Christmas Letter 2010

I emailed this letter to most of my friends and family, but some addresses are out of date… and I keep getting them back. So, I am posting it… And linking to FB so everyone knows that it’s here. I don’t want anyone feeling bad that I ‘didn’t send them a card/letter/picture. Life has just been so full and busy. I have been feeling so good, I haven’t been sitting at my computer much. (It feels awesome!!!) But I do miss blogging. Maybe after Christmas I will get more posts up.

Our Year in Review

Another year is drawing to a close… where has this year went?? Every January I look at the year ahead and think of all that may happen or things I want to do, places to go, etc, etc. Little did I know all that this year would hold, all the changes that would take place. If someone would have told me all that would happen, changes that would take place and that I would get sick(er), I would have been tempted to run and hide. But God is good and He has been with us every step of the way.

But I should start at the beginning of the year, and fill ya in… though I really feel like I am chewing my cud! [smile] Since I have FB and a blog, I feel like most of you keep up with me. But for those who aren’t on there here’s what’s happening. And for those of you who keep up, ya don’t have to read. This year I am not sending out cards or pictures. Sad, I know. As I get Christmas pictures and letters, I begin feeling really bad!! I so enjoy Christmas time and Christmas mail! But I hope to do it again next year. I just felt I should not add it to my list this year. But I will do this much, send an email letter.

The winters always seem to get a bit long by January, this year I tried to liven it up. We went tubing, and swimming (indoor of course), had a Daffy Supper with the youth, went to Farm Progress Days. Farm Progress Days was probably the biggest hit for the boys. They had a huge and I mean HUGE display of toys, farms, fairs, towns, construction, you name it-it was on there. It spanned 3 banquet tables wide and at least 10 long, so that was about 30 tables FULL of stuff!! One day all us ladies from our church took the children to a Children’s Museum. To say it was a hit, is an understatement. My Grandpa Hershey’s dropped in, in Feb. We didn’t know that it would be their last visit with us. And I’m so glad I had taken a few pictures. A couple of wks later they visited my folks and we go a family picture. My Grandpa has cancer and was given 4 mths to live, that was in April and he’s still here. Although the days are numbered.

This spring we got a new puppy. Nacho was shot or hit (car) right after Christmas last year. He was a great dog, but wasn’t really ‘ours’ he was more like the ‘neighborhood dog’. He was away more then he was home. But it was still hard to know he suffered. ‘Lady’ is well-loved around here. She survived the summer being smothered with lots of love and hugs. And provided much entertainment for the boys. She runs to Delvyn’s folks now and then, but knows this is home and does a very good job at staying here.

Our year also included going to the Twin Cities for Mission Ministry and Street Outreach. And then to a Hutterite Colony overnight.  We had a family reunion on my Mom’s side in July. Summer Bible School was a hit. Camping one weekend. I had also went to a Ladies Retreat in MN. in April.

We did lots of fun stuff with the boys, taking them to fairs to see the animals. How they can look at cows and look at cows and look at more cows is beyond me!! They obviously have their father’s ‘farmin’ blood’ in them!! We watched a parade, watching a hand-milking contest, went to a couple of tractor pulls, seen a horse pull and went to Ball Games, just fun family times…

The boys are at such a fun stage… we enjoy taking them places and watching them learn and take in all the sights. And we are greatly enjoying the hilarious things they say and do!!! I wish I could write a book so I can remember them all. Though I am writing some down. They fight over-riding with Dad in the tractors. I have a feeling I won’t be seeing much of them next summer. This year during any field work, Collin was out the door with his Dad and I wouldn’t see him for the rest of the day. (At times the boys will land at Grandma’s house and then they are in no hurry to come back home.)

Collin turned 5 in May. And is becoming a boy!! -Instead of a little tyke. But we are enjoying the new stages that come with it. He loves going out to the barn. Most of the summer he was up and out the door long before I opened my eyes and didn’t come back in ‘til his Dad came in for breakfast a few hours later. He is even raising his own red steer. (With Dad’s help.) He does a great job at helping me, but his first love is the barn or tractors. And if he can be out there, that’s where he’d rather be. I had started doing some Preschool work with Collin in Jan. Working on colors and the ABC’s, but by ‘E’, his brain was full. So we pretty much stopped. I didn’t want to push it, and risk taking the joy of learning away from him. Learning was just not coming easily for him… but by now (with diet change) that has changed, and I can’t fill his mind with enough stuff. He is like a giant sponge. We had Collin and Jevan sleeping in a twin bed together, well, that changed when Collin boycotted the bed and began sleeping on the couch. He was tired of Jevan’s late night shenanigans and wanted to sleep when his head hit the pillow, not party as Jevan is known to do.

Speaking of Jevan… there is only 1 Jevan (thankfully!!). But what would we do without him?!?!?!? He lives his own life and takes most everything in stride. And if he wants to dilly-dally around he will do just that. He can take a long time to go from van to store or store to van. Shopping is almost a nightmare with him. He will just follow his nose where ever it leads and will totally miss mom if she takes a corner and he’s not paying attention. And the buggy thing is, it doesn’t phase him. Nothing freaks him out, at least nothing that I want him to be freaked out about. He doesn’t go in the barn, and he is scared of mice, and snakes. But not strange people or places… And he doesn’t like to go to sleep. He will lay there wide awake for an hour or two, and be up bright and early. He is (kind of) learning his ABC’s right along with Collin, pointing at letters and asking if it’s a ‘J’ or ‘K’ or what ever. He had absolutely no time for potty-training all summer. So I let it go. But this fall I told him that he was going to learn by his 3rd birthday-Nov 1st. So when Oct came, we tackled the job. Cold showers did wonders on this child!! And by his birthday he was pretty much trained. Much to his Mom’s delight. And having only one in diapers is awesome! Rylen acted like he would have loved to learn right along with Jevan, but I didn’t have the energy to keep up with 2 trainees.

