Sunday, December 23, 2012

Snot and pee and all things icky….

I have a little one SCREAMING in his room.


I am wondering if he will lose his voice.  I am wondering if I will lose my mind.   We have been tantruming daily.   (not sure if that is a word or if it is if that is how you spell it.)

I know, I know….I knew what I was getting into…these little ones are traumatized…they have been through so much…blahblahblahblah…

Yes, indeed I know all of that.  I did know what I was getting into.  These little ones are traumatized and they have been through so much.   And I am completely committed and determined to help them heal but just for a moment, just for right now…..




You know they say (who are THEY anyway??) that when you break a bone the place that has been broken becomes stronger*.  I think that might be true but have you ever broken a bone?  It flippin hurts.   This process hurts.  Not just them but me, my kids, my husband but we have our moments of strength.  There are those times when we sit in midst of the screamingpeesnotandickythings and feel almost normal. 

Okay, I feel a bit better.  Just saying that somehow helps me to put the smile back on my face.  Anyone want another cup of coffee?  

Did I mention we don’t feel good and we are missing church



*…so according to the NY Times this likely isn’t true but it makes for a nice thought so we’ll go with it.  I just want to point out that THEY are wrong a lot.

**I know the blog whining is getting old. sorry, it really is theraputic.  Somehow saying it to the internet makes me feel better.

Friday, December 21, 2012

And so this is Christmas…

and what have you done? another year over…a new one just begun.  have a very merry christmas and a happy new year. I hope it’s a good one without any fear….

I really want to be done with the melodrama.  I promise I do…every post lately has been melodrama.   But…I also want to be real and the truth is..

I’m feeling really melodramatic lately…

I know it’s the season to be jolly but my niece just brought home her dying son for one more christmas and (not to minimize her very real, very tragic pain) I am feeling like the sky is falling over here.  So while there is still joy in the journey, jolly there is.not.

Sometimes the going gets tough.  You keep going.   You repeat yourself a million times and then once more.  AND SMILE..for goodness sake don’t forget to smile!  And it all seems like it’s going to last forever (or in my niece’s case will not last long enough) and sometimes you wonder: where is God in all of this….not in a “why me?” kind of way more in a “no really, where are You? I am a little confused…” kind of way.

We get tired and cranky and lonely.  And that’s okay. You try to explain but no one really gets it any way (well, the ones that have been there do…)  Platitudes and pacifiers don’t help and if one.more.thing.goes.wrong.I.just.might.cuss. ::Gasp::

Really….you’ll get through this. I’ll get through this. 

Sometimes life just don’t make sense at all…

In times like these I remember John in a jail cell…

Are You the one? Or do we look for another?

I notice Jesus didn’t say “don’t worry!  everything will be fine!  I will be there in just a minute!”   Nope.  This is what He said:

"Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

Strangely that gives me comfort.  In a way I can’t really articulate….I think I just to be reminded that He really did call me to this.  That in the end it does matter… Him.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

For Sale….

Not loving the whole do it by hand thing so passing these on SmileDSC_0077
Ashford Mini Hand Carders $45.00 plus shipping (new price $65.00 plus shipping)
Louet Double Row Tine Mini Combs $100.00 plus shipping (new price $155.00 plus shipping)

If interested you can reach me at countingsheepfarm[@]

Cormo Fleeces….

Here are a few of the Cormo fleeces I have left.   These unfortunately are the ones who slipped there coat so there is a bit of vegetable matter in them…




Thursday, December 13, 2012


It’s that time of year you know…the time for sentimental feelings, for snow, for christmas trees…the time when it’s hurts the most when things are wrong.

My niece and her husband are the in hospital with their 4 year old son.   They are doing handprints.   Posted pictures on facebook, comments about how precious those handprints are….

Handprints are for memories….my heart whispers

Handprints are for dying boys, for the ones you can’t take home and this world is not a safe place.

