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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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another one bites the dust ...

Skinny the Rhode Island Red
Early this morning I looked out the window and saw something laying in the yard that I did not recognize.  I grabbed my binoculars to confirm my suspicions.  Yep.  Another dead chicken.  A Rhode Island Red named Skinny.  Last night Skinny had refused to go into the coop.

Though I had no evidence that would have held up in a court of law, I feel pretty sure it was Lucia.  (We let her off her cable at night after the door to the chicken coop is closed.)

As Hunter and I went outside to pick up the chicken's corpse, I had a line from the rock group Queen song pop in my head.  "Another one down and another one down ... another one bites the dust."  I've never really considered myself a Queen fan so I sort of wondered "Where did that come from?!"  I don't know any more of the song, but that little part I remember describes this whole chicken murder by Lucia business.  (Funny aside - if Frank had been here I'm sure he could have told me the rest of the lyrics.  He used to be a Queen fan in college and can pretty much finish of any song of their's that he hears.  I find that amusing.  Amusing in the way that he finds that I used to be an Ozzy Osbourne fan amusing.)

I sighed as I picked up Skinny and carried her body to the barn.  Rigor mortis was setting in.  She was such a pretty color.  Interestingly her body was intact.  I'm not sure what Lucia thinks she's doing with these chickens - she certainly is not eating them.  She's such a big playful dog I sort of wonder if she thinks she is playing with them.

When Tabby came downstairs this morning, she did not cry.  Skinny wasn't the friendliest chicken.  I was thankful as Tabby's heart is still raw over the death of Chanticleer (the rooster). Tabby actually wanted to bury Skinny and went outside to do so.

When she came in later, she said that Skinny's best chicken friend Roger Williams was sort of lost and lonely wandering around.  (You can tell what we're studying in history by our animals names.  We're studying the original 13 colonies right now.  Roger Williams was the founder of Rhode Island.  So of course one of our Rhode Island Reds had to get that name.  We make jokes about the hen - saying she's off to start another church of her own - that she considers all the other chickens are heretics, etc.)

We've been doing light schoolwork this summer.  Light as in book learning only I guess - because we sure seem to be taking a crash course in chicken and goat care!

There's plenty to stay busy with though.  Frank brought home a broken printer from work and Hunter has had the best time messing with it.  He loves taking things apart.  He is thrilled with the printer and keeps calling me to see all the things he is learning about it.  Hands on learning - I love it!  (He wasn't too happy with Solomon's hands trying to learn with him on the printer!)

Tabby has taken it upon herself to give Hunter piano lessons.  She bought books from her piano teacher last week and has been busy with him.  We laugh because his favorite part is the workbook part.  (He loves workbooks of all kinds.)  Tabby's a pretty strict teacher so I'm not sure how long this arrangement will last.

I used a couple of Lilly's syringes to administer goat medication not to long ago.  I ended up giving one to Hunter and one to Solomon to play with in the tub.  Solomon has decided it is one of his very favorite toys:

Solomon's new little tooth is still slowly coming in.  But he didn't think he needed to wait any longer to start brushing:

Now if only this little guy would start laying down for his naps!  He is STILL dozing standing up in his crib!

I am an ideas person.  I often drive myself crazy because I have more ideas than I can actually carry out.  And every time I have another idea - I'm so tempted to run with it right then.  I have to keep reminding me there are simply better times in my life for some things, so I write those down for the future.  My latest idea is to learn to make and sell goat milk soap with the goat milk being from the goat we're caring for.  Tabby makes goat milk soap and sells it through her Craftsy Kitty business, but that is using a goat milk pre-made block that she melts and puts in molds.  I want to make it from scratch.  If any one reading this does this, and has a favorite recipe or some good pointers, I'd love to hear from you!

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." - Proverbs 16:3

Finally, a little boy named Aaron, who is 3 years old with Trisomy 18, could really use your prayers.  Aaron's has problems with his heart, but it can not be fixed like Lilly's heart could.  (He has pulmonary hypertension.)  Aaron is needing more and more oxygen to be able to breathe.  He is in the hospital right now.  You can read about this amazing little boy on his mama's blog for him - Compatible With Joy.   

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Still Would Have Chosen You PLUS fundraiser results

I Still Would Have Chosen YOU - By Terri Banish

If before you were born, I could have gone to heaven and saw all the beautiful souls, I still would have chosen you...

If God had told me, "This soul would one day need extra care and needs," I still would have chosen you...

