Kids/Critters Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about our day-to-day happenings and I really feel I’d like to do that more often.  Maybe I’m just feeling nostalgic, but the kids are growing up right before my eyes and I know too well how easy it will be to forget all the little things.

We recently divided up our house chores again (I like to go through them with the kids once a year or so and redistribute as they get older.)  It was neat to see how excited they all were about picking out their own chores (normally, I pick for them) and funny to see who chose what.  Bundle and Shmooey took the bulk of the mundane chores (laundry, trash, sweeping, etc.) while Bunchkin took the things she wanted to keep “just-so” (the bulk of her new responsibilities take place in the kitchen, which is a big job here!)  Bitty took all the outdoor chores she could and nothing at all indoors, except the cooking.  Several months ago, she asked if she could be in charge of ALL of our cooking.  To say I was skeptical that she could handle it is a severe understatement (she was 9 at the time,) but I told her we’d try and she’s been amazing!  She loves it and is looking forward to being in charge of the garden and planning meals from the yard next year.

We’re still trying to get the animals settled in with their new arrangements… we worked on fencing this morning before it got too hot, and are trying to work out a new rotational grazing system for everyone.  As of now, we’re tying the bucks out along the fence rows, but we can’t tie all the does out every day, so I have to figure out an electric fence solution for them.

As much as I love having goats, I have to say that everything everyone warned me about with them seems to be true for us.  I’m convinced that every other livestock animal in the universe is easier to keep than goats.  They require five strand electric (cows need one,) they can’t get wet (sheep and cow’s don’t care,) can’t handle cold weather, can’t handle hot weather, get worms incredibly easily, climb (and destroy) their shelters, poop in (and destroy) their feeders, have very specific caloric and mineral needs and are the pickiest eaters on the farm (whoever said goats eat anything obviously never had goats!)  Every time I think I have things all worked out for them, they do something else to set us back again.  I have friends who have sworn they will never have another goat on their property, and I’m beginning to see why!  But maybe the worst things about them are also the best things about them.  In a personal-growth sort of way maybe it’s good to have something around that frequently gives me the opportunity to give thanks in all situations and regularly grows my somewhat thin supply of patience!

As for the other animals, we’ve got a bull lined up for our cow (a friend with Jerseys is setting up a hot date,) have almost finished a new chicken tractor and have two alpaca’s coming to join us on our farm!  We were originally looking for a llama to keep as a guard animal, but llamas are about as common as unicorns in our area, and a friend told me about these two, who have shown some good guarding tendencies in the past.  Plus, we were able to trade goats for them so we figured it’s worth a shot!  I’m pretty excited about them because, for one thing, they rate right up there with bunny rabbits and baby lambs in the cuteness factor, and for another they’ll give us wool.  Since we’re not yet ready for sheep (sigh,) I figure alpacas are the next best thing.  And did I mention how cute they are???

Picture Credit: The Blog of Icelandic Design

Photo Credit: Toad Haven

We’ll continue to look for a llama, but I’m awfully excited about having these guys, too!

The boys have been fixing and tinkering with everything they can get their hands on, and Shmooey is planning to take the money he’s been saving for months to buy a broken lawn mower, so that he can learn how to fix it.  Today he fixed a few chairs that needed repair and he and his brother have plans to make a spinning wheel for me to practice on, until I can borrow one from my midwife and eventually buy my own.  The girls and I are really looking forward to that, we’d like to learn to spin and knit – it would be so amazing to make something so completely from scratch that way!

In the meantime, the girls have been saving for their own soap making supplies and are finally ready to make soap!  I’m looking forward to the entire house smelling like lavender and patchouli and ylang ylang!  And goats milk soap is sooooo nice… they’d like to sell it, so we’ll be setting up an etsy shop soon!

Speaking of selling things, just today I got an order for some pictures that is going to enable me to buy something for my husband that he’s wanted for a very, very long time!  He’s actually saved up the money many, many times only to have to use it for other things again and again so this time, the kids and I sat down to ask God to help us get it for him for his birthday, and just today the order came through!  We’re so excited about it!  I know I’ve said it before, but we are SO thankful for the amazing people who allow us to share precious moments with their families, and in doing so, help to support ours!  This gift is a super-big secret, so if you happen to know my husband personally, please don’t ask him how he liked his birthday present (it’s a ways off, yet!)

