4.19.2012

New blog

I've hesitated to give this link away *here*, just due to personal reasons, but I guess I'm to the point where I just don't care anymore. I want all my friends to keep up with me and leave me comments, so I'll have to take my chances.

I've decided to combine all my blogs into one, so this one won't be just about homeschooling, spiritual beliefs or my crunchiness. It will be whatever is on my heart, something funny my kids say, family photos, etc. It is EVERYTHING all in one place now. So you may not like some of my posts, but this is ME, every part, and for that I will not apologize. :) I do say everything in love though, but it doesn't always come across well in text form. *sigh* But I'm so much better at that than I used to be! Hehe!

So come subscribe here and keep up with ALL of me. :)

1.19.2012

Pinterest

Well, I have finally been sucked in, and I admit, I love it! Pinning things to Pinterest is so much faster and easier than blogging, even though it isn't exactly the same thing. I love that we can follow others and kind of keep up with our friends in their interests when I can't always keep up with their blogs. My blog is mostly about my family, so if you happen to just be interested in the same things I am but don't necessarily want to keep up with my family (sniff, sniff), go to this link and follow ME on Pinterest! My boards (so far) are all about homesteading, homeschooling, DIY projects, really cool houses (like cob, underground, etc.) and things like that, some we have done and some we want to do. I hope you enjoy my pins!

A Random Update.....

.....just because I feel like blogging, and the house is quiet right now!

Myles has been at Hobby Lobby for almost 16 years now! He got a $500 (yes, that is 5 HUNDRED dollar) gift card to spend at the store as a thank you gift. He got one at 10 years too. We always enjoy spending it, and I think we even still  have some left!

We recently bought a new camera, so I don't have many pictures to post yet, and the few I do have were taken on my cell phone. Here is one inspired by Myles. He had a minor accident.....the only thing that was damaged was the mirror. The plastic part holding it on was broken, so he used his OU duct tape and "rednecked" our van!!!!

Nothing much has changed for me. I am still enjoying life, seeking to please YHWH in all I do. I mess up, but HalleluYAH, He forgives me and teaches me and helps me mature more in Him. I have been more withdrawn from others lately, but I think it is good sometimes. I am closer to my family and my heavenly Father, so I am very happy and content right where I am.

Jonathan is so big and mature now. He hasn't "shot up" yet, but I know he's about to. He is just a few inches (4 or 5) shorter than I am now! He is going to be 12 in May. He is loving Boy Scouts, and in fact, they went camping last weekend in the COLD. Crazy boys! Myles went too, but he ended up getting a ride with someone and came back after the first night. Hehe! He admitted he couldn't take it and left Jonathan behind! Jonathan did really well though. He said he was actually "burning up" the first night in his military sleeping bag with hand/foot warmers. I guess I didn't need to worry.