Rylen turned 1 in May. And has been our happy, energetic little boy, who is growing up far too fast!!! He started walking around 10mths-March. And hasn’t stopped since. He keeps right up with his brothers, or at least tries to. And get very frustrated when he can’t. I have a feeling Rylen and Jevan will be ‘partners in crime’. I am often finding them into some mischief together. Rylen got badly burnt in July. He had stepped on a piece sheet metal ‘baking’ in the sun. He burnt the bottoms of both feet, right leg and left hand. Along with a few other smaller burns here and there. Even though he had huge blisters, he was walking again in a few days. I used B&W ointment, and can’t say enough good things about it, along with burdock leaves to keep bandages from sticking. He has healed up nicely and with almost no scarring, you can still see a tiny bit on his leg if you look hard enough. He has a major love for horses and loves finding them in books, getting all excited. I’m not sure where that came from. And riding with dad in any tractor is a huge delight.

For as much running and fun stuff we did this summer, I had noticed my energy was lagging and getting worse. After any fun day trip I’d have a 2 day down time to rest and recoup. I didn’t feel like I could keep up with the boys, and all the garden work was just plain hard to stay on top of. But I just stacked it up to being a busy mom. I mean why wouldn’t I be busy with 3 boys?? Anyone you meet and asks how many children you have, ‘3 boys‘. gasp ‘3 Boys??’ like it’s just unheard of and impossible!! And I’m wondering how I could have chosen anything different. I sure am not God to be able to pick what is given me!! I dearly love my boys!! And we are having fun. Anyway, back to the topic at hand… Collin was also having recurring yeast breakouts off and on all summer, as were the other boys, but not as bad. I knew more needed to be done, I just dreaded wading into the waters of study again. As much ground as we had gained with Collin 2 years ago, I knew we were losing the battle again.

God opened the door very fast for me. I emailed 1 friend and she pretty much was able to tell me all that was wrong and what I needed to do. Since then there has been lots of study, but at least it has a direction and I’m not digging a little here and there looking and searching. I was told that our bodies are full of yeast!! And most more then likely I have Lyme. And the boys probably do too, since it can be passed in utero. We did a very fast change in our diet, taking out sugar and pretty much anything that acts as sugar in the body. So gluten, milk and fruit were taken out too. Tomatoes are limited due to causing inflammation (lyme). And most processed foods. The first 2 wks were a bit rough with the boys. But it didn’t take long and we were seeing a difference in Collin. And in the way our stomachs felt.
I made an appointment with a Dr. for a Lyme Test. I did not go to an M.D. but chose a DC, who also does a lot with whole body wellness. He right away knew my Thyroid was very, very low. And a few days later the test for Lyme came back ’Very positive’. And a look at my blood showed lots of yeast and fungus in my body. So now we knew we were on the right track.

I cannot say this journey has been easy… for there were some very rough days. And after seeing results, I know it will all be worth while. Our family and friends have been very supportive and helpful. The boys have adjusted very well. Although Collin will still ask, ‘When can we eat sugar again?’ I keep telling him we won’t ever be eating sugar again. (At least not things I make.) I will make ‘treats’ once a week of something baked ‘gluten free’ and use honey or maple syrup or stevia. Our diet can seem pretty bland and lacking variety, but it really is not that bad. We are learning to be creative in the way we make things. I do miss the fruits though!!! We will eat those with low sugar content, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, as well as grapefruit. Rylen LOVES grapefruit, eating a whole one for a snack. We love our kefir smoothies, although the boys are beginning to tire of them. I have learned little things to do, make or make do without. And the times we get something as a treat, it’s a grand cause for a celebration!!!

The amount of food my boys pack away is unbelievable at times!!! Delvyn is learning that if he wants something, he better grab while he can. The other night we had a ‘rack of ribs’, Collin was in tears at the end because there had not been enough for seconds. I make a double batch of pancakes, and there is never any left.
We have seen a huge improvement in Collin. As I mentioned earlier, he is a sponge, soaking all the learning up that he can!! He is much more calm, taking changes in stride better and just more level-headed. I can’t really explain all we have seen, but we know it’s there. He doesn’t dissolve into tears from frustration and misunderstandings quite so quickly, though it still does happen.

I have been treating my thyroid and I’m loving the results. It took quite a while to see the full benefits, and I’m probably not there yet either, but I am now feeling so much better. I am having more good days then low ones. I am also slowly treating the Lyme, but that is so much more complicated. And at this point we are still searching for the way God wants us to go!! What works for one person, may not work for another. One constantly needs to be changing meds, as the spirochetes will build an immunity against any meds you take for too long. There is so much to know and learn when it comes to Lyme. And, sadly, the medical field doesn’t always treat it right. So we are taking prayerful baby steps.

We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. Many days I feel frustrated, wishing I knew how it will all play out, what will happen, how sick I may get (or not get). (With Lyme, as you treat it, you most times get sicker, as your body fights the infections.) My frustrations of being a wife and Mom, and not always being able to fulfill my roles. God has been teaching me (us) so much through this all.

May you be blessed in the coming year… And be faithful no matter what our future holds!!

With Love,
Delvyn & Lois
Collin, Jevan, & Rylen
Here is a link to a Christmas Picture/Card. Most of you probably already seen the pictures… but whatever.

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