Saturday, May 31, 2014

'Cause Boys Roll Like That

Boys are unusual creatures and I truly believe God laughed when he made little boys and gave them to Moms. I often shake my head in disbelief at how boys "roll".

Every day in our house there is something that leaves me in "awe". 

1. Two minutes in a completely tidy room and it is a disaster area.
2. Send a boy to "get" something and it takes 10 minutes for him to come back to you and ask you "What" it was you needed.

3. Boys tend to take the long way around of everything.
4. Boys can be look directly at something but never find it.
5. Underwear may or may not be found in the upstairs hallway.
6. "Why?" is the question and "Because I am the Mom and I said so" is the answer.
7. Not Me lives in our house with our four boys. It is amazing how much trouble Not Me gets into. I wish he would go back to where he came from.

8. Are all "little brothers" pesky and irritate "older brothers"?

 9. Of course Not Me invited Nobody and IDA know.

10. Each Morning, I had to get each of my boys up during the school year but now that is summer vacation we have had a Christmas miracle! Three of my boys are up by 8:00 a.m. each morning. The other is practicing to be a teenager.

11. Spills in the kitchen? What spills? 
12. Pee on the toilet seat? Wasn't us.
13. Bath time . . . Did you take a bath? Yes. Did you use soap? (Insert blank stare here.)
14. What do you mean I need to brush my teeth morning AND night? 
15. Mom, there are suds coming from the dishwasher!!! What soap did you use? The DISH soap. Ummmmmm Dawn Dish soap is for handwashing the dishes NOT the dish washer. (No, I am not kidding!)
16. The house is quiet and I hear my youngest yelling from the bathroom . . . "Anybody . . . Anybody . . . Is there Anybody OUT there?" What do you need Cody? "I am STUCK in here I NEED Toilet paper!"
17. Take the dogs out? I did, I took Seeley out. What? You mean I have to take Mia and Emma out too? (Insert HUFF here!)
18. When the boys actually clean their room and put things away where they belong they are surprised at the really cool stuff they find.
19. I have to remind myself, Randy and Katelyn . . . just because you see a box of something in the pantry doesn't mean there may actually be something in the box.
20. All of the boys, including Daddy, think Mom knows Where EVERYTHING is in the house. Mom is also the only one that can problem solve.

Yep, my life is just like FAMILY CIRCUS! 
(I wouldn't trade it for anything!)

1st Week of Summer Vacation

Our first week of Summer Vacation 2014 was a pretty good one. There were the ups and downs of four competitive brothers, but we made it through. Sometimes they "get it" and other times they "ignore it". 

Today we began short little lessons of fun with penmanship, maps and history. I want the lessons to be fun so one of the books contains jokes, they like jokes and they didn't mind the lessons.

Our family mourned a little no named duckling that was doing well until four days ago when its health began to decline. We tried to help it every way we knew and even took it to the vet for an overnight stay, but this morning it was clear . . . nature was taking its course. Our two vets and I agreed . . . this little one was too weak to recover and it painlessly went to sleep. We are so thankful for our kind and loving animal doctors!

The other ducklings are doing well. Mrs. G's 2nd Grade ducklings went for their first swim in the lake and LOVED it. Afterward they filled up on crickets and peeped happiness for a long time.

The ducklings had four very attentive "life guards" making sure they stayed close and safe.

The smallest ducklings - now a little over 3 weeks old have been moved outside. They now are working on foraging inside their pen for bugs. We also gave them a little lesson in foraging through the water for crickets. They are naturals! They also love running around in the grass and let me tell you, they are really fast!

Gwen, the Cayuga is growing well. She is so beautiful, but I think she believes she is a Mallard. She and the Mallards get along beautifully! We love to watch them interact.

The weekend has arrived once again and we are going to spend it enjoying our family and relaxing!

Have a great Saturday.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerance

Three weeks ago, give or take, Our family experienced a VERY Scary Health Issue with Ryan that could pop up in your kids too.

