Monday, December 13, 2010

Spoiled Good

Leif is not spoiled rotten, I prefer to think of it as spoiled good.
With seven older siblings, plus a Mom and a Dad who simply cannot resist His Adorableness, the babe has got it made. And yet he is able to maintain the sweetest disposition...none of the attention goes to his head.
Amelia is his phone secretary.

Micah makes sure his stuffed bear is always handy.

Dante supervises his jumparoo time.

Sunny is way more comfy than the couch.
Wait!! Why is Dante climbing on Daddy's back, leaving poor Leif to watch??
We do love our little Leif Kristian!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Blessings Grow!

The Blessings being our 8 children, of course! Leif is pictured here (with Nikita) wearing the very outfit that Dante 4 years ago when we flew home with him. I had saved it for sentimental reasons, not knowing we would have our Little Leif to wear it.

Just this morning I went through a box of clothes for Leif, pulling out the next size larger since he is growing. Leif has plenty of outfits to wear. My picking for Dante have been pretty slim, though; I have only had a rotation of 3-4 shirts for him.

What a blessing we received this afternoon though!! His bus driver asked me if he could use some clothes, if I do not mind used. I told her we love hand me downs! She stopped by a few minutes later with two boxes of clothing from one of her fellow drivers. Dante now has 8 new long sleeve shirts in beautiful condition. There were also about 8 pairs of pants, which will go to Micah since Dante might be a size 4-5 on top but still wears only size 2-3 in pants.

God is good!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting ready for His birthday

My grandmother made this Nativity scene a very long time ago. The kneeling Mary is about 12 inches high, so this is a large set that I absolutely love.

This is a hanging countdown to Christmas quilt. This year we filled each pocket with candy and are using it as our Advent Calendar.

Alexander is helping Sunny get out today's candy.

Amelia and her big brother are making some stars to hang for Christmas decorations.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Laundry Solution

I enjoy washing my laundry. In the Summer especially, when I can hang it out and fold each piece later as it comes of the line. Right about now though, I get really bad at laundry. I have no problem washing, but then it comes out of the dryer in a pile and sits in the laundry basket.

Yesterday I realized I had three loads piled up in the basket sitting in our dining area. It being Fall and piles of leaves in every yard, I thought of the perfect solution! I will set aside a room for clean laundry, and just throw it in until a huge pile forms. Then, instead of diving into a pile of leaves, the kids can dive into the pile of laundry and fish around until they come out dressed. Hopefully in their own clothes.

Unfortunately I do not have a spare room!

What I have done is taken index cards and written each name on one, plus one for "pajamas" and one for "closet". These are folded in half like name cards at the table. I line them up along the table, then Amelia and I start folding and stacking. Micah and Sunny help in spurts, but Amelia really enjoys it. Afterwards, we each carry a pile upstairs where they are unceremoniously dumped into a drawer. It works, if you do not mind a few wrinkles!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Speech

Amelia, Micah, and Dante all have hypothyroidism, which is not unusual in people with down syndrome. (Sunny has no medical issues.) This means that every 6 months they each have to have blood drawn and we go into Worcester for an appointment with the Endocrinologist. Each visit, and they are not seen together, costs me a $10 copay, $10 in gas, and $3 in at least 3 hours interupting everyone's homeschool day.

For the seven years that Amelia has been our daughter, she has never had a problem with her hormone levels. So I decided to convince the doctor that she does not need to be seen by him every 6 months, once a year will do. In my speech I was even going to say that I do not mind doing the blood draw and seeing her Primary Care physician in the middle 6 months. I had it all planned out in my mind.

However, my plans were not His plans. The doctor beat me to my speech with one of his own. He decided that since Amelia has never needed a med change, that we should take her off the medication and see how she does. This means in 3 months we have to do a blood draw and I have to consult with him on the phone, than do another blood draw three months later and we have her regular 6 month appointment. I guess I'll have to save the speech for Micah and Dante's appointments coming up in February!


In other news: Leif has his first tooth! It is barely there, but has definitely broken through. He was mildly cranky this week, but nothing big. Yesterday we also switched him to a crib. My baby has outgrown the bassinet! Jamie decided we should keep the bassinet, "just in case".
Look at this boy! Can you believe he is only 4 months old?!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Leif Loves...

