Monday, June 17, 2013

Another Teaser...

Release Date is July 20!

I will be an associate selling copies via this blog...stay tuned for links!

Please spread the word - pin this/blog this!

It will minister to so many women!

Here's a quote from my chapter/question answers:

"The very thing you fear most will not be sent your way without the grace that only God can give. When I have been in trying and difficult times, God's grace has enabled me to endure in ways that I could not have understood beforehand. So when I worry about the “what if”s, I am on my own. I experience the trials in my imagination without the grace that God will provide if and when that trial comes to me from His loving hand. God does not promise that His grace is sufficient for the "what ifs" - but He does promise in II Cor 2:9 that "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" and in Phil 4:13 "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" - He will give us the strength to do what He asks us to do, and the grace needed for each day."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

May I introduce our latest additions to our family!

We have joined the ranks of so many of our friends in owning milk goats!  We have now reached "hobby farm" I do believe - over 50 chicken (25 meat chicks right now) and now goats!  We aren't gardening right now, but oh well!

Esther and Carese both have milk allergies, as well as several of our other children.  We tried out goat's milk on Esther and Carese about a month ago and they both did so well!  We have been thinking about getting milk goats for over two years now, and my oldest three girls have been working that long to convert our horse shed/area into a goat's shed.  They finally got all the remodeling done just last week.  Just to be clear - this is our big girl's project!  I want the milk, but I'm so done with animals (in the past we've had chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats and a pig...but it usually ended up in my doing all the work).  So this is a business for the girls.  They've paid for everything except the goats, and they will be continuing to purchase all the feed.  The plan has been that when we get milk, they will get "reimbursed" for their expenses at a reasonable rate.  They are hoping to make a profit...I really have no idea if they will or not!

Just when the remodeling was done, we found the perfect set of goats on Craigslist.  And guess what?  We knew the owners very well (she used to work for me!).  God's timing is amazing isn't it?  She was wanting to be finished with goats completely, and so when we bought what was left of her herd, she also gave us a milking stanchion and a few other items that will come in handy!

Caramel and her twin boys, Joshua and Caleb (yes, Ruth D, they are named after your boys as their temperaments and behavior reminded our girls of your boys!),  and Peaches (a yearling) and her baby doling, Apricot!  Then names of the kids are not set in stone yet...

Caramel is a purebred Lamancha, and her boys' (both wethers) father was a Nubian Dwarf.  We will be finding new homes for the wethers later this summer.  Caramel is a Lamancha/Nubian cross and is 3 years old, and her daughter has the same father as the boys.  We will be testing out a purebred Nubian to see if the noise will be OK sometime in July (after she kids), and if that goes well we will be selling one of the girls, but we aren't sure about any of this yet.

The goats are of the quiet variety and even though the shed is directly out from out bedroom window, we can't hear them unless the window is open!  We have an air conditioner in that room, so we don't have the window open when we sleep, so it works just fine!

Carese loves the new goats, Esther isn't so sure yet.  Elizabeth did goats for the youth fair this year and really enjoyed it and loves the goats too.

The first two milking tries have not gone well, as the mother's have not been milked much/at all recently.  But Jessica did successfully bring some milk in the house this morning.  She has much work to do to keep Peaches from sticking her feet in the bucket, and keeping Caramel from sitting down when she thinks milking is finished!  Those girls are stinkers!

We can go through a lot of milk around here if I don't restrict it's consumption.  I'm sure all our children would think it amazing if they could drink all the milk they want (this is possible if was have two good milking goats!).

Here's a cute video of the fun they had when they discovered our picnic table!  Joshua and Caleb were playing King of the Hill - I think they were showing off for Apricot.  You can tell which mother is Peaches as Apricot is always by her side!  All the play going on for Jessica's dog, Sebastian, all excited and he just had to run in there and do something!

(our camera is missing in action...hopefully I'll post more photos of the goats at a later date!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Announcing the engagement of...

Jeremy and Samantha

Engaged 6/8/13
Jeremy and Sam  (as she prefers to be called), first noticed each other over a year ago. Jeremy spent a few months getting to know her father (more like her father getting to know Jeremy) about a year ago.  Last December, Jeremy was given permission to court Sam, and she was very happy to be courted by Jeremy.

Just shy of 5 months of courting, Jeremy planned a very special day at a local park.  At the previously planned appointed time, his brother, Jonathan, would "disappear."  Jeremy very sweetly asked Sam to marry him, and she agreed!

There is no date set yet, but the ring is gorgeous - Jeremy did an excellent job of picking it out all by himself!

Photos courtesy of Sam's sister, Ali's Shutter Bug Photography Blog
Needless to say we wholeheartedly approve and are so proud of Jeremy in being such a godly young man and seeking to glorify God in this and every area of his life.  And we look forward to adding Sam to our list of godly daughters!

Three Decades of Fertility - Book to Release Soon!

