Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Blog...

Just a reminder, as I noticed this blog still has 5 followers, my new blog address is: Please keep up with us there.

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Blog

I am going to attempt a new feature that Blogger offers... exporting old blogs into new ones. Since we're not at the camp, using the camp name for my blog has seemed a little silly and requires some explanation at times. I've been working on starting a new blog at and hopefully, through the power of Blogger, I will be able to do so and still have my old posts easily accessible. This will also still hold the old blog name for me, in case something changes.

Hold on, this could be a fun ride! I'm no techy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hello From the Frozen Northwest

Life on the farm is different when everything is covered in snow and ice. The kids take extra bundling , the animals take extra care, and Momma needs extra coffee!!
Today is a great day to blog about though. The sky is blue, the sun is shining off the snow, making it sparkle brilliantly. The kids have gotten in some great sled runs both in the front yard area and down the big hill in the alpacas pasture.

It's especially fun watching the alpacas reaction to the sledding. They're already not sure about us and alpacas are so skitterish and uptight, yet slightly curious. It cracks me up.We had tried for a 1/2 hour or more to feed them alfalfa pellets by hand. Finally we got a nibble but we had all tired from the trying and it had lost its thrill. Then we threw them all off by sledding from the fence where we had been feeding them. When I say "we" I obviously mean just the kids!
In other news, we've already collected over 2 dozen eggs this morning. All the hens that came out of molt are really producing. Unfortunately we hit a weekend and then the ice storm back to back so we currently have 72 eggs to sell or give away. Normally Andrew brings them into work and they sell off pretty quick. The store is more convenient than our house for pick up. We need to sell as close to 2 dozen eggs a day as we can in order to cover the cost of their feed and scratch. They sure are yummy eggs, it's like they have a richer flavor. I'm really enjoying that side benefit of having chickens. If you want farm fresh eggs, delivered daily, just stop by the store!
Also, I've already been asked twice today if Eliza is coming soon and what my plan is with the bad weather coming. Today would be a good day to have her you know. I'll take it! Unfortunately, without questionable medication, I don't have control over it. I've gone on several walks, bounced on the ball until I was nearly sick, and drank plenty of tea among other things. It just isn't her time yet. Goodness, while I type this I still have 1 day left on my little count down clock. I'm not even late yet, and 42 weeks is still considered on time. I sure hope that count down clock is right! I wonder if it will self destruct tomorrow? So, my plan is to wait until I go into labor and then call everyone and if the someone can't come or is delayed I'll adjust from there.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TAGGED: 7 Random Book Facts

Tagged by Leslie, this is kind of a short, book themed, get to know you tag. Here's the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share seven random and/or weird book facts about yourself.

3. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

#1 On my side of the bed you'll find these books, "Boundaries", "Boundaries in Marriage", "Boundaries with Kids", and "Sister Freaks" a book compiled by Rebecca St. James containing short stories about women who gave up everything to serve the Lord. On Andrew's side of the bed you'll find these books, "Everything You Need to Know About Chickens" and "Goats".

#2 For fun I like to read Francine Rivers' historical fiction novels. Entertaining and educational!

#3 I like to keep books, they are like a treasure to me. I might share them with other people but, unless I have multiple copies, I don't give them away. The funny thing is I've never had a bookcase for them until this house. Previously they were stored in boxes. Now I have them all out and can realize which ones I actually never read!

#4 I did not read Beatrix Potter as a child, well maybe Peter Rabbit, but I love reading them now with the kids. I believe it was all the Aunts on Andrew's side who first gave me our little books set when Josiah was born. Now I have two sets, the Complete Tales, and a study guide.

#5 If you read "Good Night Gorilla" did you notice the balloon working it's way up to the moon throughout the whole book? Or the people in the window watching the zookeeper go back and forth (starts with one, then two, then three nosey neighbors).

