Thursday, May 31, 2012

{P, H, F, R} I ❤ Instagram

round button chicken

If it weren't for Instagram, there are weeks I wouldn't have any photos for these posts.  Thankfully I almost always have my phone with me so I don't miss any great photo ops.

The 12 year old has confiscated my phone and has taken over Instagram.  She has uploaded some lovely photos. I love seeing the world through her eyes.  Her eyes are just gorgeous in this sample.

It was downright chilly on Saturday.  It even snowed in the mountains.  Who doesn't love a nice big pot of chili when it's cold out?  The extra beer is what makes me happy ;)

Skoshi A takes the boys on several walks a day so that I can get my work done around the house.  She does this voluntarily.  I think she does it so she can play with the camera on my phone.  I found this shot on my Instagram and just had to laugh.  

We have lovely terraced landscaping with lots of huge granite boulders.  The kids insist on climbing around on the rocks and often try their luck jumping from boulder to boulder.  I think these battle scars are the third set of such wounds for Lil' Wingnut.  Do you think he's learned his lesson yet? Not likely.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spoke Too Soon

Just after I published my last post regarding Oleander's mysterious ailment, Sister Hope called to update me on their latest trip to the new family doctor.  Oleander's new doc will be testing her for Lyme Disease (as suggested by some dear family friends of ours), and for various food allergies, based on our family history of food issues.  So far so good, right?  Then the doctor suggested Oleander begin taking an antidepressant, just in case this really is just a case of homesickness manifesting itself as a physical symptom.  Excuse me?  Every doctor she has seen has noted Oleander is very well adjusted and happy in her current pursuits.  Not a single one has suggested she is depressed, or homesick.  But this doctor wants to put my child on a controlled substance just in case she just might be a tad bit homesick???  That sounded crazy to both Sister Hope and myself.  That is one prescription we will not be filling, at least not even considered until Oleander has been tested for the other possibilities.

Oh, by the way, Oleander was still having digestive issues even when at home with us in April.  We'll keep an eye on it when she comes home for the summer, but as often as we have visited the possibility, the resounding consensus from the Sisters, most of the doctors, Oleander, Wingnut and I is Oleander has a mysterious stomach problem, but is otherwise healthy and content. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mysterious Ailment

To date, Oleander has seen 3 family practice docs, one surgeon and one gastrointestinal specialist.  She has been on meds for IBS, had an ultrasound, a HIDA scan, been tested for Celiacs, and gastroparesis, and had a complete blood work-up.  The conclusion is that she is perfectly normal and there just isn't an explanation for her ailment.  Since she only seems to be in discomfort for a short time after each meal, and is otherwise happy and content, the docs have decided to just wait and see if this just eventually resolves on its own.  All good news in my book.

The question has been raised, could her ailment be related to her unusual living situation, or home sickness.  Believe me, we have all visited this question on more than one occasion, and the overwhelming consensus has been, Oleander is incredibly happy and well adjusted and would have nothing but pursuit of her vocation as is.

And so we are left with the mystery, and to just wait it all out. She has begun taking probiotics, and we are hopeful they will help, but there is not much else to be done than to continue to pray for her. Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, May 25, 2012


Beside physical therapy, this is how I'm making it through the day. The caffeine helps pump the Aleve through my bloodstream quickly. That's what I tell myself. Don't judge.

Some days are better than others, but at least there is always slow progress to recovery.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

{P,H,F,R} May 24, 2012

round button chicken

During the eclipse on Sunday, I caught this image of a very pensive Special K.  She looks like a little doll.

We had a dump truck load of composted soil delivered to our garden.  One of our neighbors saw Wingnut and Special K working away at the pile.  He pulled up in his step steer loader and set to work.  It took him 20 minutes to spread the soil.  Apparently he's a marauding neighbor and looks for opportunities to use his  loader.  He reminds me of a very happy boy, playing with his trucks in the dirt.

Lil' Lamb has caught the baseball bug.  He's not a very good pitcher. . . or batter. . . or catcher.

