Saturday, December 29, 2012

A well placed thought

 Walking the long driveway the gravel gives way under my feet. The mailbox overflowing with cards from friends far and wide.The bitter cold reminding me that this year is almost over. Come and gone. The cold has us indoors a lot and I'm reading words more than ever. Not feeling like myself lately. All the change that takes place in ones life in a year has taken it's toll on me. With having 13 children over the summer and running on next to nothing but keeping on because someone needed to. Having a bustling farm with new animals to train and then the winter. 
 I'm doing a lot of thinking..which my husband says is never good.   

Thinking about my life and how odd it seems to be moving out of the "baby stage" and into the "middle stage" of my life.
Not having to buy diapers or get up in the middle of the night. Having the freedom to go places and see new things with all my children is all different. I have always had a baby for the past 20 years and so now when I find myself in a new place I go from wanting to cry to wanting to dance? 
Strange place I know, but I get to do all the things I never could.
I get to sleep in a little, and I have everyone helping so things don't seem so overwhelming. My older young adults are doing things outside of the home
and I see what's happening. I go from crying out to God to stop everything
to being excited at what the next stage holds.
But right now a calm is settling over the farm after years of survival mode and I'm trying to decide if I like the way that sounds.

I haven't figured that out yet. 
You'll be the first to know when I do.

Years running on an adrenal rush now I'm watching them and enjoying them like never before. I get to know them in a way that has seemed impossible until now.
Seeing them move into the middle stage with me. Seeing and feeling how they need me so much more the older they get. I always thought it odd when people would say that.
 "oh they'll need you more when they're 18-21
I couldn't imagine that but now I know it's true.
 Hours of counseling and reassuring. 
There is no feed, diaper and put to bed.

 These are real issues for them and so you make room in your bed and they lay in the darkness talking and I'm listening.

 I have taught them in they way they should go like proverbs instructed me
and now I have to step back and let God take them the rest of the way.

Helping them make career choices
Praying like never before for
 Godly spouses.

You always pray that prayer "Lord, please be preparing
their spouses" but when you have to be patient and wait with
them you learn that their faith is required.
They have to believe that God has the perfect person for them but its His timing not ours. And well, this can seem to take forever for them.

I believe that 18-21 has been and will be the testing ground for what I have taught them. I have come up short in some areas believe me, so I take notes on what I'll be doing different with the new batch coming up:)

Yeah, it all takes more time and a lot more patience and it takes a lot of change
from me. From being the one in charge to letting go and letting them take a leap of Faith and know that God has this.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Don't delay..

"Yet it is by a little procrastination that men ruin their souls. They do not intend to delay for years-a few months, they say, will bring the more convenient season-tomorrow they will attend to serious things; but the present hour is so occupied and so unsuitable that they beg to be excused. Like sands from an hourglass, time passes; life is wasted by driblets, and seasons of grace lost by a little slumber.
Oh, to be wise, to catch the fleeting hour, to use the passing moments!"  Charles Spurgeon

We took a walk and we hung Christmas ornaments on the outside trees in our woods. She was standing on tippy-toes and the trees seemed to bend their branches to accept her decorations. It was beautiful seeing the naturalness of sunlight and pine trees being adorned by their tiny hands. The birds singing their songs as if saying thank you. Taking some effort to take little legs to the edge of the woods but I want to have memories all over this farm and in order to do that I have to take advantage of every single moment. Last night the kitchen was filled with a huge pot of chicken pot pie soup with biscuits so hot that you couldn't get enough. The candle light flickering and the bellies full. The conversation turned to our memory verse, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see the Lord". The singing of away in a manger and little girls getting out of their seats to sit in our laps.
 These are the moments that the hands of time will never be able to take away.
We do this every night over soup or pizza, it doesn't matter, we feast and
 we celebrate the time we have.

Try this and be amazed at how much they eat

Chicken Pot Pie Soup



1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 cleaned and trimmed leek, sliced
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup lowfat half and half
1.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Stir in onions, carrots, celery, leeks, salt and pepper, tossing to coat, then let cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in flour. Stir well to distribute the flour throughout the vegetables and coat them, then cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring to create somewhat of a roux and thickening agent. Most of the flour will stick to the vegetables, but you do want it to turn a slightly golden color and smell a bit nutty. (ha... that sounds interesting.)
At this point, use a biscuit cutter (or even a knife) and cut 12 "biscuits" out of your thawed puff pastry sheet. Place them on a baking sheet (brushing with some beaten egg if desired) and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Add in potatoes, chicken stock and half and half to the soup, stirring and allowing the mixture to come to a bubble. Reduce heat to medium low, add in chicken, peas and corn and cover, simmering for 10-15 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve with puff pastry on top!

We walked the path to Williams grave to put his ornaments on the trees that surround the place I go to talk to him and God. Burning eyes as I remember he's missing another Christmas with us, but then reminding myself that really I'm missing the real Christmas he celebrates everyday with the Lord. My little man in heaven and I'm here getting through each day without him but never forgetting my babies that have gone before me and that are waiting.

Always celebrating

The girls know their brother William as we talk of him often and as we walk the path their whispers of his name makes me smile. It's so calm there and their whispers and the swaying of the trees always helps me to breathe a little deeper. 

Always helps me to remember the living.  

I tried to plan this around their good morning moods, but apparently I was a little late. They wouldn't smile and then Josie just completely gave up..Hands on hips, arms crossed. So that's why you find yourself looking at the backs of my precious daughters. 

