Friday, December 10, 2010


That one month reprieve that I needed turned into 8. Mama was more stressed than she realized! hehe

We've definitely settled into our new place....stripping wallpaper, repainting, installing hardwood floors, updating the know, the usual for us! The old place is finally on the market. Come on buyers! Big Daddy hit the "one year to retirement" mark this month...not that he's counting. He's also settled into his new routine - home on weekends with us girls. This next year will fly all the rest. Then we can start another new chapter.

The last 8 months have flown by and we've certainly had our share of adventures. We turned 7, 44, 4 and 54 during that time. We've all been riding horses - something I've always wanted to do. One of us had a good case of shingles. I'm telling you...the only place you want shingles is on your roof, my friend! Yipes! A good case of pneumonia...followed by the 100 day cough is on my plate now. You know, I'm beginning to think that God is trying to tell me something. Ummmm, slow down and get my house in order? Yup, that's what I'm thinking too! hehe

One of the reasons we moved was to get Rylee into a good school. And you know how I feel about the public school system...yeah, but really we needed to do SOMETHING! I couldn't take it anymore. Anyway, she went for the mornings in the spring time and it looked promising. However, last month it all unravelled and she's back home. J started JK this fall....and she loves it! I didn't think she'd last, since she's pretty stuck to me. But really it's like playtime 2 days a week and she's loving it! I knew she'd be staying when she told me one morning, "Mommy don't cry I'll come back!" That's my girl!

My Mom has had her own battles over the past 8 months. Her stint in the hospital turned into almost 3 months of torture. They just couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. Finally, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Multiple Myeloma - a very nasty cancer of the bone marrow. She was weak, had lost 45 pounds, could hardly walk, was throwing up all the time....just awful! She had given up! We moved her in with us in July and waited for the inevitable. Well, she changed her mind and decided to live! :) And she moved out a week ago into a retirement place so she could have some independence! Cool eh?

There are other changes here but I'll leave that for another day....
Have a good one!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Bear with feels like I'm drowning....we have so much on our plates right now...and I'm not keeping up.
  • The girls and I are moving at the end of the month. There's so much to do.
  • I'm putting Rylee in a new school. The guilt surrounding that decision is immense.
  • The pups are home and fabulous....but still adding to the craziness here.
  • Have to get seeds started or there will NOT be a garden again.
  • Ten year anniversary in May...supposed to be special.
  • Everyone's in a hurry.
  • Put my Mom in the hospital Wednesday night. Scared me.
  • Did I mention, potty training puppies....yipes.
  • Purchasing, surveying and fencing part of our neighbour's land.
  • Second-guessing living apart (through the week) from Big Daddy.
  • Sourcing appropriate foods for Ry.
  • Day-to-day dealing with Autism.
  • Keeping up with my blog...everyone's blog.
  • Paperwork.
  • I feel the need to be baptized....NOW.
  • Preparing this house to be sold....eventually.
  • Extended family responsibilities.
  • Lifestyle changes....some friends and family are NOT on board.
  • I feel the need to just SLOW our lives down...kill the tv...radical, I know.

In a month from now...everything will look different...I'm sure. Hope you're here when I get back....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Jayme has always been a very special little girl. Right from the minute we met, I knew she was delicate, quiet and sensitive. She clung to me and basically hasn't let go! LOL At 18 months old, she started helping me empty the dishwasher...she just wanted to be with Mommy. You gotta love that!

Now at 3, she sets the table, gets glasses of water for her Daddy (cause he's always so sirsty), folds face cloths and socks like a champ, pushes the appropriate buttons on several appliances, etc. Now before you call the CAS on me, this isn't forced labour...she just likes to help!

So yesterday while I was getting dinner started, she wanted to "make the carrots". Ohhhh too funny. We ended up peeling many more carrots than usual....almost 2 lbs worth to get 4 little servings. She started with just peeling then she ended up whittling the thing....trying to get it
Look at that concentration:
Now she's getting the hang of it:
Whittled flat:

Thursday, March 25, 2010


....laying hens, some goats, black angus on the hoof, wheat in the field, 100 meat birds, and a jersey cow.

As you know we've been switching Rylee (and of course us) to a better organic way of eating. And until I have that list of "needs" on my own farm, we will pay:

$10.99 for 3L of organic milk
$5.99 for a dozen free range organic eggs
I won't scare you with the meat prices...

