Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sometimes it's easy to make it sound like life is perfect, especially on facebook or in public.. or wherever. But the truth is, no ones life is perfect, and I'm no different. We all have our struggles and darkness, frustrations, fears, worries, etc, that we don't publicly proclaim to the world. That's a good thing probably because it would most likely cause more harm than good. (Of course, those generally ARE the things that are the most interesting. Hearing all about how everything is perfect, can be a little nauseating sometimes.=D) Do you ever read people's posts and feel like, "Wow! She has got it together! Great parent, great kids, gorgeous, everything perfect in life..........infuriating." I laugh about it, but I think I do that myself sometimes and mistakenly paint a public picture of the ideals that I "want" but not necessarily have. =)
 So, I'll get to the point. I have been through some really REALLY hard times. I don't say that to brag or get attention, but I say it in thankfulness. Thankfulness, because when I lost all hope of ever living a normal, or even bearable life, yet, I have come out of that dark place, and thank God, I am blessed with so many good things. To be able to wake up and face the day, to be able to do things, take care of my home and family, to enjoy friendship and fellowship, even just to be able to eat and sleep normally. I feel so privileged to be able to help or just be with my family and friends with their troubles and to know real compassion, because I've been through difficulty myself and I will never forget. Even when hard times come, they can't last forever, and that's one of those promises I hang onto.
 Last thing I wrote about is how much I love diving into hobby farming. Now I feel a little guilty because its not really that realistic. I really do love it, but there are downsides, too. A great flourishing garden means picking ripe produce in the hot sun and bugs (giant yellow spiders), hours and hours of canning, cutting, and freezing veggies. Picking out bugs and worms, washing, and then doing it all over again, and again, etc.... then there's the kids having a knack for getting into the dirtiest smelliest places and tracking it all into the house before I can stop them. Then it's time for major scrubbing and laundry has to be done NOW, because I WILL NOT have a house that smells like a barn. (Today it was their pillows that they smuggled out to the barn to have a pillow fight in the haymow..and then put all the kitties on them... on the floor and wonder why I wouldn't let them put their pillows back in their beds. Wow. Count slowly to ten.) Then there are all the things that they want to bring in the house....rocks, leaves, sticks, nails, mud stew, frogs, and most recently a giant pet spider in a very unsecure looking jar. I was VERY firm about NO spiders in the house, even pet ones. I did feel a little guilty when it rained and the spider drowned from the water the jar collected when I saw Carters devastation. Not guilty enough to let him bring his next pet spider in though. Hah!
 Then there's having to take care of the pigs when Cory's gone, which I hate, because I'm terrified to be in the pen with them. Or having to help inject sick piggy with an antibiotic while Cory tries to hold it. That was NOT fun. Oh and then there's the nasty flue bug we just have been getting over. I got a break from canning for a day. So I could go on and on about the mishaps and situations we get ourselves into, but the moral of the story is...maybe its those not so great things that make me appreciate the good stuff more.... And then I can either laugh about them, or learn from them.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Country Living

  I don't even know where to start... It seems that we have dived into full fledged hobby farming. After living in the city so long it has been a wonderful change ever since we moved to the country, last September. We started out inheriting chickens. Black Australorps. They have been great fun. They are quiet, they don't run away, and they lay wonderful eggs every day. (Once you have farm fresh eggs, there is no going back.) Next, we got kittens. They are great pets, and give us a lot of laughs with the silly things they do. They are also great mousers, and pretty much eliminated our mouse problem. They even take on rats. Fierce kitties. =) After that, we got pigs. Again, hilarious animals. Pigs are not my favorite, but they do make me laugh. They are named, Bacon, Pork chop, Sausage, and Babe. As you may guess, Babe is going to have more babies for us. Last, but not least, we got three beautiful, sleek, Angus Heifers. They have big brown eyes, and are finally starting to let us pet them. They love Cory, and wait at the fence for him. If he doesn't give them immediate attention, they'll start mooing louder and louder till he comes. Funny cows. We all love it here on the farm. The space, the wide fields of green grass, the sunsets and sunrises, the wide open space and fresh air, the big white  barn with the amazing haymow, and the pretty house, filled with big windows. 
  We added a huge garden to our work list this summer, and so the past couple weeks have been very busy ones, freezing and canning vegetables and pickling brussel sprouts and cucumbers. It's good productive work, though and rewarding. Its been good for the kids too, learning about animals, learning responsibility, and helping out with the work. They are enjoying every minute of it, and growing healthier and stronger. 

