Friday, February 27, 2009

Lungs and Gardens

Today we went to see the Pulmonologist (lung doctor).  I am happy to report that he thinks Ezekiel is doing very well!  He was a very nice person- I am so thankful to have such great doctors for my little man.  I had slowly weaned Ezekiel off of his diuretics (he was given those meds to keep fluid off of his lungs so he would be able to breathe well) and I was a little concerned that the doctor would be upset with me for doing so without actually asking (even though I carefully monitored his breathing and oxygen saturation and saw no change)....  But he seemed very glad that Zeke is doing perfectly fine without them!  Apparently the dosage had been way too high before anyhow (3.3ml instead of .3ml-- a typo maybe??), so it turned out to be very good that I had weaned him off.  I think I use parenthesis way too often.  Anyhow, end of story is that it was a wonderful appointment.  We also saw 4(!) people we knew from the NICU by the elevator, and they were all happy to see Ezekiel doing so well.  

Our dear friends Kyle and Sarah had to take their baby girl Aleah to the hospital this week.  She ended up being admitted on Wednesday and it looks like she will still be there through the weekend.  She is sick with some sort of viral bronchitis.  Poor little baby girl- she's on oxygen and she's not sleeping well, full of mucus, etc.  I am so sad for them.  If you're a prayer, please pray for a quick recovery and for Kyle and Sarah to not get sick (nor us!  Daniel works with Kyle). Thanks!

I am getting a horrible gardening itch.  We've never really successfully gardened but I do want to try again this year.  We've made 2 meager attempts, the first in San Angelo, Texas in an abandoned lot behind our apartment complex.  That darling little garden started out ok, and it looked super-cute.  But after a few weeks of BLAZING heat it just withered up and died.  It was really sad.  We worked so hard on it at first.  The soil was so poor and there was no way to get water out there other than hauling in in buckets.  Not to mention Daniel's insane schedule, so between all that it got neglected and died.  Our second attempt was Summer2007 (wow it was that long ago!).  We managed to get a few meager tomatoes and a couple very very small turnips (we don't even eat turnips.  Why did we plant them? I don't know).  This year I want to try again.  I'm planning to try to get started this weekend, but I haven't checked with Daniel on that yet, so I will see if he is up for it...

What should we plant?  I really don't know anything about what to plant and when to plant it. We are in south Texas so I need to figure that all out.  And then I almost feel like it's pointless to learn how to garden here because I imagine gardening in Kentucky will be very different.  But I'm sure there is still much valuable experience to be gained by starting now.  Especially if we really want to be homesteaders! :)  Which we do!

Alright I realllly need to go make another cup of coffee.  I'm dragging today.  Oh apparently in the previous post with the picture of the cloth diaper, I had the diaper on backwards.  Hmmm... 

If you read all of this you're a trooper!  :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Last night we officially ran out of disposable diapers.  We'd been given so many I thought we we never ever make it through them all, but we did.   I was going to run to the grocery and buy more, but I remembered we have quite a few cloth diapers which I had vowed to use once Ezekiel was off oxygen (which he has been for well over a month now).  So wanting to be responsible, here we are trying them out for a day to see how they do.  So far he has peed through once and required a change of clothes... hmm... I guess you have to be quite diligent about changing frequently?  We normally only change his diaper every 3 or 4 hours (or if he poops, which, may I add, is just once a week!  Yes, just once a week!  Every Tuesday.  It's like clockwork.  This seems to be his "normal" so we aren't too concerned but if you have suggestions for helping him poop more I am looking for ideas.  He never seems constipated- it's always soft and runny so I don't think that's the problem.  And he's growing so I believe he's eating enough).  Anyhoo, my only complaint with these "g" diapers is that the liner is disposable, therefore you have to buy more.  I don't like that.  If I'm going to be using cloth diapers, the main point is to be saving money, therefore I don't want to buy liners (although they are supposed to be flushable/compostable but alas our compost pile is gone now).  I'm thinking about cutting pieces of towels or burp-rag-diapers to the right size and using those for liners.  Any suggestions?  We don't really have the money to go and buy a different kind of cloth diapers, so this is what we will be using for now.  

