caption - title

The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I shot a goat ... And adenoids/tonsils info for low muscle tone children

Stay tuned! I am going to soon be announcing a special Thirty One fundraiser I am hosting in July which will benefit SOFT and The Lilly Memorial Project.

When I was in college, I lived with my dad and stepmom for a bit.  My step mom had an old diabetic cat named Popsie who needed a shot of insulin every morning.  I learned to give her the shots and whenever I did, I would always leave a note out for my step mom - like "I shot Popsie"- so she knew not to give Popsie more.  

Amazingly, with all the medical treatment I learned to do to care for Lilly, I never had to give her a shot.  So thankfully I had the experience with old Popsie to fall back on today, as I prepared to give Nausette the goat a shot.  Here is Nausette and her babies, Cloves and Nutmeg:

Nausette hasn't been feeling well since she got here, and seemed to be getting worse.  So yesterday, her owner K. came to pick her up and take her to the vet.  (Nausette got to ride in the back of K's minivan again!)  The vet thought Nausette had either pneumonia or some type of parasites on her lungs.  So she prescribed an antibiotic - to be administered in shot form.

Today I showed Hunter the shot - with the super long needle - and told him to be careful and never touch it.  Then I promptly stuck my own finger.  Ouch!  Thankfully I hadn't filled it with medicine yet.  I watched a YouTube video to be sure I understood the right place in Nausette's shoulder to give her the shot.  Then we went out and ... shot her.  She was a brave girl and didn't cry.

We are really enjoying taking care of the L family's goats and dogs for them.  They can be pretty funny.  Here is what we see in the morning, starting shortly before the time Tabby goes out to feed the dogs and milk the goats:

The dogs and goats are so big compared to Hunter.  But they are all gentle with him.

Last week we were given a rooster by a family who ended up with him unexpectedly.  Their chick "Princess" turned out to be a "Prince."  When we introduced him to our chicks, he quickly showed that he planned to be in charge.  We re-named him "Chanticleer" after the rooster in the book The Rooster and the Fox.  He is a few weeks older than our chicks and quite bossy.

 On a completely different note, I was very interested to read on Giuliana's blog some information on adenoid and tonsil removal surgery for children with low muscle tone.  (Giuliana is almost 3 years old and has mosaic Trisomy 18.)  From what her mama has read, and Giuliana's ENT doctor confirmed, removing the adenoids and tonsils in children with low tone can actually increase their issues.  If this is something you are considering for your child, please read Giuliana's mama's blogpost for more details:

Just a week from today, on July 4th, our Lilly would be turning 3 years old.  Instead she'll celebrate with Jesus.  Tabby made me a special necklace in honor of our "Little Firecracker":

Tabby makes and sells bottle cap necklaces, along with soap, ruffle scarves, chocolate lollipops, tie dyed baby clothes, beaded jewelry - etc! through her blog The Craftsy Kitty. 

I was thinking how grateful I am for HOPE.

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." - Romans 12:12

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

That's not on my list!

Waking up this past Saturday morning I had great intentions about all the things I would accomplish.  Everything was written in my "daily docket".  (That's the fancy name for my daily to-do list.)  Yes I am a list maker.  One of those weird list makers that adds on things I've done already just so I can cross them off.  (That's bonus accomplishment!)  Of course with a baby, and a clingy baby at that!, I try to keep my daily expectations realistic.  But still, I think I would panic if I did not wake up with a pre-written or mental list of some things to-do.  However I am realistic enough to know that there are plenty of days where not one thing will be checked off.

 Years ago I loved reading the Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad stories, to Tabby and am now reading them to Hunter.  There are several that make us laugh so hard.  Frog and Toad are best friends.  Frog is always cheerful and Toad is so melancholy. 

One story that we really like is in the book Frog and Toad Together and it is called "The List."  (We are a whole family of list makers so even Hunter appreciated this story.)  Toad wakes up one morning and writes "a list of things to do today."  Then he carefully crosses off each thing as he accomplishes it.  However, when he is about halfway done with his list, a strong wind blows the list out of his hand. 

"Help! cried Toad.  "My list is blowing away.  What will I do without my list?" 

Hurry!" said Frog.  "We will run and catch it."

"No!" shouted Toad.  "I cannot do that."

"Why not" asked Frog.

