Friday, March 21, 2014

Crosslake - July 2013

Back in July of last year, we headed to Crosslake for a weekend. We went to celebrate Joe's brother Chris' wedding. We spent the weekend with wedding activities, camping activities, swimming and other fun family stuff.



Cori and Anastasia












I love this photo and I can't believe how little Arthur seems....way back then.





Joseph and June. He was trying so hard to tell her some stories and she didn't care.

















July 2013 Family Photo
It's hard to believe how much bigger the kids seem 8 months later....
















Grandpa and grandma Neaton and all the grandkids.




God bless!


Monday, February 10, 2014

February 2014

It's been crazy around here....but I'm not sure that that's anything new for us. Just when Joe and I start talking about stepping back and doing less....opportunities arise that draw us in the exact opposite direction.

We are trusting the Lord that He know what we can handle and that His hand's are on all the activity around here.

Over the last few months, I have been using Young Living essential oils in our home. I'm pretty much a natural fix things the cleanest way possible kind of girl, but the essential oils have added another level to my adaptability here and we are loving what they are doing for our family. Check out my new Facebook page here - Holly's Healthy Homestead.

My kids are sleeping better, I'm happier and less crabby, we have gotten over colds quicker and we are cleaning the entire house with 1 bottle of cleaner.

In this transformation, I had come across a course of study to become a Certified Natural Health Professional (CNHP) and I am beginning the seminars for it next month. I love studying about nutrition and how the body works and more natural ways to heal it from the inside out, so this just seems to be a great fit for me. I can't wait to be able to share even more of what I learn with everyone.

On top of me taking on more goals and activities personally, we are also going through some employee shifts with the business and we are looking into acquiring some more rental properties. We have purchased a few rental properties over the last few years and would like to add to that portion of our investments. So....if you know of a great deal, a foreclosure, a duplex, etc for sale....let us know.


And the kids....so busy and growing up entirely too fast for this mama. A few highlights from the last few weeks....

Charlie (6 1/2 years old) has lost her first tooth....both from her mouth and now has lost it in our home somewhere. She also has completely taken over doing chicken chores. Two or 3 times per day, she goes out to the greenhouse where the chickens are and feeds, waters and collects eggs for us. She is doing a fantastic job!

Arthur (almost 10 months old) is a walking machine. He started walking a few steps here and there at about 8 1/2 months and now at about 9 1/2 months, he is walking everywhere and has completely given up on crawling. He is our earliest walker by far.

Cori (4 years old) is working on learning her alphabet and is still my biggest mother hen around here. She is a great help in taking care of her brothers and always finding ways to help everyone out ans make them happy. One of her favorite things to do is comb daddy's hair at night....and he doesn't mind the pampering at all.

Joseph (3 years old) has mastered his colors in the last few months and is now working on learning his numbers. He can be a helper around here....when he feels like it. He loves to vacuum and can unload the dishwasher by himself. He is also the child that is always into something....on the counter digging, in my purse digging, at my desk and on the computer, etc.


Even the littlest ones help around here....and then can when we are using non-toxic, chemical-free cleaners around here.


Big girl, Charlie and her missing tooth.


Note from Charlie!


Cori at the Children's Museum. We went last month.


Joseph 'helping out'.


Happy Monday! May the Lord bless your day and week friends!

Holly





Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Camping - September 2013


I'm so far behind on the updates. Little Arthur isn't so little anymore. He's 9 months old and walking and I'm pretty sure the last update on him is his birth story. Soon, hopefully soon I can get caught up.

Back in September, we went camping for the weekend with Dan (Joe's brother), Susan and their family. We went to a campground near Caledonia, MN that they have enjoyed for years. It was a blast and a very nice quiet little place. The campground is set down in a valley....no cell service...it was a perfect peaceful weekend.
















God bless!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Us - October 2013


Not even sure where to start...months behind on updating and I'm pretty sure there is no way I can remember what we did even last week.

A few low-lights and high-lights from the last week or so...