...sucking on two fingers, because two is better than one.

...people watching at the airport while waiting for Nana and Poppy, because babies are cute when they stare at people.

...holding onto his left foot, because he can.

...blowing razzberries, because it makes Mommy and Daddy laugh.

...rolling over and sticking his fist in the air when he wakes up, because he is the victor.

...eating mashed banana, because it is yummy.

...dancing in his jumparoo, because merely bouncing in it is for beginners.

Leif Loves Life!!


Missing dad, called home three years ago today.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wolf Cub Micah

Micah absolutely loves being a Cub Scout! He went bowling tonight with his den, and is just one of the boys there. He does tend to take his kerchief off, but he did put it back on. His fellow scouts were great about helping him and making sure he knew when it was his turn. I am very thankful Micah has this group to take part in, since he is so happy to put on his uniform, grab his "wolf book" and head off to a den meeting!

This photo is not the best since I had to use my cell phone, which is from the dark ages of technology. Trust me, he is the most adorable scout ever!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Angel Tree

Today Reece's Rainbow begins their Angel Tree campaign! The goal is to raise at least $1000 for every orhpan waiting for a home. It is an undeniable fact that adoption is expensive, and raising grants specifically for each child will help a family be able to adopt them. Due to various restrictions Jamie and I can not adopt from China, but we want to help a child there have a home, and little Zachary is definitely in need of a loving family. Please visit to learn more about the program-- such as how the donations are used and how you can receive an ornament for your sponsorship. Please visit the chipin gadget on the sidebar to help us raise money for Zachary!

Friday, October 29, 2010

An Amazing Woman

Tonight at work I had the opportunity to wait on a woman and her two adult sons. Her sons both have down syndrome. I often see families dining out with a child who is clearly adopted, or a child with down syndrome. I do not usually initiate conversations with them, because they are simply looking to have dinner out, not necessarily to get into a conversation with me.

I could not resist, though, since I really could not tell if this woman was their caretaker, or mother. So at the end of their meal begged her pardon but told her I was curious. I am so glad to have spoken with her! Her sons were both adopted, the elder being 51 and the younger 31. She was a special education teacher and they both (years apart!) were in her classroom. Her elder son's birthmother died when he was born, and he was put into an institution out in Western New York where they live. He was 9 when she met him in her classroom and adopted him. The younger son was born in South Korea. His family was in the States on a professor exchange program, and they desired for him to be adopted while they were here so he could have a future.

To have adopted a child out of an institution 42 years ago is just mind boggling!! This woman--and her husband and biological children-- really put themselves out there to give those two boys (men now!) a home. I also shared briefly with her about our adoption experiences.

God crossed our paths only briefly tonight, they are from New York and are here visiting family, so I will never see them again and do not even know her name. What a blessing it was to have the brief conversation with her that I did, though!

No Teenagers!

Nikita is off to California to spend two weeks with my cousin and her family. Alexander and Zachary are off to New York to spend the weekend with my brother and his wife. That leaves just me and Jamie! And Amelia, Sunny, Micah, Dante, and Leif. When did we get so many kids??

Some people do think we are nutty, especially since four of our blessings have down syndrome. We do rely on the teens to do their part in family life, yet that does not mean we fall apart while they are gone. Jamie probably has it toughest each night, since the manager at Cracker Barrel thought she was being nice by giving me lots of hours (I only wanted 2 nights a week, not 4), and Leif is still reluctant to take a bottle. Dante adds to the interest by taking off up the stairs, and he now can climb out of his crib. I found that out when I found him sitting in the tub...fully dressed and waiting for someone to turn the water on--- he loves his bath! Dante also lets us know he would like some food by going to the table and climbing into his chair. He lets us know he would like some food NOW by climbing onto the table and throwing everything off.

I kept Dante home from school today because of his yucky cold. While I was feeding Leif Dante decided to climb up into his chair. Thankfully Amelia noticed and served him a bowl of applesauce. She really can be very helpful, she just overdoes it every now and then.