I have ordered up some cheese making supplies which should be here in the next couple of weeks. I can't wait! Of course that all started because I read the Omnivore's Dilemma, and The Unhealthy Truth, and found THIS BLOG. I read it right from the beginning. Incredible! Just when I thought buying wheat and grinding it yourself was a big deal, Kat, one ups me and grows her own wheat. She's also kicked Juan Valdez to the curb....yeah, she grows her own coffee too! Love it!!! Go and check the blog out...I think you're going to really like it.

On another note, I think I'm going through a mid-life crises. Not the normal symptoms of heightened shoe shopping or husband changes. No, I find myself daydreaming about farm tractors, planting crops and making artisan cheese from my Nigerian dwarfs. (Janice, don't be concerned...they're goats.) So, be warned, my 4 loyal followers....there are changes coming....big changes. And if you happen to see pictures of me with ankle length denim dresses and my hair covered...oh and maybe in rubber boots too, don't stop reading here. It's still me! Just figuring out my life and where I'm supposed to be heading....okay? Okay!

Monday, March 22, 2010


We had a pretty good week around here last week. Grandma was here for awhile so I got "out" of the house A.L.O.N.E. Hopped in my truck with the tunes just a blastin'....singing my little heart out. Sounding a little like Dolly with a bit of Trace Adkins mixed in for good measure. LOL

First stop - shoe shopping. I had my eye on a strappy little number with a 3" heel. ROFL In another life maybe...
Actually, I hit the hardware store....pockets loaded with gift cards that needed redeeming. I bought 4 more cases of canning jars, new oven mitts, some mini bread pans, cheese cloth, big honkin' cheese grater and one of those stick blender thingies so I can puree soups right in the pot. 1 1/2 hrs later, I was back in the yard (still singing), done with my adventure and ready to pull the draw bridge back up.

The weather was mighty fine here all week too. Could NOT get the kids off the swings!!

Friday night we took the girls to a farm to JUST HAVE A

Introducing Jasmine and Kailyn:

Look at those little faces....aren't they sweet?! They can come home in 11 sleeps! I can't wait....I mean, the kids can't wait. hehe

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


On Day 1 of what we're now calling Ry's little miracle, a stack of books came in the mail. Big Daddy is always ordering from Chapters and Amazon. Happily, one of the books was a present for me - The Unhealthy Truth: How our food is making us sick and what we can do about it - by Robyn O'Brien. To this day, Big Daddy has no idea why he ordered it....he just did. Just another part of this mystery/miracle.

I read through the first 3 chapters....then started again! This was definitely not going to be a run-of-the-mill book. This was a "destroy with a pink highlighter" kind of book! LOL This book was good...really good...and it will make you mad. Mad at the mega companies who make the sick rules and back room deals surrounding our food supply. It was an eye-opener!! We immediately switched to organic milk. It was a small step...but a step in the right direction. It also got me to thinking about foods that Rylee was consuming....did she have an allergy to something or maybe just a sensitivity? Could it have been part of her "little miracle"? The only change in food that occurred during that week was orange juice. She drank tons of orange juice but that week, for some reason, she didn't have a drop. She was all about water and milk. Could that have been part of this mystery?

The second book that I highly recommend is Kenneth Bock, MD. Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies. I'm afraid I destroyed this one too with my trusty pink highlighter! LOL We searched for organic beef and started Rylee on a better vitamin program after this book.

The 3rd book that absolutely everyone should read is - The Omnivore's Dilemma. This book is excellent! It will make you mad. It will make you sick! It will make you want to buy everything organic. Then it will make you want to be a farmer so you can raise and grow your own unadulterated food. Then it will make your husband wonder why on earth he ever bought the book for you in the first place. LOL

We have a quarter beef on order. It's been grass-fed. It has NOT been injected with hormones or antibiotics. Not much need to do that sort of thing because he's been healthy - in the fresh air, eating food he was meant to eat. And the best part....we saw where he was born and raised. We met the farmers who kept him. Very important!

Now if the 3 book recommendations haven't swayed you to change things, perhaps this little story will. This past weekend I cooked up the last beef roast I had in the freezer. I had it in the crock pot all day, and it was smelling mighty fine by supper time. Half way through Big Daddy's slicing, he came across this small egg sized pit of blood. You could actually see where something (I'm guessing a needle) had probed the beef and left this disgusting spot!

Yeah, we ordered pizza...

