Sometimes I feel like I live in a zoo

We have a house and property full of critters. Our newest arrivals are a trio of Fire Belly Toads. They are pretty cool.

I am not confident enough to handle feeding them though. The tank they are in has a screen top with a metal clip on each side to “lock” it. We feed the toads crickets (which have their own little habitat), and superworms that we also feed to our Golden Tegu. I have had a hard enough time feeding the lizard, because I think the superworms are gross. I will only pick them up with tongs. The crickets freak me out, since they jump around. I really don’t want to lose any in the house. The habitat comes with tubes that the crickets crawl into, so you can use those when you feed your pet. I have not tried it yet. I am afraid that I might lose a toad when I open the tank. Luckily a feeding once a day is sufficient, so I leave it up to my husband. πŸ˜‰ Here are two of th toads in a little

Here are two of the toads in a little “river” in the tank.

Here we have one on the vine which goes into the swimming area of the tank. We put a few fish in the swimming area. We caught them in our outdoor koi pond. They are just regular feeder goldfish that have bred out there though. I think we have about 100 babies in our pond! The toads might eat the fish since they will eat anything they can fit in their mouths.

Here is a close up of the nasty superworms. The bedding is oatmeal, which is also food for them. We have to feed them bits of fruit to keep them hydrated too. These turn into large black beetles that put off a stink. We will find the beetles in the lizard enclosure, because they escape from the food dish. The lizard enclosure has a mulch bottom, so the worms burrow and hide until they transform.

This picture is too blurry to show the little crickets, but it shows the tubes that they crawl into. The tubes slide out of the habitat and the opening has a cover. I see how this is better than opening the whole top… risking a mass exodus. ;P

Here are some pictures of our ball python and our golden tegu.

This is Sweetie. She is about 4 1/2 feet long. We have had her for almost 20 years. πŸ™‚ I had her out the other day when my son’s friend was over for a visit. My son was not very amused when I put her on his head like a hat. I wore her around my neck, and that made them nervous. She is very strong, but I didn’t let her coil around my neck. Most of her body was hanging down the front of my body.

Here is our golden tegu. He/She doesn’t really have a name. I refer to it as a female, and call it Lizzie, but the boys think it’s a male. They don’t really call it by a name though. This variety of tegu is not easily tamed, so we don’t handle it. It’s just a lookin’ at pet. πŸ˜‰

We do have “normal” pets like cats and dogs, and outdoor animals like ducks, fish and a rabbit. We had 2 rabbits, but lost one recently to old age.

😦 I had written in another post that soon we will not have the ducks, since we will butcher them for food. I plan on starting that Wednesday.

7th grade registration is done.

Yesterday we met with the guidance counsellor of my son’s school, and took a tour. She was pleasant, and my son didn’t seem stressed out. He was happy to see the computer lab.

I don’t feel good about sending him at all. I realize the school was being cleaned, but besides the clutter and smells it felt like a dungeon. The school seems pretty run down, and outdated. 😞

My son will have access to decent technology, but overall I am not impressed. Hopefully his teachers will impress me more than the environment. πŸ˜‰

Shortly after meeting we found out they had set my son up as if he were starting 6th grade. That was changed by crossing his name off of one list, and adding it to another. I didn’t mention the misspelling of his name when she re-wrote it though. πŸ˜› She asked us about how he was doing in math, because they did have pre-algebra as an option for 7th grade. We chose to put him in it. After a month, if he and the teacher feel he’d be better off in the standard 7th grade class he can move down. I am pretty confident that he’ll do fine.

He’ll be starting in 3 weeks. It will be so strange not homeschooling him. Last year he pretty much did everything on his own, since it was computer based learning, but he was here. We had so much freedom, and now we will have to conform to the school schedule. πŸ˜›

I am feeling anxious about having all of his schol supplies ready, worrying that he might get lost trying to find his classes, worrying he might get picked on or ignored. I can’t let him see my anxiety, or it will only cause him to worry. Part of me wants the next 3 weeks to drag, so we can just have our normal lives and part of me wants to speed time up so he can start…and hopefully adjust well. πŸ™‚

Trying to find where we belong

My husband has been searching for a church for us for quite some time. We were members of one in a nearby town until we questioned practices and were basically ostracized. This happened around Christmastime, when the church was planning activities to invite the public to. We thought that not doing all of the comfortable/typical/worldly Christmas activities would help us stand out as a church and do more for the Kingdom of God than decorating Santa cookies etc. The problem was, that the church leaders were not willing to let go of man’s traditions. They thought we were taking the joy out of life and being legalistic. We thought we were stepping away from the greed/envy/jealousy/stress etc. that the holiday season brings with it.

