Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Today I am reflecting on what our family did in 2013. Ram went to Oregon a couple of times for church. Ewe went to the He Remembers the Barren retreat in St. Louis. The Lambs never left Idaho in 2013. This is so different than when we lived in Minnesota and often went to other states just to go grocery shopping. Ewe and the Lambs have still never been to Oregon even though we live very close. Perhaps in 2014 we can go over the border some time.

Ram's parents visited for each of our birthdays and a few other times during the year. I believe this is the first time they visited for Ewe's birthday-the daughter-in-law!
We planned to vacation at their house in August, but our vacation was cut short by a major wildfire. They ended up coming to stay with us until it was safe to go home. We are thankful for the firefighters, Ram's parents safety, and that we live close enough for them to come to our house during the fire. Ram's dad is not retired, but working part time. He still travels and works a lot.

Ewe's parents visited us for about 3 weeks this summer. We all went to Ram's parents for the 4th of July. We took several field trips to places in the area like the zoo while they were here. We are so glad they came to see us and the area that we live at now. This was the first time they saw our house as we were at the rental house the last time they visited.

Ram went to the emergency room when he cut his thumb with a cheese slicer. He ended up not needing stitches, it was just very inconvenient for a couple of weeks. I think getting stitches would have been easier than being so careful with bandages. Other than that he had a very normal year of being pastor, husband, and father. When you read about Lamb 2 you will see that he took Lamb 2 for many doctor visits. One of the charter members of our congregation went to be with Jesus in November after a long cancer battle. Much of Ram's year was spent with this family before and after his death. In January Ram and Ewe began eating gluten free and are on our way to eating Paleo. Ram lost 10 lbs doing this.

Ewe cheated on our new diet more than Ram did, but still lost 7 lbs. She has a couple  more lbs to lose to weigh less than she did before she had children. Ewe had a normal year of being wife, mother, and teacher. When you read about Lamb 2's year, you'll see she added in nurse, counselor, special ed. teacher, therapist, more chauffeuring, and some more. We were sad to have 2 more miscarriages this year. We now have 8 children in heaven. Ewe was glad she went to the He Remembers the Barren retreat and made new friends that truly understand. Ewe turned 40 in November, but celebrated with her friends in October at a "I'm not 40" party. Ewe is not officially the Sunday School superintendent but ended up doing a lot of those duties when the former SS superintendent "retired" after many years of helping. Ewe also organized a catechism memory program at church. This has gone better than she expected and we are so proud of all our children at church for their progress.

Lamb 1 is doing well in 4th grade homeschool. This was the first year of homeschool that Ewe didn't have experience teaching in the classroom for homeschool. It has taken slightly more preparation to keep ahead of him. He is plugging along in the Saxon math 4th grade book. He has really progressed in piano this year. It is hard to believe he has only had a few months more than a year of lessons. When we can't get an organist at church he plays piano for pre service, during the offering, post service and a little of the liturgy. He has his eye on the organist job at our church in a few years.

Lamb 2 began piano lessons in January and after a summer break of just once a month piano lessons he began having trouble in piano and school. After several doctor visits of all kinds of doctors, many doctors agreed he has vision difficulties that would not be corrected with glasses. He is still in speech therapy, also began occupational therapy once a week at the same place that he goes to speech. In January he will begin twice a week vision therapy for at least 9 months. He is in 2nd grade in homeschool and has finished the 2nd grade Saxon math book already. 2013 was a rough year for him to go through all this evaluation of what was wrong, not do as well at piano as Lamb 1, and not do as well at school as Lamb 3. Ewe is seeing that being a middle child is difficult; Ram understands this. We are praying that vision therapy helps him succeed in all areas of his life, especially school and piano, but will also help his self esteem and playing with the neighborhood kids. He is still our helpful, motivated, cheerful son which makes it worth all the doctor visits, exercises at home, and going to therapy.

Lamb 3 went to speech therapy at the public school from January-May once a week. In July he began going to speech therapy at the same place as Lamb 2. It has been nice for our schedule to go to speech therapy at the same time and place for both of them. Lamb 3 went to preschool at our church from January-May. We considered having him to go our church preschool another year but he begged to come home for school like his brothers. He began kindergarten at home this fall. He is doing well in the Math U See Alpha book. He is also doing well learning to read and write. Lamb 3 is glad to be home for school and not miss what his brothers are doing at home. Homeschooling 3 at different levels has been more difficult than homeschooling 2, but not as difficult as combining preschool and homeschool schedules.