* I paid a $20 fine for overdue books at the library...seriously $20
    
* We did finally make it to the library and for story-time even
               
* Joseph pooped on the couch, pooped on the floor and wrote on the dining room wall with a  sharpie...all in the span of 2 days

* There is no worries about any of my children not being 'regular'

* One of my laying hens accidentally drowned herself in the cow's water tank...must have been pretty thirsty

* Joe's brother has 3 more hens for me...just need to go and pick them up

* We basically haven't done 'school' at all in the last few weeks

* I just ordered new curriculum that hopefully will get us all back on a better schedule and back in the swing of things



* We are still canning away here. The last week we have managed to put up - 56 quarts of grape juice, 30 pints of bbq sauce, 5 quarts and 6 pints of tomato soup

* Arthur is sitting up all by himself and doesn't seem too far away from crawling. The last 5 months have gone by way too fast.

* I have managed to bag up and get rid of about 20 garbage bags full of clothes...a lot donated,   some bagged up for friend's that are expecting a baby girl and some for the 2 of our youngest nieces.

* All the purging and it is evident that Charlie needs new shoes and Cori needs new pants and Arthur needs a winter coat and everyone may need winter boots.

* Grandma Lu and Papa Joe babysat our kids today...even Arthur...everyone survived and Arthur even drank breastmilk out of a bottle (a first for him). Joe's parents are awesome!...sure we will keep the baby though you never leave him anywhere, sure we will give him a bottle even though he has never had one of those either.

* Arthur has taken a liken to real food and is loving eating a meal with everyone else. So far he has eaten everything we have tried...squash, sweet potatoes, avocado, peaches, pears, peas, carrots...and probably something else I'm forgetting.

* Children...all of them...have been sleeping horribly. They all think they should be in our room and sometimes in our bed. Joseph comes in around 2 am pretty consistently.

* I keep reminding myself that some day I will get to sleep.




Arthur - 5 months old



Charlie - 6 years old



Joseph - 2 3/4 years old



Cori - 4 years old


Hopefully more posts to come - summer weddings, summer and fall camping trips, both girls learning to ride bikes without training wheels, kids all growing taller by inches in a few short months and more and more.


God bless!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Greenhouse - June 2013


Greenhouse photos from 06/17/13





The dill is monsterous...I must have planted a different variety than I usually do.


The tomatoes have grown like crazy the last couple of weeks and I spied a couple of little ones growing yesterday.


About half of the beets have been picked and canned...8 pints worth.
The kids usually eat a couple of carrots a piece each day.


The melons have pretty much completely filled in all those bare spots since earlier this week when I took photos. We also found a bunch of watermelon growing. They are about softball size already.


Sweet corn will be ready in no time.


We picked a huge bowl of cukes yesterday...now to make some pickles.
My dear husband put of the cattle panels for the cukes to grow up onto...it's working awesome and I love how it works.









Over the last week, we have picked a bunch of green beans and peas. I've froze 8 quarts of peas and 6 quarts of green beans. We are on our way to filling the freezer.

And...it takes a long time to shell peas, but they are worth it...yummy!

God bless!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Arthur's Birth Story


*Warning - this is super long*

Arthur is already 2 months old, so I figured I needed to finally get his birth story written out before I completely lost it to the far corner of my brain.

To start with the little guys was 2 weeks late...yes 2 weeks. All our other three were early or right on time, so waiting was hard. I was tired and cranky and my family handled it really well. I spent the week prior filling the freezer and cleaning the house. I also had been having contractions off and on for weeks.

It all started the evening of April 15th, 2013. My water broke around 11 pm that evening...just that, no contractions happening. Which also was very different then the others, I had never had my water break on it's own. With the other three, I always started with contractions and actually had my midwife break my water later on in labor - basically right before delivery. 

So there I was, late Monday night sitting in a huge puddle of water and nothing else happening. I texted both my midwives and let them know what wasn't going on and tried to get some sleep. Sleep didn't come very easily and I slept off and on all night, had a few random contractions but no real progression to labor. 

We got up in the morning and discussed what we were going to do with the other children and decided to call Joe's mom to come and get them. Grandma LuAnn ended up picking them up and they spent the day playing at their cousins house..while mama impatiently waited out little boy's arrival. 

I let my midwives know what was going on and texted a couple of girlfriends...letting them know that my water had broke but I was not in labor yet and to pray that labor would start and we could get things going. I didn't let anyone else know. I didn't want to hear the questions and worries about getting to a hospital because my water had broke so much earlier. I felt at ease being at home and trusted my own body to do what it was suppose to do. My midwives don't have a hard and fast rule about how long after your water breaking that they worry. I was told to stay away from public restrooms and refrain from sex...no problem, neither were interesting to me at that point.

