Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I emailed the missionary that I know in Haiti and heard back from herwith a current address. Her name is Barbara Walker,and she is a woman of few words,but I have been in Port Au Prince Haiti and followed her around andseen her work. Barb has been described as a "renegade missionary" ,LOL, I think of her more as a "General". She is one tough chick and apowerhouse. Five yrs ago was the last time I was in Haiti with thiswoman who was over 60 yrs old at that time, and I in my early 40'scould not keep up with her. She works with the people and runs thruthe city working on adoptions and doing health care for infants all day long, and then works onpaperwork trying to complete adoptions until the wee hours of themorning; You have to be tough to live in Haiti. Barb does not livelike a fancy American in PAP,no she lives among the Haitians, works w/ them, lives like them(with ZERO luxuries), and helps them. With donations,she has built a small gated community called "Ruska Village",it would be considered too rustic for most of us Americans to livein,but by Haitian standards it is WONDERFUL. The whole village is onless than half a city blcok of rocky , good for nothing , Haitian land. Ithas about 12 little one room houses made of cement block. Cementblock homes are the choicest of building material in Haiti as thesehomes are able to stand up against hurricanes. Barb takes in orphansbrought to her and also young teen mothers. The orphans live in thehouses in Ruska Village until they are able to be adopted out andthey are cared for by the young women that are fortunate enough tocome to Barb for help.Of course she does not have room for all the babies and poor peoplethat come to her,but she also distributes vitamins to the pregnant women, clothing,food, baby formula and diapers.I can testify with 100% certainy,that 100% of any donation sent to Barb will go directly to thepeople. Barb keeps nothing for herself.Below is a copy of the note from Barb:
"Yes I am seeing more starving children coming in with their starvingMothers too. I have been keeping them both to get them back tohealth. My Haiti PO box is 2556 Port au Prince Haiti. I would love toget some photos of your babies. Thank you for asking. May God Blessyou with a very sp[ecial holiday. Barb"and then"Just remember we need anything BUT!! babies and rocks we have plentyof each. Yes we do Christmas gift boxes for all the children andLadies at the village.We do need liquid vit. foe the babies.Prenatalfoe the women that come to the clinic.We all enjoy photos of the kidsso If you have any Haitiens, please send photos too. Barb"
BELOW IS FURTHER INFO FROM JILL;--- ok,the name of the ministry for donations to the orphans and youngmothers/babies in PAP , Haiti is "Reach Out to Haiti" . You can makea check out to that name and Barbara will send you a tax receiptback. Her address in Haiti is:"Barbara WalkerPO Box 2556Port Au Prince, Haiti "Thats it , they dont have a lot of mail down there so no such thingas postal codes.Donations are always welcome,but they also would love prenatal vitamins for the pregnant womenand liquid infant vitamins. Barb cant get those at a store down there. AlsoChristmas shoe boxes for children and ALSO for the moms. Barbarasvillage has a community outhouse and a WELL for clean water which issomething that may sound basic to us, but to the orphans and womenliving in her village it is luxury. Of course they dont have hotwater,but cool(?) water from an outside pump to share is as good as goldthere. One thing they do have tho, that would surprise you,is satelite tv. The Haitians LOVE to watch tv. So even tho they livea meager life they are exposed to the western commercialism. They donow know about Christmas gift giving and such which is new to theirsociety. But if you would like to do a Christmas shoebox, for a youngadult woman in Barbaras village,believe me, she would be beyond thrilled.(the young ladies would be more thrilled than the children even) I am sure it would be theonlyChristmas box she would have to open. For ideas of what to put in it,one big thing, Haitians LOVE cologne, lotions,a summer shirt, maybe a toothbrush andtoothpaste? cheap JEWLERY, anything shiny and over the top,the girls would be as excited as if you got a 2 carot diamond forChristmas:)It *is* really expensive to mail stuff down there,but when you compare it to what they would pay for the sameunattainable merchandise down there,postage is CHEAP.thanx so much for helping warmly,,,,jill

Friday, November 21, 2008

children dying in Haiti from the food crisis


Friday, October 10, 2008

my haitian Einstein

over the years I have shared a *bit* of some of the issues I have dealt with in my Hans. Love the boy dearly,of course,he is my child.but boy oh boy,God had more confidence in me than I in myself when He entrusted this soul to my care.He has brought me to my knees more than any of my other 11 children and he is only 6.

Never quite exactly sure of what his issues exactly are,I mean,besides abandonment issues for sure,and along with those emotional immaturity issues. Like, he started his terrible two's at 4. It is hard enough handling a 2 yr old who acts like a 2 yr old, but they are cute and small. It is harder when it is a BIG 4 yr old tantruming and emotional and making no sense of their emotions and draining every ounce of a mamas patience.

I also figured he had some sort of ADD symptoms going on.And the sin he has always struggled the most with is, *impulsiveness* . The inability to resist something he wanted. This has been a struggle for us over the yrs. Altho VASTLY improving with age and consistent discipline.

But he is and always has been sweet, sensitive and caring. He is touchy lovey and cuddly and tender.Along with his fine points he also has ALWAYS shown extreme, EXTREME~ artistry. I am POSITIVE that his father was a Haitian artist. And his handwriting, ,,my oh my,,you would be shocked. PERFECT PERFECT. Looks computer printed. Even at 5,,,it was perfect.

So I have him in first gr public school, mostly bcz I cant keep him busy and entertained at home to homeschool him as I do Seth (9) and Lia (10). He has ZERO imagination and is always bored. He needs to constantly be following the other children around as he cant imagine his own games.

My good friend is his teacher this year and next.She told me
"Jill, Hans is going to need some special classes."
I at first thought she meant like "special ed" (not surprising. totally prepared for that day to come)NO,she said that within the next year or so we will need to seek out some kind of accelerated gifted program for him because he is SO BEYOND ALL the 1st and 2nd graders in her class. She can NOT give him enough work and keep him busy. He understands everything immediately and is done with all work perfectly in 2 secs and then his boredom takes over and he cant sit still.

So,that is Hansies problem.
He is NOT delayed,rather,he is a genius.
How could I not see that?

God has such a HUGE plan for my little Haitian manchild,God gave him to me to help him get there.
My son WILL succeed and be a STRONG man in this world.I just know. the teachers words have affirmed that to my inner being.
tears,,,,,,, ,

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

my cozy orchard house

it is POURING rain outside my windows right now,,and so dark I have to have lights on in the house. The autumn leaves are still radiant and gorgeous out my windows tho. The rainwater on them seems to bring out the colors even more so. Just so so gorgeous from the windows of my confines, that I feel like exploding!
I have my apples bubblin up in pots on my stove to strain for a big batch of apple pancake syrup later today, and I can smell the aroma of cooking apples permeating the walls of this warm little farmhouse,
I also have boxes of raw apples all over the kitchen,,jars of home canned apple produce filling the counters waiting to move downstairs,,
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh,,,life is *so* good!! What an enjoyable day to be stuck inside warming the house with the old fashioned smell of apples......

