Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Spirituality Spot Found in Brain

What makes us feel spiritual? It could be the quieting of a small area in our brains, a new study suggests.

The area in question - the right parietal lobe - is responsible for defining "Me," said researcher Brick Johnstone of Missouri University. It generates self-criticism, he said, and guides us through physical and social terrains by constantly updating our self-knowledge: my hand, my cocktail, my witty conversation skills, my new love interest ...

People with less active Me-Definers are more likely to lead spiritual lives, reports the study in the current issue of the journal Zygon.

Most previous research on neuro-spirituality has been based on brain scans of actively practicing adherents (i.e. meditating monks, praying nuns) and has resulted in broad and inconclusive findings. (Is the brain area lighting up in response to verse or spiritual experience?)

So Johnstone and colleague Bret Glass turned to the tried-and-true techniques of neuroscience's early days - studying brain-injured patients. The researchers tested brain regions implicated in the previous imaging studies with exams tailored to each area's expertise - similar to studying the prowess of an ear with a hearing test. They then looked for correlations between brain region performance and the subjects' self-reported spirituality.

Among the more spiritual of the 26 subjects, the researchers pinpointed a less functional right parietal lobe, a physical state which may translate psychologically as decreased self-awareness and self-focus.

The finding suggests that one core tenant of spiritual experience is selflessness, said Johnstone, adding that he hopes the study "will help people think about spirituality in more specific ways."

Spiritual outlooks have long been associated with better mental and physical health. These benefits, Johnstone speculated, may stem from being focused less on one's self and more on others - a natural consequence of turning down the volume on the Me-Definer.

In addition to religious practices, other behaviors and experiences are known to hush the Definer of Me. Appreciation of art or nature can quiet it, Johnstone said, pointing out that people talk of "losing themselves" in a particularly beautiful song. Love, and even charity work, can also soften the boundaries of "Me," he said.

The greatest silencing of the Me-Definer likely happens in the deepest states of meditation or prayer, said Johnstone, when practitioners describe feeling seamless with the entire universe.
That is, the highest point of spiritual experience occurs when "Me" completely loses its definition.

"If you look in the Torah, the Old Testament, the New Testament, in the Koran, a lot of Sufi writings, Buddhist writings, and Hindu writings, they all talk about selflessness," said Johnstone.

We may be finding the neurological underpinnings of these writings, he said.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Raya Defines

baby's chew toy: what ever delicate item you are currently working on (like eating the hair brush while you are trying to brush your hair. Then when I took the hair brush away, she chewed on my hair). Or the papers that I have so carefully organized on my desk..... and when all else fails- your fingers.

baby's favorite chew toy: the one of the many you spent money on, and then lost. So the child refers back to the first definition of chew toy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Because I'm a sucker for this sort of thing....

Year Review

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Birth Alone

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?Well, I kept some of them, until I changed the goals. Other got lost in the business of life, and of course I will make more for next year- maybe if a I put "brushing my hair everyday." on enough of them it will eventually happen.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?My sister, her friend, my cousin, me, friends at church... I'm just hanging with a fertile crowd.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yup, and I miss him, but life keeps going.

5. What countries did you visit?No countries- how about states- like denial, apathy, excitement?

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
sleep... apples from my orchard... more organic eggs

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
June 16, Oct 19

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Had a girl! and closed a business with out debt (I hope)

9. What was your biggest failure?
besides not brushing my hair?..... probably something about keeping the house clean- but that is not so much of a failure as it is yet a mountain of habits to make.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
nope- healthy as an ox and enjoying it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
no easy answer- all "things" traditional bought with money pale in comparison to what I bought with my time and effort. Like reading time with kids, family home evening, and the fruit of having the kids closer to us.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The kiddos! they did great in school and with chores.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Besides Bush's?

14. Where did most of your money go?
to groceries

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I had a girl!

16. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier/sadder,thinner/heavier,richer/poorer?
happier, richer ( in spirit)- and I refuse to worry about weight

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
play with the littles.. enjoy my woods

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
time spent on my computer

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
quietly (relatively speaking) with family

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Yvette- my business's right hand lady- and my friend.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
over and over and over again (with the same man)

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I like Eureka.... and the Muppets.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?
A listened to a few good ones, but haven't had too much time for reading. But the spot for "best" clearly goes to the Book of Mormon.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The primary children- they are talented and sounds like angels!

