Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Month in Pictures


 Tucker and Johanna are doing great. 


 Marlee spent some time with her Aunts and Uncles on the farm while Taylor and John celebrated their 1 year anniversary. 


 The girls and I have been shopping for "doll stuff " What a blast it's been playing baby and setting up rooms for their girls.
Rosie, Lily and Jessie 


I hope they always remember these times of great fun as we celebrate childhood together.



We went to a dear friends wedding Jordan Lee and Mallory tied the knot and it was such a fun time
being with so many of our friends.

I loved this picture of Jordan and Sherri. 
Tom may be gone body but if you're around the Lee family at all
his smile and sweet, gentleness is still present.

Busy month but I'm so thankful to get to spend time with my family<3 nbsp="" p="">




Love from the Farm
October, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Creator of their childhood



Who am I? What matters most in my life as a mom? 

You see our world has got some things wrong, in my opinion.
We can be obsessed with football.
We can be obsessed with shoes. 
We can be obsessed and love running. 
We can be obsessed with our dogs and taking trips.
We can be obsessed with Facebook and our phones.
We can be obsessed with college.   

 some people think it's strange when you're obsessed with your children.
(in a loving normal kinda way)


In John 3;16 it says
For God So loved the world He gave His only Son.      




He So loved.
Oh those words pierce me..
We sing about How much He loves us and adores us and forgives us
and runs after us.
And
How He sent His only son to die for us.
He So loved.

I try and  live with the no regret policy for my life, I have So loved my family.
(Believe me I still  have my own regrets because I'm not perfect.. only God is)
but
I So love them.

After 21 years that doesn't stop or lessen. I am that mom who
makes thick pallets and lays with you when you're sick.
I make over you and I pray over you and I make your favorite meals
and drive miles just to get you anything you need or want.
I pour myself out because at the end of the day, nothing I do is as important to me as ..

So Love



I love big.
I'm not lying
I just do
and I can't change that, nor do I want to.
I want my children to love the Lord and have good, happy child-hood memories and that they
can say home was the sweetest place ever.

 I want them to remember that their home smelled good with stuff baking.
It was comfy with blankets on beds passed down by grandmas.
It was a resting place when you were sick.
It was loud and crazy and  most of all
their parents
SO loved them.
  


I So love them.Every stinking thing about each of them. Yeah, they have their faults but you know what? So do I and we forgive each other and we live this life together piled up like puppies. I am the creator of their child-hood...I hold in my hand the key to making their memories good or bad. (N.d. Wilson) Guess what, I choose good. I choose to be the screaming cheerleader.. being their biggest fan. 
I know, more than ever now, that these precious years fade and the telling of stories and butterflies and flag football days out in the yard are taken over by 'real life.


You can't fix their world with muffins and blankets anymore.
They're in real life and all you can do is walk beside them 
and a lot of  times pray to the One who loves them more.

So much more than we do.


but the ones I have at home.
I can teach them how to navigate deep waters and adore them and
 So love them ...
and I do.


I find them so fascinating, like what is she thinking? We're studying Timothy and how to have a content life ..Shes taking notes in her journal. I am silent. She just simply takes my breathe away.
She is 8 years old and she knows nothing except contentedness. She wakes up happy and goes to bed sleepy and looks at you as you tuck her in and wraps her arms around you and says

 "I love you mama"

I love the way Joe kisses me right on the lips. Every single time. None of the other kids do this
they kiss me on the forehead or on the cheek but Joe he goes for the lips. I love the way this guy loves football. You can ask him what team is ranked where and he can spit out the numbers like a talk show host.  Joe what's Alabama ranked? "3" What about Texas A&M? ...etc


  
I love the way Ellie holds dough and the way her voice is the small voice of an angel.
she never speaks louder than a whisper.
I have to lean in and pull her close.
She loves the kitchen and when I'm in there she is there.

I love the way Cullen says "bless your heart"  and the way he still makes a heart
with his hands and gets my attention.
Finger Heart staring at me.

He has a very soft heart and when we talk about what his life is going to look
like when he grows up he talks about being a pastor.
His big concern is counseling people who are going through hard times.
He said "but what if I cry."
Oh Cullen then cry because sometimes people just need you to cry with them.

I love the way Josie still sucks her thumb and rest her pointer finger on top of her nose.
( and yes I know shes five..)
She is funny and loud. She is not afraid to do new things and she takes cares
of her sister. When Ellie is nervous about trying something new it's Josie who reaches over
and grabs her hand as if to say "we got this".



I love the way Cooper says hey beautiful to his sisters.
The way he opens my car door. I love the way he reads Proverbs to his brothers almost every night.
He is not a risk taker he is a very steady stable guy, so when
he drove the farm truck up to shut our gates, he came back, it was
dark and he parked next to a tree and a tree limb went right through the back pop out window.
He calmly came in our room and said "dad can I talk to you."