"Because," wailed Toad, "running after my list is not one of the things that I wrote on my list of things to do!"

Saturday turned out to be a major "this is not on my list!" kind of day.  It started with me finding that a mouse (or mice) had been into my bags of rice, flour, and beans in a cabinet.  Then finding mice evidence on the kitchen counters.  I thought "BLAH!" echoing one of Toad's favorite expressions, "this was not on my list!"  I began cleaning and pouring bagged stuff into jars.  Then Solomon started crying - he had rolled over during his nap and woke himself up.  A 30 minute nap for my baby?  That was not on my list!  Then a cabinet door fell of it's hinges.  Not on my list!  Then when I hurriedly went to vacuum, Hunter pointed out it needed emptying.  That was not on my list!  Etc. etc.  Remembering Toad at least helped me keep my sense of humor.

The next morning, Hunter showed Frank where Solomon had broken part of the dishwasher a few days previously and I couldn't figure out how to repair it.  (Frank had been out of town most of the week at the annual Association of Classical Christian Schools conference and Hunter was most anxious to have the part fixed.)  Frank worked at it for awhile but was having trouble.  He sighed and said "This was not on my list for today."  I had to smile.

Hunter is wondering ... will Solomon be a list maker?  :)

What about you?  Do you like making lists?  Do you have a favorite place to write them down?  :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tabby on Piano: And Can It Be That I Should Gain?

Several things to briefly share today and only a few minutes to do so!

First, Cindy-the-soap-nut-lady had a good post the other day about using a soap nut product to clean windows - see her post here.  (My post on using soap nuts for laundry detergent is here.)  Don't forget - if you order any soap nut products from Cindy, use the code LILLY10 to get a 10% discount. :)

Second, have you ever tried oil pulling?  This is swishing coconut oil in your mouth for about 15 minutes and then spitting it out.  It pulls all sorts of toxins out of your mouth and even your body!  You can read a fascinating summary of the benefits in a Samaritan Ministries newsletter article here.  Recently Trina Holden shared a post about oil pulling on her blog and how her family has been able to heal cavities by oil pulling.  I'm inspired enough now to make oil pulling a habit. (I thought it would make my mouth really tired but it didn't.)

Next, Tabby has become an awesome goat milker!  She is so faithful to the job I haven't even gotten a chance to try it yet.

Solomon, who just turned 9 months last Saturday, loves pushing his activity walker though he hasn't figured out how to turn yet:

Frank and Lilly were among the fathers and daughters pictured on the SOFT website for Father's Day.  The collage is still up - they are on the "5th page" of it with this picture:

Sigh.  That picture makes me miss holding Lilly's little body.

Seems I like so many hymns written by Charles Wesley.  I am so thankful for God's AMAZING LOVE.  Here is Tabby playing "And Can it be That I Should Gain?" 

And Can It Be That I Should Gain?   by Charles Wesley

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

 ’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Lily-work" in Solomon's temple

Our Easter lilies are finally blooming! 


These are from bulbs that we dug up last fall from our previous home and replanted here.  I guess this explains why the Easter lilies we buy - in the stores at Easter time - are actually brought in from places much farther south than North Carolina.  Or at least greenhouses.

My cousin D.L. shared this scripture with me recently:

"Now the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars in the vestibule were of lily-work, four cubits." - 1 Kings 7:19 (ESV)

"Lily-work?" D. read what this meant:  "The lily work which is described as a part of the ornamentation of the two pillars in the porch of Solomon's Temple is said to be, from the whiteness of the plant, symbolic of purity and peace. Properly, it is lotus work." 

Purity and peace.  Isn't that beautiful?  Of course D., and I, both thought of our Lilly.  She is now pure, dressed in white, and at peace with Christ our Savior.

Last week we had a fierce storm with high winds.  By the time the rain had finished pummeling the earth here and the winds had slowed, the lily flowers in Lilly's garden that had bloomed recently no longer had any petals.  Only the stalks, stripped of their beautiful, delicate flowers remained.  It made me think of Lilly's life.  Lilly was so beautiful and pure.  Yet she was delicate ("medically fragile.")  She bloomed radiantly on earth for a short time, and then she was suddenly gone.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Goats and more dogs and snakes and guinea pigs ... oh my!