We decided to have a "Little Bear"marathon today since Amelia and Micah also have yucky colds. They watched and learned about caterpillars, butterflies, and more while I made a batch of laundry soap, did two loads, put dinner in the crockpot, and made a chocolate chip pie.

The videos are done and Amelia is currently at the table directing Micah and Sunny in letter writing, she is having them write their names. I think I am the housekeeper and she is the schoolteacher! At least that means I was the one to lick the batter bowl while she was busy saying "ok, let me help" to Sunny!

We are blessed!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Are we there yet?

I am not sure where "there" is, but this last week has been sooo long I feel like I should have gotten somewhere by now.

I always pictured homeschooling as so calm and structured, with devotions every morning, lots of school work being accomplished, and the occasional fun and educational gathering or field trip with other families.

Not this year!

Mornings are nutty, but once Dante is off to school things are calmer here. Lately though there have been a lot of appointments and running around. Amelia needed blood drawn, Micah and Amelia each had a dental cleaning, Roxanne needed the vet, and Nikita has been going to do stable chores every morning to make up for her upcoming trip. Thankfully Nana and Poppy have been driving her there, but it is still a disruption to our mornings and is effecting her schoolwork.

Despite the lack of time sitting at the table practicing handwriting, we have gotten a lot of informal schooling done. The girls love setting the table and counting out place settings, Amelia helps with the pony and goat chores, and Signing Time is always available to teach them signs and increase vocabulary.

And Micah is a cub scout now! Monday I was so far behind that I paid Alexander to take Micah to his den meeting. Micah absolutely loves it. Zachary even walked him up to Nana and Poppy's to sell them some popcorn for the fundraiser. He is so cute in his uniform. (Still missing our camera so no photos!)

Sadly, I returned to work at Cracker Barrel yesterday, ending 5 months of leave. It was Leif's first time ever having to take a bottle, and he did not appreciate it. He is such a good baby though, Jamie reported that instead of crying too much he fell asleep after struggling through just one ounce of mommy milk from a bottle. He was hungry when he woke up at midnight though!

When I slow down to think about it, our busyness has not been bad, but a sign of how God has blessed us. We have good medical insurance for all the specialist appointments, we have a great dentist for the little ones nearby, we are able to go on fun field trips (Nana went with us to Westview Creamery on Wednesday), and the teens are willing to volunteer their time to help others. And I have an employer that let me come back after five months off! Unfortunately these days whenever I slow down enough to appreciate these things I usually fall asleep...until Leif decides it is time to nurse again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not the best birthday

Today ends "Birthday Week-ish" in our house. Last Sunday the 3rd was Sunny's 9th birthday, Wednesday the 6th was Amelia's 7th Gotcha Day Anniversary, Friday the 8th was my ** birthday, Saturday the 9th was "Leif Ericson Day" (Baby Leif's namesake), and today is the birthday of my brother Jim, and of Dante.

Dante did not appreciate being dragged out of bed at 6am on his birthday. At 7am Zachary, Amelia, Dante, Leif and I left for our 1 hour and 13 minute drive to Dante's appointment in Watertown. At 9:15 we arrived there. Oh how I love the drive in the morning traffic towards Boston.

This morning was Dante's second evaluation at the Low Vision Clinic at Perkin's School for the Blind. Dante was pretty good, for a little while. He really does not like the eyedrops, and after awhile began to show some resistance to the exam. Thankfully I had my second son along (I am not supposed to mention Zachary's name on the blog), and he and I took turns holding Dante and Leif. Amelia was in charge of distracting Dante for the interns so he would look in the right direction.

Dante is nearsighted, and has astigmatism. When I asked Dr. Kran where he recommends we go for an optician he suggested Waltham Children's Hospital, while acknowledging it is only 15 minutes from the clinic but over an hour from our house. Well, in the Lord's impeccable timing it turns out Dante has an Augmentive Communications appt at that very place coming up on November 5th.

So the kids and I hopped in the van and drove over to order Dante some spectacles. This time he made it abundantly clear that he had no desire to try on frames. The optician and I were able to overrule his protests, and we will pick up his glasses (hopefully!) on November 5th.

Thankfully, all was forgiven when Amelia fed Dante a Happy Meal while I drove home! Maybe his 5th birthday is turning out pretty good after all....chicken nuggets, french fries, no school and therapies, plus a nice long nap when we arrived home.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Leif does not know...