Well of course I knew that was his way of making sure I didn't get upset.
He takes Scott outside and shows him the damage. They came back in and told me and being the aged parents that we are we didn't freak out.  Because we have freaked out in the past but we realized we have nothing of worth besides this family. We have had things broken and lost over the years to the point of we don't have much left that we get real uptight about and we grew weary of caring more about the things instead of about the lesson behind the things.
 We learned a secret. Things can be re-bought.
Like
My brand new Williams and Sonoma waffle maker laying on cement can break your heart but only if you don't look in the eyes of the one little boy who is scared and wondering in that moment are you gonna love him anyway.

I  loved that waffle- maker. I could make 4 big fluffy waffles at one time, but I love that browned eyed little boy who feels horrible and is picking up the pieces of that waffle maker and saying
mama I can fix it.
So Much more.

back to Cooper though

  We said well you owe us a window. It was an accident but you have to earn the money to pay for the window.
So on Saturday morning when everyone else is watching football he is sitting on a bucket cleaning our white fence in the front yard.
                                        The reason he's working for a window is because we love him
and because life is always gonna throw a branch in his path and we can't fix his problems.



Did I mention their eyes
their smiles
the way they laugh out loud during a movie
the way they love each other?
I love the way Josie and Ellie take turns on their bike
I love the way they call who's gonna drive on the drive way two days ahead of time.
I love the way they lay all over the house doing school.
I love the way Cooper and Cullen look just a like.
I love the way they leave me love letters by my bed.
I love the swing that I had put up on my front porch, their swinging makes me happy.

I love the way Taylor has become a mother. Her fussing over her little girl.
I love the tiredness in her eyes that I know is growing her into the woman/mom that God intends.

I love the way Tucker loves his wife. He is learning and growing and being stretched but
I love that he took a huge leap and wasn't afraid to do so.



I love them  

This moment in time is all I have.
I try and squish a lot of  love into this moment because they do leave and I know this very well.
I carry girls who are way too big to be carried but they don't know they're too big.
I make them dress up in fall colors and carry pumpkins to a bale of hay and take cheesy pictures
because one day these pictures will remind them of their childhood.



I SO love them and yes it's so hard when they leave but while I have them here
I will be preparing them with lots of laughter and lots of good-times...
and Alabama football.


So don't judge me I'm only imitating my Father :)


So Much love from the Farm,
Robin

October,2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The birth of Marlee Lynne


"Mama, they're every 10 minutes but I'm afraid to go to the doctor because I was just there and they will send me home."
"Taylor, you have to call and just tell them."
 "Okay I'll call."
.......
"They want me to come in and just be checked but I know they're gonna send me home."

So we pile up in cars, John's sweet mama is also there.
On the way to the hospital her contractions increase to every 7 mins right on the dot.  John and I look at each other through the rear view mirror... We both know this is it but she was still unconvinced.

  "Y'all don't be disappointed when they send me home."

 We continue to wind our way to the hospital and about 20 mins out the contractions are now 5 mins apart.  She is grabbing his hand and he has fingernail marks. We get to the office and they start asking her questions and they say, "well he's goingto check you before he goes and delivers another baby".
 Dr Mac says, "well Taylor these things happen to a first time mama. It feels so real and yet sometimes you just have to do this pre-labor stuff for a while."
She starts crying.  Dr Mac smiles and says "but this is not what's happening to you. You are in labor and you just pulled your ticket to go upstairs and see your baby."
Cheers from the room as Terry, John and I were wondering how we would have put her back in that car.
She asks "can they still send me home..?"
We all scream nooooo! Taylor you're gonna have this girl today!
  



We barely to get her up to the room and she says "I feel lots of pressure". The nurse said well put your gown on and I'll check you.
She had been 2cm for a few weeks and she had been two cm
just 20 mins before with the doctor, so when the nurse said you're 5cm we were all in shock.
Contractions were coming every 2 mins and they had not given her anything for pain. 
She was fighting through them in between texting her dad and talking to all of us.
  



Talking and dreaming about little Marlee

 Oh yeah I had to make sure the first thing my granddaughter saw was the red and white.
Roll Tide, Marlee Bird! 
(John and his entire family tree back to Noah are Auburn folks)


They checked her 30 mins later and she was 7cm. 
I had never seen such a fast labor. She was so brave and so in control. John was amazing and he never left her side one time.
Terry (John's mom) and I  would take turns looking at her contractions on the monitor and raise our eye brows and try and warn her one was coming or one was leaving.
At almost 8cm she got her epidural and was preparing to push.
So many things going on in the room. Nurses getting Marlee's bed ready, bright lights and doctor being called. It was time to push.
She was working so hard. But Marlee was face up in the birth canal and Taylor had to push, and it was a long and hard process but after 2.5 hours with Dr. Mac assisting, she delivered their beautiful 7lb daughter. Our grandbaby, the little girl that has changed our family. 


