Christmas at the Davises – 2015

I have lots of fun pictures to share…

For some reason, they are not loading in order. Sorry!

Christmas morning!

Christmas morning!

Random dinnertime picture.

Random dinnertime picture.

At any given time, this is what our hallway looks like. (Where the coats, hats and gloves and such are stored.)

At any given time, this is what our hallway looks like. (Where the coats, hats and gloves and such are stored.)

Trying to get the vaseline out with corn starch. Ugh - what a waste of time and supplies. But the cradle cap is better!

Trying to get the vaseline out with corn starch. Ugh – what a waste of time and supplies. But the cradle cap is better!

She was happy enough to let me play with her hair and scratch at her scalp while she sucked a lolipop.

She was happy enough to let me play with her hair and scratch at her scalp while she sucked a lolipop.

Carolyn had cradle cap pretty bad and I thought I'd try something less drippy than coconut oil or other oils.... I tried Vaseline. Foolish, foolish, woman that I am.

Carolyn had cradle cap pretty bad and I thought I’d try something less drippy than coconut oil or other oils…. I tried Vaseline. Foolish, foolish, woman that I am.

Jordan is about to sneeze.... (laughs)

Jordan is about to sneeze…. (laughs)

Carolyn with Santa!

Carolyn with Santa!

Maggie

Maggie

Carolyn again

Carolyn again

Jordan

Jordan

Carolyn

Carolyn

Anna

Anna

x-ray time. no break!

x-ray time. no break!

Rope ladder!

Rope ladder!

Carolyn in her new pjs... they are adorable and she wears them all the time.

Carolyn in her new pjs… they are adorable and she wears them all the time.

Great-Grandma Hooge made us matching aprons!

Great-Grandma Hooge made us matching aprons!

The bunk bed box fell on Maggie's foot and she limped, so we took her in for an x-ray to make sure it wasn't broken.

The bunk bed box fell on Maggie’s foot and she limped, so we took her in for an x-ray to make sure it wasn’t broken.

Jordan got a new bedspread and weighted blanket for Christmas too... it's not all in this pic, though.

Jordan got a new bedspread and weighted blanket for Christmas too… it’s not all in this pic, though.

2 goats, 15 chickens, 4 ducks, 3 sheep, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 4 kids, 2 grownups. Big messes and good times.

2 goats, 15 chickens, 4 ducks, 3 sheep, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 4 kids, 2 grownups. Big messes and good times.

Bee hives getting assembled.

Bee hives getting assembled.

School morning.

School morning.

Carolyn strikes again!

Carolyn strikes again!

Baaaaaa

Baaaaaa

Jordan's turn for Christmas presents!

Jordan’s turn for Christmas presents!

Mom and Dad selfie.

Mom and Dad selfie.

Where I can often be found: in my sanctuary. This is also where we do homeschool.

Where I can often be found: in my sanctuary. This is also where we do homeschool.

Self-henna.

Self-henna.

Baaaaaaa

Baaaaaaa

Bedroom finished! (Except for personal curtains around each bed.)

Bedroom finished! (Except for personal curtains around each bed.)

Christmas bedroom makeover! Their room was not very functional and we were excited to fix it up.

Christmas bedroom makeover! Their room was not very functional and we were excited to fix it up.

Getting Lego sets for Christmas!

Getting Lego sets for Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Carolyn!!!

Merry Christmas, Carolyn!!!

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Lack of Updates

Sometimes all the everyday stuff that goes on in my heart and mind can’t be put into little facebook updates or even coherently blogged about. But we are doing well and life is full. More details than that haven’t coalesced into something I could share for several months. I miss blogging, but can’t seem to figure out how to start. Being able to write clearly requires being able to think clearly. And feel clearly. Maybe the trouble lies in there somewhere. I am growing. And that’s my update.

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Everyday Life!

Carolyn put all her special blankies on Rose. Rosie is such a sweet old doggie.

Carolyn put all her special blankies on Rose. Rosie is such a sweet old doggie.

We're still doing school most mornings.

We’re still doing school most mornings.

.

Lookie! My bee hive! It needs assembled and a coat of oil, but I am excited!

