Thursday, April 27, 2006

Where do the Morels grow?

I love morel mushrooms. I haven't had them for years (decades?) though. So I was looking forward to finding lots of them here at the 100 acre woods. Learning about and searching for morels has been our science lessons. We got books about wild mushrooms. I had no clue how many edible ones there are. I have only had morels. We read about the best places and times to find morels. When Kellen's grandpa was here he showed Kellen several spots that would be good for hunting. (It was before the season)

Kellen has hunted. The family has hunted. No morels or any other edible mushroom. I am still enjoying the hunt. It is great to be outside this time of year and I have found others things of interest. I think the best thing we have found are wild iris'. They are very tiny (compared to other iris') and so delicate and beautiful. I want to dig some up and move them closer to the house in the fall. But I digress. . . Kellen has given up on the Morels. Do they grow here?

The books say they grow in all regions of the country. Dad said he mentioned mushrooms to the neighbor, who has lived here his whole life. I forget what the exact response was but I do remember it was not enthusiastic. I have a cookbook that is about eating and using the plants and animals of West Virginia. The author includes three types of mushrooms, including the morel. She is from another part of the state, but finds enough to dry and use year round!

We have been looking near the trails so I am wondereing if someone isn't beating us to the mushrooms. This property was "community rec" land (no one lived here) before we bought it. Change comes slow.

So we continue the search!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Kellen & Vivian

Well I know you are not supposed to compare your kids. Why is that does anyone know? I am sure it has to do with their self esteem and being an individual blah blah blah. I think it is only natural to compare/contrast your kids. Not in a "I wish you were more like your brother" way, but more in a we are family, you are a lot like your brother in this way but you also are unique b/c of this and that way. I think it also helps as a parent to see that Nolan is like Kellen in this way so this parenting technique that worked with Kellen might work with Nolan. Anyway. . .

Vivian is now 7 weeks old. It is amazing how quickly it has gone. I can't get over how similar her and Kellen are so far. They look alike. We found a picture of Kellen in a swing about the same age as Vivian is now. She looks just like him. Head full of black hair,(of course they all had that!) big eyes and long and skinny. It seems weird to describe a baby as long and skinny, but Kellen was and Vivian is. I remember when Kellen was in the car seat or other seat bunched up so you really couldn't see his whole body, people asked me if he was a premie. Not only was he full term, he weighed 9lbs. 9 oz! We did have some trouble starting nursing (lots of reasons, long story) so he did lose a little more weight than your normal newborn, but certainly never to premie size! I haven't had anyone think Vivian was a premie, but many have been shocked when they find out she weighed 8lbs 10oz. They always think she was a tiny baby. Kellen started to plump around 2 1/2 - 3 mos old. (Vivian is starting to a bit now) but compared to other babies the same age he was always long and skinny. He still is!

They act like each other too. The best way to describe them(as babies) is high maintence! Vivian is a bit easier to console, but I think had she been born under the same circumstances as Kellen (first child, difficult birth, time in nicu, moving ect) she would be just as difficult as he was. They both would nurse forever, have very loud cries that they use frequently, want to be held constantly, often not content to just be held, but want to be moving also (you'd think I would losing weight like crazy for all the walking!), take cat naps, love to sleep with mom & dad and, love to ride in the car. It makes it hard to get anything done! Luckily Vivian likes the sling. I didn't try it much with Kellen, but have used it more and more with each child. Vivian spends almost all of her non eating, awake time in the sling. It is also the best way I have found to get her to go to sleep during the day. I don't know how anyone with multiple children survives with out a sling!

So those are by observations of Vivian's first seven weeks. She may turn out to be nothing like Kellen as she gets older or maybe they will stay a lot alike. Kellen is funny. He is so proud that Vivian is a lot like him. She was crying loudly one day and he asked me why she cried so much and of course I explained that is how babies tell us they need/want something. Then I told him he was a lot like that at the same age. He has heard me make other comparisons too. He gets this proud look on his face. He loves to be the big brother!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Opie Turns 30

Today is Tim's big 30! Recently Tim's boss said he looked like Opie. (See his blog) It is true Tim has (and always will?) a baby face. He is a big kid too in a lot of ways. I think he is having a hard time believing he is 30! Anyway if you have a chance why don't you leave him a birthday message here or on his blog (link is to the right)? Have a great day! Happy birthday Tim!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Are we nuts?

