Saturday, October 31, 2009

Swine Flu's Hit Home

Well, as Leif put it, "the Piggy Cold has hit the Baron family". Jakob woke up on Wednesday with a high fever, terrible headache, deep chest congestion, and a few rounds of throwing up. So I called the doctor. He had three out of the four Swine Flu symptoms that they look for. He just needed a sore throat. Well, that hit today. Luckily he hasn't been seriously sick. It's just lasting a long time and put a serious damper on our festivities.

So far the rest of us haven't been knocked down by it. But Caleb started acting like he has a sore throat today and my throat is itchy and feels like it's on the edge of something. But we're praying that it passes.

We're surviving. We did have a nice Halloween. I'll write about it and post photos tomorrow. It's time for bed!

Three Years Have Passed

From Jakob and Rhea
I was sitting in our little nursery with the kids the other day and we were admiring the curio filled with all of the little mementos from our girls. I then realized that the anniversary of their delivery was coming up. They would have been three years old yesterday.

Time does truly heal. We still talk about the girls in one way or another on a daily basis. But the pain of their loss is not constant. I am now able to be grateful that I can raise them in a perfect world. Throughout my day yesterday I reminisced here and there about some of the memories I have of the time with my girls. I had very little time with LeOra. But I had 8 days with Rhea.

After the emergency C-section I instinctively knew that I needed to spend as much time with Rhea as I possibly could. So either I was blessed with a quick initial recovery, or I fibbed and was able to go to her hours after I delivered. That was a special day. My in-laws had come to be with us and care for Jakob. The veil between this life and the next was very thin. I remember feeling almost as if we were all in the midst of heavenly clouds. Wrapped in a peace and comfort. This was the spirit of the Lord and His comfort. My father in law tells of his experience of actually being allowed to see his mother (who had passed away years before) bringing LeOra (grandma's namesake) to visit Rhea in the NICU and then to me in my hospital bed. I can sense their presence when they are near though I have never seen them.

Yesterday I was looking through books online for the boys. I came across the original version of the book "The Little Engine That Could." That was the book that I read out loud to Rhea as she lay in the NICU. I need to buy that book...

Jakob asked the other day if he was ever able to hold Rhea. He actually held her on the day that we took her off of life support. But the picture we took of them turned out fuzzy. But the memory is clear. Jakob held her and tried to give her his binky. It was a precious time.

Though we would rather have our girls with us at this moment. It is a true blessing to know that the Lord can heal our hearts in time. I am ever grateful for this knowledge and the comfort that it brings me in this life. I look forward to the day when we will be with our girls again.

So, my sweet Rhea and LeOra. Thank you for your precious love and memories. We are doing our best to live worthy to be with you again.
From Jakob and Rhea

From Jakob and Rhea

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Precious Moments in the Fall: Photos

My precious boys playing together in the leaves:

From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

Jakob's Photo of our Ginger Bread Haunted House
From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mama's Projects and Pass Times

Sandra (my cousin in law) asked me what projects I have been working on lately. I thought that was a question worthy of a blog post. I'd like to answer that question for myself. I feel like I have a lot of "projects". But what exactly am I talking about? Let's see... Since I DO NOT want to do the dishes in this free moment of time I have I'll answer this question.

The number one thing that I do in my short moments of "Mama Time" is reading. I am currently interested in novels relating to the Amish faith and lifestyle. They are uplifting and interesting. I am pretty picky about what I spend my time reading. Some people read for the pure entertainment and enjoyment. I read for those reasons too. However if there is nothing uplifting or enlightening involved in the story, for me, it's a waste of time. My time is too valuable. I also find myself taking on the attitudes of the characters that I'm reading about. So if they're not good I'm in trouble.

The next thing I do is blog. As you may have noticed I haven't been blogging as much. This is mostly due to the fact that my "Mama Time" is taken up or non-existent.