28. What did you want and get?
a girl!

29. What did you want and not get?
an earth friendly way to heat my house (will keep trying though)

30. What were your favorite films of this year?
nothing stands out- I am still waiting for one to sweep my off my feet.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had an old fashioned sleep over with my best friend. We watched movies, ate sweet and made love... wait ! I never did that as I kid.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
"Is it warm enough?"

34. What kept you sane?
the promise that tomorrow would be another day, the promise the kids grow up and the knowledge that only I can change me.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage issues- trying to understand the complexities and religious/ moral stands.

37. Who did you miss?
my pattern maker

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I feel in love with another mother with an autistic child. I adore her because her problems always make mine look easy.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
don't share unusual birth plans with people who never question the box they think in
gravity never fails
look up
stand in awe- at all time
don't trust permanent markers in the hands of anyone under 30

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
" Press forward Saints..."

Monday, December 15, 2008

12 Days Of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my children gave to me A wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

On the 2nd day of Christmas my children gave to me 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my children gave to me a 3 hour nap time, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

On the 4th day of Christmas my children gave to me 4 matching faces, 3 hour nap time, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12 Days Of Christmas (cont)

On the 5th day of Christmas my children gave to me 5 little piggies! 4 matching faces, 3 hour naptime, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

On the 6th day of Christmas my children gave to me 6 birthday candles. 5 little piggies! 4 matching faces, 3 hour naptime, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

On the 7th day of Christmas my children gave to me 7 sinks of dishes, 6 birthday candles. 5 little piggies! 4 matching faces, 3 hour naptime, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

On the 8th day of Christmas my children gave to me 8 answered questions, 7 sinks of dishes, 6 birthday candles. 5 little piggies! 4 matching faces, 3 hour naptime, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

12 Days Of Christmas (cont)

On the 9th day of Christmas my children gave to me 9 loads of Laundry. 8 answered questions, 7 sinks of dishes, 6 birthday candles, 5 little piggies, 4 matching faces, 3 hour nap time, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

Oh the 10th day of Christmas my children gave to me "just 10 minutes longer." 9 loads of laundry. 8 answered questions, 7 sinks of dishes, 6 birthday candles, 5 little piggies, 4 matching faces, 3 hour nap time, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

On the 11th day 11 scripture readings, 10 minutes longer, 9 loads of laundry, 8 answered questions, 7 sinks of dishes, 6 birthday candles, 5 little piggies, 4 matching faces, 3 hour nap time, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

On the 12th day of Christmas my children gave to me 12 lego creations!
11 scripture readings, 10 minutes longer, 9 loads of laundry. 8 answered questions, 7 sinks of dishes, 6 birthday candles, 5 little piggies, 4 matching faces, 3 hour nap time, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

On the 12th day of Christmas my children gave to me 12 lego creations!
11 scripture readings, 10 minutes longer, 9 loads of laundry. 8 answered questions, 7 sinks of dishes, 6 birthday candles, 5 little piggies, 4 matching faces, 3 hour nap time, 2 chewed on fingers and a wiggly Shanny waiting for me.

Friday, December 05, 2008

boys and thier balls

Boys do love their balls, especially my Clayton.
And the other day, when I pulled off his pull up to get him dressed for school, I saw the biggest set of balls I ever would have imagined would reside in a boy's crotch.

2 tennis balls came rolling out-

it is amazing what can hide in a pullup.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kids are so Funny

especially when they think they're being sneaky.

I let the boys loose last night with some items like fake holly berries, ribbons and glitter to make some Christmas ornaments. After I showed them what my plans were I told them they were welcome to be creative with theirs. And they were.

about an hour later, I heard them snickering and whispering. "we'll put it over their beds, that way Mom and Dad will have to kiss ALL night."

They made some "mistletoe " and hung it over our bed.

So later, Galen and I sat down on the bed to read him a story and I had to tease him "So, Do I get to kiss you? we're under the mistletoe."

Galen said "for my it just means that I smile at you."

Monday, November 24, 2008

musing of the non- omniscient

Ever noticed that little kids seem to think their mothers are god like?

Yup that means that at nearly 1 am this morning, I was trying to crawl into bed with 3 kids demanding my attention when I noticed that someone got off his potty too early following his enema and had left a nice wet, poopy section hidden under the blankets right were my toes should go.