Friday, December 5, 2014







Greetings, friends and family;
    It’s hard to believe another year is passed. We are still living in a rental on the west  hill of Chippewa Falls, and I have to say that we have really been enjoying this neighborhood. Living right across from a small playground is nice as well. We still plan on building at some point in the future, Lord willing, but some things need to happen first. We have been enjoying some new things in  home schooling. It’s been fun working with the kids in learning about the world; its countries and geography. Kendra is enjoying 3rd grade, except for math. She’s been enjoying reading lots of new books, learning about missionaries, cooking, learning housework, running, art, and many more interests. I wish we had time for more. 8 years old is such a fun age. We like playing Dutch Blitz in the evenings sometimes after the younger kids go to bed.  Kendra loves the personal time and attention. =)
    Carter is learning to read better all the time. He loves learning about space, science, and  especially how things work. motors, machinery, gears, pulleys…etc.. He loves building his own concoctions and we find strange things tied together and odd setups all over the house. Maybe he’ll be a carpenter like his dad, and put houses together, or a car mechanic or something. Carter has been very interested in Bible stories and learning about God as well. We have had lots of good discussions. Sometimes his thoughts amaze me. I love how he thinks everything through so much.
     Kaely is developing much more personality. She loves dresses, and stories and snuggling, snow, pancakes, and doing “school” (toddler games). She also gets her feathers ruffled very easily.  She is going through a major “daddy’s girl” stage. While she’s too young to go “hunting”, like Kendra and Carter, she loves riding with him on errands.
    I’ve been busy with home schooling,  and a side business/hobby of doing custom sketching for people.  I‘ve been enjoying the home school group and a Tuesday morning mom’s group I go to. It’s been so nice to be able to get out and be more involved. I also like planning random field trips with the kids, sometimes with friends. I don’t know who has more fun, the kids or myself.
    Cory built and sold his first spec house this last year. That was a new endeavor that we weren’t sure how it would go, but he enjoyed it and will probably be doing some more of that in the future. He also went elk hunting and got his first elk. That was a pretty cool experience. He’s got some nice antlers to show for it, and even two ivory teeth. We never knew before that elk have two ivory teeth.  That was interesting.
    A lot of our siblings have gotten married and moved away. We miss them a lot, abut it’s been nice to get together with them on the holidays. One thing about living far away, is that you learn to make your time together count. We are also thankful for all our family and friends that live near by. Not something to take for granted.
    We are thankful for all the blessings of God in our lives and for the personal interest he takes in each  of the people He has created. We don’t  know what He will do, looking ahead, but it’s neat to look back and see all the ways He has touched out lives, starting with the sacrifice His some Jesus made for us so that we could  be forgiven our sins and have access to God and life in Him. That is the greatest gift that we enjoy celebrating this time of year.
    Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season,
    ~Cory, Anna, Kendra, Carter, and Kaely

