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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

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Epiphany ... and dark and cold and raining ...

Wow - it has been over 2 weeks since I posted - my longest ever stretch.  Did you miss me?  Or were you relieved I wasn't filling your inbox with posts?  :)  Where have I been?  Well mostly home.  But I just didn't have it in me to post.  No one huge reason, just lots of little ones I guess.  For years now, I've felt rather overwhelmed by the whole Christmas season.  And since Lilly's death (Dec. 15, 2011) I've felt an extra "weight" to this time of year.  We had company and then went visiting - both very good.  Finally, I got this pesky thing called "writer's block."  Now that's rare for me - usually I don't have time to write about everything I'd like to.  I've been praying for direction for my blog.  I need the writing outlet but I'm just not feeling completely clear on what my focus should be.  (If you have any ideas please leave a comment for me!  Seriously!)

Thanks Hunter for letting me borrow your toy truck!
When Tabby was 3 (she's now 12), I was a single mom and decided one of our Christmas traditions would be to cut our own Christmas tree.  We did that every year until this past Christmas.  This year, our favorite Christmas tree farm was sold out of trees early.  We checked around with a few other farms, but on "tree cutting day" I just didn't feel like driving far.  So I asked the family how they felt about a pre-cut (gasp!) tree.  No one else minded so off we went looking.  We ended up at Lowes of all places, and there - on clearance - was a beautiful, glorious, Frasier Fir tree.  (I consider those the KING of all Christmas trees!)  It is the nicest tree we have ever got and it was marked down to only $10!!!!  The only bad thing was, I forgot to take a picture of it all decorated.  HOW could I forget??!!

We tried two other new potential traditions.  One was a daily advent activity calendar.  I printed out 25 large tags that had a related scripture on one side, and I wrote an activity on the other.  Then I hung a long ribbon across our dining room windows and hung the tags with clothespins.  (I forgot to take a picture of that too!  But you can see a tiny bit in the below picture on the right.)  I was quite proud of all the activity ideas I came up with.  However, for whatever reason, no one else really got excited about this.  In fact, they thought I was being was too regimented in scheduling a specific day for some things. (What me?  Regimented!  Don't answer that ...)  So I don't guess that activity will make "tradition" status.  We'll just stick with the daily chocolate advent calendars instead.  (That is probably Hunter's favorite tradition.)

The other "trial tradition" was to take all the Christmas cards we received and have a contest.  Yesterday I laid them all out on our table and wrote out a number of categories (such as "funniest," "cutest," "best homemade," "most spiritual," etc.) and then Frank, Tabby, and I voted.  Solomon picked the "best store bought card" - it is one with Santa by a train and Hunter LOVES the card.  I'm going to make up little awards certificates and we'll mail them out to our winners.  (I wanted to include a little prize but couldn't think of anything.)  This was fun and we decided it will be on the "annual traditions" list.  (By the way, I got the idea for this one from a book called Celebrate With Joy: Transform your Christmas Season by Sondra Burnett.  This book is chock full of ideas!  You can get more info, and order it here.)

Our goats are back home from being breed.  We bought Nutmeg (the brown goat) from the L. family and they gave Tabby Pip for free.  (Pip has been re-named Pippi.)  Hopefully both girls will have babies in May.  (It is common for goats to have twins.)

I'm not sure Christa (the largest goat) was thrilled with seeing them or not.  (We bought Christa too.  If you have bought or received goat milk soap from Tabby and I - it is Christa's milk we used for the soap.  FYI - we should have more soap available for sale next month.)

Here is Ryan.  He is the "stud" goat.  The L family named him after the teenage boy they bought him from. 

One thing a male goat does to make himself more attractive to female goats is to spray himself with urine.  Oh yeah - sounds REAL attractive, huh?  Thankfully Ryan didn't have on his "urine cologne" the day we went over to the L's property to see him and see how our girls were.

Did you notice Solomon's bangs in the above pictures?  They remind me of that "vintage baby" look.  I've had to trim parts of his hair a couple times, but after Christmas I finally had to give him a full haircut.  (Well OK - I left the curl in the back.  I couldn't bring myself to cut that part yet!)  It makes me nervous to cut a little one's hair - I'm afraid they'll suddenly move and I'll poke them with the scissors.  Whenever I cut Hunter's hair, he sits in my lap at the computer and watches home appliance repair videos on YouTube.  (His favorite are by the "Repair Clinic" and usually involve washing machines or air conditions.)   So for Solomon, I thought he could watch his favorite videos too, while I cut his hair.  He is pure boy and is obsessed with heavy equipment - especially dump trucks and tractors. 

Solomon likes the videos from "Twenty Trucks" best.  He gets to watch a couple most evenings with Frank.  Actually our whole family has grown to rather enjoys them.  They have catchy songs (which make me laugh at times) and are very descriptive about how the trucks work and the parts of the trucks, etc.  (I keep telling Frank that Solomon "needs" the Ultimate Twenty Trucks package: dvds, cd, and t-shirt - all for "only" $19.95!  He's not convinced since they can be watched on YouTube for free and we rarely have the kids sitting in front of the TV watching anything.)  Anyway, if you have someone in your family that likes trucks - type in "Twenty Trucks" in YouTube and you'll see lots of different videos.

Well I'm sure at this point (if you're still reading!) you're thinking "OK - it was good to see you post again, but will you please stop now as this post is too long!"

Sure I will stop.  And I'll be back in a few days with a timely post about ways to keep your family healthy when it seems everyone around you is sick. 

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, . . ." - Psalm 48:1


  1. I enjoyed this post. Love Solomon's bangs. :D

  2. I took a picture of the tree.

  3. Yes I missed you! I often think of my blogging friends through the day and wonder how they are doing. I totally get it about Christmas being hard and then to have it be near the time of precious Lily's passing ... I can not imaging the pain. As for what you should write? Well I love what I read here. I love the glimpse into your daily lives and how that includes homeschoooling, farming, homemaking and most importantly Lily! I enjoy how you share books and ideas, I already looked up twenty trucks for Jojo:) I love that you are a friend and take the time to comment back. Mostly I appreciate that you are honest and real!

    Love the vintage baby look!;)

    1. Thank you so much for your reply Tesha - it means so much! I was just sharing your last post earlier today with my daughter! Let me know if Jojo likes Twenty Trucks! ;)