"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Simple Cure

Okay, so remember I took my two year old to the chiropractor to cure an ear infection? Well, it didn't work. In fairness, he was extremely upset (read PANIC) and screaming and fighting the whole time, so there is the chance that his fighting caused the doctor to not be able to get the adjustment done just right. He panics over everything. Literally. Baths, doctors offices, potty chairs, etc. And I have a friend who swears by the chiropractor treatments, so no offense to the chiropractor. It probably would have worked for any other child.

However, after the two year old stopped eating because every bite hurt his ear, and stopped drinking because he couldn't suck without pain (and insists on only drinking out of one particular type of cup) it became clear that something different had to happen. We were giving him children's Motrin in his drinks (because medicine panics him too) and now he wasn't taking that either.

Problem was that we were into Memorial Day weekend, and this week my daughter, who usually fills in for me when I have to be gone from the daycare was going to be out of town for two days, so the earliest I would have been able to get him to the doctor would have been Thursday. As in this coming Thursday. There was no way he was going to be okay that long. Add to that the fact that we were just at the doctor's office, and he developed the ear infection in the middle of a round of antibiotics. I didn't hold out a lot of hope for that cure working. Not to mention that going that route would mean a 77 mile drive (one way) plus $100 doctor bill, plus medication that would then be impossible to get him to take, and probably take another week to kick in.

So, I did what any reasonable mother would do. I googled home cures for ear aches. And I came up with the suggestion to cook garlic in olive oil, let it cool a bit to the point of just being warm, then put that in his ear and massage behind his ear from the little indentation between the jaw and the head, pulling downward toward the lymph nodes. Of course all this made him ... you guessed it ... PANIC. But at least we got it done. (He was really mad at me though.) I ended up having to do it twice - about 4 hours apart. But then, magically, no more ear ache. He had that ear ache for over a week and was in so much pain he couldn't eat or drink. And all it took was a little garlic and a tablespoon of oil. Seriously! Why didn't I ever know this before? It will now be my go-to cure for any ear aches in the future. Gotta love a "free" cure!!

I'm convinced that there are a lot more of these "home remedies" that ought to be tried for all sorts of problems. Our grandmothers didn't run to the doctor for every little problem. And antibiotics are a relatively new cure which I have always thought were over-prescribed. There is a pill for everything, but often taking the pill gives you worse symptoms (or different ones) that then have to be treated with other pills. No thanks. I think from now on I'm going to try to research home remedies before turning to a doctor. We don't typically go to them anyway unless it's a major problem - and for checkups. I'd rather keep my money in my pocket and use a cure that will actually work.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

This morning we went up to the cemetery for the Memorial Day service our local VFW puts on. It wasn't the most pleasant weather. It's been cold all weekend, and this morning it was snowing hard.

When we first got there, the flakes were big and wet, and the ground was covered with about 2 inches of snow.

It wasn't terribly cold though, just wet. And half way through the service, the snow stopped, and it got to be pretty warm.

They always do a nice ceremony with presentation of wreaths and flowers, and some of the local homeschoolers sing patriotic songs. This year they did the Armed Forces Medley, and a choral reading about the Pledge of Allegiance. Two high school seniors also read reports they had written about their grandfathers who had served in the military. They were scholarship winners from the VFW, and some of the stories they told were pretty interesting.

It was very special to us to be able to celebrate Memorial Day with our 20 year old son, who has just returned safely from a 6 month deployment to Iraq. (He wasn't in uniform because he only has his fatigues with him while he visits here, and he felt that it would be disrespectful - like showing up to the ceremony in his work clothes.) He came back safe and sound, where so many others have not (from all the different wars). We are grateful to God for His protection over our son. I don't think I will ever miss another Memorial Day service again, or take one for granted either. I have a whole new appreciation for our military men and women.

There was a Navy Warrant Officer who read about the history of Memorial Day.

My son enjoyed visiting with him after the ceremony. In fact, he visited with several of the veterans.

And of course there was the 21 gun salute and Taps.

This picture shows you how much worse the weather was when we first arrived, compared to the picture before which was taken at the end of the ceremony when they did the 21 gun salute. After the service at the cemetery, we went to the VFW for lunch. It was all very nice.