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The first child

I want to spend time in this blog talking about each of my kids. When Cory and I were first married, we were advised to wait a year before we had kids. I remember thinking that was a long time to wait. I was working on writing a book, so I didn't have a job at the time. I kept thinking how fun it would be to have a baby to take care of and keep me company and I finally asked Cory what he thought. He thought about it, as he always does when I ask him a question, then he said slowly, "I don't think we need to wait that long."
  "Good," I answered, "because I'm pretty sure I'm pregnant."
   We went to the Dr to get it confirmed and for insurance reasons. When he told us I was indeed pregnant, I remember that moment of pure excitement when Cory and I were just looking at each other and grinning and not sure what to say. I think it was on the way home that it sunk in how much our lives would be changed forever. In the next weeks we thought about how much we needed to do to get ready, and I could hardly refrain from buying things from the baby section. I just barely held back because I knew it was early. We thought we should keep it a secret for a while, but once again, we were so excited we just had to tell our parents, and word spread from there. It was such a new thing for me and I was trying to figure out how to cope with being so tired all the time and the morning sickness and all that. I had to force myself to do everything. Even grocery shopping seemed an almost insurmountable task. I remember one day in particular it wasn't quite as bad and I actually had the energy to go shopping with my sisters.
   Shortly after that, I went to my first Dr visit to hear the baby's heart beat. It was the 3 month marker, and I was glad I had been feeling a lot better in the last few days. The nurse gave me a bag full of things for the baby and coupons and magazines. "Courtesy of the hospital", she said with a smile. Then the Dr came in and was all smiley and bubbly.... actually it was a bit much, but I endured it. Finally we got to the exciting part. The heartbeat. All of a sudden the Dr stopped her ceaseless babble and it was dead quiet. I realised I was holding my breath. Finally after what seemed like forever she frowned and said, "some thing's wrong."
  My heart sank so fast I thought I was going to throw up, and I froze unable to think or process what she was saying.
   "Yes, some thing's definitely wrong", she went on, "there isn't any heartbeat."
   I knew what that meant, but I still couldn't speak or move. I was just trying to breathe. She looked me right in the eye and said, "your baby's dead."
   It seemed unbelievably cruel to me that she would say what I knew already but was crying in my mind, ' no, please, no."
   She then asked me if I was OK, and I wanted to slug her. I think i must have nodded my head, but everything from there gets a little fuzzy except this numb feeling.  I remember something about the nurse wanting the bag back, "under the circumstances", and the doctor giving me a slip of paper to give to someone about something. Then she was explaining something about how the baby needed to come out and she was recommending I get what they call an abortion and get it taken out right away.
   All I wanted was to get out of there and I wanted Cory. I just got up and stalked out, right in the middle of her sentence. I think she called after me to see if I was OK, but I'm not sure.
   I somehow got down the elevator with a vague idea of getting to the parking lot, and the next thing I remember is someone grabbing me as I was falling. I saw a very concerned nurse asking what was wrong and what he could help with.. I remembered I was holding a slip of paper and showed it to him. ( anything but telling him what was wrong.) "where should I bring this?" I asked.
   He brought me to some counter where I dropped it off and the next thing I remember is sitting in my car as the initial shock wore off. Then the tears came and I was driving home watching the windshield wipers futilely pushing off the the rain from the windshield and my tears were rolling off my cheeks just about as hard. I got home and the first thing I did was call Cory. I don't remember what I said, but he came right home and as soon as he came to me and put his arms around me, I felt like I could breathe again. It was so good to just have him hold me. He didn't say any stupid things to try and make it better, he just kept his strong comforting arms around me. I could see the pain and worry for me in his eyes and I didn't need any words from him.
   A month later I had the miscarriage. I'd had time to come to terms with it more, and accept that that little life was with the Lord. But I'll admit, I was hoping for a miracle until it actually happened.  Cory buried it under the cherry tree in our woods. We stood there feeling raw and praying, committing the child to the Lord. I felt a quiet in the woods and a peace for the first time.
   We went on a drive after that and took a walk across Cobbin Bridge. It was a beautiful fall evening and the colors of fall reflected from the trees into the river as the sun set and the moon came up and shown in a milky path across the water. I looked up at the stars and felt even more peace that our tiny baby was in a better place and would never have to endure the pain and suffering of this world.
 "we'll see him again," I told Cory.
"Yes", said Cory quietly. A few minutes later as we were walking back across the bridge, hand in hand, he said, "You're doing better aren't you?"
   "Yeah", I said. And for the first time I smiled.
   Three months later, I became pregnant again with Kendra. That will be another story.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Kids...

We were sitting in the car and Carter said, "Mommy there's a bug on my window!"
 "Ooooooh", I replied, "look at his little legs and up really close you can even see his buggy eyes. Bugs are so interesting!"
  I heard a loud bop, and then Carter said, "Mommy, I scared him away, and it was interesting, it was."
   Yup, he's getting to be more like his Daddy all the time.