Lookie! My bee hive! It needs assembled and a coat of oil, but I am excited!

The sheep mowed the back lawn in just a few days. Just bought some hay!

The sheep mowed the back lawn in just a few days. Just bought some hay!

Hello, Brownie! Their names are Brownie, Spot, and El Senor.

Hello, Brownie! Their names are Brownie, Spot, and El Senor.

They Handsome sheepies.

They Handsome sheepies.

I find them very pretty. Watching them on pretty sunny days like this one makes me want to get back into drawing.

I find them very pretty. Watching them on pretty sunny days like this one makes me want to get back into drawing.

Jordan's bedroom... perfect for him. Swing (that he falls asleep in two out of three nights and we carry him to bed) his bed with a weighted blanket (that he throws on the floor anyway) and a heated mattress pad... a mirror and light-blockign windows. He has a lock on his light switch.

Jordan’s bedroom… perfect for him. Swing (that he falls asleep in two out of three nights and we carry him to bed) his bed with a weighted blanket (that he throws on the floor anyway) and a heated mattress pad… a mirror and light-blockign windows. He has a lock on his light switch.

Maggie had a verrrry heavy box fall over on top of her. Her foot is still sore, but nothing is broken.

Maggie had a verrrry heavy box fall over on top of her. Her foot is still sore, but nothing is broken.

There was a free Special Needs Christmas Party near us and it was just a treat! They had gifts for the kids, pizza for everybody, the high school jazz club singing and more. It was sweet and special and touching. Only negative moment was when a lady didn’t want to give me more than one sliver of pizza (sliver – truly tiny) because she wanted there to be enough for all the kids. Umm….. but not their mothers? haha Funny!

Anna - aka Too Old for all this Santa Stuff, but enjoying the party anyway.

Anna – aka Too Old for all this Santa Stuff, but enjoying the party anyway.

Carrie - aka Miss Adorable Sweetums

Carrie – aka Miss Adorable Sweetums

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Jordan - aka Mister Booger-Factory who loves music and ice cream.

Jordan – aka Mister Booger-Factory who loves music and ice cream.

Carolyn ran right up on stage to jingle bells when kids were invited.

Carolyn ran right up on stage to jingle bells when kids were invited.

Maggie - aka Look Fierce For Every Picture girl

Maggie – aka Look Fierce For Every Picture girl

Santa gave each child a present!!!

Santa gave each child a present!!!

So funny - this is the best picture I could get.... and Jordan is about to sneeze!

So funny – this is the best picture I could get…. and Jordan is about to sneeze!

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Farming!

We are farmers now!

We have:
16 chickens (including one rooster)
4 Muscovy ducks (probably 2 males and 2 females)
2 Nigerian Dwarf Goats (both six-year-old wethers)
3 Katahdin hair sheep (1 yearling ram and 2 three-year-old ewes)
2 dogs (unknown breed… Carolyn will tell you that Ruby is the biggest and waggiest, though)
1 cat (mighty hunter)
4 children (they count, right?)
And a whole lotta mud.

Eating grain treats

Eating grain treats

White = Wallace Brown = Grommet

White = Wallace
Brown = Grommet

The two females are shown here - they don't look to be too heavily pregnant yet.

The two females are shown here – they don’t look to be too heavily pregnant yet.

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The dark Muscovy

The dark Muscovy

And the three white ones!

And the three white ones!

The goats are very friendly

The goats are very friendly

The sheep are skittish

The sheep are skittish

Female sheep on left, male on right.

Female sheep on left, male on right.

Thanks, Anna, for taking pictures!

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Updates from Rachel

Hello!

I have so much going on in my head and heart (as usual) but have not been in blogland for a long time. Let’s see… what’s been going on.

– Antidepressants
– Mind control (haha)
– Parents
– Charity
– Brother
– Homeschooling
– Jordan
– Bunk beds
– Amnesia (just kidding – I think)
– Ummmmmmmmmm

So – not a lot of clear thought happening here, that is true! So I’ll just ramble on.