We miss our friends in Minnesota and Indiana, but we are planning on focusing on therapy with Lamb 2 and not planning any trips at least until next fall when he will have completed most of his vision therapy. Especially Ewe is "homesick" but knows that he will eventually complete therapy and we will be able to travel again. We have a guest room and friends and family are always welcome to visit us even though we can't travel much. There is lots to do in Boise if you do come visit!

We pray you have a Blessed 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The fourth day of Christmas

Stockings today- Ram: a tote bag that says, 'I like big books and I can not lie'.
Lamb 1: snowglobe that you can insert a photo, he is excited to change it with each season.
Lamb 2: footie pajamas like Lamb 3 received earlier
Lamb 3: Pez for his Pez dispenser (he really wanted this-and then he ate all six packages in one day!)

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds.

Fourth Day of Christmas Treat: Paleo Chicken pot pie

Today Ram ran some errands, we all did some housework, and we prepared for celebrating Christmas with Ram's parents. I do like having a clean house without messes everywhere! I am already a day behind posting about the 12 days of Christmas due to the important blog post yesterday. I have some other blog posts planned. Don't worry, if there is a few days break blogging about the 12 days of Christmas, I will eventually post about all the days.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine

December 29, 2001-December 29, 2013

He still loves me more than books!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Third Day of Christmas

Stockings today: A small rock and gem excavation kit for each boy from the new teacher store in our town. The Lambs got right to work in the morning and got some rocks and gems out. They worked on it for awhile and then took a break, this may keep them busy for several days. Lamb 3 got his rocks out the easiest, Lamb 1 was the slowest-he was careful not to break any as he worked. This was a good project to teach that excavation and archeology can take weeks/months/years/decades.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three French hens.

Third Day of Christmas Treat:

Cornish Hens
We cooked 5. Lamb 1 and 2 finished theirs. Ram, Ewe, and Lamb 3 had leftovers for the 4th day of Christmas treat. Lamb 1 and 2 thought it was great to have their own chicken! We may not do this again if they need more than one chicken each.

Today the Lambs played and worked on their rock and gem kits. Ewe ventured out to do a little shopping hoping to get some after Christmas deals and use some coupons before they expire at the end of the year. I had a coupon to use at Chick Fil A and that was the busiest place I went all day. Ram is on vacation so he read a book most of the day and then cooked dinner. We are celebrating Christmas with Ram's parents next week so Ram and I wrapped all their Christmas presents today too. This was the only wrapping I did this year. Ram also hung up some posters for homeschooling, that is another post. Lamb 3 stayed in his new footie pajamas all day.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The second day of Christmas

Stockings today: Each boy received a box of sugar cereal with a Star Wars character pen inside. This was a huge gift as we don't buy cereal, especially not sugar cereal, plus it had the Star Wars pens in them. This is a good time to have this treat because they don't have speech or other therapy this week to behave at after eating sugar cereal. I'm sure this cereal will be gone before we return to regular activities.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves.

Second day of Christmas treat:

Chocolate turtle candy from our local chocolate shop. 
Lamb 1 reminded me that we should also have pear crisp today. I told him he wasn't going to have 12 treats on the 12th day of Christmas, just one treat a day.

The Lambs played and watched movies all day. Ram went to the history museum to finish reading all the parts at their special exhibit before they close it at the end of the year (he had already been twice this year but hadn't finished reading about everything). Ram tried to do a little shopping for me, but they were out of everything I asked him to look for. Ewe made a fast grocery shopping trip and spent the rest of the day doing end of the year paperwork to do taxes. It was not a fun day doing that, but it is nice to have more of it done even though I'm not done yet, and it was especially nice that Ram cooked dinner, did dishes, and watched the Lambs so I wasn't interrupted while I worked. We had some green peppers to use so we made stuffed peppers for dinner and then had the chocolate turtles for dessert. The stuffed peppers were paleo and so yummy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The first day of Christmas

Stockings today: Lamb 1-small Star Wars Lego set (bought on sale at Target)
Lamb 2-small Lego Creator set (bought at Barnes and Noble on teacher sale day)
Lamb 3-Duplo building plates (bought by mistake online, I thought I was buying Lego building plates. It turned out ok as they pulled their Duplo out and played with it again.)

I saw a magazine article talking about the 12 days of Christmas with ideas for foods you could serve each day. I figured since we are actually home and on vacation this year, this would be fun. I tried to think of ideas that were paleo and ideas that would be treats for our family. I will try to blog about this each day. Some of the foods are desserts, some are appetizers, and some are the main course. Some are what the magazine suggested, most are my own ideas.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree.