One afternoon, I was in my office at work and the boys were homeschooling in the next room. It was approximately 2:00 p.m. and Ryan was working his math paper. According to Ryan, he moved his arm and noticed a bruise up by the crease of the elbow, but on the top of his forearm. He came to me and I instructed him to put some ice on it. He came in with ice and I asked him what happened and he told me he didn't know. I wasn't worried about it, kids get bruises . . . especially boys. However, all that changed when he came to me 20 - 25 minutes later and the bruise had moved all the way down to his wrist and the forearm muscle was having spasms.  Not little spasms, but the biggest, freakiest spasms I have ever seen. Frankly, between the bruise and the spasms I began thinking something severe was happening. 

I immediately called the pediatrician and explained what was happening. The nurse thought the entire incident was odd and wanted me to watch Ryan. I spoke to her a bit longer and told her I would even send a video of the spasm. She decided I should bring Ryan right in as I was so worried and insistent. We immediately got into the car and made a beeline to the docs office.

Once inside the office, the receptionist took one look at Ryan's arm and the spasms and immediately took us back to the Doc's office. Ryan's doc looked at it, asked me a few questions and immediately sent us to the emergency room for tests and an IV. He was thinking Ryan was low on electrolytes. Once at the Emergency Room, the test began . . . the IV was started . . . xrays were taken . . . a complete physical was given . . . and questions were asked. Then the docs thought Ryan might have a seizure beginning, so they gave him Adavan to help the spasm to cease and try to prevent a seizure. At this point I was in tears . . . I had an entire list of medical issues in my head and most of them weren't good. 

The labs returned with good news . . . Everything was fine. The physical exam turned out more good news . . . Everything was fine. The Emergency Room could find absolutely nothing wrong and sent us on our way with instructions to apply heat and rest if the spasms began again. Randy and I felt a bit of relief, but were concerned at what had happened . . . spasms that bruise simply don't occur on a whim . . . at least that we were aware of. 

We went on about our daily routine, but watched Ryan for any other weird spasms. Three days after the arm spasm and ER visit, Ryan came to me upset, his left leg, just above the knee was having spasms like his arm, with the exception of the bruising. Since he was just checked out a few days before at the ER and nothing was found, I contacted our Chiropractor. He saw Ryan immediately. After xrays of his skeleton, we found out Ryan's neck was crooked, his shoulder had issues and his pelvis was twisted. Then our Doc asked me if Ryan consumed artificial sweeteners . . . soda, junk food, etc. The answer to those questions was Yes. He LOVES Diet coke and drank it a lot. His advise . . . continue treating him by adjusting him until all is back in place and STOP all artificial colors, additives and junk.

A few days after the left leg had spasms, the right leg had spasms . . . we applied heat and it disappeared quickly. We are thankful to report the spasms have stopped. 

The information we have learned from this medical incident has been very enlightening. We have determined that Ryan was on the edge of Aspartame poisoning. 

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as part of aspartame dangers are:
Muscle spasmsWeight gainRashesDepressionFatigue
IrritabilityTachycardiaInsomniaVision problemsHearing loss
Heart palpitationsBreathing difficultiesAnxiety attacksSlurred speechLoss of taste
TinnitusVertigoMemory lossJoint pain 

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:
Brain tumorsMultiple sclerosisEpilepsyChronic fatigue syndromeParkinson's disease
Alzheimer'sMental retardationLymphomaBirth defectsFibromyalgia

We have made changes in our home . . . no Diet soda for the kids. I actually would prefer none of us ingest it . . . Randy has drastically reduced his intake. We have also limited the ingestion of food additives - artificial color. I would love to have our home completely processed food free . . . that may take a while to achieve.

There are so many dangers in the foods we eat. Some people are allergic, others have sensitivities or food intolerance. Many have questioned the increase of disease and sickness in our homes. The foods we consume have a great deal to contribute to disease and sickness. I dare say, we would all feel better if we chose our foods a bit better. The food industry needs an awakening - choose health over money and only purchase clean, organic foods . . . like our families did in years past.

