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Summer is definitely coming to a close.  The air is turning crisp, the leaves are beginning to change and we’ve even gotten a rain or two.  Soon there’ll be a calmer pace to our days, but for now the frenzy of summer continues with food preservation and preparing the homestead for the colder days.

I haven’t posted much so I thought I’d give a little recap of what’s been going on in the homestead this summer.

I didn’t think it would be possible, but Hezzy got even cuter.  He learned to sit up, stand, army crawl, loves to practice walking, jump, and can say mama and dada.

We went to the Scandinavian festival in Eugene and to Florence (the coast) in the same day.  It was Hezzy’s second trip to the coast since he was born.  Thankfully, he didn’t get a cold afterwards this time.

We went to the Zimbabwe Festival in town and got to see a lot of hippies in African clothes attempting to dance.  You must go see hippies dancing to African music if you get the chance. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you seen it?  I just saw it this morning for the first time, and I gotta tell ya, if it doesn’t get you to want to make better choices everyday, then I don’t know what will.  If you have seen it, watch it again.  If anything, it’ll be a good reminder.

As for me, you better believe I’m going to keep doing my part to lessen the effects of consumption on our world.  Thrift stores, here I come!

Christians should have more beautiful gardens, should be more careful to build without cutting down the lovely trees, should be more sensitive about keeping the brook unspoiled as it bubbles through their lands.  Sadly, this has not been so.  Of course one must speak of the historic and prophetic facts which people need to hear, the truth about G-d and the universe.  But this makes much more sense in a setting which shows that action on the basis of truth really does fit in with the universe as it is, and was created.   -Edith Schaeffer (The Hidden Art of Homemaking, pg.88)

It’s pretty sad when WordPress no longer remembers who I am.  I actually had to log in again because, apparently, I’ve been gone from blogging a bit too long.  But, here I am.

All is well here at the homestead, although there seems to be so much to do when all you want to do is nothing.  The baby chickens are growing up fast and will soon be laying, although I have my suspicions that two are actually roosters.  If that’s the case, we’ll be having rooster stew soon.   We had a broody a few weeks ago, but it turned out that all her eggs were duds, which we found out about after one made a very stinky mess in the nest.  Just out of curiosity we broke another one and not only did we find out it too was a dud, but it was green and slimy inside, and SUPER smelly.  I’m pretty sure we’re never doing that again!

The apple tree is busy growing little apples and each day the branches bend more and more with the weight of their growing cargo.  I’m looking forward to making some apple butter again this year and some pies.  Our fig trees are growing well, too, and one of them even has several tiny little figs waiting to grow.  I doubt they’ll be at all good, but I’m glad the tree (bush/shrub) is producing well.

We’ve even had a little time to put in a bit of a garden with tomatoes and lettuce, but it’s not doing so well because the chickens keep finding a way to get in and eat it all up.  Relentless little critters.

The Hez is also doing well.  Growing like a little weed, too.  He’s outgrown his infant car seat so we’ve had to get a convertible one.  I’m a little bummed out about that since you can’t take the convertible one with you to the store if he falls asleep in the car.  We’re also just starting him out on solids, although not very consistently.  He’s tried a few veggies and fruits, and some teething biscuits, but he’s not on any kind of regular eating schedule, nor has he tried rice cereal.  Honestly, that just doesn’t sound at all nutritious to me.  I’ve ordered a book called Super Baby Food which contains recipes for making your own cereals from grains, so I’ll give those a try.  It’s a little exciting getting to this phase, but it also means the poopie diapers get stinkier and more solid, so no more just popping them in the washer.  :T  I’m definitely going to get one of those toilet sprayer things soon.  The little dude still doesn’t crawl (thankfully?!) but he’s been attempting to pull himself up to standing from a sitting position, and he loves to walk while I hold his hands.  He’s been standing up on his own while holding on to something, like the edge of his pack ‘n play or the headboard on our bed.  He’s Mr. Chatty (like his dad) and loves to squeal, too.  He’s putting everything in his mouth and reaching for everything, even if it means taking a tumble.  I have to have my eye on him constantly!  He’s also a sweetheart and loves to cuddle.  I can’t wait to see how his personality develops as he grows.  Being a mother is so exciting!

How ’bout some pictures?

Alsea Falls with Andrea and Gabriel, Jodi and Lilly, Me and the Hez (asleep)

Dear Three-Hour-Nap,

We’ve missed you!  Thank you for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence.  We miss your daily visits and, as soon as this teething phase is over, can’t wait to have you over again more often.  Please feel free to stop by, if you can, because it really has been a breath of fresh air to have you.  You have no idea what this means to us.  To me.