This past Thursday morning, a blue mini van drove into our yard.  The back hatch was open and what a sight to see.  Inside the back was a wire pet kennel with 3 kids (baby) goats and standing next to it were 2 nanny (mama) goats.  In the middle seat of the mini van were two more kids.  Human kids!  ;)  Some of the L family's goats had arrived!  (I get so tickled imagining Mrs. L stopped at a traffic light and the driver of the car behind her staring in amazement goats staring back at him - from a mini van!)  Goat and supplies were unloaded.  Then later that night, this was repeated as 2 more kids and another nanny goat arrived.  Along with 2 BIG dogs!  (Great Pyranees)

The next morning we received milking lessons and further instructions.  Tabby and Frank both practiced milking the goats.  Tabby seems to have a natural knack for it.  Frank said he had milked cows some, when he was young.  I watched, wearing Solomon in my baby carrier, jotting down notes.

We have 2 goats to milk and 1 kid is fed by bottle because his mama is unable to produce milk.  Tabby, Hunter, and I love feeding Pip his bottle!

I need to get some pictures of Tabby milking the goats.  The nanny goats are named:  Krista, Nausette (sp?), and Topaz.  Kids are:  Pip, Daisy, Buck, Clove, and Nutmeg.  Here are some random goat shots:

Here are the dogs, named East and West:

Tabby is enjoying milking the goats, though her hands are still getting used to it.  She brings me the milk and I strain it and refrigerate it to bottle feed to Pip later.  There are two goats that needs a little doctoring and I found I really enjoy putting medicine on them.  Frank has thankfully been off work this week, so he's been helping with everything too.  But since he typically works long days, the daily goat care will be up to Tabby and I.  I am so thankful that Tabby is such a huge help and seems to be thriving under having all these animals to take care of.

Our chicks are really growing.  The dogs did well with them last week until yesterday evening, when Lucia killed one of our favorites - Houdini.  (The L family decided not to bring their 30+ chickens here, because of Lucia.)  Here are some pictures of our chicks - Tabby took the first picture, of her favorites - the silkies:

Some friends at church today said that one of their chicks has turned out to be a rooster.  They can't keep it since they're in a residential area.  So tomorrow they are giving it to us.  Our chicks are younger so we don't know if we have a rooster yet.

As if we don't have enough animals now, last week Tabby bought a guinea pig from someone off Craig's List.  She named it Bazil, after a monk in a Veritas Press history course she loved:

Then today, some friends gave her an extra guinea pig they had.  So she added Justinian the Great.  Bazil was very happy to have a friend.  (I don't have a picture of him yet.)  Tabby's room is like a mini-zoo.  She has the 2 guinea pigs, 2 gerbils, 1 betta fish, and a little turtle that Frank rescued.

Finally, much to our horror, last Sunday while Hunter was in the sandbox, Frank uncovered a copperhead under one of the railroad ties surrounding the sandbox.  Gasp!  Scream!  (I still feel like that.)  He grabbed Hunter and put him up on the deck.  Then he and Tabby got shovels and with her as backup, Frank quickly killed the copperhead.  It was a young one.  I grabbed our snake identification book so we could verify that's what it was.  Yep.  A young copperhead.  (AGH!!!)  I am thankful they don't seem to be aggressive and will continue to ask God to protect all of us from snakes.  YUCK!

This evening as I was chasing a chicken that had gotten over the fence, I said to Frank "I never imagined I would be doing this!"  He teased me something about Metallica, the heavy metal band I used to be obsessed with.  I sure have changed a lot since my early 20s!  I caught the chicken and said it was amazing all the things God has taught me in life.  So many things in just the past few days. 

Not only does God teach us things, but we do more than we think is possible.  Several years ago I had no idea I would have had a baby girl with Trisomy 18 and learned as much medical stuff with her as I did.  And then to survive burying her at 17 months.  And really - just so many things God has brought me through - too many to mention in this already too long post.  I have no idea what is coming next.

I only know that I could not do it without Him.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

God made laundry detergent

What's that?  Did you say God actually made laundry detergent?!

And it grows on a tree??!!  Now that is amazing!  Show me!

Have you ever heard of a tree called Sapindus Mukorossi?  Neither had I until last year.  It is a tree that is mostly found in the Himalayas.