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

flavored apple sauce

is everyone else in the country knee deep in apples and tomatoes right now? I try to do one batch a day of apples in my biggest stainless pot. I have larger pots that are aluminum but that wont work for apples as they burn on the bottom. So it turms out to be about 5 qts a day of cooked down apple. Yesterday I had the idea that I would add(frozen) strawberries to the with the apples and make different flavored sauces. Well if I had done it past yrs and forgotten I think I figured out why we generally dont add other fruit to the apple sauce. After putting it thru the mill I turned it back to the pot and cooked and cooked it but it wouldnt thicken totally. Seems the strawberries must do somthing to the pectin in the apples??? It, of course, has a great flavor tho, so I added a bit more sugar to the pot to sweeten it more and canned it thinking it will be wonderful pancake syrup ie still a bit watery for "sauce" to eat off a spoon but certainly much thicken than plain water so it should slide off the pancakes wonderfully. One jar didnt seal so I will probably make pancakes for lunch and try it out . If it is as luscious as I am anticipating I think I will try adding some blackberries or raspberries to my apples today for another flavored syrup.It is so hard to get *everything* put by at this time of year, so many ideas and so little time! It is so gorgeous and colorful autumn outside now too that a person hates to spend ALL day inside canning. Sometimes tricky to balance
.Oh,,,and I did a batch of 25 pints of hot salsa two days ago and ,WOW! I was SO Happy w/ the results. I can never seem to get my salsa hot enough with the peppers we grow up north here. But this year I grew "habenero" peppers and "WHEW DOGGY"
those lil babies are hot hot!!! The salsa I made was so good~ perfect thickness and super hot hot just how Michael always has wanted me to make it but I have never acheived it:)) Doesnt it make you soooooo satisfied when you make something to can and it EXCEEDS your expectations?? :)) Now next time I am going to add even a few less hot peppers and do a medium sauce for those of us who do not care to clean our sinus' out as the "hot mama" salsa does.A friend of my 18 yr old dd's is Latino and his parents make a home canned salsa that they sell commercially at all the stores in this area and plus I know they ship it somewhat around somewhere in the states. Now we dont purchase salsa, but a friends of Riahs has brought this salsa into our kitchen for Mike and I to try bcz he thinks it is the best salsa in the universe or whatever. So I think that the salsa I made two days ago is just as good :) (like I say~ satisfaction~ high fives~ not bragging, just so pleased:) They sell this authentic mexican salsa for $5 a pint at the local stores. Going by that the 25 pints I made are worth $125~ wow! and that is just one tiny batch of food on the canning shelves. Just think how much our canning shelves are worth!!!
ahhhhhh harvest time,life is good ........
made pancakes for lunch and tried the strawberry apple sauce for syrup. Guess what? It was not watery after cooling in the jar but rather a *nice* apple sauce texture and actually too thick for perfect syrup. So scratch all those thoughts above on flavored applesauce! It DOES work to put different fruit in and to still acheive a nice apple sauce texture.
Just now finished the next batch and put raspberries in this batch. Oh my, it is to die for! Absolute yum and perfect apple sauce texture.
So we will not be using these flavored sauces for pancake syrup but instead eat them ala carte as special tantalizingly tastey treats.
Tomorrow we will try some blackberry apple sauce,
now doesnt that sound exotic?
We are so blessed here on the farm.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Is Doug Phillips a racist? and warning on Henty books and "Elsie Dinsmore" series

directly quoted from:

"Doug Phillips
March 16, 2007
Doug Phillips has made a name for himself among Christian homeschoolers by selling “old-fashioned” books and hosting “historical” conferences and events. In actuality, the words “old-fashioned” and “historical” mean “thoroughly white.” The Vision Forum catalog is full of books by racists. Their books and tape sets glorify men who believed and wrote that black people are inferior to white people. They sell no books by any of the people of color who contributed to American history. Doug uses code words like “cultural syncretism” to decry the “blackening” of American society.

G.A. Henty
June 13, 2007
For many years, Doug Phillips and Vision Forum have sold books by G.A. Henty and hosted an essay contest in his honor. You can see how often Henty is praised there.

One of the books included in the 40-volume set for sale at Vision Forum is By Sheer Pluck. Here is Henty’s opinion of black people, which any young child may find in its pages:

They are just like children. They are always either laughing or quarrelling. They are good-natured and passionate, indolent, but will work hard for a time; clever up to a certain point, densely stupid beyond. The intelligence of an average negro is about equal to that of a European child of ten years old. A few, a very few, go beyond this, but these are exceptions, just as Shakespeare was an exception to the ordinary intellect of an Englishman. They are fluent talkers, but their ideas are borrowed. They are absolutely without originality, absolutely without inventive power. Living among white men, their imitative facilities enable them to attain a considerable amount of civilisation. Left alone to their own devices they retrograde into a state little above their native savagery.

White superiority is the theme that runs through all of Henty’s books. He once wrote of “the utter incapacity of the Negro race to evolve, or even maintain, civilisation without the example and the curb of a white population.”

Note: Doug Phillips is selling the original, unexpurgated (racist) versions of these books, not the versions edited by Mantle Ministries and Preston Speed.

It’s astounding that racist books are being sold to impressionable youths under the guise of Christianity, but Henty is just the beginning. For example, Vision Forum also sells Elsie Dinsmore, which contains the “n-word” and borderline pederasty. Elsie even tells her slaves that “they wouldn’t be Negroes in heaven.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

the food crisis in haiti

I need to share with you all,I am just really feeling so much sorrow for the food crisis and thehungry people in Haiti.I mean,all we hear about is the expensive food and fuel in the US andhow that is affecting *us*,but gosh,we just have sooo much more than these poor souls. I mean when was the last time your belly was truly empty because you had no food in your house and you had no means to buy *anything* to fill your empty stomach?
Last night, dh and I went out to an "all you can eat" seafood buffet.This place was packed,,oh maybe ???? 400 people could be held in the restaraunt at one time. And it was FULL to capacity the whole time wewere there. people just streaming in to eat. And everyone,,I mean my husband and I and everyone in this restaraunt, were definitely pigging out. Iam talking full heaping plates, again and again full of crab legs.It was weird for me to sit there and people watch. I dont get out all that much around crowds of adults as I spend most of my life sheltered in my house that I share with many children. But last night I spent a lonnng time just sitting and watching people bcz I was done eating long before Michael. I had time to just sit and do nothing but watch people eat.Now I truly do not mean to offend anyone who has a weight problem,but I have to say how I was so struck by the amount of obese people and even "morbidly obese" people that were eating at this restaraunt last night. Seriously, I saw a *few* people that were obviously so overweight that they couldnt even walk ,being pushed into this all you could eat bufffet in wheelchairs.As I sat in the center of the hustle and bustle of glutonous Americans GORGING ourselves,I couldnt help but reflect on our sisters and brothers hustling andbustling trying to find a meal of rice for supper last night in Haiti

Food crisis sends Haitian boat people to U.S.

Refugees risk crossings in unsafe vessels to escape hunger and poverty

MONTROUIS, Haiti - Acute hunger and the rising cost of living could send a new wave of boat people to the U.S. from Haiti, where rising food prices set off deadly riots two weeks ago and drove the prime minister from office, officials and analysts say.
In the small town of Montrouis, about 50 miles north of Port-au-Prince, desperate Haitians say they will seize the first opportunity to take a boat toward the U.S. coast to escape the misery that plagues Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.
"I will leave with the next boat going to Miami because I can no longer resist this hunger," Marcel Jonassaint, 34, told Reuters on Tuesday as he sat barefoot near the dock in Montrouis, throwing a handful of small rocks into the ocean.

"I have four children and I don't have a job and everything is expensive, even for those who are working," Jonassaint said. "So what do you want me to do?"
Montrouis is a coastal village, overlooking the island of La Gonave, reputed as a key launching point for migrant boats.
'I will try again'"I left earlier this year. Our boat was intercepted in the high seas, but I will try again," said 29-year-old Rachel Chavanne. "I know some people, like a cousin of mine, who had a successful trip there.
"My turn will also come one day," she said in her blue dress, with a smile on her face.
Haitian lawmakers fired Prime Minister Jacques Eduard Alexis earlier this month to quell anger over rising food prices that sparked violent protests in Haiti. At least six people died in a week of protests and looting.