Randy and I are so very thankful for our Chiropractor!!! He hit the nail on the head with his suggestion concerning the aspartame. Thanks Doc!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Life in My House with Boys and Ducklings

Life in my house is never dull and rarely quiet between the boys and the ducklings.

I thought it might be fun to compare how many ways the boys and the ducklings are alike.

1. Boys AND Ducklings are messy.
2. Boys AND Ducklings poke each other - for no apparent reason.
3. Boys AND Ducklings are Loud when they want to be. 
4. If Boys AND/OR Ducklings are Quiet . . . you better find out what they are up to!
5. Boys AND Ducklings can be VERY demanding.
6. Boys AND Ducklings are inquisitive.
7. Boys AND Ducklings are charming - when they want to be.
8. Boys AND Ducklings grow VERY quickly. 
9. Boys AND Ducklings love to run and play.
10. Boys AND Ducklings EAT a LOT.
11. Boys AND Ducklings Love Mama Snuggles.
12. Boys AND Ducklings can be Stinky.
13. Boys AND Ducklings are very Chatty.
14. Boys AND Ducklings Love Attention.
15. Boys AND Ducklings can be Show Offs.
16. Boys AND Ducklings love to Swim.
17. Boys AND Ducklings Love to Pick on One Another.
18. Boys AND Ducklings Want what Another Has.
19. You can Always tell when Boys AND Ducklings are Happy!
20. Boys AND Ducklings get Dirty and Don't Care.
21. Sometimes, Boys AND Ducklings Squawk when another touches them.
21. Boys AND Ducklings Love One Another.

Life without Boys AND Ducklings Must Be Really Dull!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Too Much to Do!

We have had a super duper busy day . . . the weather was beautiful. We cleaned the boat . . . end to end. I had my helpers so the job was not so huge. Then we swept the dock off . . . plenty of tree garbage there. We let the ducks swim . . . first the BIG ducks, then the 2nd grade ducks and last the bitty ones. They were a bit chilled, so we didn't leave them out long. They are back under their heat lamp as I write and happily peeping. Everyone is back in their pens and we headed in right before it began to rain. 

Randy had a list of his own . . . he replaced the ceiling fan in our family room, cleaned the jet skiis, charged their batteries and took them for a quick run to get the bugs out and replaced one of the jet ski canopy covers. He had our family friend Mark help him accomplish his list. 

We still need to blow the seeds from the big tree off our patio. It is a complete mess, but since it is raining I guess that will have to wait until tomorrow. (heavy sigh!)

Katelyn was busy in the kitchen while everyone else was outside. She baked three loaves of bread, potato salad, cookies and cinnamon rolls. The aroma of fresh baked goodness filled the house.

The remainder of the day I intend to relax and enjoy. How about you?

Saturday, May 24, 2014


We finished up school on Thursday of this week. It feels good to be finished with another year. We have already planned ahead and textbooks are already arriving for the beginning of school in the Fall. 

We have been busy, busy around the house. The weather has finally began cooperating with us enough to clean up the yard, decks and patios. Two days ago, we tackled the master bedroom deck, yesterday we tackled the main floor deck that is covered and today it was the uncovered portion of the deck where the table and grill are located. We had plenty of those tree spinners ALL over!

We also moved the Mrs. G 2nd grade ducklings outside to the little duck green pen. The youngest ducklings have now been separated into to pack n plays instead of one. They aren't very happy with the split, but will need to go with it for a few weeks.

Now, I am off to take a little rest . . . it has been a long and busy day.

Friday, May 23, 2014

They are growing!

Just as I thought I was ready to head to bed, the little ducks decided to let me know they were out of food and water was low. Seriously, if they didn't try to take a bath in their water, they would have plenty! Silly ducklings. 

