Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A mountain adventure...

This winter has been SO mild, like Springish mild, but I'm not complaining! There have been a few winter adventures, though, that Joel has taken the kids on. Several trips ice skating and a couple of trips to the mountains. I love to see the pictures he takes. The kids are both such explorers- it's just wonderful!

We are always so happy to see the adventurers return!
All for now, Jen

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Domestic life, lately.

Rooms rearranged.

Diapers, stuffed and folded.
Beef and barley soup. Yum.
Snacks, ready for the airplane.
Pantry cleaned out and organized.
Amelia, doing her job and learning to finish it, even when it isn't fun anymore.

Cornbread and taco soup. Mmm
Kitchen chores and baby
Basket of snacks on the go

Amelia, getting ready for company and excited about
the apple cider that came in our CSA share

There is so much that I like about domestic life. So much fulfillment that can come from a finished project, a wholesome meal, the work of my hands. [I just wish there wasn't so often an anxious feeling happening internally while I go about my work. It's like if I am engaging with the kids I'm thinking, "AHHH! Look at all that needs to be done!" and if I'm doing what needs to be done I'm thinking, "AHHH, I should be doing something with the little ones!] My only New Year's resolution was to feed our family more nourishing food, and so far I feel like it's going pretty well. I am still slowly but surely trying to simplify our home.I did a major clean out of my wardrobe and am now very satisfied with my few plain skirts,tops, and dresses. I really think I was meant to be Amish or Mennonite or something:) I also have cleaned out and organized our linen closet and pantry. A long way to go, but good to just do little bits when I can. I've found that job charts for the kids just don't work for us at this point, but they each have two or three "jobs" that they know are theirs and are getting better at doing them without complaint when I remind them. Sam is Amazing at taking care of his guinea pig. He gives him food, hay, and veggies each day without being asked. I'm so proud of him!:)
I guess that's all for now. Just wanted to write a few notes on our domestic part of life as it really is a big chunk of our days.
All for now,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Street Medicine...

Another story, this time on NPR, about street medicine and the work 4th Street clinic is doing. This one is pretty in depth, so grab a cup of tea and settle in if you are interested:)

Here you go!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jubilee, lately.

Oh Jubilee, what a little joy you are! My little side kick, as your daddy calls you. You are five months old- I can hardly believe it! A few things about you at five months:

You love to be outside! You just immediately calm down if you are upset and we go for a walk or go in the back yard to watch the kids play, etc. Unfortunately, you've had lots of skin issues and the cold dry air makes it worse, so you haven't been out nearly as much as I wish. Get ready though, spring is a comin!:)

You still love to be on mama's hip, or back:) It's your favorite place to be. Though you are content on your own for longer periods of time, you are most content snuggled up next to me.

You are getting pretty interested in our food, so I put you in the high chair for the first time:) So cute! It just lasted a few minutes before you kept leaning over, but it won't be long!

You are just super cute. You are so smiley and content most of the time, so patient with all of the hustle and bustle around you.

You went to the doctor today for your skin stuff and we found out you had a double ear infection! Goodness, poor baby! No wonder you have been more fussy and not sleeping well! Hope it all gets cleared up soon.

Have I mentioned that your brother and sister ADORE you? Oh my. I can just hear Sam saying, "Oh my goooosh, oh my gosh!" when he runs up to squeeze and play with you. :)

A few more things:
* You weighed 16 pounds today.
* You are rolling from back to tummy all the time now, but not tummy to back very often. You also scoot on your tummy and push with your legs--you are a mover and a shaker--wanting so badly to crawl.
* You love your toys- especially if they crinkle or fit well in your mouth. It's so fun to see you play:)
* You still sleep in your own bed-so carazy! Right at four months you started waking more often, and worst of all, clawing your dry skin until it bled and looked like a horror movie. Sigh, hoping that comes to an end really soon! We have tried everything- all the "miracle" cures that people suggest. Going to do steroid cream to knock it out-it's just gone on too long.
* You still like to be rocked to sleep. I love my "rocking breaks" with you during the day.
I love you to pieces, Jubilee, and still can't quite believe you are here with us! Mama

Saturday, February 18, 2012

People we love: Uncles

Have I mentioned that I love, love, love my brothers?! Well, I do. I also adore seeing them with our children, and with theirs. They are both just wonderful guys and I'm so glad Sam, Amelia, and Jubilee get to experience their love.

We got to spend an afternoon with their Great Uncle Kenny too! I really have a soft spot for that Uncle Kenny, and it's extra special to see the kids get to know the Greats in the family. Love it!

Uncle Tim (my brother in law) escaped pictures this time! Next time, Tim:)
I often wish I could have known my uncles more, but what memories I do have are treasured. So glad to see our kids making memories with theirs.

Lots more TX pics to come,

Friday, February 17, 2012

What he does.

I haven't written much on the blog about Joel's work, which is silly because he worked so hard to become a PA, is passionate about what he does, and it is a big part of his life, which means ours as well.

He is a Physician Assistant at a homeless clinic, and now he is primarily on a mobile outreach team that goes out on the streets to try to reach those homeless folks who aren't plugged into the clinic and other resources, for a multitude of reasons. He loves being out of the clinic and on the streets. I'm so proud of the work he does. Not just because he is loving on the (seemingly) unlovable- picking lice off of their bodies, dressing their wounds, driving them to detox again and again, etc.- but that he does it with true compassion and love.

I was reminded of this when we were in Texas and he got a call to say one of his patients had died. It really grieved him. This particular patient had become very special to him and was doing so well. He had gotten housing and was so proud of his apartment. Joel said it was SO tidy and the few things he had were kept with great care. He was sober, and though he had many physical ailments, was doing better than he had been in years. Anyway, I know it broke Joel's heart that Jeffrey didn't get to experience this pride and dignity he had so recently regained longer than he did, but how wonderful that at least he did experience these things in his last months before his life unexpectedly ended.

This article is a story about their work and has pictures of Joel and Jeffrey(look on the left hand side of the page), which are hard for him to see right now, but I know he will treasure in time to come. To remind him that it is worth it, what he does. Loving and caring for people right where they are and hoping to empower them to move beyond that place.

All for now,

P.S. A little way the kids and I have found to help is by making gallon size zip lock bags full of things like Energy bars, ramen noodles, travel size toiletries, warm hats and socks, and a card with phone numbers for homeless resources agencies. We keep them in the car and hand them out to pan handlers. The kids loved making them and Sam loves being the designated hander outer with a big smile. We have had very positive responses, though I know we won't always, and that's ok. It's a great project to do as a group (our mom's group did this and collected lots of things to put in bags) or just with your little ones ,or by yourself, of course:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Coffee Break.

So many words to write about our TX trip- it's always this way. So many moments, emotions, pictures...I don't know where to start!
So, I'll just start with this cuteness, which actually happened the morning we were leaving.

Shan was holding Jubilee, who was all swaddled up and ready to sleep, or so we thought:) Instead, she carefully watched her Auntie sip her (warm, not hot!) coffee and decided she'd like to have some. So she reached out and grabbed the handle and pulled it to her mouth! We just cracked up. She really is watching our food and drink intake very closely. She'll be five months tomorrow and I think will definitely be ready for some food when she hits the six month mark. Sam and Amelia didn't start solids until 8 months and not enthusiastically until about 10 months!
Anyway, Jubilee has a few more years until she can share a coffee break with her Aunt Shanyn, but I have a feeling they will have a grand ol' time when they do.
All for now, Jen