The director for the country's national migration office, Jeanne Bernard Pierre, said since the food crisis, her agency has received more repatriated Haitian boat people in a week than it used to receive in a month or more.
"We have received 212 repatriated last week, we have just received 227 and we are receiving 114 tomorrow," Pierre told Reuters on Tuesday.
"It is clear that more boat people have been leaving the country and you should expect even more if they cannot find an alternative," said Pierre, who urged the government and the international community to set up programs to ease the plight of the poorest and most vulnerable.
Interceptions more than doubleThe U.S. Coast Guard has intercepted 972 Haitian migrants at sea since October 1, compared with 376 during the same period last year. But the numbers typically fluctuate and it's impossible to link any spike in the numbers to any one event such as the recent food riots, Coast Guard Petty Officer Barry Bena said.
"It peaks at certain points and there's months on end when we get no Haitian vessels at all," he said.
Pierre said her office is doing its best to persuade suffering Haitians to stay home, but "they believe the only alternative left for them is to leave."
Migration office employees have been sent to poor, seaside neighborhoods to warn people how

risky it is to take to the sea in rustic vessels, but they reply by giving examples of friends and relatives they knew made it to Miami.
'Sharks eating people'"We even show them pictures of sharks eating people, but they would tell us they know many others who reached U.S soil and who are now sending money to relatives left in Haiti," said Pierre.
There are frequent reports of drownings when unsafe and overloaded migrant vessels capsize or break apart while trying to reach the United States and the Bahamas. A suspected migrant smuggling boat capsized off the Bahamas during the weekend and rescue crews recovered three survivors and 15 bodies, many of them Haitians.
Human rights activist Renan Hedouville said Haitians are leaving because the government and the rest of the world have turned a blind eye to the hungry.
"The universal right to have access to food has been neglected and denied to so many people," Hedouville said. "That's why people in desperate straits are taking to the sea, risking their lives and seeking a solution which is not really one."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grandchild "Civeah Shae" born 4/14/08

Here she is!!!! 7lbs 4oz, 19 inches long . Tons of BLACK hair. gramma holding her for the first time and exclaiming "She looks JUST like you, Bre"
love at first sight. Civeah owns a piece of my heart already
she owns a piece of 2 grammas hearts already:)
Breinn did soooooooooooooo wonderfully! She stayed at home in the bathtub until contractions were starting to feel "pushy". When they got to the hospital Bre was dilated to 9cm! Civeah came into the world at 8:04 pm totally naturally. I am SO PROUD of my strong daughter Breinn and her valiant husband , Wes!

now move aside, mama and daddy. Civeah has AUNTIES galore to hold her. Here is Civeah and Kailyn

The happiest family on earth. Our brand new sweet granddaughter with her proud mama and daddy.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Nuttin but Stringz

must see you tube. Willow's and my favorite song to dance to :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

yep, the Lord answers our prayers given in faith,even those sincere prayers for the animals:)
Let me share a story of Gods Provision with you:
We were going to run out of hay last Sat.bcz the person that promised to hold hay for Michael last fall changed his mind. When Mike went to go pay for and get his hay he found that this man sold it to another person this spring bcz the price of hay skyrocketed this spring as it is TOTALLY unavailable bcz of the drought here last summer. Everyone is short of hay and hay that sold for $35 a large round bale last fall is now $60 or $80 a bale IF you could find it!So Michael found some bales here, some there, some not so great but he took ANYTHING anyone offered. Our usually FAT happy cows are looking very lean this spring,but Michael is doing his best to find enough hay to tide them over til pasture grows mid May.Last weekend a friend of Mikes brought him a load of small squarebales to take him thru a couple more days. Michael did find someone selling hay in Willow, 7 miles away, which is AMAZING bcz we hav einquired of EVERYONE and most people LAUGHED out loud when you asked them if they knew anyone w/ hay for sale. Anyway,Mike went to look at these bales and they were SHABBY and really loose and had hardly ZERO hay in them for $60 a bale. Michael said he would rather pay $80 a bale for better bales. I had to bite my tongue from TELLING him to SNAP THAT HAY UP!!! bcz I didnt see ANY other haycoming available. But, I did bite my tongue bcz I really felt I was to to stay out of it and let Michael figure it out bcz God has lessons to teach us and it was none of my business.
Then Mike found another guy w/ hay about 50 mins away and another an hour away. All of this hay was EXPENSIVE and then add to that Mike has to hire a friend with a pickup and big trailer and pay gas money to make the ???I dunno how many trips it would be to get 40 bales or whatever, maybe 4 or 5 trips w/ 8 or 10 bales per load????
Then the phone rang yesterday and the person that owns the land touching our land was getting back to Michael as he had talked to her last week about a pile of hay out on their field. SHE DIDNT EVEN KNOWTHE HAY WAS THERE! And when Mike said he had his eye on it all winter she said that it belonged to the guy that rented their fields last yr. So Mike calls that guy and he says,
"no, not my hay. I got all mine off. That is the land owners hay."
So Mike just asks the guy who rented the land to call the landowner and work it out bcz Mike felt like the monkey in the middle and no one knew whose hay it was.
I guess they contacted each other, figured it all out and then the landowner called Mike back to tell him he could have the hay for $25 a bale!!! (for the same hay he paid $35 a bale for last fall when hay was cheap) bcz they just wanted to get the hay out of there!! And Hallelujah~ there are 46 bales!!!GOOD ,BIG BALES !GOOD HAY! even more than Mike asked for!!!And she said that 5 different farmers approached them this week asking for hay and she told them she didnt have any,,,,and all the while they had these bales that they didnt know about,,,bcz God had them saved for Mike,,,right touching our land,,,where Mike wont have to pay anyone for hauling as Mike can just drive the tractor over there and retrieve them one at a time as he is feeding cattle!!
Praise the Lord!!!! I *knew* God would answer our prayers!!!!

Breinn's Blessingway

Bre's Blessingway was a beautiful, encouraging, Spiritual event. About 20 of Bre's closest relatives and friends came together to help prepare her for her new path in life, motherhood. The first thing we did was have Bre sit on a chair. As sisters, Lacy and Riah washed and massaged Bre's feet(to symbolically prepare them for the new path she will walk, "motherhood"), Larah and Kailyn massaged her hands and I, mama jill, brushed and braided Bre's hair in a french braid, something i havent done for her in years.

As I brushed and played with her hair I told her about the day of her birth. I told her about the morning drive to the hospital the day of her birth and what an intense experience her induced birth was. I tried to convey to her how becoming a mother for the first time changed my life. I told her what a holy thing birth is and gave her tips for relaxing her entire body during labor. To surrender to the contractions, dont fight them, allow her body to work as it was created to work to bring forth new life.

I told her that her goal during early labor was to feel as relaxed as she did right at that moment. A surrendered birth is an easier birth.

The second part of the Blessingway all of the attendees presented an article from nature that they had brought that represented motherhood or birth to them. We had many interesting choices. Lots of pine cones, which contain the seed for the new strong tree, seashells, a baby sand dollar,rocks, willow branch, a spider web (which is delicate and intricate looking but pound per pound 5 times stronger than steel. Just like a mother). Sister Lacy even presented Bre with a bag with chicken manure in it:) Explaining that, "sometimes motherhood is dirty"

In the next part of the Blessingway everyone presented their Blessings for Bre and babe in the form of a poem, Bible verse or sincere wishes and prayers for Bre's passage and for sweet baby. Of course, there was hardly a dry eye in the room as we all wept for joy for Bre and for her child.

At this point I sent a lit candle around the circle of loved ones. As we held the candle we all expressed our connection to Breinn and how she has effected our lives.

This part of the Blessingway was extremely emotional as we all expressed our deep love for our beloved , Breinn. Many of us could barely get the words out of our mouths but instead spoke with our tears and hugs presented to her. There was no question to all present how loved Breinn is.