This afternoon, my husband, the 20 year old and 7 year old all went out target practicing. They had a nice time, but someone called them in for suspected poaching because apparently there was a herd of elk nearby. Of course there can't be a herd of elk nearby when it is legal to shoot them. They had a nice visit with the sheriff's deputy who told them to enjoy their day. I guess it's good that people care about poaching enough to report the suspicion of it. It makes for a fun memory for them anyway.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Contest is Over

Remember this? I made it for a contest at our local quilt shop.
Well, I won the contest!! That's a $25 certificate to the store! Just in time too. I was wanting to take a class on bargello quilts that is going to start next week, and now I have money for the fabric (well, half of the fabric) ... but at least now I can take the class! Woohoo!
My daughter's headband didn't win, but she still gets a $5 gift certificate to the store. I think she did a great job, and she had fun, which is the important thing. We had a lot of great competition. Someone made flip flops with the fabric (they covered some real ones) and another person made a cute bag - well, more like a clutch. Both were very cute, so I was surprised I won. But I'm sure glad I did!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Took My 2 Year Old to the Chiropractor Today

Okay, so what do you do when your 2 year old has an ear infection? A double ear infection, no less. Well, I took mine to a chiropractor. Sounds odd, doesn't it? I thought so too. But on the recommendation of a friend with several little ones, and whom I trust, I tried it. She said this particular chiropractor has a way of adjusting the ears so that the tubes point down (or something like that) enabling the ears to drain. Already tonight (7 hours later) one of his ears is draining. (He adjusted his back and neck too).

The chiropractor is also into homeopathic treatments, and I ended up buying some vitamin D drops that are supposed to help our whole family keep from getting sick all the time. When I got home, my husband reminded me that his own doctor had said vitamin D and zinc were helpful to boosting the immune system. So we're going to give it a try. Whatever helps, I'm all for it. With the daycare, I'm so sick of being sick. This has been our worst year ever as a family for being sick all the time. I'm willing to give it a try. Besides, the chiropractor was much cheaper than a visit to the pediatrician - we paid $56 for the adjustment, vitamin D drops, and a spray to help with the earache. A doctor visit starts at $100 before you get any medication or anything else done.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Really Have Been Productive

Wow. So I guess I took a little break from posting. I really have been getting a lot accomplished. I just haven't taken the time to post ;)

Last Sunday and Monday we had to go to Idaho Falls for doctor visits. We took the opportunity to pick up a small New Testament for the two year old. Whenever we do our family devotions (each night) he thinks he has to have a Bible too - so we got him his own. He's still pretty rough with them. He was so excited. Now he runs around with it, saying, "T---'s Bible!" (his own name). He gets so excited when it's time for devotions. We just love it. The other night he knew it was getting time for devotions, and he ran around telling everyone "Get your Bible!" and then went and gathered up all of our Bibles for us so we could do devotions. :) I love the tenderheartedness of children, and the desire to be in God's Word. I wish as adults that we were always so enthusiastic about it.

We are currently having special services with Evangelist Ken Lynch. What a blessing that is. He plays all sorts of instruments beautifully - including the musical glasses and a Stradivarius violin. He is very talented in music, and his preaching is excellent. It is always such a blessing when he comes.

Last week I was working on a secret project. Here's a little peek. I won't tell you any more about it for awhile. You will have to believe me that it was a lot of fun to work on, and it is nearly done. That's why I didn't do much posting last week. My daughter and I got 90% of this done on Friday afternoon, working together. She actually said, "This is fun!" while we were working on it. I consider that a success. She told me not to go posting that she likes sewing now, but I say progress is progress, and she definitely got into this project. Even the seven year old got into helping, and told her that someday he's going to be great at sewing, and not need his Mom's help with it. It was a slam, but she didn't mind. She told him that was fine because she doesn't like sewing - especially not by herself. (But for not liking it, she sure had a fun time :) and she sure does have a lot of projects planned - including ones she will do alone!)

Here's the other thing I accomplished last week. I took along my hand sewing for the doctor's visit. My 7 year old is in a medical trial study, and we have to go every 6 months to get blood work done. We are always there from 8 am to about noon, so there is plenty of time to work on little projects (if I think to pack them - ha). With the sewing I did on these on Monday, and then working a bit on them the first part of the week, I have added another 89 to my stack. This is just the few I got done Monday and Tuesday.

