Friday, April 20, 2012


Anyone who knows me well, knows that I don't like live chickens.  I can watch them from a distance, but if I am too close to them and they can have access to my body...I get the creeps.  I honestly start to get scared and wigged out.  But...Andy and the girls wanted chickens.  They wanted to raise them and get eggs and eventually eat the chickens.  I agreed with the egg and meat part, but not the "having chickens" part.  We reached an agreement--they would feed and care for the chickens, collect the eggs and all that.  I would wash the eggs and cook everything once it's away from the living chickens. 

(sorry the pics are sideways, and Mikayla is like me and won't touch them)

So we got 6 chickens.  When we got them from our friend, they were only a few days old.  Now they are almost 6 weeks old and much bigger than this.  They look like chickens, not cute, fuzzy chicks.  It was time for a new home.  Our friend Tom, who gave us the chicks, came over and helped us build a coop the other day.  We put up a fence and got it all ready for them, then released them into their enclosure.  It was quite funny.  Their new home is about 20' from our steers' pasture, and the steers are afraid of them!  I can SO relate.   Anyway, we aren't yet sure how many are hens or roosters, but next week we'll get another 6 baby chicks and start the process again.  Once they are big enough, they'll be released with the others and we'll hopefully end up with 6-8 laying hens.  The group we have now should start laying in July.  I admit it's cool to watch them run around in their pen, but other than that, I can't wait until July when I can stop buying eggs!

Still Sick...Plus 1

So in case you're wondering why I fell off the wagon again after proclaiming I wouldn't...I'm still sick.  Yep, it's been over a month.  My sick from before was labelled by the doc as "basically influenza minus the body aches" and since I had a flu shot, they didn't test for it.  Whatever.  It was a different doc than I normally see.  She gave me an inhaler and some cough syrup with codeine.  I was sick for about 3 weeks before it started turning into sinus crap.  After 2 days of sinus pain and pressure, I went in and it was indeed now a sinus infection.  Yuck.  I did what I was told and was finally feeling better at almost the 4 week mark.  Then Mikayla came down with strep throat (as did 4 people in 2 of my daycare families, who shared it with her) and a viral croup-type cough at the same time.  I got the croup type thing only 5 days after starting to feel better.  Mikayla is on day 8 of 10 of her antibiotics, and I'm able to breathe again.  Let's hope this is the END!!!  I'm incredibly sick of being sick.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hey're LATE!

Today is the first official day of Spring.  I get that.  But this year has been anything but normal in the weather-department.  Our winter was dry and either -20 or 45 above, not much of that in-between stuff.  Then our one and only true snow fall of the year was on Feb 29, when we got 15" of snow.  It was a beautiful, fun, wet snow that lasted all of about 6 days.  By March 10 we were in the 50s and we've already hit 80 twice so far this past week.  Our average high right now is in the low-to-mid-40s, and we aren't even that low for overnights.  Insane for where we live, I tell you.   The ice is out on most area lakes already, when the law for removing ice-houses from lakes is "the first Sunday following March 12".  This year, people would have been in a lot of danger had they waited for the first Sunday following March 12, which was this past Sunday when we sat at 79 degrees.  I'm quite worried that this will continue into the summer and it will be a horrid, hot summer.  However, a meteorologist that I casually know told me just the other day that this year is setting up like 2 other times in history, and in both of those years the spring was warm and active for storms, but July-September was cooler than average and less stormy.  I hope that's the case, because this year has just been the most bizarre weather.  But I know there's nothing we can do about it but wait and see, and hope and pray.


I have been sick.  Not pukey sick, but coughing until I think I'm going to pass out because I cannot catch my breath sick.  I went in to the doctor after 4 days of it, telling them I'd see whomever was available.  The doc (whom I'd never seen nor heard of) listened to me breathe, took my temp and blood pressure and proclaimed it a virus that perfectly mimics influenza minus the body aches.  Since I'd had my flu shot, there was no sense in testing for influenza.  Then she told me that it could turn into pneumonia, or bronchitis, and it would probably take about 3 weeks to feel 100% again.  An inhaler and cough syrup with codeine were prescribed and I was out the door. 

