Sunday, March 31, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Nicole and Philip helped me do the Easter shopping. The stores close for 3 days, and my family expects to eat well. I have a really bad head cold and feel like I haven’t got the strength to do much without taking a break. In the car we were listening to the radio. I can hardly believe what passes for words”. “Oh yeah yeah yeah Ooh! Oh yeah yeah Oh yeah yeah yeah Ooh!”! Nicole said last years greatest hit was Gangnam Style. I said they might as well be singing songs from Barney the blue Dinosaur. She said Barney sang real words, and he was purple. Just then Taylor Swift sings how she knew he was trouble when he walked into the door. Nicole said Taylor was on an emotional downer. I would be down too if I had song writers like they have today.
"All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them."
- Erma Bombeck
Today is my Mom's birthday. I want to wish her all God's best! She is a women of great courage. When I was little I remember her taking us to see a great Aunt who had a white sofa, and white carpet. I don't even have carpet in my house because of my kids. She left a good job to seek higher education. She has traveled all over the world. And She encouraged me to work hard, stay out of debt, and be a strong women. She loves God, cries when she sees Hallmark ads , and really cares about helping people. And I think I am allot like her, and allot like my Dad too. I wish I was there to give her a big hug, but God willing I will be there for Dad's next birthday. Today I honor my great mom! Happy Birthday! One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart. Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people stared -- how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought? The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears." "Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. "Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges -- giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?" The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.
Friday, March 29, 2013
I was in Jerusalem once at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It seemed like a tourist trap. Lines of people with cameras. And to the side of the main church was a room where they say the cross of Jesus once stood. The place Jesus died. There were no chairs in this room. People passed through it like it was a hall way. And I stood there and cried. When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads o’er His body on the tree; Then I am dead to all the globe, And all the globe is dead to me. Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I like the idea of building a chicken coop with rhe frame of a bunk bed. Then on the side of the coop, add a pallet garden. Maybe even two pallet gardens. I've never seen it done, but it sounds nice. I think I could even plant a green roof on the coop, at a sloop. Then you could capture water to give to the chickens.
The best chicken coop I have found so far is one made from an old bunk bed. I am really sick with a bad head cold. I have had a few hours to look at chicken coop ideas. And no, Juergen has not said yes to chickens. But I will be ready when he says yes.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I have a head cold. It's Easter vacation. My kids are making me so proud. They are working puzzles, reading novels, and building airplane models. Thomas asked for the 2, 3, and 4th book of a series of books about time travel. And Philip just started one of 4 books in a series about space. He is already on page 60. He has never read a novel before. He has always struggled with reading. But watch out, because he is finally getting it! And Sarah is reading her 2nd novel. They aren't always good, but they are right now. So forgive me for doing a little bragging...I see growth and it makes me so glad.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Why not start with an IBC and cut a hole for the door? You could build closed laying boxes into it, and something for the chickens to roost on. Put some straw or saw dust on the floor. You could add vents to the side for air. If it sat inside a chicken run that you can walk into, the chickens could be safe, dry and happy. I have an extra IBC. Maybe this could be my chicken house? I bet I could even plant the outside of it with mud and grass for extra insulation and good looks.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Fish that we have raised in aquaponics with good results: tilapia large mouth bass sunfish crappie koi fancy goldfish pacu various ornamental fish such as angelfish, guppies, tetras, swordfish, mollies Other fish raised in aquaponics: blue gill/breem carp barramundi silver perch, golden perch yellow perch Tilapia Catfish Large mouth Bass Plants that will do well in any aquaponic system: any leafy lettuce pak choi spinach arugula basil mint watercress chives most common house plants Plants that have higher nutritional demands and will only do well in a heavily stocked, well established aquaponic system: tomatoes peppers cucumbers beans peas squash
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I have 2 x 650 liter water storage containers in my green house. I am going to spray paint them with black paint. I am also going to coil copper wire inside the tanks of water. Copper is a good conductor of heat and it will not harm the water. So the water in my 2 water tanks should get hotter. And when the temperature drops in the night, that stored heat should help heat the green house. This will not help much in the winter, but I’ll get better use of the green house this spring, and in the fall. At least this is the hope.
I'm only using my green house to store trees right now. It's still too cold to start plants in. They say we will get snow again tonight. I was wondering if I could not get a pond pump to use with a solar pool heater. The solar heater could heat the 2 tanks of water I have, and the pump could pump it from one tank to the next. The hot water could heat the house? Just wondering. A cheap pool heater is under 50€. I could even get a solar pump.