 The bridge to the next generation being built


~

Scott loves his little girl and even a crazy work schedule couldn't keep him away. He was there and he was very present. He hated to see her hurt. I'm so thankful that this man is my husband. The Lord gave me and my children such a gift in him and Marlee has the best Papa.         


She was battered and banged up pretty bad. She was weak and tired but she looked on at her daughter with the eyes of true love.
She is the sweetest thing (taylor)... She didn't complain much even though I knew the pain meds would wear off.. She didn't realize that at this point so I lived in that happy bubble with her.
:)
 She just kept saying this was all worth it. The 17 weeks of throwing up and laying in bed. The letting go of vanity for the sake of this baby. The letting go of dreams that newly married couples have and resting in the fact that the Lord has a bigger vision.  
  

 Doc Mac.
Words can't describe this man. He delivers our grandbaby and then goes to my daughter and kisses her and tells her how proud he is of her. Tears slide down her face and he lingers there..
I know he does this every day but he delivered one of my babies and it's kind of a family thing.

 I follow her around the room. I watch as they measure her and bathe her. She doesn't know me yet but I'm sure she will understand soon enough that she has a crowd of people that will love her and protect her and be there for her till.....just until forever.
She doesn't have to perfect. She doesn't have fit in because she is already in.   



John's mom is amazing. She and Bob (John's dad) live in Fl and can I just say she has been so good to my daughter. She has come along side and treated her like her own. Marlee is so loved!





I was there when she got her first shampoo. She loved it!!


John Lewis Porter, You are the man I thought you always to be.
 Your love and devotion to your wife and daughter is not natural.
It's super natural, as if God gave you an extra measure of love and kindness. You have been down a long road these past 9 months and I know right now you're saying "psssht, I didn't do anything, Taylor did it all" and Taylor couldn't have done anything without your constant presence of peace and strength.
I want 3 more of you for the other girls:)
I love you and I am grateful to the Lord for you.  



Marlee, I pray that you know the Lord early and that you see the
Lord in your family. We're not perfect little girl but remember God put you with all of us and we will treat you as the gift you are.
A precious gift.


May God continue to bless
The Porter Family.
I will love you forever,
Birdie


Thursday, August 7, 2014

When The Farm seems too big




The farm has been a place of joy for me. I have lived here for 19 years and most of my growing has been on the grass of these fields. I have grown closer to the Lord and  almost all of my mothering growing has taken place here. So what happens when your children marry and you have an empty nest with seven other mouths to feed? How is that even possible?  There are no books on being the mother of many and having a hole the size of  Texas in your heart when change hits the fan. You also have no sympathy because after all you have a house full still. It's kind of  a lonely road to walk. You've packed boxes and moved her off. You've watched him walk the aisle and say I do and then come home to the bigness of it all. Everyone around you continuing with their life and me I'm just kinda sitting wondering what to do with the empty spaces in my house and heart. The change is startling for a family of homeschoolers. You work together, live together and stay together most hours of the day. There has been no transition for us and it went from 0-100  in a matter of a few months.


 What happens when the farm looks too big and he drives off everyday for work and I'm left standing trying to keep it all going? Trying to buckle down do more work and be stronger all the while dealing with my home feeling different and thinking to myself how in the world I could have prepared better.
One of the big deals for a large family is laundry and well that was Taylor's job. She loved doing laundry. That was her thing and since she has married we have had no socks and I'm ok with that. I have tried every laundry secret out there and well it just doesn't work for me. So I go buy bags of socks and bless them before I let them out of their bag because I know our home will be their demise.

I told Scott after Tucker got married it was a bit overwhelming and I might need a house keeper a day or two.He chuckled and said Robin you have plenty of help and right then and there he calls a meeting of the White house and all these little feet putter into my room. He was saying something about getting more serious and helping out more and writing a list when I slowly left the room. I went and found a spot on the steps and looked out across the field and felt small. Very small.


(my work force)
I knew things would have to change though when Scott my beloved came out of our closet with a towel wrapped around him asking "darling wife do you know where any of my underwear is?" and I said honey you gave the job of putting clothes up to our darling 4 year old's you might want to ask them. He smiled and said point taken. The clothes are everywhere and you might have to search other peoples drawers before you finally find something that belongs to you.  So we've learned to let go of having perfect laundry.


(he's such a funny man)

My yard has been cut by Tucker for the past 10 years. This was his job and he did it well. He knew my yard and oh to see the beauty after he had worked his magic on that lawnmower and to smell the fresh cut lawn made you happy. So when he married he hung up his keys to our lawnmower and now my yard looks more like the pasture. My crepe myrtles look more like a bush. But I walk past it all because right now in this season of change I have to keep moving and keep feeding people. Keep reminding myself that God can see me through the tall grass and the large loads of laundry. He understands the empty nest thing and how the letting go comes in waves and slowly takes you under and then brings you back up for air.