My goal was to empty the box I work out of, which I did, and to use up all the thread that was left on my spool - which I almost did. If you look toward the top of the picture you will see that I still have a tiny bit of thread on the spool - about enough to do four more hexagons. I have been using this project to use up the little ends of thread I have on spools that aren't long enough to bother to thread the machine with.

Now I need to break out my new turquoise and red fabrics that I bought on the shop hop, and get some squares cut so I can add them to my hexagon pile. I'm about to need to start sewing some of these together - I'm running low on papers. But I wanted to have every fabric represented before I did that so that the whole quilt will have all the fabrics in it instead of each section having different fabrics. I'm pretty sure I've got enough fabric now (I really should do the math on this). I figure I can always add a border if I come up a little short - or purchase more of some of the fabrics I'm already using, so they'll all blend in.

We've also been trying to get more organized here at home. We have a goal of going into full time ministry, but have a lot of loose ends to take care of first - both in our household and family, and our finances. We are determined to get there though. So we're buckling down and working to improve in many areas, and one of those areas is organization. We want ourselves and our kids to do better at keeping the house in order - our theme is based on the verse that says "Let everything be done decently and in order." So in order to accomplish that, I made up 3x5 cards for every area of the house. Things like - Front entry, hall closet, master bedroom closet, etc. Basically if it's in our home, there's a card for it. The card details absolutely every step that must be completed for that area to truly be clean and organized. The idea is that we can assign a card to a family member (parents included) and not have to explain how to do the job, or argue about whether it is really done or not.

We also came up with a master menu for a month of meals that are all different - designating Mondays chicken days, Tuesdays Mexican, etc. That way we get a good variety of meals and never get sick of the same things over and over, but still have a master shopping list so we only buy what we really need. We've done once a month shopping for a few years, and it is much cheaper than running to the store every time you need something. Being organized is the key to making it work. There are a lot more little things we're doing - and some bigger things, where the budget is concerned - but I'll stop with that. We're all excited to enter the next phase of ministry, and we're looking forward to how God is going to bring it all about :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Busy Week

It's been such a crazy, busy week! It started with the shop hop over the weekend. I knew I would be exhausted after the long day, and I was. We got home just after 11 pm, and it was almost midnight before we got to bed. The next day was Sunday - Mother's Day - and we were having a carry in dinner after the morning service because we had missionaries in town. So it was a long day. After the dinner, I laid down for a nap, and didn't get up until 4 hours later! Yikes.

Monday I planned to get a lot done, but it didn't work out that way. The 2 year old had gotten up Sunday morning with one of his eyes nearly swollen shut. His eye looked fine, but the lid was puffy. Monday, it looked just as bad - maybe a bit worse, so I took him to the pediatrician - an hour and a half away. That was fine, except for the fact that my daughter was having a jewelry party at our house that evening, and I barely got home in time for it - nevermind having time to straighten the house. (She had to do that on her own.) She is beginning a new career, selling Premier Designs jewelry, and this was her opening show. We were expecting 45 people. Anyway, the party went well, but we had much fewer people than had been invited, which was okay. But obviously, I didn't get much else done :/

Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment for the pregnancy. It was pretty routine, but the doctor was a little concerned about how much the baby is moving, and wanted me to count movements for the next couple of days.

Wednesday was actually productive. That's when I made the blankets in the last post :) We also had our normal children's ministries in the evening, which always wears me out. It's fun, and a privilege to serve in the church, but it does take a lot of energy. After that, we dropped the kids off at the house, and I went and spent an hour with my husband at his work place, visiting with him while he fixed a part on his cement mixer. It was very peaceful there :)

Thursday when I reported to the doctor's office the number of movements I had been feeling from the baby, they wanted me to come in for a more in-depth checkup. So I drove the hour and a half to the office, and spent the day hooked up to monitors, and having an ultrasound. We figured out that the position of the baby is such that he is kicking into the umbilical cord, which has no nerves, so I'm just not feeling it. Very good news, but a long day. The best part was that I was able to get all of my Bible reading done for the day, and half of Friday's. I got home at 6:30, then had to rush off to teen group at the church at 7. We didn't get home until 9 and I was exhausted. While I was at teen group I got a phone call, and then a text from someone else, both wanting daycare for Friday. That's great money-wise, but does take a lot more effort.