The other week Cory was scolding Kaely for getting the remote. She stopped, looked at him, and extended her lower lip and started making hurt indignant noises. Cory told her again to put it down, and she gave him a full faced glare. Then she threw it on the floor. It was very dramatic, but it got even better. She pointed her little chubby finger at Cory and let out a string of angry indignant babbles, shaking her finger the whole time. then she burst into tears. I was laughing so hard I almost had to leave the room, because when Cory tried to comfort her she would turn her head away, quick as a flash and push at him with her little rebellious paw. Maybe it shouldn't have been so funny, but I never saw such a tiny person make her indignant feelings so very obvious without even being able to talk.

  Then there's Kendra, I made cookies Saturday night for Sunday and set them out to cool on the counter overnight. Big mistake! When I got up in the morning they were gone. Having a suspicion, I ventured upstairs to Kendra's room. Then the whole story came out. She had gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and discovered the cookies. She brought the entire plate of  about a dozen cookies up to her room feeling benevolent, she woke Carter up. They proceeded to have a tea party at Kendra's little table with all Kendra's little dishes,  and yes, they ate the entire plate of cookies up. I found the remains of their midnight party. Now I had the choice to get mad, and have a consequence for the kids, or.....a memory popped into my mind of some of my own childhood excursions in the dead of night and some midnight snacks my cousins and I partook of....all in all I figured the tummy aches they were suffering from was punishment enough, and I had a serious talk with them about taking what isn't yours and being greedy. Deep down inside though, I think I completely understood what a wonderful adventure it had been to their little minds. I'm glad they had it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I didn't really finish my appendix story, so I'll wrap it up, here. A few interesting facts, an appendix should normally be about the size of your pinkie finger nail. Mine was the size of an orange. No wonder it hurt! I also have some really nasty, but fascinating pictures the Dr gave me. I've been contemplating whether I should post them or not.
 Anyway, after that first night my fever broke, and the next morning they had me up walking around and sitting up as much as possible. All I can say about that is ouch. I also couldn't eat for a few days or take my meds because the didn't have an IV version of it.
 The nursing staff was awesome though. They bent over backwards for me, from getting me stuff to drink that wasn't available, to guarding me from unwanted visitors. They were a lot of fun too. We had some good jokes going on. Cory came every evening after work and spent a few hours with me. We had some good heart to heart talks about a wide range of things. I didn't realize how hard it has been for us to do that uninterrupted.  Just to sit and talk with my husband was so nice. I think he really needed it too. This whole think kinda shook him up. Then after he'd leave I would have a tough time. That's when I was in the most pain and also dealing with issues from not being able to take my meds. That's when one of the nurses would come and hang out with me. She was about 45 and had a main of golden hair. (I called her the lioness.) and she would tell me stories. It was perfect. The best thing to distract me from how awful I felt. I learned all about how she met her husband and how they fell in love and about her kids, and all sorts of stuff. She was a great story teller. It turned out she knew my mother in law. Weird!
 Finally after a week, they allowed me to go home. When I got home I was so happy I cried. Then I had friends and family coming over every day to help me with everything. I couldn't lift or do much. I was suffering from a guilt complex. I felt so guilty for not being able to do what I normally do, and felt like I was a burden to people. I felt so terrible inconveniencing them. I always struggle with that kind of thing. Poor Cory would come home at night and say, something like, "what are the cups doing in the pots and pans cupboard"...and that's all it would take to set me off and I'd burst into tears and feel like it was my fault and I was a failure and then after he got over his astonishment. (I don't normally break down very easy) he'd have to reassure me. =) I think it's funny now.
 So things have gradually gotten better and better, and despite my impatience, I've gotten pretty much back to normal. =) Now I'm just dealing with kids puking all over the house. Lysol and Resolve are my best friends these days. (Kendra and Carter both thought they were catching appendicitis when they got sick.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ruptured appendix HURTS