Leif does not know that his big sister Amelia has Down Syndrome. He does not know how many people think she is odd, or how many strange looks she gets from other children. Leif does not know that she is the girl with Down Syndrome the Lindsays adopted, instead of Jamie and Kelly's daughter.

Leif does know that when his big sister Amelia holds him on her lap he feels secure and loved. He knows that she sings beautiful songs to him. He hears Amelia say "Awww Leif honey honey" when he cries, and he calms when she pats his back. Leif knows she has a beautiful smile, and he gives her one in return. When he is hungry, his Amelia makes sure that I know he needs "Mommy milk". Leif knows that she will keep his musical toys playing for him, since at 3 months he has not quite yet figured out his hands.

Leif adores Amelia.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Blessing!

Two years ago Dante participated in therapy riding. Unfortunately when he turned three we had to stop, since insurance no longer covered it when he turned three, and we could not afford the cost ourselves. I have wished many times the little ones could ride, for strength and for confidence.

Since that time Nikita has discovered her love of horses, and her many trips to the 4-H stables also caused Amelia and Micah to enjoy time with horses. I suggested to Nikita recently that we pray for someone to give us a shetland pony. I certainly could not afford therapy for 4 children if I could not afford it for 1! It seemed that owning a pony was the only way to provide riding time for the children.

In her web wanderings Nikita came upon a pony that was being given away. Roxanne is a 20 year old shetland pony who is partially blind and needed a new home. Her owners decided we would be a good home, and a friend helped us find transportation. And Roxanne moved in this past Saturday!!
This photo is the one Nikita first saw of her.

Roxanne is settling in well, and the goats welcomed her into their enclosure. Jamie and the teens spent Saturday doubling the size of it, giving them more than 2000 square feet to roam! The triplets are thrilled; they have enjoyed grooming her and learning safety awareness around her.

We couldn't have found a more gently pony for our family.
God is good!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's 5AM, Do you know where Micah is?

Jamie is up at 5AM every week day-- one morning this week he got up and was about to head up to the shower when he noticed Micah. Sitting at the table. Eating peanut butter. In the dark. At 5 in the morning!?!?

Maybe it is time for a motion detector in his bedroom doorway?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our Wolf Cub

Today Micah joined Cub Scouts! He is in a den with four other boys, and had his first meeting today. Micah followed along quite well. He was a little confused with the scout sign; he thought it should be three fingers in the air rather than two. His reasoning made perfect sense--- wolf starts with a "w" and three fingers is the alphabet sign for "w". He did ask a few times where the wolf was and when it would get there. There is the possibility that I overplayed the excitement of becoming a wolf cub.

Now that I know Micah is going to like scouts, we will go out and buy him a uniform and handbook. In the meantime we will start memorizing the Cub Scout promise.

This should be a fun new adventure!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dante's Walk

Dante has had his walker for a month now. He is reportedly getting quite good at walking with it at school. Here at home it has been more difficult, as our house has less open space than his class room. Today Jamie and I took him for a walk to the town library, about 50 yards down the street. He did really well, and even walked up and down the rows of books in the library. Dante did tend to swerve a bit on the sidewalk, and needed Jamie or me to be next to him as a bumper.
Even though it was not a long walk for Jamie or me, the poor little guy was tuckered out afterwards. He did not even get both shoes and socks off before being overtaken by sleep.
He is such a sweet boy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Way Too Much Energy

I woke up Micah at 5:10am this morning to let him know we were going to the hospital for his ear tube day surgery. At 5:15am he was standing next to the van in the driveway, hopping up and down chanting "doctor" excitedly.

I had been told to be there at 6am, and to be sure Micah had nothing to eat or drink before arriving. Thankfully that did not apply to me, because I needed my coffee for the drive in. Leif came along since I am his only food source, and Nikita tagged along to assist when necessary. The three of us were certainly not hopping in excitement!

Given the choice, I think Micah would have moved in to the hospital today. He was shown to a private room, settled into a bed and given the TV remote. Micah nearly worships the television. He asked to hold Leif, and it was pretty funny because Leif coughed, and Micah absentmindedly leaned him forward and patted his back after the cough, all without ever taking his eyes off the TV.