So Shannon was screaming for my attention, Galen wanted a story and Clay wanted help with his pullup change. I tried to assure them that they could all do it themselves, but they all believed that I could be omnipresent. And with the constant barrage of questions the older kids must feel I am omniscient, and they also seem to think that I can not only do everything, but manage to do everything at the same time- omnipotent (although, because I have 5 kids I am more thinking that my husband is omnipotent).

So I find myself explaining to my kids that in this mortal probation I am none of the above, therefore they should try to do a few things for themselves for a change and let their mommy go potty in peace, but Those under 5 just don't grasp it. They seem to remember their last set of parents being all those things and kinds forget the whole limitations living according to the rules of Earth Life put on you.

Someday, however, I do plan to be most of those things, and think that I will still be trying to get my kids to do a few things with out me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas lists

For Christmas we are doing a name draw amongst my siblings and their children.

For their convenience here is who they got.

Galen will give a gift to Oz
Ewan will give a gift to Sky
Ian will give a gift to Rochester
Clayton will give a gift to Kirsten
Shannon will give a gift to Kristen
Jake will give a gift to Trishelle
Kristen will give a gift to Clay
Sky will give a gift to Ewan
Kirsten will give a gift to Riley
Oz will give a gift to Ian
Chester will give a gift to Galen
Riley will give a gift to Jake
Trishelle will give a gift to Shannon

For Adults:
Raya will give to Amy
Mike will Give to Catherine
Catherine will give to Colin
Mat will give to Raya
Amy will give to Mike
Colin will give to Mat

Do not worry about the price of your gift- making it fun or thoughtful or useful is more important. Homemade, second hand, and creative gifts are encouraged. Feel free to help your children.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

one of the tribe

Shanny has officially been initiated as one of the tribe. That's right the siblings accepted her as one of their own tonight in a nice little ceremony.

Shanny was kicking belly high on my leg- and Galen refused to sit next to her for story time because she might drool on him. So he called her "Drool face". She smiled at him and he said it again.

That was of course after the preliminary events where Galen buried her up to her face in blankets and then told Clay to sit on her. I warned him that nobody sits on my baby unless they want to be revenged by the baby sat (since we were reading Calvin and Hobbes last night- he liked the reference).

Friday, November 07, 2008

it that season

yup the time when people are thinking about Christmas gifts. I am hoping that all the cousins can draw names and or adults. Please post your lists soon- I like having everything done before December.

I would love it if we could draw names this week end !!

So in cause you think about my family here is our ideas list:

wood cutting boards
hand held blender
glass bowls- mixing
box of mason jars and lids
food processor
stone ware pizza pan
wood meat hammer
yogurt incubator

Gift certificate for art supply store- Utrecht is a good one
homestead tools- like shovels, rakes, saws and stuff.
He wears a XXL tall.

star wars- wants kids novels with pictures
lion king stuff
sensory stimulation/ fulfillment items
He wears an adult S.

legos- MTT troop Carrier
republic gun ship (lego thing)
tornado kit
clay for sculpting/molding
art supplies
He wears a size 8.

wants tools and a place to use them.
He wears a size 7.

loves balls
maybe a simple game like Candy Land
organic bubble bath
he wears a size 5.

Shannon is just getting ready for toys. She only have a small handful since they don't survive the boys very well.
She will be 6 months old at Christmas.
If you are buying clothes for her consider that she will be wearing 18m size at Christmas, 2T this spring and probably 3T for next fall.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Look Up

The reason why we need to be outside is to look up.

It is so easy to grumble, about our lives, the act ivies or challenges of the day, but when you go outside and look up- one stands in such awe of the beauty around them that is is near impossible to keep grumbling.

When one looks at the ground the monologual tirade can continue unimpeded, but Look UP, and see the brilliant beauty of nature- and feel honored for your life and your eyes and your chance to breathe in this fine morning.

While enjoying the colors nature created around you- the exquisite pink of the sun through the bare trees- your thoughts are no longer earth bound and neither is your spirit.

So look up and fly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A fuller moon then most

My kids are sensitive to the full moon. Last night it seemed to be imbibing them with energy until the wee hours of the morning. And not only were they staying up- but they were creating. Galen and Ewan were drawing, and Mike was witting jokes.

