Lack of Updates

Sometimes all the everyday stuff that goes on in my heart and mind can’t be put into little facebook updates or even coherently blogged about. But we are doing well and life is full. More details than that haven’t coalesced into something I could share for several months. I miss blogging, but can’t seem to figure out how to start. Being able to write clearly requires being able to think clearly. And feel clearly. Maybe the trouble lies in there somewhere. I am growing. And that’s my update.

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Everyday Life!

Carolyn put all her special blankies on Rose. Rosie is such a sweet old doggie.

Carolyn put all her special blankies on Rose. Rosie is such a sweet old doggie.

We're still doing school most mornings.

We’re still doing school most mornings.

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Lookie! My bee hive! It needs assembled and a coat of oil, but I am excited!

Lookie! My bee hive! It needs assembled and a coat of oil, but I am excited!

The sheep mowed the back lawn in just a few days. Just bought some hay!

The sheep mowed the back lawn in just a few days. Just bought some hay!

Hello, Brownie! Their names are Brownie, Spot, and El Senor.

Hello, Brownie! Their names are Brownie, Spot, and El Senor.

They Handsome sheepies.

They Handsome sheepies.

I find them very pretty. Watching them on pretty sunny days like this one makes me want to get back into drawing.

I find them very pretty. Watching them on pretty sunny days like this one makes me want to get back into drawing.

Jordan's bedroom... perfect for him. Swing (that he falls asleep in two out of three nights and we carry him to bed) his bed with a weighted blanket (that he throws on the floor anyway) and a heated mattress pad... a mirror and light-blockign windows. He has a lock on his light switch.

Jordan’s bedroom… perfect for him. Swing (that he falls asleep in two out of three nights and we carry him to bed) his bed with a weighted blanket (that he throws on the floor anyway) and a heated mattress pad… a mirror and light-blockign windows. He has a lock on his light switch.

Maggie had a verrrry heavy box fall over on top of her. Her foot is still sore, but nothing is broken.

Maggie had a verrrry heavy box fall over on top of her. Her foot is still sore, but nothing is broken.

There was a free Special Needs Christmas Party near us and it was just a treat! They had gifts for the kids, pizza for everybody, the high school jazz club singing and more. It was sweet and special and touching. Only negative moment was when a lady didn’t want to give me more than one sliver of pizza (sliver – truly tiny) because she wanted there to be enough for all the kids. Umm….. but not their mothers? haha Funny!

Anna - aka Too Old for all this Santa Stuff, but enjoying the party anyway.

Anna – aka Too Old for all this Santa Stuff, but enjoying the party anyway.

Carrie - aka Miss Adorable Sweetums

Carrie – aka Miss Adorable Sweetums

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Jordan - aka Mister Booger-Factory who loves music and ice cream.

Jordan – aka Mister Booger-Factory who loves music and ice cream.

Carolyn ran right up on stage to jingle bells when kids were invited.

Carolyn ran right up on stage to jingle bells when kids were invited.

Maggie - aka Look Fierce For Every Picture girl

Maggie – aka Look Fierce For Every Picture girl

Santa gave each child a present!!!

Santa gave each child a present!!!

So funny - this is the best picture I could get.... and Jordan is about to sneeze!

So funny – this is the best picture I could get…. and Jordan is about to sneeze!

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Farming!

We are farmers now!

We have:
16 chickens (including one rooster)
4 Muscovy ducks (probably 2 males and 2 females)
2 Nigerian Dwarf Goats (both six-year-old wethers)
3 Katahdin hair sheep (1 yearling ram and 2 three-year-old ewes)
2 dogs (unknown breed… Carolyn will tell you that Ruby is the biggest and waggiest, though)
1 cat (mighty hunter)
4 children (they count, right?)
And a whole lotta mud.

Eating grain treats

Eating grain treats

White = Wallace Brown = Grommet

White = Wallace
Brown = Grommet

The two females are shown here - they don't look to be too heavily pregnant yet.

The two females are shown here – they don’t look to be too heavily pregnant yet.

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The dark Muscovy

The dark Muscovy

And the three white ones!

And the three white ones!

The goats are very friendly

The goats are very friendly

The sheep are skittish

The sheep are skittish

Female sheep on left, male on right.

Female sheep on left, male on right.

Thanks, Anna, for taking pictures!

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Updates from Rachel

Hello!