Jayla is REALLY into horses now and has joined a 4-H horse club.  As soon as I finish a quilt for Myles (starting to cut it all out now), I already have everything to make her a horse quilt! Her furniture is already a dark brown, and she has a few decorative pieces already; a cowboy hat coin bank, a light switch plate with a pair of boots on it, a figurine of a girl barrel racing, etc. She got to ride "Peanut" last Tuesday night. Peanut doesn't like to go fast, in fact, you really have to work hard to get him to trot, so he was perfect for her as a beginner. She has never had a lesson, but she learned quickly how to guide him and make him go. Once she was confident that she really wasn't hurting him when she kicked his sides, she was kicking like crazy trying to go faster! That girl! She looked like she knew what she was doing after just 5 minutes or so! She was the same age as a couple of other girls, but she was the only one who couldn't reach the stirrups. She had to have help getting up and down, but she didn't seem to mind, as long as she could RIDE!
Jacob......every time I look at him and think how cute or sweet he is, he either farts or picks his nose. What a kid! I can't believe he is 7 now. He is a LEGO maniac, hoarding them all and playing with them every chance he gets. He even loads up his backpack and brings them along wherever we go. He also still loves trains (but not if they have faces), and in fact, just checked out several books on trains from the library yesterday. And Jacob sure is smart. And he is reading now! He didn't want to for the longest time, so I just never pushed it, but I know he COULD have if he wanted to. I told him that, and he laughed and said, "Yeah, I could have." That stinker! He is quite the engineer too, always building things or trying to figure out how something works. He has always been like that. His latest thing he did on his own was made some jet packs for him and his two little brothers. This may not be "genius", but I was impressed that he took a quick look at a picture (maybe 5 seconds) and declared, "I'm going to make one of those!" and then off he went! I don't have a picture of the ones he made yet, but this is what his almost looks like (this was made by an adult, so it looks more.....realistic).
Jack-Jack is getting so big! He is continuing to improve in his speech. He is still often difficult to understand, but we can understand a lot more as the weeks go by. I also noticed recently that the helix (outer rim) of his ears are plumping up! This is huge to me, as this is one of the characteristics or symptoms of his genetic disorder, and it seems to be going away! We are actually trying to HEAL him with proper diet, essential oils, prayer and other things. We don't want him to just survive, we want him to THRIVE, and I believe he can (and is). We love him just the way he is, but we want to help him be the best he can be, and he's growing, maturing and getting healthier all the time! In fact, it has been about a year since his last seizure. He even had a fever a few weeks ago, but he didn't have a seizure with it! All glory and honor to YHWH!!! Thank You, Father!!! Aside from health issues, he is talking in complete sentences almost all the time now. He absolutely loves to color and draw (always has), so he does that any chance he gets, and he's pretty good! He also still loves music, and we hear him break out in a random song quite often. He is such a joy. :)

Little Joe isn't quite so little anymore. That kid gained 2 1/2 pounds in the last 6 weeks!!! He is one week from turning 14 months old now. He weighs about 22 pounds, has 8 teeth and eats like CRAZY, still nurses (even at night!) and is about to take his first steps any moment now. He can say quite a few words too, but most of it is repeating. A few days ago, Jonathan was playing a game on the Wii and saying, "Die! Die! Die!" Joe was in his high chair eating and started saying "Die-die-die-die-die!" Too funny! He still needs Mommy quite a bit, but he is becoming more independent and just has to come "touch base" every few minutes now. Jack was never like this, and in fact, was completely the opposite, so not only is Joe my clingiest baby, but I haven't had a baby even close to this in 6 years, and the one before him was opposite. So I have been very busy for over a year now with this baby! I think I can finally see my independence in the near future. LOL! But really, this is such a short time in relation to our lives, so I'm here as long as he needs me. I love this little man!

Our homestead is coming along! We are still putting up fences and pens, but we now have two dogs, 7 chickens (still), 6 ducks and a goose. We probably won't get any more ducks now since they are mostly for pets (some lay eggs), but we do want to get lots more chickens, for eggs and meat. We also plan to get some meat and/or milk goats, and/or sheep, and/or a cow. We haven't decided yet, but we will definitely be adding more animals very soon, probably for milk first, then meat. We also want to get a guard donkey and maybe a horse or pony or miniature horse. So many decisions! I love that we are moving toward being more self-sufficient though. In fact, we already are buying most of our groceries now from co-ops and only use the grocery and health food stores for those occasional items we forget to order or run out of. I love it! So much fresh, raw, organic foods, many locally grown!

The younger three are up now, so I guess that's it for this update. Please leave me a comment and let me know how YOU are doing! I'm not good at keeping up with blogs these days, but leave the link to your blog in the comments and I'll check it out. Happy Thursday to you!

11.27.2011

Birthdays!

We had two birthdays this month!

Jacob turned 7.











and Little Joe is now a year old!!!!









Time really does fly. I have very mixed feelings about this.

A Hair Bow made out of.....HAIR!

Super cute on little girls!