He reminds me that I won't be here forever and that things will hit a balance again. Change always
produces something and it's hard for a while but 


   He reminds me that marriage is a good thing and oh I'm so happy for them. Tucker, truly is one the happiest married men I know besides my hubby.. They amaze me and I'm thankful.    


and I'm gonna be a Birdie in a few weeks and I'll hold her and whisper in her ear how much
I love her and how thankful I am that she is my grand-baby. Thankful for the change she will bring
into my life.
 I'm sure I'll be doing Tay's laundry for a few weeks so I hope it turns out better than mine:)

I don't have much great advice on how to do all this except a great quote I read several times
a day to myself.

" Do not look forward to the changes and walk this life in fear. Rather, look to them with full hope
that, as the sun arises, God whose you are will deliver you out of them. He has kept you
hitherto. He has kept you to this point. Do hold fast to His dear hand and He will lead you safely through
all things. And when you cannot stand, (or do all the laundry or cut all the grass or be everything to everyone), He will bear you in His arms.

And When everything seems Big it's not a bad thing to feel small.   

love from the Farm,
Birdie 







Saturday, July 5, 2014

The morning of


 The morning of Tucker's wedding we woke up on the beautiful Leegacy Farm in the heart of Tennessee.
The roosters were crowing and the chill in the air made you want to be outside walking on those dirt roads.
I gently tapped Scott and said you wanna walk with me? He said sure and off we went, talking about the spirit on this farm and this family. We had been so tired after the rehearsal dinner the night before so we were just going to stop by the big house and say hey before we retired for the night but being the Lee's they had company and everyone was piled in their busy kitchen washing dishes and the laughter could be heard through the screen door as we climbed the stairs.
We were weary
I was thirsty.   

We only meant to stay a minute but instead ended up staying close to two hours talking and laughing and catching up with our dear friends.
Somewhere between Cane creek and the dirt road we lose ourselves every-time in the beauty of the Lee's farm and, well the Lee's themselves.



 We were weary from a long day of travel and wedding prep and from the moment we drove up we had
hug after hug and tears. My tears as I realized the Lee's were growing up. Especially sweet Hannah.
I was refreshed with deep conversations and the best spring water this side of heaven.
We chatted about child raising, farm happenings and life in general.
All the while the guys were putting cows in pastures and girls crowded around tables talking about
Taylor's big belly and "how she met John" stories.
I didn't want to leave but we had a wedding the next day and I knew we must get off to bed
in the bunk house. We made pallets and climbed in beds and all the kids said 
I love it here. I do too I said. 
The bunk house is A cozy little place that happens to be beside the milking station.
So the next morning while the roosters were still crowing Channie Mae, ran outside to meet
Emily and Josh as they were bringing the Jerseys up to be milked.
She was in heaven right there in the middle of this farm.  


The Lee's don't ignore our smaller children In fact they go out of their way
to make sure all my children feel loved and cherished and I love that about them.  
The Kids learn something new every single time we go. They feel
special and in return they never ever want to leave. 

I want to wear the smile that Emily wears when Joe milks for the first time.
I want to be patient and kind and delightful. I want to have my front door open wide 
and say come and visit if you can. The hospitality is just overwhelming and all they offered was
a cool drink out of a tin cup. I took their offering and was refreshed. 


 No-one besides Channie much cares for milking but I made them all at least try.
Because sometimes you have to try new things and sometimes you need a push and I don't mind
doing the pushing.  
    

So just a few hours before my son said "I do" I was milking a cow. I actually sang to her 
while all my children watched. I had on Scott's gym shorts and I milked like I would never milk again,
All my Children were laughing as I sang 'oh my darling' including my son John .I want to be remembered
for milking cows on stressful days and singing to them. I want to push them to do new things because new things are sometimes the best things.
     

Josie milked with both hands and as the milk came flowing Emily gently said
Great job Josie.  


 Ellie was not so sure she needed milk ever again but she tried
and I was happy she did.


 Channie milked in a borrowed skirt and sat on a dirty bucket
and would have sat there all day long.
She snuggled deep under covers the night before and said I love it here
and I said I know Channie I do too.



So here we are in the middle of a farm in Tennessee before the sun has a chance to even yawn
and we're all laughing and milking a cow and my memory bank is full for a long time.

Some how we have to bring back our front porches. We have to bring back the simple art
of being able to invite ourselves by just to say hello and end up staying for a couple of hours 
and being encouraged to continue on  the different path of doing things different.

Teaching our children to invest in the lives of those who come a knocking and always having a cup of refreshing water and a smile.


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