Well I think you would all agree the answer is yes we are for many reasons. One more to add to the list, we with our four kids including a 6 week old, decided to, got ready for and left for a four and 1/2 hour trip to Akron all within an hour and a half.

Tim was off Friday and we got some work done around the house and had Ashley and Miles over in the evening and overnight. Our plan Saturday was to go shopping for ceiling fans and other house hold things. As we are getting ready to go shopping mom comes and tells us Jake is not doing better. There have been some issues with the care at the hospital (I will leave that for Delilah to explain) and they are thinking of moving him to Cleveland Clinic. Dad also was out of his meds b/c he did not expect to be staying so long. Tim and I decided in about 5 minutes to go and were on the road in about an hour and a half.

We are in Akron now. We saw Jake yesterday he seemed better (than what I had heard), but today is worse again and Delilah says there has been no real improvement over all, he has only gotten worse since he has been there. Mastoiditis (sp?) has now been diagnosed. Delilah has done research on this and it is very rare (0.4%) in adults. This is what caused the meningitis. Care issues continue to be a problem and it has been very frustrating for everyone, especially Delilah. She has decided to move him to Cleveland Clinic and we are now waiting for a room assignment and transport.

More news as I get it.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Ohio News

Part One
Good news! Jake is still in the hospital, but is finally starting to improve. He is able to keep liquids down and well other things that were not working are starting to move. :)

Part Two
I don't think Tim or I have blogged any updates about our house in Ohio. We had the house sold. We had a good price and were just waiting for the closing. We didn't hear much from the title company for awhile and then get a call from them that the bank wants to close now. Long story short the whole family had to run to Huntington twice to get the papers signed, notarized, faxed and overnighted. Then we get a call that the buyer is backing out, then he is back in, our realtor says they buyer's realtor says the buyer has signed all the papers (both realtors work in the same company) - DEAL ON! Next day we are getting conflicting reports from the realtor and the title company. Chip (our realtor) says he is also getting conflicting reports. He will try to figure out what is going on.

Apparently, the buyer did sign all the papers, everything was done and then he got upset about something (we aren't sure exactly what happened) and the mortgage company let him out of the deal, which never happens. Chip and his lawyer (the company's?) have contacted the buyer to put the pressure on. He has broken a legal contract. For now we are in limbo.

We have been told we could sue the buyer, bank and title company. I hate the "sue happy" culture we live in, but it may come to that. We have been losing money on the house for six months b/c we have left one unit vacant to be able to show the house, and we continue to lose money. We had a good price for the house which we may or may not be able to get again. And mostly we just want to be finished with the house. And it drags on . . .

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Update on Jake

The Dr is calling what Jake has symptomatic viral meningitis. He is still in a lot of pain, unable to eat anything and his bowels have shut down. Since it is viral there is no real treatment but to try to keep him comfortable and wait it out. There is no time estimate for the waiting it out either. They have told Delilah it is day by day to see how it goes. More as I hear it!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


An update. I am getting this all second hand so sorry if I have some details wrong. I am not sure if Delilah will be able or want to post tonight.

If you don't know Jake started to feeling even worse than he had last week. Last night Delilah took him to the ER. The initial diagnosis was a blockage in his intestine. They thougth this was due to the intestine being swolen and admitted him for observation.

Today the poked and prodded and ran lots of tests. They now are thinking it is viral menangitis and are going to do a spinal tap to confirm. He is on a lot of medicine (morphine?). The last report this evening was that his fever is finally under control and he is starting to feel a little better and has been able to sleep.

Sorry this is the short version, but wanted to let you know. Please be praying!

Hillbilly Scouts

The imagination of children. It is so much fun to watch. How do we lose that creativity over the years? I have some theories, but that is not for this post! I am watching Kellen, Lydia and Nolan outside setting up for the "awards ceremony" Kellen has come up with. A little background to the story. . .

Kellen and Pac (the dog) are out in the woods almost everyday. Lydia sometimes goes with them. There are old logging roads that go just about everywhere on property. Kellen normally opts to slide down the "holler" and walk back the roads. He knows how to get around the property better than I do, maybe better than any of us.

One weekend when Ashley and Miles (my niece and nephew) were down, Kellen led them down the "holler" and Miles got hurt. Not badly at all, but it scared Ashley who came back for my mom & I. (the guys were someplace else) Well the new rule after that was when Ashley and Miles are here they all must stay on the paths. We explained to Kellen that 1) Miles and Ashley were not used to hollow climbing and ridge running and 2) they are, to put it nicely, out of shape.