After that emotional time we had a time of laying our hands on Bre and petitioning God, through prayer, for Breinns birth experience, for health and safety for her child and that Bre and her husband Wes will be bound together in a closer union than they have ever experienced as they bring forth life together.

This prayer time was so powerful, yet so sweet. It was an annointed time where we felt Gods Holy Presence in our midst. After our voiced prayers, while still in a worshipful mood, I turned up the CD of Serene and Pearl singing "MAGNIFY YOU LORD" and the Holy moment continued through their angelic voices filling the room as we continued to pray and praise God silently with our hands raised to Him.

The last part of the Blessingway we wound a single hemp cord around all of our wrists, symbolizing our connection as mothers and/or future mothers with Breinn and symbolizing the circle of life.

We cut the string between each of us and tied it off on our wrists, promising to wear the string as a reminder to hold Bre in our thoughts and prayers until after the birth of her child.

All in all it was a beautiful heart felt event and Breinn expressed afterward how it was so much more meaningful to her than she had imagined it would be.

"Be blessed honey, we love you so much. I know that you will be a wonderful mother and that God will use you and this new life He created and is entrusting to your care."


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

safe by papa

the other evening ,
as Willow laid in bed between her sleeping papa and I ,
Willow and I were talking ,
as papa started snoring like a chainsaw.
I asked Willow,
"dont you want to go to your own bed now, where it is quiet and you dont have to listen to papa's loud snoring?"
to which she replied
"no, I want to sleep here by papa. Papa's snoring keeps the monsters away"
and I thought ,
how a father is always his 3 yr old daughters hero,
even as he sleeps.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

just one of them mornings.......

I should have known it was going to be "one of them mornings" when I first opened my uncooperative eyes and felt that itch in my throat of a sore throat coming on. Then feeling Willow next to me I noted that she felt hot and suspected that she might be feverish ,too. Not a huge surprise since Riah and Larah have been home sick the last three days with the influenza virus going around~ the headaches, tiredness, sore throat, coughing and aches and pains.
I roll out of bed and think
"all I need is a cup of java with lots of cream in it to get me going"
That is one area where Michael spoils me rotten.When he leaves for work 45 minutes before I rise, he makes coffee in the coffee maker for both of us. I wake each morning to the smell of hot coffee in the coffee maker and only need to stumble over and pour my first "wake me up" cup.
But my usual routine was disrupted when I went to look at the coffee maker and it was off, unplugged and the top filter area where the water runs through was plugged and full of water and coffee grounds. Instead of coffee this AM I just had a mess to deal with.
I then proceed to go into the bathroom and find that the toilet is also plugged up. So instead of my usual coffee I spend my first minutes of the day plunging and washing, inbetween getting Lia and Hans up and cooking eggs and making bag lunches and all the other chores of morning.
In the middle of my mayhem,
the phone rings. It is a person from the chicken farm down the road and her message to me surely startled me to waking when she reported
"one of our people on the way to work this morning saw a cow on the road by your house calving!! You better get out there as it is mighty cold this morning!"
Oh yeah,
did I forget to mention that amidst all the craziness of this wild morning that it was -22 F with a windchill of around -40? Not the temperature for a calf to come into the world,,in the middle of the road no less!!??? YIKES!
First thing I do is try to call son Jordan at his house, 10 miles away. I know that I am going to need help getting a cow back in the pasture and I am picturing myself trying to carry a wet , freezing 80lb calf off the road and back to the barn. Of course though,
Jordan and Joanna are still asleep and all I get is their answering machine, to which I leave, I am sure, a rather frantic SOS message (ie JORDAN HELP! MAMA NEEDS HELP!).
I find my clothes and dress, and run out to start my car. Even in an emergency a car needs to warm up at least 5 minutes in this brutal temperature. I gather my warm down coat and get warm gloves from Larah before she and Riah and Hans and Lia head out the door for school. As I head out the door I am thinking I should grab towels to wipe down a wet calf, if it is still alive even. I am in such a hurry that I just grab the quilt that is sitting on the couch in front of me to use as drying/warmth for a newborn calf if needed. Then I head out the door and drive down the road to the place where I see a cow standing near the fence in the pasture looking at the road. This must be the area where the cow is out, I presume. But upon arriving at the perceived emergency situation I see no cows out,
no newborn calves, neither dead or alive,
no evidence whatsoever that a dilemna is taking place. I get out of the car and walk along the fence line on the snowmobile tracks. All I hear is the sound of my sorel boots crunching on the frozen snow and all I see is the cold vapor of my breath. The sun is out and it really is a starkly cold, beautiful morning. Where I walk along the fence I am next to the trees and sheltered from the wind and it doesnt feel all *that* freezing out to me.
I will have to say that I am confused at this point as I see no tracks showing that any cow was ever even out of the fence in the first place. All looks calm and peaceful as the cattle by the fence line stand against the trees chewing their cud with the clouds of frozen breath billowing out of their mouths and surrounding their heads like a frozen cloud.
I walk back to the car and find my cellphone, call Jordan and this time I get Joanna and tell her to tell Jordan "never mind" (lol) "dont come running in a panic until I investigate further and get back to you"
I proceed to walk most of the area around the pasture fence line looking for a rogue cow giving birth alone on the frozen tundra,,,but nope, not one to be found. I walk back toward the barn where the main herd are gathered around the big hay bales, check out each cow behind and see no sign of a cow calving or a dead frozen animal anywhere. By now my face is feeling the cold. My cheeks are froze and I find it hard to move my face, my nose is so cold as my running nose freezes onto my nose ring (now this must be why most old farmers in north country do not where metal rings in their noses. Ya think?)
as I mosie back to the warmth of the house I am thankful that I did not find an emergency on this cold morning. I dont understand what that person saw but I cant find any evidence that anything out of the ordinary was occuring as this person perceived as he drove by. All is silent, all is calm and cold. And that morning walk through the fields did much more to wake me up then a cup of java ever could today.......

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Donna's Crockpot Rice Pudding

grease crockpot with butter.
beat with mixer:
2c. scalded milk
3 eggs
2/3 c. sugar( I use sucanet)
2t. vanilla

stir in 1.5 c of cooked rice(I only use brown rice)
pour in crock pot and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg
cook on high 30 mins.
cook on low 2-3 hrs.
while it cooks the pudding has a tendency to separate ie the custard rises to the top. Therefore,
I will like to stir the pudding once toward the end of cooking also. Altho, some people may like the custard on the top and prefer not to stir

Delicious for dessert or for breakfast

The importance of Salt to the Body

Vital Functions of Salt in the Body
1. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, Contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure - in conjunction with water. Naturally the proportions are critical.

2. Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells.

3. Salt is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a needed element in diabetics.

4. Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in the body. It is used for local power generation at the sites of energy need by the cells.

5. Salt is vital to the nerve cells' communication and information processing all the time that the brain cells work, from the moment of conception to death.

6. Salt is vital for absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract.

7. Salt is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.

8. Salt is vital for clearing up catarrh and congestion of the sinuses.

9. Salt is a strong natural antihistamine.

10. Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps.

11. Salt is vital to prevent excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage.

12. Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm. Osteoporosis, in a major way, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body.

13. Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic.

14. Salt is a vitally needed element in the treatment of diabetics.

15. Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs.

16. Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis.

17. Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido.

18. Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs.

19. Salt is vital to the communication and information processing nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work - from the moment of conception to death.

20. Salt is vital for reducing a double chin. When the body is short of salt, it means the body really is short of water. The salivary glands sense the salt shortage and are obliged to produce more saliva to lubricate the act of chewing and swallowing and also to supply the stomach with water that it needs for breaking down foods. Circulation to the salivary glands increases and the blood vessels become "leaky" in order to supply the glands with water to manufacture saliva. The "leakiness" spills beyond the area of the glands themselves, causing increased bulk under the skin of the chin, the cheeks and into the neck.

21. Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Some of these elements are needed in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a better choice of salt than other types of salt on the market. Ordinary table salt that is bought in the super markets has been stripped of its companion elements and contains additive elements such as aluminum silicate to keep it powdery and porous. Aluminum is a very toxic element in our nervous system. It is implicated as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer's disease.

22. Twenty-seven percent of the body's salt is in the bones. Osteoporosis results when the body needs more salt and takes it from the body. Bones are twenty-two percent water. Is it not obvious what happens to the bones when we're deficient in salt or water or both.* The information on salt intake is taken from Dr. Batmanghelidj's book, "Water: Rx for a Healthier Pain-Free Life".

"80 Elements dicovered in Sea Water

People who eat Refined salt develop craving for salt, because, salt that they eat is not satisfying their needs. Than they use more and more salt, in the desperate try to get what they need. Taking big amounts of refined salt (chemical) burden kidneys and adrenal glands that are very important for calcium utilization. Modern physiology has demonstrated that an excess of salt interferes with the absorption of nutrients and depletes calcium, while if used in a moderate doses, salt enhances calcium absorption and nutrient utilization in general.
It is known that absorption of calcium depends on the health of the kidney-adrenal function and that calcium metabolism is of essential importance for the health of the nerves, muscles, heart, vascular system, and bones. Simply. the whole body is dependant on Calcium uptake.
Low-Salt Diet a Risk?
London, March 12 - A low-salt diet may not be so healthy after all. Defying a generation of health advice, a controversial new study concludes that the less salt people eat, the higher their risk of untimely death. The study, led by Dr. Michael Alderman, chairman of epidemiology at Albert Einstein School; of Medicine in New York and president of the American Society of Hypertension, suggests the government should consider suspending it's recommendation that people restrict the amount of salt they eat."The lower the sodium, the worse off you are," Alderman said. "There's an association. Is it the cause? I don't know. Any way you slice it, that's not an argument for eating a low sodium diet.
Natural salt is not white and it is not dry. It is a little gray with minerals and feels damp or clumps in humidity. It must be labeled UNREFINED, NO ADDITIVES ADDED."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.

There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society, with a large segment of people in that society, who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don't have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.

I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-law.

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'

Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man.

Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power religion gives man wisdom which is control.

Seeing is not always believing.

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.

The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.

there can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.

We are not makers of history. We are made by history.

We have guided missiles and misguided men.

We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

ode to a new car.....

a truck and trailer came and towed away a few old cars that have been sitting on the back 40, bringing shelter to many a skunk and woodchuck for quite a time now. The rotting cars were a thorn in my side for many years, but you who know Michael know that he is never in too big of a hurry to get rid of anything. (one never knows when they might need a part from that vehicle that was just towed away!) And of course,
every *real* redneck property needs a few dead cars parked out back...
But, Mike met someone in town yesterday morning who promised him $75 per vehicle he towed for scrap metal and Mike couldnt resist making a couple extra bucks while at the same time scoring extra points with wifey here.
So they came in yesterday afternoon and took Lacys first car plus the 1986 chevy Cavalier that sat out back.
To load the vehicles on the back of the long trailer the scrap metal guys also brought a Bobcat that kind of speared the cars and lifted and pushed them onto the back of the trailer. Along with this excessive force in loading, came some smashed windows and ripped chrome and new big dents.
The children stood with noses pressed up against the glass, watching the process in amazement. Rarely does such excitement occur outside these windows!
As I walked into the kitchen I saw out my bay window the truck and trailer parked with the two battered cars, ready to go down the road to the junk yard, to be smashed for scrap metal. Looking at my chevy station wagon ready to be hauled away brought a surprising melancholy moment for me. After all, that was the first and only car that Michael and I ever purchased brand new off a lot. We ordered it and hand picked the colors and options. I remembered the feeling of excitement when the dealership called us and told us our car was in. The feeling of pride when he handed us the keys of our spanking new shiny car. The *smell* of a new car was intoxicatingly exciting. We hadnt told ANYONE about our ordering the new vehicle but instead drove straight from the car lot when it arrived over to my parents house to show off our new prize with pride. Oh, how we beamed with joy and excitement as we then drove to Mikes parents house and sat in the driveway honking the horn until they walked out to see who was there in "the fancy new car" . I remember my father in law asking us "did you come into some money?" when he came out. No, we didnt , actually the opposite, because in spite of the joy of new car ownership the prize had to be paid for through monthly car payments. For 4 years that $150 a month was a huge burden for this young family of five. We couldnt afford the payments on our one income and that is when I went to work at Tobies as a waitperson to make those big, at the time to us, payments. I find it a bit hard to justify, in hindsight, that leaving my children to work to pay for a new car was worth the short time in my childrens lives. Alas,
no sense feeling guilt. We do the best we can at the time with what we have to work with, you know?
Then, as I looked at the car, I also remembered how fleeting those days of excitement over the "brand new car" were. Soon, like all new cars, it lost the new smell, lost the new appeal, needed mechanical work and computer work, and rusted quickly (as we still paid the $150 amonth car payment)
And then,
the trailer drove away out of my life, never be seen again.
good-bye to you, '86 burgandy cavalier, you will always have a place in my heart of life memories

Baking soda is my friend.......

I buy baking soda by 50lb bags and use it for multiple cleaning uses around this house;
I use baking soda instead of cleanser for cleaning sinks, tubs and counters.
here is a recipe for making your own dishwashing detergent:
Mix and use per dishwasher load:
1 Tablespoon Borax
1 Tablespoon Baking soda
Mix equal parts Borax and Baking Soda, and add 2Tablespoons per load.
Increase proportion of soda for hard water. Use vinegar in the rinse cycle for sparkling glass.
I use baking soda instead of detergent for our laundry. I use about 1/2 ro 3/4 cup of bs per load of laundry. For grease stains on shirts I pretreat the spot with a natural laundry spray or dish detergent. I wash all our clothes in cold water to save energy and everything comes out clean without detergent.
Even Shilohs diapers come out clean after being washed in baking soda and hot water.
I use baking soda instead of shampoo. I take approximately 1/8 a cup of bs in a cup and mix it with water in the shower to make a thin paste. Then I massage the bs into my hair and rinse. Next I put about 5 drops of lemon essential oil into my hand and massage through my hair and rinse lightly. My hair stays soft, shiney and healthy using this solution for hair cleansing. An added plus is that the lemon essential oil keeps the deer flies from buzzing around my head in the summer if I work in my garden soon after washing my hair!
I use a mixture of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part celtic sea salt, mixed together, in place of toothpaste. I mix a spoon of this mixture in my hand into a glob of aloe vera gel and then brush.
I got this recipe from a naturalpathic dentist. (http://www.saveyourteeth.com/)
Since I have been using this mixture my teeth are about 5 shades whiter and my gums are perfectly healthy and pink.
(read about the dangers of flouride:
If anyone else has any other recipes and/or uses for baking soda please email me as I am always looking for ways to make my own cleaning products to save money and be less of a consumer, stay healthy and be as gentle on the environment as possible

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

if the world was a village of a hundred people

If the world was a village of 100 people..
- 80 people would live in substandard housing
- 25 people would have a bed, a roof and refrigerator for food
- 50 people are either malnourished or undernourished
- 17 people have no safe, clean water to drink
- 41 people live without basic sanitation
- 25 people have to live on $1.00 or less a day
- 47 people have to live on $2.00 or less a day
- 30 people have a bank account
- 6 people own 59% of the world's wealth.