In a nutshell, that’s what’s been going on around here lately!  I look forward to writing more often in the future.

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Posted in Bitty, Bunchkin, Bundle, Crafts, Daybook, Farm & Garden, Homemaking, Parenting, PERSONAL, Shmooey, The Seven of 'em, Who-Be-Bee | Leave a comment

An Israelite in Kentucky

“When I first became a Christian, I identified with Moses, leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt.  The longer I walk with God, the more I identify with the Children of Israel who, despite the miracles they’d already seen, became convinced that God would not provide them with food and water in the wilderness.”

– Jon

God held a mirror up to me today, and I was appalled by what I saw.

I’ve mentioned before that Jon and I don’t have a savings account.  We decided long ago that we would take God at His word when He says “give and it will be given back to you” and rather than keep resources in case we need them in the future, we give our excess away to those around us who are in need now.  Granted, there hasn’t been an abundance of “excess,” but when there is, we’ve always used it to help others and we’ve always felt secure in that decision.  Until recently.

Recently, Jon and I made a purchase that, without going into a lot of detail, has left me incredibly worried about our finances.   My faith that this purchase was God’s will for us was recently shaken and despite my prayers and talks with Jon over the matter, I have not been able to get any peace regarding this issue.  Since then, I’ve been terrified.  Terrified that we won’t be able to pay for it.  Terrified that we won’t be able to pay for other things we need, now that we have this payment to take care of.  Terrified that we’ve taken ourselves out of God’s will and put ourselves in a position that is going to cause heartache, not just for us, but for our children.

Today something happened that really brought to the surface just how worried and lacking in faith I’ve been.  Today, a friend came to me with a need.  A need that we could easily meet: she needed an appliance that we happen to have two of.  We don’t use both of them, we just happened to have two of them, one of which I’d planned to keep as a back up in case the main one stopped working (when you have eight kids, nothing lasts as long as it’s “supposed” to!)

So when my friend asked if she could buy this extra appliance from me, I told her no.  I was “kind” enough to tell her she could borrow it, but I made pitiful excuses as to why she couldn’t keep it.  Just after hanging up the phone with her, however, my son reminded me that the extra appliance I wasn’t going to let my friend buy from me was one that she had bought for us us a few years ago.

I can’t begin to express how I felt.  “Shame” doesn’t touch the surface of it.

And now I see just how far my complete lack of trust in God has taken me.  I see the results of my faithlessness.  I see how fear can keep us from loving those around us and make us selfish, hateful and greedy.

The timing of this is significant.  Just last night, Jon and I were talking about our finances and I was expressing to him my concern that (out of fear) we might stop giving the way we always have (you may recall that I wrote about this a few months ago.)  We sat there trying to figure out ways to keep this from happening, and yet the very next day, I told one of my best friends she couldn’t buy something from us… something we don’t even need.  After sharing this with the kids, my oldest daughter – who had not heard the conversation Jon and I were having the night before – told me she had been praying about this very issue (my fear in regards to finances) this morning.

I am so thankful that God taught me this lesson today.  If the purchase we recently made serves no other purpose but to show me this lesson, I am thankful.  If we struggle financially because of this purchase, I am thankful.  For no matter whether this purchase was God’s will, or a horrendous mistake on our parts, one thing I know: We belong to Him, and He is always good, always loving and always working to draw us closer to Him.  Whatever He chooses to teach us regarding this situation, however He chooses to ensure we learn, we still belong in the palms of His hands, under the shelter of His wings, in the refuge of the Rock.

I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.

– Psalm 37:25

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30 Days of No Sugar

chocolate

  • I blogged about this over two months ago and managed to stay sugar-free for another few weeks, until we went through a very busy time when our whole family lived on such delicacies as sandwiches and frozen pizzas.  The interesting thing is that I thought it would be easier to go back to no-sugar after having done it once.  It isn’t.  I’m posting this today, after someone in a group I’m a member of asked about eliminating sugar from their diet, after reading the book Year of No Sugar.  I thought my experiences might help.  I’m even more helpful that by posting this now, it will help ME stop eating sugar once again!

