Saturday, September 25, 2010


Well it has been a long time since I've posted again.  We have been doing so many things!  Gardening, Traveling (Yes, Matt and I went away for a weekend!), Canning, Soccer, and School.  We have been busy researching on how to homestead.  It is so cool, and we both feel so strongly about it.  I've asked myself what does this really mean for us, homesteading.  Isn't that what we already do?  We live in a home and we make it work for us.  But it is more than that!  It's using the land that God created, tilling it, planting it, reaping from it.  Its using natural things that God made for cleaning, power, and heat.  Its cooking using the foods that God made.  Its teaching our boys how to work, how to use their talents, and teaching them to enjoy the work that they do because they are doing it for a purpose.  We are realizing that when we use our hands for the Lord in doing His work, it is rewarding.  Its not a chore, its a joy!  Do we struggle through it?  Yes, because we have been corrupted by the things in this world.  We are told quicker is better.  Easier is better.  More things in your house is happier.  Bigger is better.  But when the day ends and you put your head on your pillow, what do you remember?  You remember all that you did, all that you accomplished that day.  The people that brought a smile to your face.  Homesteading is hard work, but we enjoy it.  I think its because we did it!  We used our strength, our muscles, our brains to do it.  Not technology!  Are we totally there yet?  No, I still use my microwave.  (That's my challenge for the week, Thanks Linda) We don't have chickens or a cow. ( We are thinking about the chickens)  But we are working on it.  And enjoying the process!  Ok, I'll get off of my soap box.  This is where we are at right now.  Homesteading, think about it!

The top picture is where Matt and I went for our vacation.  Amish Country!!!  It was Great!!!!!!!!!  We love it over there.  So peaceful and calm.  I could move there very easily!  Now thats homesteading!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Homemade Bread

I love making homemade bread!!!  I just wish I had more time to make it more often.  I'll get there.  It is so nice to know what is in there, lately I've been buying my bread and I want to cringe when I realize its been in there for a week and still looks and smells great.  ( thought of you Linda!)  So heres my recipe.  It's not that hard it just takes time, but wait until you bite into the first piece!!!

Makes 2 loaves
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 cups very warm water
6 cups flour (remember not to use bleached flour, Your eating bleach, really you are)
2/3 cup dry milk
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (remember to get aluminum free, health food stores carry it)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil

1. combine yeast and water, in small bowl, let the yeast set on top and set aside
2. In a very large bowl, combine all dry ingredients, mix well
3. Add oil to yeast and water mix slowly, than add to dry mixture
4. Mix well with hands ( Make sure your hands are clean!  LOL)
5. After you have some sort of a ball in the bowl, put some flour on your working area, take ball out of         bowl and continue mixing on surface.  Push out with palms of your hand than fold sides to middle and  repeat.  This takes sometime to get used to, but you need to work it until you don't feel any bumps, You don't want to work it to much though.
6. put in bowl and let rise for 45 min.
7. take out of bowl and knead on surface (put flour down so it doesn't stick) Only kneed about 15 to 20 times.
8. separate into 2 loaves put in lightly oiled bread pans. Let rise about 45 min. or when it is sticking up above your pan.
9. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 min. or until nice and brown on top.  Bread will be a medium brown.
10. Enjoy!!!

If this doesn't make sense, I'm sorry.  Had a 5 year old needing everything but the kitchen sink.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Will it ever stop?

These last two weeks have been so hard.  Levi's sensory issues have gone through the roof!  It seems like everything I try, makes him madder.  He wants a squeeze but says it hurts.  Wants a soft back rub and screams I'm hurting him.  Won't eat certain foods, gags on drinking water, changes his clothes 3 to 4 times a day because they hurt him, is back to banging his head and rubbing it on the floor.  Wants to be alone, but doesn't want me far away.  I feel like our world has been turned upside down and inside out.  I'm trying to stay calm and telling myself this usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks than it gets better again for awhile.  But I am so tired.  It's starting to really effect the other two boys.  Gavin (our youngest) is starting to do some of these things now.  He doesn't have SPD, he just sees his older brother do it so he thinks its normal.  Right now the big question is if Levi should have his own room.  It's tearing me up though, because that means Caleb will have to go down stairs or Gavin will have to go into Caleb's room.  Oh, I wish things were different.  I never thought my family would go through this.  I really could go into a hole and sleep awhile.