4 year old boys shouldn’t be this sick…mommas shouldn’t have to pray that they just get well enough to take home one more time.   17 year old boys shouldn’t die and it’s Christmas time again….and the wounds are raw and bleeding.

I still remember the nurse coming in to do handprints.  She pressed his hands down, hands that wouldn’t work anymore no matter how much we prayed.  Hands of a man and still of a child.   And we carried the handprints home in a box and they put his body in a box and we were left without words and without a son, left with the pain so heavy that it bowed us low.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? Ps 56:8

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken  Is 25:8

If you are in the area, there is a benefit for my niece’s family….

Monday, December 10, 2012

Why in the world are you doing this???

By this I mean older child adoption and foster care and it’s a good question.  In fact while sitting on the phone with a fellow soldier (my kiddo’s former foster mom…) we were asking ourselves that very question.   Why are we doing this again?

I will tell you this:

we don’t do it for money …we frequently work overtime and we are always on call.  No… you can’t pay us enough for all the work we do.

we don’t do it for praise or for a thank you.  There isn’t any coming.  In fact we are often scrutinized by well meaning adults who feel it is their duty to inform us how exactly they would handle the situation with “cute beyond words little Johnny”.  And I won’t tell what “cute beyond words little Johnny” says but here’s a hint: it isn’t thank you.

we don’t do it because we want more kids….have you seen the sitcom Eight is Enough?  Do I really need to elaborate on this one?

The truth is the work is hard and exhausting and there are days when we wonder why we do this ourselves.  We know the risks (yes we really do, we have heard the horror stories.  We understand it can go horribly wrong and that all the love and help we can give may not be enough.)

But, if you and I were chatting over a cup of coffee and you asked me this I would tell you….

we do it for hope…we do it for the ones who might make it.  We do it for dreams and for futures…

we do it because we are soldiers….we fight for them because they can’t do it for themselves and because we are afraid no one else will…

we do it because we are compelled….honestly we have no choice.  We think of giving up but we can’t…God has burned into our hearts the need to do this thing, to become more than we were before so they can become all they were meant to be.

And if you and I were chatting over a cup of coffee (we really ought to do that sometime) I would quietly ask you if you know someone like me, a fellow soldier.   If you do…take the time to understand.  Educate yourself if you can.  These precious, precious children often come in to our homes much like a wounded animal and like a wounded animal they snap at the ones who are desperately trying to help.  We really do have a heart for these little ones but we are not able to parent them in the same way we would for non-traumatized kiddos.  You may watch us and think we are over controlling or tough but to a child who has not been cared for or worse, abused…kindness is frightening.  If I am too kind I appear weak and if I am weak they feel they must gain control.   Often they do not feel empathy and do not react appropriately when they encounter it.  It is hard to understand or even fathom but they respond best to strength and clear (even seemingly controlling) expectations.  We must protect them and those they come in contact with and it is exhausting.  Please be patient while we help them heal.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


There is a contest over at the Counting Sheep Farm group in Ravelry….check it out for your chance to win a $15.00 Gift Certificate!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tying knots….

It might be hope…..

Sometimes you just find you have reached the end of your rope.  You tie a knot and hang on because that is all you know to do.  

I wish had lots of flowery language and words of wisdom to make all the angst that I am feeling seem beautiful but the truth is life isn’t pretty at the end of the rope.  It is blood and sweat and tears.  Lots of tears.  It seems that the harp should play and God should descend while angels sing of my bravery and sacrifice.  But here I am…..swinging at the end of the rope….the end of myself. 

Life is not horrible, it is just that I am not good at waiting and wondering.  I am not so great at the trust part.   I would like a plan and a promise and I would like it NOW.  And my thoughts and fears are so loud I can’t hear God whisper……”trust me”  And when I get really honest (which tends to happen when you’re swinging in the air) I have to admit that (dare I say it?) I don’t want to trust.  I want to be in control.  I’d like to call the shots here, thank you very much!