I have so much going on in my head and heart (as usual) but have not been in blogland for a long time. Let’s see… what’s been going on.

– Antidepressants
– Mind control (haha)
– Parents
– Charity
– Brother
– Homeschooling
– Jordan
– Bunk beds
– Amnesia (just kidding – I think)
– Ummmmmmmmmm

So – not a lot of clear thought happening here, that is true! So I’ll just ramble on.

In September, I felt/thought my mental health was at a point where it was possible to try going off antidepressants. While it was a great benefit to me to take antidepressants, the side effects came with it. Side effects: feeling over-mellow/subdued emotions (even the good ones) and lack of responsiveness to my dear wonderful husband. It created such a place of emotional safety, that even the happy excitement of a good snuggle, exciting trip, etc. etc. only came through as awareness that I should be feeling something. It was not a way I wanted to live forever.

I have been on a journey of self-awareness and mental self control that has grown me into a slightly more mature individual. When I experience anxiety or sadness, I now find myself asking “Why am I feeling this way?” and getting to the root of things. If I am honest with myself and secure in my faith in a good God, then I can overcome a great deal of emotional anxiety and depression. It’s a pretty exciting and powerful feeling. Now, I am still a woman (cough) and I do still get wobbly and cry for no reason, but it is better than it once was. Anyhow – to get to the point at last, I dropped from 3 pills to 2 pills in September. (side effects – a couple days of stronger emotions, then several weeks of foggy headedness.) In October, I dropped from 2 pills to 1 pill (side effects – I felt like MYSELF – it’s been wonderful!). Last weekend, I dropped the last pill and I can report a few days of emotional upheaval, but I am hopeful that things will iron out with some time and patience. We will see.

Next thing that comes to mind is my parents arriving home from Uganda at the end of October and the juxtaposition of their experiences in Uganda with our family vacation to Disneyland. I am thrilled to be spending time with my parents again and having opportunities to share our hearts and experiences with each other. My parents are some of the bravest people I know and are genuine, loving, generous and adventurous people. What a cool thing to be their daughter! Speaking of international travelers (which seems like something that should not be said in the same paragraph as anybody in my family…. believe it or not), my brother and his sweetheart just hopped on a plane with her cat, no less, to spend some years of their lives in Greece and France! Yeah! No kidding!

Despite going to Disneyland without Jordan (which felt wrong, even if it was the right choice), we had a really, really fun time with the kids and my sister’s family. It was time to play and have special times…. and we certainly did that.

I am happy to be home and regrouping… getting back into homeschooling and housekeeping and prepping for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are a bit behind with homeschool… not sure how much, since I haven’t mapped out the whole year, but we seem to be on the right track with things. Maggie (grade K/1st) is just beginning to read on her own and is doing just fine with her first grade math book. Anna (3rd grade) is reading, writing, journaling, mathing (ha), and a good little schoolgirl. We get to go to AWANA club and art and gymnastics out of the house and it’s all a real treat for me to see them experiencing. Carolyn is 3 and is master of the adorable interruption. :-)

I am really looking forward to redoing the girls’ bedroom and getting them all some personal spaces instead of all communal areas. Shh, don’t tell them. It’s a little hard for me to figure out a reasonable budget for this project. It’s hard for me to figure out how much money to spend on any non-essential project, really. I find my heart continually torn between my desires and the needs of other people. Like people who are hungry. Being internationally connected means that my world and the other worlds on this planet are messily merged. On on hand I know that it is a great thing to make a room more comfortable and appropriate. On the other hand, I see our richness with more clarity than is comfortable. Do you know what posho is? It’s a ground flour/starch thing with the nutritional value something like white rice. It doesn’t taste like much, but it’s a good inexpensive carb for those who can’t afford much. But imagine having only posho to feed your kids… no meat, no beans, no rice, no vegetables, nothing but posho. It makes it kind of hard to put fancy groceries like crackers, hamburger, apples… you know… good healthy foods into my cupboard in such abundance. Even though it is good to feed my family wholesome food, I could certainly do it more simply and cheaply. Should I? Welcome to my brain.

Guess what!? Jordan has his first loose tooth. He’s 6 1/2 years old. He has a fantastic school with awesome teachers and is downstairs banging on the piano and shrieking about something (hopefully not getting naked and peeing on stuff) in the other room. He’s my little guy and I’m proud to be his mama.