Jessica got up this morning and got into the refrigerator. She got a can or refried beans that had been partly opened , but still had the lid on it. And she cut her finger on the lid. So she walked with her bleeding finger up the stairs into her TV room. She has a high tolerance for pain. She sat there for awhile, and let the blood run from her finger all over her, all over her sofa. Thank God it's leather and can be washed. Eventually she comes into our room to show Juergen she is bleeding. At first he thought she had a bloody nose. He takes her into the bathroom to clean her up. So now there is blood all over the bathroom too. And he discovers it's her finger. And he deals with the cut, holding it to stop the blood. And I grab a bucket and cold water to start cleaning the mess. There was blood in the kitchen, living room, downstairs hall, up the stairs, the upstairs hall, her bedroom, TV room, and bathroom. And I'm wondering how anyone does this alone? How can anyone raise any child, let alone a disabled child alone? But I'm not alone. In the end Nicole, Sarah and Philip were all helping with the clean up. Thomas was still asleep. And Juergen got the bleeding stopped. But Jess will not keep a band aid on it. So I'm thinking about putting a drop of crazy glue on it. I read..."Super glue as a treatment for wounds began during the Vietnam War when emergency medics would use it to seal wounds and stop bleeding. Today, athletes sometimes use it on minor injuries to stop bleeding quickly or to pad blisters. Some dermatologists even maintain that glue may lead to less scarring than stitches. " It isn't a deep wound. And it's a clean cut. The problem is that a band aid will drive my autistic daughter crazy. She will pull at it until it's off. So I don't think we can stop her from getting that finger bleeding again without super glue. It isn't such a big cut you would normally even need stitches. We will see. If she doesn't keep the band aid on, I'm going to try crazy glue. But I'm glad Juergen is home to help me with this mornings mess. I'm grateful the whole family helped clean up. I'm grateful Jessica is already her cheerful laughing self. No real harm done. It does make me wonder how anyone does it alone. We should all be aware of the millions of single parents and offer our support. The divorce rate of parents with autistic kids is 85%. Autism is a stressful disability, and can be very hard on families. I am so very blessed to have Juergen. He is such a great dad to all our kids. A great dad to Jessica. Yesterday we both sat with Jessica at McDonalds (just the 3 of us). It made her happy so we sat there for an hour. When I think about what the stupid girls look for in a husband today I have to wonder. "He is such a good dancer, he drives a cool car" . Stupid stuff. How about he will be there to help you when you need help. He will love you and honor you, and protect you. He will always do what is best for the family. He will do his best to be a provider. And he will not walk away from you if you have a sick child. I could never thank God enough for Juergen. I wish Jessica wasn't sick, but she is. And Juergen is with me. And so is Nicole. And even Thomas, Philip and Sarah are there. So it is OK. And I hope we raise our sons to be good husbands and fathers too. They are good dancers but I want them to be so much more.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
We just had a very good family dinner. Nicole baked two different cheeses. She and Sarah peeled carrots. I cleaned and cut up celery sticks. Thomas set the table and made some toast. Philip washed the strawberries. And Philip and Sarah helped be melt chocolate. So we had fresh veggies dipped in a good French cheese, and strawberries and bananas dipped in chocolate. And everyone helped, and everyone was full and happy. I know no better way to eat your fruit and vegetables! And I'm happy knowing Juergen is coming home (God willing) tomorrow. And God willing, his times of over time are over for awhile. It's been a real stress! Please still pray that Jessica sleeps well tonight. A good nights sleep was such a good gift. I feel a million times better today.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Jessica got up again at 4am and didn't go back to bed until after 6am. She picked a really bad week to be sleepless. Juergen is on a business trip all week. I feel like a zombie. I feel sorry for the other kids. Today Jessica didn't go to school, she was too tired. We could use some prayer. It isn't uncommon for Jessica to get out of sink once or twice a year. I just wish she choice a different week to do so. I don't know what I would do if nicole was not here to help me.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
It's going to rain for the next 10 days they say. I just ordered seeds. I ordered 5 new types of tomatoes, 2 types of cucumbers, a spaghetti squash, bell pepper, and strawberries. So I'll keep busy by planting some seeds. And I also ordered 2 sandwich peaches, and a brown turkey fig tree and 3 fall raspberries. The peaches we ate in Italy last year. I've never had a better peach. They are awesome! So I have a giant rose,2 grapes, an apple tree and "like" a million flower bulbs to plant this week. I should do that today but I'm still very tired. Jessica got up at 4:30 am yesterday, and 5am today. I have allot to do, but all I think I can do is take a nap. April is suppose to be warm. I hope to do allot of work in the garden. I know winter is almost over! The thought makes me extremely happy!