Monday, July 26, 2010

So much going on

Thought I'd type a quick post.  It's my birthday today!  Not actually why I posted.  We have had so much going on.  This last weekend we said goodbye to Nick, Joy, Cade, and Ava. (Matt's sister and family) They moved to Iowa.  I can't express how much we are going to miss them.  This is now the 3rd closest person that has moved away from us in the last 6 years, 2 being in the last year.  You don't realize how much time you spend with someone until there gone.  I know that we will see them and thankfully we have phones and the internet to keep in touch.  But there is nothing like sitting face to face sharing a meal or COFFEE with a dear friend.  Also Matt and I have been really thinking about living more simply.  This last week I got rid of most of my plastic products in our kitchen.  Wasn't as hard as what I thought it would be.  The worst part was when Matt said " Hey, those are my favorite cups!"  LoL, leave it to Matt to complain.  So I traded the boys for his.  We are having some other thoughts too, but can't say just yet.  We are very excited about it, so we'll see what happens.  Well, better go clean the house.  It doesn't just happen on its own.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My little guy is 5!

Today is Levi's 5th birthday!  Words cannot express all the feelings that go into this day.  It is amazing how your mind can replay things from 5 years ago.  From the 8:00 a.m. call saying that he is being born, to the 10:00 a.m. call saying that he's here!  The feelings of not being there to hold my son, horrible.  I ached to hold my baby.  The call when we are an hour away saying the Birth Mom has changed some things and she wants to meet us first.  Then she'll tell us if we can see our baby.  To walking into the hospital meeting the foster Dad for the first time.  The time of meeting the birth Mom, and knowing that God was leading us and holding me up.  Hearing her say we could go see OUR baby now!  Walking into the room, meeting our foster Mom and our baby's Aunt for the 1st time.  And then the best moment!  Having Sandy place little Levi in my arms and hearing her say "Levi, meet your Mommy" (I'm crying right now and can't see the screen)  Seeing Matt's face, as he looked down at his new son and trying to hold back his tears.  Watching Caleb stroke Levi's forehead and saying "I'm a big brother now".   Having to leave the hospital with my baby there, after just holding him for 20 minutes.  Heart wrenching.  The feelings of going to a new house and staying with people we didn't know, but knowing that we had just meet 2 very special people that would help mold us and change us forever.   Realizing that we had to stay in Green Bay for 33 days, and Matt having to go back to Ohio to work.  Leaving me with our 5 year old and a new baby that was going through detox.  Thank the Lord I had Dennis and Sandy!  The day that we walked into the court room and had to face the birth parents and agree to raise him as our own.  Words can't describe that feeling.  Giving the Birth Mom a hug, and telling her thank you for giving us such a precious gift.  Priceless.  And finally, kneeling down by the couch begging God for that phone call saying we could bring our baby home.  But knowing that we had to leave our new family behind.  Our foster parents became our family why'll there, and I will forever be greatful to them!  Those are the feelings that go into this day.  The day that God placed our precious son into our arms to love forever.  We love you Levi John!  You mean the world to us.  You may not have come from Mommy's belly, but you came from God's hands.  And He lovingly placed you in our arms and our hearts this day 5 years ago.  Happy Birthday, Little Love!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Story