In other news, I've started exercising again.  I've deemed this year the "year of getting back into shape" (and unfortunately it will probably take all year!)  and the "year of getting ready to separate from the military and transition to our homesteading lifestyle".  I'm excited about all of it!!  I guess I should have been thinking about all this in January, you know, when the new year began, but here I am finally thinking about it in almost March.  That's ok.  I'm glad to have some very concrete goals to work towards this year.  Can you believe there is only one year and two months left of our 5 year military commitment?!!!   It feels like tomorrow we'll be done and back home in Kentucky.  Of course there are a lot of mixed feelings because we have so many dear friends who we will be leaving behind (unless of course you all come and homestead with us!!  Hint Hint!!!).  But we are getting really really excited about it.  Ok anyway Ezekiel is crying and Daniel will be home for lunch soon so I'd better go!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Fail and a Win

I couldn't decide which one I liked best, so I put them both up.  The second one took me a second... I said to Daniel, I know this should be really funny but I'm not getting it.  He informed me it's the giant cool-aid pitcher.  Remember those commercials?  Somehow explaining all that may have taken the funny-ness out of it.... hmm....  Anyhoo enjoy!

fail owned pwned pictures

see more pwn and owned pictures

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Morning Poem

The Calf Path

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crook trail, as all calves do.

Since then 300 years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And therby hangs my moral tail.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bell-weather sheep
Persued the trail o'er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-weathers always do.
And from that day, o'er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about
And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because 'twas such a crooked path.
But still they followed-- do not laugh--
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trode the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;
And this, before men were aware,
A city's crowded thoroughfare;
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed the zigzag calf about;
And o'er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established president.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,

And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course persue,
To keep the path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move.
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah! Many things this tale might teach--
But I am not ordained to preach.

-Sam Walter Foss

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You just gotta love those lips!
Here we are at the Chinese/Japanese tea garden last week when Dad was here.  I mean Grandpa.  And no, I'm not trying to insult either China or Japan-- the tea garden was labled in one place as "chinese" and in another as "japanese".  So which is it?  I don't know.  Good job at insulting two countries, San Antonio!
And now for the Brazilian Black Bean Stew recipe!  Seriously, is there any way to go wrong with these ingredients??? Mmmmm!
Brazilian Black Bean Stew

1Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4lb Sausage
13/lb cooked ham, chopped (we used neither sausage nor ham-- we used pulled chicken.  You can use whatever meat you want or have on hand).
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic (we used 4)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced (we used one red, one yellow, one green)
2 (14.5oz) cans diced tomato with juice
1 small hot green chili pepper, diced
1 1/2 C. water (we used 2 cups chicken broth)
2 (16oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (we used bagged beans since they are so cheap)
1 mango, peeled seeded and diced
Fresh chopped cilantro to taste
salt to taste

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Cook onions until soft.  Add garlic, cook until soft.  Mix in sweet potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes with juice, chili pepper, water (or stock), and meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.

2.  Stir beans into the pot, cook uncovered until heated through.  Mix in mango and cilantro, season with salt.  Eat!  Yum!!

We eat ours plain or serve it over quinoa (although you can also serve with rice).  It's a good idea to mix a bit of some sort of fat (coconut oil, butter, sour cream) into the stew when served to make sure your body can absorb all those fat-soluable vitamins!   Enjoy!!

Ezekiel's new favorite thing to do is sit on the couch :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Use that yard!!

Oh man, this video brought joy and elation to my heart.  And can't you just hear the guys at the Wall Street Journal talking amongst themselves..... "Hmmm.. farming, gardening, coutry-folk, I think we need some BANJO music in the background!"  "Yeah Bill, that's perfect!  Right on!"

I seriously can't stop smiling I love this video so much.  Do you have any idea how many times Daniel has said to me, "Geeze, I wish we could ask the neighbors if we could use their yard, too."  And these people are actually doing it!  It's great!  Daniel's working tonight but I cannot wait to show him this video tomorrow.  :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I recieved 2 requests for our chicken tortilla soup recipe, so here it is!  I guess it's not actually ours, although we did modify it a little bit....

1-- we added a bag of frozen corn

2-- we left out the flour mixture since we try not to eat white flour.  The flour thickens the soup up a bit, but it's still delicious without it.  
3-- I don't add the sour cream until the soup served.  The cultures in sour cream help your body digest food, but if they are over-heated then they are killed and do no good.  

4--we use our own homemade chicken broth (which is easy to make!).  Here is more info about chicken stock then I bet you ever knew!!

5-- we did not use boneless-skinless chicken breasts.  We used pulled chicken from one of our backyard intensively-grazed, grass-fed chickens :) :) 

Speaking of nutrition, I found this blog, and I thought I would share.  Good info there!!  The Weston A. Price foundation has such a vast, vast wealth of nutritional information.  I love it! 

If you took time to look at all those links, you rock!  

Coming soon.... Brazilian Black Bean Stew!!  