 

 

In a recent research study, 94 percent of rats who were allowed to choose between cocaine and sugar water chose the sugar watereven if they had been previously addicted to cocaine. 

Another study found that rats who were conditioned to receiving a painful electrical shock after hearing a sound signalling it, would stop eating regular food after hearing the signal, but would continue eating sugar even when they knew they knew a painful shock was coming.

The same study discovered that when researchers removed junk food and gave the rats a healthier diet, the rats refused to eat, starving themselves for two weeks after they were cut off from junk food (!!!).

 

I’ve read a LOT of diet books.  Studies like this are not new to me.  But it wasn’t until I saw the video linked above that everything I’d ever read made sense…. and became meaningful and helpful in a way that nothing else has been.

The basic premise of the above video is that sugar is not only addicting – it’s a poison.  And in addition to causing the diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.) it also works in very specific ways to trigger food cravings, increase hunger and promote excess fat.  His research shows that, where sugar is present in the diet, obesity is not a choice, but a manifestation of the body acting on a chemical function (which, in the presence of sugar, becomes dysfunctional) that is designed to make you eat.  In is book Fat Chance, he writes:

If you’re leptin resistant (which is what obesity is: leptin resistance,) do you really think you have the willpower to ignore both the starvation signal and the reward signal, when every food outlet you pass by provides you with sight or smell cues to chow down?

For those whose bodies are working correctly, food intake sends signals to the brain telling it that the body is full, so you don’t feel the need to eat anymore.  When you consume sugar, however, not only does your brain not get the signal during that particular meal, but sugar consumption over a period of time leads to several problems that interfere with that signal on a regular basis.  So even if you’re eating a “healthy” meal that doesn’t contain sugar, you’ll still find yourself eating more than you need to, if sugar is a regular part of your normal diet.  Worse, if you go on a “low fat” diet full of processed foods, or even a “whole foods diet” that includes large amounts of “natural” sugar (ie. honey), the problems are still there and continue to get worse.  No wonder diets don’t work!  (And forget about exercise… exercise without a significant dietary change does virtually nothing [walking for 30 minutes is enough exercise to burn off one cookie.])

When I watched this video, it all made sense.  Although I’d heard the “sugar is poison” statement before (I’d even read a book on the subject) it wasn’t until this lecture that everything fell into place.  Sugar is a highly processed food.  It isn’t present in high amounts in any natural diet.  Why does the paleo diet work so well?  Because in its truest form, it eliminates sugar (although some paleo followers allow for honey, in it’s natural state honey is very hard to get to and would have been used RAW [packed with vitamins, nutrients and enzymes that are not present in processed honey] and sparingly, if at all, during the paleolithic era.)  This is the same reason the Atkins diet (high protein, low carbs), the Japanese diet (low protein, high carbs), and the Mediterranean diet (fruits, vegetables, fish and oils) all work.  They all eliminate the very thing that nature never intended man to get much of – sugar.  In the 1930’s a man named Weston Price traveled the globe studying the diet and nutrition of various cultures.  What he found is that regardless of what people ate (from a diet consisting almost entirely of fatty meat and virtually no fruits and vegetables, to those whose diet almost excluded meats in favor of fruits and vegetables), as long as a culture stuck to it’s traditional whole food diet, obesity and disease were uncommon.  But as soon as the Western Diet was introduced to a culture (processed flour, white rice, white sugar, etc.), disease and obesity rates skyrocketed.

I currently have two of the problems associated with metabolic syndrome (obesity, high blood pressure) and symptoms of a third (hypoglycemia,) all of which are, according to Lustig’s research, the result of consuming sugar.  I’ve tried to follow the traditional advice of “lower calories and increase exercise” and while I had a lot of success with it in the past, the weight came creeping back when I got pregnant and has continued its upward climb for the last two years (although I can say, in retrospect, that the diet I lost weight on consisted of virtually no sugar, and as soon as I got pregnant I started eating whatever I wanted [sugar!] in small amounts, and then bigger and bigger amounts!)  And while I won’t go so far as to say that traditional weight-loss methods don’t work (although Dr. Lustig says just that,) I will say they’re difficult to sustain (statistically, over 80 percent of people who lose weight gain it back again.)  After watching this video, it makes perfect sense why this is so.  God didn’t design us to eat sugar, and we’re eating TONS of it, (the recommended daily allowance for sugar is no more than 9 teaspoons a day for men and no more than 6 for women.  As a nation, we are currently eating an average of 40 teaspoons per day.  Of a substance that has no nutritional value whatsoever.)