I don't want you to leave here all sick and disgusted, so I'll leave you with a funny. I was knee deep in the Omnivore's Dilemma when Jayme (3) asked me what I was reading. When I told her it was about cows, she says "ohhhhh cows, my favourite." "I'm going to reach under him and turn on his taps so I can get a drink for me and Rylee." LOL

Monday, March 1, 2010


I've been absent. Yeah, I know...but I have a lot on my plate these days. I've wanted to write about what was happening here, really I have, but I just didn't know where to begin.

I want to make one thing clear before I start purpose in sharing our struggles is to give other moms dealing with Autism some shred of hope. Okay?

In January, Rylee's behaviour took a turn for the worse! She was defiant beyond words...screaming her dislike for everything and everyone. She would tell me several times a day that she didn't want to be part of this family and certainly didn't want me to be her mom. She did NOT want to be a girl anymore either. Her tantrums, several times a day, were outrageous and out of control. And before you say, oh all kids go through a few tantrums in their day....uh yeah, witness an Autistic kid's tantrum first hand and then we'll talk! The best way to describe her is primal. In that moment, she is all animal, non-thinking, just reacting! And mean!! She would just strike out at anyone who got in her way. J would try to hug or kiss her to make her feel better and Ry would just kick, push or scratch back! We were beginning to fear for J's was getting that bad!

By the third week in January, we were in desperation mode....a family in crisis - sleep deprived, upset, hurt. It was time for medication. I called the Paediatrician for help! Her assistant told me that because we hadn't seen the Dr. for 18 months, we'd have to go through our regular Dr. to get another referral...that would take weeks...and frankly, we didn't have weeks! We just couldn't go on like this! I'm afraid I lost it completely on the phone...I was crying and desperate. She took pity on me and scheduled an appt. Finally, some hope.

Well, the appt didn't go as planned. LOL Instead of drugs, the Dr. instructed us to give Ry Melatonin to help her sleep. She also felt that if we gave her a daily laxative, it would alleviate some of her problems. She set another appt for 4 weeks out but I could call at any time if I felt we needed to. I gotta tell you, I was not exactly on board with this so-called solution. We had tried Melatonin before and it just didn't work for her.

Well, wouldn't yah know it...the melatonin did work this time! Yeehaw! And we actually got her moved into her own room to sleep. Baby steps. Her sleep habits improved but her meanness was still in full force. I had to schedule another appt. This time, Ry stayed home so I could really talk with the Dr. She agreed that Rylee had some other issues and was quite the complex little girl. Yes, she had Autism, but she was very high on the ADHD scale. Then there was the whole abandoned/mentally abused part of her past that was always just under the surface. I cried during this appt....sad for us as a family and definitely sad for this 6 year old little girl who was born on the other side of the world, abandoned and left to languish in an orphanage. She would spend endless hours alone in her crib, sick and crying.....but no one came to help. The Dr. said she will probably never get over that!! And I cry some more..... Then she told me something that I will carry with me the rest of my days....she said that I might not be able to mother her and that Rylee needed me to be her therapist first and foremost!

Well, we talked about all of the options in medications that might help her....and all of the side-effects!! Just wild! We agreed on a small dose of Resperidone but first we'd need to do some blood work. So, off I went with a prescription for a powerful drug that should lessen Ry's aggression, a request for blood tests at the lab, and a prescription for Ativan to help Rylee get through the bloodwork. That was Tuesday Feb 9.

On Wednesday February 10, we witnessed a miracle! Big Daddy and I took Ry in for her bloodwork - yes all jacked up on Ativan - and she did great!! She was a totally different little girl for the rest of the day. Just after supper, she was still feeling the effects of that pill, which she shouldn't have. I found her at the top of the stairs dancing with her coat....she was hallucinating and singing to her "partner". It was a little scary. I coaxed her into her pj's in between bouts of falling to the floor in a heap, crying and babbling incoherently. She crawled into her bed by 6:30 and the mean and aggressive Rylee never came back!!

We're still not 100% sure what happened. We have a few theories that I'll share with you later, but in the meantime, our old Ry is back!!! She is happy, healthy and in no need of Resperidone.

Friday, January 8, 2010


It's been quite a week - getting back into the school groove after all that time off! Poor concentration, short temper, lack of enthusiasm....and I won't even mention how bad my students were! hahaha I don't think I'll do that again! Doesn't work for us very well.