My husband has looked into so many different Christian denominations. Some are pretty close to what we believe and some are way off. Most recently, he has been looking into Judaism. Christianity hasn’t felt right, so he’s digging deeper into the roots of our faith. Jesus was Jewish, and followed the Jewish practices. Whether Jesus was or wasn’t the messiah, he was Jewish. If we’re supposed to follow him to the Father, shouldn’t we be following Jewish beliefs?

Worrying about what the right religion to follow is, has caused many sleepless nights for my husband. I am so grateful that he is our family’s spiritual leader, and that he really cares about our relationship with God. My constant prayer is for God to show us the path to follow, and how to be who He wants us to be. I think God has been answering my prayer through our religious transition over the past several years. We went from believing everything we were told to be true, to actually doing research and trusting our guts. When something just felt wrong we would do research and find our feelings to be justified.

Whether we convert or not, my husband found something very interesting in his research. He read about the seven laws of Noah. These Noahide laws are supposed to be a binding set of laws for the “children of Noah” which is all of humanity! These laws are said to assure those who follow them “a place in the world to come”.

Here is the list he found…

1. Do not deny God

2. Do not blaspheme God

3. Do not murder

4. Do not engage in illicit sexual relations

5. Do not steal

6. Do not eat from a live animal

7. Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to said laws.

We know we are far from perfect, but we are striving to be what God designed us to be. We want to set a good example for our children and set them on the right path. We don’t want to give them mixed messages, and confuse them about our faith. We are growing in our faith all the time, and learning new truths as we do. My oldest child is 12, and has experienced some changes in our belief system. I really want to find truth and our place soon, so the little ones don’t have to experience the confusion and stress of sorting through mistranslation, flat out lies and discrepancy.

Getting Ready For School

We have been out school clothes/shoe shopping over the past couple of days. It’s so strange to be doing this for the first time in 6-7 years. We had planned on unschooling this year, but my son’s medical condition changed our plans.

Hypothyroidism doesn’t always lead to the mental conditions my son developed, but since it’s what we’re dealing with we have had to make some big changes. My son really craves socialization, and with two brothers so much younger than him it can be tricky to find opportunities that work for our family’s needs. School will give him an opportunity to be around kids his own age, and give him a break from the babies.

My husband and I feel that he has a good grasp of our family values and beliefs. We hope he won’t just go along with the crowd when he is surrounded by beliefs that go against ours. He has been given the opportunity to know about other beliefs and make his own decisions about what he personally feels. We’ll see what actual exposure to other’s beliefs/teachings will do.

We meet with his guidance counselor on August 8th, and we’ll go on a tour of the school then. I am thankful that my son has an appointment with his mental health counselor later that day. I don’t want to anticipate there being concerns, but in case there are he can tackle them right away. πŸ˜‰ We had planned on his last session actually being his last, but the morning of his appointment he had some troubling thoughts. In that session we also realized that he’s counting “normal” thoughts of frustration as “bad thoughts”, so his idea of having a bad day may not be as bad as we think. For example, if he has a “what the #@$%” thought, he counts that as a bad thought. I explained that it is unfortunate that swear words have become part of everyday language for many people, but having that frustrated thought is totally normal. We want to avoid saying and thinking the swear words, and try to work through frustrations in a better way but that’s all. We can’t eliminate thoughts of frustration over things such as people doing things in a way that cause us inconvenience, or other irritations but we can work on having them affect our moods and behaviors less.

I do worry that he will have issues in the classroom. I worry he will interrupt his teacher or classmates, get annoyed if they teach things he already knows, and get frustrated if he has questions that can’t be answered when he wants them to be. I know there are many more possible situations that could arise and lead to stress on my son, but I have to think positively and not bring up potential problems in front of my son. He will stress himself out over those possibilities and not even think about the potential good experiences. Right now he is looking forward to going to school. Hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. None of us are looking forward to new sleep habits, but I know we’ll get used to it. We’ll see how bad homework is….he’s never had to do school plus more.