File:Sapindus mukorossi2.jpg
(photo credit Wikimedia Commons - here)

Berries, or "soap nuts", are the fruit that grow on these trees.  They look like this:

Soap nuts have an outer shell that contains a substance called saponin. Saponin is a 100% natural, 100% organic alternative to chemical detergents and cleansers.  Saponin (the soap) is released by the shell into warm or hot water.  Put several in your washing machine and amazingly it cleans clothing!  Since it does not have chemicals in it and is fragrance and dye-free, I can wash Solomon's baby clothes in it too.  That's a time saver for me - everyone's things can be washed together.  That makes me happy!

Soap nuts are very easy to use.  They come in a larger muslin bag.  I just take out 5 or 6 and put them into the small muslin bag that comes with it.

If I'm washing things in warm or hot water - I just toss in the small bag of soap nuts.  I tend to wash our clothing in cold water, so that means I need to warm up soap nuts so the saponin will be released.  So for that I either get some hot water from my tea kettle - or heat up water in the microwave for about a minute and a half - and drop the bag of soap nuts into the hot water.  (I have the hot water in a coffee mug.)  Wait about 3 minutes (perfect time to load the washing machine) and then pull out the little bag by the drawstring and toss it onto the clothes in the washing machine.  Wash as normal.  When I'm transferring clothing to the dryer, I pull out the soap nuts bag.  But if I don't see it, I don't worry about finding it right then.  It is ok to let go through the dryer.

If clothing is really yucky, I like to add in several drops of Eucalyptus essential oil.  If I'm washing sheets or towels I like to add in a few drops of Lavender essential oil.

The soap nuts work amazingly well.  Even cleaning stinky, dirty clothes from hard work on our little farm.  I like that clothes come out soft and have no smell.  I've never really liked the harsh smell of chemical detergents anyway, and now when I get a whiff of them, I find them quite overwhelming.

Soap nuts are also a great way to save money.  You can re-use the same ones 5-7 times.  My mind is too busy and overwhelmed to usually remember how many times I've used them, so I like to make a tally mark on the page of a tiny notebook I keep in my laundry area.  Here is my set up:

On the left is the larger bag full of soap nuts.  I keep the little bag that I'm using in the bowl when it's not in the washing machine.  Bottles of essential oil on the right.  (And that's cloth diaper detergent behind them.  I've never tried washing cloth diapers with soap nuts.)  There's a blue tack on the edge of the shelf - that has my little notebook on a ribbon hanging there.  Pen on the shelf by it.

I'm sure this woman would have appreciated throwing a little bag of soap nuts into a modern washing machine!
 (photo credit:

I buy my soap nuts from a CCS mom who sells them through her website: .  This is a mom who I met through Lilly.  :)  Her name is Cindy and she has graciously offered to let my readers purchase soap nuts for a 10% discount.  There is an banner towards the top right side of this blog that you can click through to get to Cindy's website.  When you checkout just enter "Lilly10" for your discount. 

Cindy also sells a soap nuts shampoo.  I love it.  When I was pregnant with Lilly my long hair was soft and shiny.  (Probably from all the super supplements I was taking to try to help her.)  Then after I had her my hair slowly began to get more and more dull and dry.  I tried all kinds of special shampoos and conditioners but nothing helped much.  But then I tried the soap nuts shampoo last winter and after only a few washings, my hair was greatly improved.  It is now soft and healthy.  (HaHa - I feel like a walking advertisement for soap nuts.  I'm not getting paid for this.  I just really appreciate this stuff!)

I know that Cindy also uses soap nuts for cleaning.  I have not tried that yet but need to.  Her website is full of helpful videos and information. 

When Hunter (my budding engineer) was a baby, he was fascinated by the washing machine.  We have a front loader and once he could sit up by himself, I could sit him in front of it and he could sit still and watch it long enough for me to get a chore or two done.  He still is fascinated by washing machines and often draws pictures of them.  Usually they are quite complex and show all their hook up pipes, control panel and all.  Last year, he wrote a book about washing machines.  It is called Woofie and the Washing Machine.  The pages, which he stapled together at the side, are filled with pictures of different washing machines.  It is a "real page turner" - all the washing machines are busy packing to go on a trip.  The back cover asks "Will they make it?"  Here are a few pictures (of washing machines) from his book.  (I don't know why the pictures show up in my new-to-me photo program - Picasa - as straight but I can't get them straight here.)

Aren't those the happiest washing machines you've ever seen?