Well.  Let me tell you that 6 days later (10 days into the whole ordeal) I'm still coughing like I can't catch my breath, and I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest most of the time.  I get light-headed from all the coughing, but when I'm not actively coughing I feel fine (minus the elephant and all).  I've never had anything like this before.  So I guess if you're the praying type, please say a prayer that I either feel better REAL soon or know for sure that I need to be seen again if it's progressed to something that needs further care.  I'm terrible about waiting things out and not knowing when I need to be seen, because I always say "just one more day and I'll go in".  I'm just too busy to be running the 30+ mins to the doctor for each thing.  I need to be healthy.  I need to have energy again.  Last night was the first real meal I've given my family in over a week and it was obvious--everyone got excited when they saw I had stuff out for dinner!  How sad.  That was enough to almost break my heart because I LOVE cooking and baking for my family, and for the past week they've existed on sandwiches, cereal, oatmeal, frozen pizza and 1 night of take-out.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Are you there Readers? It's me, Candy

Hi.  I'm still alive, I promise.  I kinda fell off the face of the blogging earth for the last few months.  I was busy with a lot of stuff, but I'd tell myself, "I'll get the blog caught up tomorrow."  Then three weeks later I'd yell at *myself for not doing it, promise I'd do it the next day, rinse and repeat.  Sorry. 

I'm REALLY going to try to work harder at updating the blog.  I love blogging not just for my readers, but for myself.  It's such a fun way to record our happenings and history to later look back on.  Today I'm not going to do a big, in-depth review of the last 3 months.  That would just be too hard and too much.  I will, however, hit the highlights of what's been happening and really try harder to keep things up to date from here on out.  So here is what we've been up to:

*Christmas programs for all 3 girls at school
*Christmas program at church, including Alayna playing a saxophone solo for the first time ever (she started playing in October

*The girls and I went with my mom and some friends to see Rodger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella.  Mikayla, in particular, loved it because it was her first big play/show!
*We got some new calves
*Christmas in all it's glory with lots of fun gatherings, church services and yummy foods
*Mikayla turned a whole hand full!  She's now the proud owner of 5 years of life.

*Alayna turned 11!
*I went scrapbooking for a weekend away with friends
*We went to see The Lion King!  Mikayla is in love with all things lion and Lion King, and she was enthralled with the entire show.
*Mikayla and Lilly started 8 weeks of swimming lessons
*We got more new calves, bringing our total up to 5 babies and 3 big steers
*Lots of Saturdays spent at basketball tournaments for Alayna
*Wonderful report cards were sent home for all 3 girls!

*More basketball tournaments, finally ending the end of the month
*Alayna won the 5th grade spelling bee and progressed to the school-wide bee, where she came in 2nd overall (first place was an 8th grader)
*Alayna also participated in Battle of the Books, where teams are given a bag of books to read and then tested on.  Her team placed third
*Lilly passed Level 1 swimming and Mikayla passed pre-school aquatics
*Big snow-storm that dumped 14" of snow on us, resulting in the only snow-day of the year since there's been little to no snow all year

So that's the gist of what's been going on.  I'm really going to try to stay caught up, but if I fall behind, don't be afraid to give me a shake and yell at me!  Please?!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


The last few years, I've done a daily Thankful post on Facebook for the month of November.  I have so much to be thankful for and am truly blessed in my life.  I feel like all too often, we get caught up with life and sometimes what we don't have, and forget to focus on what we do have.  I tried to post something each day (though I missed some because I'm seldom on the computer on a weekend) that I was thankful for, some days I posted two.  Some of those things were serious, some were funny, some were weird.  Here is the list, copied from Facebook:

Today I'm thankful for chocolate.

Today I'm thankful that after almost 15 yrs together, and lots of ups and downs, I still love Andy like crazy.

I'm thankful that not all of my dreams come true--last night's was strange, irritating, and quite frankly, it pissed me off.

I'm thankful that I am the mom to 3 beautiful, intelligent, funny, exasperating, dramatic, loving, crazy girls. I love you bigger than the universe, Alayna, Lilly and Mikayla!

Today I'm thankful for craft fairs and time with friends.

I'm thankful for all 4 of my wonderful, loving Grandparents. 3 of them have gone on to a better place, and one remains here on earth. However, today I'm especially thinking of my Grampa L. It's very fitting that today we celebrate All Saints Sunday on the first birthday we will have without him. Happy Birthday, Grampa!

Today, I'm thankful that I don't forget my contacts in my eyes every night! I totally forgot about them last night and woke up with itchy, red, goopy eyes and had to literally peel them off my eyeballs this morning! Ack!

I'm thankful for music. I love just about every kind, and listen to a wide variety on a regular basis. I've always got something playing or in my head. It plain makes me happy

I'm thankful my dishwasher at least gets the dishes clean, because it sure isn't "QuietGuard" like it says it should be. It's only 3 yrs old and SO loud.