Treat for first day of Christmas:
grain free apple and pear crisp with vanilla Coconut Bliss ice cream on top

After church and opening the presents from Aunt Hannah, we had a relaxing day at home together. We ate crepes/lingonberries/whipped cream and ham. We called and talked to all our family. The Lambs played with their new toys and watched their favorite TV show, Wild Kratts. I was surprised there were new episodes this week. The Lambs are happy that we aren't going anywhere and they can watch their show daily. I made the pear crisp and we had dessert before bedtime. Ram and Ewe each had some reading time yesterday, I even finished a book I began a few weeks ago!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas photos

Photo taken after first service on Christmas Eve
Merry Christmas from Ram, Ewe, and 3 Lambs!

This photo captures the Lambs so well. Lamb 2 and 3 are hugging. Lamb 1 doesn't even want to be in the photo. Lamb 2 wore a tie, the others didn't.
I bought these sweaters in 2010. Can you believe I got 4 years out of them? I bought them online while I sat in my pajamas on Black Friday when we lived in MN. Everyone commented how cute they were last night. I think this is the last year for Lamb 1 to wear his, but Lamb 2 and 3 will still be able to wear them next year.

Before second service on Christmas Eve. Lamb 1 played the piano for the liturgy as we couldn't get an organist for the late service. We knew the hymns well enough to sing a cappella.
Lamb 2 was the acolyte.
Lamb 3 had a nap in the afternoon and wore his footie pajamas.
All the Lambs were fine to be up until 11:30.

Lamb 3 asked for footie pajamas. I had never bought new pajamas for our Lambs as we are blessed with nice grandparents to buy them. It was fun to have a Lamb to buy pajamas for that I knew would appreciate it. He may be 5, but he's my baby. He didn't even know that he was giving me a gift to ask for footie pjs. It ended up being really difficult as he needed size 6. They make boys toddler footie pjs and also for teenagers, but it was not easy to find the middle sizes. I tried several stores and finally at my third Target I found them. Thankfully we live near 3 Targets! (Hopefully I didn't have identity theft when I bought these pjs!) Everyone at the late service thought his pajamas were cute. One middle school girl at church was jealous of the spaceship feet.

I was excited to buy footie pajamas for Lamb 3 and when Lamb 2 opened his stocking on Christmas Eve morning, he was very jealous of Lamb 3's pajamas. I had no idea that Lamb 2 wanted footie pajamas too. I refused to go shopping on Christmas Eve. So hopefully I can find footie pajamas in Lamb 2's size soon.

In between services we opened a few presents from a few church members and also my parents. Lamb 2 and 3 were very excited to get this car carrier from my parents. Lamb 1 refused to be in this picture.

Getting up/going to church this morning was a little rough for Lamb 2 and 3. When we got home from church we had paleo crepes and lingonberries and whipped cream. It worked well and I think I like these crepes better than the crepe recipe we have used every year of our marriage.

Then we opened presents from Aunt Hannah and Uncle Eric. Aunt Hannah is a great aunt and knows just what to get our boys! Then it was time to play with our new toys. They only received a few presents until we have Christmas with Ram's parents, but they appreciate and enjoyed playing with what they got now.

Here are a few photos of Lamb 3 playing with their new car carrier. They got out some of their other cars to play with it together.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

Stockings today: Lamb 1: pretend jewels for crafts
Lamb 2: colored paper for their art store
Lamb 3: footie pajamas (the first ones I ever bought, requested by Lamb 3!)

Plans for today:
Sleep until 10am with interruptions from excited Lambs.
Lay out Lambs' Christmas outfits.
Lay out my Christmas clothes.
Put Advent decorations/calendars/wreaths away.
Make sure camera has a fresh battery and photos downloaded and organized on computer.
Organize from my old purse to my new purse. (Ram's grandma gave me a Kohl's card for my birthday and I got a great deal with all my coupons. I bought this several weeks ago but haven't used it yet.)
Supervise Lambs showers.
Take a shower.
Try to force Lambs to rest even though I know they won't sleep.
Cook a ham for supper.
Do Altar guild duties for two services.
2 Church services
Family photo after first church service.
Come home and drink eggnog in between services in honor of National Eggnog Day.
Let Lambs change into pajamas for second service if they want.
Get to bed way too late and get up for church again tomorrow.

Merry CHRISTmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ewe's 2 week vacation!

1. No teaching Sunday School or organizing the other Sunday School teachers.

2. No chauffeuring for piano, vision, speech, or occupational therapy.

3. No need to set the alarm because the only reason to get up is for 9:15 church on Sundays.

4. No doctor appointments scheduled until January. (This is huge after our family tried to squeeze in a bunch of appointments in December before a new year of deductible!)