I never thought I'd be writing a post about laundry.  But here you go!  Give the soap nuts a try and don't forget your discount code:  Lilly10.  I hope you're as pleased as I am.  :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Make haste while the baby sleeps ...

As a child, and still as an adult, I love the "Little House on the Prairie" series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Yesterday, as I was hurrying around my kitchen as fast as I could, I thought of the title of the first chapter of The Long Winter:  "Make Hay While the Sun Shines."  My mind changed the words to my situation:  make haste while the baby sleeps!

Solomon was napping and I was working as fast as I could to get some essential things done before he woke up.  I'm sure most moms can identify with that!  Though I've always held all my babies a lot, Solomon has been different.  From the start he has wanted me to hold him almost constantly.  I even learned to sleep while holding him. 

We moved 3 weeks after he was born and this proved to be difficult for me.  I wanted to hurry and get things unpacked.  But Solomon would cry and cry unless I was holding him.  Or he was napping.  As he's grown, he's gotten more independent of course, happy being near me and playing.  (As long as I don't make eye contact!  Then it's all over and he wants me to hold him.)  But then a week or two ago, he has started wanting me to hold him much more again.  Of course there are times I just have to sit him down because I need both hands to do something.  When I do he will cry.  Well not just cry.  He cries so furiously hims arms shake.  I can't figure out if he's shaking because he's just really upset - or if it's plain old rage.

I've learned to do much more with one hand than I knew was possible.  This picture is from a few months ago.  Solomon is helping me feed my wild sourdough starter.  Something he still does with me:

I do have several baby carriers that I use often.  They are a real blessing.  But there are just some things that I can not do with my big boy in the carrier!

I admit there are times when I feel very frustrated, and yes, have even felt angry.  (Like when I was trying to unpack or am trying to get dinner made.)  Feeling angry because my son is crying for me to hold him?  Yes.  And that makes me feel immensely guilty.  I think of friends that are childless and want a baby so bad.  And I think of Lilly and how I wish I could hold her again.  And that makes me feel guilty for getting frustrated at times at Solomon's immense need to be held by me.

That's when trying to see the situation in a different light helps me.  I believe that God gives us the exact children He wants us to have.  So I know that He knows that having a clingy baby is best for me.  And I know that having this baby in my arms has brought me more healing, from the loss of Lilly, than I thought possible. 

Several months ago, I read an article entitled "Carry Them in Your Arms" by Nancy Campbell, in the February issue of Above Rubies magazine.  This article was such a beautiful response to my baby-that-wants-to-be-carried-all-the-time dilemma.  Nancy asks:

"have you stopped to think what you are really doing when you carry your baby?  You are revealing a glimpse of what God is like.  You couldn't do anything more powerful than that, could you?  He is the tender Shepherd who loves to hold us in His arms.  Isaiah 40:11 describes Him, 'He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.'"

Nancy also writes, "When you carry your baby in your arms, you are like the Great Shepherd of the sheep.  It is not a nuisance.  It is not time-wasting.  It is God-like.  It is so much part of the character of God, that He not only carries us when we are helpless babies, but right through our lives, even to our golden years."

Wow. This was just such a beautiful picture to me, that it greatly lessened my frustration.  (And honestly, now that I'm over post-pregnancy hormonal issues, that has made a huge difference too! I will share about that, and a great help, in a future post.) 

I know Solomon will only be small for a short time.  (And I know some days are so exhausting they feel like forever!)  So I will do my best to enjoy all the time he wants to be in my arms and try to remember to thank God for every minute, as I also pray for help in getting essential things done!

And really, having a little child's soft trusting arms squeezing around my neck, is one of the most precious feelings on earth.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Dream Dial

Solomon has made it clear that THE food he likes is banana.  It works to my advantage though.  I can mix banana in with almost anything and he will eat it.  Or in the case of pureed chicken, I use a bite of banana as a "chaser."  Here is Solomon enjoying carrots ... with banana:

As I posted about this spring, I am using the book Super Nutrition for Babies as my guide for feeding Solomon.  I know trends of how to feed babies can be quite faddish, but this book seems very solid to me.  It even has pictures of vintage baby food ads in it (I LOVE vintage pictures) and they are fascinating to read.  So far Solomon is eating:  avocado, lacto-fermented sweet potatoes, carrots, chicken, homemade chicken broth, and of course his beloved bananas. I also sprinkle into his food desiccated liver (from Radiant Life) and a probiotic (Country Life Maxi Baby-dophilus) once a day. He also occasionally gets a 1/4 teaspoon of the juice from Bubbies brand sauerkraut.  (Tabby eats the sauerkraut.  I'm afraid of it.) 