We also had two dump trucks of gravel delivered.  Our marauding neighbor did not volunteer to help spread the rock.  Wingnut and the kids have worked for four hours so far, moving and spreading rock by hand, although they are using the wheelbarrow hooked up to the tractor.  They've hardly made a dent.  Our intention is to have the teenagers work away at it this weekend, but we may have to buckle down and rent one of those nifty step steer loaders from Ace Hardware.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Modern Day Magdalene

Kat's confession on Patheos yesterday had to be one of the most courageous things I've ever read.  She puts a truly human price on abortion.  Read her post, cry with her, and pray for her.

"For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God."
Romans 3:23
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Giddy with Excitement

The Archdiocese of New York has a lion at the helm.  Too bad the USCCB is not a party in the suit itself, but I remain hopeful that will soon come.

I'm also proud to have come from the Archdiocese of Washington whose fearless Cardinal has an entire website devoted to preserving religious freedom.

If you're curious as to which entities are joining in the stand down you can find the list here.  Hopefully many more will join suit--pun intended.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Eclipse May 20, 2012

We had fairly good conditions for viewing the Eclipse on Sunday.  Wingnut got the Celestron and solar filter set up and we spent two hours "oohing" and "ahhhhhing" over the solar display.  There were some wonderfully prominent sun spots to view as well.  Super cool!  The children invited the neighborhood kids to take a gander as well.  It was a truly enjoyable evening.

I wish I had purchased a solar filter for my Canon, but as it was, I was pretty pleased with the photos I got placing my camera directly on the telescope's eye piece.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

{P,H,F,R} May 17

round button chicken


This is one of the views from our house.  The one lonely little tree near the top cracks me up.

Our happy little impy boy

Lil' Wingnut has claimed one of my pot lids as his Captain America sheild.

Now that he's mobile, we spend a lot of time chasing Lil' Lamb.

He loves to climb,

And climb,

And climb.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An Extra Pair of Hands

Karate Kid came home for the summer.  She just completed her first year in college, and she survived!  Not only did she survive, she flourished and received pretty decent marks in her classes.  Not only did she flourish, she excelled!  Her Freshman Seminar professor was especially complementary of her writing skills.  He recommended her for a tutoring position, which she unfortunately did not get due to a little nepotism but then that's life.  After grading her final, her professor sent her an email exclaiming it was the best first draft essay he had ever read in his nine years of teaching.  So what does this talented writer declare as her major?   Biopsychology, of course.  Karate Kid, suddenly a realist, feels there just isn't a future in obtaining an English degree.  Medicine is where it's at.  At least she finds the material interesting and challenging.  Who am I to argue?

One of the best things about having her home is how she just dives in and starts helping out.  Poor little Skoshi A has had a heavy load around here as a 12 year old.  Between being the oldest at home most of the day, and my being fairly incapacitated with my neck injury, she is pretty burnt out on homemaking and childcare.  Karate Kid has jumped right in helping with housework, childcare, and driving JayP to and from school.  She's also taken over teaching science to the younger three kids.  Skoshi A was way behind in doing her labs with my being laid up.  So far they have all been blood typed and have done a couple chromotography labs, and they've had fun while learning.  

We are so thankful to have our collegian home for the summer.  Life is definitely looking up :) Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lil' Lamb at 15 Months

Lil' Lamb turned 15 months last Friday, so I'm a tad late posting this.  That's the story of my life these days.  

He has really changed a ton this month. His personality is really emerging and it is pretty hilarious.  He's become very vocal and social.  He loves to yell, "Hi!" to anyone who will listen.  

He has also learned that antagonizing siblings is hysterical.  He laughs with glee at the sound of hard objects hitting his siblings in the head.  He loves for them to fake cry, or really cry.  It doesn't matter to him.  He'll then run to me and lay his head in my lap like he's the one that needs sympathy. It's a great game.  

Another favorite is hide and seek.  He'll run throughout the house seeking his playmate and then squeal in abject terror when they jump out at him.  He'll then run away giggling.  

Lil' Lamb loves, loves, loves being outside.  In fact, we can't even say the word "outside" anymore, we have to spell it.  I'm sure by next month, he'll know how to spell it, too.

The little man of the perpetually dirty face.

He still makes the funniest faces.

Especially when he's babbling at me.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

{P,H,F,R} 5/10

round button chicken

Special K's party had a cowgirl theme. Gammy played along and made this awesome cowgirl outfit for one of Special K's dolls.