These are Star Wars pants jokes- you take a line from Star Wars and change 1 word out with the word "pants."

mcnewbold: I have a bad feeling about pants!
mcnewbold: Oh, Pants! -c-3po
mcnewbold: your a little short for pant's aren't you? princess leia
mcnewbold: Use the pants! obi-wan
mcnewbold: Help me take this pants off. Darth Vader
mcnewbold: I am your Pants! Darth Vader
mcnewbold: When your pants arrive, they will find this death star quite opperational! Palpatine
mcnewbold: She's got pants! Luke skywalker
mcnewbold: do you wanna buy pants? Death sticks dealer
mcnewbold: these aren't the pants you are looking for! Obiwan
mcnewbold: Pants don't work on me, only money! watto
mcnewbold: I felt a disturbance in the pants. Obi-wan
mcnewbold: then i'll see you in pants! Han solo
mcnewbold: Vader was a pupil of mine, until he turned to pants. Obi wan
mcnewbold: You scruffy looking pant

Anyways... it turns out my Dad is still going strong too. I guess it runs in the family.

and my dreams have been vivid of late- I blame that on this moon, too. :)

I just checked and this is the real full moon for the month. Hopefully it will only get less from here on out- it has been pretty tough sleeping- or getting kids to sleep anyways- these last few night.

But 4 am Galen? what are you, some kind of creative genius?

"When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator"
(Mahatma Gandhi)

and that sunset last night was pretty awesome too.

Friday, October 03, 2008


There has been lots of songs dedicated to the wonderfulness of coming home. I would be tempted to write one, but now that I am home I have so much else to keep me busy.

Well, we dragged Ian out of the hospital, against his wishes yesterday. He really liked the morphine more then the Tylenol with codeine. But he survived the trip anyways. He is now safely tucked on our couch watching the Land before Time. Earlier he played the computer- that required sitting up and doing something.

Great big slobbery baby kisses to all those who helped my Mom with her surprises for us. It is really nice to have a big working fridge- very nice fridge - and a washer that works. I haven't done a load yet- but will real soon. THank you, thank you , thank you.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Poisoned Apple

What is more effective then the wicked queen's poisoned apple?

An organic apple eaten by a kid who has nothing nothing but Popsicles all week. 2 bites was all it took to send him into a deep sleep. (ok, I know I am giving no credit to the morphine that kicked in... but morphine doesn't figure into fairy tales.)

The took the dressing off him this morning. He has an incision center on his belly and the trap door off to his right.

right now I am waiting on the nurse to come and train us. We are also hoping Ian stops hurting and starts eating. Once we get him moving he will have a fast recovery, but until then life is slow and we wait.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

night time update

Ian is asleep. When he wakes he is in pain, but pain meds seem to work their magic. He even watched part of the mysthbusters tonight. If we can get him to eat solids and manage his pain with out IVs then he can go home.

After surgery

Well, it took until almost 11 for Ian to get back to his room- he fussled a little bit and wanted to remain asleep. Then he fussled about his stomach hurting and the nurse gave him some pain meds- he's been asleep ever since. I expect him to be out most of the day. at least i get a real bed tonight- so I should be out tonight.

have a nice chilly fall day.

2 hours later

it took until 7:30 when they finally came and got Ian for surgery. He went into the OR at 8'oclock ish, then at 8:50, we got a call that at 8:40 the doctor actually started on him. So we finished up and had breakfast and came back over. We were still checking in at the desk when the phone call came to have us go down to consult- where the Doc talks to you after surgery.

All went well, and we may be out of here tomorrow. But Ian is still asleep- he slept through his blood draw at 5:25, slept through being wheeled down to surgery, and he didn't wake up until they started to give him the anesthetic. Then he fluttered his eye lashes, realized he didn't know where he was and tried to sit up- 30 seconds later he was asleep again. And he was still sawing logs when the doc talked to us. He will not get back up to his room (and us) until he wakes up. The doc was expecting 10ish... knowing Ian it could be more around noonish. :)

Shannon is being a doll today- I already got lots of pics of her this morning.