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Juergen and Philip moved the old cabinet I bought on eBay for one Euro. It took 2 trips to move it. And we were not sure where to put it. But finally we settled on the hallway upstairs. I'm putting all the bath stuff (shampoo, lotions, TP and medical stuff) in it. It locks. And the wood in the back of the cabinet was loose so Philip picked up a hammer and fixed it. Juergen showed him how to do it right. It made me want to cry. I was just so proud of my son learning how to do things right (wanting to learn). Thank God he has a dad who will teach him. My heart breaks for all those kids who don't.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
I got to spend a few hours in the garden yesterday. We planted a large bed of summer flower bulbs. And Nicole and Philip planted our potatoes. They had been sprouting in the kitchen. The potatoes are under straw so I hope the cold will not bother them. And I ordered one new apple tree and 2 new grapes. I want to plant the apple tree in front garden. The grapes are to train over the green house. I got a mold resistant variety of grape called 'Piroso' . It was breed in Germany in 1980. It was made to resist mold and cold. So I hope I will never need to spray it. The apple is an old Dutch apple called Elstar. It's suppose to keep well in the winter. I told Juergen apples are a long term commitment. You need to choice them wisely.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
I heard a term yesterday, “dumb phone” as compared to the smart phone. I have a dumb phone and I hardly ever use it. I think smart phones are cool. My problem with smart phones are the cost. It cost allot to actually maintain a smart phone. What are the monthly fees? I realize some people actually need (as in need not just want) the features of a smart phone. The fees are just necessary. But for so many people I know the 300-600€ yearly fees are kind of crazy. And I question how at least Christians can be paying that kind of money for a phone, while they give so little to the needs of the poor. And I know none of my friends are spending more for their phones then they do on orphans and the hungry. I just imagine the power of a church that just carried dumb phones, got rid of cable TV, and stopped drinking daily 5 dollar coffees and just began to consider the world that does not have clean water or food. I’m not agents good coffee now and then. I go to Starbucks about two times a year. But then again, I give and carry a dumb phone. And maybe you need your smart phone? I’m not judging you if you do. I’m only hoping you also give. Do you give more to the poor then you pay for your phone? Just wondering.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
The weather was very good so I planted the cabbages, lettuce, and turnips that I had stared from seed a few weeks ago. They are under cold frames just incase it freezes. I also bought a few hundred flower bulbs. I could not resist them. So I'll be planting flower bulbs this week too. It's going to get cold again on the weekend- enjoy it while I can!
Monday, March 04, 2013
Saturday, March 02, 2013
The sun is actually shinning today. I feel like I have so much more energy and life because of the light. Juergen and Nicole are visiting Juergen's dad in the North of Germany. I took pictures of Philip and Thomas' bedrooms and told them I would post them on face book if they didn't clean their rooms. So they are cleaning them. I cleaned the whole house. Sarah cleaned her room. It's a big house. I'll sleep well tonight because it was a big job.
Friday, March 01, 2013
This is our house in Leimen. We lived there for 8 years. Then we tried to sell it. But the market was bad. It stayed empty for a year. All the time, we fixed it up, and kept trying to sell. So it has a new kitchen, a new heater etc. Finally we rented it out. But I'm still hoping we can sell it. I've had 2 calls from people wanting to buy it in the past week. It's not even on the market. I've just been praying to sell it, and the phone has started to ring. I've learned some things just take time. I love our new house. This is a very good house too, just not big enough for 7 people. The market has changed. I think we could sell it now. And I’m praying God will provide a buyer.
I could jump the gun in my garden. There are so many things I should be able to plant now. But it's still winter. I think I'm just going to keep cleaning up. I'll wait a few more weeks until I plant anything, even in the cold frames and green house. And I will start my tomatoes next month. No use starting them too early. I lost allot of tomatoes that I planted early. One more month of waiting! How depressing!