Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Making of The Man

Minutes old!
The Man was born in the evening on the last day of autumn in 2007 (May 31st). He arrived by caesarean section just under three weeks early because my waters had broken and whilst we waited for labour to start, we were hoping for a Vaginal Birth After Caesarian, the risks to us both increased beyond what we deemed sensible. We were eager to meet him. Whilst we were waiting to be called in to surgery I read the prayers that the wives at Australian Lutheran College (Sem) had written for the prayer shower that was happening that night in my absence. It was beautiful to know their love and support and prayers whilst we waited anxiously.

Our surgery went fairly normal, except that the room was exceedingly cold, and this, added to the stress of surgery, made me very, very cold.

Daddy wasn't impressed with the scrubs they gave him to
wear, but Our Man was worth it!
Our Man was pulled from the womb and the first words he heard was his Daddy giving him his name, Andreas Christian (Andreas after Andrew in the Bible who was the first to bring others to Jesus, and also after my Father, and Christian after his Daddy). He was brought to me pretty quickly, and the paediatrician spoke to me in ever such a quiet voice, it was really hard to hear him above the hubbub of theatre. I passed The Man over to Christian due to a sudden, severe headache, where I was unable to open my eyes. I was aware of little for the next 15 minutes because the pain was so intense (so much for all the rest of the pain relief I had on board for the surgery!).

It was just as I opened my eyes that our paediatrician told us Our Man was having trouble breathing and needed to be taken away for help. Our rule is that our new baby is never left without a parent with them, so Christian, whilst deeply concerned about me, left to watch over the care of Our Man. Meanwhile I left for recovery ward where they had to put a hot air blanket over me for more than 45 minutes to bring my temperature up. It took me a good 20 minutes to stop shivering!

Clearly Granny and I look pretty worried here at
Ashford Hospital
I remember that first night distinctly. Christian slept on the floor in my room. I too was urged by nurses to sleep, but they had to keep coming in for post surgery observations and all I could think about was my beautiful baby. I was deeply worried, because they had said they would bring him when he was hungry to try to feed, and they didn't. There was no clear report of what was wrong.

First thing Day 2, just on 12 hours after major abdominal surgery, a nurse came in to insist that I get out of bed. This was the best thing for me, as it got me moving earlier than normal, which starts up the healing processes. Next was to visit my baby.

We visited Our Man in the Special Care Baby Nursery. He had an oxygen box over his head, and he was crying desperately. I still didn't have a good report on him, I was certain that if they would just let me hold him and try to feed him it would all be okay.

First Night at the Women's And Children's Hospital
Our Man's godmother came to visit, but after seeing Our Man was unable to return because seeing him so sick reminded her of her little boy who had spent nearly 6 months at the NICU! She was my angel through the next three or four weeks. She would call me, and usually at that moment I just needed to hear a special voice. It has got to be that just hearing her voice makes my body physically relax. She did a marvellous ministry for me.

The paediatrician came and explained that he thought Our Man had Hyaline Membrane Disease. This is basically premature lungs, and whilst it is not common in a 37 week big baby, it does happen. To have proper treatment Our Man needed to be transferred to a hospital with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Our paeds worked hard to ensure that we were transferred to the Womens and Children's Hospital, as it was just down the road from our home at Sem. When the ambulance came to transfer him in the evening I asked to be the one to pick up my baby and put him in the intensive care cot. Because I had been steady on my feet all day I was able to do this special job and hold my little Man. I wouldn't get to hold him for the next four long days.
It takes a lot of strength not to hold him.

Thus we were all transferred over to the Women's And Children's. My Obstetrician saw to it that I had a private room, and insisted that I take a wheel chair down to the NICU every single time. Best advice!! This meant that I was still focused on recovery, whilst I could also be focused on my baby. The walking would have done me in because I spent most of my time in the NICU.

The Man was put into an induced coma and intubated so that a machine could breathe for him. I still did not understand how sick he was.

The next few days are a blur. I tried to be there to change his nappies and bedding, because if someone was going to touch my baby it was sure going to be me! I was devastated that I was not allowed to hold him, all I wanted to do was cuddle him close. But I touched him as much as I was able, talked to him, sang to him, prayed for him. I clung to Psalms...lots of them.