And then there are my "Projects." These are my ongoing things that I dabble in when I know the kids won't let me alone, or I feel guilty because I want to get these projects FINISHED. My main project is the ongoing process of home school planning, preparing, and presenting. The every day lessons for the next while aren't really my focus at the moment. But I am trying to plan ahead and have a supply of lessons on hand to use if need be. My goal is to have 30 school days worth of "Bedside Lessons in a Packet" completed and ready to go when I need them (yes, this in preparation for weeks 6-10 of pregnancy.) My plan is to have these packets in a file box next to my bed. They will have everything needed for that day in the envelope. Jakob can choose a packet and we can work on them together. Jakob loves dinosaurs and jets. So each packet will be themed around dinosaurs and jets. There is a series of books called The Value Tales. I grew up reading these books. Each of them overviews a certain value by telling a story about a person who has made a great impact in the world. I will include one of these books in each packet as well.

My next ongoing project is our family prayer rug. It's coming along slowly but surely. I have set up a play group two days a week. I try to pull out my rug during these times and work on it with my friends.

And finally, my upcoming project is going to be planning and carrying out a Ladies Night Out each month for myself and any of the ladies in town and around who want to join us. There are certain things that I like to do each month for the holidays and such. But they're often not as fun to do alone. So, I thought I'd invite others to join me. Each month we'll work on something and enjoy a themed refreshment. For example, in December I'm actually planning two nights. The first we will make a Christmas Countdown Candle along with scriptures that we can read by candle light with our families leading up to Christmas. That night the refreshment theme will be Anything Cookies. The other night in December we'll have a gift wrapping night where we can all come together and wrap gifts, visit, and eat Anything Candy. I think it sounds fun and I hope it sounds fun to the ladies.

So Sandra, that's what this Mama does in her moments of Mama Time. Thanks for asking!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rollin' Along At The Baron Homestead

My blogging hours have been drastically reduced. One of these days I will set aside several hours and write to my hearts content on all of my different blogs. Until then, I'll take a moment here.

Life is rolling along. Is it REALLY almost Halloween? The end of October? Unbelievable! Life for the Baron family is full and happy. I concluded today that I am content with the fact that I do not have the time I used to have for myself anymore. I used to spend hours working on MY projects. Ever since I made the choice to shift my complete focus to teaching my children full time at home rather then sending Jakob elsewhere, my life has been full and content. I am busy. I have A LOT of Projects. But I am happy. I love watching Jakob AND Caleb progress daily. I love to know that it was all of us working together that resulted in the progress. I used to give the credit where much of the credit was due, to Jakob's teacher. But now, Leif and I are the teachers. I LOVE IT!

This last week something has clicked in Jakob. For weeks he has been stuck in the habit of immediately saying NO! or WHY?! to any request from myself or any authority figure. He has finally found the word OKAY in his vocabulary. It is Beautiful and so peaceful. Now, I am not so naive that I believe we will never struggle with this issue again. But I relish in the moment.

My Caleb is growing up. I absolutely love the age that he's at. It's filled with exploration and giggles. He loves to make-believe along side his brother or on his own. It is not unusual to find him in a corner somewhere with an airplane in hand sputtering through the air. It is a joy to see his personality bloom. At the moment he is in his bed singing and jabbering to himself. Leif made the comment the other night that our boys love to hear their own voices. We were driving down the road and both Jakob and Caleb were in the back seat jabbering away to know one in particular. Most of the time I consider their voices music to my ears. And sometimes...:)

Leif... ahhh, my Leif. I love this man! We just spent several hours on a day trip to and from SG with a lot of shopping in between. Now he is out in his office (the trailer) writing a paper for one of the several classes he's taking. And the thing is, the man just accepts his lot in life. When I had a paper to write, one paper, Everyone knew I had a paper due. I walked around with a neon sign strapped to the front and back of me informing everyone that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment so they had better not ask for my assistance. Leif, he has two or more papers, a chemistry test, AND the everyday homework, daily job, church, family, and chickens to balance on a daily basis. And he just does it. No questions asked. He will naturally show signs of being tired or occasionally overwhelmed. But 90% of the time, someone who doesn't know him well would have no idea how much he carries on his plate. He has a gift. I only pray that I can follow his example as well as be the help that he needs and deserves.