Not really so much on their mommies.
Sorry if that scared you!!!

10.26.2011

Sukkot 2011

The Feast of Tabernacles this year was really the first time we've done the whole 8 day campout, and it was incredible! I will try to give as good a description as I can, for those who have never experienced this appointed time of YHWH before. Pictures with text first, then I'll add more detail and some videos!

We arrived on the afternoon of October 13th (Sukkot began that night at sundown) and had to set up camp right away. We were assigned a certain area but could choose the exact spot to set up within that area. This is where we chose, behind EVERYONE else and next to a creek.


I was so thankful that Joe slept during most of our set up time! He is a very needy baby, so I wouldn't have finished before dark! So he was having sweet dreams while we labored away.



Myles didn't get to camp until after the evening service started, sometime around 8, and we all crashed right after it ended. I think this picture was taken at naptime the next day.

Oops! He wasn't really asleep!

The kids made these leaves to help decorate the "ceremonial sukkah" outside of the large meeting tent. This is the one Jayla made.

I failed to get pictures of their other decorations. I know they helped make some chains too!

Friday night during the service.......within just a couple of nights, we started bringing a quilt with us for them to lay/sleep on. One night we had FOUR sleeping kids and had to hike up to the farthest camp site to get them to bed (the only negative to being that far away)!!! We just woke up a couple of them and carried the youngest two back on a golf cart (the taxis that the security guards drove).

This was so funny! One lady decorated her "yard" with flamingos dressed as Israelites! Click on the picture to enlarge so you can see all the detail. Too funny!

After bringing a juvenile black rat snake to camp with us (it was in the bag with the tent poles), we then found this green snake. It was very pretty! I just happened to have someone's number who could help us identify it, so I sent him pictures. With confidence, he told us it was a Northern Rough Greensnake, the only "true" green snake in the state! We all really liked this snake, even Myles!

We only had it this close to Joe because we'd had it several minutes already, and it was just trying to slither away. There was no fear of it biting, BUT even if it had bitten anyone, it was so small that it would just feel like a little pinch. And we knew it wasn't venomous. So we knew what we were doing before we stuck the snake in the baby's face, I assure you! ;-)

Our tent! Compared to other Cub/Boy Scouts, this tent was a mansion (and nicknamed that!), but here at Sukkot there were some HUGE tents, probably some as big as our house!!!!

Jayla and Jacob spent a few nights in their own tent!

Jonathan had his own tent, but as you can see, it was already having problems. It was thrown away before we left!

Jonathan had a total BLAST all week, after telling us he thought he would be bored! However, he doesn't smile much in pictures, so it may be hard to tell just how much he was actually enjoying every minute!

And I just LOVE pictures of him holding Joe.

I think this was the night I stayed at camp with the two littles and missed the service. Joe was working on getting his top two teeth (finally) and had a fever for almost 3 days straight! I had to hunt down some medicine to give him some relief. The oils and teething tablets just weren't enough. Poor kid. :-(


The tent is a goner!

This is a blurry picture, but it cracks me up! Jonathan just woke up and poked his head out like a little gopher!

Jonathan was going to build a debris shelter and sleep in it one night (for a learning experience as well as for Boy Scouts, but he was going to before they planned to as a group), but he never had time to finish it. There was too much to do, and we eventually decided he could just do it at home. He had limited time with his new friends! But this is what he accomplished on it.


I guess I didn't get a final picture, but Jack had actually covered it with leaves too! I was kind of glad he didn't finish it......we used these sticks for the fire!

The inside of the large tent where our evening services were held. It had to be big enough to hold 1100 people!

We finally made our first fire! We always got back so late after the service, plus we joined other families around their fires, so we just didn't have the need for one. Oh! I started this with some Vaseline on a cotton ball and a magnesium fire starter! It was something I'd been wanting to experiment with, but I think next time I will bring that AND matches!

Daddy and Joe by the camp fire. It was pretty cold that day!