If He had told me, "This soul may make your heart bleed," I still would have chosen you...

If He had told me, "This soul would make you question the depth of your faith," I still would have chosen you...

If He had told me, "This soul would make tears flow from your eyes that could fill a river," I still would have chosen you...

If He had told me, "This soul may one day make you witness overbearing suffering," I still would have chosen you...

If He had told me, "All that you know to be normal would drastically change," I still would have chosen you...

Of course, even though I would have chosen you, I know it was God who chose me for you.

I would have chosen Lilly.  Every time.

My fundraiser in honor of Lilly's 3rd birthday is now over.  We had 11 Thirty-One orders and earned about $140   $153.00!  As soon as I receive it I will send half to SOFT and use the other half to get busy on the next Lilly Memorial Project.  Thank you so much to those that participated!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pride and the death of Chanticleer

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." - Proverbs 16:18

(Tabby gets the credit for all photos in this post)

"The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), . . ." - Isaiah 2:12

Do the negative consequences of pride even effect animals?  Yes!  Our bossy, prideful rooster has learned that the hard way.  Chanticleer, the beautiful Buff Orpington who loved to be flattered, had gotten increasingly pushy, aggressive, and bossy to all the animals here.  He liked to chase Hunter too, and we all knew to never go outside without our high rubber boots on.  

Just this week he repeatedly attacked and bullied Knucklehead the hen.  Badly enough that Tabby kept having to stop him.  The rest of the hens he just pushed around as usual.  He often attacked Dixie, our German Shepherd/Collie.  Amazingly, Dixie just ducked down and submitted, except for once recently when my husband had to call her off the rooster.  Worst of all though, were the rooster's increasing attacks on Lucia, our Lab/Terrier.

Lucia is our big sweet dog that can not be trusted around chickens.  After she killed two, and did not respond to chicken discipline, we decided to just tie her on a long cable out in front of our house each morning until evening when the chickens all were secured in the coop.  (Lucia doesn't seem to mind at all - she's an older dog and was already spending most of her days sleeping on our front door mat on our porch.)  

 Chanticleer's attacks on Lucia had become more frequent and more vicious. Lucia would just be sitting there and then there suddenly was that loud rooster squawking and pecking her.  It wasn't right since Lucia couldn't even run that far to escape or defend herself.  I even had to grab a stick and whack Chanticleer to get him off Lucia a number of times. Lucia herself got a nice mouthful of tail feathers more than once.

We all warned Chanticleer many times that Lucia was going to get him and it would be all his fault.  He would deserve it.  We joked that his time was numbered.  Yes joked.  Though we really didn't want him to die.  He was doing a great job keeping the hens safe.  He was also a mighty snake slayer! And we all loved him going on walks with us, especially watching him jog.

Then it happened.

"Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, . . ." - Job 40:11

Frank was changing Solomon's diaper this morning at the changing table, and he looked out the window.  I heard him say heavily "oh no ..." 

"But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory." - Daniel 5:20

Tabby and I ran out the front door with Hunter close behind.  There was Lucia, surrounded by feathers and a dead Chanticleer.  Dixie was there too enjoying some feathers.  Tabby burst into tears crying that she loved Chanticleer.  Hunter was sad that Chanticleer wouldn't be able to go on walks with us anymore but did admit he would like to be able to go outside without worrying about rooster attacks.  I felt sad when Frank came out, handed me Solomon, and then went and picked up the limp rooster.  He sighed and said we needed an electric digging machine - all these animals he's been having to bury here lately in the rocky soil.

Good-bye Chanticleer.  You did a great job even though we thought you went overboard at times.  We especially liked your huge personality.  We all have commented many times today how much we miss hearing you crowing around the yard, and how funny it was that it seemed that no matter what window we were looking out, you were there, on patrol.

I think we can all learn a lesson from Chanticleer.  I don't think I'm the only one that struggles with pride at times.  Self-righteous pride is something that we should evaluate ourselves for, and root out and repent of any that we find.  We should not take credit for things that God accomplished nor think too highly of ourselves.  We need to be careful not to become so prideful that we are blind to dangers in life.  Like Chanticleer did.

"Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud." - Proverbs 16:19

Let us be thankful to God for what He has allowed us to accomplish!  :)

"Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor." - Proverbs 29:23

All is quiet in the chicken coop tonight. I wonder if the hens are wondering where their fearless, prideful leader is.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A new tooth and the ending of my fundraiser

Whew what a day!  Seems like all the kids are high maintenance today!  Maybe they're thinking that about me though.  I'm ready to crawl into bed with a book.  I will say Solomon has a legitimate excuse - his first tooth has broken through the gum.  As for the rest of us - can we blame it on a full moon?  We have cut back on schoolwork for the summer and I definitely see a difference.  The kids get bored and miss the structure in the day. 

On thing that the kids thoroughly enjoy is our morning walk around the property.  The rooster is still going with us.  Tabby wrote about it and has photos here over at her blog, The Goat Chick.  You will see that even the goats are following along the best they can!

Just a reminder, my Thirty One fundraiser ends tomorrow, Saturday July 27.  If you'd like to check out Thirty One and maybe place an order, go here: , click on "My Parties" on the left, and then clicking on "The Lilly Memorial Projects Thirty-One Fundraiser."

Remember that all earnings will be split between SOFT and my own Lilly Memorial Project.  By the way, my next focus for the Lilly Memorial Project will be for October, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.  I'm gathering ideas together now.  There are so very many people touched by this.  I want to include many of the Trisomy children who were older than infants, when they died.

Tabby took these pictures today of Solomon in my Thirty-One "large utility tote" - the one that holds my Lilly project things:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book recommendation: 4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions

I have four children.  One in heaven, three living with me.  Each is so very different.  Every time I think I have some aspect of raising children figured out something new will come up, leaving me stumped and back to God praying for wisdom.  Again.

photo credit:  Tabby
So I always appreciate hearing about/reading practical advice from other parents.  Especially parents of big families - I figure more kids means they've dealt with more!  (It's funny, sometimes when we're out in public, strangers will make comments to me that 3 kids equals a big family!  I really don't think so, even though I understand it's sadly more than usual these days.)

 I just finished reading an e-book called 4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions.  It's a pretty big book - 189 pages.  And I learned some new, helpful things to add to my daily arsenal of parenting tactics.  Plus I got a lot of encouragement.  In the book, 4 different moms each gave their answers to 14 different questions.  Here are the questions:

- How do you get your family to church on time?
- How do you teach your children to be still and quiet in church?
- How do you prepare children to be around unbelieving family?
- How do you keep things fair for all your children?
- How do you keep your patience in the midst of chaos?
- How do you manage outings with only little ones?
- Do you ever feel discouraged or overwhelmed?
- How do you make sure your children get enough individual time?
- Naps: How important are they? How do you make them happen?
- How do you find time for projects that need to be done, require focused attention and which the children can't help with?
- How do you teach your children to do chores?
- How do you teach children to be diligent?
- Which parenting style is best?
- How do you teach your children about the birds and the bees?
- How do you deal with sibling squabbles?

The Appendix has:  master chore list; You might be a large family if; fruit of the spirit printable, and sermon notes printable.

Each of the 4 moms are also bloggers and in their responses they often refer to one of their blogposts.  I found one mom in particular seemed to often be speaking directly to me and our particular situation many times!  I followed many of her links to her blog and got even more practical advice that way.  I do want to stress that ALL 4 of the moms had a lot of good advice.

The e-book is currently available for $7.99 here:

Speaking of books, I have mentioned the book Trim, Healthy Mama several times.  This book is full of good information and a ton of recipes.  It follows a low glycemic way of eating.  Eat this way and you will be full and eat lots of yummy healthy foods.  (I am currently obsessed with the "choco pudding"!  Yes - chocolate pudding that is good for you!)  I gained about 50 pounds in my pregnancy with Solomon and I easily lost all that weight plus the 20 I had never lost after having Lilly - all in about 7 months.  Not bad!

I recently got an email from K., a reader, whom I've never met, that she started reading this blog to keep up with Lilly and pray for her.  She still reads this blog and learned about the Trim, Healthy Mama book here.  She got the book and began following it and has lost 49 lbs.!  And she said she looks and feels better than she has in years.  :)  I was so delighted to read K.'s email.  I just never know how another Lilly blessing might appear!