    I've been wanting to put down our story, but it's such a long story that I haven't taken the time.  Until now. Matt and I were married in 1997, and had everything planned.  Married 2 years then start our family.  Well, two years came and went, no baby.  Finally in 2000 we had our first son Caleb.  Now, we wanted to have another one in two years.  Well, again two years came and went.  We were told that I only had a 10% chance of ever having any more children.  CRUSHED, was the word.  There is a very long story with all of this, so I'll skip that part and go to the next part.  In April of 05 I had a dream that "a young lady was pregnant and wanted to give us her baby boy when he was born."  Now if you've ever gone through this, you know that you have dreams often about getting or finding a baby.  So we ignored that dream and decided to get rid of all our baby stuff, and that we were ok with having one son.  The morning of our garage sale I received a call from a lady at our church.  She said that her pastors from Green Bay had called them a while back and told them of a young lady that was pregnant.  They wanted to know if they knew anyone who wanted to adopt.  After praying, they thought of us.  The baby boy was to be born in 8 weeks and if we were interested we could adopt him.  Well, we felt that this was the right thing to do.  Many other things went into this but it would take a book to write it.  In July, the day after my only brothers wedding we got the call that the baby was on the way.  Words cannot describe how we felt!  So after a 9 hour drive.  We met for the first time, the foster parents (that we would stay with) and our little Levi.  He was adorable!!!  We were told though that this was a very healthy pregnancy.  Well, when we got there and talked with the nurses we were told that he was neurologically under developed.  The Mom did not take care of her self and took in harmful things.  (Won't go there)  Ok, short version.  We were there for 33 days, and we'll just say it wasn't easy.  But I thank God all the time that I had the best foster parents ever!!!  They truly became my family.  I also made a very special bond with Levi's aunt while there.  We still stay in contact today.  As Levi grew we realized that something was not right.  AT 1 1/2 he still was not sleeping through the night, actually getting up 6 to 8 times.  He would run into walls face first and not cry, actually he ran into things or came short from diving into things often.  He would bang his head over and over on the door handles, tile floor, any thing hard.  He left bruises but never cried.  He didn't play, just followed me around and honked like a goose.  He would have fits of rage,  run around with no purpose and hurt us often.  We finally contacted the Help Me Grow program in our county.  Thank the Lord for them!!  We got him enrolled and our journey continued.  His OT believed that he had SPD and speech problems.  At 2 1/2 he could only say Mom.  So we went to a Developmental Specialist.  They were more concerned about his speech than anything and we didn't get much help.  So I took matters into my own hands and started researching.  Everything I read about SPD was describing my son.  But our pediatrician kept on saying he had autism.  I found so many resources, and wrote my own report for my family so they could understand what was going on.  Some of them did not understand and thought we just weren't strict enough with him.  Boy, were they all surprised when I handed them my report and said, "here read this".  It helped so much.  They all started helping once they understood.   I came across the book by Jenni McCarthy and said "oh, my here we go".  We started him on the Gluten free diet and within 3 weeks he was starting to talk.  Now I know that this doesn't help all, but if you give it a really good shot you may see some difference.  Behaviors seemed to lesson a little, but not as much as we wanted or needed.  So the OT and I decided to do some serious therapy.  She came into our home and we set up stations throughout the whole house.  Proprioceptive, Tactile, Oral, and Vestibular.  (Please understand, I live in the middle of a bean field.  There's not much out here.  So to get this kind of help was amazing!)  We looked like a big therapy room.  Every hour I did therapy in proprioceptive, and tactile, every two hours oral and vestibular.  So pretty much all day long.  Thankfully my husband is great with his hands and made a lot of things for him.  We couldn't afford to buy it.  He did really well if I could keep up with it, and keep to a very routine schedule.  But I burnt myself out and starting getting sick.  Oh, did I mention that I was pregnant at this time.  Ya, in July of 07 I got pregnant.  7 1/2 years after Caleb.  Thankfully I have great family and friends and they all started pitching in.  Gavin, our third son was born in March of 08.  And two weeks before that Levi was diagnosed with SPD and PDD-NOS.  I won't type what I thought about all of that.  Now today, we have the PDD-NOS removed and only have SPD.  That's enough though.  They are concerned with Impulsive disorder and Bi-poler.  So now we continue to do therapy, watch Levi's diet (and ours), and pray.  Levi is doing much better!  We did do many other things along that time.  But honestly my hand hurts from typing.  I'll share all that at another time.  So today I have 3 very special boys.  I call them all my little miracles, and praise God every day I have them.  Am I tired? YES!!  But content.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mommy will you squash me?