Lady, well, our little Lady is still with us. she's still up for sale, even though Jakob has prayed that we won't sell her;) Nice huh?:) So for now we've actually found a doable solution to the majority of our issues. We keep her outside during the day. We have a nice set up and she seems okay with the situation. She stays out there and WE visit her. So when she comes in the house, she is visiting and doesn't cause as mush disruption. So, we're okay until it starts getting really cold. What we'll do then, I'm not completely sure.... Unless we find a new home for her, and then it's not an issue.

We've set up a cute little homestead here in our small part of the world. We have many chickens now and get at least a dozen eggs a day. We have our Lady outside, and our little family. Leif's brother who lives not too far away now has pigs along with their chickens and several dogs. And soon they plan to purchase a cow. So together, we all have a lot of fun. If not together, we at least have a lot of fun sharing stories. If we are ever tempted to get other farm animals it would be a couple of female Pygmy goats. But that's not on the agenda. Just an occasional joke here and there.

As I said in the beginning, life is rolling along singin' a song. And simply by the sillyness of that last line, I can see that it is time for bed for this mama. G'night all!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Need Fall Season Recipes

We have two weeks left until Halloween. Then a few more weeks until Thanksgiving. I am hoping to spend some time in the kitchen throughout these upcoming weeks making some YUMMY food.

Last night we ate a WONDERFUL Potato Cheddar soup (with our homegrown potatoes) and an amazing Pumpkin crunch cake. They were wonderful! Now I need your help. Send me some Fall Season recipes!!!! Any and All... I look forward to hearing from you!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thank You!

THANK YOU SWEET FRIENDS!! Thank you for your sweet words of comfort about Lady. All will be well...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sad Puppy Tales

Well, you all won! I write this with sad and mixed emotions... We have to sell our puppy. I have avoided writing about it because I can't take any "told you so" comments. So if you feel the urge, resist!

Lady is precious. Actually, there is nothing wrong with her. She is simply a puppy. And as many of you tried to warn me about, puppies are A LOT of Work! We told Jakob tonight and tears filled his eyes, which brought tears to my eyes, and it was all really sad. So why are we selling her?

Well, although I'd really like to have a grand reason like, she bit a whole through Jakob's bedroom door and devoured his stash of snacks, that's not the case. The truth is that she barks and wakes the kids up. She nipps at the kids non stop which leads to non stop screaming and a need for intervention. And potty training is a full time job. The truth is, She's a PUPPY!

It's a very sad story. I have grown to love her and I feel like I failed myself, my kids, and her. But with all that I have going on in life and all that is surely in the future, the current situation isn't working. So, we've put her on KSL classifieds and I hope I can confidently tell the people who call that YES, she is available. And then, I hope I'll be able to pass her to another family and not hate myself after it's all said and done.

So, that's the Sad Puppy Tale, folks. It is sad indeed!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Day In Our Life

Have you ever sat at your computer desk and tried to pretend that a tornado has not blown through your house, that your To-Do list is Doable, and your five year old isn't calling for your attention? Well, that is where I'm at at the moment.

I wanted to write more. But Jakob's got a point. The eggs need to be gathered, and counted. The newest book needs to be read. And soon it's lunch time, Right? YEP! Sure is! Wish me luck today good friends!

All is well!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Journey Through Grieving

After the loss of our girls I found comfort through writing. Unfortunately I had not figured out the value of blogging at this point. So I recorded my writing on a website that I created. It is now time to close that website. So before I do I will copy a page that I wrote onto my blog for the record.

This was written around February-March of 2007:

The Journey:
Loss - Mourning - Grieving - Remembering -

Healthy Grieving: Never forgetting, yet always moving forward to a brighter existence. After all, I think that is what our loved ones who have passed on are doing….

I have been strengthened through my grief by my Heavenly Father, my family, and the environment I have created around me. I find ways to share my experiences and heartache. I allow the tears to flow. And I listen to my soul and go at the pace that I need to. I take in the loving words that bring me comfort, and cast out thoughts of the words from others that do not bring comfort. I pray, I ponder, and I move forward.