Mrs. G's 2nd Grade ducklings will be making the transition to the outside pen tomorrow. They will be out with Finn, Twizzler, Skittles and Jellybean but inside a small pen so they will be safe from the BIG ducks. I would feel horrible if one of the little ducks were trampled or picked on by a BIG duck. 

The youngest ducklings are growing quickly. They love love love to explore and had their first outside experience yesterday. Katelyn took a cell phone video.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

This and That

This afternoon my youngest son, Cody finished his school year. To say he is happy is ~ ahem ~ a bit of an understatement. He will be in 3rd grade in the Fall!

Cameron is close behind . . . he should be finishing tomorrow. He really put his head to the grindstone so he could join Cody in Summer Vacation!

EJ and Ryan should have everything completed by sometime on Friday. They are working hard as they see the finish line . . . so close!

Katelyn will be enduring a mini-mester in Math. Two and a half weeks of school to achieve what is needed. She will be glad to have it behind her.


The tile guy was here today . . . our Master Bathroom floor suffered a huge crack from one side of the room to the other. We were VERY frustrated! We are quite excited to know the new flooring will be in place soon!


The kids have been outside swimming. Katelyn was so sweet to watch them! Now everyone is inside and watching a movie. 

Time to think about dinner . . . It is a Cranwill's kind of night!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Post 1,501

I find it very hard to believe this is my 1,501 post on this blog, but here we are. 

The hour is late, but I wanted to get a post in tonight. The little ducks are peeping away . . . they can get pretty loud when the house is quiet. The ducklings are extremely vocal when they NEED something. Their water was getting a bit low and one of them really let me know about it! They began outgrowing their Sterlite container that we were using as a brooder. We saw a great idea on Pinterest ~ using a pack-n-play. Of course, we have been out of the baby equipment stage for quite some time, so we didn't have one stored away. Randy made a trip to the store and came back with two . . . 

We popped them up, inserted all of the necessities, added the heat lamp for the week old ducklings, taped to the stool with "duck" tape so the lamp doesn't fall and Ta Da . . . larger brooder with mesh sides so the ducklings can interact with everyone. I put the "brooders" end to end so the Mrs. G 2nd Grade ducklings could interact a bit with the week old ducklings. It is really fun to watch them watch and talk to each other.

Randy has been building a "duck" house. I really wanted a sweet cottage looking house for the ducks instead of the chain link fenced one we have. My sweet hubs in building them one . . . 

I was recently invited to a Norwex party and I ordered a few recommended items. The Enviro Cloth and the Window Cloth ~ I was let in on the wonderful shine Norwex cloths give to Granite with simply a wipe with water and a shine with the window cloth.
My counter tops are like mirrors!

Seeley Booth is standing in the background. 

Tomorrow morning comes quickly . . . so I am off to bed. G'night all.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day for Real

Mother's Day . . . A day of Celebration focused on Mothers everywhere. Hmmmmmm, I wonder how many Moms actually can say it was the most perfect day ever.

Although many of us have lovely moments during our "special" day, normal life is not perfect, no matter how hard we try.

I am not trying to bum anyone out, I am simply trying to point out that many people try to put on a "my life is perfect" facade while others feel badly that their "family" can't seem to get it together.

This Mother's Day . . . I am keeping it REAL. I am NOT a "Perfect" Momma . . . my kids are not perfect either.

Randy and two of the boys ran errands this morning and picked up breakfast. While waiting for them to arrive home, I began cleaning the duckling brooders only to be interrupted by EXCESSIVE Peeping coming from Mrs. G's 2nd Grade duckling brooder. I walked over to see what was up and found Samuel the duck on the outside of the brooder and the other three were TELLING (peeping loudly) on him. I scooped him up and put him back in the brooder. I removed the towel I had placed across the top so Houdini couldn't try that again. Apparently, it was time for a bigger brooder, so we put this one up . . . we call it the duckling challenge!

Once they were taken care of, I decided to take photos of the newest ducklings . . .

We are so pleased that all are doing well . . . they are all so very sweet!

Randy made up a big pot of chili . . . YUMMY! Not your typical Mother's Day lunch, but I loved it. 