Lil' Wingnut is finally playing on a baseball team.  He was ecstatic to play catcher, the only position allowed to sit down during the game. LOL!

He actually did a commendable job stopping missed pitches and throwing the ball back to the coach.  He had much more action than did the infield players.

He also hit both times at bat the very first pitch tossed to him.  This was a double.

I caught Lil' Lamb entertaining himself sitting in his basket of toys.  

I've been staring at this very distinctly greasy handprint on my glass door for the last several weeks. Funny how it just doesn't mysteriously clean itself off the glass. Sigh.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Another Update

The last two weeks have taught me I am not cut out for suffering.  It has been hellish being in this much pain with no relief from anything tried. My family doc referred me to physical therapy, but of course I had to wait a few more days to get in.  Last Thursday was the worst.  Wingnut had a trip and I needed to do the school run for JayP and host Special K's birthday party.  Not 5 miles from the house I had to pull over because I was about to faint from the pain.  JayP ended up having to drive the 12 passenger van the rest of the way to school.  I'm honestly not sure how I made it back home, but I have a strong suspicion it involved guardian angels.

Skoshi A and her neighborhood friend ended up planning, cooking for, and hosting the party, as well as cared for and entertained Lil' Lamb.  I spent the day in bed, in the dark, with the door closed. They did a fantastic job with the party and it sounded like the gaggle of little girls had an absolute blast.

One of the few new friends I've made since moving here had been kept abreast of my suffering and had, on several occasions, offered help.  While in my infirmary I checked my email and saw she was once again offering help.  It was definitely time to take her up on it.  Until that email I had no idea how JayP would make it home from school.  This dear, new friend came from the opposite side of Ogden, picked him up from school, and brought him to our side of the Wasatch.  She drove an hour out of her way to do this and then thanked me for letting her help.  What a treasure!

Friday I had my first physical therapy appointment, and I think we've finally turned the corner. The physical therapist feels I do have a disk problem, somewhere around C7.  I am getting relief from the agonizing shooting pain, and I've finally ceased to look like Quasimodo.  He's using a combination of stretching, straightening exercises, and traction.  I love me some traction!  It's the only time I am completely pain free.  The shooting pains down my arm are intermittent, my finger tips are still numb, but I'm feeling much more human and much more optimistic.

Amazingly, the house has not fallen into complete ruin, and the children have not reverted to savagery, much thanks to Wingnut for staying on top of laundry and obvious needs and to Skoshi A for stepping up as surrogate mommy.  Lil' Lamb just loves her!

Oleander had an appointment with a gastroenterologist last week and he has referred her for more testing. He's having her tested for Celiac's disease and gastroparesis.  Both of which, he feels are long shots, especially the second choice, as it is seen usually only in the elderly and diabetics.  He also feels if neither of these diseases tests positive, her symptoms are not worrisome enough for further exploration and may just resolve on their own.  Please keep her in your prayers. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Feast of Our Lady of Lujàn

May 8 is a special day of celebration for the Sister Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará.  They have placed their order under the special patronage of Our Lady of Lujàn of Argentina.  Happy feast day to all our friends in the IVE, SSVM, and especially to our dear Oleander.  May Our Lady protect and guide you!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Praying for Holy Sons

I stumbled across this community on Pinterest yesterday and it definitely struck a chord with me.  Having three sons in this day is a real challenge, and while I always have prayed for my children, I love the directed purposefulness of this prayer challenge.

21 Days of Prayer for Sons is a web community of prayer and support for mothers of sons.  A new 21 day cycle began May 1, but it is never too late to begin.  Brooke McGlothlin's companion book Warrior Prayers is easily downloaded in any format, including eBook format, Nook, and Amazon Kindle, and is very reasonable at $3.99. It is an easy read, filled with wonderful insight, study questions, and directed prayers. If you are a mother of sons, join me in specifically lifting them up in prayer for the next 21 days.

These are my beloved sons.  I am praying they grow to be the strong, holy, God-fearing men, God Wills them to be.
JayP, 16 years old

Lil' Wingnut, 5 years old

Lil' Lamb, 14 months

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012


A most happy and blessed birthday to our beautiful princess, Special K. We love you so very much and cannot imagine a world without you in it! There is just something about you that makes us smile.  We are so thankful for the gift of you!

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