Initially, we were told that the coma would only be for a day, because he was such a big baby he would recover quickly. But Our Man did not improve. They struggled to stabilise him at one point. A lumbar puncture was done to find an infection, but it was negative. His little body swelled till his face looked like he had been in a bad fight. We prayed.

The first hold since birth.
I desperately didn't want to leave the hospital without Our Man, but my time had come to an end. My obstetrician had given me more than my allotted time anyway, wonderful doctor. It was good to be home in my own bed, home with my Tiger and Princess, but I was not really home, my mind and heart were in the hospital with Our Man. I am ever grateful to my dear Mama who came and cared for our children and our home so that we could focus on our Man. I slept nights down at the hospital in a lazy boy chair just down the hall from the Special Care Baby Unit.

Then, just as it was inexplicable that he was so sick, he started to get better quickly. His bed was needed just as he started to take milk so he was moved to the Special Care Baby Unit (one level down from NICU care). And so the feeding game began.

All the machines attached. The thing that upset me the
most was that he wasn't wrapped. I was sure it wasn't good
for him.
Our Man had gained a lot of weight already to this point, but this was just that he was retaining fluids, but now he rapidly lost weight, and the nurses and doctors were not happy. We were told that if he was off oxygen for 24 hours we could all go home.

We were called into the office of the professor, where he proceeded to tell us just how sick our little boy was. He went on about Our Man being put in a coma (no one had put it in those terms till now, so I was a bit shocked), then he talked about infection and our need to be isolated at home, The Man and I would have to be in a separate room to the rest of the children for three months. The children were not to touch or hold him. And he MUST put on weight by the next weigh in (tomorrow morning at home) or he would go back to hospital!

Did I say I was desperate for Our Man to come home? I would have agreed to nearly anything!! Although, I was not going to follow through with much of it. I did ensure that Our Man was kept away from everyone except family.

Tiger was pretty pleased to have a baby boy!
The Man had just been moved to SCBU.
7 Days old and he started to open his eyes.
He didn't put on weight. But I did feed him just before the nurse came, so I dodged that bullet. But she suggested that I help him by supplementing feeds with breast milk in a bottle. The milk would come faster, and it would help weight gain, and recovery. I did it. But Our Man was not thriving. He would spit up a lot and would scream a lot!

I am grateful to have had so many willing helpers with
feeding and caring for  Our Man. This was our first day home.
Our routine at this time was breast feed, bottle feed, baby sleep, Mummy pump, sterilise, and repeat. Christian kept begging me to sleep, but there was no time for it! Sem families kept supplying us with meals, so there was no cooking to be done. And The Man's godmother kept calling.

Princess helps feed Our Man
His weight gain was very slow, and the screaming continued. He would scream when I put him in the feeding position, arch his back and scream and fight like I was going to feed him poison. I talked to breast feeding consultants. One said that I just needed to sit right, and that reflux doesn't hurt babies. Grrr...if it hurts me, then I'm sure it will hurt them!!

But then at 2 and a half months he got sick. I went to him in the wee hours and his breathing was bad. Dr Daddy got out his stethoscope and then sent me to the hospital. We were in hospital with our little Man on oxygen for two days, and again, you can't leave hospital until they are off oxygen for 24 hours. I sought help for the breastfeeding here again, but to no avail.

Our smiling Man...the beginning of
what was to come!
Help came when I saw Christian's wonderful "boss" Dr Jennie. She observed me try to feed, and was disturbed by the problem. She prescribed an anti reflux drug, but sent me back to the paediatrician for something stronger. The screaming Man stopped screaming within the week!

And the feeding? Well, at three months, just before that paediatrician appointment, I decided it was time to go just to breast. We had a day of trying, and screaming, and praying, and crying and trying. By the end of the day he had barely wet a nappy, and Daddy said we should try again in three days, so he gave The Man a bottle. The next morning I went to The Man and offered the breast whilst Daddy went to warm up a bottle...The Man sucked like he would never get off! And he never had a bottle again!

And the screaming? Well once the medication started we had a New Man! He stopped crying altogether. Smiling started in ernest, and if he was hungry he would whimper. Smiling became his automatic response to anything, including a bonk on the head, which after smiling first he would cry. Our Man became the smiling Man! Oh! What a smile!! He is still our smiling Man!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

In The Middle Of The Night...

In the middle of the night, with five delightful children, after a full day, it is ever so hard to get up to a crying child. Admittedly, in the past, once the next baby has come along (usually once the previous baby is 2 years old) my darling husband Christian gets up to the older children, which usually only means the 2 year old.