The boys are doing well with Grandma and Grandpa. so well in fact that Grandma has decided to keep babysitting rather then come down here and trade Mike positions. I will miss the female conversation- but don't mind my bed mate- all the easier to snuggle. Assuming of course, we ever end up in the same bed at the same time :)

surgery call

It is earlier then the butt crack of dawn- why would the butt crack come first? It is something Amy says... anyways.... and Ian had already been called for surgery. In a few minutes we will have to go down there with him until he gets put under. Then I plan to go get a shower and breakfast.

Mike will have to go back to sleep so he is safe for driving later today.

that is all that I know now except that the beds here are about as good as their pillows.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

almost completely, but not totally unlike a pillow

The pillows they have here- probably have no right to bare that name. It is almost completely unlike a pillow. It isn't soft like a pillow, it is only vaguely shaped like a pillow, it doesn't smell like a pillow. It definitively doesn't support like a pillow. In fact the only reason I would even imagine that it is marauding as a pillow is the fact that is comes in a pillow case that match the rest of hospital linens for quality, or lack there of.

The Doc's assistant came in to see how Ian was doing. He is running clear enough right now that surgery is a go at 7ish tomorrow morning. Then he informed us that we will have a clinic office visit on Monday to follow up on the training of the c-costomy... well, there goes my weekend.

tuesday morning update

Good morning everyone. Ian is finally starting to clear his bowels. The nursing staff and on call night doc were starting to get worried. I figured I could have him take a bath... but didn't need to. By the time I arrived this morning his poop was already nice and watery. He, of course is going to keep going on it all day- until he runs clear.

So today is study, read ect... just a waiting day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

to market to market

to buy a fat hog.... or at least get another surgery.

Let's see Ian is being prepped for his tubes and lines, meanwhile he is in the play room waiting for the numbing cream to kick in. Then he gets a tube down his nose (NG) and the go lightly will be dribbled directly into his stomach for the next several days. After that- with in minutes he will get an IV with antibiotics as prep for the bowel surgery. Remind me to feed him lots of live yogurt next week.

Shannon is asleep on Ian's bed. The nurses will be bringing in a crib for her. That will be nice to leave our portacrib at the hotel.

Clay and his kitty are Grandma's side kick the next few days. The boys are off to school, but of course Galen forgot his back pack when he packed for Grandma's.

Amy is hoping to join us here this week and have a new baby of her own, although unless the baby is really sick she and him will be at the other hospital.

That is all I know for now. It is amazing that i have to use words on this blog. I have no easy way to deal with pictures on my portable computer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Welcome to the Third World

A great little article.... read it and weep.,0,6908905.column

Monday, September 08, 2008

Home again, Home Again Jiggity Jog

Well, after a nice little 13 hour trip today, We are home again, with a much longer trip scheduled in our near future.

For those of you unaware our trip today started just about 30 hours from a return home from another little trip.

And our next trip is destined to last 5-7 days.

That means I am now taking bids on my dog, kids and house cleaning. . .

Ian's surgery has been scheduled for next week. They plan to clean out his bowel to a point that it is running clear before they put the c- costomy in. And then he will have a few recovery and watchful days in the hospital before they send him home.

Jiggity Jog

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Infinite patience

When I was growing up, I would often change out of the clothes Mom wanted me in. This occurred most often with pants. There was something about the fit and texture of many pairs of pants that made life uncomfortable.

These last few months I have realized that that is a sensory issue. I am very sensitive to what is touching my skin. That is why I end up wearing lots of soft shapeless things and many more skirts then pants.

But often, I remembered how I couldn't stand the pants Mom wanted me to wear as a child and this has helped me with Galen. Galen has sensory issues, and often it worse on some days then others, other times it is the same sensory issue all the time. For Galen the biggies are how his socks and shoes fit. The last few days the T shirts I dressed him in were not soft enough.

But Because I remember this was a real thing with me, I have nearly infinite patience with him when he complains that something is itchy or otherwise uncomfortable for him. This infinite patience saves lots of time. As soon as he expresses a problem we can quickly deal with it and get on our way. If I argued with him on weather this was a real problem or what he wanted to wear he would melt down and throw a fit and not be ready in time for the bus.

So maybe my Dad is right. Infinite patience brings immediate results.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Autism Bites

or at least yells, tantrums and kicks. luckily our biting is very limited around here. But I can't say the same things for tantrums, or meltdowns, as we call them.