So two weeks ago, I decided to do something about it.  I decided to stop eating sugar.

My goals in giving up sugar are fourfold, although if I can achieve even one of them, I’ll be happy:

  1. Lose weight.  Not necessarily on the scale, but if things go well I ought to lose a good amount of “belly fat” (which is the “bad” fat that wraps itself around your internal organs and leads to all kinds of problems.)  I’m not going to weigh or measure myself, but I should start to notice a difference in my clothes.
    2. Lower my blood pressure
  2. Stop having hypoglycemic attacks (sugar bottoming out, leaving me feeling dizzy and ready to faint while at the checkout line [this used to only happen when I was pregnant, but had recently been happening again.])
    4. Reduce asthma symptoms.  (Supposedly this can also be a sugar-related problem.)

To achieve this, I’m giving myself only two rules:

1.  No processed foods
2.  I’m resisting my sugar intake to 5 grams (of added sugar) per day, eating none at all whenever possible.  This will enable me to eat things like ready-made sauces or deli chicken on occasion.  I’ll try to remain completely sugar free most of the time, but not obsessive about it.

And I’m allowing myself two exceptions (and one sort-of exception):

1.  If a friend cooks for me, I’ll eat whatever is prepared for me.
2.  Once a month, I can have ONE “free” food containing anything I want.  So if I find myself craving doughnuts or chocolate cake, I wont (in theory) feel so deprived knowing I can choose them for my “free” food that month.  I want this to be a change I can stick with, and forswearing sugar entirely and forever just doesn’t seem sustainable (or pleasant.  After all, I still want to enjoy life!)  That’s why the title of this post is “30 days of no sugar.”  I don’t really see any way I can go back to eating sugar again (at least, not on a regular basis) knowing what I know, but I doubt I’ll be blogging about it forever, either.  Surely it gets easier… Surely!
3.  I will allow myself one packet of stevia each day.  This isn’t technically a sugar, but I don’t want to start down the slippery slope of artificial sugars (and the like), either.

Other than that, anything is fair game.  I started writing about my experience last week and will be publishing those articles weekly.  I’ve been disappointed to see that there isn’t much information out there from others who have done this (unlike Atkins or Paleo.)  Those who have written about it have usually only gone sugar-free for a week, which hasn’t been very helpful.  (One major exception to this was the book A Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub.  I really enjoyed reading about her experiences and it really did inspire me.)  So hopefully writing about my experience will help others, too.  It hasn’t been pretty, in fact it’s a little very embarrassing, but I was honest with myself about what I was experiencing, and I hope that will help someone else who decides to do this.  As of right now, it hasn’t gotten any easier, but I’m still believing that it will (surely!)  So as not to overwhelm, I’m posting each week separately, on Mondays.  For now, here is week one:

Week One (May 1 – 7)

Day one:  Confession time: I don’t think I eat the way normal people eat.  It’s embarrassing to say this, but when I eat sugary foods, I don’t eat just one piece of pie, or even two.  I eat half of an entire pie.  Never in my life have I been able to keep cookies in the cabinets, because if they’re there in the morning, they’ll be gone by evening (who am I kidding, they’ll be gone by 10am.)  I’ve often eaten until I made myself sick, and then eaten some more.  Sometimes I’d even plan my eating around times when I could lay down because I knew I’d feel awful after eating so much.  It’s so incredibly hard to admit that, but I want to be honest in my account about all of this.  I can’t imagine I’m the only person in the world who does this, so maybe admitting it will help someone else.