Micah even had a chance to be an example to another little boy who was there and a bit frightened. When he saw Micah enjoying his new blue hat, the little boy decided he had to have one too, despite his previous fear.

I am thankful today's trip went so well, and hopefully Micah's next hearing test will show an improvement as a result.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Goats in my Kitchen?!

Over the course of the Summer, we went from owning a pair of goats to owning a herd of goats. We have had Gidget and Ambrose for a year now, and had decided that one little Nigerian Dwarf goat wouldn't really give us a lot of milk. (Obviously Ambrose wouldn't be giving us any!)

Pictured above are Ferdinand and Isabella, a brother/sister pair from the same farm as Gidget and Ambrose. They are absolutely adorable and full of life and joined us in July.

Then one day in August I was doing a dangerous thing--- browsing Craigslist. Daisy and Lilly joined us a few days later. They are sisters, and sweet as can be. I am not sure why Daisy's snout is crooked, but it is a bit endearing.

I have been asked a number of times why we have decided to keep goats. We are still working out the exact reasons...the milk will be used for trying out goat cheese, goatsmilk soap, and also just drinking it. Nikita is learning a lot more responsibility. Mostly though, it is for our youngest kids-- a therapy of sorts.

Amelia and Sunny will both learn to milk the does, and Amelia is already helping with the feeding every morning. A few times she has taken it upon herself in the middle of the day to refill their water bucket. Since Ambrose and Ferdinand do not really have much purpose, we have decided to try training them in an agility course and pulling a cart. Amelia has begun this training with Ambrose already by just handling and grooming him often. We are also teaching him good manners and walking on a leash. This is a good focus for her endess supply of energy. We are all waiting to see how this turns out!

And the goats in my kitchen? We let them out for a while every day to browse, and they love to nap on the deck. Isabella's favorite spot is curled up on a lawn chair. The other day I was sitting here at the computer and glanced over-- someone had not shut the deck door quite enough, and they let themselves in. Life is always an adventure here!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


We have two weeks of school completed, and something has got to change. Sunny is too far behind Amelia for me to work with them together as much as I had hoped. Micah could do really well if he wanted too, but he has a hard time staying focused. Unfortunately so do I, because when I do break it up so they are not sitting for too long, sometimes I get busy doing something else and forget to get back to academics.
Thankfully I can call it life skills work when that happens!
It might end up being easier once I establish a new routine of working individually one handwriting, math, and reading with each of them. They do love morning excercises together on the floor, which Leif enjoys watching. History is not a subject I do with them yet, and science right now is just learning about weather, how things grow, what animals do-- just basic things.

And another "Already!?!"-- Poppy's pumpkins for the kids are here! Our digital camera is still missing (ask Sunny?), but I bought a disposable because photos of these beauties were necessary....

Is Dante eyeing Sunny's pumpkin to hit the floor next?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Found him!

Micah is of the opinion that as long as he knows where he is, life is fine. After all if he knows where he is, he is not lost.

Unfortunately on Saturday, we did not know he was lost either. Most of us were outside working on goat stuff, Micah was happily swinging on the swingset while Amelia "helped" us with her (play) nail gun, when we received a phone call. "Your son is over here climbing on my truck, could you please come get him?" Here was around the corner two houses down. Here was not on the swingset, nor was here inside of the yard we paid $5000 to have fenced in to give him boundaries.

First, I thanked God for watching over Micah so closely. Then I went online and ordered him an ID bracelet. What he really needs is a GPS anklet that he cannot take off! Honestly, I was surprised that the majority of ID bracelets and tags available all attach by velcro. Even the child locator devices clip on to the kid. Considering one of Micah's favorie pasttimes is stripping, a velcro ID would not stay on him for long.

An hour after all this happened, Nikita had a riding lesson. I took Micah along, not because I thought Jamie couldn't keep track of him, but because I was still mentally reeling from what happened and needed him near me. He spent the entire time trying to let go of my hand and take off, since he wanted to go into the riding ring and take a turn on Nikita's horse.

Like I said, he has no fear--- which only increases mine. I wonder how bad it would look if I bought some handcuffs to use for keeping him near me?