Throughout the day we had our typical kid nonsense, so we decided about 3:00 p.m. everyone needed a nap. Randy and I both grew weary of the tattling, the boys irritating one another, the lying (yes we have that too), and the fighting between them. 

After naps, Randy asked what I wanted for dinner. We decided on grilled cheese. It really hit the spot! We also had Tres Leche Cake made by our "Alice". It was beautiful!

I received beautiful Boston Ferns from Randy. Katelyn picked up flowers for my small containers and the boys made me these:

This was in one piece when it was given to me. Not sure what or who happened to it. A little Gorilla glue and it is like new again.

I received hugs and "I LOVE YOU" from everyone throughout the day.

After naps, we headed outside to enjoy the weather and let the ducks run around a while.

The beginning of the Belly Rubs!

This little one was WAY RELAXED!
(Yes, it was alive and relaxed.)

They love the water. Katelyn was pouring this and they were attacking the stream. Too bad we couldn't catch it in a photo.

Everyone was curious of the new little ones. 

After all of the fun outside, we headed in to take care of normal chores. The guinea pig cage needed cleaning . . . that took a while. It wouldn't have taken long, but the boys chose to mess around instead of actually help until I got onto them. 

Time to empty dishwashers, reload, tidy up, etc.

Finally, it was time to head inside for bath time.
Whew . . . 

There are days when I hear these . . .

and there are days I feel like this:

 and this comes into play several times a day

AND don't forget a Family Favorite . . .


I am Blessed to have FIVE children call me Mom.
I Love each and everyone of them more than life itself.
My heart sings when they tell me they Love me!

This is MY Family . . .
(except the Globetrotters)


During the easy and fun times . . .
and the difficult ones too.


I prayed and prayed and begged God for children.
My children were not given to me haphazard . . .
God specifically chose each one.
Thank you God!

Duckling Update and Photos

Today our Mrs. G 2nd Grade ducklings arrived home once again. Let me tell you, they have really grown! 

I took a quick picture of them in their brooder tonight.
They like to tap on the side of the brooder and make a drumming noise. Silly little ducks!

Seven of the newest ducklings are in a brooder together . . . six Mallards and one Cayuga. We were sad to find the second Cayuga died overnight. There is no rhyme or reason, simply nature taking its course with these little ones. Although we try to take extremely good care of them, there are times when nothing can be done. It seemed fine prior to us going to bed, but it simply died. 

These little ones are getting pretty active. They also are VERY aware if one or two are missing. They begin peeping loudly as if they are lost and trying to help them find their way back. It is amazing how God has designed these little ones to care for one another.

They are doing well and getting to moving. The little Cayuga has Splayed or Spraddle legs, so we have taped them to help with healing and strength. Finnigan had the same condition with his legs and it took about a week for him to walk unaided. Little Gwen will have a bit of therapy each day until her legs and hips are strong and she can walk on her own well. 

Let me introduce you to our little Cayuga duckling . . .
Everyone, this is Gwen Fiona:

We had already chosen her name . . . Fiona, but Ryan really wanted to give her the name Gwen, so . . . Gwen Fiona.

And now for the tiniest of the ducklings:
These two little ones are in Ducky ICU. The seemed to be slow at hatching, slow at moving around, slow at drinking and eating and slow to get on their little feet. They are looking so much better than yesterday, but have a way to go. We have supported their little legs and given them little duck massages. We are providing electrolytes and probiotics in their drinking water . . . they are just beginning to drink and eat. It may take them a little longer, but they are little fighters and I think they will achieve normal ducky life. Once they can hold up their head without bobbling around, we will introduce them to a little swimming (assisted and protected of course).

In a few days, we will be taking the Official Cute Duckling photos.

For now, I am heading to bed . . . 

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Our Lives Uncripted is written by me. All pictures are personal and cannot be copied. No portion of this blog can be copied and/or sold. All content copyright JCP, All Rights Reserved!

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