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." - Ephesians 3:20

Have a great day!

both of these photos are by Tabby

What about you?  Do you have a favorite parenting book?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The standing napper Plus 4-H request

For close to two weeks now, Solomon has been continuing to stand or sit in his crib for his naps.  He will not lay down!  I keep thinking if he gets tired enough, he will.  But he just stands or sits quietly - holding onto the bards - and dozes off and on.  I am praying this phase ends quickly because he's so tired and rather cranky by the end of the day.  I took this little video this morning, of him standing while sleeping.  It took it on the video monitor:

 I have been looking into 4-H clubs as a possible activity for the kids starting this fall.  I don't know a lot about it.  My husband participated in 4-H as a child, but all he remembers is his wining bird feeder entry at the fair and a near drowning experience he had!  If you ever participated in a group - as a member or leader - I would love to hear from you!  What kinds of activities did you do?  What did you like best?  Least?  Please leave a comment or email me.  Thank you!

New goat activity this past Saturday:  learn to trim goat hooves!  It's definitely not as quick as cutting fingernails, and takes two people.  At least for us.  The amazing Mrs. L (the goats owner) can easily do it by herself.

Trim and clean hooves mean healthy hooves/feet for goats!

Finally, as there are just a few days left for our fundraiser, I want to share the last two Thirty One products I have.  The first is the "your way rectangle".  It is a handy box with a clear PVC window on one side.  I have one filled up with books by my nightstand.  (I like to have a bunch of books going at once.)  I've also used them to stack homeschool materials to review.  They're really handy and fold flat for storage!

Finally, I have the "keep-it caddy" which I keep under my desk.  It has my blog idea book, Bible, commonplace book, notebook of books I have read, and scripture journal.  Very handy to grab and tote anywhere I want to go with it.

I've accumulated my Thirty One products through some wonderful sales.  :)

JOIN US FOR OUR FUNDRAISER THROUGH JULY 27TH! I am holding a Thirty One gifts fundraiser this month. All earnings will be split between SOFT and my own Lilly Memorial Project. Go to our party page by clicking , click on "My Parties" on the left, and then clicking on "The Lilly Memorial Projects Thirty-One Fundraiser." THANK YOU!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

God is not an ATM machine

Ever since the goats have arrived, our children have regularly prayed for them.  For weeks, most of Tabby's prayers included "please heal Nausette."  Nausette's sickness kept fluctuating.  We kept treating her the best we could.

Nausette and her babies Cloves and Nutmeg

Then last Monday morning, Tabby came back from milking to tell me that Nausette was dead.  The boys and I went out with her to check and be sure.  Sadly she was.  As I stood staring at her (I'll spare you a description) I felt sad.  On the one hand - I was glad she didn't have to struggle with her illness anymore.  On the other hand - I didn't want anything to happen to the L family's goats and besides, it was fun having her and I knew her babies loved her!

I had had Tabby let the babies out of their stall to see her, because I believe that animals understand death.  But the babies just kept trying get Nausette up (head butting her) so Tabby put them back in their stall until we could get Nausette out of there.

Thankfully my husband was able to come home from work to bury her.  With Solomon strapped on my back, I helped Frank lift Nausette into a wheelbarrow to move her to another area for burial.  She was a pretty heavy goat.  Her babies were so sad and kept calling her.  "Maaaaaaaa ..." 

Tabby is no longer praying for God to heal Nausette.  She is praying His protection on all the goats. A number of times in the last week, Hunter would just sigh and say something like "Poor Nausette.  She looked so sad dead.  I miss her."

Recently, Tabby's favorite chick Taffeta was missing when it was time to close up the chicken coop for the night.  Tabby couldn't find that little chick anywhere.

Taffeta the "Trisomy 18" chick (Silkie Bantam)
Tabby panicked and begged us to help look for her.  She was so upset and kept crying out to God to help her find Taffeta.  This went on for quite awhile.  She began to get really agitated with God for not answering quickly and as she wanted Him to.  (I'm sure we're all guilty of this!)  She loudly exclaimed she didn't understand why God didn't answer her right away!  After a few minutes of this I heard Frank tell her God didn't automatically just give us whatever we wanted right when we demanded it.  Tabby countered with "But He always helped me find Taffeta before when I prayed!"

As I continued to look for Taffeta, I thought about their conversation.  I remembered a dear friend once shared that she was upset because she had been praying and praying about something and God was not responding.  Her husband told her "God is not an ATM machine.  We can't just push buttons and make Him do what we want." 

I've thought about that at times.  Sometimes, it seems like He is.  We pray for things and He answers quickly with just what we want.  That subconsciously ranks up a bunch of "easily completed transactions" in our minds.  Besides, we're used to getting what we want when we want it in our society so we think prayers should work that way too.  Even Jesus said:

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." - John 14:13-14

So just be sure to tack on a "in Jesus name" at the end of your prayer and you're all set to get what you're demanding.  Right?

