Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Be Thou My Vision

I have had a lot on my mind lately.
Many things have happened here recently that have caused me to have to dig even deeper. Search a little farther. Face things I don't like or don't wish to face. Fears. Longings. Disappointments and Hurts that I thought had been given up or forgiven, but have poked up their ugly little heads like weed shoots in my garden. Weeds searching and groping to destroy the ground that has been torn open and wounded only for the purpose to sow tender seeds of hope and forgiveness.
"Still be my Vision!" I call out to the Ruler of All.
God, do not allow the father of Lies take back the ground of grace that You have sown. The only way to truly experience His tender mercies in my life is to extend His Grace to others. For I am imperfect. I want Grace extended to me.
I want the High King of Heaven to be my Victory Won...to expose the lies that Satan so skillfully whispers into my ear.
If I judge or point fingers or refuse to give the benefit of doubt to a story I've heard, then I am nothing more than the woodcutter who has fallen over his own log and impaled himself on his own ax.
So I cling to His Word and stand on His promise of Grace and Forgiveness because I want the same for my life.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Little Brother's Graduation Day

This time last week the 4 kids and I made a 9 hour car trip up to the Midwest to see my youngest brother graduate from High School.
I have to say I'm getting pretty good at this whole road-tripping with kids thing.
I'm not so good at going grocery shopping with 4 kids, but put me in a car with them by myself for 9 hours straight and they seem to do pretty good.
My parents came back to the States this year so that Matthew could attend his last year of school at the school my dad used to Administrate.
It was so odd being back and see all these Seniors that I had known as toddlers when I graduated from HS.
I counted about 4 or 5 of them that I had been their regular babysitter before I graduated.
We won't mention that none of them were potty-trained at the time and I remember all but 2 of them being born.
As they walked across the stage oh so grown up, I had these nostalgic memories of pudgy little toddlers with big blue eyes and blond bouncing curls running after bugs in the yard or another one sitting in front of the television singing along with Thomas the Train and Barney.

Uncle Matthew as he is affectionately called around here holds a special place in my heart.
I can remember praying for several years before he was born that my mom would have another baby.
I loved babies and toddlers and I wanted a younger sibling.
Yes, I had one already but when you and he are only a year apart, it doesn't really count.
I wanted a little younger brother.
When I was 14, my parents had him.
He was planned and that's a whole 'nother story. ; )
I loved having him in the house!
I had my own baby doll to dress up and carry around.
Poor kid.
I was heartbroken and missed him deeply when my parents moved to Mexico.
I was 18 and going off to college and he was 4 and followed me everywhere.

We also celebrated my mom's 60th birthday that weekend.
My parents really are young for as many kids and grand kids as they have. ; )

It was incredibly special to have 2 of my dad's 3 surviving siblings drive their 9 hour trip from Colorado. I hadn't seen my aunt Lois in several years and it was so fun to introduce my children to all of them. I have so many fond memories of them growing up and it was important to me to get to have my children meet them as well.

Graduation Day was teary. At least I was teary.
The speaker didn't help.
If everyone I knew could have heard this graduation message, there would be no doubt that this school was purposeful in equipping these kids to meet and make an impact on the world.
He was their Administrator and has a heart for the gospel, missions and equipping those kids to make a difference when they left High School.
My brother was so blessed to get to spend his last year under those teachers and staff.

We saw several of my cousins and aunts and uncles and I loved being back around family and the friends I had grown up with.

We left daddy at home doing this:
Well, they weren't born yet when we left, but none-the-less he had to work and couldn't come.
We came home to triplets and it's been bottles and extra milking and late night feedings and early morning feedings. I finally got the suitcase out of the van on Friday, but it's still in our bedroom un-opened. Children and goats are sorta' taking up all my time.

Happy Graduation Uncle Matthew!
We love you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Last Monday I arrived home from picking up the children at school and Luke declared we were taking a trip to the creek below our house.
No one was left behind this time.
We have recently (Luke discovered) an old wagon trail behind our house. There is a large iron eye pounded down into the ground that we have been told was used to help hook and lower wagons over and down the ridge. The deep ruts from the large wooden wheels are still there in some places.
I have a hard time visualizing these wagons being lowered anywhere behind our house. I had a fun time hanging onto a toddler and slipping and climbing our way down to the creek, let alone lower anything like a wagon down.

