Monday, June 22, 2015

Until Next Year

 The Lord is gracious and compassionate; good to all...
faithful to all of His promises
loving toward all He has made
righteous in all His ways
near to all who call on Him
watches over all who love Him
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord
Psalm 145

I've watched them grow up here on this beach. I have watched them fight the dragon of waves with their daddy going on four years now. The sweet time of fellowship, eating and cooking together and hauling our stuff from the house to the beach every morning.    

Waking up to the sunrise and feeling like I'm home here.
There is such a gift in going back to a place over and over. The years of just knowing where you will sleep when you get there and what we will do if the rain comes in.
Our favorite restaurant still going strong and this year a new one made the list.
The walk across the bridge that leads to the little island and the sticker bushes in the sand.

 This was Marlee's first year at the beach house
 and her first time to see the beauty of the waves. She played in the sand and
she didn't seem to mind it at all.
She was sick on this trip and me and papa had to stay up late in the hours of 
the night so Taylor and John could rest and we took turns holding her and praying for her.
We sang and whispered sweet things in her ear right before she threw up all over me..
It's amazing though how we didn't even flinch. We just knew what to do.
It didn't bother me that I had her throw up all over me.
It's just cool like that when you're a Birdie and she's your grand-baby.

These little girls are not so little any more and the beach and the waves don't scare them like it used to. My heart over-flows with gratitude for the way they still like to crawl in our bed. The way Josie always reminds us that she's the baby of the family. (by only 4 mins.)
and Channie's servant heart. Goodness, if I had any sense at all I would study her more.
Copy her and the things she says and does. She is one of the sweetest, kindest girls I know and it inspires me to be just like her. 

Ellie is still my little cook. She will help you do anything and make any task the brighter for it. So on this trip she stayed in the kitchen helping us cook and clean. She doesn't like Josie saying she's the baby because she said "I'm your baby too", right mama?" 
Yes, you are Ellie

They climb on the rocks right outside our house and the waves pound all around them but they know this place and they know how far they can go.

I still spend my time counting 1-2-3-4-5-6 and in reality I guess I always will.
Watching to make sure the waves don't pull them under or the world for that matter.
A mama bear I am and I admit it whole-heartily.  

Going back always helps you remember the year before and when you remember the year 
before it keeps your mind straight. They're taller and bigger and the time I have them
to count them, to cover them is slowly slipping away and just like the waves I can't hold it back.
Time is fleeting and it's constantly moving and we have to remember to not get pulled under by the rip tide of this world and enjoy them and invest in them..

It's time to leave but we're ready. There is not one moment that has been wasted on our little island.
We have packed in the food, the love, the laughter until 
next year.

When I will stop and be reminded yet again how fast a year changes things.

Beach-house summer 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Monster's In The stall

I've been home-schooling for 12 years. It's not always the easiest  thing to do and there are times that I look at those women in Wholefood Market with their neat little binders and their yoga pants (because I know they just got finished doing something calm and relaxing) and I have to wonder to myself if I have lost my ever living mind and I chuckle to my Lord because he entrusted me to all of this.
 My buggy is currently holding enough food for a small army and that army enjoys hanging off of it and I'm working up a sweat just trying to navigate the thing. I totally ignore the looks from the curious onlookers those prim and proper foodies..I know what their thinking and heck I don't blame them.
We are a freak show most of the time and I've come to love that about us. I've come to accept that about us..


As luck would have it I'm on the other side of the store when one of these precious schoolers has to go to the bathroom.
I'm sure my face says it all. 
Didn't we just leave the bathroom? Didn't I just ask you if you had to go? and I remember you saying" no mama".
..I remember these things...
My sanity depends on it.
She stares at me as though she knows I'm just having a moment and that I won't risk the outcome if I don't take her.

So I push my way past all the relaxed organics and park the ole buggy and take the 5 year olds inside to do their business.
This all sounds simple enough but...
Nothing is ever simple in a large family.
It's dramatic and most of the time loud. Laughter from the crew can be heard from outside the girls restroom, I wonder what's going on, 
but I have other problems at the moment.

Josie and Ellie have a small issue that I'm sure some good therapist could make some cold hard cash from me trying to figure out. Their fear of this white porcelain monster that lays in wait for them to sit on it's back and then it will surely swallow them, at least that's what they think has brought them to their little brown knees with fear.
I have tried everything..
holding their little hands
hard mama
you get the idea..

So I stay calm because I know it's coming.
The fear
The all of a sudden not needing to go the bathroom
The "I can hold it until forever" whine.

But I'm not buying it and I tell her to get up there and I choose
you Josie to go first.  It's hard sacrificing one of these precious 5 year old girls, and the fear from her face is calling me the worst mama ever.
I hold her hand and whisper things in her ear so the others in the stall next to us won't think we actually have a monster in our stall.
Me... Okay I got ya just jump right up. 
Josie... straddles the white monster and is peeing as fast as she can.
Me... Baby it's fine I got you and you got this..
She's going for the tissue and she smiles a big smile. She has survived yet another encounter. I grab her just in time before the automatic flusher sucks her right down.
All is right in the world.