It's been a week of sleep issues around here too. You know it's becoming a problem when you lie awake trying to remember all the names of the Dugger children. You know you have "other" issues to deal with when you get super excited that you can remember them all. ~Sigh~

And speaking of the Duggers....doesn't anyone else think it's the least bit strange that out of 19 kids, NOT ONE has something "different" about them? Hmmmm? They're all smart, they can all play an instrument or 4. I mean really, do the math....wouldn't the odds go against them - so many should be autistic, so many diabetic, heart problems, hearing....
I mean not even a pair of glasses on any of them.....just things that come to mind at 3 a.m.

I guess after all the fun and frolic up north, Ry's having a hard time settling at night too. Every little thing wakes her up and sets her off! Gimme a break, it was just a little snoring...not truck-driverish! She's tough enough to handle, but without sleep - that's usually when I start googling Swiss Boarding Schools.

And then THIS arrives at the door:
Ohhhhhh Big Daddy, we're having problems with long and short the English language....and you want me to learn and teach Chinese?!?!
Oh brother....what would Michelle Duggar do?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


He looks like just an ordinary guy.
But he does something unthinkable.
He contacts young girls over the internet to meet up with know, just to talk.
How many did he meet?
This time the young girl is really an undercover cop.
Got him!
A handful of years later, he resurfaces.
Should we be worried?
Is someone watching him?
Probably not.
Afterall, he has paid his debt to society, right?
Some jail time = rehabilitation, right?
Isn't that how it works in our society?
And he's married now....with a child.
So he must be harmless, right?
Just moved into a new house too....on the busiest corner for kids walking to school, which he can also see from his house.
How can this happen?
Isn't anyone monitoring his movements?
No one.
Sad isn't it?
That's what we say, when we read about him and those like him.
They're everywhere you know.
In every city, every town, every neighbourhood.
This time it's different.....
He's 5 doors down.

Do you know your neighbours?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a safe but fun New Year. We did things a little differently around here this year. Like OUT with the turkey and IN with the fondue. We had soooo much fun! We headed north and spent a few days with Grandma....eating, playing in the snow, prepping for the next round of was great! We came home for Christmas Eve so Santa could find the girls. Yeah, he found them...and us! lol Big Daddy got theme gifts this year, from all of his girls.

You thought I was weird, I mean wired before....well after sitting through 27 episodes of Jericho, my pantry room and preps just aren't going to cut it....I'm ready to build safe rooms, get armed to the teeth...maybe go into hiding! LOL I got the book idea from Selous Scout and I'm glad I ordered it...I just started to read it and can't put it down.

Santa brought me another Barefoot Contessa cookbook, a garden journal and......

I've nicknamed her the Beast! She's a beaut! Big Daddy had to have running boards installed because I couldn't reach the kids' car seats! LOL

Certain events that took place in December, shaped the look of our Christmas this year. One in particular was a snowstorm that ripped through, shutting down the highway and leaving everyone stranded. Yeah, we were in the middle of that mess with the kids and the dog, driving the van and towing the snowmobiles. There were lots of lessons learned that day!
#1 Being somewhat prepped wasn't good enough
#2 People are going to panic
#3 Tractor trailer drivers aren't who/what they used to be

It just happened that the OPP detoured us into the town where I grew up, and although it had changed, I was familiar enough with the area to make a plan B. Drivers in big 4x4's who knew the area and had driven in wild weather definitely had the advantage. We watched people panic - not knowing where they were or where they might head to wait out the storm. I'm sure most of them didn't have $10 cash on them. I don't know what happened to all the cars stranded on the highway...did everyone have enough gas? Apparently they closed it down for 24 hrs. Unbelievable! We happened to find an unguarded entrance onto the highway and kept moving along. We did just fine! The kids travelled like champs...singing and chatting away. Mama kept a good face on, but I'm telling yah, I prayed like crazy!!

Sooooo now all of our trips look way different....big truck, full gas can in the back, extra preps. No fooling around!
We made a decent driveway and dug the hole for the basement to our new house up at our land 2 months ago. My Dad says it looks like a Walmart is going in. lol It's not THAT big! haha Big Daddy has BIG plans but even now that looks like it could change. We were sledding with the kids in the pitch black on Grandma's hill, snow falling...just a gorgeous night and it hit doesn't matter how much money you make, we'll never get this TIME back! Kids don't care how big their house is....they sure will remember spending time with us having fun though!

Those house plans might just get changed a little and that retirement date might be coming way sooner than originally planned.

All that northern fresh air makes a person think know what I mean??