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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

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The book list - March

March's book list has three completely unrelated books.  But I thoroughly enjoyed each one!  I love my busy days with my kids, but at night, there is nothing like sitting down with a book - in complete silence! - and just escaping and learning things on my own for awhile.  I really need that.

My red-white-and blue garden (though the blue is really more like a purple).  I love bulbs - plant them once and they keep coming back!
Sergeant York and the Great War by Sergeant York - This is a reprint of Alvin York's life story and war dairy, which were originally edited by Tom Skeyhill in 1930.  Tabby and I read this for her online history class.  The book is written in York's own words - bad grammar and all.  (He only had a few years of formal education.)  His poor spelling and grammar bothered Tabby, but for me, it added to the authenticity of his story.  York grew up in the mountains of Tennessee, along with his 10 siblings.  He and several of his brothers bummed around and drank way too much alcohol for a bit, much to their mother's sorrow.  (Their father had died by this point.)  But then York became a Christian and turned his life around.  He, as many people who lived where he did, had learned to shoot at an early age.  His skills of shooting and hunting came into play when he was drafted into the army in World War I.  He tried to get out of the military by being a (religious) conscientious objector.  But his understanding of this changed over time and after a number of discussions with his superiors in the army.  Soon he found himself in France, in the trenches.  His amazing shooting skills allowed him to take out a number of German machine gun nests and capture over 100 Germans.  I could go on and on about this fascinating book, but I better stop.  :)  Note that Gary Cooper starred in a 1941 movie version of York's life during the war called Sergeant York.  (Though there are inaccuracies in the movie, it is still a good movie over all.) 

We hope to be buying baby chicks this week!  We have two hens that seem to be broody.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:  The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo - I reserved this book at my library, but after waiting for a couple months for it I decided to just buy a copy.  I'm so glad I did as it is now one of my favorite books!  This book is translated from Japanese and has a unique approach to "tidying up."  The author's personal story is woven throughout the book and I found her so interesting.  She became fascinated by cleaning up and organizing when only 5 years old!  This is something she worked at and researched as she grew up, and is now a personal cleaning consultant.  This book presents her methods to declutter and organize for good. In the KonMari Method, you organize by categories rather than a room-by-room or little-by-little approach.  (The book also offers an interesting peek into Japanese culture.)

This book came along at a perfect time for me.  For many months now I have been particularly feeling strangled and weighed down by all our stuff.  I am so tired of shifting stuff from here to there and things never staying tidy for long.  It seems that stuff just piles up faster than I can sort through it and deal with it properly.  (Possessions really can be a curse.)  All this saving things in case we might need it one day - well that isn't practical when your house is about to explode from the amount of stuff!  I feel like the rat in the wheel that just keeps spinning and I just want to crawl under something and sob and admit defeat.  Do I sound overly dramatic?  Well it's how I feel right now.  In my dream world, everyone would leave and I would have one month to completely go through everything in our house uninterrupted.  I'd rent a dumpster and purge away.  Of course that isn't realistic and I'd miss my family terribly!  Sp I am slowly trying to chip away at things.  Hopefully I can pick up the pace later this summer, when we take a break from homeschool.

Solomon loves playing in the sandbox
 It's No Accident:  Breakthrough Solutions to Your Child's Wetting, Constipation, UTIs, and other Potty Problems by Steven J. Hodges, MD - Earlier this year, I read this blogpost on the Kitchen Stewardship blog.  My interest was perked because my 6-year old son still has to wear a pull-up and wets almost every night.  He finds this VERY upsetting and discouraging, to put it lightly.  My 2-year old is never dry at night anymore, which has been a bit surprising because as a baby, it was not unusual for him to stay dry overnight.  Well, the doctor and author of this book claims that almost all problems with overnight wetting are due to ... constipation!  (And yes, your child can be constipated even if they are "going" once a day.)  Not only does constipation cause overnight wetting in older kids, but it is also usually the culprit in childhood urinary tract infections in others.  (This was fascinating to me because so many children with Trisomy 18 struggle with UTIs.  And almost all have constipation problems!) So what is the solution?  Major cleansing with laxatives or enemas.  (Enemas are recommended as the quickest way, but here in America, they are NOT popular anymore.)  Diets with a lot more fiber.  And lots more exercise! 

I will probably post about this more in the coming month or so, as I have been following the treatment with my sons for a week now, and am already seeing good results!  I know this isn't something talked about much, but if it works, this knowledge really does need to be spread.  If these are things your child struggles with, I highly recommend you buy the book right now.  I was surprised just how fascinating it was. (!)  The author has a great sense of humor.

Hunter is showing his "pet" LED lights the 3 mason jar lights he assembled to sell
Here is the latest collection of lamps for sale from Hunter's Bright Lights!  They are put together using VINTAGE mason jars as the lamp base!

Note that the lamp on the right, with the reddish shade, has already been sold.  If you are interested in one of the others, please contact me.  Prices are as follows (does not include shipping):

1) Brown lampshade, clear mason jar that says "mason" and has an "H" and ship's anchor on it, jar is filled with blue and green "gems".  Cost is $33.00 (or $28.00 WITHOUT the gems)

2) White lampshade, blue mason jar that says "Ball Perfect Mason" on it.  Cost is $28.00.  (I think this lampshade would look really cute dressed up with a red gingham ribbon glued around it.)

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