Now it's Ellie's turn and she feels all confident since she didn't witness the disappearance of Josie. Surprisingly she jumps up and sits right down.
Well miracle of miracles
I'm high 5-ing her and she is so proud.

But... I forgot...I was supposed to save her in the end.
but in all fairness she was still wiping it wasn't time for me to save her yet.
the minute her little tiny bottom came up off the seat it automatically flushed and bless her, she was right in the middle of wiping and the monster came alive! and she threw the toilet paper at it and ran.
Worst Mother Ever moment.
Should have known
Starting back at ground zero

Now she doesn't trust me. No matter how many times I've saved her in the past she remembers that one time in wholefood.
geez parent-hood is hard.   

So, such is life and as far as homeschooling, the days are hard and beautiful and complex.
The minutes spent being here with them is just breathtaking
with the over-all beauty of them being about the business of growing up right before my very eyes.
I can't imagine not hearing their laughter in these halls of mine.
Our hearts tied and my commitment to teaching them to read and write and so much more.
but I never said it was easy.
Beautiful yes, but when you are birthing individuals it's hard work
and sometimes the beauty looks more like a construction site but the vision of seeing them to adulthood in one piece and perhaps still loving me keeps me motivated on most days.  

We serve together and feed the homeless together, read together,
dream together. 
It's a privilege to be their mama and although there are days that I envy the mama who look as if she's having a deep thought, I really wouldn't trade it for the world. 

My deep thoughts usually don't end well anyway:) 

Love From The Farm,

Saturday, February 14, 2015

New Life

 needed us, so we woke up early and threw on mismatched clothes, didn't bother combing our hair. We drove the hour and half to rescue her from the cold. She sank deep in our covers that we had
brought along and our hearts seemed to beat in rhythm with an orphaned lamb.

It always brings out something when we rescue an animal.
 The farm grows a little warmer and we all know that spring is just around the corner but right now its still cold outside and we have to bottle feed a day old lamb and she depends on us for a bottle every three hours.

Cooper and Channie-Mae make pallets by the fire and stay up late to do the midnight feeding.
Animals on the farm have always taught us more about dying to self, working together as a team and building sibling relationships. 

The very next day two little ducks make their grand entrance.
Between Daisy and the ducks we have suddenly become quite busy. 
It's a bustle of activity and we have 27 chickens who will move in on Monday.  

Cooper has earned money to buy these two and I chuckle at his over protectiveness. He has read everything he can find on the love and care of ducks. Who knew that his 13 year old heart could be wrapped so quickly.  No other time in his life will he be as free as he is now.
So, free he is to love ducks.

I like the pace the farm has. It seems to stretch child-hoods out, slow things down as we schedule our days around the rising of the sun and the pink sky's.
So today he is 13 and a duck lover and I love the tenderness that these two bring out in him. 

I love the long days of childhood out here.

Welcome to the farm Puddle and Hiccups 

Cullen, started a tad-pole habitat with the help of Josie and so for the afternoon we read all about how to make them feel more at home. He patiently went back and forth to the pond grabbing water or rocks and plants with roots. Rain-boots a mess as they went. I had no idea these little visitors that will one day turn into bullfrogs that provide the outdoor springtime orchestra that I have heard my whole life required so much attention.

Their songs always remind me that the times are changing and another season is being set in motion as they make their way out of the winter mud and sing their love songs.

I love this season as I have loved every other one but they seem to come on quicker and I remember to slow down. I have learned to embrace the seasons and enjoy them because I know that this season will pass and oh I just want to savor every moment I have with these guys.

The kids
The pigs
The cow
The lamb
The dogs
The cats
The ducks
The chickens
(and yes, the tadpoles too)

The wonder of it all so new to them and after all these years of parenting so new to me.
They each bring something to the season that's always different.
Their reactions to growing things and loving things make me want to grow more things
and provide more things for them to love.


Memories of blankets on a hillside, all of us looking up at the pink sky's or playing in a small sand pile. 

 Living within the bowl that the Lord has given and letting them experience a rich life of things that
live with them here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Majestic Brush

We were walking down that hill and I happened to turn around and see that this was following me.

The blazing sun dipping deep into this part of the county and catching my breath as my kids' little frames can barely be seen by the overwhelming beauty of God's water-colors.

His paint brush so thick in color and wonder.

You think you've seen it all and then this.

They didn't even notice, not because they didn't think it to be beautiful, but it's just a weekly thing out here on this farm. The beauty rushes in almost before you have time to run and grab your camera.
I had to run

By the time I got to them they were still busy digging rocks and the Lord gently trying to get them
to turn around.
They kept working. I can't stop catching my breath.
snap, snap
Each frame so different
Every time the sun fading lower and lower
beneath the trees that surround us here.

They stand guard here and the wind that blows through them and the light that shines around them
is constantly reminding me that they are doing the work of the Father.

The sweetness of winter in some ways more beautiful
with coats and hats. Ears covered and braving the outdoors because you
just can't stand not to. The cold hands and tiny treasures alway make me stop.

She yelled "it's a heart rock" and her echoing voice was heard by all the trees and the blazing light.
She ran down the hill in yellow rainboots carrying a rock that resembled a heart
and the view was all the better and forever etched in mind, these two playing under his majestic brush. .  

Love from 
The Farm,
February, 2015


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