Friday, February 28, 2014

Newest Arrivals

Despite the current weather conditions, it really is almost spring. Around here spring means CHICKS! Last year we had so many things up in the air, that I didn't get any new chicks from the feed store. We just made do with the few that our hens decided to hatch themselves. Our flock has taken some hard hits this year though due to age and predators so we decided we needed some new laying hens. We've made some adjustments to our coop to hopefully keep the hawks and our resident Bald Eagle from having quite so many chicken dinners. We've also managed to trap and remove the skunk family that took up residence under the coop. The coyotes seem to be kept away by frequent target shooting. We've never actually shot at the coyotes, just the sound of guns seems to keep them out of the yard. So, I have high hopes for our flock this year. Owen goes through about 2-3 dozen eggs a week all by himself, so a good source of farm fresh eggs is very important to us.
A new feed store just opened up in our area, so the kids and I headed over to check it out and get our new babies. Owen whined all the way there about not wanting to leave the house and how much he hated chickens. Then, once we got there I literally couldn't keep him away from the chicks. They had several varieties, so we ended up with one or two of each. I like having a colorful flock. It makes it a lot easier to keep track of everyone if I can tell the chickens apart. Being true farm kids, the first question the kids asked was if these were for meat or eggs. Once I assured them the chicks were for egg making, they started naming them and calling dibs on their favorites.
The little darlings are in a brooder box in the house for now, then they'll move to our greenhouse (once Rod fixes the outlet in there for me) and eventually into the big coop.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Fourth Day {Ketogenic Diet Update}

Today is the dreaded fourth day. Why do I dread the fourth day? Well, the good news is that we got to lower Owen's Onfi dose. The bad news is that Onfi recently changed their dosing. They came out with a liquid form that is now used in children, so the company stopped making the 5mg pills. We've been cutting the 10mg pills in half for the last several months. Owen can't use the liquid because it has too many carbs for the ketogenic diet. Okay, now to the point. Since we are cutting Owen's dose in half, that means we now have to cut the pill we already cut in half in half again.
For reference the little white oblong, you can barely see in this picture is the pill I now have to cut in quarters. The coin is a nickel. The pill has a nice little line down the middle that makes it really easy to cut in half, it's the next half that is a problem.
The good news is that I only have to attempt this once every four days, but oh how I dread that fourth day. I've tried several different methods for cutting that pill evenly, but I always end up with several mismatched chunks and a pile of powder that I then have to try to portion out evenly.

The above pictures contain all of Owen's nighttime medications and supplements.The pills he just swallows. We put them in a shot glass from the dollar store and tell him to "bottoms up", and then he makes them disappear. I know, I know, we're such great parents, aren't we? It's pretty sad that my 4 year old can swallow pills that easily, but it makes my life a lot easier. The capsules get opened up (yes, with Dr. approval) and dumped into his yogurt along with a scoop of calcium powder and half of an adult multi vitamin that we crush. I haven't tried having him swallow the half vitamin or the capsules yet. Then he gets two drops of vitamin D directly in his mouth. He likes the vitamin D, otherwise I could put it in his yogurt too. Finally he gets 5ml of sugar free liquid Carnitor which he absolutely loves and treats like dessert. That's our current bedtime medication routine. Hopefully, we will keep going down on the meds. So far, so good! We'll find out more at the VEEG in march.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guess Who's Going to Boston?

That's right! Devon is going to Boston this Summer. We just bought her tickets. She originally wanted to go over Spring Break, but we decided that wouldn't be a very long trip and if we're going to pay that much for tickets she may as well get her money's worth.
Why Boston? Well, Devon has a friend from the Boston area who is over here going to college and they thought it would be nice to spend some time together there too. Devon will also be visiting Uncle Sonny and Aunt Linda, who live just outside of Boston.
Did you know that airlines charge a mandatory fee for unaccompanied minors to pay for someone to accompany them to the gates? Even if the minor in question is 17 1/2 at the time of travel. So, we chose to fly United since they don't have the fee if the minor in question is over 14. Seriously! A seventeen and a half year old is not considered capable of navigating an airport by themselves. Devon drives, goes to college, and has a job, but needs a babysitter to get on a plane. Anyway, we thought it was ridiculous (not for children under say 12? And I don't have a problem with it being an option up to 18) so we went with the one airline that doesn't have the charge.
She'll be gone just over two weeks. She has lots of plans to see the East coast while she's over there. You know you live in the West when you are amazed at how many different states you can go through on the East coast in the same amount of time it would take to get one state away over here.
Last year we made her get a job to help pay for her car and next year she'll be doing an internship for school, so we decided this year would be the best time to travel (the internship may involve travel, but that's not the same). Her Dad and I are covering part of the trip as her Birthday present this year, but she's been busy saving up for the rest of it. I think she has some major shopping planned!

Monday, February 24, 2014

18 years!

That's right! Rod and I have now been married for 18 years. I doesn't seem like it could possibly have been that long, except for the fact that our oldest turned 17 last week.
Sorry I don't have any good pictures of Rod and I
Friday night we made the big kids babysit and went out to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Then because we are so incredibly cool, we went to the grocery store and drove by the gas station to see if they had any lights they needed Rod to fix. We had planned to go out to dinner Saturday night also, but instead I got sick and we got a whole dump load of snow. So, we ended up staying home instead.
Today, we celebrated our actual anniversary by taking my Dad in for surgery, which went well by the way, and digging the cars out of the ice. The snow wasn't really a problem, it was the layer of ice on top of the snow that made things difficult.
See the ice?
I know anniversary post are supposed to be exciting and sappy and all, but around here simple and boring is just fine. Especially after all the drama of the last few weeks. I wouldn't have minded not being sick though. That part really sucks. Maybe next year?!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


It's been snowing here for two days straight. Well, there was a little rain break for a couple of hours yesterday, but mostly snow.
Morgan loves the snow, she's barely come in at all. I have to lure her in with marshmallow topped, candy cane flavored hot chocolate.
Brenna also loves the snow, but she gets cold very fast and has to go out for frequent short trips. She was having a lot of fun crawling around on all fours digging the snow like a "kitty".

Owen wasn't quite as thrilled. When we asked him if he wanted to go out he said, "But, but, it's really cold out there in the snow!" He did finally go out, but got upset that the snow was getting all over his boots and mittens. He did enjoy being pulled around on the sled.
Devon gets a snow day tomorrow. Unfortunately for the other kids, homeschool doesn't have to shut down for a little snow. Or even 12 inches of snow. We might do a lot of P.E. tomorrow though.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Since Brenna can now climb out of her crib, all sorts of exciting things happen during what used to be called naptime.  Brenna really enjoys chocolate and anything girly like make up, hair products,lotion, etc. The other day, she was convinced that she hit the jackpot when she found my Limited Edition chocolate body butter.
Then she found out that it didn't really taste like chocolate after all.
If only the unexpected taste would keep her from getting into it again, but I don't have much hope of that.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

Don't Say Nothin' At All!

The hits just keep on coming. I haven't got anything nice to say right now, so I almost didn't post at all today. We are still in the thick of the title dispute. Things should be wrapping up soon, but it's not looking good for us. The septic pump went out. We did get the water heater fixed, although the fact that it needed fixing at this point in our title problems really sucks. Owen's neurology appointment got switched, so we won't be in Seattle at the doctor's all day for our anniversary which turned out to be an especially good thing seeing as my Dad is going in for heart surgery that day.  My Stepdad's heart surgery last week went well though. I think the problem with the bank mixing up our bank account with Devon's account is finally fixed too, so maybe things are starting to look up? It would be really nice if that turned out to be the case.
I actually have some really cute Brenna pictures to post, but I left the camera in the room where she is sleeping, so I'm breaking my own rule and posting without a picture.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Close Call!

Brenna holding her mini flashlight to help Mommy see to clean the side of the oven while it was pulled out.

We managed to NOT have a house fire today! 

My older boys were at their cousins house playing today and Devon was in her room catching up on homework. I put a movie on for the 3 youngest kids and went outside to feed and water the animals. When I came back in the house after about 20 minutes, I noticed a burning smell. It smelled like burning plastic. I quickly checked the stove to make sure all the burners had been turned off after lunch and that no kids had played with it while I was out. The kids were all still in the same places they had been in when I went outside, but the stove lights were all off. Everything else looked fine, all the burners were off, nothing was over any of them. I checked the dishwasher which has been out of service for a while now to make sure no one had played with it, but it was still off. I checked the fuse box and two of the breakers had tripped. I tried to reset them, but they wouldn't stay. I unplugged the stove since that was where the smell was coming from and the fuses still wouldn't stay on. So, I did what every good wife would do and called my husband and begged him to come home and take care of the problem.
Rod came home and disconnected the dishwasher completely hoping that was the problem since we already knew the dishwasher was broken. That seemed to work, the stove came back on and I quickly heated up a simple dinner of Taco Soup. We have a gas stove, so once it is lit, it doesn't need power any more which was a good thing because the breaker tripped again and we smelled burning plastic again. We left the breaker off and as soon as dinner was cooked, Rod pulled the stove out of it's spot. We didn't see anything wrong behind it and nothing seemed wrong with it's outlet. So, then Rod pulled out the dishwasher and cut into the sheetrock behind it. Want to see what he found?

That's right! Burned up wires, smoking insulation, and charred wood. Thankfully we caught it in time! And, since my husband is an electrician, he had almost all of the materials on hand to fix (and improve) the wiring. We need a couple more parts to finish it properly.

I could just see having to make an insurance claim for a fire when we are still in the middle of our title dispute, too. "So, you've been in the middle of a title claim for a year and a half and your house just happened to burn down. You really expect us to believe that?" Yeah, I can just see how that would go.
 Right now, we are just very thankful that things worked out well and everyone is safe! Although I must admit to being a little worried about the wiring in the rest of the house now. This particular circuit is the only one that has given us and problems before though.