Larahs mama-mia pizza crust

basic recipe:
1 T. yeast
1 c. warm water
1 T. sugar (I use sucanet)
1t. salt
1/2 italian seasoning
1/2 t. garlic
2T. oil (I use coconut oil)
2.5-3 c. flour (I use fresh ground flour. I grind the milling wheat on a setting that is a bit finer than medium. Now if you use white flour this is not necessary, but I add 1T. of gluten flour/dough enhancer to the recipe w/ my freshly ground flour to make it "spongier)

I use my bosch for mixing, but this recipe can also be kneaded by hand.
First put the warm water,yeast and sugar into mixing bowl and let it proof (ie bubble) for about 5 mins. Then add the oil, salt, spices, and salt. Add about half the flour (and dough enhancer if applicable). I knead w/ my bosch , adding flour until the dough pulls away from the side and feels right ie not sticky, not dry. Remember, a *dry* dough will make a dry crust, so you want it just to the point of moist but not sticky. Knead for about 10 mins if kneading by hand or for a minute or two if using a bosch mixer. Let dough rest about 10 minutes. Then roll out using cornmeal on your rolling surface. Put on pizza stone, top as desired , and cook pizza for about 10 minutes in a 425 preheated hot oven.
I double this recipe and it is enough crust for 3 large pizza stones


Monday, January 7, 2008

Burts Bee's goes Clorox

Can Burt's Bees Turn Clorox Green?
By LOUISE STORY The New York Times, January 6, 2008 Straight to the Source
In the summer of 1984, Burt Shavitz, a beekeeper in Maine, picked up Roxanne Quimby, a 33-year-old single mother down on her luck, as she hitchhiked to the post office in Dexter, Me. More than a dozen years Ms. Quimby's senior, the guy locals called "the bee-man" sold honey in pickle jars from the back of his pickup truck. To Ms. Quimby, he seemed to be living an idyllic life in the wilderness (including making his home inside a small turkey coop).She offered to help Mr. Shavitz tend to his beehives. The two became lovers and eventually birthed Burt's Bees, a niche company famous for beeswax lip balm, lotions, soaps and shampoos, as well as for its homespun packaging and feel-good, eco-friendly marketing. The bearded man whose image is used to peddle the products is modeled after Mr. Shavitz.Today, the couple's quirky enterprise is owned by the Clorox Company, a consumer products giant best known for making bleach, which bought it for $913 million in November. Clorox plans to turn Burt's Bees into a mainstream American brand sold in big-box stores like Wal-Mart. Along the way, Clorox executives say, they plan to learn from unusual business practices at Burt's Bees - many centered on environmental sustainability. Clorox, the company promises, is going green.But not even Clorox can sanitize the details of a fallout between Mr. Shavitz and Ms. Quimby that began in the late 1990s - when Ms. Quimby managed to buy out the bee-man for a low, six-figure sum. She has been paid more than $300 million for her stake in Burt's Bees, and she spends her time traveling, refurbishing fancy homes in Florida and preserving large tracts of land in Maine. Burt himself, now 72, makes his home again in the converted turkey coop - expanded but without running water or electricity - but with $4 million or so to his name.As unlikely as their journeys have been, Ms. Quimby and Mr. Shavitz are pioneers in an entrepreneurial movement that has lately won the affection of corporate behemoths.Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/business/06bees.html

Heirloom Seeds

The loss of genetic seed diversity facing us today may lead to a catastrophe far beyond our imagining. The Irish potato famine, which led to the death or displacement of two and a half million people in the 1840s, is an example of what can happen when farmers rely on only a few plant species as crop cornerstones.
SIMPLE SOLUTION: One blight wiped out the single potato type that came from deep in the Andes mountains; it did not have the necessary resistance. If the Irish had planted different varieties of potatoes, one type would have most likely resisted the blight.
We can help save heirloom seeds by learning how to buy and save these genetically diverse jewels ourselves.
* One kind of seed, called First generation hybrids (F1 hybrids), have been hand-pollinated, and are patented, often sterile, genetically identical within food types, and sold from multi-national seed companies.
* A second kind of seeds are genetically engineered. Bioengineered seeds are fast contaminating the global seed supply on a wholesale level, and threatening the purity of seeds everywhere. The DNA of the plant has been changed. A cold water fish gene could be spliced into a tomato to make the plant more resistant to frost, for example.
* A third kind of seeds are called heirloom or open-pollinated, genetically diverse jewels that have been passed on from generation to generation.
With heirloom seeds there are 10,000 varieties of apples, compared to the very few F1 hyprid apple types.
The Mayan word 'gene' means "spiral of life." The genes in heirloom seeds give life to our future. Unless the 100 million backyard gardeners and organic farmers keep these seeds alive, they will disappear altogether. This is truly an instance where one person --a lone gardener in a backyard vegetable garden--can potentially make all the difference in the world.
One tip I have come across is to buy heirloom seeds from a dealer of heirloom seeds near your area. Before our current period, vegetable seed companies were smaller and often grew their own seed, which was regionally adapted to the climate of the area in which the company was located. In fact, many seedsmen started out as market gardeners and simply moved into selling seed they had saved for their own use. As their businesses developed, they collected choice varieties from other gardeners—who had selected their own favorite strains—and by close attention maintained them as distinct varieties. Unlike modern vegetable introductions, all of which are deliberately developed for sale, these heirloom varieties were simply selected over generations according to the whims and preferences of individual gardeners. Thus, most are strongly adapted to a particular region of the country, and have an incredible range of qualities—in taste, texture, appearance, and disease or pest resistance—all of which were, for one reason or another, important to their backyard developers.
here are a few resources to check out for heairloom seeds:
Heirloom Seeds
Rare Seed Catalog (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Seed Savers
Seeds Trust
Seeds of Change
Victory Seeds (open pollinated and heirloom seeds)
and here is a list of seed sellers state by state to research:

Saturday, January 5, 2008

To my son and his son and so on......

Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.

The last time that I help a bottle to your baby lips...
Last time that I lifted you and help you on my hip...
Last time when you had a binky stuck inside your mouth...
The last time that you crawled across the floor of the old house.

Last time when you ran to me, still small enough to hold,
Last time when you said you'd marry me when you grew old,
Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from the past,
Would I have held you longer if I'd known they were your last?

Your last few hours of kindergarten, last days of first grade...
Last at bat in Little League, last colored paper made.
Last time that I tucked you in for one last midday nap...
Last time when you wore your beat-up Vikings cap.

Last time that you caught a frog in the old backyard pond
Last time when you ran barefoot across out fresh-cut lawn
Silly scattered images to represent your past.
Would I have taken pictures....if I'd known they were your last?

The last dark night you slipped in bed and slept between us two,
When last I read to you of God or Horton Hears a Who.
Last time that I smelled your hair and prayed after your shower
Last time that we did your math during homeschool hours.

The last time you were M.J. In our games of five-and-go
Last time that you made an angel in the melting snow
I never even said good-bye to yesterdays long passed.
Would I have marked the moments....if I'd known they were your last.

Last karate lessons, and last football that you kicked
The last few weeks of middle school, last flowers that you picked.
Last time that you needed me for rides from here to there
The last time that you spent the night with that old teddy bear.

Last time that I helped you with a math or spelling test,
Last time when I shouted that you room was still a mess.
Time and life moved quicker, taking pieces of your past
Would I have stretched the moments...if I'd know that they were the last?

The last time that you needed help with the details of a dance
Last time that you asked me for advice about romance.
Last time that you talked to me about your hopes and dreams.
Last time that you wore a jersey for your high school team.

I watched you grow and never noticed seasons as they passed.
I wish I could've frozen time, to hold on to your lasts.
For come tomorrow morning life will never be the same.
You'll pledge forever to your girl, and she will take your name.

And I will watch you knowing God has blessed you with this day.
I never would have wanted, son, to somehow make you stay.
They say a son's a son until he takes for him a wife.
You're grown-up now; it's time to go and start your brand-new life.

