they don't usually succeed because they are a little scared of her.
There you go. More than you ever wanted to know about my adventures at the back gate.

GB is home from her surgery and on the road to recovery! Praise the Lord! And Mooky is having a tiny bit better day today than yesterday. His history cd's that were supposed to be here for his birthday arrived today, so he is laying in bed filling his head with all sorts of dates and events that he finds very fascinating. If it wasn't for the Story of the World CDs and a few others, there wouldn't be any school going on around here on his worst days. It's amazing how much he learns and remembers from the CDs. And it's amazing how he can listen to them 100 times over without ever getting tired of them. Whew.

We picked up 30 bales of hay last weekend. Mooky had just cut his hand so he couldn't help load, not that he felt up to it anyway!
The guinea with the broken leg is still in a pen by herself. Her 4 guinea pals come for visits 3 or 4 times a day.
The Dumpster Chicks are getting big. I cant wait until we can butcher them. They are so messy.
Gotta go make soap, then package some other soap.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Oh. My. Goodness.

Life is attacking us right now.
Can't blog much for the time being.
Mooky is very sick. (Gluten.)
Please pray.