The reason I don't have many pictures of Jacob and Jayla is because we didn't see them very much! We would see them in the mornings for breakfast, or as they grab some granola bars and head off to dance class or to play with their friends, and then we wouldn't see them much (or at all) again until supper time! They were just having so much fun playing and going to their classes. Honestly, I think everyone in camp knew who Jacob was by the time it was over. That kid is not too scared to talk to anyone! (I'll tell a funny story about him at the end.)


We invited all of the kids' friends (mostly Jonathan's) up one day for sandwiches, chips and cake (leftover from supper) one afternoon. They were a hoot!



Playing in the tent during some free time.

Ah, Myles caught some pictures of a couple of the kids in their classes!





We did sleep in the van part of the time, mostly because Joe likes to nurse a LOT during the night, and I just couldn't get comfortable. I did make it 3 nights in the tent, and then I was in the van for 3 nights before anyone else joined me, so not too bad! We'll work on that! ;-)

I think his teething pain was gone by this time, and he was SO much happier! What a sweet little face!!!!

This was one of our dance classes. You can see most of the background too for the stage. It served many purposes, and they did a great job on it!

There's Jayla in the light blue dress with her back to the camera! She is a great dancer and taught me some steps to some of the songs.

Two sweet sisters that were hanging out with some of the boys their age. They came up for the lunch and campfire.




Peek-a-boo!

He loves to be found. :-) Look at that SWEET SMILE!!! <3

They made these hardhats and colored the shirts in their classes, and this was just before they sang their song on stage.


My crazy kids wanted to SWIM before we left! Jonathan was helping Myles finish cleaning up the camp site (finding any trash, burying the fire, etc.), so he was going to swim later but didn't get to.





Youth tent

Dining tent

Bad picture of the Marketplace

The HUGE meeting tent!

I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of/with Mason Clover or Rico Cortes!!!! We love those guys! There were other great teachers and worship leaders too, but these guys are definitely among our favorites!

We went to our first (full) Sukkot this year with Lion and Lamb Ministries, and they sure know how to conduct worship, teaching and fellowship times! It was all amazing, and as I sit here typing about it, I REALLY want to just go back there NOW! I will take the cold, wind, rain, etc. any day if we could be there all the time! One day soon we won't have to leave though, and the best part is, we will get to "tabernacle" with our Messiah Yeshua!!!!!!!

I don't even know where to begin, so I will just go through the days. We set up camp immediately after we got there. Before I even stepped out of the van, our neighbor came over to introduce herself. (They had an incredible tent!) By the time we were done setting up, it was time for supper. Myles was still not there, so I had 5 kids, a stroller and lots of plates to carry! It all worked out beautifully though.....everyone was so helpful!

Myles missed the intro on the big screen, but they ended up playing it every night. It was a video showing the whole earth (like in Google Earth), then it zoomed in to North America, then Oklahoma, then the camp grounds......it gave a good perspective of just how small we are and where we are in the world. Then they showed some computer generated models of the tent, went through the back door and showed everyone (CGI) waving leafy branches. It was really cool, especially the first night when we really were waving branches!!! I was kicking myself that I didn't have the camera on me at the time. Jack was really getting into the branch waving, and I really wanted a picture of my cute little worshiping boy!!!

The following day we had our first dance meeting/class that was required if we wanted to dance in any future classes or during worship. They just had to go over some dos and don'ts, mostly for safety. The boys had absolutely no interest in dancing up to this point, so they didn't go. Later in the afternoon they had their first children's classes, one of which was dance, and they realized that they actually love it! Ironically, Jayla didn't enjoy her dance class because it was too slow for her, since she already knew the steps they were learning. Ha! It worked out though, as she was able to be more of a helper later on.