God is not an ATM machine.

No - God is so much more.  More than it is even possible for us to comprehend.

“'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord.   'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" - Isaiah 55:8-9

Have you ever prayed for something and felt frustrated when you didn't get the answer you wanted from God?  And then later on, you realize just how awful it would have been IF God had answered like you initially had prayed?  Ooops!  Good thing we're not in charge of the universe after all, right!

What about when terrible things happen to you?  Besides Lilly dying, I have had a number of really terrible things happen to me, both before and after I became a Christian.  But because I love God - and am trying my best to trust Him - I can take comfort in this verse:

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." - Ecclesiastes 3:11

I have some wounds that I still can not see any beauty in.  Yet.  But others - such as with Lilly's death - I continue to marvel at the beauty God has brought - and is still bringing from them.

So how did it turn out with Taffeta?  Tabby received her answer from God and finally found Taffeta  hiding in the coop!

Tabby with Taffeta (right) and Shiny (left)
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Lilly Memorial Project - Birthing Center Donation

Here is my "Lilly Memorial Project's" latest donation:

It is going to the Women's Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, NC today.  This is where I went for my care while pregnant with Lilly and I had incredible support there.  (Hunter and Solomon were born there too!)  Recently I read in their monthly e-newsletter that they were in need of gently used receiving blankets.  So I collected 18 blankets.  Eighteen because Lilly had Trisomy 18.  I also included my current 3 favorite baby books, for their library.  Three because we just recognized Lilly's 3rd birthday. 

The books are:  Making Babies: Fertility, Pregnancy, and Birth the Natural Way by Shoshanna Easling, Super Nutrition for Babies:  The Right Way to Feed Your Baby for Optimal Health by Katerine Erlich and Kelly Genzlinger, and Trim Healthy Mama by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison.  Inside the front cover of the books, I added a special sticker:

 I recently had another angel mom ask me how I can do these projects when I am grieving.  My answer was that it helps me.  It is healing for me to do things to help others. I always think of this scripture in times like this: 

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." - 1 Corinthians 3-4

When I am gathering things for my Lilly projects, I store them in my "large utility tote" from Thirty One.  It is embroidered with "My Lilly Projects."

Yesterday I had another "hello" from Lilly - a yellow lily flower in her garden:


JOIN US FOR OUR FUNDRAISER THROUGH JULY 27TH! I am holding a Thirty One gifts fundraiser this month. All earnings will be split between SOFT and my own Lilly Memorial Project. Go to our party page by clicking , click on "My Parties" on the left, and then clicking on "The Lilly Memorial Projects Thirty-One Fundraiser." THANK YOU!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tabby's new blog: The Goat Chick

Tabby has a new blog!  It is appropriately named "The Goat Chick."  (Get it - she's a girl (chick) who is caring for goats and chickens.)  My husband has been encouraging her to start writing down all the funny/scary/interesting things happening around our farm.  Sort of a town girl learns to be a country girl kind of thing.  Then I had the idea of her doing it by blogging as it's such fun way to journal and add pictures.  Then one day we'd like her to compile her posts into a book.

So check out The Goat Chick!  Tabby is a very entertaining writer. Here is her blog header which she designed herself:

LillyBear thought I should share Tabby's purse I got her from Thirty One.  It was Tabby's request for her birthday this year.  The strap was very long for her but she quickly shortened it.  The name of this purse is the "retro metro crossbody." 

JOIN US FOR OUR FUNDRAISER THROUGH JULY 27TH! I am holding a Thirty One gifts fundraiser this month. All earnings will be split between SOFT and my own Lilly Memorial Project. Go to our party page by clicking , click on "My Parties" on the left, and then clicking on "The Lilly Memorial Projects Thirty-One Fundraiser." THANK YOU!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Easy nursing dress

This says it all!

My sweet Lilly girl:

Has anyone ever had a baby that consistently napped sitting or standing up?  That is what Solomon has been doing the past several days.  He either manages to sleep sitting up in the middle of his crib, or standing and leaning against the rails.  It is cute and rather pitiful at the same time.

My friend C suggested I share this tip after I told her about it.  Recently I bought a dress I liked at the thrift shop.  (I like the simplicity of dresses - saves time getting dressed.  Just yank it over your head and go!)  It has a really deep V cut.  I decided to make it so I could wear it for nursing.  I took a camisole that I had and cut it shorter and hemmed it.  Makes access very easy - just pull over the V area and pull up the short cami.