   Last Monday, I started getting some bad stomach aches, which I thought was the flu that's been going around. So I just took it easy on the couch with the heating pad and let Cory take over the family for the night. It was getting worse and worse and I started to think maybe it was food poisoning. I banished Cory to the living room because I didn't want to keep him up all night and tried to get some sleep myself. Didn't happen. Then I started throwing up. Over and over. I found that while I was throwing up I would forget the pain for a minute while I threw up, but as soon as I was done it would be just as bad. After a while I didn't have anything left to puke up and it was pure misery while I hacked and coughed with dry heaves. I was thinking to myself, "Wow, this is the worst flu I've ever had. Good thing Cory's in the living room or I'd be keeping him awake all night." when morning FINALLY arrived, I was throwing up a greenish substance and every time I opened my eyes, the room just kind of swirled around. I knew I was very dehydrated. I also noticed that the pain was on the right side especially bad. When I talked to Cory about it, he couldn't believe I hadn't woken him up. He reluctantly left for work but made me promise to call him if it got too bad. He figured I had the same flu his friend had recently had. He apparently had experienced stomach aches that just doubled him over in pain. So before Cory left, he called my mom to come over and help with the kids. By noon I wasn't getting any better and it felt like had fiery knives in my stomach. There was no let up and I felt like it was getting worse. I was reaching the end of my endurance so I finally called Mom into my room and asked her if she thought it could be appendicitis. ( she had it years ago.) She asked where it hurt, and if it was the lower right side. I affirmed, and she asked if I pushed the spot gently and let go if it hurt a lot more. I tried it and nearly went through the roof. That's when mom started getting a worried look. "Maybe it's time to call Cory," she said. She went and made the call, since I wasn't talking too well at this point.
  Cory said that as soon as he got the call from mom he knew it wasn't good, so he left work right away, and brought me to the nearest hospital. NOT my favorite hospital but it was the closest and at that point I didn't much care. We got there and it's kind of a blur in my memory at that point. All I remember is crying and gasping with pain, and telling Cory to make them give me something for the pain. Oh, yeah, and there was a nurse I really liked named Reggi, with pretty hair. I know Cory was trying to reassure me that they were getting me some morphine as fast as they could. It was really only about 20 minutes from the time I got there and the Dr. examined me and they came in with the pain meds, but then we ran into a new problem. I was so dehydrated that they couldn't get a vein for the IV. Terrible! The weird thing was, I couldn't even feel them poking me because my arms were almost completely numb. I could barely move my fingers. The nurse gave up and went and got an older nurse and she finally got the IV in. Then, oh, wonderful, blessed relief. The pain was still there, but I could at least relax and it didn't feel like hot knives of fire twisting in my gut. And I could breathe too. That was nice. I got a cat scan and blood drawn and a all that good stuff, and the doctor came in shortly and said, He thought it was appendicitis but needed to check the cat scan results. Cory made the phone calls to family and they were all praying. Carter specifically wanted Daddy to know he was praying for his mommy.
   The doctor came back in then and told us not only did I have appendicitis but that it had ruptured and looked very bad. He said we'd need to operate right away, and explained that they would try and do I think it was called "laroscopic" surgery, but if the appendix was twisted behind the colen it would have to be much more extensive. My response was,"good! Then I'll never have to go through this again." I had been so afraid it was just a kidney stone or flu.
I used the bathroom before the anesthesiologists came and I couldn't believe it when I looked in the mirror. My face was dead white like I've never seen it before. I guess that's when it sunk in that I really was in a serious way.
 Next thing I knew I was waking up. I was so glad it was over, but I felt so weak and...heavy. It was strange. Then Cory came, and that was good. Very good. The Dr. explained that they had been able to do the laroscopic surgery, but that it had been a very bad rupture and that the infection was wide spread. I was informed that I would have a fever that night and the nurses would check on me every hour. This was apparently a crucial time to be watched. They had me on a lot of morphine though, so I didn't actually feel that bad. Other than the fact that I had a nose tube thing and it hurt to breathe, and a catheter and an IV, and I was SO thirsty and could only have ice chips. It was almost kind of humorous. Then Cory said my face was getting red, and that I looked more flushed than he'd ever seen me, and sure enough, my temp was spiking.