During the children's classes there were some optional teaching classes we could attend. We had to take Joe with us, but one baby when we're used to 5 was a breeze! The first day though, we had a welcome program, then the teaching times were later. Oh! And right after this welcome meeting, JACK had practice for his song he was doing that night! This isn't the greatest video quality, but it was such a fun song, and I am glad he got to be a part of it. (Jack was the last of the 3 boys to come out, and he stood in the middle.)







I had a really hard time keeping him awake right before they went on stage! He was about to fall asleep just minutes before, so I had him drink a lot of water and run around outside. Then, just before the boys went on, he didn't want to wear his hat. They hadn't practiced with them, so he didn't want to wear it out there. I finally convinced him to keep it on just seconds before they went out, and he almost took it off on the stage! We made it through just fine though, then about 5 minutes after he was done, he was sound asleep on the blanket in front of us! HAHA!

The next day was the weekly Sabbath. We just had a morning service (with Glenn McWilliams teaching) and an evening service. The evening service was a huge production called The Consolation of Israel, and it was so good! This is the one Jayla danced in for one song, and here is that video!








The program, The Consolation of Israel, was about the story of Israel throughout history, and how she had an adulterous affair with other pagan gods. YHWH divorced her (Jer. 3:8) and is now calling the REMNANT of Israel (not just the Jews/Judah, but all 12 tribes, anyone who has been grafted onto the Messiah) back to HIM!!! HalleluYAH!!!!

Sunday, the first day of the week, which is NOT a rest day, it was on with the regular schedule! Dance classes in the morning (playtime for the boys), children's classes and adult teaching after lunch, supper at 5:30 and then the evening service at 7:30. There was just enough time to fellowship/play with friends, but not enough to get into trouble! ;-)

On this particular day (Sunday), I was walking CONSTANTLY! Joe was not feeling well and had a fever, so I "stayed home" with him while Myles went to the teaching time and the kids went to their children's workshops. So I took a walk with Joe in the stroller to comfort him some, which did seem to help, but the fever persisted. So I decided to walk some more and go find him some meds! I had brought teething tablets and essential oils, both of which helped some, but he was in PAIN (teeth) and needed some relief! I found a family with young children and a TON of meds, so they just gave me something for him. He ended up running a fever (had to keep him on meds or he was miserable, but happy with no fever!) for THREE DAYS!!! His teeth finally broke through, his fever broke and he was a completely different child! Whew!

So anyway, part of our walking was also to find Myles after the teaching part was over. I didn't find him, so I went back to camp. Right after I got there, I noticed I had a voice mail on my cell phone. It was now half an hour after the kids classes had ended, and Myles had not picked up Jack yet. UGH. Here we go back down there again! By the end of the day, I was totally exhausted, my back hurt, my ankle hurt and I was getting blisters!!! We may request a closer place next year! Ha! It was still a great day though. I think that was the day I stayed at camp with the two littles while Myles went with the older three to the service. Once Joe was feeling better (on meds), we just continued activities as normal. It was fun to meet people as we were walking though, and everyone was so kind and compassionate, trying to figure out how they might be able to help me with Joe. I was so thankful that our kids were not truly sick the whole time though! What a blessing!

There were a couple of days when I didn't go to dance class, in part because of my ankle and blisters, though I could have if I REALLY wanted to......they weren't that bad, just annoying. I was just tired and needed a break, and I knew Myles wanted to go to the Morning Midrash times. He loved them! It was kind of a Q&A time with a different teacher each day, and he learned a lot. I am so glad he is at the point now where he is really hungry to learn more, and he is!

Tuesday was our free day. The only things scheduled were an optional tour of the Lion and Lamb offices, a health seminar in the afternoon, wedding renewals in the evening and a movie at the same time (different place). We decided to go to town to get some things at Wal-Mart, eat at a diner, do laundry, then back to camp for the movie. It was a fun day! We met a few other campers at the laundromat and saw others at WM. We even saw Monte's son Ephraim with his family and another couple at WM as well as the diner! The movie was Secretariat. I'm sure it is hard to pick a good family movie that everyone will approve of, but this one was pretty good. I'm not sure my kids really followed the storyline since the boys were playing some, but Jayla just kept saying that she LOVES this movie (because she LOVES horses). We also had drinks and snacks while we were watching it, and Jack and Joe fell asleep at their usual time!