5. No cooking a big Christmas meal. (We hosted Thanksgiving so we get off Christmas. We may cook a big meal for Epiphany for our family.)

6. No cleaning to do before hosting-not only are we not hosting but our family did some basic cleaning on Friday so the house looks pretty good.

7. No lesson plans or grading papers or teaching for homeschooling.

8. Yes one Call the Midwife and one Downton Abbey to watch.

9. Yes 5 of my favorite church services to attend.

10. Yes 1 anniversary with my beloved to celebrate.

11. Yes blogging will happen in some of my free time.

12. Yes baking and doing crafts with the Lambs will happen in some of my free time.

13. Yes sitting by the fire drinking tea and reading a book will happen in some of my free time.

14. Yes this vacation is well deserved at the end of 2013.

And now I'm off to do #13 even though I haven't finished decorating the Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Fillings-When I was about 12, right after my adult teeth came in, I had to get 2 fillings. Right after college I needed a tiny filling. (I know because I was on my own by then and had to pay for it instead of my dad!) My dentist that I had always had did all of those before he retired. I usually had bad teeth when I was pregnant, but always a good report after teeth cleaning. That was until yesterday. I have a cavity on the side of one of my teeth which means I need two small fillings. Ram has still never had a filling so I feel even worse. The dentist and I had a long talk about how he could tell I grew up in the Midwest because I had enough fluoride in the water as my teeth were growing. He could tell that my first fillings were almost 30 years old. It was a fascinating conversation, I just wish I didn't need fillings! He assured me that he will be gentle, but that is not what I was worried about, I was worried about needing fillings. They couldn't fit me in yet this month with the holidays so I won't go back to the dentist until January. I haven't told the Lambs yet because I'm afraid of their scolding.

Freaky-At two different grocery stores I saw women carrying small dogs in a baby sling. One was in line after me and she said her dog had been sick so she couldn't leave him home by himself nor leave him in the cold car while she shopped.

Forty?-I bought some hard cider for Ram yesterday and I was asked to show my ID. I couldn't believe it.

Fun-Ram and I went on a date last night. We saw the Hobbit at the new theatre in our town. It was great to see the Hobbit in 3-D and a great movie to be the first that we went to at the new theatre. We went out to eat for prime rib. We got gluten free chocolate cake to go and ate it at home. We stopped at Walmart for a few items. (It is so much easier to shop without the Lambs!) Walmart was packed at 10pm. We were buying groceries, not Christmas shopping.

Flurries-We did our whole date during a small snowstorm. We took it slow, drove carefully, and didn't go too far from home. We had a student home from college for Christmas break babysit. She wasn't afraid to drive in the snow even though she lives a little far from us. Her mom said she had 4 wheel drive and would be fine. She hadn't babysat for us since we lived in the rental house, so the Lambs were thrilled to have her back to babysit. The Lambs were shocked at how much snow we received while they were inside playing when it was time for her to go home. They couldn't wait until morning to play in the snow! It was great to not have to take her home after our date.

Financial aid-We found out that we will be granted 80% financial aid for the Lambs speech and occupational therapy next year. We praise God for this blessing!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


After our church preschool Christmas program today I hurried to fry some eggs and opened up a package of sausage links and threw them in the oven to bake for a quick lunch before Ram had to get back to church to work some more. We ate the eggs because they were done first. The Lambs were playing when we announced that the sausage was done and we could eat the rest of our lunch.

Lamb 2 came downstairs and said, "I love homemade sausage!"

Lamb 2, it was sausage baked at home from a package, not a sample at Costco or sausage at a restaurant, but it was not homemade.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


My head is constantly spinning with thoughts due to the Lambs. Lamb 2 began vision therapy this week so it meant two more chauffeuring jobs for me. Our new schedule is Monday:Vision Therapy, Tuesday: Vision Therapy and piano lessons, Thursday: Speech therapy and occupational therapy. During those chauffeuring jobs, the Lambs come up with all kinds of questions. What did we call those phones we had in MN again? (Landline) Why are the other phones called cell phones? How does the landline phone know to ring at the correct house? (They thought it worked like a cell phone tower, we had to back way up and explain landline phones some more. They still don't really understand because they don't know what a corded phone is-they're thinking of a modern landline phone.) And a conversation about names: What are the variations of the first names of their therapists, why we named the Lambs what we named them, what are the variations of the Lambs' first names... I'm on my own to answer all these questions because Ram isn't with us and as Lamb 1 keeps reminding me, I don't have a smartphone for Lamb 1 to look it up himself while we're in the car. Usually I'm thinking about something else and I have to interrupt my thoughts to think of answers to their questions.