We should have taken the early meltdowns, at the end of mini golfing, as a warning. We almost did, but then my sister pulled the "I bought cake for everyone" card and we were forced to play, and our hand looked all right against the bet of Rafferty's pizza, but as soon as it was time to go. Galen folded.

For 20 minutes he screamed and kicked and tried to get out of the car while it was moving. It was so bad that I sat back there with him to keep the damage minimal.

But he was calm by the time we got home and then the real work began. Getting 3 kids ready for school is not the easiest task, and when you add Ian's and Galen's issues on top of that, it becomes a much more time intensive task.

and other notes of this week: We spent our Saturday date night in the ER with Clay. He nearly cut the top of his ring finger off. Expect for the fact that I forgot my purse and cell phone, it was almost like a date. We only had 2 kids with us for a night out. But because I forgot my purse we didn't have means to call anybody or pay for anything that doesn't accept Discover card (the card Mike carries). But we ended up with take home to bake pizza and yet one more medical bill.

our washer is still broken. The part should be on order, but everyone who can install it must be on vacation- I plan to annoy them tomorrow.

Shannon is the light of every group of women. They all love to hold her and watch her smile and wiggle with glee. Someday I will post more picture,.... i just haven't even had time to pick up my office, none the less take picture lately.

I am hoping things calm down a bit when the kids are back in school. TOMORROW!!!!
The sun will come out tomorrow.

Right now everything that needs to be done is labeled "tomorrow." that however, doesn't count my shower and teeth brushing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wouldn't tade it for the world

My sister said to me today:" I think you are about the only person I wouldn't ask to trade kids or lives for the day"

But most of the time I can't think of any body I would want to trade with. Maybe that's because I am so busy living this life, that I haven't time to think in between the yells for "Mom." or it could be that there has been enough instances where I have somewhat envied some one's position or family- only to later find out that they have problems too- usually problems I am very glad not to have and wouldn't trade for.

Besides, in every set of challenging circumstances, there are the little moments that make it worth living.- holding a sleeping baby is one of them. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I feel like I have something to say. But I don't have the time and energy to make it come out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SuperMom never made any money

The realities of come to bare themselves in my mind and life that 5 kids is a lot of work, and throw in a few special needs kids and it becomes a ton of work.

And so after the birth of baby five, I have come to realize that i have reached the limit of my abilities. I have learned that any more balls to juggle will cause some to be dropped, and so I have decided to carry the most important balls first and slowly and carefully put the other ones down and walk away. That is the real reason Round Belly must close. That and the fact that it can't pay me for the work I do, therefore it is not logical to allow more important balls to drop in it's name.

My sister refers to 5 kids as the 5 K marathon, one which she did not train for, but she is now trying to run. And I have slowly built up to it, but when you are running the full 5 K marathon, there is not time for devoted attention to go elsewhere, or you end up running into a tree or something. Near misses is as close as I like to get to trees- especially at my current pace.

As the dollars ability to stretch decreases I find that I have to spend more time on the basics of life. More time cleaning and cooking and growing food. It takes lots of hours in the kitchen to make enough from scratch (ie grind the wheat, then make the bread) to fill all the bellies of my growing boys. Yet I know this is the direction we need to keep heading to maintain our family's food security in the coming years- and health now.

Overall, I find it rather amazing that there is a limit to my time and resources. Most of my life I could always do more. I often carried 21 credits in college and still spent time coloring pictures to avoid boredom. I have spent months at a time working 60 hours a week- at nights and evenings- while being a mom during the day while my husband went to school. And over the last 5 years devoted to growing a business only to find out that the larger business structure drove me nuts, so I changed tactics and brought it back home,,, which was doable for a while, but this year has been enough of a challenge already that the most precious (and new) egg in my basket deserves more then just glancing enjoyment. She deserves my devoted attention, and the other, older eggs do too. Family relationships are eternal. Money will all turn to dust.

Basically I am the sole mommy figure to 5 people and a devoted wife figure the the 6th. I do cathing and enemas, I read bedtime stories and chase after kids having autistic fits. I bake from scratch and love to create things from fabric. I spend weeks every year at the Mayo clinic and yet seldom see a doctor for myself. All day there is some one calling "Mom" and desiring my attention.

I have learned that my time is now valuable. Many people value it and almost all desire it. And yet I still like to give it away in droves to all who ask. That's what mommies do.