I'm thankful for great friends and lasting friendships.

I'm thankful for my freedom and for those who fight, or have fought, to maintain those freedoms.

I’m thankful for my parents.  Thank you, Mom, for asking me if you could have the kids tonight. They will have a blast, and I REALLY needed a date night to get my mind off of a stressful week.

I'm thankful for fun socks. I can be having a crappy day or wearing the most blah outfit, but having colorful, funky socks just makes it all better.

I'm thankful I'm seldom sick (our whole family, actually). Last night was tough with my body aches and sore throat. :-(

Today, I'm thankful for 9-0!!!

I'm thankful my dishwasher is fixed and QUIET again! Woohoo! Had a local repairman come.

I'm thankful for a sturdy, warm house as we head into the winter months. I realize many are not so lucky.

I'm thankful for great books and movies that I can escape into. shall be Breaking Dawn. :-)

Thankful for naps.

I'm thankful for our local dairy co-op! Just a few miles down the road, I can buy all my milk, cheese and butter, knowing that it comes from local farmers. And the cheese is PHENOMENAL

I'm thankful for our little country church and all who worship there. We truly are like a big family.

I'm thankful for traditions.

I'm thankful for our wonderful pets, who bring us such joy--Sunny and Marley (dogs); Coonie, Sid, Mulan and Sleeping Beauty (aka Squirrel--all outdoor cats); and Belle, Chief, Bingo and Chloe (horses).

I'm thankful for warm, fuzzy jammies...and so are my kids! They had pajama day at school yesterday and thought it was the best thing ever!

I'm thankful for a day to slow down and reflect on all the blessings in our lives. As an aside, I'm also thankful that Urgent Care is open today--Mikayla's been up since 3 with an ear infection. I'm going on 4 hrs awake already at 7am...

I'm thankful for a great day with great friends.

I'm thankful for such a fun, busy, great weekend that I had no time to update my status!

I'm thankful my headache is gone, after about 20 hrs of it's wonderful presence.

I'm thankful for the elderly couple up the road, who every year put out a great lighting display for Christmas. My girls just LOVE going by there several times a week to look at the lights. I just made them a card to thank them for the lights and let them know how much we appreciate it! Now, we're going to drive by the house and get their address so I can send it (and hope the post office will give me their last name, so I can address it properly. We don't know them at all!)

Monday, November 7, 2011


 October was one of those months that felt like I went to bed on Monday and woke up on Friday.  We were so busy the entire month that it was hard to keep track of the days.  A lot of things happened, a lot of time passed.  And I was going to try to keep up with the blog better.  Ugh.  Oh well, here is a photo recap of the month.

 Lilly turned 7 on the 7th, which means it was her golden birthday!   She had 7 friends over for a party that included lots of outside play, a horse pinata, supper and cake.  They all had a blast!  (Marley also celebrated a birthday in Oct and it was her golden birthday, too!  3 on the 3rd!)
Lilly lost her first tooth on the top--literally lost it!  She doesn't like to pull her own teeth and will get them super loose, then have Dad pull them.  Unfortunately, he tied it with floss and when he made the knot tight to sever the last bit of whatever holding the tooth in, the tooth flew across the room!  Oops!  That was Friday and when we got to church Sunday, her best friend had lost the same tooth the night before!

 Alayna got an award through 4H for being the junior beef showmanship champion for the county.  She accepted the award in front of an auditorium of people and also has her name engraved on a plaque that hangs in the county 4H office.

 Alayna also got her braces off!  :-)

They girls didn't have school for a Wed-Fri in October, so we went on a mini-vacation to get some quality family time that had been lacking with all the busy-ness of the last several weeks.  We headed out Thursday morning for drive up to Ashland and around to Superior, where we stayed for the night.  We met up with our friends in Duluth for a visit to Enger Park and dinner.  Friday morning we woke up early to drive to Ely, MN, in the hopes of seeing a moose.  We didn't see one, but we still had a lot of fun driving around, checking out the shops, and playing at the park.  When we got back to Duluth, we did some shopping and then went swimming at the hotel.  Saturday morning my friend met us at the hotel with coffee for a visit, and we headed home late morning.  It was so nice to get some great family time!

The last weekend of October, we finally got our project day in!  We re-shingled our roof, put concrete in the barn, replaced my cracked picture window and cut down a tree in the yard that leaned toward the house.  It was so great to have everyone here, helping out and volunteering their time.  Thank you to everyone!