And when I am finally quiet enough, honest enough, tired enough to listen; God speaks.   I realize He hasn’t been ignoring me all this time…..He’s been waiting.  Waiting to gently remind me that doing things on my own is what got me at the end of this rope in the first place.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Lessons learned in the valley…

It’s been an in between day today, neither sunny or rainy…not too warm but not really that cold.  A perfect day for feeling not quite right.

We all have those days.  You know what I mean….when you are still reeling from the last blow, just barely getting your footing and then here comes another and you are desperately trying to avoid the tailspin that comes from looking at all that has gone wrong around you.  Your prayers seem useless, like nonsensical syllables bouncing around the room and off the ceiling.   You search for the magic bean, (even if there is a giant at the top of the beanstalk at least you are doing something!)…or maybe if you hold your head just right it will all be okay.   What makes sense on the mountain top sometimes seems hard to understand in the valley…the place where it really matters.   There are more questions than answers…

So what can you do?   You put one foot in front of the other.   When you are done with elaborate prayers and desperate pleas each breath whispers His Name.  You come to the end of yourself and suddenly it starts to make sense again…

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full on His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. 

Oh, yeah that’s what I was missing…I just forgot where to look.  Not at these things that seem so wrong, the giants that seem so big….but on You.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tis the season!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and ate until we were stuffed like the turkey! The little guys were excited to eat pie (we generally limit the sugar as it tends to cause behavior issues) and "have whatever we want!" This exciting announcement led the 2 yr to make an announcement of his own "Last time K puked!" Ah the wisdom of children. I am thankful for left overs because I have spent the last two days laid up with the stomache flu and the two little ones have caught yet another cold. Hopefully tonight everyone will sleep well and will wake up healthy. We have a busy week ahead of us. We covet your prayers...I can't say much but the are a lot of important things being decided soon.

Much love to you all! Thank you for all your support!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Things we can and can not have….

I have been nearly nonexistent in the cyber world lately…I think the last time I updated the blog was a month ago or so :/  Life has been completely crazy.    I would love to write some eloquent words to make up for the lack thereof but my mind is reeling and I am having a hard time putting together a cohesive thought.  I hope you will bear with me…

We still have the foster boys.  Believe it or not tomorrow on the 21st it will be exactly 6 months.   It has been the most heart wrenching, exciting and fulfilling thing I have ever done and I never dreamed that I would live through it!  Every week (sometimes every day!) brings a new challenge or some new hurdle to navigate but by the grace of God alone I am learning to roll with the punches and not worry about tomorrow.  I am desperately in love with them now and there is more laughter than tears most days. 

The farm is doing well and we expect lambs any day.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by all that needs to be done but I am learning that it is really my lack of planning that makes things difficult more than the actual volume of work.

And this update wouldn’t be complete without the latest saga in my insane life….









This a picture of my sister and me with my real dad.   If you had asked me a month ago I would have told you that he left us when I was little and never looked back.  I would have told you that I was devastated when it happened, that I’m devastated now.   I would have told you that I remembered him and that I remembered loving him very much and I didn’t understand how it was that he didn’t love me.   I would have said for that for years I struggled believing that anyone could love me;  that the concept of a Father God was foreign to me because fathers didn’t care for you, they left you.  I would have told you that God healed much of that and that He showed me that He loved me beyond reason.  But I would still tell you I missed my dad.   I would tell you that I found him once when I was 19 and that he told me that he looked for me and that he never left me.  And I would have told you that he was lying.

Turns out…he wasn’t.   He was telling the truth.  The details are sketchy and there is a lot I don’t know or understand but I am not sure I want to.   My husband asked me if I was angry that I wasn’t told the truth.  I am not.   I am so full of happy there is no room for anything else.  I’m sad for my dad.  I am sad about the whole situation but I know this: God does all things well.

It is a bit overwhelming really.  I could focus on the lost years…all those times I cried because growing up was hard.  I could think only of what could have been….what I could have had or how my sister hated him because she believed that he left us.  I could think of all the pain, dwell on it and let it swallow me up.  But right now it doesn’t matter.   There are things I can and can not have…I will rejoice in what God has given me.