Most of Tuesday (April 16th) was spent sleeping and walking. I was having contractions but they were very inconsistent and were not getting stronger or longer at all. My midwives came out around 2 pm and checked baby and mama and everything was fine just not really progressing. I was frustrated and cranky and just baffled at how different this labor was from all my others. 

Grandma brought the kids over for awhile that night and then they went back with her for one more night...just in case labor actually started moving faster. I didn't really feel like having them all here for the delivery. I am not one to have a million people in the room. I would never think to ask my mom or my sister or a friend or mo mother-in-law, etc to be here for any baby delivery. The less the better - Joe and midwives was plenty for me.

Around 8 pm contractions finally started to get regular and they continued to do that for the rest of the evening. I talked to my midwives around 10:30 pm and asked them to come back out...hoping that things would change quickly. My other labors went from manageable and 5 cm dilated to ready to push in a matter of a couple hours and both Kim and Jane live about an hour from us.

They got here around 12:30 am Wednesday morning (April 17th). I timed a couple of contractions and they were about 8 minutes apart yet and manageable. baby was active and contractions were regular. We all basically slept at off and on for the rest of the night/morning. By morning, contractions were a lot closer and more painful but they still seemed doable to me. I was feeling bad that I asked everyone to come out earlier and have to sleep on my couch and floor instead of in their won beds. 

Joe got up and I was still feeling like it would be a few hours so he left to run a couple of errands. Around 7:30 am, I had midwife Jane check me and I was dilated to 5 and basically completely thinned out. I went to take a shower. I was having back pain and was hoping the warm water would help. Then I went to bed and tried to sleep some more...exhausted. I hadn't really slept for 30+ hours. 

Labor pains were very different than my other labors and with each contraction I need to get out of bed and on my hands and knees to manage the pain...this made sleeping impossible. I finally went back down stairs at about 9:15 am and asked to be checked again. We checked baby and his heartbeat was good. I was having contractions fairly close together, so checking me was a little more difficult but we did finally get it done. I was now dilated to about 8 cm.

I sent Joe a text and asked him to come in and fill the birthing tub for me. He was on his way back and figured he was about 10 minutes out yet.

I asked if I could shower again and was told 'yes' but asked to leave the door open so that they could hear what was going on. By the time I got in the shower, my contractions were right on top of each other. I was in the shower for maybe 10 minutes and then decided it was time to get out. I stepped out of the shower with the intention of going potty and getting dressed again. None of that happened. 

About this same time, Joe got home and was trying to figure out how filling the tub. We were now out of hot water and there was no way we had enough time anyways...I couldn't move from where I was.

It was 9:55 am and I was on my bathroom floor ready to push and delivery our little one. I'm not sure but I probably pushed through about 4-6 contractions and a whole 10 minutes later Arthur was born at 10:05 am on April 17th, 2013. 

As he was being delivered, Jane calmed stated we have a cord. And sure enough he had a lot of cord and it was everywhere...around his neck, around his belly, around his legs. They just calmly unwrapped him and it wasn't a big deal at all. I don't think it would have been handled in the same way in a hospital.

A few minutes later, baby and mama moved to the comforts of our own bed and snuggled up. It was so nice to just take time slowly. We didn't cut the cord until about 45 minutes later...he nursed a bunch and I delivered the placenta before the cord was even touched...minus the untangling earlier. 



Arthur Cody Neaton
born 10:05 am
April 17th, 2013
8 lbs 2 oz and 21 in long
















4 days after delivery...my entire family was here for a visit. An event that had been planned before his birth and I had been expecting to have at least a 2 week old by then.
This is 4 generations - grandma Geri, my mom Deb, me and baby Arthur

I'm pretty sure we are done having babies, but if it happens that we are blessed with another we will definitely be doing a home birth again. It was a great experience and I feel very blessed to have had Kim and Jane here for it. I think the nicest thing was the postpartum visits...they came to me for a 24 hour check, a 3 day check, a one week and a two week check.

The boy was my biggest newborn and has continued to grow like crazy. At his 3 day check he had already gained 4 oz since birth. At a week old, he was up 1 whole pound and at 3 weeks he had gained almost 3 pounds. 

God bless!