But what does one do, when you have to get up to baby? Oh the baby settles, sounds very much like they are asleep, so you get back into bed, and as happened last night, you just start to get warm again when "Mama?...Mamaaa!" Deep sigh, out of bed again.

In the past, I have struggled with this getting up in the middle of the night. I'm tired, I'm cold and soon after I find myself grumpy too. This changed with The Man. I discovered that one can pray in the dark! So I would sit in front of the open curtains looking out onto the Sem yard (Australian Lutheran College) and pray for those who came to mind. I felt a little sad when these times ended.

When Joybug was a new baby back in 2011, I listened to some great books on my iPod whilst feeding her at night. It was a great time of learning and encouragement, particularly as when you have 5 children the days are so demanding and it's so hard to find time to yourself to do this. During this time I did listen to Redeeming Love,  but whilst it's a great read, it's not good for the middle of the night, when you have to go to sleep again. I found myself far to wound up, and had to listen to more.

With Joybug last year (they all seem to start waking again at 9 months for me), I spent much time praying for a dear brother, Buddy, who was going through a very rough time. This became a wonderful time of feeling close to my Lord, but also becoming great friends again with my dear Buddy.

I encourage Buddy, and he encourages me. He encouraged me to listen to Prodigal God by Pastor Tim Keller. I read the book, have watched the sermon series, and recommend it. It was fantastic, life changing stuff.

I now have a new iPod (no, I don't have or want an iPhone), and I've started listening to Mark Driscoll - Who Do You Think You Are? Brilliant spiritual life growing stuff.

Particularly, last night I listened to I Am In Christ. Such an encouragement to know my identity is not in being a Mum, or a wife or being joyful or frustrated or tired or being a pastors wife, but rather my identity is "in Christ". I put my hope in Christ, because He has already done it all. In Christ, I can do all things, because He gives me strength.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What Is A "God Story"?

A "God Story" tells of God our Heavenly Father's work in our lives, and the lives of our children.

A "God Story" can tell of a struggle overcome, a joy discovered, prayers answered or some theological truth spoken or lived out.

It's true, a "God Story" for a christian is really their whole life story. We look at the story of Esther in the Bible and not one mention of God is in this book, and yet clearly God's hand was in it. This was her "God Story" and that of the Jewish people also.

It is important to us that we tell our "God Stories" to our children so that they can go back and relive what God has done for them in their lives. We pray that this will help them as they grow in their christian faith, to know and trust that their Heavenly Father adores them. We pray that in the good times and the dark times they will remember what God has done for them, how He has led them, and will put their hope in Him.

Psalm 77:11-12 says:

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
     yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
    and meditate on your mighty deeds.

We don't grow big and tall in one big, special meal, it takes many little meals over a long period of time. So it is with our christian faith, little joys, "small' answers to prayer, or a "little" theological understanding goes a long way to our growth as a christian.

The Joy of many prayers answered, and a life
of living the dream begun.
Go and tell your "God Stories" to your children. Tell them why God our Heavenly Father makes a difference in your life, how Jesus answers your prayers (even the little, "unimportant" ones), and how the Holy Spirit gives you guidance in your thoughts and actions.
Close to the start of our Fandrich Family God Story

How To Make A Hot Water Bottle Cover

You need to have a hot water bottle cover on your hot water bottle so you don't get too hot and burn yourself.

1. Make a pattern. Mum did this using the hot water bottle and a sheet of newspaper. She drew around the outside about two centimetres away from the edge of the hot water bottle.

2. Cut out your pieces of fabric. We used thick, furry fabric with a leopard print, it's really snuggly.

3. Thread your sewing machine with the appropriate colour of thread.

4. Start with the two larger pieces of cover that were cut in half (They are the two parts on the right of the top photo). Fold over a centimetre of fabric on the straight line and sew. This is a hem.

5. Pin the right sides of the fabric together, so that it looks like your size of water bottle. The right sides are the sides with the strong colours. The two hemmed bits will overlap each other like a pillow case.

6. Sew around outside of the whole thing leaving a bit of fabric on the side of your sewing foot. That's called a seam allowance.

7. Cut off all loose threads, then turn the right sides out.

8. Put your hot water bottle inside it. Fill up the hot water bottle in winter for a nice, warm, snuggly sleep.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Green Thumbed Man

I was about to make the holes of the watering can.
I have been making a watering can and a shovel and plant markers out of milk bottles. 