Life is hard.  But God IS good.

Edit: My sister and I drove to see my dad this past week and I talk to him everyday. We It's almost like we never were apart. God is doing amazing things and I am so thankful.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Home again, Home again Loop De Loo

Ahh…two nights in my own bed and I am beginning to feel somewhat normal again.  I feel a bit more able to confront the roller coaster that is my life and I even updated the etsy store Winking smile

2012 10 31_1177

2012 10 31_1181

2012 10 31_1188

2012 10 31_1189

2012 10 31_1192

2012 10 31_1197

2012 10 31_1201

2012 10 31_1203

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Boy am I tired! One more day left at SAFF with rain and 35 mile per hour wind predicted...

Hilary of Criminal Knits stopped by with her fabulous sidekicks and I was delightfully entertaining as usual (okay I was a complete goof off channeling airhead but we had fun nonetheless)

Sleep tight fiber friends, it's gonna be a doozy tomorrow!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


It has been pretty crazy here on the farm.  We still have the two foster children and although we hoped to adopt them it looks like God may have other plans.   It is the hardest thing I have ever done and any attempt to describe my disappointment at the latest turn of events would be inept. 

But life doesn’t stop so neither can we….Next week Allison and I head to North Carolina for SAFF.  Here are a few of the things I am bringing along for the Ewe Hottie booth.


(my husband can’t believe anyone would buy one of these silly hats, here’s hoping he’s wrong!)



Thursday, September 20, 2012

It is done!


I have successfully completed the Family Herbalist course through Vintage Remedies!  Now onto the Clinical Master Herbalist Course Smile

Today I am studying the Doctrine of Signatures and it is quite fascinating.   Simply stated the Doctrine of Signatures is a philosophy that states that herbs that resemble parts of the body are successful for treating that part of the body.  In addition plants that resemble animals can be useful in treating illnesses or wounds in relation to that animal.  For example snakeroot is an herbal remedy for snake bites.

Perhaps it is just superstition, perhaps not…the belief is rooted in the deeper belief that the Creator placed His signature in creation hence the name “doctrine of signatures”

It is interesting to note however that this belief seems to hold true in many cases.  In the case of the Elderberry, the berry cluster resemble the air sacs of the lung and it has been shown thrown various studies to be effective in shortening the duration of colds and flu. 

I will quick babbling and get back to studying….hope to see you next weekend at Northern Lamb and Wool!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why I love Irish Dance

Tonight was our first night back to Irish Dance after a month off.  I nearly died.  Seriously, I thought I was going to leave a lung on the floor.  But I loved every minute of it!  Why?

Because I got to be someone other than mom, just for a little bit.  I really, really love being a mom don’t get me wrong, but sometimes… between the diapers and the tantrums and the emotional rollercoasters of puberty it is just nice to focus on something else for a little while.

Because I go with my son and daughter and we get to work on who we are together outside of the daily monotony of farm chores and dishes.

Because I sweat and all the anxiety and failures of the week run down and the movement helps me regroup a bit.

Because every once and a while there is a moment in the dance when it just flows and you seem to transcend time.  All that is there is the beat and the beauty of the gift that God has given you to move just so at just the right time and you feel almost as though He’s watching…. quite like a father watches His little girl twirl around and around.  He laughs when she laughs and no matter how she fails and fumbles….

He thinks she is quite beautiful.

So I guess in the end what I really love is how dancing makes me think of God…and how very much He loves us.

Funny huh?

Saturday, September 1, 2012


A ran into an old friend and she and her family kindly gifted me her mother’s Union rug loom!  

2012 09 01_1006

The warp is already on, I just need to tie it.   I am pretty excited to get started.  In return, I need to weave something on it for one of the brothers.  I can’t wait to get started.

I am a total beginner (epic failure even) at weaving but I am determined to figure it out!  Last night I put the warp on the Katie loom and it didn’t go well….