Earlier this week, on a blog called The Nourishing Gourmet, I read about an interesting quarterly-ish e-book called Everyday Nourishing Foods with Kimi Harris.  Kimi has been sharing research on her blog lately about nutrient dense diets, which I find very interesting.  (If you are "into" info. by Dr. Weston Price, or have a copy of Nourishing Traditions, you will like this.)  I bought and downloaded a copy.  (It is just a couple dollars if you buy in the next few days and use the discount coupon.  To buy and for more info click here.)  As I want to get more of these foods into my family's meals, I think this looks very useful.  (I haven't had much time to look at it yet but see several recipes I want to try.)  I just wanted to mention this in case any one else is interested.

Hunter, my 4-year old engineer type minded kid, has created a "Dream Dial."  I both laughed and was impressed with his idea.  He took old TV antennas, hooked them into an empty kleenex box cover on his nightstand, and then sets it to whatever he wants to dream about at night.  He claims it works for him because he has dreams about appliances, air conditioning units, plumbing, pipes, cars and trucks.  (All those things I've never even dreamed of dreaming about!)  Here is a picture of the Dream Dial:

I wish the dream dial really worked!  I usually have bizarre, tiring dreams.  Though sometimes I am able to solve real life problems in my dreams.  Now those are useful dreams!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Peep! RIP Sweetie the chick

First things first -yes - I did mean my last post (about Tabby and I versus the snake) to be funny.  :)

I just have to share this - I think it was made for my Lilly:


Sigh.  If only I found it about 22 months earlier!  Oh well.  My "Little Firecracker" is always in my heart.

Hunter drew this picture today during the sermon of Adam and Eve.  The serpent has a forked tongue and the tree is the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  And - of course Adam and Eve both have a pet dog.  (Hunter LOVES dogs.)  (I'm sorry - I can't figure out why the picture is showing up sideways!)

Yesterday we had about 15 people descend upon our woods to put up fencing and to build a shelter for 35 chickens, 2 dogs, and 8 goats.  WHAT??? (I think I got the numbers right.) We are going to be temporarily keeping all the animals of our friends, the L family, who's house burned down last week.  The shelter is not quite finished:

We will keep them here until the L family house is rebuilt.  We feel blessed we have the space to do this to help out.  Now we just need a catchy name for our farm.  "Little Firecracker's Animal Refuge"?  We'll have to think of something.  Any suggestions?

Today our two dogs, Dixie and Lucia, quietly watched the chickens going in and out of their coop.  Little did we know that Lucia had murder in her heart.  (Lucia is the bigger, lighter colored dog.)

The chickens innocently scratched and pecked in the fenced area of the backyard, minding their own business.

We all watched the chickens and hung out in the yard for a bit.  Then Tabby and I went inside.  Shortly after that I heard Frank yell at Lucia.  It wasn't just a regular yell. It was the very very stern yell.  Tabby and I ran back outside.  Frank leapt over the fence and took off after Lucia yelling that she had got a chick.  I grabbed Solomon who was standing there, holding onto a toy shopping cart all by himself.  Tabby picked up a limp chick.

Apparently, the chick that Tabby named Sweetie, had hoped over the fence.  And Lucia moved in for the kill.  :(

Neither Tabby nor Frank could feel a heartbeat, but decided to hold the chick awhile to make sure it was dead.  Tabby sat on the swing hugging Sweetie and watching her, it just struck me as so sad.  I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but seeing her there cradling that chick made me think of when I was holding Lilly, dead, against me. 

I was glad Frank was here to discipline Lucia with the chick and then bury it.  It was one of those things I could do if I had to, but really would prefer not to right now.

The remaining 24 chicks seem to be doing well, except a silkie runt named Taffeta, whom Hunter says has Trisomy 18.  She is still so small and the other chicks bully her.  They pull out her feathers and sit on her!  What meanies!  Taffeta needs to get a gang started to help protect her when Tabby isn't around.  Maybe the Feathers vs. the Crips.