In September, I felt/thought my mental health was at a point where it was possible to try going off antidepressants. While it was a great benefit to me to take antidepressants, the side effects came with it. Side effects: feeling over-mellow/subdued emotions (even the good ones) and lack of responsiveness to my dear wonderful husband. It created such a place of emotional safety, that even the happy excitement of a good snuggle, exciting trip, etc. etc. only came through as awareness that I should be feeling something. It was not a way I wanted to live forever.

I have been on a journey of self-awareness and mental self control that has grown me into a slightly more mature individual. When I experience anxiety or sadness, I now find myself asking “Why am I feeling this way?” and getting to the root of things. If I am honest with myself and secure in my faith in a good God, then I can overcome a great deal of emotional anxiety and depression. It’s a pretty exciting and powerful feeling. Now, I am still a woman (cough) and I do still get wobbly and cry for no reason, but it is better than it once was. Anyhow – to get to the point at last, I dropped from 3 pills to 2 pills in September. (side effects – a couple days of stronger emotions, then several weeks of foggy headedness.) In October, I dropped from 2 pills to 1 pill (side effects – I felt like MYSELF – it’s been wonderful!). Last weekend, I dropped the last pill and I can report a few days of emotional upheaval, but I am hopeful that things will iron out with some time and patience. We will see.

Next thing that comes to mind is my parents arriving home from Uganda at the end of October and the juxtaposition of their experiences in Uganda with our family vacation to Disneyland. I am thrilled to be spending time with my parents again and having opportunities to share our hearts and experiences with each other. My parents are some of the bravest people I know and are genuine, loving, generous and adventurous people. What a cool thing to be their daughter! Speaking of international travelers (which seems like something that should not be said in the same paragraph as anybody in my family…. believe it or not), my brother and his sweetheart just hopped on a plane with her cat, no less, to spend some years of their lives in Greece and France! Yeah! No kidding!

Despite going to Disneyland without Jordan (which felt wrong, even if it was the right choice), we had a really, really fun time with the kids and my sister’s family. It was time to play and have special times…. and we certainly did that.

I am happy to be home and regrouping… getting back into homeschooling and housekeeping and prepping for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are a bit behind with homeschool… not sure how much, since I haven’t mapped out the whole year, but we seem to be on the right track with things. Maggie (grade K/1st) is just beginning to read on her own and is doing just fine with her first grade math book. Anna (3rd grade) is reading, writing, journaling, mathing (ha), and a good little schoolgirl. We get to go to AWANA club and art and gymnastics out of the house and it’s all a real treat for me to see them experiencing. Carolyn is 3 and is master of the adorable interruption. :-)

I am really looking forward to redoing the girls’ bedroom and getting them all some personal spaces instead of all communal areas. Shh, don’t tell them. It’s a little hard for me to figure out a reasonable budget for this project. It’s hard for me to figure out how much money to spend on any non-essential project, really. I find my heart continually torn between my desires and the needs of other people. Like people who are hungry. Being internationally connected means that my world and the other worlds on this planet are messily merged. On on hand I know that it is a great thing to make a room more comfortable and appropriate. On the other hand, I see our richness with more clarity than is comfortable. Do you know what posho is? It’s a ground flour/starch thing with the nutritional value something like white rice. It doesn’t taste like much, but it’s a good inexpensive carb for those who can’t afford much. But imagine having only posho to feed your kids… no meat, no beans, no rice, no vegetables, nothing but posho. It makes it kind of hard to put fancy groceries like crackers, hamburger, apples… you know… good healthy foods into my cupboard in such abundance. Even though it is good to feed my family wholesome food, I could certainly do it more simply and cheaply. Should I? Welcome to my brain.

Guess what!? Jordan has his first loose tooth. He’s 6 1/2 years old. He has a fantastic school with awesome teachers and is downstairs banging on the piano and shrieking about something (hopefully not getting naked and peeing on stuff) in the other room. He’s my little guy and I’m proud to be his mama.

Ok folks – that’s enough rambling from me. I don’t really know what I’m talking about anyway. My head is spinning a bit from vertigo and I didn’t sit down with anything I wanted to communicate… except that I’m still here and life is still full.

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