To make the watering can you need to get a milk bottle and cut the lid just a little bit down. We cut the lid off so we can make a hole so water can get in. Then we drew the holes and then I got a skewer and Mummy heated it up to do the holes.

I can water the plants but don't get the water too high because otherwise you waste it as it drips out the holes.

I used the book: "Green Thumbs, A kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening". I like the book because you can make watering cans, shovels and plant markers that tell you what plants are and you can make plant cages for them too, all out of milk bottles. It even shows you how to make a bird house out of a milk bottle or pumpkin. And out of milk bottles you can make a bird feeder. And you can make a scarecrow out of milk bottles! The book is about recycling.
The plant markers are so you know which plant it is. We put the 
garlic plant marker in our vegie patch where we planted garlic.

Mummy took the pictures by the iPod. 

Science Report by The Man

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why Do We Homeschool?

Good question! Some days homeschoolers ask the same question!

Homeschool activities day...Princess practicing for the circus!
Every home educator has different reasons for why they homeschool. These are our reasons, at this point in time:

  • To give our children the BEST education we can afford
If we weren't homeschooling, my first preference would be to send our children to a one or two teacher school. But we don't live in such a town, so second preference would be a small, private, christian school. Even these simply don't give the teacher-student ratio that we can give our children at home, for the fraction of the cost. Our teacher:student ratio at present is 1:3, and will grow as the younger children grow to 1:5. There's a significant difference there to the average school teacher:student ratio of 1:28. School is much, so much more than just reading, writing and doing sums. School for us is fun, in it's natural state, entertaining and enjoyable.
  • To have the TIME to be FAMILY together.
Health, Fitness and family time with Daddy on his day off
Because we homeschool, we can take any time to be family together. We can go with Daddy to his Synod in Adelaide for ten days at the beginning of school term, and we can include the trip as a part of the children's education! We can take advantage of Daddy being home in the middle of the day (and not in the evenings sometimes), and go out to the park or go for a bike ride together. The best thing is spending time with Daddy on his day off, which is not a Saturday, but rather a Tuesday. So we can go on all sorts of fun excursions or just stay at home and play games and school together here. The freedom to be family is a delight!

  • To be the BIGGEST influence in our children's lives.
Daddy teaches fishing skills to Tiger, The Man and Tank
School takes up a big chunk of any child's life. 6 hours a day, 30 hours a week, and over 1200 hours a year. This is without the extra curricula activities that consume a child's life. We want to be the ones to make the biggest impact on our children's lives not just until they are 5 years old, and not just after school hours. Children often get overwhelmed by relationships at school, where there is little supervision from adults (sometimes called bullying). Some children are natural followers and would follow others unthinkingly into silly situations. We would like to guide our children in their relationships. This is not to say that they can't make their own friends, but rather that we can help them to be godly in their relationships and lead their friends and peers to do good.
  • To DISCIPLE our children in their RELATIONSHIP with Jesus
We want to teach our children to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind and strength and to love their neighbour as themselves. We want to guide our children in making godly decisions with the many choices they have in life, and give them the freedom to make mistakes in a loving environment.

Tiger writing down our learning about Australia on a Map
Christian and I do not think that home education is a "biblical mandate" and that all christians should therefore be teaching their children at home. Rather, we believe that we are given our children to raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and how each family chooses to do so is their choice made between them and God. 

Home education is our choice. It is my profession of what I believe is best for our children.

Science with Aunty M...
How can you make a balloon hold your weight?
Each homeschool is different. In our homeschool, I crave order and routine. This means we start our day in a fairly regular way with devotions and prayer each morning at around 8:30-9am. I have got Christian to start school in this way, and it means I have to continue on, no matter what the rest of the house is doing (sometimes it looks like a bomb has just hit!). Then the children each have a list of subjects to cover during the day. They have a "timetable" type chart, and as they get a subject done they can put up a sticker. Tiger starts with mathematics, Princess starts with spelling, The Man starts with reading to Mummy. From there, most usually, Tiger gets all of his chart done, and is very self motivated, Princess gets most of her chart done, and The Man needs encouragement to cover his reading, phonics and mathematics, but he's doing great for his age. We are usually mostly done with written work by lunchtime.

