Saturday, February 14, 2015

New Life


Daisy
 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.



So,
  
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


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Catching Days




 How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.
 What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing with the time (God has given to us.)

A schedule defends from chaos and whim. it is a net for Catching Days. 
It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.

A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order-willed, faked and so brought into being; it is a peace
and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living, each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.
Anne Dillard


I love
  A schedule defends from chaos and whim. it is a net for Catching Days. 

O be still my heart.  These ordinary days I live out where one day runs slap into the day before.
My life less complicated than it has been in years and the expected almost always happens when you
plan for it.


The stillness making you reach deep to enjoy the small moments of this life.
And those are almost always the simple things
sunshine
fires
smiles
cows
hats
art

   

The Lord teaching me that common ground is the best ground for the everyday.
Remembering  that I have been forgiven for much and parenting with that in mind.

I never want my kids to think I'm "some know it all perfect parent."
Because I'm not; but to them I am, and that humbles me when they tell me so.

I am hanging on to dear life most days. 
Praying I don't make much of myself but I always do,
and frustrations and expectations alway meet me there.
I'm
Praying they can see me as a real person.
A forgiven person.
Most mistakes are the mistakes of making much of oneself and forgetting
your old self and how much the Lord taught you and brought you through.


Most forget, but I can't forget and I remember that from which
he saved me.
I tell them stories of my old self and the older ones giggle and say mama I can't believe you 
did that or this. I gently remind them that that is the very reason Christ came to save us.
He forgave me and turned me in a different direction and I will forever be grateful.

 Common Ground is the ground on which I can stand with my not so perfect children and husband
and live the beautiful everydays. 

Catching moments

We are all on common ground and we all forget.
We are all just sinners and none of us have it all together.

I choose to make a schedule for my day and live a very simple lifestyle
down to eating almost the same meal every week just to make sure that my kids
are grounded in the everyday, but someone else may do it totally different and that's good too.




We play in mud and choose to do our school at home.
We have a cow.
 Adoption has blessed our family so we feel 
like we need lots of bonding, even years later.
 I take bonding very seriously. I have a brood of children that need to be strong
and know who they are and know who saved them. They need more and 
 I have a few years
to teach them and to make sure their roots are deep.
I water everyday, I weed and I sit still.
I'm available.




The love story for each of our children is beautifully written by our Lord 
yet when you bring a child home from a different country or a different state you dig deep
into a terriority that is God's alone. You cry for wisdom and stand and bath them in your love
and acceptances and pray they get it.
It takes time and lots of it. 

Some look at our life and don't know why we do the things we do.
 So my parenting style might look different than 
yours. 

My van doesn't leave the driveway all week and for some that might drive them crazy but 
for us it's the amount of time we need to keep balance in our home.

Catching our days

We have two grown children who still love us even though we made plenty
of mistakes.

 The common ground leaving much room for forgiveness.
~



 A schedule defends from chaos and whim. it is a net for Catching Days. 


Do Whatever it takes to catch your days.
A simple schedule, especially if you have younger kids,
that they can fold up and put in their pocket.


My simple schedules can be found tucked in jeans or a coat pocket.
They love knowing what we're gonna eat for the week and who's day it is to help with
kitchen duty. 

Keep yourself available and still.


Remember What the Lord has done in your life and pass
that down to your children.
Ask forgiveness and be willing to be wrong.

Don't compare yourself with me or anyone else.
Seek The Lord above all.
~  

I'm busy Catching Days On The Farm want you join me?









Sunday, January 25, 2015

A place we call Puckett's



Sometimes, in my life, I see the beauty so clearly and today was one of those Crystal clear days.
The stacked firewood and the cozy fires crackling outside of one of our favorite places to get away,
Puckett's. It's actually Leipers Fork, Tenn, but Puckett's is a cozy little store/ restaurant.

It serves a mean bacon-cheeseburger and well the little one bathroom stall only lends itself to the charm.
It's a little country town in the middle of nowhere, but the charm is amazing
and it keeps us going back time after time to eat a burger or sit a spell at the fire-pit.
For some reason this place stops the motion of the everyday and draws you in to the 
slower pace of "Puckett's ville". Why don't we find more Puckett's on our journey? The slower pace of enjoying simple things like twinkly lights and good music and great art.


We go down country roads that house people like Toby Mac and Keith Urban. Their houses making us breathe deeper and the awes from  the back seat are never-ending as the houses seem
to get bigger and bigger the further down the road we go.


This trip we took Tay and Marlee along 


Known for their bacon cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries, they didn't
disappoint. We had a table full of food and laughter and lots of love. 


Marlee was passed around more than the ketchup bottle but she didn't mind.



We carved our names in tables along-side many others while
 the owners watched and encouraged. Cullen, before pulling his knife out of his 
pocket said 'mom your serious?' Yes, Cullen you can.
Channie-Mae, wasn't  going to be left out of the fun so she carved her own name to the beat of
the blues going on behind us. 
  






 We walked down the little charming path to the next business and the beauty of art was all around us. This little treasure of stores, tucked in, off the beaten path, made us want to linger.  Linger we did
at the roaring fire pit as the flames danced in a cool breeze.