I saw all varieties of ferns and moss growing on our little hike down.
Nathaniel has always been to young to haul down and then back up the steep climb. There is a lot of bending under branches and fallen trees and climbing over rocks. You can't put a baby in a backpack and hike where we like to go. You'd end up with cuts and scratches and a very unhappy little one. It was also be difficult to carry a small person down without accidentally falling. Luke is trying to hack a path out to the creek this year to make it easier.
But the hike was worth it to see this:

It was peaceful
It was quiet.
I could have spent all day down here with a blanket and pen and notebook listening to the quiet laughing of the water as it danced it's way past.

Just two weeks ago the floods that devastated some families here also brought the water (as best as we can estimate) about 10 or so feet above normal creek level. Luke is pointing to debris hanging in branches above his head. Precious Jewel is a good 3 feet below him.
He said that the creek looked different and the embankment had shifted dramatically.

The water had totally carved out under this old tree above and the kids got a good first hand lesson on what tree roots truly look like.

Just a few days after this hike Precious Jewel handed me a Mother's Day card that said thank you for taking her to the creek.
She had made it in school BEFORE Mother's Day.
I was a bit confused.
We had not gone yet. Can we say she was hinting at my finally going?
Then when Luke announced that that day was a warm enough day and the water had receded enough and Nater Mater was old enough to climb down and back up with us, I understood she and him had been discussing this very trip.
It was nearly 5pm and I had not yet started dinner and it was a school night.
I hesitated and then said yes.

It wasn't until the 2 days later she gave me her Mother's Day card and I realized what I would have missed if I had said no...if I had stuck to my schedule and routine (which I very much like) and had told them to go ahead and go without me.
My days are FULL of little ones. My own and other people's.
I enjoy the evenings when the children are all in bed and quiet and I have some moments to just myself.
But I would have missed this if I had stuck to the routine...

...Moments of watching them run delightedly through the water stomping and splashing without a care in the world and all the pain it can hold.
The moments of childhood that can't be brought back.
The moments of innocence that we adults can never go back too.
Childhood. This Time. These Moments can run past us as fast as the water flows down our little creek behind our house never to be seen again.
There is always time for responsibility and chores and bedtimes and schedules to stick to.
A family needs consistency and regularity.

A family also needs a time of unbridled spontaneous fun when all schedule and time are thrown out the window and we follow daddy to the creek to skip rocks and stomp and splash when we are normally heading inside for dinner.

These are the memories I want to cherish. These are the memories I want to hold in my heart forever.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Our Visitor

One of the benefits of living in the country is experiencing nature first-hand.
For several nights we have been observing this little fellow eat whatever cat food the cats have left behind.
My compost bucket is also regularly raided for fruit scraps.

Usually he doesn't appear until after the kids have gone to bed, but last night hunger must have gotten the best of him. I'm sure many things were washed away in our recent flooding.
He looked miserable and wet, but dared the early evening light to scrounge on our back deck.
He looks like he's hissing, but he seemed to be trying to tell us he wanted us to throw out more food.
At one point he came right up to the glass where Precious Jewel had her nosed pressed and seemed to kiss her with his little wet nose.
She was delighted and squealed which sent him running to the back of the deck and nearly scampering back down the pole.
A few days ago we looked out in the early evening and saw 6 young deer wandering through our front trees just about 200 feet from the house.
That time Grandmama got to see and hear the delighted squeals and attempted glass pounding by Nater Mater.
Now that the cold seems to be leaving us and the warmth arriving, I think we'll be seeing more of our little woodland friends appearing in our yard.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Good Lookin's Graduation

I have to say I'm proud momma today.
Our little Good Lookin' graduated from Preschool today with flying colors.
They did a slide show of each of the little graduates and wrote a bit about each child.
Luke and I nearly fell out of our chairs when one of the points they put next to his picture and name were: Plays well with Others
Oh good heavens! It has happened!
He's done it!
He's attend a whole semester of preschool without any major meltdowns or bodily harm to himself or others.
And we never received a single negative phone call.

His favorite Job: The Weather Helper and he got to do it again on his last day of school.

His shy kitten-scratched little face.
He was very proud to wait and be handed his little diploma.

One of his "best est friends" was in his class.
He was honestly blessed to know over half of his class which was a huge help his first day of school.

Congratulations Good Lookin'!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

100 Days/ 100 Years/ 100 Slimy Slugs

The kid's 100th Day of School was a couple of months ago, but yesterday Mr. Smiles brought home the sheet he had made out for his class on that day.
I thought it was rather insight full into the mind of an almost 7 year-old boy.

I wish I had 100 Dollars
What would you do with 100 Dollars? Buy 10 toys that cost $10
What would you do with 100 kisses? I don't know
What would you do with 100 slimy slugs? Keep them as a pet
What will you do when you are 100 years old? Play with my kids.
You have been in school for 100 days.
What has been you favorite thing? Making friends