Whether we want to call it an “addiction” or not, the fact that I overindulge in food is beyond dispute.  For me, eating is a ritual.  At night, when the kids are in bed, I curl up on the couch with a good book and something yummy to eat… and eat… and eat.  It’s part of a whole ritual that equals “relaxation” for me.  It has nothing to do with satisfying my body and everything to do with satisfying my mind.  I imagine others do the same with a glass of wine or a cigarette at the end of the day.  Only I never seem to have just “a glass” (or, in my case, a piece of cake or a chocolate chip cookie [does anyone eat just one chocolate chip cookie?!)  We can argue whether this is a true “addiction” but in the end, it really doesn’t matter.  I have a habit, built up over the course of practically a lifetime, that has to be broken.

Day two: Today I ate tons of high fat foods –  cheese and sour cream on EVERYTHING, and tonight when the kids went to bed (when I always find myself hungry for chocolate – and usually indulge to my hearts content), I made oatmeal with banana and raisins and ate it like cereal with full cream instead of milk (seriously.)  For now, I’m fine with that.  My theory is that as my body gets used to not eating sugar (and presumably stops craving it,) I won’t feel the need to eat everything in sight anymore.

Day three:  Things are going really well… considering all the high-fat things I’m eating right now (that I usually don’t eat) this really hasn’t been too bad.  Jon took my blood pressure and it was 120/90.  Not horrible, not great.

Day four: Took my blood pressure again and I expected it to be pretty high since I’d just used the inhaler.  To my surprise it was 115/83!  What?!  Obviously, asthma is still an issue.

Day five:  It seems that the asthma is getting worse, instead of better.  I’m using the inhaler much more often.  Could it be the increase of fat, triggering it?  Gluten is also supposed to be a trigger, but I’m eating very little of that.  Just googled the subject and apparently high fat can be a trigger.  Not planning to make changes in that regard just yet.  One crisis at a time.

Day seven:  One definite positive, so far: I don’t wake up feeling hungover anymore.  Even if I eat late at night, and even if that meal contains tons of fat (and it usually does,) I don’t wake up feeling like I swallowed a basketball and stuffed my mouth full of cotton during the night.  When I wake up, I feel good.

 

Posted in Daybook, PERSONAL, Weight Loss | Leave a comment

Help for Adah Lynn

adah

Support for Adah Lynn

FIVE DOLLARS. That’s all we’re asking for. Let the ripple effect do it’s work.

My friend Amy has a beautiful little 21 month old daughter who is in desperate need of dental surgery to save her teeth which are crumbling due to undetected thyroid issues Amy had while battling cancer during her pregnancy.  If everyone reading this would please give $5 right now, this little girl would have (according to my stats) about 2/5ths of what is needed to pay for this surgery. If each of you shared this on your blogs or facebook walls and if only HALF of everyone you shared with gave $5, we’d have ALL of the rest covered and then some. PLEASE… Can every person reading this give $5 right now? Can you please spare just that much for a little girl in need? And if you’re feeling especially generous, could you please post this on your walls and your blogs? $5 can make a HUGE difference in this little girls life!!! FIVE DOLLARS. That’s all we ask.

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare… If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small…
– George Muller

To give now (and please don’t wait, lest you forget!!!)  click HERE

 

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Scotch’s birth

LR 20150601-DSC_4414 copy

Momma’s note:  Last year, during a somewhat complicated birth (Scotch again,) I was on the phone with Kathy Sullivan from Jasper Pine, the woman we got most of our goats from who has been a mentor of sorts.  As she was trying to explain what I needed to do to assist Scotch during her birth, I panicked!  I handed the phone to my oldest daughter (nicknamed “Bunchkin,” which is the only name we use on the blog) who not only has much smaller hands than I have, but is also calmer and more level-headed crisis than I am!!!  (It’s pretty awesome to watch your children grow up and come into their own strengths!  She says she’d like to be a midwife some day… when she isn’t being a violin teacher, symphony performer and photographer.  ;))  Bunchkin was able to follow Kathy’s instructions perfectly and calmly and afterwards she asked if she could be in charge of delivering the goat kids from now on.  Since then, she has been in charge of checking for dilation, and helping with complicated deliveries, a job I was all to happy to relinquish to her!  Last night, we had our most difficult delivery yet and thanks to the calmness and confidence of my two oldest daughters, everything went smoothly!  Here is the birth story, in their words:

About a week ago, Sudoku had her babies.  She was our second-to-last goat so we knew that Scotch was next to kid.  We started impatiently checking her ligaments several times a day.  The ligaments hold the goat’s hips together and when the hips have to part for the baby to go through, the ligaments will go away.  On Friday the 29th, we knew that this was going to be the day because her ligaments were very soft.  After you’ve been goat farming for a while, you just know that this is the day.  I (Bunchkin) got it right every time this year!  Then, toward the evening while Daddy was making dinner, I checked on her one last time and she had lost her ligaments completely!  I called everyone to come and check and Momma said they were still there a little bit, but thought she would definitely kid sometime that night.  We had missed Sudoku’s kidding even though we slept in the living room with the window wide open and set an alarm to check on her, we slept through the alarm and didn’t hear her through the window.  We definitely didn’t want that to happen this time!  Twice before she came to live with us, Scotch had had four kids die, so we needed to be there just in case to do all that we could to get the babies breathing.  Also, Bundle and I had been waiting all year to deliver Sudoku’s babies, and then we missed her so we knew that Scotch would be the only one Bundle and I could do together.  This was my (Bundle’s) first time delivering a baby goat and I was really, really excited.

We asked Momma if we could sleep out in the pen with her, but she didn’t feel  comfortable with that, but she did say that if we took our dog out there with us, we could sleep in the van.  :)  So me, Bitty, Bundle and our dog posted up out there in the van (daddy and the boys slept out in the living room with the window open so they could keep an ear out for us.)  We set an alarm, checked on her twice and on the third time, there was a ton of goo, and it was dripping.  All of our goats, when they’re about to kid, have very thick mucus and that’s when we know that they’re very close to giving birth.  I (Bunchkin) didn’t know what to do about it so I went and asked Momma about that.  She said it’s a tough decision, because it could still be a long time (since she wasn’t having very much contractions,) but it could be any time now because all of our other goats delivered right after they had mucus.  Momma said that if we get really tired, we could check her cervix.

So we went out there and talked it over.  After about ten minutes, nothing happened and we were getting sleepy!  So I (Bunchkin) decided to check her cervix.  What it means when I say “check her cervix” is that when a goat is going to give birth, her cervix is opened.  The cervix is the opening to the birth canal and it’s always closed until the baby is ready to be born.  Then her hips will spread apart, and the cervix will open.  You check it by putting your hand in there and then you keep pushing against her and if you can get further than your knuckles, you know it’s all the way open.  When it’s all the way open, then you can take your fingertips and feel for a kid.  If you can’t feel anything, it might still be a little while.  In this case, I felt something!

At this point, I pulled my hand out and she started pushing hard!  I sent Bitty in, because of how hard she was pushing.  Momma came rushing out but nothing happened.  After about ten minutes, Momma said she was going to go back inside with Pumpkin (our baby sister,) and to come get her if there was a kid or a bubble.  (Sometimes, the babies will be born in the amniotic sac and when they’re born in the amniotic sac, you’ll see a bubble right before the baby comes out.  It looks like a small red water balloon.)  She had two contractions, on the next one we could see a bubble so we sent Bitty running.  Before Momma got out there, the sac ruptured, which was no big deal, that’s normal.  Then Momma came out there.  Usually, the baby should come after you see a bubble, about two second later.  But she had four more contractions and nothing happened.  So Momma wanted me (Bunchkin) to check to see if the baby was twisted or upside down, etc.  So I ran in, washed my hands, checked my fingernails, and got the lubricant on.  When I put my hand in her vagina I couldn’t feel anything at first, so I kept pushing a little bit and felt a foot!  But it disappeared!  So I pushed against her a little harder and felt it again, but I could only feel one, which is not normal.  There are supposed to be two hooves underneath the baby’s head.  I kept searching a bit, but couldn’t find the second hoof.  It was kind of a battle.  I would try to feel, and the baby would back up.  Scotch would push, and it would come forward, and then it would back up again.  During all of this, I ruptured the sac, which was no big deal but it was kind of cool to feel it bust like that!  The next time Scotch pushed, I grabbed one of the baby’s feet and tried to move it to try to get to the other foot.  Now I had my hand all the way in there so the kid couldn’t go anywhere.  I started searching for the other hoof.  Nothing!  I asked Momma what she wanted me to do, and she said we’ve got to find it!!!