Then at home Lamb 1 is constantly asking music theory questions for his composing and I'm having to reach back in my mind 25-30 years ago to what I learned in flute lessons. Sometimes I have no idea because I only had about 6 weeks of piano lessons. After piano lessons today the piano teacher suggested that she is going to get him a spiral bound blank staff book so he doesn't have so many scraps of paper printed out with his music unorganized. She thinks this will help him.

Then Lamb 2 and 3 are both asking how to spell words constantly, Lamb 2 for his story he is writing, and Lamb 3 just because he wants to know. Lamb 1 asks questions like which of a couple of choices do I like best for an alien name for his story?

Then each of the Lambs get an idea in their head for a project they want to do, such as a craft project, and need me to find the supplies. Our school room is so unorganized after moving that it is not simple for me to say go here and go get that. A big goal for me for 2014 is to organize the school room and school room closet. But until then, they ask for something and I have to think where it might be. If it's not where I expect it to be then I spend the next few days thinking where else it could be until we finally find it.

Does this get worse or better as they get older? At least the Lambs like me and talk to me. But I am really looking forward to going to see the Hobbit without the Lambs to ask questions later this week!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Quick update

We saw a couple of doctors last week for Lamb 2 and finally have a diagnosis and treatment plan after seeing many doctors. Lamb 2 will begin twice a week vision therapy for 9 months. I plan to have about a week of blog posts about this soon, but it is quite the story and will take much longer to blog about this than a normal post. When I get all my info together I will blog about it.
The Sunday School Christmas Service was on Sunday morning. Following that we had a small party. It is a huge relief to have that accomplished this year. Now we have a couple of weeks of crafts-I need to pull all the supplies together. Then we are taking a couple of weeks off of Sunday School so I get a Christmas vacation.
Our ladies had Advent by Candlelight tea on Sunday afternoon. I hosted a table so had to cart my china and other things over to church. I still have a few things to put away from that and need to wash all my china that we used, but it is good to have that event done. It was a relaxing afternoon chatting and singing Christmas carols and I'm glad I went.
We got about 4 inches of snow on Friday night/Saturday and the Lambs have spent every minute since then that I let them outside building a snow fort and making snow balls. It has been abnormally cold here-highs in the low 20s, lows actually below 0. The Lambs wear snow pants and warm coats and I bought them new waterproof mittens so they don't mind the cold. They remember that this is nothing compared to MN weather. 4 inches is a good amount of snow to play in vs. the feet of snow we would get in MN. The Lambs have used all the snow in the front yard so they have to cart snow from the backyard to continue their building. Our fireplace has been on a lot and many cups of hot cocoa have been enjoyed. I know this may be the only good snowfall this year for the Lambs to play in so I'm a little more generous with their outside time than I normally would be.
I have been busy filling out financial aid forms to hopefully get some help with medical bills next year for Lamb 2 and 3 to remain in speech therapy and Lamb 2 in his other therapy. Please pray for our family for this. The world doesn't understand this-if they went to public school they would get some of this therapy for free. But if they went to the public school they wouldn't be getting as much therapy, as good of therapy, or individual therapy. I know this is the best for our Lambs, but boy is it ever expensive. So I'm busy filling out the forms and Ram will be busy making copies of our tax forms etc. so we can submit everything by the deadline. Then we will wait and pray for that phone call that will be the best Christmas present ever, that we can receive some financial aid for these services.
Lamb 1 decided to write a story and has been busy asking me questions for things he never paid attention to in books. Such as who you dedicate a book to, grammar and capitalization questions, etc. I never would have planned this in the busy month of December, but he is gaining a lot of important skills doing this-much better than if I would have assigned similar things in school. Next Lamb 2 decided to also write a story. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to help him as much as he needs help though. I kept telling them I would help them with their projects after Dec. 8 and all my things I needed to do. It is after Dec. 8 and I've either wanted to take a nap or read a book-not help the Lambs with their projects. Thankfully they've been busy playing outside, but soon I'll need to devote more attention to them and their projects.
We've plugged along daily in school in the middle of everything else this time of year. I had hoped that Lamb 2 would finish his math book by Thanksgiving, now it's looking like he'll have a few more lessons to do in January. He's still ahead in math. Lamb 1 and 3 have gotten off to a good start in their math books.
We haven't put the fall decorations away and have only got out a few Christmas decorations. We haven't put lights up outside or even started a letter/Christmas cards. I am relieved that I hosted Thanksgiving so I will not have that responsibility for Christmas. We plan to have a very relaxed week of Christmas after all the church services-just spending time as a family of 5. It will be much needed after all our hard work this year.
Some day I will post the many pictures I have of things we did this fall...