So here we are on Friday. I have 5 more kids than usual in my daycare, which really is a good thing! And, so far it's going pretty well. My daughter just left for Salt Lake City for a jewelry training weekend, and won't be home until late Saturday evening. Then Sunday, we're off to Idaho Falls again for doctor's appointments on Monday. See - busy life! But, I'm enjoying every minute of it :) I'm really hoping to get in a little more sewing Saturday. Gotta take advantage of the push to be productive while it's still here! I'm going to take my hand sewing project - the hexagons - with me to the doctor's appointment. The seven year old is in a trial study, and these appointments take all morning - from 8 am to noon, so there is plenty of time for sewing :) Hopefully by the end of the weekend, I'll have lots of progress to show!

Two New Finished Projects! and some cute pix :)

Okay, I don't know what happened here, but the post I originally made for this disappeared - a couple days after I posted it. So I'm going to try to remember all the stuff that was on it. Hope that doesn't happen again. It never has before, and it sure was aggravating.

These pictures were just too cute not to include. He was clowning around for the camera.

The other day I was eating some ice cream and had a sugar cone I was dipping into it and biting off (it was easier than trying to eat it in a cone). The 2 year old came over and asked, "Mama eatin' ice cream?" I said yes. His reply - "Mama! Use your fork!" Stinker.

While my daughter and I were out shop hopping, we stopped at Toys-R-Us and picked up this folding table. I was needing a smaller table for the daycare when I just have a couple of kids, and this seemed ideal. It just happens to have a dry erase board top, which is fun.

The 18 year old drew a picture of a guy - which the 7 year old immediately said was dad - same mustache and sparse hairs. He then drew an identical one of himself - minus the mustache, and with much more hair:)

The two year old loved the box. He went "fishing" with a tiny fishing pole while standing on it. Not sure what he was trying to catch, but he worked at it for a long time.

The 7 year old decided we ought to use the table to play Chutes and Ladders. It was a challenge for all of us to fit around the tiny table - the game board just fit on it. Of course everyone but the two little ones used larger chairs too.

It was a fun game though.

Now on to sewing projects. A year or so ago, I made these zippered bags to use for money bags - sorting my daycare income into specific categories. The prison like brick fabric bag holds my money which is designated to the IRS. Fitting, don't you think? The blue flowered bag holds money I want to use to pay off debts - which is the purpose of having the daycare. Then, the turtle bag is my fun money. I had been gathering money into the turtle bag for a long time, in anticipation of the big shop hop.

The other day, my 2 year old found the turtle bag, and announced, "Money all gone!" Yep. That's right. I spent it all on fabric!

So having spent all my fun money, I figured it was time to start actually making something with all that fabric. So I started with my two easiest projects - lightweight blankets for the new baby. I was sitting out on the porch swing with the daycare kids one day when I figured out that a new baby needs a little protection from the sun and wind. I thought the combination of one piece of flannel and one piece of cotton would be perfect - no batting - just a lightweight blanket similar to a receiving blanket weight, only much prettier :) All I did was layer two 1-yard pieces of fabric, square up, then pinned them together and rounded the corners.

I used a plate to trace around in order to round the corners.

Baby blankets are so much prettier with rounded corners.

This is my favorite of the two blankets - the black with the animals is a flannel and the green is a cotton. I sewed a grid pattern onto it to quilt it - wrong sides together, then just added binding.

I used bias binding on the black blanket. This was much easier than sewing it right sides together and flipping it, then stitching down, which is what I did on the dinosaur blanket, which I made first. I think the bias binding makes it look sharper too.

I considered making custom binding, but didn't want to use up any of my new fabric on that, and since I had a ton of bias binding on hand, the decision was easy. (I have a great stash of binding from when we lived in the south, and I had a cheap outlet for the stuff - a place called The Rag Bag. Seems like the binding was 3 pkgs for a dollar - or some ridiculously low price. I stocked up before we moved back to Wyoming!)

The retro design is a cotton, and the dinosaurs are flannel. I quilted a grid on this one too.