Of course, we ended the month with Halloween.  I don't know what's up with the picture, but I can't change it now.  Ugh.  Anyway, Mikayla was Belle, Lilly was Jasmine and Alayna was a punk-rocker.  The girls had a lot of fun and got WAY too much candy, but that's okay.  They already have plans for next year.  :-)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Girls Only!

Thanks to all the storms this summer and it being a normal fall, Daddy is now busy every weekend for about 2 months.  He's either shingling houses, doing farm work or putting up grain bins.  *sigh*  The girls and I just keep holding on, trying to find fun things to do and hoping Daddy will be done early on Sundays (which most Sundays he's been home around noon).  A few weeks ago, we decided to head to Duluth for the day.  I'm so glad that we did!

It was such a fun, beautiful day.  Duluth is usually cool, since it sits on the SW corner of Lake Superior, but it was in the 70s that day!  We have a family pass to the Minnesota Zoo, and it gives us reciprocity to the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth.  We started the day there, looking at all the fun animals and walking around the grounds, which include a great little hiking trail to a river and waterfall!

After the zoo, we ate our picnic lunch in the park next door.  The girls had a good time playing on the playground equipment once done eating, and I was attempting to keep my cool with all the seagulls that were invading my territory, hoping for some leftovers from our lunch.  I don't do well with wild birds that get too close.

When we were done playing, we headed to Enger Park.  Duluth is right on Lake Superior, and part of the city is at lake level while the rest rises above the city on a huge hill.  Enger Park is at the top of the hill and has a tall observation tower that you can climb.  At the top of the hill you can see for miles, but from the top of the tower it seems like you can see for days!  It's always a favorite place to visit in Duluth.  When we were there, there was one wedding party just leaving in limos, another was just arriving, and another party was taking pics overlooking the city.  The girls thought that was pretty cool to see all the brides and bridesmaids in their pretty dresses!

View from atop the tower (zoomed in quite a bit)

 View from the cliffs the tower is on (zoomed in quite a bit)

We were going to go into Canal Park, but I had checked with a friend and there weren't any ships coming into or leaving port for quite awhile.  So we just decided to head home.  We stopped for ice cream on the way home and then sang silly songs the majority of the drive home.  It was a great Girls Only day!

Our Youngest, Biggest Baby!

My youngest, biggest baby turns 3 today!  Marley has been such a wonderful dog.  I had wanted a Great Dane since I was about 10, so when Andy and the girls surprised me with tiny, itty bitty Marley almost 3 years ago, I was over the moon!  I am so in love with this dog.  She is gentle, she's fun, she's well behaved, she loves to play, she is protective of her family, she's smart as a whip, she's pretty...she also leaves piles in the yard the size of my foot, has some separation anxiety from me if I leave her too much (read--chews toilet paper) and drools all over right after she's been eating or drinking.  But we love her and life wouldn't be the same without her!  Happy (golden) Birthday, Marley!!  We love you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rain and Bows

Mikayla is still having quite a bit of storm anxiety.  She is especially worried if it gets really windy or rains.  However, I think we've hit a turning point.  All summer since the accident, she's been terrified of storms.  She cries, shakes, goes pale, almost hyper's extremely heart breaking as her parents, for us to not be able to help her and have to see her like that.  We have been teaching her to take deep breaths, snuggle a special blanket or toy (or person), say a prayer asking for help to get through the storm.  It seems to work sometimes, not so much other times.

While camping Labor Day weekend, a quick "storm" blew up on Sunday afternoon.  We were outside and could see the entire cloud, surrounded by sunlight.  It would be here and gone within 10 minutes.  As adults, we knew that.  But we couldn't explain that to Mikayla.  As the first raindrops started to fall, she started crying and ran to the camper.  I was just coming out after preparing dinner and I talked her into sitting under the canopy with everyone else.  She was scared, but she agreed.  We sat there while it rained for about 10 minutes--no wind, no thunder, no lightning.  The whole time, we made a big deal out of how brave she was being and how it was almost over.  Then, the rain stopped and this showed up:

It was perfect!  We could see the entire rainbow, plus the majority of a lighter, double rainbow above it.  Most of us had never seen such a bright rainbow, with colors so vivid we could even make out the purple!  Mikayla was convinced the rainbow was just for her, for being so brave.  We told her that rainbows only come out after the rain, and that there was no other way they could be in the sky.  Only after rain can they shine like that.  It was just what she needed!  Now we hope that the memory remains for the next storm--we haven't had rain in over a week, which for this summer is just a crazy long amount of time.