 I give lots of grace because so often I feel like crossing my arms and in spirit I do, so I stoop low and make them smile and remind them of things they have to be happy about, like ice-cream and movies a mama that loves them to the moon and back and that usually gets them perked back up. I start running and they chase after me. I have to be someone they want to follow.
I try.

Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves of the gifts, to get our attitudes right.  

Don't put off take care of the small things now.

Right before my eyes they're back to smiling and running and happy...
My example only works if I do the same.

 This Christmas is shaping up to be less about the presents as in I've not bought one single thing and its more about the here and now. The feasting and the fellowship with friends, Christmas parades, baking cookies, great movies and lots of time together. This year we want to buy books for them all.
 Good books wrapped with big bows that they can pass down to their children. Maybe a comfy blanket and a flashlight.    
A huge breakfast that lasts for at least a couple of hours as Scott reads
the Christmas story.

Simplicity is beautiful
I will not put off this hour or any hour to celebrate the daily living of my life and the lives of my children.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Puddles from the day

Posted from the archives

The street was lined with the puddles from the day. My mind taking in the beauty of umbrellas and the girls under their temporary covering. I'm not sure how to explain what I want to say. How much I enjoy their company and their sweetness. Being with my children makes everything better and rain won't stop this, it just adds to the back drop of us being together. We shopped and made memories and laughed and bought and then broke bread together.

We sampled and we held hands. We captured the magic of that rainy day together. Taylor whispering in my ear how very much she loves me and Channie's reminders of her thinking this was the best day ever (In case you've missed it Channie Mae thinks everyday is the best day ever). I can't help but to capture the whole afternoon with my camera lens. Seeing each day as the gift that it was meant to be. I capture moments and when the pictures are downloaded it takes me back and it makes the girls act all silly and say 'oh we had so much fun mom'. It keeps our memories alive and breathing. We all tend to get caught up and forget what we did yesterday. I don't want to forget. God's goodness and his mercy that He, the creator, allows me to breathe, much less parent, some of His finest creations.  

Willing into her memories the life lessons that I teach. Being there and sharing in her joy as she tastes a new kind of honey for the first time. Being there as the sheer excitement of walking in the rain overwhelms her. It captures her love of wet streets and the wind that threatens to take her umbrella away.  I'm able to capture her smile, her innocence of such things that seem to take her by surprise. It's just rain right? It's so much more to Channie Mae. It's all new. I look at our shopping adventure through her eyes. Every breeze or wet drop made her squeal with delight. Every puddle something to jump over. Every scent something to linger over. This little girl teaches me so much about life and loving. When I hear "Love like a child loves" (or something like that) I think of Channie. Her love is simple.....It's BIG......I  want to love like Channie

I'm able to capture with my lens one of my early Christmas presents. That little wicker basket is one of the gifts she bought me and gave it to me early. It now holds the books that I read to the little ones. I have it by my chair and the reminder of where it came from brings a smile on my face. Her love, her spirit, is so contagious. My friend, my daughter...the one who keeps me humble and the one who stands next to me in the trenches everyday. The one who lives simply. Who loves huge. The girl whom I've grown up with so to speak. The Lord has used her in my life in a mighty way. I know when I'm older, much older, I will stand by her. Lord willing, I will  be the friend that she needs as she starts her family. Don't think I don't know that I have to let her go one day. I will let her go when the Lord sends the right man into her life. Right now though I enjoy her. I love talking to her. I love seeing her nervous and sleepy. I love seeing her on Dr. Pepper. I love seeing her sipping tea and holding babies. I love seeing her get all excited over a nice knife. I love when she says, "I want to go hunting.. just once!" 

I don't know, all of my girls keep me snapping pictures and wondering what the Lord has in store for each and everyone of them. They're all so unique and who they are makes me different.

I would trade nothing I have for the time I get to spend with my Children. I love my friends but I would much rather be in the kitchen with Tay or playing blocks with the little girls, throwing the football with the boys or just curled up watching a movie with all of them. I often take walks across our land and I'll say, " So, Channie where are you going to build your house?" and she'll point and say, "right there mom" 100 steps from my back door..I let out a breath because I know her home will probably not be on this farm but a girl can dream can't she?  

I call her name and my lens catches the look of the day. Standing in the crowd of a candy shop she looks for me and listens for my voice and her eyes catch mine and her smile is a mixture of surprise and of knowing. Knowing that I would be capturing this moment. I'm kinda crazy like that.

 As we leave we all three share a small umbrella and they keep telling me to take it because they don't want me to get wet. Who am I to deserve such incredible daughters? I did get wet that day but only because I wanted to feel the rain and wanted to taste the day I spent shopping with my girls. A day that is captured.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Farm Moments

"hang in there. it is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen."

Riding in the back of the truck with all the feed and my girls and dogs.
Talking to my pigs, giving our rabbits carrots, and sticking my hand deep inside her nesting box and feeling life. Playing with my cow and sitting on the tail gate talking to my oldest son as he talks about his life, his future, and his dreams. Heavy bags of feed being pulled up and over the bed of the truck. My laugh easy as he tells me details of his thoughts.
Her blond hair and bare feet run across this dirt and she pokes her head on the rabbit wire trying to get a peek at our newest additions, 15 baby rabbits. Life after the death is more joyful. She smiles again and falls in love again with uncertain things like baby rabbits and cows. She can't help herself. She is my daughter after all and she is just like me. We live to love. A busy day on the farm trying to take it all in and be astonished at the small beautiful animals and people who share this slice of heaven with me.


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