The bulk of our time there was the teachings and evening services. The teachers for the different times were Eddie Chumney, Rico Cortes, Glenn McWilliams and Oswald Garagorry. Dr. Jeff Coffman and Dr. Monty Harris also held some health seminars. I didn't get to hear them all, but the ones I heard really knew how to STUDY the Scriptures and then TEACH it to others! I learned so much, and I know Myles did too!

For worship times, we had the B'nai Shalom (L&L) worship team, which is AWESOME, and also special guests Brenda WheelerMason Clover and Mishkanim. They were all great!

A funny story about Jacob.....one day the staff was having lunch. We were only supposed to have supper in the dining tent each day, not breakfast and lunch, but Jacob didn't realize this. All he knew is that people were eating, and he was hungry! Actually, he said he was starving! So he decided to join them. We heard later that he was so kind, inviting anyone and everyone to sit with him (which they did) when he saw they didn't have a table yet. He spoke graciously to everyone and was very hospitable. Once the table was full, he counted everyone and went to get a stack of cookies, then proceeded to pass one to each person! I was told he had the hospitality of Abraham! When I told him later that he wasn't supposed to be there, his eyes got really big! He wasn't in trouble, but he didn't do it again once he realized his treachery! Haha!

I just can't say enough about the teaching and worship times we had all week! One memorable moment was when I was sitting with Joe, and I think Jack was asleep on the quilt. We were singing praises to the Father, and I looked at Myles, and he was raising his hands in pure worship! I don't see that often, and it brought a tear to my eye!!! And to hear him as he talked about things he was learning, and his excitement.....it was so awesome!

The final service was the Simchat Torah service. Each Sabbath we have a Torah teaching, and we'd just had the last one, so this was the service where the Torah is "rolled back" to the beginning to start over for this next year. It was so precious to see how everyone responded to the Torah scroll when it passed by, and then some even danced with it. What a blessing the Torah of YHWH is!!!!
Psalm 1:2
but his delight is in the TORAH of YHWH, and on his Torah he meditates day and night.


One final thing I can't forget to mention is just the over all atmosphere in the camp! We had security and had rented the entire park, so everyone there was with our group, no outsiders were allowed in. This made all the difference in the world when it came to letting our children roam around freely. We just set some general ground rules, like not to go inside anyone's tent or RV and to meet us at certain times, but otherwise the older 3 kids had quite a bit of freedom, and they completely took advantage of it! I had zero safety concerns while there though, even though I didn't know everyone there and "you just never know......", but really, with our own rules in place and security (lots of them!) and other parents helping to watch kids, I really felt that our kids were safe! It is a feeling I don't have very often in today's world!!!

One more thing I almost forgot to mention. The Youth and College and Career also had some really great activities, some late at night! They sounded and looked like a lot of fun! Some of the activities included an ice breaker, camp fire jam sessions and a starlift on the beach! The youth also did a special dance for us at the end of the week that was really fun. Oh, I got that on video, and I need to put the kids' video on here as well! Here ya go:












I got special permission for Jacob and Jonathan to dance as long as they were in the kids' circle (for safety), so here is Jacob's first dance!




And here is Jonathan's first dance, his favorite song! Myles stopped filming when the song ended, but everyone loves this song so much they repeated it TWO more times! Jonathan didn't know any of the steps, so I thought he did pretty well keeping up! It's so cute how he jumps! Hehe! Jonathan is the taller boy in the white shirt, and Jayla is to his right.




Well, I may add more things as they come to mind, but for now, all I can say to wrap up this blog post is......I wish we were still there. *sigh* One day soon we will not have to leave, and we will be in the New Jerusalem with Yeshua our Messiah!!!! \o/

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