At the moment, the most common response to me or the children saying they are homeschooled is: "Well I take my hat off too you, we would be at each others throats if we did that!"

Princess and Tank learning to ride on Pepper
I think, though I am happy to be corrected, that this comes from the belief that homeschool would be for them what the school holidays are, just all year round! This is not what home education is about.

There are days that are difficult. Days that seem to last forever!! But the key thing I need to remember is that I can't and won't fit in their entire education in a RELAX!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tank with No Teeth

Tank is missing 5 teeth. People occasionally think he hasn't got them yet, or that he recently lost them due to the coming of adult teeth. This is not so. The story is one of our "God Stories".

Christian flew to Adelaide for the funeral of his uncle a week before Christmas 2010. It was just a short, two day trip. What could go wrong?

It was nearing lunchtime on the morning he left, and I was just setting about to get lunch. I looked out to the concrete verandah to see the three older children pushing Tank on the tire swing. I remember smiling at the fun they were having, when suddenly Tank was on the ground. I initially thought he had hit the water sodden grass and that all would be fine, but by the time I looked in his mouth I was horrified to see no teeth. Three teeth were completely gone, and one pushed up. At this point I thought my eyesight had failed me and he had hit the concrete.

The children rallied. Princess grabbed the ice pack, Tiger the wet cloth, Man grabbed a dummy, and I grabbed the phone to call Christian, who had just landed in Adelaide. Best advice: "Go to the surgery at once, and they would refer me on." We didn't have a dentist at this point.

As it was just on lunchtime, I knew I had to feed the kids to keep this from being 4 children upset and hanging off Mummy. A sudden memory (God) reminded me of the pizza pockets in the freezer for "a rainy day". I grabbed these as the children were getting in the car.

We arrived at the surgery with a very calm, dummy sucking Tank, and went straight in to see the doctor, and nurse. The children went out to the staff room to make their lunch. Dr Peter called his dentist, and we were to go straight there, to the other side of town. I was walking out to gather the kids, when a parishioner walked in. Christian had called ahead and arranged Mrs. Burger to watch our children. So we dropped the children back home and I went to the dentist.

The dentist looked, it seemed like only a cursory look as Tank was not dreadfully keen to release his dummy, and I wasn't keen to apply force because of the injury. But the dentist went off to call a paediatric dentist. I was sent home with the understanding that there was one in Toowoomba, and that he would call.

On the way home I filled the car with fuel, and listened to the warnings of a big hail storm coming. I could see that it was about to start.

By the time I got home the dentist had called three times, and I discovered I was to drive to Brisbane immediately. I grabbed my bag that was already packed with my things, the kids grabbed their change of clothes, and I delivered the children to the Burger's house.

And off for the two hour drive to Brisbane. Tank slept, I cried, and pulled myself together. I just missed the storm, which turned out to be a big one in Toowoomba.

I arrived after the dentist had closed his office, but he was waiting for me. Dr Daniel Ford had no more than a two second look and informed me that Tank needed surgery, he had fasted enough (I knew enough not to give him anything once the accident happened), so I signed the forms. 

Then I was told to head to Holy Spirit Hospital. I didn't know there was a hospital with such a name, and the name itself made me want to cry. God's hand had been with me all day, setting things in place.

Christian rang to pray with us before surgery, and told us that he had told Tank's godparents, one of whom had also lost teeth as an infant.

So, the accident happened at 11:45am, Tank was in surgery by 7pm the same day.

When he woke, thoroughly distressed, the doctor told me he had taken 5 teeth. Tank had shattered his per maxilla, 4 teeth had been pushed up, and one more was in the fracture line. We had a night in hospital, with regular wake ups because Tank required post op observations.

The only forgotten thing? I forgot to take clothes for Tank, and a nappy (he was 18 months old). I found enough nappies in the car, but for once not a single shirt, so I turned his blood stained shirt inside out, and that is what he wore home.

We arrived home two hours before Daddy. Tank recovered quickly, he was supposed to be on soft food for a week, but snatched toast off me, and adapted. He learnt very quickly how to eat apples without his front teeth.

But wait...there's more!

A week later on Christmas Eve, I prepared a special meal. At the end, I asked Christian for five minutes to get dressed, and to please watch Tank, who still loved to climb. By the time I had my silk blouse on I heard a bang, a Tank scream and a screech from Christian. Tank had climbed, and fallen from a chair and was bleeding from the mouth.