I think I hear this question everyday and on days like today, maybe 5.  Already this morning he has asked for this.  Every time he asks me to lay on him I think, I hope no one is watching.  How can so much pressure feel so good?  If something heavy is on me I feel like I'm going to suffocate.  But he loves it!  This morning he asked for his weighted blanket, (the little one he said) after putting that on he asked for the big one.  "On top of the little one" I asked.  "Ya, that will feel so good"  Ok, so I did.  He smiled than said "can you lay on top"?  Oh, my goodness!!!  He melted ( didn't really lay on him, I was afraid to hurt him).  These are the things that amaze me!  How can this make his brain work?  How can this pressure open up that jam in there?  Thankfully it does!  I wonder if he will out grow this?  He's going to be a tall boy.  I can only image my 6 foot boy asking me to squash him.  For goodness sakes, he will be able to squash me!  Thankfully my mother-in-law makes his weighted blankets for us.  Well, my little boy.  You just keep on asking to be squashed and Mommy will keep on squashing you.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Children's Dad

My children's Dad is the greatest!  He just happens to be my husband of 13 years.  Have you ever thought that they have it easy?  They get to go to work and we get stuck at home with the kids.  We have to deal with the issues everyday, all day.  It is at times like this though when I stop and think about what he all does, and I am amazed.  How my husband can get up 5 days a week at 3:45 a.m. and drive about 40 min. to work and give his company his very best.  He doesn't just stand around, he uses his brain and muscles all day long.  The part that amazes me the most is, when he comes home.  After working about 10 hours, than driving home he opens the door with a smile and says "how was your day?"  The boys go running to him yelling Daddy, and demanding his immediate attention.  I'd say close to everyday he gives them a hug and talks with them about their day.  He has to deal with the issues as soon as he comes home.  No time to chill.    Levi needs Daddy touch and Daddy ears.  Matt is learning right along with me on what our boys need, especially Levi.  He doesn't get upset when I ask him to tackle with Levi or give him bear hugs.  When I quietly tell him it's been a BIG SENSORY DAY, and to give Levi some slack.  Ya, there are days that he needs time to just chill in front of the computer for a little while, but I can bet that he will be up and doing things around the house and giving our boys attention before too long.  I want to honor my husband for what he does.  He is a hard working man that doesn't ask for much.  He loves us completely, and with no strings attached.  Thank you Matt for being a great Dad to our boys and for being my constant support.  I could not do what I do everyday without you.  I love you so much!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dare I even say

Dare I even say that we are having a decent day.  It always scares me when I think this, because you never know what is coming.  But honestly it hasn't been to bad.  Gavin actually went down for his nap without his "B".  Well, he cried for 15 minutes, but hey that's better than yesterday.  Levi got a little scared of the storm, only cried for about 5 minutes with no big meltdown.  Caleb actually played with his brothers for about 1 hour!!  Now, do you see what I mean about Dare I even say?  These are the times that we should cherish and not walk around waiting for something to happen.  I know that, but when you walk in our shoes, that feeling is just there.  It is amazing how often we think something but that phrase "dare I even say" comes in and we stop.  Some day, I will beat that phrase and I will be able to say when its been a good day.  And better yet, know that tomorrow will be better too!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Sensational Boy

I've been doing a lot of research again on SPD and I am really hoping to find a support group on line that can help me out. The more we walk through this journey the more I see that I need support for what I do every day. I would like to talk with other Moms that do what I do. Levi is a sensational kid, with so much going for him. He just needs help getting out of that box that he seems to live in. That box that holds him in and only lets him see light every once in awhile. I feel like we have a couple of flaps open, and trying to pull open the others. We will get there, but we have to understand what is going on and how to get the family through until then. I will keep searching to help my sensational boy. And when we do, the whole world will know that Levi is out of that box.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trying it again!

WEll, quick post. I'm going to try this again and see if I can write more often. Already been bothered, write more later.