2012 09 01_1169

At first everything seemed fine until I tried to raise the heddles.   Then as you can see the shed is a mess ;(

2012 09 01_1168

2012 09 01_1171

2012 09 01_1173

If anyone can tell me what I am doing wrong I would greatly appreciate it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ewe Hottie!!

Ahhhh…home again!  Just spent the weekend at the Michigan Fiber Festival and it was lovely as usual.  Zeillingers was kind enough to bring my finished fiber (it’s been sitting there since April!  Good thing I pay when I drop it off!) so I have lots of yummy stuff to play with!


Allison (my business partner for the past 5 or so years) makes a wonderful rug yarn that was used to make the rug in the picture and we sold every.single.bump!  If you were there and missed out you can reach her at

Everyone loved our business name (Ewe Hottie) and we couldn’t keep our cute bags in stock.   In fact we are ordering more right now!  

Our next show is Northern Lamb and Wool in West Branch.   In the meantime we would love it if you would like our facebook page:  It is in need of a little work yet but that’s where you will find coupons for the shows and where we will be next!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Getting herbal…

81112 028

Today I made an Elderberry glycerite.  It will sit for 21 days and then I will use it to make elderberry syrup.  Elderberry is an excellent immune stimulant and has been shown in clinical trials to shorten the duration of the cold or flu.  

To make your own glycerite you will need:

  • 70 ml vegetable glycerin (not synthetic glycerin, make sure you check your label!)
  • 30 ml water
  • you can also add 20 g of stevia, I opted not to because this will be used in a syrup and sugar will be added then.

Add the ingredients to a sterile glass jar (I added 1 ounce of elderberries to the above recipe), seal and shake well.  Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for 21 days.  Shake daily.

(recipe is from the Vintage Remedies Clinical Master Herbalist Course)

81112 029

I have also made a tincture with Gotu Kola.  Gotu Kola is beneficial for many things such purifying the blood, improving the health of the skin, cleansing and boosting the immune system and strengthening the adrenals but the use I am most interested in is the benefit on the brain.  It is said to be calming, help with focus and improve concentration and memory.

If you are interested in making your own herbal medicine I recommend reading Backyard Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal or The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook by James Green.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It’s pretty busy ‘round here…

But there is always time for a quick cuddle!

IDF Sheep Aug 027

Sunday, August 5, 2012

IDF Ewes

We are so excited to have our new IDF ewes!   15 ewes, just delivered…

IDF Sheep Aug 003

IDF Sheep Aug 016

The farmer is pretty happy with how good they look!

IDF Sheep Aug 013

And so is Jacque!

IDF Sheep Aug 005

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dear Todd II,

Can you believe you would have been 25 on Wednesday?   Of course you can.  There you are..outside of time bound no longer by days and years.  I wonder if you see us.   Remember how worried we were that Eli would never grow up?  Seems silly now….grow up he did.   He still takes care of Josiah all the time.  He brings him to work a couple of days a week and to karate.  

Joey is going to college and will start at Ferris soon.  Electrical engineering…not surprising huh? 

Bobbi runs the restaurant all by herself.  She is still great at bossing people around :)

You won’t recognize Twila!  She is 12 years old!   Just barely 5 when you left us.  David is 11 now and Jed is almost 10 (it’s important that I mention that).  And then there are the two peanuts.  Yeah, all those conversations about adoption….remember?

Your dad finds his happiest moments here on the farm.  You wouldn’t believe it!  We have sheep (15 delivered today!) cows AND chickens!  Remember how badly I wanted chickens?

What I wouldn’t give for one more conversation.  I have so much to tell you!   I will save it in my heart until we meet again…

Love you,


ps. We remember.  Every day we remember you.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Just got home from Charlevoix!  We had a wonderful time at Castle Farms and we have decided to make the spa day a yearly tradition. 

I cast on my Ravellenic Games project although I haven’t had a chance to take pictures yet.  I made pretty good progress though!

And…finally!  I am updating the etsy store!