One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss...
One last time to understand just how much you'll be missed.
I'll watch you leave and think how quickly childhood sped past.
Would I have held on longer.....if I'd known it was your last?
~Karen Kinsbury~

Friday, January 4, 2008

downtown Port Au Prince , Haiti

You rose into my life like a promised sunrise,
brightening my days
with the light in your eyes.
I've never been so strong. Now I am where I belong.
Maya Angelou

an adoption testimony

I am the mother of 11,
two came to me thru God thru international adoption.
We did much that the experts advised against when it came to adding to our family thru adoption. We adopted out of birth order and we adopted two unrelated children at once. Plus, our children were not newborns when they came home, they were 1.5 and pushing 5.
Our adjustment was hard.
Aside from the physical maladies our children came home with, malnourishment, parasites, giardia etc
they both came carrying a lot of emotional baggage.
Our sweet daughter, who was 4 yrs 8 months,
absolutely HATED me. She figured she was JUST FINE in Haiti. The orphanage life was all she knew. Haiti was all she knew.
Here I came and took her away from all that was familiar,
this white Amercian stranger,
and I took her to a whole new world, where people looked different, spoke a different language and her whole like was turned upside down.
She was EXTREMELY rebellious and defiant at first. She fought me emotionally and physically. She ran away from me, she tried so hard to press my buttons and do everything she possibly could to test me, temper tantrums were constant.
The 1 and a half yr old was broken and scared to death. He just clung to me and wouldnt let me go, but when I tried to love him he would scream and push me away. He was emotionally,
more like a 6 month old in many ways. He didnt know how to walk yet when he came home. He was very sick physically with parasites and giardia. He was totally afraid of caucasion people and thrust into a world were that is all he had. He was confused and grieving.
Our first 3 months were really touch and go. It was hard on me, my solid marriage and my whole family. I often prayed "Lord, what have we done???!"
The next 3 months were also hard. I just wanted everything to get back to normal. Around this time we went on a family camping trip. It was probably the hardest thing I ever did. The children totally broke down and this was the moment that I was at the end of my rope,
crying out
"I can NOT do this!!!"
But after that weekend it got easier. Little by little, landmark by landmark, milestone by milestone. We started to grow together as a family and fall in love and bond. Never was our adjustment all rosy and easy. never. But, when has God ever asked me to do anything easy for Him?
Now, years later, these children are as much mine as those that grew in my womb. We have been through so much together and we love, trust and respect each other. My now 9 yr old dd is such a help to me. She would do absolutely anything for me, her beloved mama. She is such a highly intelligent, sensitive and special human. Our 6 yr old son is the most affectionate, cuddly and intellegent boy around. He commands attention where ever he goes with his huge smile. People are just drawn to him .
I look at my two children and can not imagine this family wwithout them. Our 8 yr old bio son does not remember life before them. He and his 9yr old sister are as close as twins.
I look at them and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my daughter would not be alive today if she were not brought out of Haiti (she was so severely malnourished and close to death when brought to the missionary).
My son would either have died from childhood sicknesses,
or if he were still alive he wouldnt be the vibrant happy go lucky guy I know. He was so starving for love and neglected when he came to me.
These children are wonderful special gifts to this family. And they have an important purpose on earth. God obviously has a special plan for them to spare them from almost cetain death in the country of their birth. What an honor for this family to see what God has planned for them! What an honor to be used by God and to be a part of that plan.
In my way of looking at it,
adopting these hurt little human souls is something that I, as a Christian,
am commanded to do.
I liken my children to the beaten man, left on the side of the road to die by the thieves in the parable of the good Samaritan.
Children are left to die all over the world on a daily basis. I have heard stories from the missionary in Haiti that we adopted from, and from a missionary friend who lives in China
of having to literally step over dead babies in the street gutters in those countries. The missionary we adopted from has also found babies near death in garbage piles. Some she was able to save, others have died in her hands. I know these same stories are repeated all over the world and missionaries in Africa and other countries also deal with these types of tragedies all the time.
Sure it is easy in our rich country,
with our blessed lives to just not pay any attention to this. We need to stop turning our backs,
or thinking that we are too small to do anything to help. If each of us does one small thing to try and change the world our many small acts WILL make a difference. Granted,
I cant save the world,
but if I can help one child than I made a difference.
This isnt about *me* or about whether or not this was difficult or pleasant or all rosy and happy. This is about life and death.
We who are able must protect the meek.

Lia when she was first home

good-night mush recipe

I love to make crock pot oatmeal at least 3 days a week. I just throw the ingredients in the crock pot at night before bed and wake up in the morning to a hot breakfast ready for the children.
The basic recipe is just 1 cup of old fashioned oats to 3 cups of water. First I grease the crockpot with my healthy coconut oil,
then add the water and oats. Then I add a couple tablespoons of sucanet(raw sugar) and either a small handfull of frozen fruit (blueberries, raspberries or strawberries) or half a grated apple. Put the lid on and cook on low all night.
Wake in the morning and ~voila~ hot breakfast. I generally serve it in a bowl with a couple heaping tablespoons of organic yogurt mixed in and a drip of our home canned fruit pancake syrup.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I'm A Christian
By Maya Angelou
When I say
"I'm a Christian"
I'm not shouting
"I am clean livin"
I'm whispering "
I was lost"
Now I am found and forgiven.
When I say..."I am a Christian"
I don't speak this with pride.I'm confessing I stumble and
need Christ to be my guide.
When I say ..
" I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing I am weak
and need HIS strength to carry on.
When I say...
"I am a Christian"
I'm not braggin of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need GOD to clean my mess.
When I say...."I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are too visible, butGod believes I am worth it.
When I say ..."I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain,I have my share of heartachesSo I call upon HIS name.When I say...
"I'm a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,I'm just a simple sinner
Who recieved God's Grace

Wean Me Gently

Wean Me Gently
by Cathy Cardall

I know I look so big to you, Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have. But no matter how big we get,
We still have needs that are important to us. I know that our relationship is growing and changing,
But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness, Especially at the end of the day When we snuggle up in bed. Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.
I know you think I can be patient, Or find something to take the place of a nursing;
A book, a glass of something,
But nothing can take your place when I need you.
Sometimes just cuddling with you,
Having you near me is enough. I guess I am growing and becoming independent, But please be there.
This bond we have is so strong and so important to me, Please don't break it abruptly.

Wean me gently,

Because I am your mother,

And my heart is tender.