With much love and affection,
Me

Dear Swaddling,

Did you get a haircut?  A nose job?  Hmm.  I just can’t tell what you’ve done that’s different, but something’s different.  Hezzy doesn’t even recognize you.  He used to hate you and want nothing to do with you, but now I think he’s rather fond of you!  Whatever you’ve done, keep up the good work!

I remain your faithful friend and fan,
Me

Dear Teething:

I don’t like you.  There’s the door.  As soon as you’ve finished your business please show yourself out.

Sincerely,
Me

Last night I went out to dinner with some of the girls from my book club.  It was Ladies’ Night and I showed up with my baby boy, haha.  Oh well.  Thankfully they all understand since they pretty much all have kids and about half of them have kids Hezzy’s age.

We had dinner and drinks, talked about our lives, the book.  I’m woefully behind.  Chapter 1 actually.  Sad, huh?  I think I can still catch up though.  It’s Adam Bede by George Eliot.  So far, the first nine pages are good!  Hehe.  I guess I’ll have to do a whole lot of reading these next couple weeks.

Hezzy and me.

Isn’t it fun when you can learn more about your friends through memes?  In this one, we get to answer five questions and then ask five to someone else (should they wish to play.)  Here are my questions from Tammy:

1. How do you feel about cloth diapers? Love them? Don’t really like them? Or on the fence? :)

I think I romanticized cloth diapers before I had my son.  I thought of all the wonderful benefits that they provided and one of the best perks, in my opinion, was that I really liked going against the flow and doing something society still thinks of as kind of a burden.  Truth is, cloth diapering can be kind of a chore.  You have to remember to wash them and to have enough covers too, for blow-outs.  Someone once told me I could get by with 2 or 3 covers.  Really?  Because I need at least five.

But you know what?  I loooooooooove that I cloth diaper my son.  I love putting in a load of diapers, and folding them to be used again.  I love changing him in public places and having people look at me with curiosity and me giving them a look of “yep, it’s that easy! You can do it, too!”  Some have actually commented that it looks easier than they thought it would be.  I love it when others comment on his big-looking bum and say, “is he in cloth?” and we sort of have this unspoken connection.  I love knowing how they’ve been washed and what’s against my son’s skin.  I love that he doesn’t get diaper rashes.  There’s just so much to love about cloth, and a lot of what I thought before hasn’t disappointed me now that I am actually doing it.  Yeah, sometimes it’s a chore, but anything can be a chore with the wrong attitude.  Going out to buy diapers all the time can be a chore.  Emptying a disposable diaper pail can be a chore, too.

So, I guess the *short answer* is that I love cloth diapering.  Haha.

2. What is your favorite color?

This seems to change every few years.  Right now, my favorite is burgundy.  :)

3. Tell me about your faith journey/religious background!

Hm.  Well, I grew up in a Baptist home, as a pastor’s kid.  We went to church every Sunday and I really enjoyed practicing my faith with my family.  I was sort of “born into” my faith, but I made a confession of faith when I was 5 and was baptized at 8 or 9.  Is it awful that I don’t remember?  For a few years during my late high school- college years I was in partial rebellion to the Word, though I wouldn’t admit it, really.  After I got married, the L-rd started to bring me back and He began to show me things in His Word which I hadn’t understood before.  I still consider myself a Christian, in the sense that I believe that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah, but there are a lot of things that have changed in my views.  I believe in keeping the Torah out of obedience to the L-rd, which includes keeping a 7th day Sabbath and eating biblically-approved foods (Kosher).  For these and other reasons my husband thinks I’m now Jewish, but I’m not.  I mean, maybe (my dad’s ancestor might have been a Jew), but since I don’t know for sure I don’t wish to call myself Jewish.  I just follow the scriptures as best as I can, which Jews happen to have been doing for a long time.  And they have some good ideas in how to walk in obedience with Scripture, and so I’ve been adding those to how I choose to follow Scripture, as well.  But that doesn’t make me Jewish.  It would be a great privilege to be a member of the Chosen People, but I’ve been chosen through faith in Messiah and that’s an even greater privilege!