#6 I would love to write a devotional book but when I was asked to be a contributor to a local book being compiled I found I could not keep it to the minimum wordage. Hmmm, what a surprise.

#7 The book that first ignited my love of reading I can't even remember the name of but it was a biography about Helen Keller's teacher Annie Sullivan. I still love stories about peoples lives!

OK. Time to Tag...

Cheryl: Davis Family Chronicles

Beth: Finding Joy in the Journey

Alyssa: Best of the Worst

Maria: Living in Korea

Sherry: Spice Mama

Melanie: Please Don't Ride the Kitty

Krista: Fields of the HarvestLink

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Waiting for Eliza

So, in the midst of all these animals...

Survivor with his two quiet friends.
Just a few more days and hopefully he'll have some new friends.

Sugar Brown and Stormy with the girls on a beautiful winter day!

and the holiday season busyness...

Here's the kids' tree, set up in the school room.

...we're still expecting a baby.

All I told Josiah was to make sure you could see all my belly. I guess I should have mentioned to get my head in there, too!

Pregnancy wise, I'm doing well, anxious, of course, to meet this little one. If anyone ever doubted that there could be equal amounts of enthusiasm for subsequent children, once they've had their first, well, let me tell you... it actually seems to grow. Not only am I excited to meet Eliza, I'm excited to see her with each of her siblings. Since I have a few kids now, I'm fully aware of how different each child is. Who will Eliza be? Her entrance will add new dimensions to us. She will change our family. Wow!

Visiting the huge, decorated Willamette University trees.

It seems odd that at this late in the game I've been receiving a lot of questions over our choice to have this baby at home. I'm not the best at debating or convincing people - not that others need to be convinced about my choices but I guess that's a whole other conversation!! Anyway, I came across a posting on another blog that hit the nail on the head of what I've been dealing with in regard to other people and their fears or opinions. I can't wait to tell you about my experience in hindsight but for right now I'm just full of great expectation and peace.

The other night I had 3 hours of contractions and thought, "This could be it." It was so nice to distract myself with dishes and laundry and to just be myself through it all. This of course was only a taste of what is coming but I love how empowered I feel.

The practice labor was also enough to prompt Andrew to test run the birthing tub... without water of course but we needed to see how it would fit in the room.

Men really have no clue about labor.

I don't think many "homebirthers" share about their choice because of the automatic negative/shocked response that you get so frequently. The sad thing is, I'm sure I did the same thing. (Ditto on the cloth diapers... yes, we're doing that, too! It seems so much easier these days.)

As I've asked around I've been able to hear some wonderful homebirth stories and I've also seen such a difference in the experiences I had in my hospital deliveries and the ones I
found looking online at homebirthing videos and blogs. Gentle, peaceful, loving... No nurses manhandling the little ones, moving them around like little inconvenient footballs. And, rather than being checked every hour or so during labor, my midwife and assistant will be with me the whole time, constantly monitoring the baby and I. I feel very good about that.

Well, anyway, there are some of my thoughts going into
this. Hopefully it will be soon when I can tell more about it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Life on the Farm - the Hard Part

People say, "That's so hard." Hard for who? How hard? Hard like tough or hard like painful? Each persons hard is different, too. So, really when other people tell you it's going to be hard, it's all relative. Today for us was a hard day, hard like painful. It was a day that I knew would come with all the animals. We've been taking a lot of risks and with that comes responsibility and, at times, pain.

Our little chicks were really coming along this morning. We had one little guy completely out of his shell but his umbilical cord still stuck to the shell and he toted it around with him all over the incubator. We named him Trailer since he looked like he had a trailer. The chick who had started cracking open his shell first was still working away at it and getting closer and closer to emerging. There were also two other chicks making progress on their shells. Then there were three left that we weren't sure what would happen with. Technically not "due" until tomorrow we were optimistic that maybe even they would still hatch. I was aware that 100% hatch rate is very rare but thought at least this would be a good, tiny lesson in life and death for the kids if they didn't make it.