I wrote a chapter for this book.  I have read many of the other chapters and they are amazing stories of God's grace and faithfulness as these women live out their lives as moms, devoted to giving the "best years of their lives" to the amazing mission of motherhood.

The book is due to release in early July, and I'll be selling it right here on my blog!

Three Decades of Fertility - Trailer from Visionary Womanhood on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Time + Esther's New Therapy

I'm copying this from Esther's blog as this is really keeping our family busy these past few weeks!

Esther LOVES to help Carese...
far more than Carese likes to be helped, though!
Summer has arrived, and with it some beautiful weather!  In the past few months, we were given a swing set which is getting a lot of use now, and we got a steal of a deal on a swimming pool (ours died of old age last year) as well.  The kids haven't been in the pool much in the last two weeks due to cool/rainy weather, but that all changed this week!

Esther enjoyed our first "Lake Day"
Summer also means "Lake Days."  We have some sweet friends who live on the lake, and they invite us over almost every week for some beach time.  We all enjoy this special treat!  Last Friday was our first "Lake Day" and we all had so much fun.  Esther spent almost the entire time in the water, and enjoyed every minute of the day.  Carese kept me busy, and it took a while for her to get used to wearing a life jacket, but Esther had no problems with the "life jacket all the time" rule at all!

Last winter we heard about a neurodevelopmental program that a dear friend of mine had discovered, which had made a huge difference in her child - leaping 18 months in development in just 4 months.  The second 4 months did not show this great leap of developmental progress, but there were other extenuating factors.  But she had continued to progress more rapidly with this program than with any of the other therapies that they had tried.

Esther learning her alphabet while getting her hair combed,
after getting dressed and getting her glasses on.
While we are doing therapy with Esther we have Mozart
playing on our stereo for brain stimulation.
We researched the "Can Do" program, and found out that they would even be at our Christian Heritage Homeschool Convention!  Even though it was difficult to come up with the up front costs, we decided that it was the best time to start this program for Esther, as during the summer months I have less on my plate (homeschooling break) and it would be good to start this program before Esther's new sister come homes (her adoption should be finalized next winter).

Esther had her first evaluation at the beginning of May, and at that time I was also taught everything I needed to know to implement the program that they custom designed for Esther.  We will be sending in updates every two weeks and later every month.  We will have her re-evaluated every 4 months (that is how often they are in our area).  Can Do services 8 states (WA, ID, CA, ND/MN, MI, OH and NY) and families drive a long way to use their services.  Thankfully, we only have to drive about 1 hour away!

Here are some photos of Esther's therapy!

Esther leaning animal sounds while getting deep pressure massage
to her hand/arms/feet/legs.
Jessica is doing the massage in this photo.

Our therapy checklist for the week, and her daily meds/supplements
most of which go into her yogurt.
The penny bank and pennies is for fine motor skills
- she has to pick up the pennies and put them into the bank!
That is Daniel's job - to help Esther with this therapy.
You can also see "bite tubes" in a baggy.
The bite tubes are part of her mouth stimulation and for
strengthening her jaw for better speech later.

Esther gets a vibration massage to her hands a feet while she eats her yogurt
this helps develop her brain/body connection to help her overcome
her high pain tolerance and prepare her for potty training.
Here Rachel is working with Esther

Esther's memory cards.  She is learning the names of the items on the cards
both to say them and to point them out on command.
She can only do one at a time, but we are working to help her be able
to point to two in a row and then three, and then four.
You can see Carese is also at the table "playing" therapy.

These are photo cards that I made.  There is the word for the item in the photo on the back
We show her the word, and then the photo, and then the word again
She loves these cards and is saying more words now, as well as
pointing to the object in the photos!

Dayton is helping Esther learn her numbers.
All the children (except Carese) help Esther with different parts of her therapy
as each child is able - it's their "school" for the summer!

This is Carese - she stole this sucker/sponge that we use for mouth stimulation with Ether
She loves these (she's been teeting)
We use this with Esther,one is dipped in very warm water and swished around in Esther's moujt
The other one is put in very cold water and we alternate between the two.
Esther has many other therapies, but I'll save those for another post!

If you want to check into this program, check out their website - Can Do
They are a christian company who focus on teaching parents to work with their children at home to enable their children to reach their greatest potential - it's for children with any disabilities, even ADHD, dyslexia and Autism!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A fun little video of Carese, our Crazy Climber/Adrenaline Junky

We are busy with summer projects (painting and a new product for my business, Snap-EZ) and a new therapy program for Esther (working on a whole blog post about that).  We are in a waiting stage of our adoption as paperwork is all turned in and we are waiting for everything to get processed.

Carese has turned into a climber - she can climb chairs now and has been caught eating cookies that were sitting on the kitchen counter.

I thought you might enjoy this video, and it shows what a determined little girl she is!

Stay tuned for a Child highlight for Jonathan who turned 20 just over a week ago!