3 0unces Cormo Combed Top, Seafoam colorway $13.50


I entitled this colorway Lazy days but I wonder….does anyone have the lazy days of summer anymore??

4 ounces Merino, Lazy Days colorway $12.00


Ah, what to name this guy???  I’m stumped!  Tell ya what…you name him!   If you like him, purchase him and message me a name and I will refund your shipping!

He how shall remain nameless (for now!) 4 ounces Merino $12.00


Granny Smith, 4 ounces 100% Merino $12.00


Wensleydale Locks, 2 ounces $7.00

And finally…


100% Soysilk, 3 ounces $9.00

Monday, July 16, 2012

Still kicking….

Seemed I had abandoned the blog.  Not so!  In fact I have thought of blogging many times but so many things are grappling for my attention that I am putting out fires instead (not literally thank God!)

I am learning that I can do so much more than I thought I could.  I can endure much more than I believed myself capable of and I really can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

This confuddled process we are in is interesting, many times joyful and some times frustrating.  In every situation despite best efforts we come with expectations and must learn to deal with those expectations when they are not met.   As many of you know we intended on doing older child/special needs adoption, which means basically: children over the age of 2 and sibling groups (although special needs is not a label limited to sibling groups it can also mean mental or physical needs).  In the state of Michigan they require that you also receive your license for Foster Care so that children can be placed in your home more quickly.  We are surprised to find ourselves doing foster care, with (at least at this point) no end in sight.   Please don’t get me wrong I love our new little ones and I am glad to care for them, it’s just that I EXPECTED we would have children that we were in the process of adopting and the playing field is a little different.  (I should also clarify that the agency did warn us that things might now go exactly as hoped)

But I am learning and growing and I know that God has a plan.  And…He truly does not give you more than you can handle.

Just in case you are interested here are few of the things we are learning…

  • Things rarely go as planned.  Expectations are devilish things and they cause a lot of trouble.  Focus on the moment and let God take care of the rest.
  • It can get quite difficult after the honeymoon period is over but I must remember if I can maintain a joyful heart and a peaceful countenance the children are more easily able to calm down themselves.  This benefits both the foster children and my biological children.
  • Smile a lot.  Even if I don’t feel like it, if I keep smiling eventually the joy will surface!
  • God gives grace.  Accept it and press into it.   I am amazed by how many times I am at my wits end yet a quick “Help me Jesus!  I need more grace” really helps me calm down and do the next thing.
  • The seesaw of trying to prepare for the possibility that the children my leave and throwing your all into caring for them is more difficult than I thought.  I need to be patient with myself.
  • This is perhaps the most important thing I have learned.   I must make a conscious effort to focus on my biological children.  The needs and demands of the little ones are constant and when I am off step can be overwhelming but I can not let my older children forget how wonderful and important they are.   I am not always getting this done as well as I would like but it is a conscious effort.   Often times a moments conversation “How are you doing?” is all it takes.

Well off I go, someone is pitching a fit Smile  Better go check on the troops!  


PS.  Anyone heading to Castle Farms next weekend?   Hubby is holding down the fort so I can man the booth with some dear friends!   (Oh another lesson learned…your husband is not inept if he is willing to help, let him!)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lambs for sale…




I have done a horrible job marketing with all that is going on at the farm but we do have some lovely lambs for sale!  Cormo, Iceland and Finn Crosses.  We will have some IDF crosses available in November too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things…

2012 06 13_0990

Robins in the front yard…

2012 06 13_0991

Flowers blooming…

2012 06 13_0994

Sheep in tall grass….

2012 06 13_0995

Sowing seeds that turn into radishes…

2012 06 13_0996

My very own herb garden…

2012 06 13_0997

That crazy rooster…

2012 06 13_1001

Those crazy kids….

2012 06 13_1002

Sourdough bread fresh out of the oven…

2012 06 13_0998

Lazy lambs…

2012 06 13_0999

The daily barn meeting for the Society of Cackling Hens…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...