What happened was that it’s leg was all the way back.  (I actually didn’t know it, but it was coming out backwards.  That’s why everything kind of felt funny.)  When I found the thigh (I thought it was the shoulder,) I followed it all the way up to the hoof, told Momma that I’d found it, and she said to cup it so that it wouldn’t tear Scotch’s uterus, so I cupped it and pulled it forward.  Then I pulled my hand out and waited for the next contraction so we could get the baby.  Right after I took my hand out, there was the baby!  She was born backwards, I was actually feeling back feet the whole time!  I grabbed a towel, cleared its nose out, and Bundle dried it off.  We gave it to its momma (she was very happy) and it was a girl!!!

Then the next baby was coming!  But something was wrong.  We would see a bubble, and then it would disappear, and it would come out again, and then disappear again.  This went on for probably about five minutes, and we thought this one might be twisted, too.  So I checked her again and definitely felt a nose but no hooves!  I kept feeling around for a good little while, asked Momma what she wanted me to do, and she said that Scotch couldn’t deliver the baby if the two hooves weren’t underneath the head.  So I kept feeling around and felt a hoof, but I couldn’t pull it forward!  I wasn’t sure what to do.  By this time, Scotch was pushing HARD and the head started coming out!  WHY wasn’t this hoof coming out???  The baby was trying to breathe, so we pulled the mucus off, but the baby couldn’t breathe because it’s neck was being choked, and it was turning purple.  At this point, I just knew I had to get it out!  So I started following the head and found the shoulder and found a place where I could get a good grip of the baby and yanked it out!  It still wasn’t breathing so I started swinging it a bit.  (If you tip the baby upside down and swing it by it’s hocks, it will clear the mucus out, because it’s being swung.)  It was still choking and coughing, so I took it out of the pen where I had more room and spun it as fast as I possibly could and by the time I brought it back its heart was beating and it started to cry.

While Bunchkin and Bitty were trying to help dry the baby off and help the momma lick it off, Scotch started pushing again and I (Bundle) saw the baby’s tail and two back feet.  I thought the tail was the nose, so I thought the baby was in the right position (it was in the caul so it was hard to see.)  The baby’s feet had come out about halfway, so I grabbed it’s feet and when Scotch pushed on the next contraction, I pulled it down toward her hocks.  (if you pull a baby straight out, it can hurt the momma.)  The baby’s butt came out, I kept pulling, I pulled it completely out, I ripped open the sac and cleared its nose and then gave it to Scotch.  I (Bunchkin) did what we call “stimulating” it, which is when you rub it really hard with a towel.  I (Bundle) asked Bunchkin if I could take over and I finished drying it off and gave it to it’s momma.  Both of the last two were boys.

As we were talking it over, we realized that the last two boys were probably trying to come out at the same time and that would make sense, why I couldn’t get the hoof… because it didn’t belong to the goat we were trying to deliver!

Another interesting thing is that when Bunchkin was checking to make sure there were no more babies, she saw something brown that we’ve never seen before.  She picked it up and asked Momma what it was, and Momma said she wondered if it was a goat placenta.  Me and Bitty started looking at it and we saw that it was the head of a baby, and the spine, the rib, and one leg that had two hooves attached to it.  Me and Bitty figured out that it was a miscarriage baby.  A few months ago, we gave Scotch some herbs for worms that weren’t supposed to be used on pregnant goats, but we had to give it to her because she had really bad worms and we think this might have been a problem.  But we’re extremely thankful for three healthy kids!

The first baby might have made it, but the second and third and maybe even Scotch definitely wouldn’t have made it if we weren’t out there.  So even though it was kind of uncomfortable, it was very worth it to sleep in the van!!!  (It was very adventurous, too.)  And now we have a little girl from Scotch, which we wanted!

*Momma’s note again:  I am certain that if I’d been in charge of Scotch’s birth, things would not have gone nearly as smoothly as they did.  I’m so proud of them!!!

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Posted in Birth Stories, Farm & Garden, Homemaking, PERSONAL | Leave a comment

Increasing our Faith

In light of recent events (detailed, below) I thought this was a timely re-posting:

 

“Suppose a parcel came to us, and it should prove difficult to untie the knot, and you cannot cut it; then you should ask God to help you, even to untie the knot.”

– George Muller, Address to Young Converts

The majority of the life of a believer is made up of small circumstances and situations. Every small thing in our life presents us with another opportunity to draw closer to God, another opportunity to fellowship with Him. Each time I am faced with a new situation, or a difficult circumstance, I am presented with an opportunity for growth and a deeper relationship with God. If I have not experienced the joys of daily communication with God during the ordinary, it will become difficult to pray with faith in the day of crisis. If I have not experienced the blessings of God’s consistent answer to prayer in trivial matters, it becomes difficult to expect His answer in times of urgency.

Faith is not built so much during times of great personal struggle, but in commonplace day to day communication with Him. If we become accustomed to expecting and experiencing His help in little things, we will have laid a foundation that will give us the faith to expect and experience His help in the big things. When the bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” it doesn’t mean that we are to spend the entire day in our prayer closet, on our knees, it means that we are to take to Him each aspect of our every day lives. To live by the adage: “if it’s important to me, it’s important to God.” Bill Johnson once said: “Show me a man who prays when things are going well, and I will show you a man who knows how to handle a crisis when it comes” (paraphrase [1]). George Muller, in his address to young converts, wrote: “There is nothing too little to pray about. In the simplest things connected with our daily life and walk, we should give ourselves to prayer; and we shall have the living, loving Lord Jesus to help us. Even in the most trifling matters I give myself to prayer and often in the morning, even ere I leave my room, I have two or three answers to prayer in this way.” (2) It is not merely acceptable to ask for God’s help in finding our shoes or opening the jelly jar, it is absolutely essential. Our relationship with God will grow exponentially as we learn to take even the smallest matters to Him in prayer. Our faith will increase, our wisdom will multiply, and the Fruits of the Spirit will be further manifested in our lives.

“And truly, our partnership is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)

1.) Bill Johnson, in a sermon entitled “Enduring Faith”

2.) George Muller, Address to Young Converts, printed in HeartCry Missionary Society, September – October 2005, pg 29.

 

Last night, our family sat down to pray because there were some things we desperately needed by TODAY.  I’ve been feeling God has been reminding me, lately, that “you have not because you ASK not” so our family all sat down to ask God for $100 (and then Jon, being funny, asked for $104, because I need to buy a hat for a wedding shower.) 30 minutes later, a lady contacted us to buy two of our goats and she wanted to pick them up today. Between that and some photos I just sold, we have $105!

In addition to asking God for $100 by today, we asked Him for another amount by next Friday for some other things we need to take care of. Jon just got a call from work, and they need him to come in and it’s ALL overtime pay! That takes care of almost all of what we still need, and I certainly don’t have any doubts that the rest will be here by then! Two of my daughters told us last night that they have a difficult time having faith for things they ask God for. I told them they need to start asking God to help them more often, so that they could experience answer to prayer more often. God is good!

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The Fix-It Brothers

My boys are awesome!  For the past two days they’ve been weed-eating the fence line because they wanted to (and I’m so glad they did, because it’s been needing it desperately!)  When I couldn’t figure out how to work the weed-eater, they figured it out on their own!  Then today, our washing machine was leaking and they’d been asking if they could fix it, so I finally decided to let them try after explaining all the safety precautions to take.  Sure enough, they found the problem and our washer is working again!  A few weeks ago, they fixed the sink drain and before that, they fixed the toilet.  They’ve been telling me that when they get older they want to go into business together – they already have their name picked out… “The Fix-it Brothers!”  I must say, it’s awfully nice to live with the Fix-it Brothers… they don’t charge their momma for their services.

Posted in Daybook, PERSONAL, Shmooey, The Seven of 'em, Who-Be-Bee | 1 Comment