I deeply miss the children whom I have lost; as well as my dear grandmother, as it should be. I never forget, I just continue to walk with faith. Faith is an action word!
Late Night Thoughts Along The Way...

Some people in my life seem to think that I am perfectly okay. When in reality, I am not always Okay. This is part of the grieving process. Good, bad, and ugly days. I’m not sure why people have this perception that everything is “all better.” It is either that I am sending off false signals, that they are interpreting my signals falsely, or, they just simply don’t feel the loss anymore in their personal lives, so it no longer exists. What ever the reason, my feelings are real and grieving the loss of a child (or three) is ever present. I read this evening about this ever present grieving. It was defined as “Shadow Grieving.” That is exactly how it feels! I have also found that I can recognize the “shadow” now in other mothers who are on the same journey as I am.

So what do we do? Well, we keep walking on! We keep smiling through the tears! We stop and have a good cry and let our souls process the experience of loss! I explain those moments as if my mind is opening up the doors in a house that I once lived in one by one and reliving all of the experiences and emotions of that “room” one by one. As this process takes place, it allows my soul to heal; one room at a time, one experience at a time, or one emotion at a time.

March 2007: The night that I wrote the content of this page I was experiencing a defining moment in my grieving process and I didn't know it at the time. For several days leading up to that night my whole body had become consumed with a huge amount of physical pain from my head to the soles of my feet. I finally accepted the fact that I was in pain and I feared the worst.

That night as I was trying to fall asleep I began to allow a few memories and emotions about my loss to flow. From that moment on I cried for six hours. I cried and experienced all of the emotions that I needed to feel. The next day I was blessed with the chance to sleep the whole day. What I didn't notice until I was fully awake was the fact that the horrible pain in my body was gone! Because I had allowed my body to process all of the emotions that I was experiencing I was cleansed both physically and spiritually. Truly Amazing!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pregnancy, Estrogen, and Women

My friend just posted this on her blog and I Loved it!

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q : I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q : What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q : My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q : Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word 'alimony' means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q : Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says:'How's my driving-call 1- 800-'.
6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from outer space.
9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.

10. Cats' facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.AND,the Number One thing only women understand:

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Quick Update

The last post I wrote was started Wednesday or Thursday around nap time. I can't even remember which day. Since it was just finished and published tonight, that might show you that things are a little slow around here. I'm sick. Caleb's sick. Jakob's sick. And Leif is stressed.

I really hope that things are better tomorrow. Luckily Jakob isn't feeling sick. He just has a nasty cold. Caleb had/has the same cold. Then he started in with his monthly fever episode. So that's miserable. His temperature was over 103 today. Thank heavens for medicine!! Me, well I have a weird cold. I am achy all over and really tired. I can tell I have head congestion. I'm praying I can get back in the swing of things tomorrow. Leif has a lot of school requirements and it is NO FUN!! It doesn't help to have me down in the dumps either!

I was going to write more, but I'm tired. So guess this is just a For The Record post. Sorry it's no fun!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Family Home Evening Packets

I have 20 minutes until nap time! I really need nap time today. Mama's sick. No, I'm not pregnant. Just a cold that makes me want a day of bed rest. That ain't happening. So, I'll settle for a good nap. We'll see if that happens. Anyway, enough complaining. I'll tell you about the great thing that Jakob and I accomplished today... Well, I'm thrilled about it anyway;)

Jakob and I were reading out of the Children's Friend magazine this morning for our morning devotional. The last story we read talked about Family Home Evening. After talking about the story a bit Jakob asked me a very good question: "Why don't we have family home evening every week like they do?" ... And the child shall lead them.

That very moment I decided to act upon the desire I've had for months to create several FHE Packets. The spirit quickly gave me an idea of HOW I was going to accomplish this. I've been wanting to purchase a book that has games and ready-made activities in it. Instead, the prompting came to use what I already have been given in the Children's Friend magazine. Funny how something so simple took so long to recognize. Oh well... Jakob and I seized the moment... Finally!