Ok folks – that’s enough rambling from me. I don’t really know what I’m talking about anyway. My head is spinning a bit from vertigo and I didn’t sit down with anything I wanted to communicate… except that I’m still here and life is still full.

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Disneyland and Legoland 2015

Pictures! Too tired still to put words together. But we are happy and it was special and awesome. Wish I took pics at Neal and Stephanie’s, but also am happy that I left the camera and just hung out without it. Glad to be back home with my little man.

Rats – the pictures are all scrambled.

Playing SET in the hotel:

Driving cars at Legoland:

Meeting Rapunzel in Disneyland: (Maggie says it’s hard to be the middle child, because you have to be big and little at the same time!)

Life size plastic army men:

Wheee! (at Legoland)

Trip there:

Packed and ready!

Packed and ready!

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

Just behind me!

Just behind me!

On my right!

On my right!

On my left!

On my left!

Our hotel was just across the street with a nice continental breakfast (Anaheim Desert Inn)
Disneyland and California Adventure:

Splash Mountain with Neal and Maggie

Splash Mountain with Neal and Maggie

Meeting Cinderella!

Meeting Cinderella!

Meetting Belle!

Meetting Belle!

Joining up with awesome uncle Neal!

Joining up with awesome uncle Neal!

Elsa and Anna were worth the wait

Elsa and Anna were worth the wait

Dumbo....

Dumbo….

About to start!

About to start!

Dumbo fans

Dumbo fans

My honey and me

My honey and me

Bug's Land with little Elsa

Bug’s Land with little Elsa

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Maggie was very excited to go with Neal

Maggie was very excited to go with Neal

Meeting Rapunzel!

Meeting Rapunzel!

Maggie and Carolyn were roller coaster fans!

Maggie and Carolyn were roller coaster fans!

Snow White! I love how all the princesses were in character and so friendly and chatted with the kids.

Snow White! I love how all the princesses were in character and so friendly and chatted with the kids.

Hotel break

Hotel break

Greetings

Greetings

Watching green "plastic" army men

Watching green “plastic” army men

Riding the huge (non-rocking car) Mickey Mouse ferris wheel

Riding the huge (non-rocking car) Mickey Mouse ferris wheel

Loved it!

Loved it!

The Anna and Elsa show in Disneyland was a hoot! One of my favorite parts.

The Anna and Elsa show in Disneyland was a hoot! One of my favorite parts.

These guys just wandered down the street and put on a show for us. They were fantastic!

These guys just wandered down the street and put on a show for us. They were fantastic!

The girls were invited into the front with the driver! Sooooo special.

The girls were invited into the front with the driver! Sooooo special.

Then a visit with Neal (no pics) and onto Legoland, the place of small lines, good rides for young kids, playgrounds and legos of course. Disneyland (without a bad crowd) beats legoland hands down, in my opinion, but Legoland was great fun!

All the kids were going to pose in the Lego lion until a sensor "saw" them and it roared. Then Anna plugged her ears and went in for a very short smile. haha

All the kids were going to pose in the Lego lion until a sensor “saw” them and it roared. Then Anna plugged her ears and went in for a very short smile. haha

Dual weilder

Dual weilder

Pirate! Eek!

Pirate! Eek!

Loved the rides that kids could ride alone on. So special for them!

Loved the rides that kids could ride alone on. So special for them!

Lol - ninja and princess?

Lol – ninja and princess?

These two make the most adorable thing ever.

These two make the most adorable thing ever.

After a roller coaster!

After a roller coaster!

Little Nora

Little Nora

We met Emmet! (There's a man in that suit)

We met Emmet! (There’s a man in that suit)

"It's as tall as me, mom!"

“It’s as tall as me, mom!”

Glee

Glee

She looooooved this until it moved. Then she cried. haha

She looooooved this until it moved. Then she cried. haha

More cuteness!

More cuteness!

Lots of fun building boats to raft!

Lots of fun building boats to raft!

The bouncing ride!

The bouncing ride!

What we did while Maggie and Brian went on a roller coaster with a line.

What we did while Maggie and Brian went on a roller coaster with a line.

Sweeeeeeetness!

Sweeeeeeetness!

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Stationary lego cars are fun too!

Stationary lego cars are fun too!

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Final cousin picture!

Final cousin picture!

Lego horse ride!

Lego horse ride!

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