Baby’s First Whale Watch

We went on a whale watch yesterday. We brought my oldest son’s friend with us. 

We saw a harbor porpoise and some harbor seals pretty quick into the trip, but then there was a long boring stretch. We saw a few minke whales and a pod of atlantic white sided dolphins. The dolphins were the best part of the trip. They actually interact with the boats, and the wake they make. We saw some baby dolphins swimming alongside their mommas.

Sorry I didn’t get pictures of the wildlife,  but it’s hard to wear a baby and take pictures on a moving boat.πŸ˜‰

I did feel a little sea sick, even though I took medication. 😞 The baby was the only one who threw up though. All over me of course.😝

I almost forgot to mention that we saw the crew of the Pinwheel from “Wicked Tuna”working on their boat at the dock. My hubby got some pics of that. As we were heading out, they we’re getting ice loaded onto their boat. We were hoping to have them catch up to us so we could actually see them fishing out on Jeffrey’s Ledge, but they were still at the docks when we returned. We did see several tuna boats, but nobody actually fighting any fish.😞

A local celebrity. πŸ˜€

A Good Counselling Session

So, we just had a visit with my son’s counsellor and it went very well. My son announced that he didn’t feel he needed to go anymore. This is a huge change from the kid who didn’t think an hour a week would be enough. 

Honestly we all feel that his thyroid medication has leveled out and made a huge impact on his thoughts and moods. He still over thinks situations,  but we just want to make sure he doesn’t blame/ punish himself when over thinking. πŸ˜‰ His thoughts of harming others, or himself have pretty much disappeared. The only ones he might still have are “normal” during moments of frustration. He has been able to deal with his brothers much better, and without thoughts of hurting them. He actually wonders if what he confessed to actually happened. He thinks he may have just been exaggerating situations. I feel the same way. I never witnessed him hurting his brothers, or any signs that he had. The boys do have bruises from time to time, but they are clumsy boys.

We are taking next week off, then going in the following week to make sure he’s still doing as well and feeling like we can deal with any issues together as a family.

We have normal 12 year old discipline issues to focus on, but other than that I think we are able to put these issues behind us. I think we need to be vigilant so that feelings aren’t suppressed and handled improperly. 

It’s a good day!πŸ˜€

A Better WeekendΒ 

AHHH! Finally, a bit of relaxation. πŸ˜‰

I was able to get some yard work done Saturday…things that have been put off for too long. We had some leaves in a few areas of our property that sat way longer than they should have. So long in fact, that they started to compost! YIKES! 

I found so many worms. I kept some to use for fishing, and fed a lot to my ducks. The ducks were very happy to have them. There were plenty more that just ended up being relocated to the leaf piles along the edge of our property. If they only knew how lucky they were. πŸ˜‰

I was also able to clean up our patio by our swimming pool. Our table was littered with the pool floats that were never stored for the winter, leaves and various pool attachments. Trash was tossed, and the good items were stored properly. Now the table is clean and ready to hold my drinks and knitting while the oldest has his friend over to swim. This area had a lot of leaves to be moved too, but they are gone and the area actually looks welcoming. πŸ™‚

The house got a bit of a tidying up yesterday with a good amount of help from my 12 year old. He picked up so many baby toys that were strewn about our living area. The 2 year old almost never puts his toys away. This is something that we really need to work on. When my oldest was hospitalized, the 2 year old was very good about putting toys away in the hospital toy room. Unfortunately that behaviour did not carry over to his homelife. 😦

I have been knitting dishcloths lately, and am very pleased with how quickly they knit up. I was able to work on one while watching some Texas Flip N’ Move yesterday, and I hope to do more later. (Knitting and watching if there are new episodes on my DVR.) I found a bag of Sugar and Cream yarn at a thrift store recently and it’s my new favorite. I really like how it feels when I work with it. 

I might get out and do some more yard work today. My husband mowed most of our property last night after work, so if I can get out and take down the trees that are growing from our stumps the yard will look much more inviting. I’d love to get some stump grinding done, but we can’t afford that right now. 

This was a random post, as things popped into my head…sorry for that. I hope that today actually turns out to be as relaxing as I imagined it could be without set chores or errands to run. The baby needs me right now, so we’ll see how it goes. πŸ˜‰