On a lighter note, here is a photo of Leif that Nikita took with her phone. Is he not the cutest baby ever???

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Batter on the Beaters

We are back to school here in our home, and trying to re-adjust to the schedule. It is even more challenging this year with Leif being only two months old. Thankfully he was born at the start of Summer vacation, so Jamie was home while I recouped and we all got used to our newest blessing.

Today I was once again attempting to do it all....keep a clean house, educate the kids, feed the baby. (I know I'll never get it all completely done in one day, but that does not mean I will stop trying!) After lunch I baked up a bunch of butternut squashes that Jamie's dad had given to me. I decided to bake them, mash them, and freeze it in ice cube trays for Leif when he is ready for solid food in a few months. After they are frozen I pop them out to put into a freezer bag.

Micah heard me using the mixer and came running to watch. Hearing the mixer means licking the beaters. With only two beaters on the mixer and 6 kids who know that sound, he knew he had better be fast. Since it was butternut squash I was mashing, I was a bit skeptical when he demanded his beater at the end. I handed one over, he licked it and walked away happily after saying, "Mmmmm good!"

It was really sweet, and I was thankful for the reminder to be grateful for even a beater of butternut squash.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is it over yet?

I love living in the Northeast and having four seasons every year. By the time one is ending, I am usually ready for the next. It has been wonderful having Jamie home for the Summer, especially since the birth of Leif, but we are all ready for some routine here with the coming of the new school year and the Fall.

Jamie went back to school yesterday, and while we had planned to start our kids too, we decided to start easy this week and work up to the routine I hope we can establish for the year.

I have learned that even without routine home schooling is "Learning 24/7", and the triplets are making sure Leif is learning! He loves to watch them play, and they love to entertain him. It is really cute how they have each become attached to him, and want to help out. He always rewards them with a sweet smile.

Summer vacation is over, and in a few months I will have to remind myself that I was wanting to get this school year going. All three teens are high schoolers now, and I am using a first grade curriculum for the triplets. Dante is in pre-school full days this year, with plenty of physical, occupational, speech, and ABA therapies. He even has a walker now, another thing to get used to and hopefully get him walking. Tomorrow is his first day, and Monday everyone else starts in earnest.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Micah is Mr. Smartypants

School starts soon! I have been cleaning and organizing to get ready. Yesterday I came across a small 9 piece puzzle from a bag of prizes that we had never used. I was about to toss it, but instead gave it to Micah since he was at the table. Without ever seeing it before, Micah spread it out and pieced it together- without a picture of the complete one to go by.

I know it was just a simple small puzzle, but I'm proud of Micah for being able to take a stack of pieces and put them together. The poor guy is in for it now-- time for some more puzzles in the house!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


We just spent our annual week at Rumney Bible Conference on family vacation- our 11th year! It was wonderful and relaxing, except for the kayaks capsizing with Alexander, Zachary, and Micah. (Actually, that event did finally succeed in teaching Micah some safety awareness-- "no boats, all done boats" and he didn't take off for the pond without asking again.)
Amelia does love to kayak and is careful. She is able to go in her own when attached to someone in front of her. She and Micah also enjoyed hiking in the woods looking for pinecones, and everyone loved swimming. The teens were able to go tubing on the river with Jamie, while I convinced the 5 youngest they all needed a nice nap. Every day was a good day, and we are thankful for the time together as a family without the busyness there always seems to be at home.
We look forward already to vacation next year!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Reality of Being a Mother Hen

Have you ever felt henpecked and want to fly the coop? Not feeling high enough in the pecking order? Too many old biddies clucking at you? But you feel a little chicken?

There are so many sayings related to being a chicken. Since Zachary has been keeping chickens it is obvious how a lot of the sayings came to be. One new experience for all of us has been watching his hen Gizzie "go broody", set on her eggs for three weeks, and tend to her babies for the last five weeks in the lean to and yard. She was super protective and would barely even tolerate Zachary coming near her.

Until now, all of our chicks had either been incubated and hatched by us, or bought as day old chicks. So it was a learning experience to see just how protective a mother hen is when allowed to raise her babies.