We took photos, called the paediatric dentist and waited for his response. We also got in the car to get to our first Christmas Eve service in Toowoomba. The dentist called half way through church (phone on silent) to tell us he would visit us at home, yes that's at our home, on Boxing Day!

The wonderful Dr Daniel Ford arrived on Boxing Day and, with the aide of equipment borrowed from the surgery, announced that whilst he had split the stitches it would still be okay, and was sitting together nicely.

Now we await the day his adult teeth arrive to see if any long term damage was done.

Praise God for swift treatment, and a good paediatric dentist!

The Guinea Pigs

The guinea pigs, Chester and Pinky, arrived at our home last night. We were to look after them for Aunty M whilst she and her family are away.

Aunty M and her two gorgeous children will cause more that just a bit of excitement in our children. Bringing guinea pigs on bedtime created bedlam! So of course, Tank's first words this morning were: "Can we go see the guinea pigs?" And Joybug had an excited giggle and kept saying "Pig! Pig!" We went out and had our little hold, and put them on the lawn to eat under a wash basket.

But just on 12 hours after they arrived, poor Chester fell victim to an excited child not waiting for Mummy. I picked him up, he jerked around a bit and we initially thought he was okay...but he died in my hands.

Apparently, according to a Google search, guinea pigs can lie still for up to half an hour, "play dead". Dr Daddy tried to feel the heartbeat, then out came the stethoscope. He even used Pinky to check he was checking the right place. But he was upset at the thought we might bury a live animal, so Tank and I took a trip down to the local vet who confirmed it for us. It felt rather amusing, looks dead, feels dead...yep, it's dead!

The Man told Tank that Jesus is looking after Chester now, and that when we die we will see him. Tank talked about this all day. "We'll see Chester when we are dead, and when we are in Jesus' house"

We buried Chester under the climbing tree in the front yard, after a proper Lutheran funeral. Lutheran's have a rite for everything! The children covered the little grave with flowers and a cross...beautiful!

Now we have bought another guinea pig, a girl, because in Sweden it's illegal to keep a guinea pig alone (so Christian keeps telling us).

This girl guinea pig has a "Mohawk" right down the middle of her body, and an orange marking on her head. Tank is holding her by herself up the top.

Note to self: We look after kids fine, pets appear to be less resilient!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Viking Longship

 This is my Viking Longship that I built in 2012. I have used lances for oars and I have a drummer so that the oarsmen can row to the beat.

When I put fire in the mouth of the dragon, I used a four times one brick with two pairs of studs and put a jumper plate on it. Then I put the fire on the jumper plate. The jumper plate is a two times one brick with one stud in the middle. It's good for centring things.

But I think the most difficult thing was that my siblings kept on breaking it, and no matter how hard I tried to stop them, they still kept on breaking it.

When I built my viking chief I used a special one times one brick and put horns on it.

I built this with kingdoms lego and mixed lego.

Written by Tiger!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Viking Longhouse.

I built this Viking Longhouse in 2012. At the time we were studying the history of the Vikings, and I was borrowing a lot of books from the library about Vikings.

Building this Viking Longhouse was quite a challenge.
Getting the doors to fit was quite hard, I had to use round bricks in an arch for the top.

We had to use hinges to put the plates on an angel for the roof and put plates on top of the roof so that there were no holes in the roof.

Inside, I made beds on the side with a fireplace in the middle and the Viking Chief's throne at the very end.

I built this with a mix of Kingdoms Lego and Daddy's old Lego.

Written by Tiger!

Joybug is a great nickname....

Obviously, Joybug is a cute name, and isn't she cute! But I'm sure we started calling her that long before she showed ZERO fear of bugs.

I originally bought the worm farm for Christian, to encourage him to join me in the garden. Didn't work.

After nearly losing the entire worm population (hard to do, worms are the easiest 'pets'), I decided that since I had the greatest interests in them, they were my job. I did try to get the kids involved, but they were not at all keen. It's a good thing the worms weren't scared to death from their squeals!

But Joybug is the only child keen to touch and play with the worms. Whilst I do provide gloves, she is like her Mummy, who will do it without (because I can feel the worms so that I can leave them in my farm).

She also likes greengrocers (cicadas), but we don't like to give them to her, as she squeezes them to make them make their sound, and we feel sure it's not good for the long term health of the cicada.