Then Tim's parents have been down. Gail prefers to walk only flat paths, (We have a couple!) but Kellen took Jeff hollow climbing and ridge running a couple of times. Jeff has a funny story about sliding down the hollow!

The last time they were here Kellen came up with a point and ranking system for hollow climbing and ridge running. He ranked the whole family according to ability and hours put in. Everyone was "awarded" a level. The rankings weren't entirely accurate in my opinion, but he is only 7! He and Tim were at level six. There is a level seven, but as "no human can achieve level seven, " Pac is the only one there.

We have been talking about getting Kellen involved in Cub Scouts. He has been reading Tim's old Boy Scout manual. Last night Tim & Kellen went to an informational meeting.

Ok today Kellen is getting ready for an awards ceremony. He is now inside making awards, the current one is the Arrow of Light award. It has a green background with a yellow arrow. The outside is ready for the ceremony. There is a stage (vehicle trailer), with steps (concrete blocks), a refreshment table with snacks & drinks, and chairs for the audience.

All day I have been thinking this is about Hollow Climbing, but I have been informed that it is so much more. This is Hillbilly Scouts awards! There are awards (and licenses) for hollow climbing, creek wading and hillbilliness. Kellen wants to be a hillbilly, though I don't think he really understands what that means! :) It should be an interesting ceremony this afternoon!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Get it Out of the House!

No this blog is not about some creature Kellen has found in the woods. It is about my lack of will power when it come to sweets! I love all sweets. Of course I have my favorites, ice cream and cheese cake, but I really love them all. I like homemade, store bought, candies, cookies, cake, ice cream, pudding, you name it. I can only think of a couple sweets I don't like - black licorice and I don't like coconut so German chocolate cake is out.

I am not satisfied with a bite or two either. I want a large serving and have been known to pick a things like brownies until they are gone. I have no will power. I know it. My solution is to just keep the stuff out of my house. I rarely buy sweets. Honestly I do not miss them when I don't have them, but when they are here, they are gone. If we get a sweet tooth craving Tim and I will whip up some no bake cookies. We (just Tim and I no kids) usually eat at least half of them the night we make them.

This is usually a good arrangement, but every now and then I find my house filled with sweets. Last weekend we had cake and ice cream for my birthday and then the kids went to an Easter party and came home with bags of candy. I have been surrounded by sugar! When there are sweets in the house Tim refuses to take any of them to work. The kids would eat it non stop, but of course I do not allow that. (maybe I should though, they can afford the extra calories!) So who does that leave to eat it . . . me! I actually had cake for breakfast one morning! I have been eating sugar all week. The cake is gone, there is only a little candy and ice cream left. Just when I think it is about to end. . . my mom brings over part of a pan of brownies! Thanks mom! Just what I needed! I think she was trying to get them out of her house so she wouldn't eat them! :)

Have a great weekend all!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Catch up

It seems to be a common theme in this family's blogs, but man where did the time go? We had family here the last two weekends and it has been busy busy. The weather has been great (mostly) and we have spent a lot of time outside. I checked my email this morning and there were 70+ emails. Most of these are generated by yahoo groups I belong to (freecycle, homeschooling, homesteading and cooking groups). I usually keep up with these daily so it had been awhile since I sat down at the computer. I really shouldn't be here now. As always there is laundry and dishes waiting for me, but I thought I would leave a quick update on life since my last post.

-Vivian sleeping - well it hasn't changed much for the most part. (She did do much better last night though. I am hoping this is the start of something), but my attitude has changed about it. I am not so frustrated. I can only say I believe it is from me leaning on the Lord more. (previous post)

-Tim's parents were here Thursday - Saturday after several reschedules due to illness. The kids were so excited and we all had a good time.

-Vivian turned one month old! I can't believe it has been a month already.

-I turned 35.

-We have been to the Dr twice with Vivian. It is a long story, maybe I will post about it later. Short and to the point. They were concerned about her weight. I wasn't b/c similar issues with the other kids. They aren't concerned now. FYI Her billirubin is still high, but significantly lower than it was and the Drs. aren't concerned.

-Eric is officially living in WV now.

-Our van was fixed, then it broke, now it is fixed again.

-We have decided Nolan has entered the terrible twos. ( 1 1/2 months early) I will post on this in more detail later.

I would also like to post more on the kids adjustment to the baby and I never posted Extreme Personalities for Kellen. Lots of material here, just not lots of time.