I think this color combo will work better for being out in the sunshine. The black might be a little too warm. On the other hand, it will be nicer for the cooler fall days.

My 2 year old saw the blankets folded up and stacked, and announced, "L---'s blankies - All done!" See, I am accomplishing something! I find it very motivating to know I spent so much on fabric, and have just what I need to make several projects. It makes me want to get in gear and accomplish a lot. Now if my schedule would just cooperate...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shop Hop Wrap Up & Silliness :)

I can't begin to tell you how much fun I had with my daughter this weekend, driving all over Wyoming and Idaho in pursuit of fabric and sugery snacks :)

At first I was determined to stick to a tight schedule so we would have time to get to all the shops, but when we started seeing fun things to do, I figured it was more about having fun than it was about getting to all the shops.

When we got into Idaho, we drove past an old drive in theater, and my daughter begged me to turn around. Why?

Because they had all these fun potato figures.

She made friends with this one - see his arm around her? That's how most people look at a drive in theater, isn't it?

They also had the biggest potato we had ever seen, driven on a truck by another spud.

In Driggs, we had to double back to get a picture of this cleverly named restaurant - "Miso Hungry."

There were a lot of silly pictures on the road, most of which I would NEVER dream of showing you ;)

And lots of playing with bunnies and chicks. These three were enjoying the view from the driver's seat :)

My daughter played with the camera and several mirrors while she waited for me to get fabric cut.

And gathered a lot of snack foods up for a healthy "on-the-go" lunch. (Believe it or not, it was much healthier than the fast food we typically would have had.

We did some sight seeing after we had been to all the stops.

And my daughter used up the rest of the camera battery taking pictures of lava rocks and flowers :)

In the end, I brought home just over 20 YARDS of fabric - WOW. Didn't expect that :) I spent a total of $280.49. I did buy several notions - rulers, elastic thread, beading wire, bracelets, and so on. It sounds bad, but I planned to spend nearly that much. Now, I'm feeling like I really ought to go do some sewing... I'll check back in with you as soon as I have something finished ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shop Hop, Stop Ten - Pocatello, Idaho

Stop Ten, our final stop, is by far my favorite shop on the tour. It is Sages Creek Quilt Company, in Pocatello. It's very difficult to find, but it's kind of like finding a diamond in the rough. What a treasure. I wish this store were closer to me, but unfortunately it's the farthest away. (I should say that there is one more store on the shop hop, which we decided not to go to . It is in Preston, Idaho, near the Utah border, and would have added more than 2 1/2 hours to our drive. We just couldn't do it.

This is the shop hop quilt that Sages Creek put together. They have a really cool set up - a big area for fabrics, and a whole separate area - similar to a warehouse - for work space and classes. They have the walls lined with gorgeous quilts, with some amazing machine quilting.

These are just a few of the quilts we loved.

Don't you just love that quilting?

This quilt was above the "prize shrine" - they had all the gift baskets on display in this room. These are just the extra drawing prizes - not first or second place prizes.

Their shop hop block was called the "Spinning Spur." I love all things pinwheels, so this ought to be a fun block to make.

Their charm was a cowboy boot with a spur.

Okay, so my wallet would have been a lot better off had I skipped these last three stores. They have very good sales people at Sages Creek ... and wonderful fabrics to choose from. I fell in love with that blue and green fabric and bought a yard of it. The smaller pieces in front are all fat quarters - the blue on the far right was a free one, and I have another identical to that for free because my daughter passed it on to me. (The fabric has bucking horses on it and she is not into western fabrics). The panel is actually an advent calendar. The characters are sewn into stuffed animals and people and such and then hang on the rest of the panel from buttons. I think it will be pretty cute. I'm going to try to finish it for Christmas this year (no guarantees - ha). The pink and orange fabrics in the plastic bag are pre-cut wedges to make a baby quilt. My daughter (and the talented aforementioned sales person) talked me into this project - you know, because I don't already have enough projects to work on :) But seeing my daughter excited about sewing made it worthwhile. Hope we can get that one done by August. Anyway, total spent = a whopping $50.38 - the most of any shop.

So that wraps up the specific shops in the shop hop. I'm going to do one more post giving a wrap up on the shop hop - along with some of the silliness and fun things we saw. Hope you enjoyed the tour.