Then in one shocking moment, it was all over. Some maternal instinct told Gizzie she was done, and they did not need her anymore.

So she left them and returned to the coop. Just like that. They were on their own, and not too happy about it. Zachary said they cried (cheeped pitifully) as darkness approached and they did not know what to do.

However, they found their way to shelter, and are just fine today.

I wonder if this is something I should try?

Friday, July 30, 2010

If You Want Something Done Right....

As I woke up today around 6:00ish AM, I heard some metallic food preparation sounds through the fog of my morning haze. As a stumbled into the kitchen, I saw Sunny sitting at the table eating Cheez-Its and drinking juice. Amelia (who no doubt served Sunny) was over at the stove surrounded by flour, honey, brown sugar and all manner of cooking ingredients. She was bent over a bowl on the stove, stirring her concoction and looking very pleased with herself. I asked her what she was doing. She was making coffeecake. Apparently no one else in the house gets up a decent hour and it is left to the responsible ones to make breakfast. I personally found this amusing. It was a mess to be sure, however it was a sincere mess and she made it with a good heart. I wonder what's on the menu tomorrow?


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Catching Up

I cannot believe it has been more than two weeks since my last post. It is odd how summer vacation seems busier than the school year, even though it isn't really.

We have been spending our time getting to know Leif, enjoying Daddy being home for the summer, weeding the garden, and doing some running around. Last week the teens were all at Camp Good News. Amelia was suddenly the oldest at home, and not surprisingly jumped right in to take over the animal care- with Dad's help of course. One night they came in from feeding the goats and meat birds (who share an enclosure) and Jamie owned up that at one point there were NO animals in the enclosure. They were able to round up the 2 goats and 11 chickens in no time, though. The laying hens stopped laying this week when Penguin, a huge black Austrolorp, decided to go broody and set on eggs in the favorite nest box. We went from 7 eggs a day to 1 tiny egg a day-- the only one who still laid was the bantam hen Acorn. I never new hens could go on strike (because they all prefer the same next box and it was unavailable). When Zachary got home from camp he told us we should not have let Penguin set the eggs, but what do we know? I'm sure Jamie is glad Zachary and Nikita are back to take over the animal care again!

This week Amelia and Sunny have been having a blast attending Vacation Bible School. We decided that Micah was not going to attend because he is too prone to taking off, plus he is not completely potty trained yet. Yesterday Jamie and I walked Micah up to the local general store, where he proudly made his first independent purchase-- a bag of M&Ms.

Below are some photos that show some of what we have been doing:

We now have a beautiful new table that was made for us by Mr. G. We have been able to have all 10 of us sit down together only once so far because of Alexander's work at camp, but we absolutely love the table!

This is the first picture of Jamie, Leif, and I. I love how Leif is looking at Daddy.

One afternoon Jamie decided to kick my butt in Scrabble while Leif napped. The triplets saw us playing a game and got on one of their own.

Nikita was given a bag of clothing, and she had fun trying some of the stuff on. Here she is looking like a federal agent-- do we watch too much NCIS?

And she looks far too old in this photo. She is only 14!

Sunny holding Leif. She is bending down to kiss him.

Amelia holding Leif. She loves to sing to him while his diaper is being changed- his least favorite event. (The diaper changing, not the singing)

Leif officially has a belly button and did NOT appreciate his first bath.

Sleeping like the baby he is. Leif is so sweet!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

SHHH! Daddy is Sleeping!

Jamie has a time honored tradition of teaching each of our babies how to properly take a nap. He teaches by example, the best way to impart such important knowledge.
Unfortunately the photos of him teaching Alexander, Zachary, and Nikita were all before digital cameras, but here he is imparting his knowledge to Leif at the tender age of 6 days old. Start them early and they nap like pros!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Photos of Leif!

Mama and her little treasure

Big Sis and the little guy

Sunny, Dad and the Leif

Dad, Leif and a proud Poppy (Ameila texting back there?)

Amelia, Nana and Baby Leif

Micah settles in Mom's hospital bed

Leif is steering for home

Meanwhile, Zachary's chicks have hatched, on the same day Leif was born!

Dante and Leif- two peas in a pod

My precious ones

Micah holds that little guy