Shilohs birth story 7/22/06

Well lets just say that after weeks of nightly contractions that this night I was *hopeful* that this nights bout would turn into the real thing. The night before I had been up til 3AM contracting. The next morning I had some cramping and then became very hopeful when I passed the tiniest bit of bloody fluid. But as usual,
the contractions again quit for the duration of the day. I tried going for the long power walk,
even tried a spoon of castor oil in the afternoon to get things going again,
but it didnt seem that my body would cooperate.
Then towards evening,
along w/ my regular nightly cramps came another infantisimal amount of blood. I was hopeful that even if I didnt go that Friday night that at least we would have a babe sometime during the weekend.
It wasnt until around 10:00 immediately after I nursed Willow that one last time for the night the contractions seemed to pick up suddenly in fervor.
I went to sit on the birthing ball in front of the computer to send daughter Lacy and my email buddies a progress report on what was happening . Within 10 mins of sitting there I was having STRONG contractions 3-5 mins apart! It was so crazy. Mike walks in the room after a looong hard day. He had been up since 5am and was coming in to sit in front of the tv and doze off a bit in front of the news. He decided quickly he had best change his mindset on that plan when he came in to find me in sitting on the birthball breathing loudly through contractions that were so one on top of the other!
Willow suddenly decided that she didnt want to sit by Kailyn and watch cartoons and she started crabbing and wanting me. The last thing I could handle at that moment was nursing her. Her fussing was making me tense so I decided to retreat to the bath tub by 10:25. I assumed it would still be MANY hours til baby arrived,
but I just really needed to go somewhere and be alone. I always feel the need to retreat once active labor started. I figured I could get in and out of the bath tub through out the night,
not knowing that once I sat in there I wouldnt be getting out until I was holding my new baby.
I was so hopeful that as soon as I hopped in the hot water that I would feel instant relief. But it didnt happen. Although the contractions slowed down right away and stopped coming one on top of the other once I relaxed in the hot water in the dark room I was still taken aback by the intensity of them. i just could not find a comfortable position to sit in through the contractions and I found myself bracing myself and tensing right as the contractions were starting up. It didnt help that Willow was in the back ground crying out for me.
Mike popped in and asked what he could get for me,
I requested a candle so I wouldnt be sitting there in the black, and please call Joanna,
our new daughter in law, to come and help out. I really felt that I needed someone else here to help with Willow since my teens were still at camp this one last night,
and also I felt the need for a prayer warrior as this was so much stronger and hard to manage than I had aniticipated.I was not getting into the sensations of labor AT ALL at that moment.
Finally Mike got Willow to sleep(phew) and Joanna got here,
sometime right after 11 I believe.
I asked them to find a CD player and put on some quiet praise music for me. It was beautiful and really helped me thru the rest of the labor
At this point the contractions were still about 5 minutes, at least apart,
the same pattern they had been following since I sat in the tub, and pretty much the pattern they would follow up to the birth. Although they had a nice rest time, when they came upon me they were tremendous. They were so huge and the downward pressure was like nothing I had ever felt before in a labor. I still just could not find a comfortable position so I just sat up in the tub with a towel propped under my bottom to try and relieve some of the intense pressure during contractions.
I had tried to lay back against a couple rolled up towels against the small of my back for counter pressure for my back labor but it just was not hard enough. I asked Mike to get down and push on my back with all his strength, like he had done with all my other labors with each contraction. He was so strong and helpful and just always there. We worked as one the rest of the labor. I cant imagine him not being there.
As soon as Joanna arrived and she was right there in the bathroom with us I felt this overwhelming responsibility not to "lose it" . Although she is a new RN with her nursing license she had never even seen a birth in her training. She had seen bits and pieces of hospital labors but never the whole thing. I suddenly knew that it was up to me and my reactions to this birth and the incredibly STRONG contractions that would very much mold her idea of natural birth. I guess , even though laboring,
suddenly I felt like I had this responsibility to mentor her,
and I was soooooo afraid I couldnt handle it. I had plenty of time to sort things out and focus and think between contractions as they continued to stay far apart. I just kept thinking and praying , "lord, if they are this strong now how will I possibly handle this if it goes on for hours and hours???"
It took every ounce of self control that I could find deep inside me to try and relax through. As soon as the contractions would hit I would yell for Mike
which meant that he was to push on my back
and I would just drop my head onto my chest, relax and let my mouth droop,
as I tried to remain silent and surrender to the contraction. The whole time in my head, and sometimes out loud I was repeating "Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus" through each.
I asked Mike to please start praying out loud over me during the contractions to help me get through them. With each one then Mike would pray me through while pushing on my back as Joanna stood next to the tub also praying out loud over me through every single sensation. Joannas presence was also so essential to this birth. She was a rock with her strong faith.
A couple contractions were getting away from me and I started barking like a seal through them. At least one or two I whimpered through. Immediately after a contraction I was not focused enough on and started becoming too vocal I would become determined to be totally silent through the next. I prayed continually that God would help me stay focused and droop my head as Mike held my forehead and that I would stay as controlled as possible.
The intense intense downward pressure on my bottom continued through out. I decided that this was from bulging waters pressing against my cervix. I knew I could easily reach up there and break it w/ my fingernail to relieve the pressure and hurry baby up,
but instead I focused on the fact that I needed to rejoice in the fact that my baby had this cushion and was being protected from the strong contractions. So I started praying and thanking Jesus for the bag of waters instead of cursing it.
The other thing that helped me through each contraction was to visualize a graph chart in my head. As each contraction started I could see a line going up, up as the contraction peaked and then I would start making the line go down down (even before the contraction peaked~ LOL) and told myself it was going away now. I had this little picture in my head through all those last contractions.
I still at this point had this huge fear inside my head that I was fighting that these contractions were not getting closer together! Why arent they getting closer??? What if this still goes on til morning??? Oh Lord,
I cant handle this!
Right then I had another monster contraction and I was trying to visualize the line on the graph to go down but the pain wouldnt go down! It just held on and I thought something was wrong,
then it started to go down a bit on my pain chart but it immediately shot back up to a peakagain with out ceasing. This contraction was just hanging on and hanging on and I am saying to Mike
"push harder, push harder!"
and suddenly,
I felt my water breaking(!) and IMMEDIATELY that intense unbearable back and rectal pressure released! ahhhhhhhhhh, thank you Lord! thank you! it was such a wonderful relief.
Then IMMEDIATELY as the water broke my contractions changed where the pain left my cervix and was transferred to the top of my uterus.
I said under my breath and Mike caught it right away,
"oh good, I am here now"
I knew I was second stage and Mike knew right away what I meant when I said it.
I let the next two contractions go by, resisting any urge to push as I wanted to just make sure if there was a lip or anything that it had a chance to move to ful ldialation. But these next two contractions were just so much nicer and so much easier to just breathe through..
But by the third 2nd stage contraction I got this idea in my head that all I had to do was push this baby out and I would get that wonderful feeling of baby OUT. So next contraction,
that was it,
this babe was coming.
I decided just to lay back in the water and I say to Joanna,
"ok, this baby is coming now,
you need to pray specifically that I dont rip cuz this baby is coming NOW"
With that I did one huge push and pushed baby down ,
I call out to Mike "is the head crowning yet?
He says no.
So next contraction I push again and he yells "head crowning", as I yell through the burn he says "head out"
then I relax. Mike is already crying at this point and saying, "the head is out", kind of in a frantic way like I need to take care of that :))
between the contraction. I dont have a lot of relax time until I feel another contraction and another huge urge to get this out of me,
so then I push and it is burning and I keep pushing and Mike is crying "shoulders out" as I let out a yell and at that I feel that WONDERFUL GLORIOUS sensation of release as this little soul came out of my body!
oh RELIEF! nothing in all the earth is so splendid! and Mike yells out at that moment
As he grabs our baby and directs him up onto my belly. Immediately Joanna throws a towel on baby. I *did* get a glimpse as to what sex we had,
but neither of them even had time to catch it. I am holding our little manchild up to sitting and making sure he is taking a breath and getting the mucus moving as they are both asking "what is it? boy or girl???" and I am just smiling and refusing to give out any info at all. Joanna and Mike are both trying to do a bit of nose mucus sucking with the bulb and we are nice and reassured of his breathing before Mike can finally get around to peaking under the towel and he proclaims
"its a boy!"
Oh what crying and prasing God and joyful exaulting proceeded into the night!
In hind sight I see what a beautiful holy moment the night of this birth was. Of all my 9 personal birthing experiences this one was most definately one of the holiest and most peaceful. Gods presence was sooo evident through the entire labor and delivery and all three of us present felt His loving arms around us.
When looking for the name for this special guy we knew that we needed a special name to reflect the praise of the moment.
Our son has been named
"Shiloh Jude"
which means "praise the Lord" which are the words his blessed papa exclaimed as his son entered into this world,
on July 22, 2006
12:20 AM
7lbs 8oz
he is a miracle!
thank you, Jesus!