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grandpa and his guitar


Yesterday Dad and I decided to make chicken tortilla soup for dinner, so we went to the grocery store.  Dad had gotten a bag of nuts from the bulk bins but forgot to get the plu number, so he had to run back to get it.  I thought, "oh the poor lady behind us in line, she's gonna have to wait and she has a bunch of kids.  Hmm..... she looks kind of like Jessy, my blogger friend who I have never met....  Is that her?  I think it's her!  Those look like her kids!"  So I said "Hi, Jessy??"  and it WAS her!!  (It was so fun to see you Jessy!)  How random that we met at the grocery store! :) What a great story!  Who knew that there are real people behind all these blogs ;)  Oh, and the soup was delicious!!  

Monday, February 9, 2009

Grandpa's here!

Grandpa (my dad) is here, and Ezekiel loves him.  He brought his mandolin and Zeke thinks that is just so darn cool- he just stares and listens.  I will put a video up later :) :)  Here they are reading Dr. Seuss.

In other news, we have a new nephew!!!  Welcome home Hudson Alexander Pike!!  We are so happy you're here and can't wait to meet you!!!!   I know your mommy and daddy are so proud of you!!  

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy 6th month Birthday Ezekiel!!

Happy 6 month birthday Ezekiel!  We love you so much!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


We have been blessed the past 3-ish weeks with a son who sleeps from 9pm until 5:30am EVERY night.  YAY!  But the last two nights he's woken up at 3:30 and just will not go back to sleep.  So I get him a bottle, feed him, and off to bed he goes again.  Then he will gladly sleep until 8am.  The problem is that I am sooo not happy with this schedule.  I loved the get-up-at-5:30 schedule.  It was perfect.  I want to try and get him back on that-- here is my plan-- 

1. No early-evening naps (I think he would sleep almost all day if I let him.  We have mandatory awake time so he isn't awake all night).

2. Bottle at 7,8, & 9pm to make sure his tummy is super full so he doesn't wake up hungry

3. Any sugestions?!  

I am wondering if his new milk is causing the change- we found out Julie's milk is 19/20 calories per ouce, whereas my milk was 22/23 calories per ouce.  Maybe upping the volume before bed will be the trick.  

I know babies change their schedules as they grow.  I just love my sleep and hate to drag my butt out of bed in the middle of the night.  More than once I've almost fallen down the stairs because I'm still half asleep (not with zeke though, thankfully!).  Anyhow, if this is an inevitable change, I will accept it.  But if I can make it better, I want to.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I am soliciting your advice!  

In other news, we are trying to get the house spotless so we can call a realtor and get it on the market!  I cannot wait to get our house sold.  For many reasons- one- it is very spacious and therefore requires a lot of cleaning which I don't want to do.  I mean, I am grateful for having plenty of room and a lovely house to live in- I really am.  It's especially nice when we have guests because there is plenty of room for everyone to stay comfortably.  But honestly we just don't need the space, and I am getting totally spoiled living in such a nice house.  Two- once we sell the house we will be able to save up a lot more money/finnish paying off student loans.  Three- Our house is the only thing keeping us in Texas.  As soon as Daniel is out of the military (may 10 2010!!) we want to go HOME.  HOME HOME HOME!!  I miss it up there!  Granted, we don't exactly know where home IS yet, but we want to be there.  Daniel spends hours looking online for acerage under $80,000.  He calls Josh (his brother in KY) and asks him to drive out to such and such a place to look at random farms.  Most of you know that our goal in life is to raise good, Godly children on a sustainable farm- to live on and love one place.  If anyone else has this vision or has ever even thought it sounded nice, I TOTALLY reccomend my FAVORITE book,  "The Unsettling of America" by Wendell Berry.  It's a good one!  ANYHOO... yes, selling the house- the point was that we don't want to be stuck here when Daniel's enlistment is up just because our house hasn't sold... that would mean Daniel would have to get a high-enough paying job to pay the mortgage, etc.  And that is just not what we want to do.  People give us funny looks when we say that we want to farm because Daniel has such a marketable set of skills from all his training.  He could get a $100,000+ job no problem.  But that is just not where his heart is- we have no desire at all to live that sort of life.  We want to actually BOTH raise our children and live in a way that doesn't harm God's creation.  We want to be in the country and do things like raise our own animals, have a garden, and so much more.  We can't wait to get there!  

Ok this blog was just a random rant, and if you made it all the way through, thanks for reading!  

Monday, February 2, 2009


Oh no I'm afraid I got sucked into facebook..... I'm scared!  I'm wasting so much time!  I'm getting off the computer RIGHT NOW!!   

AND my sweater was not done on friday... it still needs one more sleeve, a collar, button placket, and buttons....  :(  

OK I'm going to clean my house right now!!