SuperMoms are those who can keep running their 5 K marathons because they have learned to pace themselves- and watch out for trees.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Professional Optimist

Raya Newbold
Professional Optimist and Empowerment Expert

"I believe YOU can do it!"

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Blessing Day

Today was Shannon's Blessing Day. So she is officially recorded on church records and we learn a bit about the plan her Heavenly Father has for her on Earth.

We were told that she was specifically sent to our family and ward. That He loves her attitude. That she will have the strength to be a shining light and an example to others.

And that she will be loved and respected.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

thoughts of the day

Galen loves it when I read to him. His favorite bed time story is Dr Suess's Sleep Book and he almost always falls asleep before it is over. And because getting him to sleep is one of our daily battles, I always willingly read it to him. So after about 500 times of reading it, I hardly even bother to open the book anymore. Galen brought it to me last night, while I was nursing Shannon, so I started reciting it with out opening the book. After about 7 pages in, he got me a book I don't know as well.

It was still Dr. Seuss, but the effect wasn't as immediate. AS you can see here, he actually made it out to my chair before falling asleep.

Here are the most recent pictures of Shannon. I was trying to get her to smile for you, but she wiggles when she smiles and that made for blurry pictures.

And finally..... what do you a group of boys?

You have a gaggle of geese, a pride of lions, a streak of tigers, a herd of cattle, a giggle of girls. For a group of boys, it is a "mess".

And here is a wonderful picture of a mess of boys sleeping on our couch.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

PIcs de jour and thoughts about clothes

Shannon is an angel and starting to look more like an older baby then a newborn. She weighs 13 pounds and is 24.5" long. And she actually slept a whole 6 hours (in a row) last night. Wow- that means I got to sleep 5 1/2 hours in a row last night!

I noticed today that the little dress she is wearing is about the 2nd most worn item she has owned. I like analyzing what clothes people actually wear and why they do. To me, designing a piece of clothing that people will wear until there is nothing but bare threads is the ideal. It means that my clothes was loved while it was on.

So anyways.... this is about the 4th or 5th time Shannon has worn this striped pink dress. And the there are several reasons why it has that many wearings. 1. It is cute and very girly. 2. It was bought used for $.99 off of eBay so I don't have to worry about staining it or wearing it out. 3. It fits, at first as a dress, and now as a shirt over pants.

So in general it is the design of the dress and then the lack of worry about it.

Kinda fascinating.... kinda says a lots for pre-used clothing.

And on that same line of thought... I talked with Karen of Wild Rose Farm and she was telling me that she is going to change business, do more food farming and less clothes sewing. And one reason why is because at many of the art fairs so goes to, she gets people in her booth her stop by and say "HI, I already have a jacket and a rug and love them." But they don't buy more, because the jacket and rug don't wear out.

I have a nice handful of jackets from her, and they do not wear out. I have, however, worn some of her skirts and pants enough to literally wear them out- after 5 years of hard use.

Come to think of it, about 1/2 my wardrobe is from Karen. More then 1/2 in the maternity suitcase.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It is so humid, my clothes won't dry on the lines.
It is 70 outside and the dew point is 66.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I am sorry. I have taken no pictures of Shannon today, even though she wore a very cute little pink bubble with a turtle attached to it. I spent all day driving my kids crazy. You see, turn about is fair play.

I brought my oldest boys to Italian Camp today. After a nice little 2.5 hour trip. They got to show off their passportos and choose a namo Italiano. Galen at this point was looking downwards and muttering that he wanted everyone to speak English. But with enough coaching he ended up with the namo of Galileo and Ewan choose Vittorio. Rochester, who also is at camp with them instantly picked up on the non-verbal cues and choose Italo for himself.

Then we had to go through all the signing in including nurse's check, painting namo tags and customs- looking for anything in English.

Grandpa Nathan helped Galen settle into his bunk and make his bed. By the time we were ready to leave Galen and Ewan felt comfortable enough to kiss me good bye and then run off to play.

I can't wait to hear more about camp. I hope it is a shear and utter blast for all involved.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

a natural model

Look at that beautiful baby girl, showing off 100% organic clothes, as only a cutie could.

First Shannon is modeling an outfit that is so new it is not even on my website yet. Next she is wearing a pink striped organic cotton footie.

And then she sports the soft and lovely organic cotton fleece Sunny Footie and hat.