During school time we sorted each magazine into piles according to years and months (I have to use any teaching moment possible.) Then we tore out each Sharing Time activity and any other games available. From there we glued, cut, and completed 9 weeks worth of activities. YIPPEE!!!

It feels so good to know that every Monday we can go to the stack of manila envelopes and choose an activity that is already to go. LOVE IT!!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Our Conference Reverence Tent

This weekend is a special weekend for our church and our family. It is General Conference weekend. The members of our church throughout the world gather together to listen to the prophet and other leaders of the church speak to us and give guidance and counsel from the Lord.

Leif and I look forward to listening to the speakers and feeling a renewal of spiritual strength from their words. Jakob on the other hand looks forward to our Conference Reverence Tent. What is this, you ask? Well, in the Book of Mormon there is a righteous king named Benjamin who asks all of his people to gather together to listen to the word of the Lord. He instructs each family to set their tents so their door faces the temple which is where King Benjamin was speaking from.

Last year we took on the tradition of setting up our own Conference Reverence Tent. I told Jakob Friday morning that we would be listening to conference on Saturday. He very excitedly reminded me of the Conference Reverence Tent. He even went on to say "This will be the greatest Sunday EVER!" ... Mission Accomplished!
The night before conference we clean the house and then read a story about either King Benjamin or a story in the church magazine (The Friend) that shares another families story about their Conference Reverence Tent. We then gather the blankets and clothes pins and set up our tent with the opening facing our computer (we watch General Conference online.) And to top it off I plan and make lots of goodies and games for us and the kids to share throughout conference. We bring in Jakob's art desk and art supplies and Caleb's puzzles and a few toys to keep them entertained. The best resource that I've found for ideas is She lets everyone list their ideas on her site.

So how does it work out? Well, let's just say that I REALLY appreciated Elder Bednar's talk today about the value of consistency in a family. Leif and I are trying to consistently show our children the importance of listening to the prophet and following his counsel. Do they grasp what we are trying to teach them? Yes, I believe they do. Is it perfectly reverent? No. Our goal at this point is to become more and more reverent throughout the growing years. This is our mission and prayer.

LDS Youth Murder Mystery Dinner Activity

Wednesday night our ward sponsored a Tri-Ward Youth Activity. We live in a small town. We have two wards in our town and one ward in a town just west of us. We planned and carried out a Murder Mystery Dinner for the youth. It turned out Fantastic! The kids were so excited about the activity that they told EVERYONE at the school. We ended up having just over 90 people come to the activity. For our small area that is a wonderful turn out!!

My family owns Hunt Mysteries. It is a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Company. Because I was raised planning and carrying out Murder Mystery Dinners, I was given the "honors" of being in charge of the nights events. Because this was a church activity, I wanted to find an LDS version of a Murder Mystery. So naturally, I went to the ever-faithful They have several LDS themed Murder Mystery Activity ideas. Once I found the game we wanted to play I began delegating.
The second best part of the whole night was to witness the follow-through from every leader who accepted a responsibility. We made really cute centerpieces for all of the tables, salad, spaghetti, bread, and brownies and ice cream.The decoration theme was Halloween and it turned out perfect!

The VERY BEST part of the whole night was watching all of the youth participate with enjoyment and enthusiasm. For anyone who works with youth, you know what I mean. At the end of the game my husband and I gave a finale run through of what the story was really about and who the the murderer was. The story we chose came from the Book of Mormon about the prophet Nephi prophesying about the king's death. When we came to the part in the finale when I read who the murderer was the kid's filled the room with cheers of triumph because the majority of them had come to the correct conclusion. Tickled by their reaction, I continued with the finale and closed the night with my testimony of the fact that we have a living prophet on the earth today just as they did in the days of old. The spirit was there to testify to not only the youth who attend the activities regularly, but to those who don't come as often and those who are investigating Jesus Christ and his church. It was a night I will not soon forget. I hope it is the same for those who attended as well.
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