4. Have you been drinking any especially good teas lately? :)

No, not really.  I like drinking lemon grass tea, which my mom sends to me from her garden, and some good sleepy-time teas, but mostly I’ve been experimenting with powdered mocha drinks (partially taken from a recipe from your website and someone else’s).  I’m sure I’ll be back to drinking new teas soon though.  ;)

5. On a normal day, how do you wear your hair?

Ugh, I’m almost embarrassed to say I’ve been wearing it up in either a pony tail or a bun-like thing at the back of my head almost exclusively since my son was born.  I’ve even been recently tempted to chop it off so I have one less thing to do after I wash it, which isn’t very often anyway.  I will admit I’m pretty amazed by women who have tiny babies and still have great hair and makeup.  I admire their dedication to looking good in the morning, but I don’t have it.  My hair goes up, sometimes with a head-covering (which I admit I’d like to do more often but sometimes forget) and I pretty much ignore my face unless I’m going somewhere for a special event, for which I’ll add mascara and eyeliner.  Thankfully, my husband couldn’t care less about my hair or face.  He thinks I look good no matter what.  Makes things so much easier.  :)

If you want to play along:

1 – Leave a comment with your blog URL, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 – I will respond; I’ll ask you five questions.
3 – You’ll update your blog with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 – You’ll include this explanation.
5 – You’ll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

From left to right: newborn prefold, what he was wearing not too long ago, what he’s wearing now

Where is the time going?  My baby is growing up so fast.  A friend came over this afternoon to show off his baby girl.  She’s 5 weeks old.  Holding her made me realize just how much my own baby has grown.  She barely weighed anything!  Of course, Hezzy has always been pretty hefty, but it was startling to see so clearly the difference between the two.

Did you know Hezzy can stand up?  Yep, he can hold his own weight for pretty good periods of time and will stand on his own as long as he is clinging to someone’s hands or the sides of his playpen.  He pretends to walk, too.  He puts one foot in front of the other while I hold his hands.  He’s just growing up too fast.

Oh, uh, want to see what I’ve been doing every morning, lately?

Combing out some of these!

Hezzy, 5 days old

DISCLAIMER: These are the events as I remember them, which may or may not be the way things actually went.  I have a terrible memory, you see, and it’s been nearly 5 months since this happened.  Oh also, I was drugged up most of the time. That said, I’m sure this is pretty close to the actual events.  Ok.

To be able to accurately tell the story of Hezzy’s birthday, one must start way before the day he was born.  We must go back to when I was 19 weeks pregnant.  After my check-up with the midwife I knew that I had gestational diabetes.  I put a plan in place to eat right (including my Reliv shakes) which worked well in controlling the disease until the latter part of my pregnancy.

Read the rest of this entry »

John Hezekiah Crall was born January 7th at 6:41 pm via c-section.  He weighed 11 lbs and measured 22″ long.

We finally came home from the hospital the evening of the 10th (Sunday) and I have been slowly recovering from the surgery.  John has been a champion eater and sleeper, giving us a few 4 and 5-hour stretches of sleep at a time already.  He has excellent neck muscles and has been holding his head and upper body up for short periods of time since he was three days old.

I expect to be fully recovered in a few weeks, but for now I spend most of my time sitting in bed nursing our  sweet boy and not doing much of anything else until my incision heals.

Many of our friends have been kind enough to bring meals over to us, and I’ve got to say I’ve never eaten better in my life with such little effort on my part!  It’s something I could get used to, if it weren’t for the fact that I would miss cooking very much.

He is very much admired by his grandmas and will be missed greatly.  My own mother has been calling almost every night since she left.  She calls him her “piojito” and was of great help to me while I was in the hospital.  She held him and rocked him and sang to him while waiting on me hand and foot and helping me get around.  Poor woman didn’t get much sleep, although I tried to let her have as much as she could get.  She’s an amazing mother and I know she will be a wonderful grandma.  My husband’s mother was also here helping out in my house while I was in the hospital.  She cleaned our house to perfection and cooked a couple meals for us to have on hand in case we needed something in a hurry.  What would we do without the grandmothers?!

Though the birth did not go as we had planned, and in fact was quite the opposite of what we wanted in almost every aspect, I saw HaShem’s hand in it all and His plan is always better than our own.  Had we not had the c-section, I’m sure both his life and my own would have been in jeopardy.

All in all, we are very blessed.

With lows in the teens last night, our poor chickens are really feeling the cold.  They’re pretty cold-hardy chickens (one of the reasons we got them) but their feet aren’t feathered and when they get too cold, they stand around like flamingos, keeping only one foot on the frozen ground and the other tucked in their feathers.

We provide them with warm water every morning, to prolong the amount of time it takes for it to freeze throughout the day.

And we’ve got a little heat lamp that we’ll set up for them outside their coop for the next time it gets this cold.

Because even though they handle themselves excellently in cold weather,  remember the little fashion-forward chicken that’s molting?

It might be a little harder for her to keep warm these days.

Oh, what some females wouldn’t do for the latest winter fashions.

Even the other hens can’t believe it.

Molting.  It’s never pretty.

Minutia of My Life

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