They had fire pits and marshmallows and an old wooden bench to sit on. The lady running
the local art gallery told the kids to eat as many as they wanted.
I don't think she sees many kids this time of day and I don't think she realized these kids
could eat some marshmallows.


The art was amazing and the owner/artist's reflection of the Lord in his art work was so 
encouraging.
Did I mention he has a thing about Birds and I happen to be called Birdie.
 I love this little place.
Scott and I spent a week here over the summer and I would come into this little gallery
and be drawn in by the music and the smell of the place.
Our marriage being renewed here, just down the street in a gated horse farm.
The lush grass and the quietness of the foothills bringing our marriage to a sweet place of remembrance of being each other's. The slowing down and letting go is a place we long to get back to this year, Lord willing. Keeping our marriage a priority is so hard but it is something we are committed to.




As much as I love the gallery I love the art the Lord has given me more.

The art of their faces as they blow out lighted fluff, or the way the flames keep them warm.
The joy of eating a cheeseburger hot off the grill or carving your name in a table.
The art of the everyday.
The beauty within their smile.
I don't have to drive to Leipers Fork to experience beauty
but 
The many laughters and squeals along the journey is priceless, and well, my heart is bent toward these kids like the willow in the front yard leans heavy over the pond. I just love experiencing life with them and now experiencing life with Marlee.   


The drive home, quiet, in the dark, as they drift off to sleep. The trees pass their windows and their mama drives through the night to get them home to a waiting daddy, who doesn't like coming home to a dark house without us.



We tuck little girls in, 
 wearing their new thick sweaters, snug in covers saying prayers thanking God for a fun day and then a little whisper that says
"Mama, I want to go back to Puckett's."
I whisper back, "Me too".



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A few sunny days



The Lord blessed us with a few days in the upper 60's and it's always welcomed and needed.
We took hikes up the hillside and brothers danced in the Shadow of the sun.

Cooper, got up and fed mama Pig and her three babies and walked Rosebud out to her pasture and got in his boat and paddled around the pond. I saw him out there deep in thought and I cherish these moments with him.
He is such a joy and his sweetness always surprises me as he grows into a man. He's so loving and funny and I'm honored to be his mama.


Cullen digging deep in the old boat found this crazy looking bull-frog. He comes into my bathroom while I'm taking a shower and yells "hey mama look at this!"...I poke my head out to this ugly thing looking at me. I may have screamed alittle and Cullen belly laughed.


Channie-Mae, loves this land as much as I do and she walks these grounds like she's been here Lot's longer than her little 8 years. She grabs her cane pole and wets a hook and I see her spit on the ground like she means it. She's not embarrassed she just feels at home here. I chuckle to myself as her panties can't be seen and her little bottom is low riding in her skinny jeans.
I keep laughing at her and she say's What? Oh nothing Channie Mae keep your pole in the water.



Ellie and Josie painted the house for a couple of hours.  I love Honey for standing guard over them. I go in and out as I'm cooking supper and Honey is sitting there. These two are complete angels and I tear up just thinking about how I get to share life with them.
I love the moments of motherhood  tucking them in and singing songs together.
How they sit on the kitchen island and help me cook.




Joe always has a football helmet on which to us is just as common as eating. He sleeps with a football and wears a helmet anytime he's outside.
When I tuck him in at night he's got the biggest grin on his face and a bear and football always at his side. I adore this little guy. I see his personality emerging as he asks questions about where he once lived and I honestly am so proud of him. Joe, is just one of the nicest kids you will ever meet and well to say that he's alittle over protected by his brothers, mainly Cullen, is an understatement.
I love their friendship and I love the way Cullen accepts Joe, as just Joe.
Joe accepts everyone and It's a beautiful thing.    


I love this rowdy crew and my heart constantly reminds me just how much.

      

We ordered our chickens today and oh what a glorious day it is.
Everyone gathered around the computer screen as dad names each chicken and tells about each one.
They each get to pick out two and we are all just a little giddy waiting for the call from the post office. When baby chicks hit the farm it means business and we are getting ready. My favorite new place as of late is Tractor supply. We wander around in this store like it's a candyshop.
The little girls ride the little bikes they're trying to sell, right behind me as the guys load 50lb bags of sweet feed in my buggy. They only weigh 30lb's each so  this is always a little dramatic as they lift and push these bags on my cart. I end up walking away assuring them they got it.


Poor Rose-bud has to endure Channie's head yet once again as she looks for milk.
I try and explain that Rose-bud has no milk yet but Channie checks almost everyday.

Did I mention she is country?


      We did alot of work on the farm these last two days getting ready for planting. My face a little pink from working in the sun. My body a little sore, but a joy in my heart as I work along side these little people.
We are excited for the new life that spring brings and with everyone being one year older it makes all the work just a little easier and alot more fun.


They stand on the edge of this property and with their hair blowing in the breeze.  I snap a moment in time as they travel this dirt and I travel alongside them.

My lens revealing that they're growing and I'm getting older and I have no regrets.
I wake with the sun shining  through my window and drift asleep to the moon shining over this farm
and I lived this day every minute of this day walking along side some of the greatest of God's creation.
My Kids. His Kids.
and I am humbled to be their mama.

~ Enjoying Surprise warm days in the middle of winter~

Love from The Farm

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