Don't forget about my fundraiser!:
JOIN US FOR OUR FUNDRAISER THROUGH JULY 27TH! I am holding a Thirty One gifts fundraiser this month. All earnings will be split between SOFT and my own Lilly Memorial Project. Go to our party page by clicking , click on "My Parties" on the left, and then clicking on "The Lilly Memorial Projects Thirty-One Fundraiser." THANK YOU!

The diaper bag that my sister-in-law made me and I used for Hunter and Lilly finally wore out.  I was surprised to find this "retro metro" bag from Thirty-One works GREAT for hauling around all our stuff.  (Why does the mama always end up carrying things for everyone in the family?)  Plus I have the organista crossbody purse which I keep inside and can just pull out to run into the store with if I don't want to take the whole bag.

Thank you so much to those of you who have placed an order already!  I am so encouraged and grateful!  :)   

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Making food for angels, babies, and goats

JOIN US FOR OUR FUNDRAISER THROUGH JULY 27TH! I am holding a Thirty One gifts fundraiser this month. All earnings will be split between SOFT and my own Lilly Memorial Project. Go to our party page by clicking , click on "My Parties" on the left, and then clicking on "The Lilly Memorial Projects Thirty-One Fundraiser." THANK YOU!

This is a photo of my "hang-up home organizer" from Thirty-One.  I have it hung in a place where we all walk by many times a day.  Tabby is always asking what is coming up next during our week so this is a good place for me to have our calendar hung so she can check it.  This organizer has many pockets.  Here is what I use mine for.  In the two small pockets I have gift cards in one and library book lists and receipts from checked out books in the other.  In the top right pocket are our weekly chore lists.  (I like the Motivated Moms schedule I download each year.) In the big sideways middle pocket I have a list and greeting cards for the month for birthdays, encouragment cards, remembering angelversarys, etc.  In the bottom left I have coupons in the front pocket and homeschool activity sheets in the back pocket.  On the bottom right I have my grocery shopping list in the back pocket and various papers that I need and am waiting for things on in the front.  As much as I hate it, I am a paper piler.  This organizer has helped give a bunch of my papers a permanent home which I am thankful for!  (It is available in several color options from Thirty-One.)

I wanted to share this neat tip.  When I was making Lilly's angel food cake earlier this month, I realized I did not have a bundt pan.  So I used ramekin dishes inside of round cake pans.  It worked well.

As a cook, I am really good at following a recipe exactly.  I am not very good at changing recipes or making up my own.  Therefore, Solomon and I are really enjoying a book called Top 100 Baby Purees:  100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby by Annabel Karmel.  Many of the recipes are for combinations of food that I just would never think of.  For example, yesterday I made Solomon chicken with apple and sweet potato mixed in.  He really seemed to like it!

I find incredible satisfaction in making all of Solomon's food.

Today I made "deworming herbal balls" for the goats. LOL - another thing I never knew I would be making one day!  It was pretty sticky - reminded me of the raw food snacks I make.  Only one goat appreciated all my work.  But we got some into all of the goats.

Being around animals on our little farm has made me realize how many old expressions are really true.  I am often amused when I look outside and see that our 24 chickens have divided themselves up into groups, according to their breed.  "Birds of a feather flock together" - illustrated by this group of silkies:

Frank shared an article with me earlier this week from Chick Colson's "Breakpoint Daily".  It is entitled "A Perfect Daughter: Loving a Special Needs Child."  It was about how a little girl with Down Syndrome won her daddy's heart - when he really didn't intend for her to!  And to show the world how precious special needs children were, this dad competed in 321 races together.  (She was in a jogging stroller.)  Why 321?  Because Down Syndrome is also known as Trisomy 21.   The article also had a great quote by Chuck Colson, of what a friend said to him when he learned that Chuck's grandson Max was autistic:

"You have found favor with God because He has given you a person with special needs in your family so you will learn sacrificial love."

That verse makes me think of my Lilly and how much she taught all of us about love!  Yes we were so blessed to have her!

Our rainbow baby has developed a strip of curly-ish hair right down the top middle.  Hunter nicknamed him "Curley-O" which cracks me up (and I have no idea how to spell it!)  Here's Solomon:

I love when I find pictures that Tabby took on my camera.  Here is one of Solomon she took riding in my bike seat: