Friday, May 31, 2013

Lamb 2's birthday

Lamb 2 turned 7 on May 25. I didn't take very many photos. Poor middle child that was born during the busy month of May!
Ram's parents came to visit on May 23 and 24. Lamb 1 and 2 had some dental work done on May 23. For dinner on May 23 we had hamburgers at home as we thought something soft like that would be easiest for Lamb 1. It was more difficult to eat than he expected, but he made it through. We had paleo brownies/ice cream/homemade magic shell chocolate sauce that was easier to eat. Ram's dad appreciated all that paleo meal and dessert.
On May 24 we opened presents from Ram's parents. For dinner that night Lamb 2's choice was the sushi restaurant. It was busy on Friday night so there weren't as many choices as the first time we had gone. Afterwards we went out for frozen yogurt.
Lamb 2's birthday was on Saturday and Ram's parents left. We had monkey bread for breakfast.
Lamb 2 finished putting together his new Legos, the marina.
The rest of the day we had leftovers and didn't do anything special for Lamb 2's birthday.  Sunday we had church and a graduation party to attend. So we finished having Lamb 2's birthday choices for meals on Monday.
Lunch: Tuna pasta salad with raisins
Snack: Chicago Mix popcorn
Supper: Chicken noodle soup
Dessert: Tapioca pudding
Drinks: chocolate milk and white grape juice

Lamb 2 asked a few months ago for a number 7 candle for his cake. It was tricky to put it on pudding, but we did it!

It was different to celebrate his birthday over several days but much more relaxing for me to make the meals. He had a fun birthday!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


May was very busy for us. I have a bunch of photos to blog about what we did during May. Most of what kept us busy had to do with our church preschool. I look forward to next year not being a school parent and having everyone at home for school. I'll still be involved with the preschool as it is at our church, but I won't be doing room parent type of activities nor will our schedule be interrupted for preschool field trips.

Here's a list of what I plan to blog about soon:
* Buying a book cart at a garage sale for our home library
* Mother's Day
* Greece and Rome festival
* Our play kitchen
* Field trip to see sheep
* What we planted in our yard this year
* Aunt Hannah's homemade birthday gifts for the Lambs
* Family "field trips" to places around our area
* Lamb 3's last speech class
* Strawberries and rhubarb
* Lamb 1 dental work
* Lamb 2 losing his first teeth
* Our new tent
* Ram's 10th anniversary as a pastor
* Lamb 2's birthday
* End of the year gifts for the teachers
* Homemade treats for preschool graduation
* Buying a refrigerator

...and by the time I blog about all that there will be more-preschool graduation, piano recital, and swim lessons. Hopefully this list will keep me on track to blog about all this.

So now I'll finish up the school year and I'll try to get started on blogging about this list in June!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Yesterday was not a very good day at our house. Lamb 2 woke up very grouchy and around lunch time refused to eat. I thought he was sick, then found out that he was about to lose a tooth. The tooth fairy might need to take a loan this week, but that's another post. He ate after his tooth came out and was in a better mood.

Yesterday I was so glad to have an entire day without anywhere to go. I was glad for a chance to get caught up on cleaning up the kitchen, do laundry, and clean the bathrooms before the inlaws get here to celebrate Lamb 2's birthday. While I was busy cleaning, one of the Lambs brought me the remote for the DVD player, soaking wet. Guess where it was before they brought it to me? The toilet. I'm not going to post who did that because it was really the fault of all the Lambs that it ended up there. (At least that was the first toilet that I cleaned so the remote was in clean water!) We let it dry out overnight and it still doesn't work even after replacing the batteries. We have a spare DVD player that I was getting ready to garage sale, but the remote is broken for the Blu Ray player. We do have a couple of Blu Rays that we can't play without it. Hopefully not watching The Magic School Bus until we get a replacement remote will be a good punishment. Ram said our generation didn't have the technology to get broken like the Lamb's generation. When we got in trouble for breaking things, it usually wasn't as expensive. Our Lambs just need to be thankful that they live in the generation and we can get a replacement for about $10.

After a busy day of cleaning the Lambs got to bed a little late and I was exhausted. I discussed going to bed when the Lambs did, but of course stayed up and did a few more things. Ram and I knew there was a frost warning, but decided all our plants were big enough now that if we just covered the boys pumpkins everything else should be ok. The boys got free pumpkin seeds from the garden center and we hope they make it to go back to be weighed in the fall. Ram was tired too and after discussing covering the pumpkins he didn't do it and I didn't remind him. Guess what we woke up to this morning? Pumpkin plants that probably aren't going to make it. I think it is too late to start over.

Now I'm getting ready to take Lamb 1 and 2 for some dental work, that's another post too. I'm hoping that the rest of the day goes better than yesterday!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Genetic Testing and Abortion

He Remembers the Barren had a post on this topic today here.

When I was pregnant with Lamb 2, I did the normal tests recommended by my midwife. My blood test for abnormalities like Down's Syndrome came back positive. I was soon scheduled for a Level II ultrasound in the Twin Cities. This meant a 4 hour drive. Of course we took Lamb 1 with us, and at the time he had a broken leg but we didn't know it was broken, but that's a story for another post.

The first thing they did when we arrived at the office for the ultrasound was they sent Ram and I to visit with a genetic counselor. Yes, you read that right, we met with the genetic counselor BEFORE the ultrasound. The genetic counselor was a little frustrated  that Ram has no living siblings and my one sibling was not married at the time. The genetic counselor wanted to base her statistics on our nieces and nephews and if they had any genetic abnormalities. Then she got hung up on the fact that Ram has one first cousin with Down's Syndrome. (Ram has 13 first cousins.) After we finally put up with her whole speech, then we were finally allowed to do the ultrasound.

The ultrasound took a long time. The technician was quiet during the whole ultrasound. Then they sent someone else in to tell us the results. This man was very careful how he worded things so we couldn't sue him. He couldn't be blunt and tell us if there were any signs of Down's Syndrome or not. He did say that they couldn't get very good measurements because Lamb 2 had his hand in a fist and continually was "boxing" so they couldn't measure the hands. But even though he talked with us a long time, he didn't really say more than that.

Both the genetic counselor and the man that explained the results said several times that the only way that we could be sure of genetic disorders was to do an amniocentesis. There was no way I was doing that since the chance of miscarriage after an amniocentesis is higher.

Ram and I said several times during the whole office visit that we were keeping the baby no matter what, that we were there for the ultrasound to be prepared if there was something wrong with our child, and that we were not doing an amniocentesis.

Following the meeting with the man that explained the results of our ultrasound, we were done and left the office. This is where it would make more sense to me to meet with a genetic counselor.

Ram and I both left the office very frustrated. Were we really that abnormal to want to keep our baby no matter what and to wait until birth to know for sure if there was something wrong with our baby?

Unfortunately I read a statistic soon after that ultrasound that about 90% of babies with a positive Down's Syndrome diagnosis after an amniocentesis are aborted. This was 7 years ago and I don't have the source of that statistic nor time to try to look it up. After going through that office visit and it being strongly suggested to do an amniocentesis, I am horrified with that statistic. I wouldn't be surprised if the statistic is even higher 7 years later. I would like to see a statistic of how many of the blood tests turn out to be false negatives like Lamb 2's was.

Lamb 2 was born without Down's Syndrome or any genetic disorders. I would say the whole drive to the Twin Cities and Level II ultrasound were a waste of time and money, but now I'm glad I got the chance to see how the system works.

When I was pregnant with Lamb 3 I refused any extra blood tests that were not required. I refused to go through the same thing as I had with Lamb 2 again. I did do several regular ultrasounds with Lamb 3 as that is where I think they will find something wrong before they would in a blood test.

This is why we need to pray for pregnant women. Medical advances have now made so many more decisions for a woman to make while she is pregnant than women used to have to make. These decisions are not decisions with clear answers. And the medical system is encouraging amniocentesis which could cause a miscarriage and not giving enough information at these kinds of visits to know for sure if the child has a genetic disorder. This has turned into mothers aborting their babies because they don't know.

Pray for your pregnant friends to make good decisions. Pray for your pregnant friends to get good information while they are pregnant. Pray for the medical staff to give good advice to your pregnant friends. Be willing to take the time to listen to your pregnant friends when they have decisions to make about their prenatal care and need to talk about it. Pray for your friends that think they made the wrong decision during a pregnancy to get comfort and forgiveness. Encourage your pregnant friends to read God's Word and put their hope in Christ during this uncertain time.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Family "Records"

Last year we got our first sunburns on Easter afternoon. This year we waited until today. Poor Lamb 2 was the worst both years. Maybe next year we can wait until June?

I always say I'm going to write this down, but I forget. We haven't had heat or A/C on for a couple of months now. It has made really nice electric and gas bills. I'm determined to not turn A/C on until at least June. That is difficult when it is already predicted to be 90 this weekend. But ID 90 is not like MN 90 or IN 90. Often we can run the A/C during the day and turn it off at night, which is the opposite of MN-we needed to run the A/C in order to sleep. Perhaps by blogging this it will jog my memory to write down dates like when I turn the A/C on for the first time, when I turn the heat off in the spring, etc.

I know our MN friends are rolling their eyes now as they had snow several days that I had the heat off and some of those days I had the windows open all night. I will mention that a church member was giving me some flowers and we couldn't do it last week because of frost temperatures. But yesterday when I received them I had to take a break after a couple of hours because it was just so hot to work out there!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A decade

I have been going through several issues of Family Fun magazine recently. I've torn out some ideas for crafts/snacks/activities that I think my Lambs would enjoy or possibly enjoy in the future and pitched the rest. The next project will be to organize those pages I kept. I started subscribing shortly after I began teaching so I have issues from 1997 to the present. I'm not even close to finishing this task with so many issues and doing this in my spare time. But I'm glad I've waited until now because I know that I don't need princess ideas, nor do I need ideas for babies or preschoolers.
My issues weren't organized by date-just all the Family Fun in a box together. I noticed  the ideas in the magazine and advertisements from the issues around 2005. This is in Lamb 1's lifetime and almost in Lamb 2's lifetime so it's not really that long ago. But it isn't worth keeping any of the technology ideas suggested as they are so outdated. Technology is more than which computer or TV you have. Back in 2005 I didn't use the internet for nearly as many every day tasks as I do now. Basically my every day life is different now than it was in 2005 because of technology and I don't even do Facebook! Advertisements for cars/minivans/SUVs look outdated too-some of the really special features advertised are standard on cars now.
Ram will celebrate his 10th anniversary as a pastor at the end of this month. I think what our life was like 10 years ago-I still taught in a classroom, for some time we just owned one car, we hadn't had any children, our internet was dial up AOL, we had a new VCR and a new TV that is now ancient, we had an ancient slow computer (we even considered it ancient then), we did not own a digital camera, and we hadn't lived in MN nor moved to his second Call. We cooked so different back then too-we weren't worried about HFCS or even attempting to cut back on sugar or eat more fruits and veggies.
A decade is what makes the Amanda Berry story so amazing. I'm not going to discuss the bad parts of the case. But I'm just shocked at how they could miss normal life for the last 10 years-especially being with their families, but also what they missed out in cultural literacy and technology during the last 10 years. We praise God they were found alive while we keep them in our prayers because we know they have a long road to recovery after this.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thomas DVDs

Does anyone want about a dozen Thomas the Train DVDs?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Goodbye, Thomas the Train

The conversation in our house a few days ago went like this.

Lamb 3: Mama, can we clean out my t-shirts? There are some I want to give away.
Ewe: Ok, do you think you have too many or why do you want to clean them out?
Lamb 3: I want to give away all the ones that have Thomas the Train on them.
Ewe: Really? That is a lot of t-shirts that you like to wear to preschool. Is it because you are almost done with preschool?
Lamb 3: No, Thomas the Train is for babies. Real trains don't have faces or talk.

Big sigh here from Ewe now. We had more than 7 years here where Thomas was played with almost daily, our living room almost always had a train track built, we survived mailing some of our trains away for the recall, Thomas DVDs were watched often, and often at least 2 out of the 3 boys wore the same Thomas t-shirt. I liked the morals in the Thomas the Train books. Lamb 3 just turned 5. Lamb 1's big birthday present when he turned 6 was the Thomas roundhouse. It is true that the younger ones grow up faster than the older ones. So those of you that are still in the Thomas the train stage, enjoy it now as it won't last forever.

I do plan to keep some of the trains for when we have younger children over. Some of the track was Ram's when he was little. We did work on cleaning out their clothes and organizing their bedroom more this week. I plan to work on their playroom soon. I think that project will be much more difficult for me than for them. I do need to admit that my youngest is 5 and we don't need baby toys in their playroom any more, even if Thomas toys are in that category before I'm ready for them to be. I'm proud of the baby steps we made this week in organizing their bedroom. I'll take a big breath before we tackle the playroom. I'll remind myself that I'll have a lot to be proud of when the playroom is completed.

Now that we are beyond the Thomas the Train stage, I am embracing the Lego City stage. Thankfully we may move past the Lego City stage, but I doubt many boys leave the Lego stage before they leave home. The next question is will I miss stepping on Legos some day?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

2013 Thrivent calendar

Take a look at your Thrivent calendar for May 2013. The photo was taken by my friend, Jan Melius. It has a nice Christ centered message.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Quinoa for breakfast

Ram's mom recently gave us The Healthy Gluten-Free Life (200 delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and egg-free recipes). It is not a Paleo cookbook. Ram's mom thought it would be good for us because we aren't eating totally paleo but are trying gluten free. They use several flour substitutions like teff flour that I'm not sure we want to buy those ingredients and go that route. Because of this at first I wasn't that impressed with this cookbook.
But Ram liked the breakfast section. When Lamb 1 was a baby we tried millet for breakfast and I wasn't that impressed. This recipe book has several recipes for quinoa for breakfast. For Ram's birthday breakfast we had vanilla honey quinoa with strawberries and almonds. Other recipes in this recipe book include apple cinnamon quinoa, brown sugar and cinnamon quinoa, and maple pecan quinoa with blueberries. The possibilities are endless-toppings that you would normally put on oatmeal.
Our Lambs love oatmeal for breakfast mainly because Lamb 1 and 2 can make it by themselves (on the stove, not the microwave). I think replacing the oatmeal with quinoa will be a good change for our diet. We have bought quinoa at Costco for the few years, before we even moved here.
What I did with this recipe was prepare the quinoa according to the package directions and add a tsp of vanilla before it rests for 5 minutes. I chopped up almonds and frozen strawberries and added a jar of honey to the table for toppings.
The only problem was that I did not make nearly enough to feed our family the first time I made this. Thankfully we had some leftover oatmeal so some Lambs had oatmeal and some had quinoa with the toppings. Lamb 2 loves this breakfast, Lamb 3 hasn't been willing to try quinoa for breakfast. I have now learned to make enough quinoa to feed 4 plus have leftovers so we don't have to cook quinoa every morning. Lamb 3 continues his normal breakfast of peanut butter on bread for breakfast.