Sadly, through human error, the incubators temperature was accidentally turned up. By the time we got back from AWANA it had reached 110*. It needs to be kept at or very close to 101*. The scene we found was hard to see after all the joy we experienced in watching the effort each chick made, celebrating the success when one came out, and anticipating the others arrival. The chick who had been working the longest to get out never made it. Despite the fact that another chick got out of the shell, he did not make it either, and was lying along the side of the incubator, lifeless. There was another chick who'd made just enough progress to poke his beak out but he was dead, too. The other eggs showed no sign of life but we're leaving them another day just to make sure. Amazingly, Trailer was still walking around, cheeping and he had finally lost his shell, though we knew it was him because of the drying umbilical cord hanging from behind (his hitch as it were). Josiah thought we should rename him Survivor. We're still not sure if he's out of the woods or if his health has been so adversely affected that it's only a matter of time. I have to say, he looked better than ever and I am optimistic. Andrew is putting together the brooder for him. He'll be lonely for a few days but we have more chicks expected next week.

We took the three chick's little bodies and buried them between some trees in the side yard. We'll add a little cross tomorrow. It's hard knowing they were so close to life and, by a mistake we made, their life was snuffed out. The kids are all taking it differently. It's interesting how they grieve with their different personalities and ages. I did have a chance to pray with them and remind them that God knows how painful death is. We can go to him and know he understands the depth of our pain. I was also thankful that I had experience with death because I felt like I was able to lead them through this in healthy ways. Still... it's hard.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Lately I've been reading the book Boundaries. It's been hard to read but really good to. I think the easiest things to glean from it are based on raising the kids with good boundaries. The harder parts are understanding where my boundaries are not and applying good boundary setting for myself. It's hard to say, "No" and quite frankly, sometimes it's hard to say, "Yes." I think for now that's as far as I'll go into that part of things. Gotta set some boundaries on what I share you know! :)

It's also hard to allow other people to make their own choices and allow them the experience their own consequences, too. In theory I'm completely on board with that but in reality... well, it's hard to see people in pain or struggling. I think it's a natural compulsion to try to relieve other people's pain. I had to force myself to experience some of that this morning as one of our little chicks is starting to hatch. We were expecting them Thursday but I guess this little guy was ready. (Yes, I'm sure you're thinking what I was thinking, "Why does the egg get to hatch early but Christy doesn't get to go into labor early?)

He started last night with a little, teensy crack at the top of the shell and an occasional rocking of the egg. This morning we could see a tiny hole and sometimes even see his little beak poke around.

Here's the video I took of the kids discovering the hatching action... once again it's in sideways mode. I realized it halfway through but thought changing over would make people sick. Sorry! Towards the end, if you're aware, there is one little "cheep" you can hear.

By this evening he already has a tiny section cracked off, he can poke just the tip of his beak out and he's cheeping. It's been such a long, tedious process and now that he's cheeping that pitiful cheep it's become harder and harder to keep my hands off of him. I just want to rip that shell off and free him from his bondage. I know the deadly consequences of interfering though. He needs this struggle to give him life... but he's calling for me, soon he'll be able to see me and still the best thing I can do for him is to let him work his way out on his own. So, I'm keeping the end result in mind: a strong healthy chick who has overcome the biggest obstacle in his short life. Imagine the pride in doing it himself! How could I even consider taking that away from him?

An interesting thing about a chick is that the face that he first sees when hatching is embedded in his mind as being his mother, not as some evil, selfish, non-helpful bystander. Who knows what goes on in the mind of the chick to make that happen. Perhaps in the midst of his struggle he's actually cursing me for not helping him out but with time and perspective he'll appreciate the fact that he can stand and walk and he cannot help but love the one who chose to allow him those gifts rather than interfering with a short term solution that would have resulted in long term failure.

Fascinating. So many applications to life!!